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Ville Valo

Ville Valo
Ville Valo performing in 2013
Background information
Birth name Ville Hermanni Valo
Born 22 November 1976 (38)
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Rock, Alternative
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, visual artist
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass, drums, piano, keyboards
Years active 1991–present
Labels Razor & Tie (U.S.), DoubleCross (U.K.), Universal (E.U.)
Associated acts HIM, Daniel Lioneye, Cradle of Filth, Apocalyptica
Website .comheartagram

Ville Hermanni Valo (born 22 November 1976) is a Finnish singer, songwriter, artist, and multi instrumentalist. He is the frontman of the Finnish rock band HIM. Valo has a baritone voice type[1] and has maintained a wide vocal range throughout his career.

He has received the "Golden God" award in 2004 from the heavy metal magazine Metal Hammer. Valo was ranked number 80 in Hit Parader's 'Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time'.[2]


  • Early life and influences 1
  • Equipment 2
    • Guitars 2.1
    • Microphones 2.2
  • Films and TV 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life and influences

Ville Hermanni Valo was born in the Vallila district of Helsinki. His father, Kari, is Finnish and his mother, Anita, is of Hungarian descent.[3] Soon after his birth, the family moved to the riverside community of Oulunkylä where they lived throughout his teenage years. In 1984 his younger brother and only sibling Jesse was born.[4] In his late teens, he worked at his father's sex shop[5] and later moved out on his own when he was 18.

As a child, Valo was exposed to the songs of popular Finnish performers such as Tapio Rautavaara and Rauli Badding Somerjoki. In various interviews he has cited his favorite artists include King Diamond, Elvis Presley, Neil Young,[6] as well as bands such as Fields of the Nephilim,[7][8] The Sisters of Mercy, Black Sabbath,[6][9][10] Type O Negative,[8][11] Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Jim Morrison and The Doors, and The Stooges.[12] Valo is frontman of the Finnish rock band HIM. They became the first and only Finnish rock band to achieve a gold record (more than 500,000 copies) in the United States. Valo was also the drummer for the Daniel Lioneye project which featured HIM's guitarist Linde Lindström on vocals/lead guitar and Migé Amour on bass. In May 2007, Valo checked into Promises Malibu, a California rehabilitation center, to seek treatment for his alcoholism.[13] He currently resides in Helsinki.



Ville has played several acoustic guitars for promotional videos and appearances, as well as on stage. He has a well documented affinity for Gibson acoustics, owning several known examples. These include a sunburst Hummingbird, a vintage Gibson L-1 dating to the early 20th century,[14] and at least three J-200s. In a 2007 interview, Valo stated that he wrote the album Venus Doom using a recently acquired Fender Telecaster through a fuzz box.[15] At the time he was filling in on guitar at rehearsals while HIM's guitarist recovered from a broken wrist. This Telecaster can be briefly seen in the music video for "The Kiss of Dawn" to be a three-tone sunburst American Standard model with maple fretboard and a white pickguard.

In the Tears on Tape era his main guitar has been a Gibson Custom Shop SJ-200 Western Classic Pre-War model outfitted with what appears to be a Sunrise soundhole mounted pickup.[16] This is the guitar that he was recently seen playing onstage through a Laney Lionheart 4x10 half stack at the Helldone Festival 2012. He also played a Takamine 12-string acoustic on the promotional tour for Razorblade Romance.[17]

In 2003 HIM played Top of the Pops, but Linde had to fly back to Finland to witness his daughter's birth. Ville filled in on guitar, miming on Linde's cherry Gibson Flying V.[18]


Valo has used Shure SM58 and Shure Beta 58A microphones for most of his career, but during the 2010 Screamworks tour he was seen using a Sennheiser E965 condenser microphone.[19] In photos of the 2012 Tavastia shows, Ville is shown to be using a Shure SM58 again.[20] As of the Tears on Tape tour, he can be seen using a Telefunken Elektroakustik M80.[21]

Films and TV

Valo is close friends with CKY, Jackass and Viva La Bam star Bam Margera, who shares many of Valo's tattoos. Ville can be seen in the movies CKY3, Jackass Number Two and Bam Margera Presents: Where the#$&% Is Santa?, which includes the whole band playing "Dead Lover's Lane". Valo can also be seen in four episodes of Viva La Bam (S1E5, S3E4, S4E1, S5E8). Valo also portrayed Jim Morrison in the 69 Eyes music video "Wasting The Dawn". He also voices the character of Moto Moto in the Finnish dub of Madagascar 2.[22]


  1. ^ Cray, Jen (November 3, 2005). "Ville Valo review". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time – HearYa – Indie Music Blog". December 4, 2006. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Ħ Ville". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  4. ^ "Jesse Valo". Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  5. ^ Kerrang! magazine – June 2008
  6. ^ a b Broadley, Erin (October 18, 2004). "An Interview With Ville Valo". Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  7. ^ "Oh No They Didn't! – Ville Valo in the new Metal Hammer". ONTD. 2008. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  8. ^ a b "Sonic Seducer Interview part two". YouTube. July 20, 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  9. ^ "Ville Valo interview 2007". YouTube. September 29, 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  10. ^ Black Sabbath – Tribute
  11. ^ "Ville Valo Gets Personal with Buzznet on k-ron's Blog". September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  12. ^ "Ville Valo Interview Transcribed". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ "H I M, Frequently Asked Questions". February 23, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  14. ^ "Angel Films Oy – HIM "Into the Night" & "Tears on Tape"... – Facebook". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Screamworks: Love In Theory and Practice". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Angel Films Oy – HIM "Into the Night" & "Tears on Tape"... – Facebook". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ HIM - Join Me in Death (Acoustic Live, Koln 1999).flv on YouTube
  18. ^ HIM Funeral of Hearts Live at Top of the Pops 2003 on YouTube
  19. ^ "Sennheiser – Headphones & Headsets – Microphones – Integrated Systems". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  20. ^ info[at]virtualfinland[dot]fi. "HIM – Helldone Fest-i-val – Helsinki – Virtuaaliesitykset – Virtual Finland". Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  21. ^
  22. ^

External links

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