Imperium is a new music project, formed by the drummer & songwriter Mika Brushane. Along the way Mika invited some well-known musicians and friends of his to take over the guitars and the vocals. The result is absolutely wonderful and this album features all those 80s elements that we still love in hard rock & melodic metal music. We caught up with Mika so as to find out more about his new music project, so read for more below.
Imperium pic

Hi Mika… I’m glad we’re given the chance to talk about your new music project Imperium.
M: Hi, I’m glad to talk to you!
Firstly, tell us how did you come up with the idea to form Imperium? And how did the name Imperium occur?
M: I actually wrote some songs for the Strike album “We’re Back” in 2012 and there was a couple of my songs that did not end on the album so I wanted to record them for people to hear and I felt that I had more songs in my head that I had to get out! So I made the decision to make a “solo” album and asked some talented friends to help me. The name came from my love for Star Wars, The Empire is in Finnish Imperiumi and I just left the last letter out… and it sounded cool!
As I can see Imperium is your personal music project – how and come you didn’t form a full-time band? Is this an one-album project or do you have in the back of your head to release another album at some point?
M: Yeah, the idea was from the beginning to make this a studio project and not a live-band and it’s still that… But, you never know what will happen in the future! Actually I was so happy with the outcome of this debut album that I have already started to write new songs but there is no official announcement made of a second album, let’s wait a bit and see….
Where do you have in mind to move with Imperium musically?
M: I doubt that there will be much moving, I’m happy with the place where Imperium is musically right now!
With the exception of vocals you managed everything else; you wrote the music and you played all the instruments on the album. Moreover, some well-known musicians are participating in your project such as: Pasi Rantanen (Thunderstone, Warmen, Strike, King Company) on vocals & guitars, Markku Kuikka (Kenziner, Status Mino, The Ragged Saints) on vocals & guitars, Nisse Nordling (Dirge Eternal, ex-Dreamtale, ex-Anthriel) on vocals, Samuli Federley (Standing ovation, Reversion) on guitars, Toni Huovinen (Sentiment) on guitars and Ade Manninen (Enfarce, Ageness, Androids) on guitars. How did the cooperation with the specific musicians come about?
M: Well, I did everything else but from the lead vocals and guitars, there I had to get some professional help! Some of the guys are old friends (like Pasi) and some are new friends (like Markku, Nisse and Samuli) that I contacted for this album. I actually posted a wanted add in a Finnish website and found a couple of guys from there!
Did it cross your mind to give some of these songs to other bands at some point, rather that releasing them yourself?
M: To be honest, no! I wanted to keep control over the arrangements and sounds for the compositions so I never even considered that.
What does the album title declare? Who’s the “Dreamhunter”?
M: The title does not “declare” anything profound. You could say I’m the Dreamhunter cause this album represents a dream come thru, and I’ve been chasing that dream for a while!
Do give us a hint about each track…
M: “Dreamhunter”: The title track that I composed after listening to Allen & Lande for a few days.
“Heaven is falling”: A song that I made when I wanted to do something with big backing vocals.
“Wasted Years”: This song I came up with one Saturday afternoon when I was just jamming…
“Always Forever”: This track has the 80s feel maybe a little more than a few others, this was kind of a single track and it’s going to be released as a video in the future.
“Fire & Ice”: A song that I wrote honoring the brave men who fought for Finland in the Winter War 1939-1940!
“There Will be Light”: Here I wanted to write a song that had a heavier metal feel, but still had a lighter melodic melody.
“80’s Love Song (a.k.a. Angel Eyes)”: This was a must, there had to be the one obligatory slow song, so I wrote this and there’s a bit of a story from my own life in the lyrics!
“Reach for the Stars”: The second maybe a little bit “Powermetalisch” song on the album. I wrote with the guitarist Samuli Federley in mind, I wanted to let him shine and do the thing that his famous for!
“Starlight”: The song that started it all, as a little bit different version this song did not make it to the Strike album and so I decided to still publish it someday myself!
“Victory”: The first ever Imperium release, this is the first song I wrote especially for Imperium.
“Finem Vocationem”: The “epilogue” of the album. I wanted to end the album with something different and this is what became of that idea, a pompous ending!
Did you record and produce the album yourself Mika? Who did the mixing and the mastering? Are you satisfied with the final outcome?
M: Yeah, I recorded the majority of the album, some of the singers and guitarists recorded their own tracks. The mixing was done by Erkka Korhonen and the mastering by Mika Jussila. I am very happy with the outcome! Erkka managed to get those big sounds with an 80’s feel, just as I wanted!
There are a couple of lyric videos online already. Do you intend to release any other lyric or a concept video in the near future? And if yes, for which track?
M: I have not planned any videos just now, now it’s time for the CD to shine! There will be videos later. One idea is to make a video for the song “Always Forever”
What are your expectations from “Dreamhunter” in general?
M: I expect the album to bring happy listening moment’s to people who like melodic hard rock with an 80’s feel to it! I have no expectation for example regarding album sales etc. I happy for every CD that ends in the hands of a fan!
What about your other music plans? What about Strike? When will there be any new material or a new album?
M: Well, this was a tricky one! Aaa… we don’t know anything just now, Pasi and I are very busy with our other bands and projects, so Strike is on a break just now… Hopefully we have the time to make a new album someday in the near future!
It’s time for our Weird Questions!!! If you were an animal, which animal would you be and why?
M: Probably a dog, the dog in our family gets so much love every day and all he does is lay on the couch every day!
What do you think about this “Views, tweets & Likes” mania of our time?
M: I kind a like it, because you have some indication if someone likes your stuff! Before you just played every day in your garage wondering, does anybody know us!?
Is the “free downloading issue” the main reason why the music industry has taken the downhill or there are others, more important reasons for that?
M: In my opinion streaming is the other big reason.
Which are the best 3 Heavy Metal albums of all time according to you?
M: 1. Metallica – “Metallica” 2.Yngwie Malmsteen – “Odyssey” 3.Iron Maiden – “Powerslave”…
Fill in the phrase… “Heavy Metal music wouldn’t have evolved the way it did, if it hadn’t been for…”
M: Great players who just did their own thing…
Which do you consider to be the best male vocalist in rock/metal history?
M: David Coverdale
Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist?
M: OMG! This is really a tuff question… Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”…
If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why?
M: Maybe to the past, back to the 80’s were I would make Imperium a live band!
What’s the worst thing you can say right after sex?
M: I’m sorry, but what’s your name again?!
Steel Panther say “Eatin’ ain’t cheatin’” – what’s your say?
M: Drummer’s always gets the best girls! (i.n.: Hehehe… I’m sure the signers would not agree with that!)
Who is the sexiest female Rock Star of all time?
M: It’s a tie between Jan Kuehnemund of Vixen and Floor Jansen of Nightwish…
Where would you like to live… in Middle Earth, in the Seven Kingdoms or in a post-apocalyptic world like the one on “The Walking Dead”?
M: Middle Earth…
That’s all for now Mika. Thx so much for talking to Grande Rock. Wish you the best for the future… take care dude!
M: Thank you, this was an absolute pleasure! All the best to Grande Rock & its readers!