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DANIEL LIONEYE: Linde Lindström On Bringing Their Ferocious New Album To Life!

DANIEL LIONEYE: Linde Lindström On Bringing Their Ferocious New Album To Life!

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Linde Lindström’s passion for music allowed him to rise to incredible heights. Best known as the lead guitarist in H.I.M., his insatiable for musical growth for music has allowed him to rise to incredible heights and while establishing him as one of the most impressive players in the game. However, it is important to note that his axe-work isn’t limited to the love metal genre he helped forge. In fact, his side project, Daniel Lioneye, features some of his most impressive work to date.

When formed in 2001, Daniel Lioneye originally consisted of Ville Valo (HIM) on drums, Mige (HIM) on bass and Linde (HIM) on guitar and vocals. That year, they released The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Finland and Germany, a ‘tongue in cheek’ psychedelic stoner rock album. Performing festival shows in Finland under the name ‘Daniel Lioneye And The Joint Rollers,’ their music soon reached international audiences when the title track of the album was selected as the theme song for Bam Margera’s MTV show, Viva La Bam. In 2006, “The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was the most played Finnish song in the world (right after Sibelius, of course).

In 2008, Linde wanted to do a Daniel Lioneye album completely different than the last. The follow-up album, simply titled VOL II (The End Records), was an extreme rock n’ roll album much heavier than their first, quite noticeably influenced by black metal. The album represented everyday life- divorce, dealing with difficult situations and people, cannabis psychosis, extreme nightmares, self-realization, sex, moving on, standing up for yourself, anger management and the universe.

Now, Daniel Lioneye has teamed up yet again with The End Records (US) to release VOL III, which is slated for an August 19th release. The album is, in many ways, a combination of their previous two efforts. Basking in magnetic glow of the northern lights, this album deals with an existential crisis- depression, disappointment, being lost, meaninglessness. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Linde Lindström to discuss his life in music, the making of Daniel Lioneye’s ‘Vol. III’ and what the future my hold for him.

Going all the way back to the beginning, what are you first memories of music in your life?

My mom singing me a lullaby slightly out of key.

How did you first start getting involved with the arts and playing the guitar?

I have been fascinated by the guitar for as long as I can remember. I always knew I wanted to be a musician. I was begging my parents to buy me a guitar and I finally got a mini acoustic as a Christmas present when I was 10. I started taking lessons right away. I was very motivated. I soon started to play in all sorts of bands.

What can you tell us about the process of finding your creative voice as a player?

It’s an ongoing process. The older you get, the more confident you become. At least in my case. For me the biggest thing has been to accept myself as I am and not listen to people telling me how to play or what to do with my life. I’m a blues player by heart.

Who were some of the performers and people behind the scenes who helped to shape the artist we see today?

Life in general. All the people and animals in my life. All the music I have ever heard. Iggy Pop, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Kingston Wall, Nachtmystium, Elvis Presley just to name a few.

You are clearly very driven when it comes to your career. What has kept you inspired throughout the years as an artist and fueled your creative fire?

Music is a natural way for me to deal with all the emotions and difficulties in my life. Everyday life is my inspiration. Normally when I take a break from everything, stuff starts to come..

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You are about to release Daniel Lioneye “Vol. III” It has been 8 years since your last release. What made now the time for a new record?

I’ve been working on the album for years whenever I had the time or when I felt like it. I almost wanted it to never get finished. It has been an amazing process. So basically, the time is now because its ready, simple as that.

What were your aspirations or goals for this album as you started the process? Was there anything you wanted to try that you hadn’t been able to in the past?

I didn’t really have any goals. I don’t feel like I ever write anything, it just comes from somewhere. I always end up doing things differently anyway. No use repeating old stuff. I wanted this album to be “better” than the previous ones and I wanted to try if I can produce a vocal sound that I could listen to. I almost made it.

For fans already familiar with your past work, how does this album compare and contrast?

In a way its a combination between “The King Of Rock ‘n Roll” and “Vol II”. More singing less growling. More fuzzy riffs, more melody. Lyrically the theme of the album is existential crisis-depression.

You have been working alongside the other members of the band for years. What do they bring out of you creatively?

I feel comfortable with them, amazing musicians and great people. We operate on the same frequency. Mige wrote most of the lyrics on this album and they still feel right and personal to me. That tells a lot.

What can you tell us about the songwriting process for your music? What has changed and what has remained the same through the years?

Like I said earlier, I never feel like I write anything, it just comes from somewhere. A melody, a riff, a rhythm, whatever. Then I program drums on Pro Tools and play the other instruments and send the demos to the guys. A very different process compared to the King of Rock ‘n Roll album. At that time we went to the studio for five days without any material, got shitfaced and the rest is history, haha. The only similar thing with all three albums is that the basic tracks, drums, bass and guitars were recorded in five days.

What were the biggest challenges you faced in bringing the album to life?

I’m lazy but playful. I always seemed to find something more relevant to do than record my vocals. I don’t like the human voice, especially my own. I recorded all the vocals at my home studio alone. Other than that, everything went very smoothly.

You have lived with these songs for awhile now. Which of the songs on “Vol. III” resonate with you the most?

