Most artists had a first band — and that band was usually hilarious. While one occasionally sees a musician launch into superstardom right out of the gate, most of the time your favorite band formed out of several other projects that had been performing together for almost a decade. Case in point, you might think of Finnish goth crooner Ville Valo as the mocha-voiced frontman of love metallers HIM — but this video of him playing funk metal slap bass at 15 years old proves that even dashing vampires have to start somewhere.
As you’ll see in the video below, baby-faced Ville — who, it should be noted, remains pretty baby-faced today — is playing a headless bass in a funk metal band in 1992. Ville’s also gone full funk metal: white boy dreads, oversized white T-shirt, pacing with a side of bouncing. The funniest part, though, is that though he’s a little green and awkward, Ville’s perhaps the most energetic member of the whole bunch — the guitarist seems perpetually stuck between pedals, while the lead singer just stands there except to occasionally blow a trumpet (though she does occasionally shoot Ville a smile, proving that even in his youth, he was a dreamboat).
Meanwhile, it’s also worth noting that Ville gets only so much camera time, as though the cinematographer is thinking, Yeah, but that guy’s the bassist — it’s not like he’s going to start one of the most successful bands in Finnish history. The whole video is pretty adorable, and makes you wish you could smoke weed with Valo back in the day and listen to him explain, “See, it’s like a pentagram, but with a heart on it. Like it has Mickey Mouse ears!”
Check out Lil’ Ville pre-HIM below:
If that’s not enough HIM reminiscence for you, check out our list of the five essential HIM songs and judge whether or not we’re goth enough.
Words by Chris Krovatin