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HIM frontman Ville Valo seems totally at home sitting poolside at his hotel in L.A. Sipping tea between cigarettes, the lead singer of the first Finnish band ever to go gold in the U.S. is happy...

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HIM frontman Ville Valo seems totally at home sitting poolside at his hotel in L.A. Sipping tea between cigarettes, the lead singer of the first Finnish band ever to go gold in the U.S. is happy to be back in L.A. after spending months at home recording the band's follow up to 2005's Dark Light, the aforementioned gold record. Then again, if the quintet hadn't been at home during the dark, cold winter months they might not have recorded the aptly named Venus Doom, an album that Valo describes as being "Like a trip into my personal hell to a certain extent."

Musically, the album is the dark, hard rocking soundtrack necessary to accompany Valo's downward descent. "I felt that we needed a lot less keyboards and there was just going to be more punching to the face type of thing," Valo says, referring to the differences between Dark Light and Venus Doom. "The whole vibe seems fresh cause the direction we had with the last album we couldn't go further. So the album sonically is a bit more sparse. That's the direction we're heading; heavier, doomier, and gloomier, and it's great to tour that kind of stuff."

Don't let the heavy topics and the self-proclaimed doom and gloom, requisites for any self-respecting hard rock record, fool you though. Valo says the making of this album was all about what would be fun for the band. "This one we were like, 'Let's just have a lot of fun and play as loud as we can,'" he says. "And most of the songs were originally on guitars so I was playing riffs differently. It was just me playing my Telecaster through a fuzz box and rocking out."

So what does Ville Valo want fans to take from the album? "Nobody can say the album's not heavy or that it's not emotional or not melodic," he says. "It's got everything we're all about and that's where we are now as a band."