Then Juhana Rantala and Anto Melasniemi added them: Juhana Rantala was a drummer until 1991, when Gas Lipstick took his place, Anto Melasniemi was a keyboarder and he’s replaced by Zoldan Pluto in 1998.
HIM’s current lineup presents Emerson Burton (Janne Johannes Puurtinen) at keyboards and Jukka ‘Kosmo’ Kröger at the drumm.
The name is an acronim of His Infernal Majesty. It has always generated doubts about its relationship with satanism, but Ville Valo says that this name has no weight and it is not related to any religion, in the official biografhy “Synnin Viemaa”, written by Juntunen, J. K. and published in 2002.
“In almost every interview someone asks what does HIM stand for. I can’t even
remember our latest lie about that. When Hanson was hot, we said it means Hanson Is Murder. The name doesn’t have a particular history.
I think HIM derives from some death metal joke”
HIM are the “godfathers” of a new genre: the ‘Love
Metal’. The band defines his music as a sentimental and heartwarming rock: “Rock music with much Heart and two balls” says the singer.
Themes and sounds, mostly about Love and Death, Good and Evil, are perfectly rapresented by the group symbol, The Heartagram. It is an Heart intertwined with a Pentagram, surronded by a Circle: this is a symbolic and poetic union between what is in a perfect antithesis. In
this case, the Heart, the Pentacol and the Circle symbolize the possibility
to live and find Love and Death in the same level.
Ville says: “I consider it to be a cool thing. I like the idea of the symbol being bigger than the band. The symbol
includes our lives, our friend’s lives, even our friend’s band. It’s meant to be
shared. I’m really happy when people get it tattooed. It’s beautiful. It’s
probably the best thing I’ve never done creatively. It’s down about ten years ago
and it’s been around the world with incredible success. I drew it the day I
turned 20. It took me about five minutes, but subconsciously, I was probably
working on it 15 years.”
In 1996 the band released their first EP, 666 Ways to Love: Prologue.
The cover shows the picture of Ville Valo’s mother, Anita, when she was 19 old.
From this EP is extracted the first ever video too: a self-produced version of ‘Wiccked Game’. At the same period, HIM began to take their first step in the right direction. In October, they had their first concert at Tavastia Klubi in Helsinki, today home of Helldone, one of the most popular metal music festival in the world, created by HIM and that takes place every years in late December.
Also Tiina Vuorinen, of the Welldone, heard Wicked Game single and decided to meet the band, offering them as their manager. She will move the band to her husband, Seppo Vesterinen, who is still the manager of the Five Finnish musicians.
But it’s on 1997 that the HIM’s popularity came in all the Nordic Country, with the release of the first album Greatest Love Songs Vol.666. The title is a perfect example of ideology ‘Love Metal’. Infact the number of the beast was inserted to counter the word ‘Love’ and describe the themes of the songs. From this album famous singles as
Wicked Game’ (cover of Chris Isaak), ‘When Love and Death Embrace’ and ‘Your Sweet Six Six Six’ were extracted.
In 1999 the band had a change of line-up and Anto Melasniemi was replaced by Gas Lipstick, as drummer. Their fame went throughout Europe, thanks their second album Razorblade Romance and their singles ‘Join Me (in Death)’ (This piece was used as the
soundtrack of film “The Thirtheen Floor” European version), ‘Poison Girl’, ‘Right Here in My Arms’ and ‘Gone with the Sin’.
The band started a tour that touched Italy too, at
the first time. Encouraged by the good response of sales, HIM decided to release the album in USA too. However, they had face to a legal problem: an America jazz band had the same name and sued HIM. So, only for the
American market the group’s name was changed to HER (Her Evil Royalty). Later, HIM obtained copyrights and the finnish band regained their name.
In the same year Ville met and socialized with Bam Margera, an American pro- skater. He’s famous thanks television
programs as ‘Viva la Bam’ and ‘Jackass’ and will direct some of HIM’s video.
2001 is the year of their third Album, Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights, released in August.
This is the first album with Emerson Burton as keyboerder. From this album were extracted singles as ‘Pretending’, ‘In Joy and Sorrow’, ‘Heartache Every Moment’ and ‘ Close to the Flame’. This album got the first place in Finland and second place in
Germany. After recording of Deep Shadows and Brillinat Highlights, Ville Valo,
Lily Lazer and Mige Amour started a rock and roll side project, ‘Daniel
Lioneye’ where the roles were modificated: Lily Lazer was the vocalist and the guitarist, Ville Valo played drumm and Mige Amour was the bassist.
