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  MIKO VON HERTZEN: IN CONVERSATION ABOUT VON HERTZEN BROTHERS

Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus



von hertzen brothers

Finnish Progressive Rockers Von Hertzen Brothers are growing a substantial reputation and fan-base all around the globe since breaking out from the confines of their native country.

After securing success in Finland, around the time of their fourth studio album 'Stars Aligned', they began promoting themselves in other parts of the world including the UK. Since visiting these shores a few times already, especially to push their fifth studio opus 'Nine Lives', the Von Hertzen Brothers are no strangers to touring this fair country.

The reason I was granted an audience with a very busy lead vocalist who was rushing around the country checking in with an artist who was responsible for the cover artwork for 'Nine Lives' amongst a plethora of other activities, was due to their imminent arrival supporting the rejuvenated The Wildhearts, a live spectacle that is sure to blow many minds and represent top quality live Rock music at its finest. A package that includes not only The Wildhearts and the Von Hertzen Brothers but also the successful Hey! Hello! featuring Ginger Wildheart and female vocalist Victoria Liedtke.

Article continues below...



Getting the ball rolling, I asked Mikko how this union with The Wildhearts came about in the first place.

Mikko: "Back in 2010 I think when Ginger was playing with Michael Monroe still (Ginger Wildheart had a stint where he co-wrote a lot of material on the Michael Monroe album 'Sensory Overdrive' and toured with the band), we were doing some gigs together here in Finland. We had one of those music and media big happenings and we were on the same stage, and that's where I met him the first time. He saw us play and according to his words – he was blown away.

"Ever since, whatever we have done in England he has been a great support for us. When he went back to England he would start talking about us and he's just been like a really lovable guy that he can be you know.

"When they put the line-up back together for The Wildhearts for this tour, it was his idea. He asked his agent there in the UK to contact our manager, and it's like this network of people, everyone knows each other. I think why we kind of became a possibility for this tour was because I was over in London to play at his Birthday Bash, and so we were talking about our plans and what we were going to do and he was telling me about the upcoming tour. Luckily the schedules somehow clicked, and we can do it together.

"I am really happy - it's true it's not an obvious choice to have us on the bill, but then again you know The Wildhearts are not just an ordinary Punk band are they? They have a lot of different stuff in their music and so do we. I think it's going to be a pretty good match in the end to be honest.

von hertzen brothers

"It's just a matter of what songs we choose to play because we have done five albums and we have a lot of different kind of songs there. In the Birthday Bash I played this song with him called 'Do The Channel Bop' (from the album 'Fishing For Luckies' or more recently included on the representative 'The Works' triple album collection), it's one of those songs that's very complex and a really good song and it's not that far from the style that we actually do. I think it's going to be a lot of fun, I think it's going to be a blast! I really hope people are open minded enough to see these Scandinavian melancholy, somehow get a grip of it."

To coincide with this tour, I'd noticed how a six track E.P. titled after one of the songs from 'Nine Lives' was going to be released. 'Flowers And Rust' contains four live acoustic tracks including a cover version of Queen's 'Don't Stop Me Now', along with an alternative version of the title track and the prominent presence of an older song called 'Let Thy Will Be Done' (originally found on their 2006 album 'Approach').

Mikko informed me that the acoustic tracks were recorded live in London when the three brothers were playing some acoustic shows. The inclusion of 'Let Thy Will Be Done' was for the benefit of those who are partial to the Rockier side of the band that may have missed it the first time around, plus it was the song that helped the band break-through in Finland back in the day.

I tackled Mikko about their lengthy live shows in Finland and wanted to know how they were going to cope condensing their set-list for these upcoming UK tour dates.

Mikko: "We've been doing support tours with different kind of bands. We've toured with Opeth and we have toured with Touchstone over there in the UK and now we're going to tour with The Wildhearts. So, according to whoever is the headliner we try to just like think, maybe this crowd will maybe like this song and so forth. Now, two days back we played a gig here in Helsinki and we did play three hours.

"I mean we started with an acoustic set which was one hour, and then we had a half hour change over and then we played two hours more. In those three hours you know we were still discussing backstage whether we should go back and do another four songs. We didn't play the hit songs at all; it was more like an artistic concert type thing, so we had like six or seven single tracks that we left out of the gig. It was a Wednesday night so people had to go home because they had jobs the next day so we were still thinking whether we should go onstage and do another forty five minutes or so!"

Thinking about what they may have already decided to play, I asked if he would share any song titles.

von hertzen brothers

Mikko: "On this tour, well, we're going to play most probably a few rarities and then we're going to play 'Let Thy Will Be Done' and 'Flowers And Rust'. Especially 'Flowers And Rust' because it's one of those songs that if there is one song that people may know, it's most probably that one. I was thinking today that we're going to do a lot of songs with harmonies because I know that Wildheart fans they appreciate harmonies and we have a lot of songs sung in harmony. We'll just have to see how it goes. If we feel one of the songs that we choose on the first night aren't hitting any chords, then we'll change it."

Changing the subject matter to their 6th studio album, I began to probe hoping for some updates. Noting on a popular website that plans looked sealed for a March, 2015 release date I wanted to see if that was true.

Mikko: "That's the plan, and actually it's something that we already agreed because band-wise and we're kind of in a spot that we have to think ahead like 18 months, because the next release is going to be a worldwide release and everyone involved needs to know what we're doing and when."

I mentioned to Mikko how I'd noticed he was supposed to have been writing new material in January and asked how far the process had gone, and whether there was a title for the new album.

Mikko: "We haven't started recording it. We have 30 or so demos that we're playing around with still. I think we're going to do a lot of talking and thinking during the tour when we're there in the UK. So far the three of us individually putting down ideas and I've been at the lake, I've been in London writing, I've been in India writing - I've been going to places to get inspired by different things. At the moment those demos, we're trying to get feedback from some people we trust about which ones would be the ones we're going to record.

"The plans are still up in the air because we haven't decided yet whether we're going to use a producer for the album or whether we're going to do it ourselves."

Mikko continues: "There's a good chance that we might get a totally fresh set of ears to come along with us to do the next album, a producer that hasn't worked with us before and somebody who has an objective perception of the band, a totally fresh, like a blank sheet. So, we'll see what happens. I do have an idea what we're trying to achieve with the album, but it's still a little bit up in the air, because we have so many good songs already that we can really decide whether we'll do an album that is purely a Rock album or a totally moody Sigur Rós kind of thing or whether we just go for something very diverse - we haven't discussed that yet.

"But what I do know is that we have a lot of good new material and whatever we decide it's going to be an excellent album, I already know that so that's a good start!"

I tell Mikko that I love his confidence regarding the new material and with such a positive vibe coming from him, I'm left with the thoughts that this UK tour is going to be so cool and the next studio album by the Von Hertzen Brothers is going to be a genuine treat whatever they decide is the best way to proceed.



TOUR DATES

Apr 08 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Apr 09 O2 Academy, Bristol, United Kingdom
Apr 10 Academy 1, Manchester, United Kingdom
Apr 12 Rock City, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Apr 13 O2 Academy, Newcastle, United Kingdom
Apr 14 O2 ABC, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Apr 16 Junction, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Apr 17 Electric Ballroom, London, United Kingdom


2.4.14













 

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Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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