Synnin Viemaa

Pages 172-177

Jussi Mikko Salminen, known as Zoltan Pluto and Juska, was born in Kuusankoski in 1977. He didn't finish school 'cause he was asked to join a band called Mary-Ann, known these days as To/Die/For.

"I was a die-hard HIM fan straight after the album GLS vol. 666 and all my friends said wow, the techno guy changes to harder stuff. I got to know Patka and later also the rest of the HIM guys including Ville of course. I had a summerjob in Kouvola when Ville told me that Antto is leaving the band, do you wanna join us? I was just like huh!! I almost got the feeling if I would throw up.

I had that thought that I would already play with HIM at their very first German gigs but I got to hear from friends that Antto would still do those shows. That was the first hit in the face. A couple of months went by and then Ville came and showed me what I was supposed to play. I was finally in the band. We started to rehearse and then it was time to get to the first longer tour.

I hadn't a bad feeling 'cause I didn't know anything about the other guys favourite bands for example. If someone asked what song I never knew or that who was Led Zeppelins singer. It was real fun to be a techno guy in a rock band. I took pressures of that too.

It took you a lot to play with HIM. It was like life in general, sometimes fun and sometimes it sucked. It did still work out ok in it's own way. The only thing that could have happened differently was the final breakout from it. That shouldn't have been decided necessarily in a few seconds. I'm not bitter. We are still good friends and look after each other even if we don't meet that often anymore, when the boys are busy and I have my own things.

It wasn't that I would have not wanted to play in HIM.I just put d so much pressure to myself that the thing went too far. I took all to myself, thought that everything was my fault and I was the weak one. Seemed that the whole system was against me and I started to fear the people and especially Ville. I didn't give any of my own ideas to the band, only a few times.

HIM was like a girlfriend or wife. I started to think about leaving the band like I would have left a marriage. That was really the right decision and I can do this for the rest of my life or at least as long as HIM exists. I came to the result that to stay in the band would probably have destroyed me. I couldn't stand the pressure what the band had. I hated even the thing that I sometimes had to play on Jyrki (Finnish TV music program).

I was the pretty guy in that band. I wore make-up and changed my looks and in that way I tried to hide the fact that I couldn't probably play that well. I was the one in the band who performed more than played. But the visual effects meant a lot, especially when Ville shaked his ass or took the shirt off. Or Mige's rage, Linde's calmness and Gas perfect drum playing. It does effect, we didn't have any bombs or other effects on stage and still we were voted to the best live act. I played my last gig with the guys on new years eve 2000. That was an emotional night. I cried many times after I left, wished I'd still be a part of the group. But that is behind me now. With HIM I kinda got it all and I also took it all. It changes a person in a certain way. That's why I always called my friends from the road and we just talked about all other things than about the band. That's why I still kept my feet on the ground, otherwise I would have fallen apart completely.

After HIM I went to non military service. That lifted me up again even if it was a very rough time. I had to take some sick days, time off, I was lucky, people trusted in me and helped me back again. I also realized that problems should be solved by talking, not thinking about them alone. I even had to go through the mental hospital. I had said that I never would but when I was there I knew it was a good thing. The worst thing was probably that I didn't feel anything. I was totally lost at that point.

It's nice to see that the HIM guys don't take everything that serious anymore. They seem to have fun again. If the fun part disappears from what you do it's totally the same if you play Join Me a hundred time or sell some milk.

Life could have been of course a lot easier if I didn't have played in HIM but it would also have been boring. I'm forever grateful to the guys that they gave me the chance to play in that band. That period of my life has made me what I am today. I have the feeling that it all went ok then, there's no hard feelings between us. You always made some mistakes but you also learn from them.

Nowadays I play in a band near Kouvola, we play the stuff what's in these days. Kinda same stuff like HIM. It's very fun, I have found the music again which is very close to my heart.

People might think that I'm very rich now when the guys paid me out (Juska got over 100 000 euros from his stocks). Now I have decided to invest some on a club. We will see what happens. Nothings gonna break me down again. I also try to do everything for this new band. If it starts to get too big, I will probably tell them that it's time to take a new guy into this who can handle the pressure. You have to be very strong so you can take it all, the ups and downs. I have myself been up there and also come down. When that circle closes in the end, I'm still the same little Jussi boy who was born September 26th 1977".

Translated by Heidi Ekbom

Scans 1, 2, 3

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