This day is a special one for Ville Hermanni Valo. Today, this Finnish singer and songwriter celebrates his 35th birthday!
Best known as the mercurial and brooding frontman of Finnish goth rock giants H.I.M., Ville Valo was born November 22, 1976, and after forming H.I.M. became one of his country’s most recognizable faces, being the only Finnish artist to snag a gold record in the United States.
Living in Vallila, Helsinki with eight years younger brother, Jesse Valo who is now a Thai Boxer, Valo was exposed to a variety of music. His father, a taxi driver and later adult shop owner, along with his Hungarian mother introduced Valo to mainstream Finnish pop music of like Tapio Rautavaara.
Other relatives turned Valo on to bands like Black Sabbath. It is ironic that the word “valo” would mean light in Finnish because the music Valo would go on to make would be just the opposite in its melancholy, dark, and sometimes Gothic tone.
Prior to his main success with the band H.I.M., Valo played in several bands with B.L.O.O.D., Aurora, and Unga Kaskelottär to name a few. He sometimes played various instruments such as the drums or bass in these bands. But once he took the vocal helm of H.I.M. that is when Ville Valo began receiving attention for his musical talents.
With H.I.M., Valo has managed to release six albums and become the leader of the first Finnish band to have a gold album in America. And with the legal conflict around the name H.I.M. caused by a Chicago-based band of the same name, H.I.M. has rare albums released only in the United States under the moniker H.E.R.
With their music being deliciously incapable of being categorized, H.I.M. has grown into somewhat of a cult hit. And they have even achieved mainstream recognition with the Grammy nomination for their 2007 album Venus Doom. Their first album, Witches and Other Night Fears, was made in 1992 but was never released. Then fans turned into collectible items the band’s second album, 1996’s 666 Ways to Love: Prologue.
It was an album that had only 1000 copies made and it consisted of 66 tracks spanning 66 minutes and 6 seconds. But 1999 was when Ville Valo and H.I.M. really garnered any type of big fame and success due to their album Razorblade Romance getting free promotion from Valo’s friend Bam Margera.
Happy Birthday, Ville Valo! Don’t Stop Moving!
Photo: Kryziz Bonny