HIM is a Finnish rock band from Helsinki. Formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko "Linde" Lindström, and bassist Mikko "Migé" Paananen, HIM's current lineup consists of Valo, Linde, Migé, Janne "Emerson Burton" Puurtinen on keyboards and Mika Karppinen on drums. They have released seven full length albums to date, the latest, Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, released on February 8, 2010. On September 5, 2006, HIM's fifth studio album Dark Light was certified gold by the RIAA, making HIM the first Finnish band to have a gold album in the United States. HIM had five of their studio albums certified platinum in Finland with Razorblade Romance being certified double platinum in Finland and platinum in Germany.
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666 Ways to Love (1991-1997):
As His Infernal Majesty the band released two demos and one EP. Their first demos were "Witches and Other Night Fears" and an untitled demo tape which has been named by fans as "This Is Only The Beginning", released in 1992 and 1995 respectively. The former was never released and the sole copy resides with Valo. The EP, 666 Ways to Love: Prologue, was released in 1996 solely in Finland. Only 1,000 copies of this album EP were sold. Recently a near mint condition copy of the bands EP was listed on eBay for around $600. The lady on the cover is said to be Valo's mother, who (according to an interview with Valo) worked in a shoe shop at the time. It was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, and was recorded at Finnvox Studios, MD and Peacemakers, Helsinki.
Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666 (1997-1999):
HIM released their first full-length studio album, Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666, on November 20, 1997. It features covers of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" and Blue Öyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper". Four singles were released from the album which was also produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa. Like the EP 666 Ways to Love: Prologue, the 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 digipak version was released in Finland, with the song "For You" moved to the first track. A 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 album's length is 66:06 and contains a total of 66 tracks (56 of which are blank). There is another track which starts at 6 minutes into the 66th track, it is the outro of "The Heartless" from 666 Ways to Love: Prologue. The track is called "HIM 666," or alternatively "666" or "Dark Circle." This album is also the only HIM album so far to have hidden bonus tracks. Although sometimes perceived to have Satan-worshiping references, Valo has stated that the album was never affiliated with these things.
Razorblade Romance (1999-2001):
After gaining popularity in Europe, particularly in their homeland, HIM released its second album on December 19, 1999, entitled Razorblade Romance. This is when the band's popularity began to rise, their single "Join Me in Death" from the album reached #1 on the German music charts, selling over 500,000 of this single in two months. Join Me in Death was used as the soundtrack of European version of science fiction movie 'The Thirteenth Floor', thus making it more popular worldwide."Join Me in Death" is the best selling Finnish single in history.
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. Around this time they were also becoming better known in other parts of Europe, such as the United Kingdom. The album itself reached #1 in both Germany and their native Finland.
In 2002, Razorblade Romance was re-released and put into stores in the United States. HIM was not allowed to use their name for sales because of the American band, HiM, owned the rights to that name. Therefore, they changed the name to HER in the United States. Eventually, they were able to buy the full rights to the name HIM, and copies of the album began to be manufactured with their desired name on the packaging. Only 1,000 copies of the album exist with the HER band name, which makes it a rare collectible among fans.
The original working title for Razorblade Romance was Gotham Roll and a demo or properly recorded song from this session leaked onto the internet (in the midst of 2004), titled "Too Happy To Be Alive". A drum machine was used for this particular session due to Pätkä leaving the band.
Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights (2001-2003):
During 2001, before the group's third release, the members of HIM formed a new band, Daniel Lioneye. This was intended as a solo project of guitarist Linde, who took on the vocal spot and the stage name Daniel Lioneye for it. Migé Amour played bass, Ville Valo was on drums, with Hiili on keyboards, and Ike on sound effects. They released two albums, The King of Rock'n Roll, in September 2001, and Vol. II in April 2010. Although it was not a commercial success, it retains a cult following.
After the Daniel Lioneye project, HIM released Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights on August 27, 2001. This was the band's first album with new keyboardist Emerson Burton, the final addition to the current line-up. Once again the album shot to #1 in their Finnish homeland. 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." Such success further facilitated their gradual emergence into the mainstream. As with Razorblade Romance, there were problems naming the album. It was meant to be called "Ozzymandias Dargunum" and it would contain 14 tracks. The demos were recorded in 2000 in Hollola. In November 2001 total sales were nearly 400,000.
