Thanks for talking with me today.
Ville: A pleasure indeed.
On April 30th you will release your eighth album titled Tears on Tape via Razor & Tie Records. Congratulations!
Well, thank you.
With this being your eighth record, I would assume you have experimented a lot over the years. I read that you decided to go back to your roots with this new record and write songs that resembled the earlier records. Why did you feel that now was the time to do that?
Maybe it was because we ran out of ideas. (Laughs) We are huge fans of Black Sabbath, Type O Negative and all of those kinds of bands that made us want to do what we do. I think that is what going back to the roots might have meant, as opposed to us listening to our previous albums.
You heard that Black Sabbath is putting out a new record right?
Yes, it is called 13. It will be great for us because we will have more stuff to steal from. (Laughs) I haven't heard a single thing about it yet. It's a funny thing, our guitar player Linde has been hanging out with Tony Iommi for a long time, so Sabbath is in the family so to speak. I'm a big fan and that band is one of the biggest influences of what we do. It should be for anyone who wants to pick up a guitar and play.
It was recorded in your home country with long-time producer Hiili Hiilesmaa and mixed by long time-band associate, Tim Palmer. What was it about these two that made you feel they were the right guys for the job?
They were cheap. We have used that popular dynamic duo in the past and Hiili has produced our band from the very beginning. He did the first demos back in the 90s and he is an important character when it comes to creating the sound of HIM. It is the sound of Hiili and HIM, so he is an important guy and he is a good friend. He is great with guitars and that 70s sort of vibe, so we knew with this material and the stuff that we had been working on that he would be a perfect match. On top of that, we met Tim Palmer in 2003 or 2002. He mixed an album called Love Metal. That popular record was produced by Hiili and mixed by him, so it was that same sort of combo. They are both these laboratory rats in a way that they are not afraid to experiment and try stuff that a lot of people wouldn't really do. They are definitely a big part of the family.
Did Hiili co-write songs on the record?
No, he is like a sonic architect. It's like I do the paintings and he is great at framing them. One of the reasons we went back to record in Helsinki was that we saved on shipping costs because we utilized a lot of our own gear. It is more exciting for us sonically. The album before called Screamworks was recorded in Los Angeles and it meant that we had to rent, ship and sort everything out. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but this time around it felt more "homey" in a good way. We were in a studio that we know really well and we didn't have to figure out what was happening because we knew that place so well that it felt like playing in our own backyard. I think the cool thing about recording this record is when a rock band goes into the studio, you do your pre-production and then you record what they call scratch tracks. So you record the songs and then you start overdubbing them. Then the drummer goes in and plays the actual part. This time we wanted to have everything available at all times, so that in one day we were able to do a bit of vocals, a bit of keyboards, a bit of drums and this and that. There was an experimental nature going on. It enabled us to be like kids in a candy store more or less. It was interesting at least for me.
No, I only have three guitars, but they are super big. (Laughs) It's just bits and bobs that I have collected over the years. I'm not a collector per say. It's just like esoteric equipment from the years gone by. Let's just say that if someone were to break into my house, they wouldn't make a big buck off of it. It's more like stuff that has been haunting me personally and stuff that helped me create the vision for the band so to speak.
Do you have a big guitar collection?