I have a love/hate relationship to music. And everything actually. Every other day the songs are the greatest masterpieces ever written and every other day complete worthless shit. ‘Blood on the Floor’, ‘Ravensong’ and ‘Aetherside’ are my favorites at the moment.

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How do you feel you have most evolved as an artist since you first started professionally?

I have learned not to give a shit what people think of me. That has given me a lot of freedom both as an artist and as a person.

As an artist, so many things can be said about the current state of music. What excites you about being a working artist?

Music excites me. You just have to concentrate on the things you can actually do something about and forget about everything else. Otherwise you would be upset all the time.

Where do you see yourself headed musically in the future — both short and long term?

I have no clue whatsoever. I don’t think that way. I guess I will still be transcribing the musical things that come to me from nowhere. That’s all I can say.

What is the best way for fans to help support you at this stage in your career?

If you like the album, buy it, don’t just download it for free. Also, come and see us live!

Are there any plans in the works for a U.S. tour of this album?

No plans about the US yet. We are playing five shows in Finland in the beginning of September and some European shows are on the works as well. More about that later.

Many young artists can look to you for inspiration. What is the best lesson we can take away from your journey as an artist?

Like I said before, for me it has been to learn not to care too much about what other people think of me and just letting go. Getting over myself basically. I recommend that to everybody.

Follow the continuing adventures of Daniel Lioneye on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Spotify. Pre-order Daniel Lioneye’s “Vol. III” today – Click Here!

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Daniel Lioneye To Release ‘VOL III’ On August 19th Via The End Records

Daniel Lioneye To Release ‘VOL III’ On August 19th Via The End Records

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The End Records is pleased to announce the upcoming studio album from Daniel Lioneye, set for release August 19. Featuring members of HIM, Daniel Lioneye (“The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll”) returns after eight years to deliver VOL III, which boasts a seamless blend between rock, psych metal and black metal. The first single “Ravensong” just premiered with Revolver and is available now for download and streamingCLICK HERE to listen on Revolver!

Says guitarist and vocalist Linde, “VOL III is heavier, with more fuzzy guitars, more singing, and less growling. The drumming is very ‘metal.’” He jokes, “You can actually hear the vocals on this album.”

Vol. III Tracklisting:
1. Messier 0
2. Blood On The Floor
3. Break It Or Heal It
4. License To Defile
5. Ravensong
6. Alright
7. Baba Satanas
8. Aetherside
9. Dancing With The Dead
10. Oh God In Your Great Mercy
11. Mathematics Of The Storm
12. Neolithic Way (2016)

Pre-Order Today!

 

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About Daniel Lioneye:
When formed in 2001, Daniel Lioneye originally consisted of Ville Valo (HIM) on drums, Mige (HIM) on bass and Linde (HIM) on guitar and vocals. That year, they released The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Finland and Germany, a ‘tongue in cheek’ psychedelic stoner rock album. Performing festival shows in Finland under the name ‘Daniel Lioneye And The Joint Rollers,’ their music soon reached international audiences when the title track of the album was selected as the theme song for Bam Margera’s MTV show, Viva La Bam. In 2006, “The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” was the most played Finnish song in the world (right after Sibelius, of course).

In 2008, Linde wanted to do a Daniel Lioneye album completely different than the last. The follow-up album, simply titled VOL II (The End Records), was an extreme rock n’ roll album much heavier than their first, quite noticeably influenced by black metal. The album represented everyday life- divorce, dealing with difficult situations and people, cannabis psychosis, extreme nightmares, self-realization, sex, moving on, standing up for yourself, anger management and the universe.

Now, Daniel Lioneye has teamed up yet again with The End Records (US) to release VOL III, an album that is, in many ways, a combination of their previous two. Basking in magnetic glow of the northern lights, this album deals with an existential crisis- depression, disappointment, being lost, meaninglessness.

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HIM To Release Limited Addition Boxset Plus Four Deluxe Titles, U.S. Tour Dates Announced!

HIM To Release Limited Addition Boxset Plus Four Deluxe Titles, U.S. Tour Dates Announced!

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Finnish platinum selling band HIM have been a cultural phenomenon in the alternative rock world for over two decades, now they are excited to announce the upcoming release of an exclusive limited edition boxset ‘Lashes To Ashes, Lust To Dust’: A Vinyl Retrospective ’96-’03 on November 25th via The End Records. The boxset includes the rare debut 1996 EP ’666 Ways To Love: Prologue” on 180gram heavy weight vinyl for the first time ever, along with an exclusive Heartagram logo slipmat and a USB drive with 37 bonus tracks, 80 tracks all together, all re-mastered. Also to be released on November 25th, four of their iconic albums, ‘Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666’, ‘Razorblade Romance’, ‘Deep Shadows And Brilliant Highlights’, and ‘Love Metal’ will be released in multiple configurations, all re-mastered with bonus tracks, exclusive liner notes, and special packaging.

“We feel truly blessed to have our sonic offspring of yore being given a new lease of life in the US by The End Records, the home for many of our aural idols, both old and new. For the past months, the infamous Love Metal archives have been extensively scoured by us for rare, exclusive and downright scary musical nuggets for an experience in Finnish melancholy like no other, so please consider yourself warned…” – Ville Valo, lead vocalist of HIM

PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE NOW! – Click Here!