Love Metal (2003-2005):
On April 14, 2003, HIM released Love Metal. 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. "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.)
Around the time of the Love Metal album, the group became better known, both in the US and internationally, when professional skateboarder and TV personality Bam Margera began using the band's heartagram logo and promoting them extensively on his MTV series Viva La Bam. Margera produced their video for "Buried Alive By Love", which featured a guest appearance from Natural Born Killers actress Juliette Lewis. They played at Download Festival in 2003 on the second stage with The Hellacopters; the following year they would go on to headline the same stage. Love Metal was performed in its entirety on March 8, 2003 in Hamburg's Grosse Freiheit Club, a month before the album's release on April 14. The only track that was not performed was "Love's Requiem," which was only included in digipak versions of the album. The tickets were available for sale on the band's official website and sold out within a few days. Ville had the initial idea for making this a gift to their fans. The show has been included in unofficial video and audio bootlegs under the name 'Buried Alive' or 'Love Metal Live'.
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 re-recorded version of "When Love and Death Embrace," while the British version contained a re-recorded "It's All Tears (Drown In This Love)". The digipak version of this album came with a DVD with six live songs at the Semifinal Club in Helsinki.
Dark Light (2005-2007):
HIM's fifth studio album, Dark Light (released on September 26, 2005), became the band's full breakthrough in the US, debuting in the top 20 of the Billboard 200 and spawning two major rock hits, "Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly" and "Killing Loneliness", both of which have accompanying videos. Kat Von D appears in the video for "Killing Loneliness" tattooing the eyes Ville Valo has on his back as well as throughout in small glimpses of foreshadowing. In the summer of 2005, they played the mainstage of Download Festival with Black Sabbath and Velvet Revolver.
The success of Dark Light has also allowed a number of HIM's previous albums (including Love Metal) to chart in the United States. In October 2006, the band's official website announced that Dark Light had been certified Gold in the U.S. by the RIAA. This made HIM the first band from Finland to sell over 500,000 records in the U.S.
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, respectively.
Uneasy Listening Vol. 1 was released in 2006 on October 27 in Germany, October 30 in the United Kingdom and November 14 in the United States. The compilation contains fifteen alternate versions of HIM's lighter songs such as "In Joy and Sorrow," "The Sacrament," "Gone With the Sin," and "One Last Time." An acoustic version of "Pretending" can be found on the single for the string version of "In Joy and Sorrow."
Uneasy Listening Vol. 2 was released in 2007 on April 20 in Germany, April 24 and April 25 in the rest of Europe, May 22 in the United States and May 25 in Australia. It contains fourteen rare alternate tracks, which exemplify HIM's heavier side. These include the Black Sabbath cover "Hand of Doom," a remix of "Sigillum Diaboli," a live version of "Right Here in My Arms," and a remix of their Turbonegro cover of "Rendezvous With Anus." It also contains the much sought-after version of "Buried Alive By Love," which only originally appeared on the CKY4: The Latest and The Greatest DVD. Right Here In My Arms was featured on Bam's Unholy Union.
Venus Doom (2007-2009):
Venus Doom was released on September 14, 2007 in Finland, Ireland and Germany, September 17, 2007 internationally and September 18, 2007 in the US. At the Give It a Name Festival '07, HIM played one of the new songs, "Dead Lovers' Lane." In an interview with The Gauntlet,Venus Doom is mostly guitar-oriented with a pronounced lack of keyboards. The song "Passion's Killing Floor" is on the Transformers soundtrack. The first single was "The Kiss of Dawn", which has become a staple in most of their live performances, as well as Passion's Killing Floor, Dead Lovers' Lane and the epic Sleepwalking Past Hope. The video for "The Kiss of Dawn" written and directed by Meiert Avis, debuted in the UK on Scuzz TV on August 10, 2007. The next single off of Venus Doom, was "Bleed Well". The lo-fi black and white video for "Bleed Well" was shot by Meiert Avis at sound check at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles November 15, 2007. In support of the new album HIM toured North America with Bleeding Through in the fall of 07.
At the 50th annual Grammy Awards, Matt Taylor and Ville Valo, for HIM, was nominated for "Best Boxed/Special Limited Edition packaging" for Venus Doom. Venus Doom didn't win, losing out to What It Is!: Funky Soul and Rare Grooves (1967-1977) (performed by various artists and artwork by Masaki Koike).
