How The Who Stopped Hating Each Other Long Enough To Shape The Sound Of The Future

How The Who Stopped Hating Each Other Long Enough To Shape The Sound Of The Future

How The Who Stopped Hating Each Other Long Enough To Shape The Sound Of The Future

The Who, one of the most iconic rock bands, had a tumultuous journey marked by internal conflicts and creative differences. Yet, despite their personal animosities, they managed to come together and create music that would shape the sound of the future.

Imagery and symbolism have always played a significant role in the band’s identity. They often discussed symbols like the hollow heart, the septagram, and the hexagram, emphasizing the power and importance of these images once they take root in the mind. The simpler the symbol, the more profound its impact.

On the day I turned 20, I was in my small rented flat, waiting for friends to arrive with beer to celebrate my birthday. I spent hours doodling, trying to come up with something cool. Our first album featured a heart with 666 inside it as a logo, but it felt uninspired and lacked the cool factor we were aiming for.

During that time, the combination of something kind with something satanic wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. After hours of drawing, I stumbled upon a design that combined a heart and a pentagram, representing the soft and the hard, the male and the female, the yin and the yang. This balance is crucial to everything I’m interested in.

The heart symbolized the Elvis Presley “Teddy Bear” kind of thing, while the pentagram represented hard rock, like Motley Crue. On a philosophical level, it also encompassed the entertainment aspect, horror films, and more. I called it the Heartagram.

When my friends arrived, I showed them the design, and one of them suggested calling it the “loveagram.” I quickly dismissed that idea and tucked the piece of paper away. Although I haven’t seen it in 15 years, I know I still have it somewhere.

From that point, the Heartagram took on a life of its own. We tried to evolve it, making it grittier, and on our album “Love Metal” (2003), we added a circle around it as a tribute to Venom’s “Welcome To Hell” album. The Heartagram became a symbol that transcended the band, with many people getting it tattooed without even knowing its origin.

Despite the internal conflicts, The Who managed to channel their creative energies into something that would leave a lasting impact on the music industry. Their ability to set aside personal differences and focus on their shared vision allowed them to shape the sound of the future.

Ville Valo, the band’s frontman, spoke about the significance of the Heartagram and how it became a symbol of balance and duality. The Heartagram represents the fusion of opposites, much like the band’s ability to blend their individual strengths and overcome their differences.

In the end, The Who’s journey is a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of finding common ground. Their story serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, great things can be achieved when people come together with a shared purpose.

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