HIM (previously known as HER in the United States) is a rock band from Helsinki, Finland. The band was formed in the early 1990s by vocalist Ville Valo and bassist Mikko “Mige” Paananen under the name His Infernal Majesty. The band broke up in 1993, but was reformed in 1995 by Valo and guitarist Mikko “Linde” Lindström. After being rejoined by Mige, as well as keyboardist Antto Melasniemi and drummer Juhana “Pätkä” Rantala, the band, now called HIM, released their debut album Greatest Love Songs Vol. 666 in 1997. In 2000, now with drummer Mika “Gas Lipstick” Karppinen and keyboardist Juska Salminen, the band released the album Razorblade Romance, which reached the number-one spot in Finland, Austria and Germany. Its first single, “Join Me in Death”, also charted at number-one in Finland and Germany, eventually going platinum in their home country.
Following the addition of Janne “Burton” Puurtinen on keyboards, HIM released Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights and Love Metal in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Both cracked the top ten in several countries, with latter being the band’s first album to chart in the UK. After relocating to Los Angeles, HIM released Dark Light in 2005, which became the group’s most successful album to date, cracking the top ten in five countries. With Dark Light, HIM also became the first-ever Finnish group to receive a gold album in the United States. Dark Light was followed by Venus Doom in 2007, the making of which was marred by personal problems faced by Valo. Despite this, the album gave the band their highest chart position ever in the US at number 12.
After 2010’s Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice, HIM were put on hiatus, after drummer Gas Lipstick was diagnosed with a repetitive stress injury and nerve damage in his hands. Following several months of uncertainty, the band regrouped and eventually released the album Tears on Tape in 2013. In 2015, Gas Lipstick announced his departure from the band after 16 years, to pursue other musical projects. He was subsequently replaced by Jukka “Kosmo” Kröger.
HIM is internationally one of the most commercially successful Finnish bands of all time, with seven platinum and over ten gold albums, and sales of over six million records. The band have released eight studio albums, six compilations, three video releases, and one live and one remix album. HIM’s music and their logo, the heartagram, have also appeared in several films and TV series, such as The Thirteenth Floor, Transformers, Viva La Bam and LA Ink.