In a new interview with The Rockpit, former HIM frontman Ville Valo was asked about the response to his debut solo album, “Neon Noir”, which arrived a year ago to mostly very positive reviews. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Well, the operation in its entirety has been quite — I’ve been awestruck and I’ve been exhilarated. I’m really pleasantly surprised because there were so many things… HIM was such a big part of who I am and still is such a big part of who I am, I wasn’t sure whether I can pull off writing a good song by myself, or to perform it with a new set of lads behind me playing it. And I didn’t know how people were gonna react. For obvious reasons, I was hoping that it wouldn’t be a tribute act in a way and that it wouldn’t be just about the HIM songs. And I’ve been really pleasantly surprised that there seems to be this new generation that never had the chance to see HIM, and some of the newer generation, they seem to be gravitating towards ‘Neon Noir’ more than the HIM tracks, which is great. So there’s all sorts of people in the audience. There’s people from between 18 and, let’s say, 68. It’s great that there’s all sorts, and that makes each and every night a bit different. Not to say that there would be grannies on Tuesdays and teenagers on Wednesdays, but it keeps on changing. Also, the cool thing about HIM was the fact that different albums had different levels of success in different parts of the world. So, an album called ‘Dark Light’ was quite a success in the States, then an album called ‘Love Metal’ was quite a success in the U.K., and an album called ‘Razorblade Romance’ was a huge success in the Central Europe area. Then the ‘Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666’ was quite massive here in our home country [of Finland]. So, different songs have different meanings to different audiences and people, and that makes it always a positive struggle.”
He continued: “It’s been really, really nice because I couldn’t really wish for more. And then the fact that we’ve been able to travel quite a bit. We played 120 shows last year, which is a lot for me. I’ve never been a part of a tour, like an IRON MAIDEN sort of thing, the way you do 300 shows in five years. So, there’s 30 more or so to go before we finish off a Royal Albert Hall in London on, I think the 10th of May. And, yeah, it’s been… I couldn’t really hope for anything more. It’s been amazing, especially after the pandemic. And there’s so many things that influence the overall exhilaration, so to speak.”
HIM completed a farewell tour in 2017, closing the final chapter on the band’s 26-year career.
A little over a year ago, Ville told Radio Bob! about HIM‘s split: “I think it was the right call to call it a day with HIM. We’d done it for a long, long time and it started to sort of, like, wither away a bit. It was maybe our interest and maybe just sign of the times. We’d been together for such a long time that we were ourselves really surprised that it lasted for such a long time.”
Released under the VV banner, “Neon Noir” came out in January 2023 via Heartagram Records, distributed by UMG/Spinefarm.
Valo‘s show at the iconic and historic Royal Albert Hall in London on May 10 will mark the end of his promotion around “Neon Noir”. The concert will not only be the “Neon Noir” finale but also wrap up Valo‘s reincarnation.
“The idea behind VV and ‘Neon Noir’ was to symbolically finish what HIM started, and after the bangs and whimpers at the Royal Albert Hall, it’s time to reshuffle the pieces of the puzzle once again and give Herbert West a shout,” he said in a press release.
“I had no expectations whatsoever when releasing music under the banner of VV, so I’ve been quite shocked to see people still find my kind of racket enjoyable, warts and all. Touring has been way less painful than I dared to hope, and as we say in Finland, it fits my arse like a glove. A mourning glove from a bygone era.”