Ville Valo On First Connections With Rock: “My First LP Was ‘Animalize’ By KISS”

Ville Valo On First Connections With Rock: "My First LP Was 'Animalize' By KISS"

HIM frontman Ville Valo recalled his first connections with hard rock music during his new appearance on Revolver Magazine. The musician says KISSAnimalize was the first album he owned at the time.

Hard rock music is a genre of rock music that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is characterized by its heavy, distorted guitar sound, powerful drums, and loud vocals. The genre is known for its high-energy performances and often deals with themes of rebellion, angst, and youthful defiance. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and KISS are considered some of the most influential rock bands of all time.

Formed in 1991, the HIM band, led by Ville Valo, became a part of the rock scene and created music until 2017. During that period, the band released eight studio albums, bringing the final one in 2014, named Tears on Tape. Their music was known for its melancholic and romantic lyrics, which often dealt with themes of love, death, and heartbreak.

In his recent chat with Christina Rowatt of Revolver, the frontman reflected on hearing hard rock music for the first time. Saying that his cousin made him hear rock music when he was a kid, the frontman there was a mixtape he heard including Rainbow, Whitesnake, and Michael Jackson.


“That’s interesting,” he says (as transcribed by “Actually, I think I had a cousin; she was a few years older than me, and she was the one doing these mixtapes. For me, that had Michael Jackson’s Thriller on side A and then Whitesnake or Rainbow with early albums on side B. So that’s probably the first time I heard, like, hard-rocking stuff.

“My parents were the listeners of that heavy stuff. My dad loved, like, Emmylou Harris, and my mother was listening to – maybe the Stones was the hardest rocking band they ever dug in their youth.”

The musician then said there were popular bands like Twisted Sister and WASP during his childhood. He also admitted that his first LP was Animalize by the hard rock band KISS.


“But I guess it happened through my cousin,” he adds. “I was just going to school at the time. I was born in ’76, so I went to the school when, like, WASP came out with their first album, Twisted Sister came out with ‘Stay Hungry,’ and then my first LP was Animalize by KISS. That’s the first one I bought. And then it was all downhill from there – getting into Iron Maiden and all that stuff.”

Concluding, Ville Valo stated that hearing Black Sabbath and Queens of the Stone Age was different for him.

“To be honest, I can’t remember the first sort of, ‘Aha, Eureka moment,’ you know, after hearing the distorted guitar. I think it happened via Black Sabbath and Queens of the Stone Age stuff,” he reveals.

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