Ville Valo

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Ville Valo
Nova2013 HIM Ville Valo 0003.JPG
Background information
Birth name Ville Hermanni Valo
Born (1976-11-22) 22 November 1976 (age 37)
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Rock (see HIM's genre)
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter
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

Ville Hermanni Valo (born November 22, 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[edit]

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] and Dir En Grey, 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 of 2007, Valo checked into Promises Malibu, a California rehabilitation center, to seek treatment for his alcoholism.[13] He currently resides in Helsinki.



Valo in 2007.

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 1900s,[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]


Ville Valo is well known for his tattoos, some of which have been done by Kat Von D during his time in California. His tattoos include:


  • A heart on his inner right wrist which has since been filled in to say the words "C:1:1-3 DILLIGAF When I Love... I Love". (Original tattoo 1998, filled in 2005-2006)[22]
  • Portrait of Finnish writer Timo K. Mukka on his inner right forearm. (2005)
  • Portrait of French poet Charles Baudelaire on his outer right wrist. (2006)
  • Portrait of American author Charles Bukowski on outer right forearm. (2007)
  • A monogram spelling out "Venus Doom", from the album of the same name. (2007)
  • Hourglass with wings over the French word "HERMITE" meaning "hermit", with an eye underneath. (2009)
  • A full sleeve of vines matching the heartagram on his stomach on a black background on his left arm. (1998-1999)[23]


  • A heartagram stylised with vines across his lower stomach. (1998)[24]
  • The eyes of Edgar Allan Poe across his upper back. (2005)
  • A portrait of Maya Deren on his right breastplate which covers a previous tattoo, the word "Mäy". (Original tattoo 2006, portrait 2009)
  • A portrait of Klaus Kinski on the right side of his navel. (2009)
  • A unicursal hexagram styled heartagram on his lower right flank area. (2009)
  • A Ö with a minus symbol in on of the diaeresis beside the hexagram on his lower back. Matches his brother's to form the word for night in Estonian. (2010)
  • A heartagram with filigree around his left nipple, used to cover a script "S" for his ex-girlfriend Susanna.



  • A heartagram at the base of his neck. (1999-2000)[28]
  • The word "N'idiot" on his left buttock, tattooed by Kat Von D one drunken night. Matches with Bam Margera's. (2005-2006)

Films and TV[edit]

Ville used to be 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.[29]

HIM and other side projects[edit]

Valo in 2007.
Main articles: HIM (Finnish band) and HIM discography
  • Skreppers(1995)
  • Apocalyptica(1996)
  • Lullacry(1997) Whisper in the Chaos released on their compilation album 2014
  • The 69 Eyes(1997)
  • Tehosekoitin(1999)
  • The 69 Eyes(1999)
  • Neljä Ruusua & HIM (1999)
  • Agents- Paratiisi, Jykevää On Rakkaus, Ikkunaprinsessa, Valo Yössä (Tuomari Nurmio Cover) (1999)
  • Tributti Tuomari Nurmio: Ville Valo & Others (2000)
  • The 69 Eyes(2000)
  • Musta Paraati, Ville Ville Valo, Gas Lipstick & Others (2001)
  • Daniel Lioneye And The Rollers/Daniel Lioneye And The Blues Explosion (2001)
  • The 69 Eyes & Thulsa Doom (2001)
  • Five Fifteen- The Prostitute & Season Of The Witch (2001)
  • The 69 Eyes(2002)
  • The Skreppers, Ville Valo, Migé Amour & Lily Lazer (2002)
  • The Mission(2002)
  • Lowemotor Corporation- Love Me (2003/2004)
  • The Skreppers(2004)
  • The 69 Eyes- Beneath the Blue (2004)
  • Apocalyptica & Lauri Ylönen - Bittersweet (2004) (FIN: #1, D: #6)
  • Two Witches- Dracula Rising (2005)
  • Bloodhound Gang - Something Diabolical (2005)
  • Isabelle's Gift - If I Die Tonight (2006)
  • Cradle of Filth - The Byronic Man (2006)
  • Daniel Cavanagh - Inner silence(Acoustic)(2006)
  • Ville Valo & Tommi Viksten - Kun Minä Kotoani Läksin (2006)
  • Kari Tapio- Täällä Pohjantähden Alla (2006)
  • Ville Valo & Natalia Avelon - Summer Wine (2007) (FIN: #1, D: #2, AU: #4, CH: #2, GR: #1)
  • Ville Valo & Mariam "Manna Lindström" Jäntti - Just for Tonight (2007)
  • Dani Filth - Untitled (Tribute to Black Sabbath) (2010)
  • Anathema - Angels Walk Among Us (2010)


  1. ^ Cray, Jen (2005-11-03). "Ville Valo review". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  2. ^ "Hit Parader’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time — HearYa - Indie Music Blog". 2006-12-04. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  3. ^ "Ħ Ville". Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  4. ^ "Jesse Valo". Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Kerrang! magazine - June 2008
  6. ^ a b Broadley, Erin (2004-10-18). "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. 2007-07-20. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  9. ^ "Ville Valo interview 2007". YouTube. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  10. ^ Black Sabbath - Tribute
  11. ^ Sep 28, 2007 (2007-09-28). "Ville Valo Gets Personal with Buzznet on k-ron's Blog". Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "H I M, Frequently Asked Questions". 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  14. ^
  15. ^;wap2
  16. ^
  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
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  26. ^ Ankh wedja seneb
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External links[edit]