"Digital Versatile Doom", HIM's first official live DVD/CD, was scheduled to release on April 1, 2008, but was pushed back until April 29. It features a live performance from The Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, as well as behind the scenes look at the show. Also featured on the DVD, the winner of HIM's biggest fans competition go to Seattle to meet the band. A special edition was available for pre-order on February 1, 2008, which will come with a limited edition 6" X 4" numbered flipbook. The imagery is from HIM's live performance of "Sleepwalking Past Hope" at that concert.
Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice (Chapters 1 to 13) (2009-2011):
On June 9, 2009, HIM announced in a phone interview with Euro-Rock Radio that they would be recording their new album in August 2009 with producer Matt Squire in Los Angeles, California. The title of the album is Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice. The recording of the album began on August 3, 2009 and finished on October 8, 2009. On November 22, lead singer Ville Valo's birthday, the album art was released on the band's website. The album was released February 8, 2010 in the United Kingdom and France and February 9 in the United States. It was also released on February 10 in Japan and on February 12 in Germany. Their first single from the album, "Heartkiller" was released December 8, 2009 as a digital download and on February 5, 2010 as a CD single.
Due to the uproar and requests from fans, Harmonix has released downloadable content for the game Rock Band from HIM as the "HIM Pack 01", featuring "Ode to Solitude", "Wings of a Butterfly", and the new single "Heartkiller". Of those songs, only "Wings of a Butterfly" did not come from Screamworks. The group also took part in the Game with Fame promotion on Xbox Live to promote their new album on March 25.
The official remix album for Screamworks, SWRMXS, featuring songs from Screamworks as remixed by artists such as Tiesto, Morgan Page, and Gavin Russom, was released on December 7, 2010. The album is available online on iTunes, Amazon and other digital retailers, but the physical album is available exclusively at Hot Topic stores in the US. A Special Edition of the album including a new HIM shirt featuring the new album cover was available for pre-order.
New studio album (2011-present):
As of March 28, 2011, HIM and Sire/Warner records have parted ways. HIM's manager, Seppo, assures fans that the band is still alive and well and stated that details on future plans as well as a possible new label will be announced in the summer of 2011.
On September 13, 2011, HIM announced that they are currently working on a follow-up to 2010's Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice' , but the work has been interrupted due to a rare condition afflicting drummer Gas Lipstick.
In the February 15th, 2012 issue of Kerrang! magazine Ville stated in regards to a possible record label, "I'd like the album to be released on Rise Above Records (the cult, underground doom metal label owned by Cathedral singer Lee Dorrian) I think that would be great." In the same interview Ville says that the bands sound will be returning to its roots.
HIM's genre is debated in some circles; on their album, Deep Shadows & Brilliant Highlights, it says their genre is "alternative" but their musical style is also often referred to as "love metal" by Valo and by the group's fans. Valo has stated that the band started as a "Black Sabbath tribute band of sorts". Valo also stated in an interview on the Love Metal Archives Vol. I DVD, that he was fed up with journalists and interviewers asking him (Valo), and the rest of the band what the genre of HIM was. He said in answer to that question that they were "love metal" (which was also the name of their 2003 album). Critics have referred to them as gothic rock,gothic metal,dark rock ,alternative rock,alternative metal, and heavy metal.
HIM embarked on a US tour in Fall of 2005. Skindred and Finch were the opening acts, respectively.
In the summer of 2007, HIM took the stage with Linkin Park and various other acts, such as My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Placebo, Julien-K, Mindless Self Indulgence, Saosin, The Bled, Styles of Beyond, and Madina Lake for that year's Projekt Revolution. HIM headlined a US tour beginning in October 2007 with a UK tour that followed in December 2007. They have recently finished their "Down Under" tour. They also performed at Rock am Ring and Rock im Park in June 2008 as well as headlining the second stage at Download Festival with bands like Kiss, Disturbed and The Offspring. It was announced in August 2009 that HIM were to play in the Australian music festival, Soundwave in February 2010. In 2010 HIM performed a UK show in Norwich that began on 13 March. The band will be touring the United States on a 28-city concert tour beginning 26 March 2010 in Philadelphia, PA with Drive A, Dommin, and We Are the Fallen opening for them.
This is a list of tours that HIM have or will be participating in; individual concerts are not included.
