H.I.M.'s new remixes-and-rarities album, "Uneasy Listening Vol. 1", was recently unleashed by Republic/Universal. To celebrate, Robyn Doreian of Rock Sound magazine caught up with frontman Ville Valo and bassist Mige for an exclusive chat about life on the road. A couple of excerpts follow:
On H.I.M.'s early touring:
Ville: "In Finland you can't usually play on Monday and Tuesday nights so we gigged for the rest of the week plus weekends and then returned home. We did that for about a year. At first we started in the middle of winter, driving in vans with broken heaters, everyone huddled together. We played shitty gear, roadie'd for ourselves, and got drunk every night — well, more than we do nowadays — but it was a blast."
On his pre-stage nerves:
Ville: "You have got to have butterflies. It's a positive thing; about being excited, being nervous. A lot of times I throw up. I should really eat earlier in the day so I can digest food but I just can't. At times I'm so hungry I stuff myself two hours before the gig and that's when the puking happens."
On having a friend, Antto Melasniemi, travel with the band as their personal chef:
Ville: "Antto used to travel with us in the States. He was more like a psychedelic chef as he used to get more drunk and stoned than we did. It ended up in a situation where he had all the cooking equipment needed to make a decent dinner, but got so drunk that we had to tell him to go grab a pizza for us. But it was fun."
On an incident with Finnish customs when he was 18:
Mige: "I was driving around Europe and had been to all the borders and no one had stopped me. I came to the Finnish border and there was this c**t, and they thought I was packing weed so they made me stand next to the car naked while they examined my fucking arse-crack. They kept me standing there for quite a while. I am traumatized by that."
On one band Ville would love to tour with — TYPE O NEGATIVE:
Ville: "I have met Peter Steele once or twice. The first time I was like a little boy, shivering and shaking. I was as drunk as fuck, shook his hand and ran away. The next time he was inebriated as he'd been drinking red wine. In a similar vein to CRADLE OF FILTH you never know when they are serious and when they're not. They are able to look in the mirror and laugh at themselves but not at their work. I think that's very important, whatever what you do."
Read the entire interview at www.rock-sound.net.