Interview with Juska Salminen: former HIM keyboardist (1998-2000)

At Ville Valo Italy our main goal is to preserve the HIM Legacy (1991 ✝ 2017) we built with HIMI (His Infernal Majesty Italy) in (2008 ✝ 2018) and promote the new projects of VV. This time we decided to crawl back to 1998, when HIM had a new keyboardist, very well appreciated by the fans and still loved by everyone today.

The first and only studio album where Juska worked on with HIM was Razorblade Romance, and with this album it was clear that HIM was no more the HIM of GLS Vol. 666.

The band in fact, guided like in every other work by Ville, put much more focus on the keyboards and the melodic part of music. Still the same darkness that estabilished Ville as one of the best songwriter of this century, but more pop and rock influences. And some very shiny keyboards by Juska (Resurrection, remember?), for this experimental album that put HIM and their music in history forever.

Interview with Juska Salminen- former HIM keyboardist (1998-2000)
Interview with Juska Salminen- former HIM keyboardist (1998-2000)

Let’s start this interview Juska: many eras passed since your time with HIM. What’s the fondest memory of that time in your life?

It’s been a long time yes. It’s sort of difficult to say the fondest memory.The time in HIM was a huge part of my life, so the whole adventure, looking at it now, was like an fairy tale adventure. With both good and hard times. I guess if I have to say one… The feeling after the first gig.

Was some friction between you and ville back in the day?

Friction is a wrong word. He was first my idol, then he became a bandmate and obviously a friend too. He was a strong leader of the band. Sometimes he was bit “strong from the words”, but it most definitely didn’t meant that there was any friction. Everything was happening really fast, and I wasn’t able to keep the same pace as the other band memebers. However I loved the time, and highly respected Ville, and still do.

What’s the reason that made you leave the band?

I totally burnt myself out. As mentioned, everything happend so fast. I had only 3 years of piano lessons behind when I was around nine years old. HIM was my favouite band and for some magical reason I got to play in it. I guess with pure passion, I manged to keep up for certain period of time, but in the end my lack of skills were building up the pressure I couldn’t handle anymore. I started to be afraid of what I loved the most. If one is afraid to go to rehearsals, there is something seriously wrong. So my story came to an end.

Ville is on a solo project, if he will ask to join, would you?

Hmm… I try my best to think of the reason why in the world he would ask me After 17 years… If in some weird situation he would ask me to join his solo project, I would say no. I have my work as youth leader now, so there is no possibility to give 100% to music. But I guess if Ville would ask to play in one song, I couldn’t say no. But I would be soooooooo nervous.

How it felt to know that the band was going to part ways?

It felt actually really weird. Even if I plaeyd only for around three years, it had a massive effect to my whole life. After my departure I went throgh some serious hardships to build myself to be a person who I am now. It took years. Deep depressions for example. As I found the place where I belong now, I guess when I hear d the news, I felt nostalgic. Many vivid memories came flying into my mind, but all in a good way.

To see the last gig… It was precious moment. The cycle was closed.

This is amazing Juska! Such good (and unfortunately some bad) memories and I think it can clear many things up! Thank you! Will post it probably during the weekend! Thanks again!

It’s obviously easier to say now, but all those bad memories… They belong to be there. There is story to tell, and I have had several letures of my time in band. Mainly to youngsters, but as well to adults. It’s about how life can always take unexpected turns, about how dreams can turn to nightmares, how one can fall into abyss but to come back alive. It’s about my story. But as we all have our own. everyone’s own is important. When two paths come together, it always make a new direction. Sometimes small, sometimes big. But always something happens.

Life is beautiful Juska but sometimes it can become a nightmare. It’s not easy or difficult but we need first of all to overcome our fears and try to do our best. Can I post also this in the interview?

Exactly. Yes you can 🙂

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