HIM's Ville Valo on Bam Margera and The "Tears" of His Favorite Artists

Finnish rock band HIM is known for causing a lot of weird controversy. First, a lot of people get angsty when it comes time to define their sound--the band has been categorized as everything from slow alt-rock to melodic metal to gothic metal. But they've been around since 1991, and they're the only Finnish rock band to achieve a gold record in the United States. The band members--frontman Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindstrom, bassist have an interesting array of influences, including The Stooges, KISS, Black Sabbath and Neil Young.

The band's eight studio albums span fast and heavy to mournful and rainy-day-friendly; the fifth album, 2005's Dark Light, was the band's breakthrough album in the U.S, partially because Bam Margera from the show "Jackass" loved the band so much you couldn't go one episode of his show without seeing HIM's signature heartagram symbol painted on his wall. This past May at the Golden Gods Awards, HIM even won the 'Most Dedicated Fans' award.

Front man Ville Valo is also known for a lot of things, too. He's an interesting person to speak with, weaving back and forth between existential topics, the media in Finland, and his favorite U.S. food cities. Up On The Sun talked with Valo about the problem with touring the U.S., why he hates writing on the road, and how vintage gear makes you perform in a certain way.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise