Thursday 25 October 2012

Reckless Love // Interview with front-man Olli Herman & Live Review

Reckless Love is a band intent on putting the glam back into rock n roll. We saw the flamboyant Finnish quartet earlier in the year supporting Black Veil Brides and playing Download Festival. Now they are back on UK soil on a headline tour showing us Brits how it’s done.

Est.1987 caught up with enigmatic front-man Olli Herman backstage before they stormed Leeds Cockpit. Want to know what he had to say about…

Reckless Love on stage at Leeds Cockpit

Reckless Love are no strangers to the UK; what do you love about playing over here?
The fans of course! British fans are the craziest and rowdiest motherf*****s that there are. And you know, the thing is we sing in English, and in Finland most people don’t speak English even as their second language so the sing-a-long stuff usually happens only in choruses. But here most of the fans know the lyrics better than I do.

Olli Herman on stage in Leeds
How have the shows on this tour been going so far?
Spectacularly; it’s been an awesome tour, one of the best we’ve ever done. We’ve never stopped touring since we put out our first album in 2010 but touring in Finland is different. You tour around the weekends, and Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are off and you go back home; whereas in the UK there is a gig every night. It’s a bit more intense, but it’s good.

You’ve also been playing a residency at Camden Barfly which is something bands used to do in the 70s and 80s - How’s that been going?
This is another thing about 80s hair metal that we look up to. Rock n roll was about having fun back then, and after that has been way to serious and dark and dull. There’s nothing wrong with being aggressive or angry but you didn’t see Chuck Berry moaning about how miserable he was. A residency is such an old school thing to do and back in the day Hanoi Rocks, also from Finland, did one in London in the 70s or 80s and we have the same manager now that they had. He had this idea to do a residency and we were really into it. You get back to being close to the fans and they’re special shows; four Thursdays in a row you can’t keep playing the same set, so we got to know ourselves again and take on the challenge.

You’ve been together for over ten years now and you’re going from strength to strength at the moment. Does it feel like ten years or has it flown by?
I never think about life that way; it’s just been something that I’ve lived for ten years and been a part of me for over ten years. I knew fifteen years ago that I wanted to do this for a living, so it’s just been a journey to get to this point. I don’t know where I’m going; I just can’t wait to get there.

Reckless Love front-man Olli Herman
If you could give your younger selves some advice what would you say after doing this for ten years?
Don’t be so pig headed; sell your soul and sell yourself, there is no such thing as credibility in rock n roll. Just write good songs and enjoy life because that’s what it’s all about. There’s no point trying to convince people that you’re the toughest or the best or the most badass because life will bring you disappointment; there’s always somebody better than you. Forget about that and write good songs. If you haven’t got good songs that your attitude alone doesn’t take you anywhere. 

Bands like yourself and Steel Panther are bringing the glam back in to rock n roll; why do you think people are embracing it once again?
Well Steel Panther’s show is a comedy show, like a spoof, but for some people the jokes have become real. The thing with them is they’re f*****g talented at what they do and write good songs. They use the music to deliver the joke whereas we put a few jokes in here, just like in life, and we use music to deliver music.  

Have you started working on the third album; what can we expect?
Well it’s going to be a bonafide Reckless Love album; we’re not going to suddenly switch into jazz or anything like that. We have most of the album written already; twelve new songs but we’re still looking for a couple more. When we fly back after the tour we have two weeks of pre-production and take the songs apart to see if we can make them even better. Then we will start recording. And hopefully by the end of December we will have it all down on tape and the record should be out between March and April next year.

"Animal Attraction" the album
How do you guys go about writing and recording; do you write on the road or collectively do it in the studio?
Yeah we’ve done all the writing on the road after the first album; we had so many years to prepare for the first album, it wasn’t as intense and more just finding ourselves. After that “Animal Attraction” was written on the road; the weekends we did the shows and weekdays we were in the studio. I can’t really recall recording it, it was a blur. With this album we’ve taken some time off to demo the songs properly and we’re taking a leave of absence from the stage just to record the album.

Other than the album what else is next for you guys?
More touring of course [laughing]. We still need to finish the songs, write the lyrics and it’s not ready until it’s on tape; and we’re preparing the cover art and finding an artist, planning the videos, merchandise, planning touring. Then after the recording it has to be mixed and mastered and then go to the record company; there’s a s**t load of stuff to do. So, you might get stressed out if you think about it that way, but you just have to concentrate on what you’re doing at that time.

And here’s what happened when Reckless Love took to the stage…

Olli Herman
Olli Herman enters the stage confidently, wearing sunglasses and velvet leggings, a leather jacket and string vest. Reckless Love certainly has their look down to a T; how would their live show compare? From the opening riff of “Animal Attraction” the entire evening is high energy and unrelenting pace. This isn’t a show that takes itself too seriously and neither is Reckless Love. They are on stage to have fun and want everyone in the venue to join in. However, don’t get them confused with a band that isn’t serious about their music. Far from a joke band, Reckless Love are musically tight perfectly blitzing through the fresher songs from their more recent EP.

Songs such as “Beautiful Bomb” show off Olli’s impressive vocal range; from high pitched notes to deep tones, he holds each down perfectly.  Olli is vivacious and captivating throughout, something which he definitely revels in; “I’ve got long hair and under these glasses I’m probably wearing more make- up than you”, he laughs. Songs such as “Back To Paradise” and “On The Radio” are anthemic, harking back to the good old days of over the top glam metal. The impressive drum solo by Hessu Maxx only adds to the vintage feel of tonight’s performance. Those who experienced it first time around are confronted with younger generations who are living it out now; each generation equally enthusiastic

“Sex” is more ballad-like and slows things down ever so slightly, still containing the huge hooks and monster riffs that go hand in hand with Reckless Love. One minute Olli has a string vest on and the next minute, by “Romance” he’s topless. Mid-way through the song all but guitarist Pepe Salohalme exit the stage leaving him to wow the crowd by showing off his skills on lead guitar. When the rest of the band enter the stage Olli announces “This one is outtake from “Animal Attraction” and on the recent EP. Good tunes ain’t nothing if you keep them in your drawer”. “Push” begins and once again Reckless Love storm up and down the stage, Olli flinging his limbs and hair in all manner of directions.

Olli Herman & guitarist Pepe Salohalme on stage at The Cockpit 

You can’t keep Reckless Love off stage for very long and a vest change later, they return for a gallant encore, glitter microphone back in hand. Crowd favourite, the undeniably catchy “Hot”, and soaring “One More Time” end the punchy set here tonight at The Cockpit. The set may have been short and sweet, but definitely leaves a lingering positive impression on the crowd. Reckless Love live cannot help but be enjoyed; enthralling from start to finish their set is diverse and entertaining. Hair flicks and high kicks; with epic sounding anthems Reckless Love are successfully putting the fun back into rock n roll. With a new album out next year stay tuned for more from these ostentatious Finnish rockers.

And for more live photos from Reckless Love at The Cockpit click below...