In support of the deluxe re-mastered releases, HIM will be embarking on a National tour this December, all dates listed below:

12/9 Webster Hall New York, NY
12/10 House of Blues Boston, MA
12/11 Starland Ballroom Sayreville, NJ
12/12 The Fillmore Silver Spring, MD
12/16 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
12/17 The Marquee Tempe, AZ
12/18 House of Blues San Diego, CA
12/19 House of Blues Las Vegas, NV

All tickets on sale Friday, September 19, 2014.

‘LASHES TO ASHES, LUST TO DUST’: A VINYL RETROSPECTIVE ’96-’03 BOXSET

A collection of the four essential early HIM studio albums encompassing the group’s trailblazing early catalog, on heavy weight 180gram vinyl, as well as the band’s debut 1996 EP ’666 Ways To Love: Prologue” on 180gram heavy weight vinyl for the first time ever. Includes an exclusive Heartagram logo slipmat and a USB drive with 37 bonus tracks, 80 tracks all together, all re-mastered.

‘GREATEST LOVE SONGS VOL. 666’

2CD Deluxe Reissue 

HIM’s debut album Re-Mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, exclusive liner notes, packaged in a super limited edition crushed velvet case

Classic LP

Re-Mastered on Standard 140 Gram, first time release on vinyl

Deluxe Red Colored 2LP Reissue

HIM’s debut album Re-mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, packaged in limited edition Gatefold Jacket with 2 full artwork record sleeves and exclusive liner notes.  Includes Digital Download Card

‘RAZORBLADE ROMANCE’

2CD Deluxe Reissue

HIM’s hit record Re-Mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, exclusive liner notes, packaged in a super limited edition crushed velvet case

Classic LP

Re-Mastered on Standard 140 Gram, first time release on vinyl

Deluxe Magenta Colored 2LP Reissue

HIM’s hit record Re-Mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, packaged in limited edition Gatefold Jacket with 2 full artwork record sleeves and exclusive liner notes.  Includes Digital Download Card

‘DEEP SHADOWS AND BRILLIANT HIGHLIGHTS’

2CD Deluxe Reissue

HIM’s third album Re-Mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, exclusive liner notes, packaged in a super limited edition crushed velvet case

Classic LP

Re-Mastered on Standard 140 Gram, first time release on vinyl

Deluxe Purple Colored 2LP Reissue

HIM’s third album Re-Mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, packaged in limited edition Gatefold Jacket with 2 full artwork record sleeves and exclusive liner notes.  Includes Digital Download Card

‘LOVE METAL’

2CD Deluxe Reissue

HIM’s Classic album Re-Mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, exclusive liner notes, packaged in a super limited edition crushed velvet case

Classic LP

Re-Mastered on Standard 140 Gram, first time release on vinyl

Deluxe Gold Colored 2LP Reissue

HIM’s Classic album Re-Mastered, featuring 8 unreleased bonus tracks, packaged in limited edition Gatefold Jacket with 2 full artwork record sleeves and exclusive liner notes.  Includes Digital Download Card

Collect all 4 CDs to complete the Heartagram image!

 

 

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Greg Prato Examines Two Legendary Bands In ‘The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion’

Greg Prato Examines Two Legendary Bands In ‘The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion’

Two musical legends, one book!

Two musical legends, one book!

Despite being listed as an influence on countless notable bands, there has neverbeen a book that tells the complete story of both Faith No More and Mr. Bungle. Until now. Author/journalist Greg Prato‘s tenth book overall, ‘The Faith No More& Mr. Bungle Companion,’ serves as both a career overview and analyzation of both bands – tracing their ups and downs, uncovering quite a few unheard or uncommon tales, and of course, telling the stories behind such classic albums as ‘The Real Thing,’ ‘Angel Dust,’ ‘Disco Volante,’ and ‘California.’

And many members of today’s top rock bands offer up opinions and memories of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle exclusively for this book, including Jason Newsted (Newsted/ex-Metallica), Max Cavalera (Soulfly/ex-Sepultura), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Devin Townsend (Devin Townsend Project/ex-Strapping Young Lad), Ville Valo (HIM), Johnny Christ (Avenged Sevenfold), Gilby Clarke (ex-Guns N’Roses), Travis Stever (Coheed and Cambria), Angelo Moore (Fishbone), John Garcia (Vista Chino/ex-Kyuss), Wes Borland (Black Light Burns/Limp Bizkit), Everlast (House of Pain/solo artist), Mike Fleischmann (Vision of Disorder), Mitts (Madball), and Jeff Walker (Carcass).

Prato writes for Rolling Stone, and has penned such popular and critically acclaimed music book titles as ‘Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music,’ ‘A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon,’ ‘The Eric Carr Story,’ ‘Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets,’ and ‘MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video,’ among others. He is also a long-time fan of both bands – having interviewed every single Faith No More member who appeared on record over the years (of whichexcerpts from these interviews are included in this book), and having witnessedcountless FNM and Bungle performances over the years.

Available as both a paperback version [$14.99, 210 pages] and a Kindle download [$6.99, 189 pages], ‘The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion’ helps put it all into perspective for fans of both bands.

