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H.I.M.

Current Members

Past Members

Studio Session Members

Biography

A massively successful Gothic Rock act led by the charismatic heart throb figure of frontman Ville Valo (Ville Hermanni Valo). H.I.M. have not only dominated the charts in their native Finland but also across Europe and in particular Germany. H.I.M. (abbreviated HIS INFERNAL MAJESTY) are managed by Seppo Vesteriren, the mastermind behind Finland's only other commercially bankable Rock export HANOI ROCKS.

Formative demos, under the HIS INFERNAL MAJESTY banner, included the 1992 seven track demo 'Witches And Other Night Fears'. Two further demos arrived prior to 1995. The original incarnation of H.I.M. saw Valo, a former member of B.L.O.O.D. and KEMOTERAPIA, handling both bass and vocals. Guitars came from Mikko Viljami Lindström ('Lily Lazer' or 'Daniel Lioneye'), Valo's B.L.O.O.D. and KEMOTERAPIA compatriot, with drums from Juhana Rantala and keyboards delegated to Antto Melasniemi. Before long Mikko Heinrik Julius Paananen (a.k.a. 'Michael Eros' or 'Migé Amour') of BULLSHIT ASS took over the bass role leaving Valo free to concentrate on lead vocals. In 1995 the band drafted keyboard player Emerson Burton (a.k.a. Janne Johannes Purttinen).

H.I.M.'s third demo tape, which included a cover version of CHRIS ISAAK's 'Wicked Game', scored the band a deal with the major label BMG for the Hiili Hiilesmaa produced 1996 EP '666 Ways to Love: Prologue'. This outing, restricted to just 1000 copies, notably featured a photograph of Ville Valo's mother as cover art. The band's first full-length opus, November 1997's 'Greatest Lovesongs, Vol. 666', was laid down with Hiilesmaa at at Finnvox and Peacemakers studios in Helsinki. With Melasniemi making his exit ex-MARY ANN man Zoltan Pluto (Jussi-Miko Salminen) was the new face behind the keyboards. Re-working 'Wicked Game' once again, H.I.M. also bravely tackled BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's '(Don't Fear) The Reaper'. German editions added the extra track 'Stigmata Diaboli'.

H.I.M. scored a monster hit during 1999, the single 'Join Me' residing at the no. 1 spot in Germany for a straight month and, even more impressively, hitting the top spot in Finland where, after dropping to no.2, it rose again to the top where it remained for an eventual thirteen week run. 'Right Here In My Arms' also hit no. 1 in Finland.

The 'Razorblade Romance' album, issued in January 2000 and once again seeing desk credits going to Hiili Hiilesmaa, broke new boundaries for the band, selling over a million copies. However, line-up shuffles saw Rantala departing after the album release, being replaced by erstwhile KYYRIA and DEMENTIA man Mika Kristian Kappinen, better known as 'Buddha Cognac' or 'Gas Lipstick'. Zoltan Pluto put in his final gig with HIM on New Year's Eve 2000, later founding NEW DAWN FOUNDATION. H.I.M. subsequently re-drafted 'Emerson Burton' (Jani Johannes Purttinen) on keyboards. Besides his early tenure with H.I.M., Purttinen previously cited membership of SUBURBAN TRIBE, TORPEDO and COSMOS TANGO.

The esteemed production team of TT Oksala, John Fryer and Kevin Shirley would take command in the studio for the 2001 'Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights' album. A later German edition came repackaged complete with extra tracks and video cuts.

The band encountered an unexpected obstacle in mid 2002 when it was revealed that a Chicago act had already registered the band title HIM for the United States. In the face of less than savoury remarks from the American H.I.M. the Finns wryly serviced their single, 'Join Me', to US radio stations under the assumed title of HER.

With H.I.M.'s album 'Love Metal' breaking all over Europe, scoring no. 1 in Finland and Germany, the band teamed up with OZZY OSBOURNE as part of his roving 'Ozzfest' European dates in September. By early June 'Love Metal', which had signalled a return to the band's heavier sound, had been certified platinum status in Finland, having sold more than 30,000 copies. 'Love Metal' would fulfil the band's contract to BMG and by the Summer it was learned H.I.M., projecting a live album for November release, were seeking a new label deal.

In August it was revealed that drummer had united with AMORPHIS singer Pasi Koskinen and bassist Niclas Etelävuori to found a new side project band. Coincidently, it would be leant HIM and AMORPHIS members had forged an anonymous Grindcore venture entitled TO SEPARATE THE FLESH FROM THE BONES.

