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29th October 2010
METAL DISCOVERY: What do you think about being labelled a ‘Hair Metal’ band?
OLLI HERMAN: Well, our idols were labelled ‘Hair Metal’ bands, so it is kind of a complement, really. Just joking! I don’t take it badly. I think it all started thanks to the editor of the PowerPlay magazine. He asked us - “How about calling you a ‘Hair Metal’ band...so I said we are fine with that, why not...but that was supposed to be a joke. Then he asked, “So what’s the secret of Reckless Love’s success?” And I said, “I don’t know really, we just rock and have a hell of a lot of fun - in our old merry way”. And he wrote the story calling us Merry Metallers. [laughs] Then, I immediately thought - “Oh fuck, our music and the band from now is officially called Merry Metallers! It is not Heavy, or Power, or even Hair Metal, just a Merry Metal band!
(Olli Herman on the band's motivations and impetus)
"In our case, it is more of a different kind of sins. I mean, we all skipped the drugs. We just stick with, and prefer, sex."
Interview by Marija Brettle; Photography by Jadranka Jade
Olli Herman performing with Reckless Love in Rock City, Nottingham, UK, 24th September 2010
Photograph copyright © 2010 Jadranka Jade - www.metal-discovery.com
Reckless Love Official Website:
Reckless Love (2010)
Thanks to Dante Bonutto for arranging the interview.
Reckless Love Official MySpace:
MD: Since you are the band who have often been called “the hottest newcomers” in rock music, and looking from the regular feedback you are getting, usually from female fans, I am sure there are some funny and amusing stories you want to share with us?
OH: Of course I have stories; what would you like to hear?
MD: Something you haven’t shared with anyone else. Stories that will put in shame even guys like Gene Simmons or David Lee Roth from their heydays?
OH: Well, it did happen in Finland in my hotel room. I was woken up in the middle of the night. There I was sleeping when suddenly I felt some sensation behind me…something moving in my bed. Soon, I realised there was some other person right next to me and naked. And in no time she was coming on to me. Well, I have a confession to make...I never wear anything when I sleep or when I wander around at home. So, there I was, all naked next to some person who could be my worst nightmare, my stalker or...[laughs]. That was, in a way, at first a really scary thought, not knowing who was next to me. Well, it could be anybody. But I soon find out that it was the same girl I met downstairs at the hotel lobby earlier that evening. She managed to bribe the receptionist and got the key of my room. She was a really nice, good looking girl, but I turned her down earlier that day. Still, she couldn’t care, she was damn persistent...I mean, what more is there to say, she was really enthusiastic between the sheets...not going to tell you any more! [laughs]. Well, let’s just say you have to reward the ones for their enthusiasm and persistence. I am not going to tell you what happened in between, but I ended up throwing her out from my room later that night...[laughs]…I mean in a good way...well, she was a very pretty girl…all I can say.
MD: I read somewhere one of your fans saying, “If David Lee Roth had a lovechild anywhere in the world, then Olli Herman must be one of his illegitimate sons…I mean, the voice, the screams, stage kicks and usually ‘the chosen one’ when it comes to women...”
OH: Really?! Well, maybe I am! Nooo, just kidding! For one, I am the greatest fan of David Lee Roth. And not just for being an awesome musician, but also because he is the guy with a rare charisma...
MD: When you meet David, first thing you notice with him is his wide smile on his face...very chilled and charming guy. Same David Lee Roth, on and off stage...