For ordering info, click:

Paperback:  http://amzn.com/1493696661
Kindle:  http://amzn.com/B00GUTNAZM

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Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour Hits The Road On August 23rd

Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour Hits The Road On August 23rd

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The moment that rock fans have been waiting for is here! Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour –featuring four game-changing rock bands from four different countries in Volbeat (Denmark), HIM (Finland), All That Remains (U.S.) and Airbourne (Australia)– launches in seven days! That’s one week until one of the most anticipated tours of the Summer 2013 season kicks off!

The tour launches on August 23 in St. Paul, Minnesota and then canvases the U.S and Canada before wrapping September 28 in Brooklyn.

If you’re looking for a rock ‘n’ roll-fueled way to close out the summer of 2013, then Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour is most certainly it.

Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour will bring American audiences the very best that rock music as a whole has to offer, with a decidedly international feel. Rock music is a universal language and all the acts on this tour embody the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll without borders.

In other Rock Allegiance news, ESP has officially come aboard as a sponsor and will be giving away a guitar in every market via local radio.

MONSTER ENERGY’S ROCK ALLEGIANCE TOUR DATES:

August 23 –  The Myth |  St. Paul, Minn.
August 24 – WIIL ROCK FEST | Twin Lakes, Wis.
August 25 – US Bank Arena | Cincinnati, Ohio
August 28 – Freedom Hill | Sterling Heights, Mich.
August  29 – US Cellular Coliseum | Bloomington, Ill.
August 31 – Convention Center Arena | Tulsa, Okla.
September 3 – Maverick Centre | West Lake City, Utah
September 4 – The Joint @ The Hard Rock Hotel + Casino | Las Vegas, Nev.
September 8 – Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Center | Abbotsford, BC
September 9 – Big 4 Building | Calgary, AB
September 10 – Rexall Place | Edmonton, AB
September 15 – Aftershock Music Festival | Sacramento, Calif.
September 18 – Verizon Theatre @ Grand Prairie | Grand Prairie, Texas
September 19 – Bayou Music Center | Houston, Texas
September 22 – Tabernacle | Atlanta, Ga.
September 26 – Skyline Stagge @ The Mann | Philadelphia, Pa.
September 27 – Tsongas Arena | Lowell, Mass.
September 28 – Brooklyn Waterfront | Brooklyn, N.Y.

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HIM Returns To North America For Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour

HIM Returns To North America For Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour

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Finland’s HIM will travel coast-to-coast with Volbeat on Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour beginning August 23rd in St. Paul, MN.  This will be the band’s only North American excursion this year.  HIM will take the stage for 70 minutes nightly.

Recently, the band’s latest release Tears On Tape had a strong debut at #15 in the U.S., via Razor & Tie, and #2 in Germany and Finland via Universal. Strong sales have been steady across the European continent.  The album is available here: http://bit.ly/HIMiTunes.

The accompanying clip for the lead single “All Lips Go Blue” can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5G0-nJtnjE

Formed in 1992 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström, and bassist Mikko “Migé” Paananen, HIM is the first Finnish band to achieve platinum sales in the U.S.  Their success has been driven by a following that Revolver Magazine acknowledged at the 2013 Golden Gold Awards as “Most Dedicated Fans,” beating out A Day to Remember, Rammstein and others.  HIM’s current lineup is Valo (Vocals), Linde (Guitars), Migé (Bass), Burton (Keyboards), and Gas (Drums).

The band’s eighth album, Tears On Tape was recorded in their native Finland at Helsinki’s Finnvox Studios, the site of some of their seminal work including their debut Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666 and 2003’s Love Metal., with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa.  The album was mixed by long-time collaborator Tim Palmer (U2, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam).  Always evolving, Valo mined inspiration from doo-wop of the ’50s and the ’60s, examining personal relationships, and pondering existential questions. He recently shared, “The last album I was really in my head. This time, I was constantly looking around me. I wanted this to be super simple. I kept coming back to imagery and harmonies fifties artists like The Ronettes or Roy Orbison would use. I wanted to describe humongous moments of emotional revelation as simply as possible.”

Valo has always been an artist who expresses himself with lyrics that are indelible soundtracks to their lives for many.  On the subject of personal inspiration in respect to the current release, he offers, “Love is my world.  I’m dependent on relationships, emotions, and the fact of having somebody I care for and would die for. I’d say that everybody is. Most of the lyrics are based on me describing my favorite songs growing up. Tears On Tape are the tears my favorite artists shed on tape. They created the musical milestones in my life. It’s a love song for music. If life is a vinyl record and somebody lifts the needle, it ends. Like a record, life rotates into different moods and places. It’s the sonic companion from birth until death.”