Participating from - to
Germany 2003 Tour
March 25 - April 7, 2003
US 2004 Tour
HIM, Kill Hannah, Melissa Auf Der Maur, Monster Magnet
November 12 - December 2, 2004
US 2005 Tour
HIM, Skindred, Finch
October 4-28, 2005
Projekt Revolution 2007
Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, HIM, Placebo, Julien-K, Mindless Self Indulgence, Saosin, The Bled, Styles of Beyond, Madina Lake
July 25 - September 3, 2007
Headlining 2007 Tour
HIM, Bleeding Through
October 18 - December 2, 2007
Europe 2008 Tour
HIM, Paradise Lost
February 16 - March 12, 2008
Australia 2008 Tour
March 23-31, 2008
Featuring: HIM, Escape The Fate, Anti-Flag, All Time Low, Trivium, Faith No More, Clutch, Jane's Addiction, Placebo, Meshuggah, Paramore, Eagles of Death Metal
February 20 - March 1, 2010
UK 2010 Tour
March 8-20, 2010
US 2010 Tour
HIM, We Are the Fallen, Dommin, Drive A
March 26 - May 9, 2010
Iron Maiden, HIM, Heaven & Hell, Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, Slayer, Anthrax, The Cult, Iggy & The Stooges, The 69 Eyes, Behemoth, Volbeat, Ария, Stam1na, Apocalyptica,
7-8 August 2010
The heartagram is the trademarked symbol of HIM, created by Ville Valo on the day of his twentieth birthday. It has been used on the covers of the Love Metal, Dark Light and Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice albums. Valo has said that "the heartagram stands for HIM as a band, as an entity, and for 'love metal' in general." Many fans of the band have heartagram tattoos, or tattoos of other HIM emblems -- such as the single heart on Valo's right wrist, and a number of fan-submitted photos of same decorated the lyric booklet for the limited edition of Dark Light. Ville Valo has allowed his close friend, Jackass star, actor, and professional skateboarder, Bam Margera to share the license on the heartagram image and Margera has accordingly used it for his promotional purposes, including using it on his Adio shoes and Element skateboards. Because of the shared license, the symbol is often thought to belong solely to Margera. Other well known individuals have also received a tattoo of the logo such as Kat Von D. According to Valo, the band has become better known for their logo than their music. A lot of people around the globe are also wearing tattoos of the symbol, including Ville Valo himself.
In a video interview, Ville has stated that the heartagram is a "Modern Yin Yang," the heart being the Yin and the inverted pentacle being the Yang.
In the program LA Ink, the tattoo parlour has a heartagram on the door.
A heartagram appears at the end of the music video for the song "DARE" by the band Gorillaz, where Murdoc wakes up, on the wall to the left hand side. It was also parodied, as the "horseagram" -- a combination of a horse shoe and a pentagram -- in the episode "Ode to Sue" of the video game comedy troupe Mega64.
During the filming of Jackass Number Two, cast member Steve-O got a parody tattoo of a heartagram called a "Dickagram", where the lowest point of the inverted pentagram is shaped like a penis.
The heartagram was also shown in a couple of episodes in Season 8 of The WB's Charmed as a demonic symbol and in an episode of Criminal Minds as a heartagram necklace.
Recently, the heartagram can be seen in the cover of the Spanish rock band "Mägo de Oz" new album titled Gaia III: Atlantia in which appears a purple octopus that has a heartagram tattoo in one of its tentacles.
Ville created a new style to the Heartagram, inspired by Aleister Crowley's unicursal hexagram.
A very similar drawing was made by Franz Bardon, a magician, occultist, and practitioner of Hermetics, and is found in his book, The Practice of Magical Evocation, on page 489. It is associated with the Angel, Aduachiel, and the astrological sign, Sagittarius.
Their first band name was His Infernal Majesty. HIM, formerly 'His Infernal Majesty', is not to be confused with Infernäl Mäjesty, a Canadian thrash metal band, HiM, an American post-rock band, or 4Him, a Contemporary Christian group. The band changed the name to HIM from the "Wicked Game" single onwards, though the single for "Your Sweet Six Six Six" includes a 'His Infernal Majesty' sticker. Their second studio album, Razorblade Romance, was released under the name HER in the United States because the Chicago based post-rock band named HiM held the trademark on the name. While they toured Europe, primarily Germany at the time, they used the name HIM and HER. HIM eventually bought the rights to the name "HIM" in the United States and used it worldwide from there on.