OH: Yeah, he is one of the coolest guys I know in this business! He always was an ultimate ‘Rock God’ when it comes to music. Of course, during the 80s he was the one, with his long blond hair, with his hot look, well-built body, with his stage moves. He was the ultimate rock band man I looked up to and still do. He is the god of mine so to speak. I really respect him for bringing so much excitement and fun in the world of rock music. But, it is more about his personality. When his career moved on and he got older, got fat...he somehow lost his way. But then he got back on track and you came to realise that all that hype about him is nothing to do with his look. Yeah, David Lee Roth, the Rock God, and it is not all about how he looks. It is his attitude, he’s got the true merry metal attitude. And that makes him look handsome, beautiful, because he’s always smiling like a little kid, always having fun, is never down…always out there cheering people. A man who has strong views and strong opinions, something that people in this business should have it too. Is either all or fuck the rest, that’s how should be! You do not become great by patting each other’s backs. Yeah, David had the attitude of a real rock dude, who can also be the ultimate asshole when it suits him...[laughs] But, at the same time, he can be really nice and humble as well. You got to love him.
MD: You once said that Guns N’ Roses were a great influence during your early teen’s days? And for some time you were playing G N’ R’s covers?
OH: Guns N’ Roses were huge when I was a kid and they were, in a way, my first band idols. And sure, Axl Rose was another real reason why I became a singer. I look up to him when I started singing...I saw the ‘Use Your Illusion’ tour, the DVD ... that was it. I decided I want to be a rock star! I love all about Axl Rose, the whole on and off stage persona. He is another rock ‘n’ roll frontman I admire and respect greatly! One of the rock icons...the essence, the spirit of the rock’ n’ roll.
MD: Apart from Axl and David Lee Roth, who else was responsible for you to get into rock music?
OH: Well, Def Leppard, Kiss, Motley Crue, Van Halen, Poison, Skid Row, Ratt, Winger, Warrant. More or less all the LA glam metal era. Basically, all the ‘hair metal’ in the 80s. You can hear maybe a bit of all those bands in the sound and the atmosphere of our ‘Reckless Love’ record. But then, in the band, we all have a different tastes and love different things, more or less. Still, we all generally end up listening to the same heavy rock music from the 80s, and 70s...and, sometimes, the early 90s rock.
MD: What would you say to people who often compare your band with Hanoi Rocks, and yourself with Michael Monroe?
OH: People usually don’t understand that Hanoi Rocks has never been a big thing in Finland. They always were the underground act in Finland. I was born in 1983, Hanoi Rocks was dead by 1984. Also, these guys didn’t live in Finland. I didn’t even know who the hell Michael Monroe was until I was 18 or 19. I never idolised Michael Monroe. I met him two times last summer and just then I found out he is a great rock’n’roll frontman. There always will be a comparison with Reckless Love and Hanoi Rocks, for once because of the fact we are both from Finland...and we are in the same industry. I never want to acknowledge him before. People started asking me about Mike Monroe or compare me with him. Also Hanoi Rocks have a pretty bad reputation back in Finland. I mean, just when you come out of Finland Hanoi Rocks become a big thing! So, I came to realise much later, fuckin’ hell, this is a huge band! And Michael Monroe is the sweetest, nicest guy... one of the best guys I’ve ever known in this music world, really. Great frontman. In my late adult age I jump to like him and his personality, his stage persona. I must admit, if I would have known who Mike Monroe was when I was 15, he may have taken Axl Rose’s place. [laughs]
MD: Tell me more about Finland’s new rock bands?
OH: There are plenty of new bands who don’t have any record deal but there are also very talented bands like Santa Cruz from Helsinki. Very young but extremely good rock band. Really talented guys. They have a long way to go but check them out. Scandinavian rock bands are a completely different thing when it comes to rock music. There are two Swedish bands here tonight. Sweden has a big heavy metal and quite sleazy rock scene...rock music is a really big thing in Sweden.
MD: You’ve often been called the good-looking half-naked sixpack singer and most desired frontman lately. Do you mind that most of the female fans on your shows come to see you, before to hear your music?
OH: [laughs] No, no, I don’t mind it at all! And, really, it is not just about me. Although, usually, I have been blamed most for ripping off my tops and throwing it in the crowd. But that’s just me when I get into the swing, really! We all get a lot of things thrown at us at our gigs! I mean, just the other day Hessu got some hot red pants on his drums. And sure, they weren’t his pants. [laughs]. It is crazy; people really know how to have fun at our gigs. Well, what can I say; we all are pretty much half naked men on stage, having a blast like no one!
