Thursday, November 3, 2011
HIM is a rock band from Finland formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko Lindström, and bassist Mikko Paananen.
In around 1992, before HIM was actually formed, Mige, Ville and Juha Tarvonen did a demo of 'Xilqa Xilqa Besa Besa. The band originally played under the name 'Kafferi'(which translates roughly to 'black person' - the guys blocked it out from old H.P. Lovecraft books,) but they changed it because they felt it offensive. After Kafferi, their new name was 'Witches and Other Night Fears' (which was later used as the demo title in 1992).
HIM started out as a cover band, covering songs of artists such as KISS, Type O Negative, Danzig, Black Sabbath and Depeche Mode. The band now consists of the three founding members plus keyboardist Janne Johannes "Burton" Puurtinen and drummer Mika Kristian "Gas" Karppinen.
HIM released “This is Only the Beginning” in fall of 1995. This was a demo tape, with only 100 copies made and sold in specially chosen stores in Helsinki. The tape includes rare songs "Serpent Ride", "Borellus", "Stigmata Diaboli"," The Heartless" and "The Phantom Gate". “Wicked Game”an excellent cover of Chris Isaak's homonymous song,is the song which made known them. This album was done only with Ville singing and playing drums, while Linde was playing guitar and bass.
“666 Ways to Love: Prologue” ,is an EP which is released only in Finland,1996. It is their first release after a demo in 1995. Only 1,000 were produced making it worth up to £500 (or around $700 US dollars) today.The woman pictured on the front cover of the album is the mother of HIM's lead singer, Ville Valo.On this EP is also Chris Isaak`s cover song “Wicked Game”. It was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, and was recorded at Finnvox Studios, MD and Peacemakers, Helsinki.
Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 is their debut album. It was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, who also produced their biggest EP 666 Ways to Love: Prologue. Like that EP, this album was recorded at Finnvox, MD and Peacemakers in Helsinki, Finland. Guest vocals were provided by Sanna-June Hyde and Asta Hannula on "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and "For You", respectively. A special Digipak version of the album was also released with "For You" moved to the first track. Another special edition was released in Germany with the bonus track "Stigmata Diaboli", taken from 666 Ways to Love: Prologue. In keeping with the theme of 666, the albums length is 66 minutes and 6 seconds and contains 66 tracks, 56 of which are blank.
On March 99 was released "When Love And Death Embrace"
But, the true success came in November 99 when "Join Me" came out, first single of their second album: "Razorblade Romance", produced by John Fryer who had worked before with White Zombie, Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode and was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales, birthplace of such classics as Queen's "Bohemian Rapsody", Oasis' "(What's The Story) Morning Glory" or the debut album of Black Sabbath. “Join Me In Death” was featured in the sci-fi movie The Thirteenth Floor. It reached #1 on German sales charts, going platinum, and is the biggest-selling single in Finnish music history. Razorblade Romance was released shortly after in the U.S. under the moniker "HER". There was a jazz band in Chicago named HiM who did not want to give up the rights to their name, but eventually HIM bought the rights to use their name in the United States and now can release their albums under it. The American albums were released under Jimmy Franks Recording Company, run by Jimmy Pop, singer of the Pennsylvania band Bloodhound Gang. Following this German success they released two more Germany only singles from this album; "Right Here in My Arms" and "Gone With the Sin", which reached #20 and #19 on the charts respectively. The original working title for Razorblade Romance was in fact Slippery When Dead, and a demo or properly recorded song from this session leaked onto the internet, titled "Too Happy To Be Alive".
During 2001, before the group's third release, the members of HIM formed a new band, Daniel Lioneye, it was aimed to be a solo project of guitarist Linde, who took on the vocal spot and the stage name Daniel Lioneye for it.
The style of music played on the album falls between bluesy-hard rock, with sleaze rock themes such as sex, alcohol and rock 'n' roll, very different from the romantic lyrics of HIM. Migé Amour played bass, Ville Valo was on drums, with Hiili on keyboards, and Ike on sound effects. They released one album, The King of Rock'n Roll, in September 2001, and have only performed together for four shows. Although it was not a commercial success, it retains a cult following.
After the Daniel Lioneye project, HIM released “Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights” in August 2001. This is the first album that new keyboardist Emerson Burton took part in, thus making it the first album with HIM's current line-up. Once again the album shot to #1 in their Finnish homeland, making them the most dominant homegrown band in their country since Hanoi Rocks in the 1980s. It also reached #2 in Germany. Three singles were released from it: "Pretending” (which reached #10 in Germany), "In Joy and Sorrow" and a double single featuring both "Heartache Every Moment" and "Close to the Flame."