European versions of the single 'Buried Alive By Love' would feature an exclusive in concert version of BLACK SABBATH's 'Hand Of Doom', recorded live in Turku. 2004 opened well for the band in the UK as their London Astoria gig sold out and the single 'The Funeral Of Hearts' crashed straight into the Uk charts at no. 15. A compilation album 'And Love Said No - The Greatest Hits 1997-2004' set for March release would include two brand new tracks 'And Love Said No' and a rendition of NEIL DIAMOND's 'Solitary Man', songs for which the band had shot videos for in Philadelphia and Los Angeles in January. The collection entered the Finnish album charts at no. 2 and the German charts at no. 5. In the UK, 'Solitary Man' gave the band their highest ever chart entry when it debuted at no. 9. Headline gigs across North America in May witnessed many sold out shows. H.I.M. returned to the UK for a lengthy run od shows supported by British Doom merchants CATHEDRAL. The band signed to Sire Records, part of the Warner Music Group, in September, although would retain their own Heartagram label in Finland.

In October Ville Valo, alongside THE RASMUS' Lauri Ylönen, put in a guest appearance on the APOCALYPTICA single 'Better Sweet'. Both singers also put in showings in the accompanying promotional video. That same month the band's 2001 album 'Deep Shadows & Brilliant Highlights' finally saw a North American release, shifting 5,854 copies to debut at no. 190 on the national Billboard charts. Also in October it would be revealed that Ville Valo and Gas Lipstick had donated their services to a Country / Blues covers album assembled by CARCASS frontman Jeff Walker. H.I.M. undertook a further round of North American shows to close the year, unfortunately though being forced to postponed the strategically important San Francisco and Los Angeles dates after singer Ville Valo was diagnosed with acute laryngitis.

The APOCALYPTICA 'Bittersweet' song, featuring both Valo and Ylönen, was premiered live on 17th January 2005 at a benefit concert for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster at Helsinki's 12,000 seat Hartwall Arena. H.I.M's 'Love Metal' finally saw a US release in February 2005, nearly two years after its European release, entering the Billboard charts at no. 117.

H.I.M. surprised German fans gathered for a fan club meeting at the Munich Backstage club on 2nd June by performing an unannounced live set. The group, warming up for festival appearances at the 'Rock am Ring' and 'Rock im Park' events, included two brand new songs, 'Killing Loneliness' and 'Vampire Heart'. October headline gigs throughout the USA saw support from FINCH and SKINDRED as 'Dark Light' gave the band it's highest charting album to date, entering the Billboard charts at no. 18, selling more than 46,000 copies in its first week. In keeping with a by now established tradition, the record duly debuted at no. 1 in Finland.

On 15th December Ville Valo notably joined the ROADRUNNER UNITED conglomerate at the New York Nokia Theater to sing a version of TYPE O NEGATIVE 'Black No. 1'. For this rendition he would front a one off band comprising SEPULTURA guitarist Andreas Kisser, ex-FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares, ex-COAL CHAMBER bassist Nadja Puelen and SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison.

A UK tour planned for the New Year would be postponed after guitarist Mikko Lindstrom suffered a fractured wristbone in his left hand after taking a fall following the band's Helsinki's Tavastia New Year's Eve concert. In early 2006 Ville Valo contributed vocals to the track 'The Byronic Man' for CRADLE OF FILTH.

During September the 'Dark Light' album was awarded gold sales certification in the USA for sales in excess of 500,000 copies. H.I.M. announced headline 'No Sleep Till Halloween' US tour dates for October, backed by PAPA ROACH and LOSTPROPHETS. The trek was to begin October 18th in Lowell, Massachusetts and wrap October 31st in Universal City, California, but was cancelled. That November the Republic subsidiary of Universal Records released a 15 song collection of alternative versions dubbed 'Uneasy Listening Vol. 1'. The collection sold over 7,000 copies in its first week of sale to debut at number 162 on the US Billboard charts.

In December Ville Valo recorded a duet, entitled 'Summer Wine', with German soap opera star Natalia Avelon on a song to be included on the soundtrack to the movie '8 Miles High', a biographical account on the life of Uschi Obermaier. The track, credited simply to VILLE VALO & NATALIA AVELON, entered the German charts at number 3 in February 2007. That same month H.I.M. entered Finnvox studios in Helsinki with producers Tim Palmer and Hiili Hiilesmaa to cut fresh album tracks.The resulting album, 'Venus Doom', entered the US Billboard charts at no. 12.