MD: How about your sixpacks? I mean, you and Hessu...how do you manage to get those well defined biceps?
OH: Well, I don’t really go to the gym! Not much as I used to. Now, I have this training exercise and Hessu is into that lately. I do regular weight lifting exercises or lift some girl if around...[laughs] I am always fucked, though is good for my biceps. And ‘cause we don’t have any roadies, we do carry all our shit. You also lose a lot of weight when you are from fucking Finland where half of your life you are in the sauna, sweating!
MD: Tell me what was the real reason you left your first band Crashdiet...
OH: The real reason was I am a heavy and merry metal head and they are the band with sad stories. It doesn’t mix that well. I mean, I am proud of that album with the band. It’s got a couple of really good songs on it, and that’s more than most of the KISS albums.
MD: Do you have any plans for the next year?
OH: We have many plans for next year, still nothing definite yet for abroad. But for the rest of this year we have lot of shows and we have huge things coming up in Finland. I am taking part in a reality TV show, one of the biggest shows in Finland. We’re going to appear on the biggest soap opera of Finnish TV. I’ve got three cooking shows to attend too. Shit lots of Interviews, plenty of media attention...lots of gigs to play too. I am going to say this out loud now; I do not have any minute of free time for the rest of this year! So, here is good advice for all new upcoming bands - take your time before you commit to the band and to all things that comes with it. Best advice anyone can give to any new band. Then go and conquer your dreams. And if you want success in this business, it all comes down to good songs. Without that you ain’t got nothing.
MD: Are there any other rules for the success of Reckless Love?
OH: I mean, the only rule for Reckless Love is there are no rules! There are no limitations! If it feels good, if it sounds good, if it looks good, if it is right for you, fuck the rules! It is all about fucking rock’n’rolll! There are no rules! Yeah! And here is one good advice for the new bands - “Learn how to write good songs”. Best advice anyone can give to any band! Yeah, it is not all about the “sex, drugs and r’n’roll”, really.
MD: So what is it all about being in Reckless Love?
OH: In our case, it is more of a different kind of sins. I mean, we all skipped the drugs. We just stick with, and prefer, sex. But then, in rock, all the dance moves on stage are equally sexual. Dance is a physical incarnation of rock’n’roll. It is as sexual a thing as the rock’n’roll itself! Fuck, I am gonna say this - I love a lot of sex! That is my biggest sin if you ask me. Well, what is there not to like...keeps you relaxed and keeps your mind clear; no stress, no tension...[laughs]
MD: Now, you really sound like a Scandinavian guy...
OH: Yeah, we all enjoy sex...we’re all Scandinavian guys for god sake! [laughs] Well, at least in Finland, we have these traditions; we travel naked in the bus, just for the sake of the fun. Easy and cheap way to amuse ourselves and other lucky spectators!
MD: Considering that this past year has been a bit like ‘your year’, what’s the biggest highlights been for you guys so far this year?
OH: We’ve been kind of living our dream for the past year. We got our record in the stores, we got the record deal with one of the most reputable and biggest record companies. The whole year, it’s been one big highlight for us! The good news just keeps coming, but I still have to say, Download Festival was one of the most memorable things during the mid-summer! Absolutely awesome! We had a great time almost from the moment we arrived there. We didn’t expect that kind of reception from the crowd. Absolutely awesome experience, and we are definitely coming back for the next Download Festival!
MD: I hear you are already in the process of writing for your new album?
OH: Yeah, we are in the process of writing new songs for the new album. We constantly write new lyrics. Plenty of shit to do! We start recording next spring. Fans always expect from you something new on your shows. Well, I always say - Reckless Love is the best and most fun rock’n’roll live act these days...you have to see it and believe it! We’ve got the most explosive live shows! We are playing the music as it should be played - loud, heavy and proud. And we are having a damn good time too!