Spinefarm Records / Universal
Von Hertzen Brothers is a Finnish Rock band consisting of the three von Hertzen brothers. Imagine Foo Fighters playing Pink Floyd's greatest hits after spending years in India singing to Beach Boys tunes... And you'll get the drift.
For a progressive and challenging rock album to top the national charts is a rare phenomenon. Yet that's exactly what von Hertzen Brothers have done with their latest opus, Love Remains the Same. How did this happen?
After each had attained success in their individual bands, in 2001 the three reputedly hotheaded brothers decided to test the strength of their fraternity with a collaboration. For VHB, the music was simply a matter of the heart-born out of the desire to weave their thoughts about life with their immense love for the colorful rock of the '70s.
VHB's turning point came upon the release of their second album, Approach (Dynasty Recordings, May 2006). Riding a wave of positive reviews and massive sales, the album soon won the Finnish Grammy Award for "Best Rock Album of the Year, 2006." Thereafter, word of VHB's phenomenal live shows spread and soon the band was playing bigger and bigger venues, their success rapidly growing.
By May 2008, the fans were eagerly waiting VHB's third album, Love Remains the Same. As soon as the album hit, it went straight to No. 1 on the national chart, remaining there for three weeks. The demand for the band was outrageous and the summer saw the brothers performing on the stages of numerous festivals in Finland and abroad.
Although its impossible to pigeonhole these "mad brothers of rock" into a single genre, their influences range from AC/DC and Black Sabbath to Queen, U2 and Jimi Hendrix. A song can start with a Pink Floyd-inspired intro and morph into a Soundgarden-like explosion, before fading into a gospel hymn. "It's always an adventure, when a song eventually starts to take shape", says Mikko. "But I guess, the songs are just another reflection our attitude towards life, which is that you never know what will happen next."
The songs are full of longing and fascinating stories about love and the glory of life. Mikko says their lyrics are partly inspired by writers such as William Blake, classical Indian authors and numerous well-known Finnish poets. However, ultimately, all the songs a born out of the brothers' deep yearning for freedom and peace of mind.
"Our family name, 'Von Hertzen,' is German and means 'from the heart,' Mikko explains. "That's what we try to always keep in mind when writing or performing. We feel music is pointless if it doesn't come from our hearts. The raison d'être of music, any kind of music, is to create wonderful experiences that are somehow elevating and encouraging. That's our mission. The band is our instrument."
Mikko von Hertzen - voc, guit
Kie von Hertzen - guit, voc
Jonne von Hertzen - bass, voc
Mikko Kaakkuriniemi - drs
Juha Kuoppala - keys