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Mikko von Hertzen Talks New Von Hertzen Brothers Album, Finnish Music Scene + More

by Photo of Elizabeth Ramanand

The Von Hertzen Brothers release brand new album New Day Rising.

Mikko von Hertzen Talks New Von Hertzen Brothers Album, Finnish Music Scene + More

[Photo By: Ville Juurikkala]

Vocalist and guitarist Mikko von Hertzen, one of three Von Hertzen Brothers chatted about the band’s new disc, New Day Rising. He also talks about growing up in Finland with his two band members and brothers. Check out our interview with Mikko von Hertzen of the Von Hertzen Brothers below:

The new album New Day Rising – what does this title mean to you personally?

Well, the whole idea started with the title my brother Kie had for one of his songs. We rode that thought and combined the lyrics and cover art for the album around it. For me personally it means a fresh start, which is more like an inner need than anything else –a deep need to start over and find a new pace in life.

How was the creative and recording process for you on this record?

Honestly, the process is pretty much always the same. You have ideas, you make songs of them and some of them end up being better than others. We took our time to write enough ideas for this album. We had plenty to choose from, which is not always the case.

The recording itself was then a totally different story. It was very different from how we usually do things. We had a superb engineer, Ben Kaplan with his assistants doing the recordings with us. Usually we handle these things ourselves, all in all we worked the same amount of time to get this thing together. Time wise we spent more time with preparing the music for the recordings and then just throwing it on tape.

This album deals with new beginnings and evolving – what were some lyrical inspirations for this disc?

I usually write about longing and love or the lack of. I’m not interested in anything in this world as much as developing as a human being and as a musician. So the lyrics end revolving around those lines.

From the music it is obvious that everything you create has a foundation of energy and emotion. What bands or musicians do you feel have captured that essence the best? Do you think there any current bands/musicians out there have the vibes, energy, passion and emotion in their music?

I find true emotions, genuine energy and honest yearning more in other kinds of music than today’s rock. I’m a big fan of spiritual music and find that the yearning to understand and go deep into the emotion is more innocent and evident there than in the “mainstream” pop or rock of today. The expression of today’s rock and pop is so self-centered. It’s annoying to me very much. I love the kind of music where there is a genuine pursuit, devoid of egos, which is trying to capture life’s beauty. Unfortunately today’s music is more about making big fuzz about oneself and not the beauty of music itself.

You’re in a band with two of your siblings, how would you describe the household of the Von Hertzen Brothers when you were younger? Were there any sibling rivalries, are there still any?

Sure there was some rivalry going on but that’s natural for any household. We played rock stars together and still do. We were always more friends than rivals.

[Photo By: Ville Juurikkala]

Growing up in Finland, how would you describe the music scene there?

We are a rather small country with a good set up for learning to do all kinds of things: sports, music, art, etc. you don’t have to be rich to be able to educate yourself. That has led to the fact that the standard of musical education is very high and almost free for everyone who wants it. I feel we have lots of talent and opportunities to really become good musicians and that’s all government supported.

Now when it comes to making this talent known to the world, it becomes more difficult. Only the last decade or so, there has developed a professional set up for taking this talent abroad. The metal scene has done well, but have you ever heard of a more poppy act out from Finland? Sunrise Avenue is doing well in the German speaking area, but that’s just one territory.

From HIM and Nightwish to Sonata Arctica and Apocalyptica and numerous others, what do you think it is about the music coming from Finland that has such a broad appeal?

Like I said, the channels to take metal music out from Finland have been wide open for almost fifteen years now. These bands you mentioned have made it to the media of metal music pretty much all around the world. They are amazing bands, but only a fraction of what our country has to offer.

Did you go to a lot of shows growing up? If so was there one in particular concert that left a long lasting impact on you? Talk about this experience.

Our father took Kie and myself to see John Mayall’s Blues Breakers back in the day. I must have been maybe eleven years old. That gig changed my life. I started going more to concerts and saw AC/DC on their “For Those About To Rock” tour as well as Iron Maiden on their “Powerslave” tour. I was hooked and quit my promising career playing basketball in order to concentrate on playing drums. I’m still on that path I chose when I was 14.

What does the rest of 2015 have in store for you and the rest of the Von Hertzen Brothers?

Hopefully lots of touring and having fun with our music. We love being on stage sharing what we have with people - that’s the salt, the pepper and the dessert of this whole thing.

Check Out the Lyric Video for Von Hertzen Brother's Track "Trouble"

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