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HIM Sought "Accessibility" On New Album

of the Oakland Press

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“Accessibility” was the buzzword the Swedish hard rock troupe HIM employed while making its seventh studio album, “Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice.”

“For me, accessibility was a key factor,” explains group founder and frontman Ville Valo. “I wanted a package that would be inviting and easy to absorb and have a chance for songs to be played on the radio from this album. I wanted it to kind of have the similar vibe as Depeche Mode’s classic albums such as ‘Violator’ and ‘Songs of Faith and Devotion’ — brooding, melancholy albums but they still make you want to dance.

“The big picture production view I had was to have the rock in there so you could drink a beer and do all things legal and illegal but then hopefully have that more poetic and sensitive sensibility in there as well.”

Valo says it was a big mission, but he was up for the task — and for being something of a taskmaster over his bandmates and even producer Matt Squire as they made the album in Los Angeles.

“I quit drinking — not for good but for a while — about two-and-a-half years ago,” says Valo, 33, who founded HIM 19 years ago in Helsinki. “This is the first album I wrote fully sober, and I wanted to put all the energy I used to put into hanging out in pubs into working on the music.

“So it was pretty insane, working 18-hour days and working on music every day for the past year, year-and-a-half. The devil’s in the details, right? We really went for all those details and didn’t leave any stone unturned. Hopefully it shows.”

HIM, We Are The Fallen, Dommin and Drive A perform Friday, April 2, at Clutch Cargo’s, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $26 in advance, $30 day of show. Call 248-333-2362 or visit www.clutchcargos.com.

Web Site: www.clutchcargos.com

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