The Single Collection is HIM's first box set which was released on October 7, 2002. It also contains radio edits, remixes, club and live versions of tracks from Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, Razorblade Romance and Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights in addition to tracks that were only played at live concerts. The collection includes every CD-single from "Wicked Game" until "Heartache Every Moment" and the unreleased "It's All Tears". Only "Your Sweet Six Six Six" single is missing.
On April 14, 2003, HIM released “Love Metal”l. This was the first album that did not feature singer/songwriter Ville Valo on the cover. Instead, it featured a gold heartagram, the band's well-known logo. Ville Valo was sick of reporters always asking what HIM's genre was. HIM released "Love Metal" as a response for just that question.
On February 1, 2005 the regular edition of this album was released in the U.S. under Universal Records licensed by Jimmy Franks Recording Company.
"The Funeral of Hearts" was the first single and their first high appearance on the United Kingdom charts at #14, it also hit #3 in Germany. It was followed by "Buried Alive By Love" and "The Sacrament". (The Sacrament was recently used as the ending for the anime film Highlander: The Search for Vengeance.)
“And Love Said No - The Greatest Hits 1997-2004” is HIM's first greatest hits album. It contains two unreleased songs: "And Love Said No" and "Solitary Man", the latter of which is a Neil Diamond cover. It also had a rerecorded version of 'When Love And Death Embrace' and the British version also had a rerecorded version of "It's All Tears (Drown In This Love)". The digipak version of this album came with a DVD with six songs live at Semifinal Club in Helsinki.
“Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666/Razorblade Romance/Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights” is their a limited UK only box set of the three albums “Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, Razorblade Romance, and Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights”, released in 2004.With the release of this box-set, “Razorblade Romance” was for the first time ever released in the UK with the European version's tracklist.
HIM's fifth studio album, 2005's “Dark Light”, became the band's full breakthrough in the US, debuting in the top 20 of the Billboard Top 200 and spawning two major rock hits, "Wings of a Butterfly" and "Killing Loneliness", both of which have accompanying videos. In the summer of 2005 they played the mainstage of Download Festival with Black Sabbath and Velvet Revolver. "Dark Light" was the first Finnish album to sell gold in the United States, meaning it has sold over there over 500,000 copies, and 900,000 copies worldwide.
Some time during their tour to promote “Dark Light”, Mige and Burton wrote a song together called "Plasma Mullet" that is completely different from their other work and is not on any official release of the band. The only time it has been released to the public is when it was played on skateboarder Bam Margera's half-hour radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio or at various concerts after their performance. Margera refers to it as their "jokey song".
In 2006/2007, HIM released its second and third compilation albums titled “Uneasy Listening Vol. 1” and “Uneasy Listening Vol. 2”.
“Venus Doom” is the sixth studio album by Finnish rock band HIM, released on September 14, 2007 (Germany, Finland, Sweden and Ireland), September 17, 2007 internationally and September 18, 2007 in the US.According to frontman Ville Valo, it is their heaviest album yet, with music comparable to Metallica and My Bloody Valentine.Like Ville says:” Like a trip into my personal hell to a certain extent.”
The longest song, "Sleepwalking Past Hope", is HIM's longest running track to date, while the shortest one, "Song or Suicide", is acoustic and about one minute in length. The album was produced by Tim Palmer (Ozzy Osbourne, Dredg) and Hiili Hiilesmaa (The 69 Eyes Apocalyptica). Ville Valo told Kerrang! magazine that there is a concept in a couple of the tracks written during the same period of time. Venus Doom is the first HIM studio album to feature a song featuring nothing but an acoustic guitar, aside from vocals.
On September 26th, the album debuted at #12 in the US, with 38 000 copies sold. This is a record for a Finnish act. It made #31 in the UK. In Finland "Venus Doom" peaked at #2, and in Germany it debuted at #3.
The multi-layered tone of Venus Doom is something the band was striving for. “The idea to have nine songs was based on Dante’s Inferno, cause hell has nine layers, so it’s like going deeper down into hell and then coming back,” Valo says. “There are so many different vibes and moods in the album that it’s cool once you listen to it again, because you can’t absorb everything with one listen.”
Ville Valo recorded a duet with Polish actress Natalia Avelon for the movie "Das Wilde Leben"/"The Wild Life". The track, a cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood's song "Summer Wine," was released as a single in January 2007. The band went on tour with Linkin Park's Projekt: Revolution along with bands such as My Chemical Romance, Placebo, The Bled, and Taking Back Sunday. Ville Valo also recorded "Just for Tonight" with Linde's wife, Manna. Apparently, Ville Valo was also approached by the composers for the "James Bond 007" franchise at the BMI awards in October, and asked to co-write and sing the theme song for the sequel to 2006's "Casino Royale" which starred Daniel Craig as James Bond.