Monster Energy’s Rock Allegiance Tour will also feature Volbeat, All The Remains, and Airbourne.  Produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, Right Arm Entertainment and Monster Energy, the travelling festival brings American and Canadian audiences a decidedly international feel embodying the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll without borders.  Upcoming appearances in the U.S. and Canada include:

8/23     St. Paul, MN                                                   The Myth
8/24     Twin Lakes, WI                                              WIIL Show @ Shadow Hill Ranch
8/25     Cincinnati, OH                                                US Bank Arena
8/26     Toronto, ONT                                                The Sound Academy
8/28     Detroit, MI                                                      Freedom Hill
8/29     Bloomington, IL                                              US Cellular Coliseum
8/30     Kansas City, MO                                            Midland Theatre
8/31     Tulsa, OK                                                       Convention Center Arena
9/02     Englewood, CO                                               KBPI’s Lo Cura Fest – Fiddler’s Green
9/03     Salt Lake City, UT                                          Maverick Centre
9/04     Las Vegas, NV                                                The Joint
9/06     Seattle, WA                                                     KISW Pain in the Grass @ The Gorge
9/08     Abbotsford, BC                                              Sports & Entertainment Arena
9/09     Calgary, AB                                                    Big 4
9/10     Edmonton, AB                                                Rexall Place
9/13     Phoenix, AZ                                                    KUPD Desert Uprising
9.14     Chula Vista, CA                                              Sleep Train Amph
9/15     Sacramento, CA                                              Aftershock Festival  @ Discovery Park
9/16     Los Angeles, CA                                             Palladium
9/18     Dallas, TX                                                      Verizon Theatre @ Grand Prairie
9/19     Houston, TX                                                  Bayou Music Center
9/21     Biloxi, MS                                                       WCPR Fest @ Jones Park
9/22     Atlanta, GA                                                    Tabernacle
9/23     Greensboro, NC                                              Greensboro Coliseum
9/25     Sayreville, NJ                                                  Starland Ballroom
9/26     Philadelphia, PA                                             Skyline Stage @ The Mann
9/27     Lowell, MA                                                    Tsongas Arena
9/28     Brooklyn, NY                                                 Brooklyn Waterfront

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HIM Unleash Music Video For “All Lips Go Blue” In Support of New Album

HIM Unleash Music Video For “All Lips Go Blue” In Support of New Album

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Finnish rockers HIM have premiered their new music video for “All Lips Go Blue” exclusively on VEVO – WATCH HERE .  The track is from the band’s just released new album, Tears On Tape (Razor & Tie) – iTunes Store HERE.

The video for “All Lips Go Blue” was created by award winning director Eugene Riecansky who also directed HIM’s video “Scared To Death” alongside more recent videos like Madonna’s “Get Together.”

Tears On Tape is the Finnish rock band’s acclaimed eighth album and was recorded in their home country with producer Hiili Hiilesmaa and mixed by long time-band associate, Tim Palmer (U2, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Robert Plant).

HIM recently announced their return to the U.S. in late summer for the Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Tour, featuring Volbeat and new Razor & Tie label mates, All That Remains.   Last week, HIM was awarded the Revolver’s Gold God Award for “Most Dedicated Fans,” beating out A Day to Remember, Black Label Society, Black Veil Brides, Slipknot and Rammstein.

Formed in 1992 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström, and bassist Mikko “Migé” Paananen, HIM’s previous albums have seen them win a worldwide following, becoming the first Finnish act to achieve platinum sales in the U.S. To date, HIM has sold a combined 1.75 million albums and over 1 million digital tracks in North America. HIM’s current lineup is Valo (Vocals), Linde (Guitars), Migé (Bass), Burton (Keyboards), and Gas (Drums).

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TEARS ON TAPE: Ville Valo Discusses H.I.M’s Longevity, New Album and More!

TEARS ON TAPE: Ville Valo Discusses H.I.M’s Longevity, New Album and More!

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There’s a lot more to a record than simple notes, lyrics, and sounds. An impactful piece of music always remains wrapped in emotion. Love, hate, sadness, and joy resound at the greatest decibel imaginable. At the end of the day, a song’s feeling will carry on as long as the melody will—and just as loudly. HIM holds that philosophy in the highest regard on its eighth full-length studio album, ‘Tears On Tape’ [Razor & Tie]. The platinum-selling Finnish quintet—Ville Valo (Vocals), “Linde” (Guitars), “Migé” (Bass), “Burton” (Keyboards), and “Gas” (Drums)—finds rapture in divine rock ‘n’ roll hooks, eerie synths, and elegantly cinematic lyrics. You’ll undoubtedly feel each tear they shed.

After touring heavily behind 2010’s ‘Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, Chapters 1-13,’ the band began taking its next step musically. However, it wasn’t as easy as these five musicians might’ve hoped it would be. Drummer “Gas” had sustained a repetitive strained injury in his hand, and his doctors weren’t even sure if he would ever play drums again. It left the future of the legendary band in doubt. After waiting eight long months for him to return to action, the band found themselves ready to write the next chapter in the story of HIM.

That next chapter sees Valo and Co. venture into a new territory once again, while upholding the pillars of their patented “Love Metal” of course. They cut the album in their native Finland at Helsinki’s Finnvox Studios, the site of some of their seminal work including their debut ‘Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666’ and 2003’s ‘Love Metal’. In addition, they tapped longtime collaborator Hiili Hiilesmaa for production and Tim Palmer [U2, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Rober Plant] for mixing. The record also boasts paintings from long-time friend BBC Radio’s Daniel P. Carter as cover art. Teaming up with Razor & Tie, they’re marching into their next phase of their career with the powerful tunes that comprise Tears On Tape — an album which will certainly please the band’s truly diehard global fan base that wears the “Heartagram” logo proud. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with HIM frontman Ville Valo to discuss his musical influences, the creation of ‘Tears On Tape,’ the longevity of the band and what the future may hold for them.

