Without doubt, one of this year’s stand-out rock releases is Nine Lives, the fifth studio release from Finnish siblings, Von Hertzen Brothers.
The first track might come off as a blindingly good tribute to Soundgarden, but another will take you down a prog-rock soundscape of serene, lush, layers, and recent single Coming Home is a beauty of a beast – all urgent and frantic.
Von Hertzen Brothers and their polished, crafted creativity are a lot of different things, and pretty impossible to nail down, you see. Just like all the best bands are.
The aforementioned album is up for the Album of the Year gong at the Classic Rock Awards – sharing a category with Queens of the Stone Age, David Bowie and Black Sabbath, and we reckon their presence is entirely justifiable.
Currently on the road in the UK, we get our chance to catch the band live on Thursday night, when they bring something very special to The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton.
Von Hertzen, by the way, is German, m eaning ‘from the heart.’
“That’s what we try to always keep in mind when writing or performing,” the band say.
“The point of music, any kind of music, is to create wonderful experiences that are somehow elevating and encouraging.
“That’s our mission.
“The music is our instrument.”
City Nights asked frontman Mikko Von Hertzen to share some of his musically most favoured with us...
Tell us about the first record you bought
I have no recollection of that. One of the first was an Elvis album, but it could also have been a Finnish LP of some sort.
Our father used to bring LPs from his business trips and it got kind of confusing as to which of us brothers particular albums belonged to
An album you can’t live without and why
I think I could live without any particular album, but the ones that keep on appearing on my gadgets are the Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and Queen albums
The most embarrassing records in your collection
I gave them away a long time back, but they included some fine art by Poison, Boston and Stryper
Your favourite artists of all time – what’s the attraction?
There are so many and it’s hard to pick my all time favourite. Okay, I’ll pick Led Zeppelin this time. There was some magic in that band. And Bonzo is my all time hero. Period.
If we could grant you a wish to meet one musician or band, who would it be and why
Most of the ones I would love to meet are dead, sadly.
But if I could hang out with Thom Yorke for a day it would be awesome.
For one, he’s a genius, and I would also like to understand why he pretty much tossed melodies from his music.
What question would you ask?
Why - and he would probably walk out the door
What was the first gig you attended
John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers at The Tavastia club in Helsinki. I was eleven
Tell us about your favourite record shop or online store
Lately I’ve become both lazy and busy.
I used to roam the shops before I moved to India in ‘98.
After living there for seven years, that habit rubbed off, and also I have no time to explore.
Nowadays I just go online and download stuff from iTunes and the likes. I’m sorry!
You can step into the shoes of your musical idol for a 24 hours. Who do you choose?
It would be interesting to be someone like Robert Plant for a day.
All the ups and downs of his career must have brought him to an understanding that could be useful.
If I was him for a day, I would write down my own ‘10 commandments’ - what to do in order to remain sane in this world of music business.
Tickets for Thursday’s show are £7 on the doors, from 7.3pm.
Support will come from Demo and Ivytone