Their only concert was held at the III Annual Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, 2001 in
Helsinki. The band Daniel Lioneye has produced album ‘The King of Rock’n Roll’ and every photo in the booklet were taken by Migé during their holiday in New York, the song ‘Never Been in Love’ is accompanied by the video in
which they were included parts of private videos of HIM and the concert of Provinssirock in 2000.
If with their third album they were facing on the American scenes, with the fourth album, named Love Metal and released in 2003, the band reached celebrity overseas. The title
express the musical genre created by the finnish band and this was the first album
that does not feature singer/songwriter Ville Valo on the cover , but a Gold Heartagram, on a black background. Beside the standard version there is a limited edition digipack containing a bonus track.
From the album were extracted ‘The Funeral of Hearts’, ‘Buried Alive by Love’ and ‘The Sacrament’. Buried Alive by Love video shows the actress Juliette Lewis as protagonist and was directed by Bam Margera. Thanks to this collaboration, Margera began to insert Heartagram within the series “Viva la Bam” allowing the band to be known in America.
Margera will direct the next 3 HIM’s video.
2005 was the year of their worldwide success. Armed by the new record with the major Warner Music, the new album, Dark Light, released in Semptember, was deployed for the first time in US, where entered in the top 20 of the Billboard 200. The remarkable success of the first single ‘(Rip out the) wings of a Butterfly’ allowed the band to become one of the most significant reality of the rock world, with frequent appearances on
music channels like MTV and concerts sold out.
In 2007, at the height of their career, HIM published Venus Doom, the awaited new album, recorded at Finnvox Studios with the supervision of Tim Palmer. To promote this album, HIM started a long tour which touched Italy too, with three dates in spring: Alcatraz in Milan on March 6 2008, Saschall in Florence on March 7 and Vox (Nonantola) in Modena on March 8.
Meanwhile, album sold 38.000 copies in US, that was a record for Valo and his band. There, at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, HIM recorded CD/DVD named Digital Versatil Doom that came out in 2008.
In the February 14, 2010 Screamworks: Love in theory and Practive was released in Italy. This was their seventh album and was produced in the summer 2009 in Los Angeles, under the direction of Matt Squire. It was released in standard and “Deluxe”
version. The latter, in digipack format, contains a bonus track disc that present an acoustic version of all the pieces. Singles of this album were ‘Heartkillere’ and
‘Scared to Death’.
December 7, 2010 SWRMXS album was released. This is a remix album of Screamworks. At the same time guitarist Linde announced to be working for the second album of his side project ‘Daniel Lioneye’. The album, just entitled “Vol II” has a sound more violent and powerful. New formation presented: Mikko Lindstrom as vocalist and guitarist, Joanne Puurtinen at the keyboards, Mikko Paananen at the bass and Enochian Crescent’s “Bolton” as a drummer.
In 2011 HIM separeted from Sire Records and the new album will be released with the label Doublecross. But the album was postponed because of some health problems that plagued drummer Gas Lipstick.
In 2012 XX-Two Decades of Love Metal was released. This celebrates 20 years of the band. The collection contains the new song ‘Strange World’ (cover of American singer Ké), in addiction to songs of previous albums.
On April, 26 2013, HIM released their eight album, Tears on Tape and the first single from this album was ‘Into the Night’. HIM started a real tour performing in a series of concerts in America and Europe (including an Italy date, in Milan -Alcatraz- on October 15, 2013).
At the end of 2014, Ville Valo presented his new solo side project on December 29, at the Helldone, where he has debuted as Rambo Rimbaud.
After 16 years with HIM, on January 27, 2015 the drummer Gas Lipstick announced to leave the band, saying: “I simply feel that it’s time for me to move on as a musician.” and that this choice was not dictated by unpleasant event within the group. In the same time Ville Valo reassured fans saying they were working on the choice of a new Drummer.
In May, HIM and Rambo Rimbaud announced several summer dates.
Surprisingly, on July 25, at the Qstock, performed HIM rather than Rambo Rimbaud. So they have presented to the public and fans of all the world, the new drummer Jukka ‘Kosmo’ Kröger, who was well received by all.
Traduzione a cura di Claudia Micacchioni.
“È vietata la riproduzione anche solo parziale di questo articolo/traduzione, sia in formato cartaceo che telematico, senza indicarne provenienza, senza chiedere l’autorizzazione agli autori o i dovuti crediti al Blog.”