It’s great to speak with you again, Ville. It has been a while since our last interview and we are excited to get the word out on the new album. Thanks for taking time out to talk with us today.

It is a pleasure, a pleasure indeed but don’t thank me yet! [laughs]

PrintH.I.M. has been around for many years and developed an amazing fan following. I wanted to go back to the beginning and learn about how music originally came into your life.

My daddy was a taxi driver when I was a kid. He would always take me to school and listen to old school blues a lot, so I grew up listening to Bo Diddley, Ry Cooder and whatnot. There was also old reggae, The Temptations and the Motown stuff as well. Those are really the first things that come to mind when I think of how music came into my life. Then, all of a sudden, I found rock ‘n’ roll. It was the early ‘80s, it was the time of making mix tapes on cassettes. Then I bought my first album, which was “Animalize” by KISS on vinyl. I thought a lot of the band and that Gene Simmons was so incredibly cool that I started playing bass guitar. That is basically what I did when I was 8 or 9 years old. That was how I got into music.

What was it about music that made you pursue it as a career instead of following a different path?

I think it was a series of lucky accidents. When I was about 14, I started playing at pubs already as a bass player. It was around that age I just started to get a bit of money out of it. It was a way of living I just couldn’t change. I didn’t want to change it for the world. I loved it. I played in six or seven bands at the time. I was playing a lot, not getting payed proper or anything like that but I was still living with my parents, so it was fine. After I got finished with school, I guess I was 17 or 18, I was at the point where people start to think about what they will study or what they will become. I realized there was nothing I wanted to do besides music. My parents were really supportive and helped me out with my first rent, instruments, strings and stuff like that and made it way easy for me to actually concentrate on music instead of figuring what I am was doing for my next loaf of bread.

With that said, did you have any idea when you picked up the instrument or even the mic for the first time it would lead you to a successful career?

Well, definitely not. Obviously, there are always high hopes. I think if you want to start off playing in a rock band, you definitely do want to be the first band to play on the moon and so forth. You have to have high hopes. That is required. You have to be a bit of a daydreamer and think everything is possible. For me, it all happened little baby step by little baby step. It has taken us ages to get this far and the journey is still going on, so it is tough to say what would have happened, if certain things wouldn’t have happened. The only thing I know now is that there is so much luck involved in the whole business that it is definitely not about talent. Talent doesn’t hurt but it is not the main thing. Timing, luck and a few decent songs.

You had your fair share of ups and downs along the way. To what do you attribute the longevity of the band?

It is probably the fact we grew up together. I met our bass player when I was 8 or 9 years old and we bonded over bass playing. We were fans of Steve Harris from Iron Maiden and all of that stuff. I have known most of the guys in the band before we had H.I.M. Now, being 36, I have spent more than half of my life in this band and it is such an integral part of who I am as a person that it is not just about music, it is a brotherhood. I think that is the main reason we have been able to sustain and keep it together for such a long time.

HIM-valo-2013-5

Your drummer, Mika “Gas Lipstick” Karppinen, suffered a repetitive stress injury at the end of 2011. From what I read, you said it caused you guys to reevaluate if you would carry on as a band. How close was the band to calling it a day and what made you push through and carry on?

It was quite tough. We started working on the latest album, “Tears On Tape,” about two-and-a-half years ago. It was around that time his hand started acting up and we didn’t know what was going on. We realized we couldn’t rehearse and he went to see a gazillion, bazillion different doctors. They weren’t able to give us a proper prognosis. We had to wait a month at a time to see if there was any positive development there. After about six months or so, every one began to stress out and start freaking out about what would happen with the whole band and if we would be able to continue. Since we have the brotherhood type of vibe in this band, we just wanted to wait it out and be absolutely sure. If Gas wasn’t able to play, we would then have had to figure out what to do next but we didn’t want to give up. I kept on working on songs and demo-ing them back home while he was healing. I think it was late May of last year that he said he was feeling good enough to come back to the rehearsal space and pound some skins proper. That is basically what we did and everything fell into place and was fine. He hasn’t had any trouble since, so triumph through tribulation, I guess.

How did you arrive at the title “Tears On Tape” and what does it mean to you?

I had that song written down for quite some time and it is an ode to our idols, like Black Sabbath and all those bands. It starts with the lyrics “Church bells toll and the thunder rolls around me.” That is basically just me describing the intro for Black Sabbath’s debut album. For me it is about the nostalgic feeling I get from listening to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens, Neil Young and those people who shed their blood, sweat and tears on tape back in the day and created the wonderful masterpieces that inspired us to become part of the world of music. It was these icons that led the way and showed us that you don’t have to be a plumber, you can be a sonic plumber! [laughs]

When you headed into the studio for “Tears On Tape,” what were your expectations? Was there something you all had in mind you wanted to achieve?

