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Finding Solace In Darkness With VILLE VALO

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Interview by Erin Eddy

Most musicians will tell you that creating music is their lifeline. Most serious music fans will also attest to this.

Almost all of us can summon a song or album to mind that we really connected with at a turbulent time in our lives, and in turn, it became the soundtrack to our survival. Music, of course, is just as synonymous with happy occasions, however, Ville Valo and his former band HIM don’t exactly conjure up images of sunshine and rainbows.

The frontman of the iconic gothic rock band is about to release his first solo album under the moniker VV. He opened up to HEAVY about how writing this album helped him survive the uncertainty and unhappiness of the pandemic, and how creating music has always given him purpose. Valo has not deviated far from the sweetly melancholic, brooding gothic aesthetic that HIM is well known for.

“I still hate happy music.” Valo muses, “Sad, melancholic music makes me really happy. That’s my thing.”

Valo graciously dedicated time to deep dive with HEAVY about what it means for him to be releasing this solo record, titled Neon Noir, after being part of HIM for some twenty-plus years. He jokingly remarked that Neon Noir is “like a HIM album, but it’s played a bit worse and sounds more like the 80’s.”

Valo is no newbie to composing records, after all he was responsible for all the songwriting in HIM.

However, on Neon Noir he also plays all the instruments and mentioned that when writing for HIM he would compose songs keeping in mind the individual styles of his bandmates and what sound they would bring on board. He noted that the difference now is that he can infuse influences that he didn’t necessarily share with the other members of HIM.

“They weren’t such huge fans of Duran Duran and The Sisters Of Mercy and The Chameleons, all that sort of stuff,” he recalled, “so I was able to put all that influence onto the album.”

Check out the interview to reacquaint yourself with Ville Valo and learn more about Neon Noir, tour plans and everything in between!

Neon Noir is to be released in true gothic style on Friday, January 13, 2023.

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