AKA Ville Hermanni Valo
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Matter of Dispute
Executive summary: Frontman for Finnish band HIM
The son of a Finnish taxi driver and his Hungarian wife, Ville Valo was born in a small, wood-house district of Helsinki called Vallila. Soon after his birth his family moved to the riverside community of Oulunkylä, where his father eventually opened a porn shop; during his late teens Ville spent a period working in the shop before launching his career in music. As a child he was influenced by his music-loving parents, who exposed him to the songs of popular Finnish performers such as Tapio Rautavaara and Rauli Badding Somerjoki, while an older cousin introduced him to the heavier sounds of bands like Kiss, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. His interests gradually expanded to include reggae, early blues and country-oriented material such as Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Neil Young. From a young age, Valo's enthusiasm for music also took a more active form of expression, and he participated in a large number of different Helsinki-based bands: B.L.O.O.D. (1986-89), Eloveena Boys (1987-88), Kemoterapia (1989-97) and numerous other, more obscure projects.
In 1995 Valo enlisted old schoolmates Mikko ("Lilly Lazer") Lindstrom and Mikko ("Migé Amour") Heinrik -- augmented by drummer Juhana Rantala and keyboardist Antto Melasniemi -- to form His Infernal Majesty, a band that blended a goth-drag presentation with heavy metal, ambiguous mysticism and dark, fatalistic romanticism (a combination that would ultimately earn the media tag of "love metal"). The name was later shortened to HIM when it became apparent that the rather Satanic implications of the full title were attracting the wrong crowd. With the release of their debut EP 666 Ways To Love: Prologue in 1996, the band began to cultivate an dedicated audience in Finland -- largely as a result of an interpretation of Chris Isaak's Wicked Game that was featured on the record. This audience expanded to include the other Scandinavian countries the following year, after their first full-length Greatest Love Songs Volume 666 hit the shelves; once again, the album included their popular version of Wicked Game, as well as a cover of Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper.
Enlisting the services of British producer John Fryer (known in the 80s for his work for the 4AD label, and later for work with goth-leaning bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Cradle of Filth), HIM released their second album Razorblade Romance in 2000, the track Join Me In Death in particular breaking the band across Europe. The album also gave them their first proper US release, but with a slight hiccup: due to the pre-existence of an American project called "HIM", the record was initially given a limited release under the modified name "HER". The name problem was subsequently settled through the movement of currency, and the album re-issued in its proper form. By their third effort, Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights (2001), the band's line-up had settled down to the original trio of Valo, Linde (Lilly), Migé with drummer Mika ("Gas Lipstick") Karppinen and keyboardist Jani ("Emerson Burton") Purttinen; that same year, the original three also shuffled their musical roles and created the side-project Daniel Lioneye, in which Linde assumed the role of frontman. A fourth album Love Metal arrived in 2003, expanding the popularity of HIM even further and providing music journalists with a convenient tag for their approach. For it's 2005 follow-up Dark Light, production duties were assumed by veteran Andy Wallace, but after unsatisfactory results the band turned to U2, Robert Plant, Tears for Fears, (etc.) producer Tim Palmer.
Father: Kari (taxi driver/shop owner)
Brother: Jesse (boxer, b. 1984)
Girlfriend: Jonna Nygren (together 2005-06, broken engagement)
HIM Vocalist (1995-)
Daniel Lioneye Drummer (2001-)
Finnish Ancestry Paternal
Hungarian Ancestry Maternal
Risk Factors: Smoking, Asthma
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Bam Margera Presents: Where the #$&% Is Santa? (2-Dec-2008) · Himself
CKY 3 (2001) · Himself
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