Drummer Mika Brushane – Imperium
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Birgitt Schwanke at GerMusica PR for setting up the interview.
Thanks to AOR Heaven for the promo pictures of the band.
Imperium is a solo project run by Finnish drummer Mika Brushane. Mika has decided it’s time to unveil the project’s third album, HEAVEN OR HELL released by AOR Heaven. His music ought to appeal to fans of Treat, Lionville, Europe, and Creye.
I had the pleasure to have a short chat with Mika where we handled issues such as what’s it like being a multi-instrumentalist and writing all of his own material, as well the guests featured on HEAVEN AND HELL , like Robban Ernlund, Markku Kuikka and Robbie LaBlanc to mention a few. If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing project then continue reading.
Hi Mika, how are you doing today? Thanks for taking this interview. Are you ready to begin?
Hi, I’m fine!😊 No problem, let’s do this!
In 2018 your second album BEYOND THE STARS came out. What did fans think of it and which guests appeared on the album?
Fans liked it very much I’m glad to say.
I had Dennis Ward (lead & backing vocals), Rob Lundgren (lead & backing vocals), Antti Railio (lead & backing vocals), Markku Kuikka (lead & backing vocals), Erkka Korhonen (guitars), Samuli Federley (guitars), and Toni Huovinen (guitars).
Where does the name Imperium come from? Does it have any special meaning to you?
I’m a huge Star Wars fan so the name kinda comes from there. The Empire is “Imperiumi” in Finnish! 😉 So it has a special meaning to me!
Is Imperium your solo project meant to only release albums and not to tour or play live?
Yes, Imperium is only a studio project, no live shows.
New album HEAVEN OR HELL
When did you begin to write material for HEAVEN OR HELL? Is it correct that you write both music and lyrics and what are the lyrics about?
I started to write the songs in June of 2018… just a few weeks after the second album came out. I’m not good at taking long breaks! Yes, I write the music and lyrics. I try to write lyrics that they are about everyday things, feelings, events, and maybe once I a while I write about things that are threatening our planet and way of life.
By looking at the titles of the songs a lot of them seems to be about love is that correct?
Yes, love is one of the most important things in life and it’s something you deal with every day.
Do you have any specific lead singer in mind when you start to write a song?
Usually I don’t. Most of the time the song, especially the chorus, gives me the idea who would fit the song.
Love won’t let you go (Official Video)
You play the drums, bass, keyboards, as well as backing vocals. What’s it like to do everything on your own?
It’s very satisfying to me. I get to shape the song quite far on my own before the guitarist and singer come in and add their magic to the song. And it’s a nice change, because I have always played only drums / percussion in bands and studio gigs.
Which instruments besides the drums do you think you master the best?
Keyboards for sure!
On HEAVEN OR HELL the vocals and guitar are handled a huge number of guests. Examples are Robert Ernlund, Robbie LaBlanc and Paolo Ribaldini, Mikey K Nilsson, Stefano Lionetti, and Erkka Korhoneno. How did you get all of these folks to feature on you album?
Well, what can I say… I sent them emails explaining my project and asking them to join the project and they said, “YES”!
Was there anyone that you really wanted to be a part of the album but that couldn’t make it?
Yes, for example Joe Lynn Turner and Mitch Malloy.
The biography say that fans of Treat, Lionville, Europe, and Creye will like the music of Imperium. Do you agree with that?
I agree, and I would add fans of Find Me, H.E.A.T, Khymera, Perfect Plan, etc.
The biography also says that “the music is melodic rock/AOR and it has a big dose of ’80’s feel and sounds in it”. Do you think that sums up your music or how would you like to describe what kind of music you play?
That sums it up pretty good. I’m a huge fan of ’80’s and ’90’s music and I use only authentic vintage synthesizers from that era so all of that is reflected in my songwriting and sounds!
Heaven or Hell (Official Lyric Video)
Which bands/artists do you think Imperium lies close to musically?
Maybe… Khymera, Sapphire eyes, Find Me, Sunstorm, etc.
How long did it take to record the album altogether, and where did the guest musicians record their parts?
It took 2 years to write and record the album, but this was not a project I worked on every day. There was no hurry at any moment. Most of the guests recorded their parts at the own home studios and some of the guys came to my Groovehouse Studio to do their parts.
Do you think fans of your older albums are going to like HEAVEN OR HELL?
Yes, I think so! It’s a good consistent album with big synth’s and melodies, so it’s all that same good stuff my fans are used to.
Well, that was all I had this time around, I wish you all the best in the future, stay healthy and safe. Do you have any words of wisdom to share with fans and readers?
Thanks for talking to me, it was my pleasure.
Just wanted to say to everyone, that even though the virus is harassing us and the live music business, fortunately, there’s so much good music you can listen to the old school way or by streaming that will make your day better every time! 😉 STAY SAFE! <3