Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Mashed potatoes, minimalism and supporting Metallica: Life on the street with Ville Valo


Lifting the lid on the highs, lows, creature comforts and touring weirdness of a travelling band…

The factor I’ve to have on tour is…

My bronchial asthma remedy and passport. I attempt to by no means carry something apart from a single backpack. It doesn’t matter how lengthy the tour is, I discover it crucial simply to minimise every part – a few pairs of underwear and socks. It’s minimalist, form of stealthy, kind of ninja-like.”

The longest journey I’ve ever made for the least reward was…

Most likely when HIM went to China for some festivals. Actually 10 minutes earlier than the primary one, this storm blew the roof off the stage, and the entire thing was cancelled. So we went on to Shanghai for the subsequent present, and the police began saying that they wanted to learn all of the lyrics, and knowledgeable us of the songs we couldn’t play. Whereas that was occurring, it appeared that they let too many individuals contained in the pageant so that they couldn’t management issues. We ended up flying, like, 18 hours to play two songs.”

The strangest gig I’ve ever performed was…

A 16th-century fortress in the course of nowhere in Germany with HIM. I bear in mind they’d these bizarre plastic ravens arrange, like scarecrows or one thing. I stole certainly one of them – it’s nonetheless in my backyard. We ended up enjoying on this bizarre ballroom that was actually outdated and stuffed with all types of costly, gilded stuff. And within the very starting we additionally performed a strip joint. It was a showcase for journalists, and I bear in mind our keyboard participant made blood-red mashed potatoes for them. I nonetheless hear folks speaking about it. I truthfully don’t know what the mashed potatoes needed to do with something, nevertheless it labored.”

The best way to remain match-fit on the street is…

Remembering to eat. Again within the day I principally drank, however didn’t eat an excessive amount of, so even in the event you’re vegan, that’s not too wholesome. Additionally, attempt to get a kip sometimes, as everyone knows what it does whenever you’re sleep disadvantaged. Mainly, you simply must be sure you’re praying to the gods of rock’n’roll every single day when the clock strikes midnight, or one thing.”

Ville Valo Kerrang cover story September 2022 credit Gobinder Jhitta 7

The place with the worst bathrooms is…

CBGB in New York, as everybody is aware of. And the weirdest ones are in China. On the festivals we did, they didn’t include bathroom paper, so that you all the time needed to carry bathroom paper with you. And there have been bizarre robotic issues happening in different bathrooms. They’d these computerized sprinkling techniques caring for the wants of your butt, which was exhausting to work round having a lengthy jacket on proper earlier than you go onstage. It was… advanced.”

The perfect service station on Earth is…

Those in America. You’ll drive 200 miles and be in the course of nowhere, and all of a sudden you come to an unlimited gasoline station, or some diner the place you may get the largest burger. Every thing’s all the time the largest’. They’ve their very own id and their very own little cool factor. I suppose it’s a wonderful means of getting launched to America.”

The dressing rooms at Wembley Stadium are…

Very minimalist, no fancy stuff in any respect. We performed there with Metallica in 2007, and I bear in mind feeling like we actually didn’t match. Once we have been going onstage, Lars [Ulrich, Metallica drummer] shouted to us one thing like, Give these folks fuck!’ I keep in mind that, and I bear in mind shaking and the sweaty forehead and all that, which felt rock’n’roll, however the dressing rooms weren’t very attention-grabbing.”

The perfect feeling throughout a gig is…

Whenever you lose your self fully and also you’re simply a part of the expertise. I nonetheless battle to get that meditative high quality. I get so burdened about little issues. I begin interested by cables, or if my zipper is up.”

The stupidest factor I’ve ever stated onstage was…

Every thing! It’s like whenever you meet your girlfriend’s dad and mom for the primary time – you’re nervous, and also you begin speaking about shit you actually shouldn’t. I simply begin jabbering on about one thing that’s unrelated to music, speaking about my underwear and stuff. I attempt to be humorous and deep and entertaining on the identical time. Imagine me, it doesn’t work. So the perfect factor is to simply shut up without end.”

Posted on June fifth 2023, 4:00p.m.

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