Going solo after your successful band breaks up can be a tough proposition. From the erratic solo offerings of Robert Plant to the polemic output of Morrissey or the low-key aspect of Mark Knopfler’s releases after the demise of Dire Straits, there’s no guarantee of success or fame.
Quite often, it means creative freedom, but also a bigger challenge to captivate the audiences of yore. That thought, however, doesn’t seem to worry Ville Valo. Having done multiple side explorations during his tenure with heavy romantics HIM – collaborating with Children of Bodom, The 69 Eyes, Bloodhound Gang and more – he is determined to write the next chapter in his career in capital letters.
HIM played their final show in New Year’s Eve of 2017, and Ville did a one-off album under the moniker of “Ville Vallo & Agents”. 2023 brings a new lease of life, with the release of his first solo album, “Neon Noir” on January 13. Some of the songs have already been revealed, such as “Echolocate Your Love”, “Loveletting” and “The Foreverlost”. The album was fully written and recorded by Ville, and not surprisingly, sounds like a natural progression of HIM – a band for which he wrote mot of the songs anyway. With moments alluding to Black Sabbath and others with a distinctive new wave influence, this ultimately bittersweet collection of songs will bring you equal doses of melancholy and hope.
With a lengthy tour planned for the first few months of the new year, Ville is ready to hit the road, carrying a heavy backpack, filled with songs from HIM but also with the new ones from “Neon Noir”. While doing pre-production for the tour, he had time to sit down with Sonic Perspectives collaborator Rodrigo Altaf to discuss his legacy, the writing and recording of the album, the lack of guitars in rock music these days, and much more.
Find their spirited chat on the links below; and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, Sonic Perspectives is on Facebook, Flipboard, Twitter and YouTube, where you can be notified about new content we publish on a daily basis.