'Tears On Tape'

‘Tears On Tape’

We more or less wanted to work with the Finnish producer Hiili Hiilesmaa at a studio called Finnvox where we have worked a gazillion times before. We also wanted to use Tim Palmer as the mix engineer. It was exactly the same team we used when we worked on “Love Metal” back in 2003 and on “Venus Doom” a few years later. With that team we pretty much knew what we were going to get but those two gentlemen really made it easy for us to really get deep into the heart of the process as opposed to having to introduce out macabre sense of humor and our musical perversions. It made the whole process fast, easy and painless. That is the reason we wanted to do it that way. We just wanted to have the album more lively, organic and noisy. We wanted it lively and analog in a way, even though it was digitally recorded and we didn’t want to over-polish it. That is what those two people do really well. They let the music live as opposed to crushing it to death.

What can you tell us about your typical songwriting process? Are you doing anything differently these days as opposed to earlier albums?

I think it is really close to how it was. I just find myself in the position of having something emotional to say but I can’t find the right words and then that is when I pick up a guitar. That is how it has always been. It is self expression or self therapy of sorts! I think it is nice that the process is not repetitive and is not the same old, same old every time around. It can start with a lyric, a melody or with the guitar. That is something that keeps us on our toes, I think. I get the basic core ideas down and then head to the rehearsal place where we flesh it up a bit. We turn the volume up to 11 and see how it flies!

How many songs did you write for the album? Was there anything that didn’t make the cut we might hear in the future?

I have always believed in fairly short albums. I think about 40 to 45 minutes is the perfect length for an album. I have never understood people who write 30 songs and then they pick 10 of them. I think I would rather spend my time working on the good songs! [laughs] It might sound a bit odd but I have always thought there is no reason to work on half-assed ideas. Obviously, at times there might be a riff that doesn’t work. The best thing to do is let that riff be for a while and come back to it at some point. A riff needs to be memorable. I don’t always believe in writing or recording riffs down because if you can’t remember the next day, then they are shit. I think that self-editing is one of the most important things I have learned along the way as opposed to having 15 hours of guitar riffs on a CD or cassette somewhere. Some people work like that and it’s fine. I think, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the result. I write a chorus and the ones that really speak for me and for the band are the ideas that live their own life and we let that be. That being said, we did try a couple of other songs as well that didn’t quite work yet. I am sure that they will. There was one slow number that was really dirty and doomy. We thought that it would slow down the whole feel of the album too much so we will probably save it for later.

HIM-valo-2013-1

Looking back on that entire process, what was the biggest challenge in bringing “Tears On Tape” to life?

There were a gazillion different challenges, which is a good thing I think. If it feels easy, then it is wrong. It has to be this stressful and you have to have many a sleepless night. That is an important part of getting on along together so well. All of it was a painful joy, the whole process.

It sounds like you guys are in a terrific place creatively. Is that a fair statement to make?

Yeah, we are switching the gears up to start playing a few gigs in Europe and then a few in The States come May. Then there are festivals and so forth, followed by a proper worldwide tour in the fall. That is the interesting thing, creatively at least, because all the songs change and mutate into something different when you play live. Also, we can’t decide what songs people will gravitate towards. We have to wait it out until the album is out and see how the vibe is. That is interesting because now we have babied the songs in the studio and at the rehearsal place for such a long time and now they are coming out. It is interesting to see what happens with them and if people get them, hate them or something in between.

You mentioned the upcoming tour, which I know we are really excited about as well. Do you approach touring differently today than in the past or is it still mayhem on the road!?

[laughs] I think it is a different kind of mayhem. When we started out as a young band, the tours were really short. That enabled the opportunity of getting fucked up, messing about and all that. I think today we are a bit more responsible but not too responsible. I think there has to be a level when it comes to that thing and it should be balanced.

H.I.M.

H.I.M.

Looking back at yourself as an artist, how have you evolved through the years and what have you learned about yourself along the way?

I have learned I am a fairly impatient bastard and that hasn’t changed! [laughs] That being said, I think the biggest change has been that I am a bit more patient than I used to be. People are different and you have to respect everyone’s head space. Some people are quick learners and some aren’t but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good at what they do. The whole band, all five guys, are very different characters. I think that is the strength of the band. For example, our keyboard player is a classically trained guy who loves to play chess, so he has a more mathematical mind. Our bass player is more of a psychedelia guy, who goes with the flow and it is all based on feel. There are all sorts of different aspects and angles in the band and it makes the whole creative process much more interesting.

If you could go back in time to where you were just starting out, what is the best piece of advice you would pass along to yourself?

Probably, brush your teeth or something! [laughs] I think there is little room for regret. It is important to make your mistakes but that doesn’t mean you have to make mistakes on purpose. I am pretty happy with everything I have gone through and everything the band has gone through over the years. We have done good stuff and we have done bad stuff and everything in between and that is important, otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. It can’t all be wine, dance and roses or wine, women and song. I think that would be boring. It is good to have those moral hangovers on occasion!

You mentioned the brotherhood you and your bandmates formed. Do you feel you would overstep your bounds by venturing outside with a solo project at some point? Is that something you are even interested in at this point?

Back in the day, I was figuring it would be nice to do something really left of center, psychedelic and folky but, at the end of day, I think most of what I call my musical perversions I can do with the band as it is. I am really happy about that and it is fairly rare. There is really no reason to fuck it all up.

Are there any misconceptions about yourself out there you can dispel?

