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By: Charlie & Gaz

Ahead of this year’s HRH Prog festival, which starts on Thursday, we sent two of our resident progheads, Charlie Gardner & Gaz Cloud, out to talk to some of the bands on the bill. In this episode, they talk to Mikko Von Hertzen.

(((o))): What can we expect from your set at HRH Prog IV?

As I understand it, we are honoured to be giving the last performance of the festival. So we’ll plan accordingly. I’m sure we’ll play some of our bombastic stuff to keep the crowd awake as well as the more “landscape-y” outings for the prog-heads.

(((o))): Which of the other bands on the bill will you try to catch, and why?

Well, we’ll be touring in the UK at that time, so unfortunately we are not going to be able to attend the three-day festival, apart from on the Saturday. Really looking forward to seeing Focus and Ian Anderson, though…

(((o))): Do you think it’s important prog has its own bespoke festival?

I do. We played HRH Prog a few years ago, in the venue near Sheffield, and it was a great experience. It was awesome to meet so many people who love the music just as much as we do.

(((o))): What are your plans in the months following the festival?

We’ll continue touring in Finland with our “breakthrough” album Approach – a 10-year anniversary tour, you might say. Spring is usually the best time to write new stuff, so we’ll concentrate on that in May before the festival season starts…

(((o))): What should any self-respecting prog fan make sure they pack before heading off to a chalet festival on the Llŷn peninsula?

We’ll, it’s the UK so everything you pack should be water-proof, right?

(((o))): What does the term “prog” mean to you?

Not all prog is for me, to be honest. I’m really not into the more technical side of the music. The showing-off kind. What I DO love about prog, however, is that it encourages the desire to reach heights above the mundane. I mean, very few prog bands sing about their asses or how long they spend in the gym… and that’s a good thing!

(((o))): What would be your weapon of choice in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

The powerful Vedic mantras and slokas.

(((o))): The organisers ask you to play an ad hoc unplugged set at the top of Snowdon. Are you mad enough to do it?

Oh sure, we are Finns, after all… Mad is something our mothers breast-feed us with! But unfortunately we are not going to make it in time for that. We are playing London the night before and it’s a long ride…

(((o))): Additionally, what Bowie track would you choose to play as an encore?

“Starman”… of course!

The Von Hertzen Brothers headline HRH Prog IV on Saturday 19 March, 2016.

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