ARTISTdirect.com editor-in-chief Rick Florino recently conducted an interview with vocalist Ville Valo of Finnish love metallers HIM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
ARTISTdirect.com: With [the new HIM greatest-hits album] "XX - Two Decades of Love Metal" and [upcoming studio CD] "Tears On Tape", do you feel like you're in a particularly creative place?
Valo: "Tears On Tape" is going to be really organic, straight-in-your-face, super melancholy bullshit. [laughs] It's going to be something nobody's heard before. I'm really happy about it. It sounds great. Remember the soundtrack for "Twin Peaks" that Angelo Badalamenti did? It's got that similar forlorn, melancholy quality but mixed up with MOTÖRHEAD. That's where we're at! We're really happy. It's got that dreamlike quality. It's like ROY ORBISON meeting METALLICA.
ARTISTdirect.com: What's it like to reach the point where you can make a compilation of hits? Is it almost like compiling a photo album?
Valo: It makes us feel really fucking old. [laughs] At the end of the day, we're proud of what we've done, and there's an opportunity to do something like this. I belong to the BLACK SABBATH school that albums are albums. You have your bad tracks. You have your good tracks. You have your sentimental tracks. You have your heavy metal tracks. You have to have that yin and yang going on. With a compilation, it's really tough. It's a reminder that we do exist. I think that was the most important thing with the compilation, per se. Nine out of ten bands don't get this far. I'm not talking about success. I'm talking about the fact bands actually stay together. It's a long time to be in a band and still appreciate everybody you're playing the music with. It's crazy. It's something where if you pick up your tarot card, it won't fucking work. [laughs]
ARTISTdirect.com: Where did "Tears On Tape" come from?
Valo: The point behind that is I grew up with music so music has been my safehaven in good and bad situations. Those tears that the artists put on tape are the ones that carry us on. The "Tape" in the title is symbolic. It's about the fact you actually put your heart out. When you pour your heart into whatever you're doing, it's valid. Nobody can take that away. It's so tough to start writing. When you get the flow, it revitalizes you and gives you the opportunity to feel you do have the reason to exist.
Read the entire interview from ARTISTdirect.com.