Throughout the ’90s, the brothers Mikko, Jonne and Kie Von Hertzen all played in different nooks and crannies of the Finnish music scene before coming together as family unit Von Hertzen Brothers in 2000.
Maybe it wasn’t a serious gathering at first, but by the time their 2nd album Approach topped the Finnish chart with its epic and challenging progressive rock, it was obvious that this project was both different and special. The not-inconsiderable feat of crowning the album chart with challenging and intelligent music sung in English is something the band has managed three times since: Love Remains The Same (2008), Stars Aligned (2011) and Nine Lives (2013).
In the four years since the release of Stars Aligned, Von Hertzen Brothers has found an international audience the old-fashioned way – by writing memorable songs, playing the hell out of them in the studio and touring hard. They’ve appeared all over Europe and Scandinavia with Opeth, and supported acts like Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds To Mars and Neil Young closer to home. As for their own tours, these have regularly taken them to the UK, where their last Nine Lives album reached Number 31 on the Rock Album Chart, being nominated in the ‘Best Rock Album Of The Year’ category by Classic Rock Magazine.
The three singles from the album – Flowers and Rust, Insomniac and Coming Home – all received generous airplay on rock-oriented stations in Finland and the UK. Indeed, first single Flowers And Rust won the ‘Anthem Of The Year’ prize at the 2013 Progressive Rock Awards in London. And now… the pen hits the paper for the brotherhood’s next chapter with the release of their sixth studio album, ‘New Day Rising’ (March 2015). The brothers, along with drummer Mikko Kaakkuriniemi and keyboard player Juha Kuoppala, headed over to Vancouver, BC to work with Grammy-nominated Canadian producer Garth ‘GGGarth’ Richardson, noted for his work with bands like Rage Against the Machine and Biffy Clyro.
The band spent September and October holed up at The Farm Studios (known in rock lore as Little Mountain Studios), soaking up the vibes ricocheting off the walls, probably left there by bands such as Aerosmith, AC/DC, Metallica & The Cult, amongst many others. Another member of Team Canada, Randy Staub, mixed the record, his range as an award-winning engineer covering everything from Michael Bublé to Five Finger Death Punch. In between, he’s had the opportunity to work with legends such as Alice In Chains and Metallica; mastering, meanwhile, was handled by Ted Jensen from Sterling Sound in New York, and there’s not enough room here to even scratch the surface of his résumé, so Google’s your friend.
So it’s all here: the songs, the musicianship, the heart, the love, plus a world-class team, raising the band’s game to the next level. As brother Mikko puts it… “We were local for three albums, the fourth one got us a leg up in the UK, the fifth one took us even further, and with album number six we’re ready for the world. And our instincts tell us the world is ready for us…”
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2016 LINEUP SO FAR
Ian Anderson plays the best of Jethro Tull
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
Von Hertzen Brothers