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Reckless Love
Interview mit Olli [Reckless Love], 13.05.2014, Köln/Indisches Restaurant

Im Rahmen ihrer ersten richtigen Europa-Tournee rockte die finnische Merry-Metal-Band Reckless Love u.a. auch in Köln vor vollem Hause. Mit Frontmann und Sänger Olli Herman sprach ich vor dem Konzert in einem indischen Restaurant über das Tourleben des Quartetts, die neue Platte „Spirit“, die Inspirationsquelle „Tod“ und warum der Song „Edge Of Our Dreams“ so eine besondere Bedeutung für die Band hat.

Olli, how has been the European tour so far?

Olli: The shows have been awesome. I don’t think that it’s possible, but I´ve seen only good reviews and there has been a full house everywhere. Not all venues have been sold out, but there were pretty big crowds. It’s the first real European tour for us, so it’s a good thing to see that all happening. I mean yesterday…was yesterday Monday?

Yes, it was.

Olli: So it was a Monday show in Frankfurt and the whole location was packed! We all had a really good time and party over there. [laughs]

Do you prefer little club shows or performing on big stages in front of 10.000 people – just as you did when you supported Kiss last year?

Olli: It totally depends. Of course it’s like the bigger the better, but the small clubs have their benefits as well. One thing is perhaps that you get to meet the bands, they are just between the busses and the venue. We enjoy that, too…

Do you have time for sightseeing when you’re on tour or aren’t you interested in those kinda things?

Olli: I would be really interested in those kinda things and in every local specialty there is, but “unfortunately” we have a show to do and after the show we pack the bus, take photos with the fans, do the autographs, then we jump on the bus, try to get some sleep and wake up at the next venue. So there is no time for sightseeing.

No hotels during night?

Olli: No hotels. We’re touring with a nightliner.

The venue here in Cologne changed from MTC to Luxor and the Swedish band H.E.A.T. will also enter the stage tonight. How did this come about?

Olli: MTC is a bit small. But once we got to know the guys from H.E.A.T. when we played in Stockholm. I think that they came up with the idea to cooperate with the shows here in Cologne, because we’re pretty much in the same genre. We wanted to give our fans the chance to see both bands on the same eve, so that they didn’t have to decide between the venues. Furthermore our ticket sale for the MTC was pretty good; it would have been a full house anyway…

How do you prepare yourself for a show?

Olli: Just rest at this point. When it’s the 7th show in a row, you try to save as much as you can from your energy. Obviously you can hear that my voice is a bit hoarse. Too many high screams… [laughs]

Your current album “Spirit” already hit the stores last summer. Where do you see the band’s musical development referring to “Animal Attraction”?

Olli: I think there is a regression, not a development. [laughs loudly] I think we’re going backwards. Well, we decided to make a hair metal album and it’s so old fashion. There is no band actually doing that nowadays. There is more modern stuff, but we’re doing this really traditional hair metal. [laughs] So that’s why there is more a regression than a development. But if you like it or not, I’m getting older every year and my voice is changing, so there of course is a development…

What have been your inspiration sources for the “Spirit” lyrics?

Olli: I was really inspired by death. And all the heavy metal and rock bands at some point they use a skull. It’s a part of their imagery. For Reckless Love we thought it’s too dark, because we’re not that type of a band. We’re a merry metal band, so we needed a happy merry skull, a merry metal skull! That’s why we immediately started to think of all the colors and stuff…just remember the “Day Of The Dead” in the Mexican culture where they celebrate the death. So I decided to turn the tables around. I took the word “death” and put it in as many lyrics as possible – but in a positive way. Take the song “Dying To Live”, just the expression: I am dying to stay alive. It’s the happiest album we’ve done so far! [laughs] The whole album is called “Spirit”, because I think it captures Reckless Love’s spirit. It’s pure hair metal! We love heavy metal! “I Love Heavy Metal” is one of the core songs on the record. We open every show with that song and there’s “death” in its lyrics as well: “I love heavy metal until the day I die…”

Do you believe in life after death?

Olli: I’m not talking about that… [laughs] Everybody should have the freedom of choice for that. All kind of religion that we do believe in is heavy metal, reckless love and rock’n’roll. That’s what we’re talking about here! Reckless Love’s philosophy of life is just to have fun. We don’t mess with people’s ideas of politics…

What is actually easier to write: such an atmospheric and emotional anthem like “Edge Of Our Dreams” or a heavy, fast driving and metallic song like “Metal Ass”?

