HIM’s Ville Valo: “I Hate It When Bands Play Too Many New Songs”
Love metal romantics HIM are currently burning their way through the UK, so we grabbed frontman Ville Valo for a quick chat to see how everything’s going…
Hi, Ville! How are you feeling about your return to the UK?
It’s been some time since you toured here, what sort of expectations do you have in terms of turnout?
“Obviously it sucks to play big halls if you don’t sell them out, because it sounds awful, so we are mostly playing smaller clubs. We haven’t toured for ages so we’ll see, we’re just happy that there are people who are interested in what we’re doing. When there’s people who enjoy what you play, that makes it all worth it. And when they don’t, we just have work even harder, to prove we are a decent band. Or indecent – in a good way.”
Do you find yourself missing Finnish food?
“Well as a rock band you definitely don’t tour for the food. But we will have catering for some of the shows, which is good, because we usually eat after the show and finish pretty late when all the places are closed. So you eat Sainsburys sandwiches for two weeks in a row, which is not the healthiest option. On tour you need vitamins to survive!”
Has your approach to touring changed much since your early days?
“I’m not stressing as much. Play as well as you can, that’s it, as opposed to creating these odd paranoias, trying to be something you’re not. And that’s improved the gigs. Trying to get as much sleep as possible, that’s something else that’s changed. It doesn’t mean we can’t go to the pub and get a few drinks down, but we don’t do that before the gigs anymore which makes the gigs way better.”
You’ve got the band Caspian supporting this time around, what made you choose them?
“One of the most successful supports we had on tour before was Anathema – they set the mood because they are epic and melancholic. Caspian do that too and are instrumental, they’re like early Anathema, SigurRos and Brian Eno, it’s heavy, and moody, but not metal. The response from the crowd is so good we’re thinking of doing the Aerosmith/KISS thing, killing all the lights and trying to make the opening band sound like shit. But I think that will stay at the level of a joke – we don’t want to make touring any harder than it already is!”
Are your setlists likely to be leaning toward the new album?
“We’re not playing too many new songs actually. I hate it when bands do that, they’re so proud of their new album they have to play all of it and a couple of golden oldies. We will play for about an hour and a half and it’s from the very first album to the last one, and taking pretty evenly from each one. There’s a lot going on, it’s not just the hits.”
Catch HIM on the following dates:
Oct 24 MANCHESTER, Academy
Oct 26 NOTTINGHAM, Rock City
Oct 27 CARDIFF, Great Hall
Oct 28 SOUTHAMPTON, Guildhall
Oct 29 NORWICH, UEA
Oct 31 LONDON, Koko