Finnish goth-metallers H.I.M. are set to release their fifth album, "Dark Light", on September 27. The album is the first the band have recorded for their new label, Sire, and is described by frontman Ville Valo as sounding "like a gothed-up BON JOVI." Speaking to the U.K.'s Rock Sound magazine, he said, "Last time, on 'Love Metal', we wanted it to be our BLACK SABBATH album. This time we're still soppy bastards, but there's a bit more experimenting. We wanted it to be like a U2 album with lots of textures. 'Achtung Baby' is one of my favorite albums of all time. So there's a lots of ear candy, but it's pretty '80s in that there are big hooks on the choruses and they're all sing-along."
"Dark Light" was recorded during February and March of this year with producer Tim Palmer (PEARL JAM, OZZY OSBOURNE, U2) at Paramour Studios in Silverlake, California. Previous uses for the location include the filming of parts of "Halloween 2" and, while Ville was recording his backing vocals, a feature-length Playboy film. Ville says the location itself proved to be inspiring, but for entirely different reasons.
"We just wanted to get away from the pressures of everyday life, so you don't have to do the dishes or pay the bills," he said. "We did end up being at [legendary rock hangout] The Rainbow every other night, but the studio itself was in a residential spot, on top of a hill in a big mansion. I was still finishing a lot of the lyrics there and once the sun went down over downtown L.A., it allowed me to reflect. It was very peaceful and it meant we could concentrate on what we did best. So the band sound pretty relaxed on this album. It was really good to get the brothers together again, without families or girls."
Ville explained that the album moniker follows H.I.M.'s tradition of "using contradictions in titles," but also has another, coincidental meaning. "What makes it funny is that my last name means 'light' in Finnish. Then you translate 'dark' straight into Finnish, it means that you're a bit crazy in the head, so I thought, 'Great! It's crazy old me again.' Because it's our fifth album, we're also going to use the Roman numeral 'V', so it's all very autobiographical."
Lyrically, themes still revolve around "girls and boys and the politics of the heart," but Ville revealed that his own love life has influenced him, too. He said, "I've been hanging out with the same girl for awhile, so it's very, very inspiring. I'm like her evil twin. It's good for the head."
Reflecting on H.I.M.'s breakthrough success in the U.K. with 2003's "Love Metal", the singer insisted they're maintaining level heads despite their increasing fame and fortune. "It doesn't change anything," he countered. "We had Number Ones in places like Germany and played our biggest gig there in 2001 in front of 9,000 people. I think the only pressure we have put on ourselves, because it's always hard to make another album and make it exciting again. After struggling for so many years, it's nice to be able to pay for your own beer, but it's important to remember the reason you're doing this is the music and not the endless partying."
(Thanks: Rock Sound)