No. I think, especially now, with the Internet and all, there is so much misinformation flying about everywhere and you can’t correct it all. The more the people talk about the band or myself, the better! It doesn’t really matter whether it is good or bad as long as people are interested.

I have been a fan of H.I.M. for many years and I have to say that “Tears On Tape” is one of your best outings. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans around the world before I let you go?

Obviously, we have to extend our gratitude for all their patience. I think the interesting things are going to start when the album is out. Just hold your breathe for a couple of weeks longer and peep the album to see how you like it. Then we can have another discussion about the details!

Thanks for your time today, Ville. We will spread the word on the album and look forward to seeing you soon!

Cool! Thank you so much! Take care!

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H.I.M. Launch Pre-Order Bundles For High-Anticipated New Album ‘Tears On Tape’

H.I.M. Launch Pre-Order Bundles For High-Anticipated New Album ‘Tears On Tape’

HIM-Tears_On_Tape_Band-2013

HIM has officially launched fan pre-order bundles for their forthcoming new studio album, Tears On Tape (Razor & Tie).   Unique items featured in the various bundles include a limited-edition HIM poster, an album cover T-shirt, a “snake” T-shirt (available for both men and women), a HIM hoodie, and two different colored vinyl pressings.   All bundles include a Tears on Tape digital album download, a poster tube, a Tears on Tape CD or Vinyl, and an “instant gratification” download of a brand-new version of “When Love and Death Embrace” (recorded live in-studio during the recording sessions for the new album).

The first 2000 orders will receive the Deluxe Digipak Edition of Tears On Tape featuring a Bonus DVD with 5 new in-studio videos recorded specifically for this album release. Order now at him.merchnow.com.  

'Tears On Tape'

‘Tears On Tape’

The complete Tears On Tape track listing is:

  • Unleash The Red
  • All Lips Go Blue
  • Love Without Tears
  • I Will Be The End Of You
  • Tears On Tape
  • Into The Night
  • Hearts At War
  • Trapped In Autumn
  • No Love
  • Drawn & Quartered
  • Lucifer’s Chorale
  • W.L.S.T.D.
  • Kiss The Void

HIM’s upcoming headline Tears On Tour run is close to selling-out with both Los Angeles shows (May 3-4) and New York City (May 10th) already completely Sold-Out.  A second night in New York City has been added (tour dates below).

Tears On Tape will be released on April 30th on Razor & Tie in the United States & Canada. The album will also be released on April 26th in Finland and April 29th in the U.K./Ireland, Germany and the rest of mainland Europe.

The new album is the “Love Metal” band’s eighth official album and was recorded in their home country with long-time producer Hiili Hiilesmaa and mixed by long time-band associate, Tim Palmer (U2, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Robert Plant).

Formed in 1992 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström, and bassist Mikko “Migé” Paananen, HIM’s previous albums have seen them win a worldwide following, becoming the first Finnish act to achieve platinum sales in the U.S.  To date, HIM has sold a combined 1.75 million albums and over 1 million digital tracks in North America. HIM’s current lineup is Valo(Vocals), Linde (Guitars), Migé (Bass), Burton (Keyboards), and Gas (Drums).

HIM U.S. Tour Dates

May 3 – Los Angeles, CA- House Of Blues  (SOLD OUT)

May 4 – Los Angeles, CA- House Of Blues (SOLD OUT)

May 5 – San Francisco, CA- The Fillmore

May 8- Chicago, IL – House Of Blues

May 9 – Toronto Canada -Danforth Music Hall

May 10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza (SOLD OUT)

May 11 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza

May 12 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of Living Arts (SOLD OUT)

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H.I.M. Announce North American Tour Dates For ‘Tears On Tour’

H.I.M. Announce North American Tour Dates For ‘Tears On Tour’

HIM-tearsontourLove metal rockers H.I.M. have announced their first North American headline tour in support of their forthcoming new studio album, ‘Tears On Tape’. Dubbed “Tears On Tour,” the May 2013 run will make scheduled stops in both Los Angeles and New York City (tour dates below).

May 2013
May 3 – Los Angeles, CA- House Of Blues
May 5 – San Francisco, CA- The Fillmore
May 8- Chicago, IL – House Of Blues
May 9 – Toronto Canada -Danforth Music Hall
May 10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
May 12 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre Of Living Arts

The new album, ‘Tears On Tape’ will be released on April 30th on Razor & Tie in North America. A special pre-sale for the House of Blues, Ticketmaster, and Citibank will start on Wednesday, February 20th and tickets will go on sale to the public on Friday, February 22nd. Tickets will be available here.

Tears On Tape is the “Love Metal” band’s eighth official album and was recorded in their home country with long-time producer Hiili Hiilesmaa and once again mixed by long time-band associate, Tim Palmer (U2, OZZY OSBOURNE, PEARL JAM, ROBERT PLANT).

Formed in 1992 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström, and bassist Mikko “Migé” Paananen, H.I.M.’s previous albums have seen them win a worldwide following, becoming the first Finnish act to achieve platinum sales in the US. To date, H.I.M. has sold a combined 1.75 million albums and over 1 million digital tracks in North America.

Get connected with H.I.M. at their official Facebook page at this location.

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