H.I.M. acted as the support act for METALLICA's July Scandinavian shows in Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki. The group then joined with LINKIN PARK's 'Projekt Revolution' North American tour prior to theatre headliners.

A live CD / DVD package, 'Digital Versatile Doom', was issued in June 2008. The set was recorded and filmed at the band's November 14th and 15th 2007 concerts at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.

H.I.M. toured North America in support of the album 'Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice', which was released by Sire Records on 9th February 2010. This set was recorded at The Lair in Los Angeles with producer Matt Squire. The headlining trek commenced 26th March in Philadelphia and criss-crossed the continent before finishing up in New York City on 7th May. WE ARE THE FALLEN, DOMMIN, and DRIVE A provided support.

A special-edition double CD version of 'Screamworks: Love In Theory And Practice' was made available online. The package included the full regular album plus an acoustic bonus disc, entitled 'Baudelaire in Braille', and a limited screen print entitled 'Saint Scream', which was hand-pressed by Two Rabbits Studio.
Copyright Musicdetector Websites 2009

Discography

Album


SCREAMWORKS - LOVE IN THEORY AND PRACTICE 2010

VENUS DOOM 2007

UNEASY LISTENING VOL. 1 2006

UNEASY LISTENING VOL. 2 2006

DARK LIGHT 2005

LOVE METAL 2003

DEEP SHADOWS AND BRILLIANT HIGHLIGHTS 2001

RAZORBLADE ROMANCE 1999

GREATEST LOVE SONGS VOLUME 666 1997

Single/EP


Killing Loneliness 2006

In Joy And Sorrow / Pretending 2006

Viva La Bands 2005

Wings Of A Butterfly 2005

Vampire Heart 2005

Join Me In Death 2004

The Funeral Of Hearts Vol. III 2004

The Funeral Of Hearts Vol. I 2004

The Funeral Of Hearts Vol. II 2004

Solitary Man 2004

Solitary Man Vol. III 2004

Solitary Man Vol. I 2004

And Love Said No 2004

The Funeral Of Hearts 2003

Buried Alive By Love Vol. 3 2003

Buried Alive By Love Vol. 1 2003

Buried Alive By Love Vol. 2 2003

The Sacrament 2003

The Sacrament Vol. 1 2003

The Sacrament Vol. 3 2003

The Sacrament Vol. 2 2003

Buried Alive By Love 2003

Heartache Every Moment 2002

Heartache Every Moment & Close To The Flame 2002

Pretending 2001

In Joy And Sorrow 2001

Right Here In My Arms 2000

Your Sweet 666 2000

Poison Girl 2000

Gone With The Sin 2000

Join Me 1999

Your Sweet Six Six Six 1998

Wicked Game 1998

When Love And Death Embrace 1997

666 Ways To Love: Prologue 1996

Visual


DIGITAL VERSATILE DOOM 2008

LOVE METAL ARCHIVES VOL. I 2005

THE VIDEO COLLECTION 2004

Compilation


AND LOVE SAID NO - THE GREATESTS HITS 1997-2004 2004

GREATEST LOVE SONGS VOLUME 666 / RAZORBLADE ROMANCE / DEEP SHADOWS AND BRILLIANT HIGHLIGHTS 2004

Promotion


Wings Of A Butterfly (Promo) 2005

Join Me In Death 2004

Razorblade Romance Extractions 2004

Solitary Man (Promo) 2004

And Love Said No (Promo) 2004

Werchter Festival Bootleg 2003

The Sacrament (Promo) 2003

Buried Alive By Love (Promo) 2003

The Funeral Of Hearts (Promo) 2003

Pretending (Edición Especial) 2001

Uncover... 2001

Pretending (Promo) 2001

In Joy And Sorrow (Promo) 2001

Close To The Flame 2001

Heartache Every Moment (Promo) 2001

Right Here In My Arms (Promo) 2000

Your Sweet 666 (Promo) 2000

Poison Girl (Promo) 2000

Wicked Game (Promo) 2000

Gone With The Sin (Promo) 2000

It's All Tears (Drown In This Love) 1999

Join Me (Promo) 1999

This Is Only The Beginning 1995

His Infernal Majesty 1995

Witches And Other Night Fears 1992