Olli: It’s a different vibe, of course, but “Edge Of Our Dreams” is probably one of the last songs on the record that we finished and it’s actually not a typical hair metal song. It was a really tough one to do compared to the others, because they are pretty straight forward and simple hair metal songs. Probably the reason why “Edge Of Our Dreams” was harder to write than the others is, because I tried to capture the feeling of everybody in the band and to speak with everyone’s mouth. That song is a tribute to our fans. The edge that I am talking about is the edge of the stage, it’s nothing else. We’re living on the edge of our dreams and the audience is the dream. I mean, being in front of a live audience every night it’s a musician’s dream, it’s the best part of a tour. The 1,5 hours on stage is that what we’re looking for. I talk about this every night in the speech before the song. It’s our thank you for the fans, our thank you for coming to see us. Let’s all just embrace the moment, living on the edge of our dreams which is the edge between us and really small. [laughs]

What is more a tiring and nerve-racking part of being a rock musician?

Olli: Being away from your loved ones – that’s the only part. [grins]

But your wife could join you on tour…

Olli: Yeah, she could, but she has a job and her own life as well. She’s my wife, but she’s not a part of me. [laughs] We’re equal, so she’s supposted to have her own life as well. Of course she can join us on tour every now and then, but she cannot stay there all the time. And what would she do there? Just sitting around? She has seen Reckless Love around 200 times, so she knows the songs and the tricks that I do on stage. [laughs] She’s bored with me!

Reckless Love is a quite colorful and shiny band with long hairs, tattoos, crazy outfits etc. Is your private life also that colorful and shiny as you’re presenting yourself on stage?

Olli: Pretty much. The only visible difference from the stage outfit right now is that I’m wearing grey and white jeans and not spandex. [laughs]

Your music videos like “Night On Fire” and the current one “So Happy I Could Die” are quite colorful, too. To what extent can you bring in your own ideas into those music videos?

Olli: 100 percent! Okay, “Night On Fire” was a collaboration with the director. We had this brainstorming with the ideas of playing on a beach, in a jungle and doing the body paintings. The video team handled all the tricks referring to the imagery, found out the way how to do it and found the locations. Actually we talked about shooting it in the Dominican Republic, we thought to find somewhere in the Caribbean a really nice beach and jungle. But we ended up having a logistical nightmare. Hei, it’s a jungle, there is no electricity. So we ended up shooting the video at Gran Canary which was easy. [laughs] And they have a jungle and beach, too. We stayed there for a week! So for “Night On Fire” we probably used the biggest music video budget so far. “So Happy I Could Die” was the total opposite to that: minimum budget and the venue where we shot the video is maybe 500 meters from where I live.

In Tampere?

Olli: Yeah. We shot it in an abandoned building which I found out. I just once went there to have fun with the punk kids from the neighbourhood. They were drinking and did those spraying kind of thing. The whole place is huge and filled with all these beautiful graffitis. Immediately I came up with the idea of shooting the video there. I talked to the director Ville Juurikkala, he’s a really well known photographer in Finland, and he came up with the idea of the slow motion effect and throwing the paint. Then we brainstormed the ideas with the whole band. So we really had an influence on the video…

Was it easy to get the colors out of your hair again?

Olli: Not really. [laughs] I was green for a week!

Recently you took part in a Finish Music TV Show where you had to perform songs from different music genres unfamiliar to you. How did this participation come about and which experiences did you bring back home from there?

Olli: It was awesome! Just pure fun! I’m an entertainer from nature, got the chance to take part in there and ended up being dropped out just before the finals. That was a big surprise actually, because the Finnish audience is really picky with rockers. Rock is not really popular nowadays in Finland, it’s more Hip Hop. And Hip Hop in Finnish is even more horrible… [laughs] So it was a really big surprise that I got so far in the competition. But it was really fun to step into somebody else’s boots.

What’s the first thing you will do when you’re coming back home from tour?

Olli: We’re gonna do a big show with that TV crew taking part in an ice hall in Finland. So I have a show to do when I get back to Finland. Then it’s gonna be my birthday on the 19th of May and I will take a nice hotel room with my wife and celebrate.

Are you in general a traditional person that celebrates public holidays?

Olli: I wish I could, but the thing is when other people have their holidays we have to work. Luckily musicians are allowed to drink during the work… [laughter]

One last question: How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?

Olli: …everything!

Interview & Fotos: Lea S.
Website Band: www.recklesslove.com

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