I know you guys have said before that you’re influenced by Black Sabbath, and I noticed that on this album you went for more of a Sabbath-y sound than in the past, with longer, more jam type songs. Why did you decide to go in that direction this time around?
Amour: (Says matter of factly) It felt right.
Valo: We’re getting older so it’s harder to get an erection going.
Amour: Takes longer time, but in the end it’s even more rewarding when it actually happens.
Valo: (Holds back laughter) You believe in that yourself…
Amour: That’s what my therapist told me. I still didn’t get an erection so this is all theoretical.
(Valo and Amour start cracking up, apparently guitarist Linde behind me just threw up in a bag.)
Valo: He just vomited.
Amour: He’s having a really, really bad day.
What is your favorite song from the new record?
Valo: I like the whole thing, but it’s too new. It takes about a year and a half to be able to tour the songs and do the next album and then take a listen again and see the value. That’s how it is with me at least.
What led to the decision to include ‘Passion’s Killing Floor’ on the Transformers soundtrack? The song is too romantic for robots I think.
Amour: Robots have feelings too.
Valo: At least in Blade Runner. We’re big fans of robots in Blade Runner and science fiction anyway. Who fuckin’ cares? They asked us for a song and we said yes, and so, there’s no downside to anything like that. If the soundtrack sells a lot of copies that means that many more people will know who we are. Some of them might like the song and might check out the album.
Amour: Once an entity becomes aware, it yields emotions as well. Just because it’s a robot you know, people—they think they are just machines. They think they shouldn’t have emotions. You know, there could be robots who are aware… I guess we can live with it.
Valo: Yeah I can live with a lot of things, like you guys. So I’m fine with that. And I’m fine with nearly everything.
Do you feel pressure for this album to outsell Dark Light, since it’s your second album being released in the States (not counting the imports that were re-issued)?
Valo: Well hopefully it does better, that’s all we can hope for. Of course we don’t want it to do worse. So if it gives us the opportunity of making more music, taking some time off and maybe building a little kind of studio back in my home, you know, it’s all like a, you know, live and prosper kind of thing. Prosperity and monetary things, you know. If it should happen to sell a zillion copies, you know of course it helps me not have to fuckin’ think about (shaking pipe again, more violently, hitting it against the table, to get ashes out. It’s going to break any minute) when I wanna buy a new acoustic guitar. It gives us freedom.
All your songs are very personal, and the new record is one of your most personal yet. Which of the new songs was the most therapeutic for you to write for this record?
Valo: Well, ‘Sleepwalking Past Hope’ for the whole band was just so creative. I wrote the basic ideas in Lapland so that was something new for me. The whole approach for getting the thing done was tainted with goo-ness.
I read that you were very influenced by Edgar Allan Poe’s stories and poetry.
Valo: Well, I haven’t read all of his stuff, you know?
Are those really his eyes tattooed on your back?
Valo: Yeah, sure. It looks like I’m paranoid enough to want to have a pair of eyes on my back, just in case, especially working with our record label here, you gotta be a bit paranoid. No no, he’s a fascinating character. He wrote a lot of stuff so I haven’t read all of it.
What do you want to say to the fans about the new record and your upcoming tour? Any last words?
(A long silence.)
Valo: Well, I think it’s time for a new pipe. How about that?
Amour: That’s a good one.
Valo: Nothing’s done yet. We’re not done with this tour; we’re not done with today. I’m not done. How about that?
HIM will be performing on Oct. 18 at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ and at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory on Nov. 31. For more info visit heartagram.com.
Photo Credit: Perou