Many of us may have got to know HIM one decade ago thanks mainly to Bam Margera, to his CKY and Viva La Bam series on MTV. Those tv shows got a massive coverage for the band in the US (but also in Europe, since many europeans got to know HIM thanks to his videos streamed all over the globe and aired on MTV).
The culprit of fame for the band was notably in 2005, when they got a gold for Dark Light. It was just a few years before the beginning of the end of the friendship between the two.
The Bam and Ville friendship started in the 2000s:
“I was introduced to them in May 2000 on the way to a skate contest… I was reading a one page article, and I was so impressed with the lousy one page, that I went right to the record store to get the album.”
Bam bought the album (Razorblade Romance) and fell in love with it. After this, they met in a concert in Finland:
“He was just a random fellow that came knocking on our door… and he wasn’t that well known internationally… He was a skateboarder and he was working for MTV in America… He [would] come over and say hi and grab a beer from a fridge from the dressing room… and that’s how the friendship started… We became friends.”
Bam even shares multiple tattoos with Valo, most being copies of Valo’s tattoos. Valo and Margera were so inseparable that HIM fans created the VAM (Ville + Bam) ship, and during the years many fan art and fan fiction of the two men in friendly to homoerotic situations were made.
Have a look at the HIM vs BAM video (1 hour long):
The good friendship and collaborations between the two lasted about 7-8 years. After several videos directed by Bam (“The Sacrament,” “Buried Alive Ay Love,” “And Love Said No,” and “Solitary Man”), a Love Metal Archives Special (HIM: Love Metal Archives Vol. 1 – HIM vs Bam Margera (2005)) and many others videos and collaborations, something went wrong.
To understand in the best way what happened, let’s have a look at what Bam published on his social accounts, addressing Ville Valo in 2014 (an open letter read by one of his friends: Red Mohawk):
Transcript of Bam’s Open Letter to Ville
Things that are bothering me. It’s really bothering me the fact that I listen to the Ville Valo lyrics “Disarm Me” for 18th time and realise that the song is about me. If you listen to it carefully it says “Turning three sevens into three sixes again” and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disarm me with your loneliness, I just broke up with my girlfriend. Deceive me with your loneliness, I just broke up with my girlfriend.
Now I’m looking to my idol on a self destructive bus, I didn’t realize this at the time, just thought he was partying it up so when he says in his fifth bottle of wine give me another adderall I don’t hesitate to do it because:
- A he wanted it
- B he’s Ville Valo
- C whatever he wants whatever he gets
- D I didn’t realise I was killing him.
The next day I woke up to Seppo and his boy toy and the entire record label at the Chateau Marmont watching Ville hyperventilate aka asthma attack and they kind of stared at me thinking I’m the culprit he went to rehab that day thank God because if he didn’t he was on a destructive path to hell that I didn’t know I was helping him with.
So when Warner Brothers check Ville into rehab in Promises (rehab centre) Lindsay Lohan was there and she wanted to f**k him but never mind that (laughs).
I started to realize that the reason of this rehab of his was because of me. Ville asked me to find him coke I’ll find him coke if he’ll ask me for Adderall I’ll find a matter all. I led him to this path of destruction but fuck that because he’s the one who taught me to drink at noon.
oh I think it’s a little bit bullshit that Ville doesn’t realize that half of the reason why half of his shows are half sold out because I busted half of my energy to make sure HIM was successful I never got an official thank you card from Ville Valo.
Oh and the fact that he missed my first wedding pissed me off so bad me more than you can imagine.
What was more important rehearsing a few songs? I had a Iggy Pop there I had you the top notch seat, I asked you one time who is your best friend you kind of didn’t know, you told me Ike let’s take a look at you and Ike. I got into a falling-out with one of the roadies and simply just quit you didn’t do anything about this you didn’t find out why you just moved along simply. Heartkiller the end for now.
NB: there is also a second part of the Open Letter (still in the official Bam fb page), but it’s not very important, because it’s just final thoughts and an apology by Bam. If you want to have a look at it anyway, have a look here:
So, let’s go back a bit in the timeline. During the timespan 2007-2014 (year of the open letter), the two didn’t really meet frequently like in the past. But they still hangout sometimes from 2007 to 2010. The last collab was dated 2008 for Bam Margera Presents: Where the Fuck Is Santa?, where Ville partecipated for a few minutes and opened the gates of the private rehearsals for the Bam’s new show.
After the one month rehab at Promises in La in 2007, Ville got sober, single and even quit smoking for a period of time. We cannot say the same thing for Bam, who is still struggling nowadays with his addiction.
Ville’s responds to Bam Open Letter
In 2014, same year of the Bam letter, on the web surfaced something hilarious. Ville went to some party with male strippers in Helsinki, and look at the caption:
Esko probably asked what to put as caption. And that was the message to Bam.
Ville recognises Bam help for the band
Returning to the letter, Bam seemed a bit nervous about the fact that Ville never really recognised his work for the band. But that is not actually true. Ville stated many times how Bam helped the band to become big in the US. Here’s the last interview where he reiterates it:
Ville laughs after Bam said that disarm me is about him
This was the reaction:
He also added:
“Well, good for him. I think he takes way too much credit. Things are more simple than that. I think it’s a pretty straightforward love song”.
Here’s the video (around the 39:00 mark):
When Ville and Bam made peace
In 2015 at The Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA during the Tears on Tour, Ville said that everything between them and the Margeras is water under the bridge:
Bam and April Margera (Bam’s mom) firing shots at Ville
In 2017, during an interview for E-News Bam and his mom fired shots at Ville’s bad habits back in the day, blaming Ville for Bam’s bulimia.
“He always wanted to have this very slim, slim look. A lot of it happened when he became good friends with [HIM singer] Ville Valo,” she remarked.
Bam also explained, “I remember when me and Ville Valo were out in London and he woke up at noon, opened up the mini bar and cracked open a beer. That was the first time I was introduced to day drinking.”
Margera’s mother added, “Ville drank a lot… He’s the loveliest man ever, but he never ate. He just drank. I think Bam started sipping on a beer because he liked the way he looked.”
“We would go out to dinner and he would immediately excuse himself and go to the bathroom,” she remembered. “I’d say, ‘Are you throwing up?’ And he says, ‘Yeah, yeah. Sometimes I throw up and that way I’m not gonna get fat.'”
The VAM friendship now
In the past years, Ville has been seen rarely with Bam, less and less every year. There is not even a single photo of him and Bam during the 2017 show in Philly, just one from 2014, and that’s probably the last one. So we don’t know what’s going on.
All we know is that after Promises, Ville cut many of his “toxic” friendships, becoming basically an hermit. It’s normal when you quit your bad habits. He even got a Hermit tattoo (have a look at our comprehensive guide about Ville Valo’s Tattoo).
It seems Ville just wanted to cut ties a bit and concentrate on his life, pushed also by his manager Seppo. Even now that they made “peace”, they are not hanging out anymore and it seems both are holding back tears because all of this.