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HIM Frontman Ville Valo on the Enduring Power of the Scandinavian Metal Scene: “It’s Nothing to Do with Satanism, but They Were Cold”


Everybody, even Barack fucking Obama, knows that Finland’s greatest export is the absurd amount of hard rock and heavy metal the citizens of the country churn out, relative to their population. In a new interview, former HIM frontman Ville Valo discussed the popularity of heavy music in his home country of Finland and he chalked it up to one totally understandable reason: the cold.

Of course, the Finns aren’t the only ones who’ve responded to freezing weather and mountains of snow by writing extreme metal about it. Valo also discussed the Norwegian black metal scene, referencing the controversial history of church burnings, and chalks it up to the same factor, Satan be damned (transcribed by Ultimate Guitar).

“A lot of that stuff happened at the same time. Stratovarius was there a bit before, and they toured South America as well; they were one of the first bands from the metal genre [from Finland]. We had, I think, punk bands like Terveet Kädet, like these bands that Sepultura liked back in the day – they were listening to sort of Finnish hardcore from the ’80s.

“But I’ve always been laughing that, maybe it makes all the sense in the world for Fins to create metal – the headbanging keeps us warm. You know, it gets terribly cold in the winter. So it makes all the sense in the world that that would be the reason. That’s also probably why the Norwegians burned the churches. It’s nothing to do with Satanism, but they were cold.”

Valo is currently promoting his first solo record, Neon Noir, which is scheduled for release in January under the name VV. You’ll also have plenty of chances to catch the rocker on tour in the United States and Europe early next year.

1/13 – Tavastia, Helsinki (FI)
2/14 – Proxima, Warsaw (PL)
2/15 – Kwadrat, Krakow (PL)
2/16 – Lucerna Music Bar, Prague (CZ)
2/17 – Huxley’s, Berlin (DE)
2/18 – Fabrik, Hamburg (DE)
2/20 – Paradiso, Amsterdam (NL)
2/21 – Batschkapp, Frankfurt (DE)
2/22 – Komplex, Zurich (CH)
2/24 – Razzmatazz, Barcelona (ES)
2/25 – La Riviera, Madrid (ES)
2/26 – Cineteatro Capitolio, Lisbon (PT)
2/27 – Hard Club, Porto (PT)
3/2 – Alcatraz, Milan (IT)
3/3 – Backstage Werk, Munich (DE)
3/4 – Barba Negra, Budapest (HU)
3/5 – Arena, Vienna (AT)
3/7 – Rockhal, Esch-sur-Alzette (LU)
3/8 – LMH, Cologne (DE)
3/9 – Le Trabendo, Paris (FR)
3/10 – O2 Academy, Bristol (GB)
3/11 – Rock City, Nottingham (GB)
3/13 – Garage, Glasgow (GB)
3/14 – O2 Ritz, Manchester (GB)
3/15 – O2 Forum Kentish Town, London (GB)
4/1 – Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia PA (USA)
4/2 – Big Night Live, Boston MA (USA)
4/4 – Roxian Theater, Pittsburgh PA (USA)
4/5 – House of Blues, Cleveland OH (USA)
4/6 – St. Andrews Hall, Detroit MI (USA)
4/7 – Bogarts, Cincinnati OH (USA)
4/9 -House of Blues, Chicago IL (USA)
4/11 – Varsity Theater, Minneapolis MN (USA)
4/13 – Summit Music Hall, Denver CO (USA)
4/14 – The Depot, Salt Lake City UT (USA)
4/16 – Ace of Spades, Sacramento CA (USA)
4/17 – The Fillmore, San Francisco CA (USA)
4/18 – Belasco, Los Angeles CA (USA)
4/21 – House of Blues, Las Vegas NV (USA)
4/22 – House of Blues, San Diego CA (USA)
4/23 – Van Buren, Phoenix AZ (USA)
4/25 – House of Blues, Dallas TX (USA)
4/26 – Aztec Theater, San Antonio TX (USA)
4/27 – House of Blues, Houston TX (USA)
4/28 – House of Blues, New Orleans LA (USA)
4/30 – House of Blues, Orlando FL (USA)
5/1 – Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale FL (USA)

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