Live preview: Von Hertzen Brothers

The Von Hertzens’ previous UK dates were as recent as September. How come you’re spending so much time here? We’re the kind of band that must be seen live. And because we’ve been coming to the UK since 2011 there’s now a bit of a demand. Your crowds have been exposed to us quite a lot, whether it’s a opening for The Wildhearts or at Hard Rock Hell Prog. The word is spreading nicely.

Fifteen years and six albums in, are you satisfied with the group’s standing?

Yeah. It was only five years ago that we hired a manager to help us, internationally speaking. Dues must be paid, and people don’t become excited about bands overnight, but we’ve built a steady following. It’s a cliché, but your country is the home of our favourite bands and we are very conscious of that. It’s a special place.

You had a spot on the second stage at last year’s Download Festival. How did it go?

Quite honestly, we were not on top form that day. We didn’t have our usual gear and there was a lot of stress. I felt that it didn’t really start to happen until the final two songs.

It takes guts to admit that.

We didn’t suck, but it was pretty close [laughs]. I was happy that we managed to survive the way we did.

VHB were nominated in two categories at the most recent Prog Awards, and the previous year scooped the Best Anthem award for Flowers And Rust. And yet you’ve claimed that the fit isn’t entirely comfortable?

We do have long songs and odd time signatures, but in my eyes we’re more of a rock band. We are very difficult to pigeonhole. Queen didn’t think of themselves as being part of any category, they just made the music they liked. It’s the same situation with us.

Who would you most like to go out on tour supporting, and steal a few fans from?

I could definitely see us playing with Muse or Biffy Clyro. The Arctic Monkeys, maybe.

The last date is on March 24.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.