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Music
5/06
 
 
HIM Gets Ready to Shine 'Dark Light' on Salt Lake City
The Gloomy Finland Rockers are Ready to Invade the U.S. Market

By Autumn Thatcher
 
 
Pre-Concert Interview:
HIM
 
with
 
 
Wednesday, May 24 at 8:00 p.m.
In the Venue
219 S. 600 West
Salt Lake City
 
$26.50
 
Tickets:
Smithstix
   
 

Since the November 2005 release of their major label debut Dark Light, the members of HIM have worked non-stop to promote the album and secure the new U.S. wing of its fan base while maintaining immense popularity in Europe. The Finland-based quintet started in 1995 and is no stranger to touring, but this time things will be a little different for the band.

“We are really flattered by the success that we are experiencing in America. We worked really hard on the record, but we didn’t have any expectations for it” says lead singer/songwriter Ville Valo, who took time away from swimming in the ocean and setting up the tour's first show to call The Salt Shaker from Florida.

Though the band toured the United States before, this is its first outing with major label support. As they experience the changes and advantages of monetary support, HIM's members are prepared to visit new places and greet the excited fans who are anticipating their arrival. Salt Lake City will be one of the new places that the band experiences when they play at In the Venue on Wednesday, May 24.

The ever-changing band has come a long way since its formation 11 years ago. A major player in the formation of HIM, which is an acronym for His Infernal Majesty, Valo has seen many band members filter through. “I was a teenager when we started the band. A lot of people have come and gone, and there have been a lot of changes. It has been the five of us, though, for the past five or six years, and through our changes, we get better” says Valo, who admits that old-school fans may be surprised by their newest album, but that it represents the band’s desire to constantly evolve.

“This album is totally different than anything we have done in the past. But, if you listen to all of our albums back to back, you will find that they are all different from each other with a unique vibe to each of the songs” maintains Valo, whose thick Finnish accent and deep voice perfectly match the vampiric look that the singer sports on stage.

Longtime fans of HIM need not be disappointed by the change in sound and production on Dark Light—it maintains Valo's magnificently dark yet poetic lyrics. It is the darkness of the songs that has caused critics to label HIM a goth-rock band, but Valo says that there is more to the music than the typical goth sound. “Goth is definitely a big part of it, but we also have elements of pop and punk. We really didn’t want to restrict ourselves musically. We are a combination of genres.” Valo draws the dark side of his band's music from the his upbringing in Finland. “I am a fan of Finnish folk music. It is poetic and dark, and that is what I grew up listening to,” he says.

Valo’s poetic lyrics tend to reveal a vulnerable side to the singer—which contrasts with the image of fearlessness that he maintains. “I am not political, and I am not an angry person. So I write about relationships and emotions. These things are globally experienced” says Valo, who adds that his music addresses the paradigms of human emotion. “Our music is based on hatred and darkness, but it is also based on the loving, caring, passionate side of human beings. It’s based on ourselves”. The band’s efforts to find a balance between love and hate is represented by the heartagram, a symbol that according to Valo, has become bigger than the band. “We were inspired to create our own symbol by Rob Zombie. We really wanted to find a balance between the two extremes of the human emotions and that is what the heartagram represents. It is kind of like the modern day yin and yang” says Valo.

Valo is excited to make a stop in Salt Lake, largely because he has never been here before. “I don’t know anything about Salt Lake City and I don’t want to know anything. I don’t like expectations in general and am looking forward to experiencing Salt Lake without having any." Valo promises to give his feedback on the great Salt Lake once the show is over. Until then, Salt Lake City anxiously awaits the fresh breath of dark air that HIM will most definitely bring with them.

autumn[at]saltshakermagazine.com

 

 
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