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Interview with Reckless Love (Download Festival)
02 July 2012
Interview with Olli Herman by Mónica Castedo-López
The hottest band from Finland appeared onstage at Download for the second time and blew everyone’s minds again. After that triumph, the 29-year-old singer Olli Herman conceded the following interview to yours truly under the glorious and welcome Sunday sun in the artist area. Bluntly honest and with a laid-back attitude, he made some interesting revelations which I expect will disappoint a portion of our female readers. With a European tour to follow in the autumn and an album scheduled for next year, we can forecast some more high temperatures.
I was in attendance at your first UK gig at the Barfly in Camden Town, London, a couple of years ago. What can you remember of that sold-out show?
It’s not that long a distant memory but it’s a good memory, anyway. Back in 2010 that was the first show we played in London and it really brings me some good memories: the show was packed and that was our first show ever on UK soil. Barfly: you broke our cherry. It was an incredible feeling that I will never forget. People from all over the UK, most of them reporters, came to see our show and we rocked the house and got 10 points out of 10. It was amazing. After that, we toured for the whole autumn to sold-out shows and after that it’s been a steady down hill, and a good one too! It’s a pleasant downhill.
And then you played Download.
Download 2010 was the highlight of my career so far because only two or three weeks back before that, we did a show in Eastern Finland for 35 fans, so to come to Download and play in front of 10,000 people in a tent where there’s only capacity for 8,000 was insane. To do it again this year was even more insane because now I’ve got the experience, the skills to hold on to that excitement. I didn’t get over excited, I didn’t break my voice, I was spot on the note and did a good show and the crowd enjoyed it even more. We had some really great people coming to see our show and they were: ‘You had all the people clapping all the way outside the tent.’ And I’m like: ’We had, because we’re that good’ [laughs]. And I’m not bragging about it because we are humble guys from Eastern Finland. Five years ago, I would have never believed that I’d play Download Festival even once in! my life, because English is not my first language. It‘s great that I make lyrics in English that English people sing along to. That’s kind of insane.
How did you find the reaction from the fans today?
It was perfect. I kind of find it an advantage to myself because I’m stupid enough and simple enough with the English language to make lyrics simple enough that people can relate to. Because, coming from Finland, mostly the people would come from English-speaking countries and listening to modern bands with a dictionary. They can’t even understand the name of the band! So in our case it’s really fucking simple. It’s getting hot, hotter than hell right now in this leather jacket and I have to take it off [and proceeded to take his jacket off].
The reaction of the female audience when you took your top off earlier on (and at every show) it’s spectacular. Do you think that helps?
The sex appeal? Oh, well, sex sells every time. It’s just an addition. It’s not like the ingredient of the band. I mean, I could be a fat guy like Vince Neil is now, but we would still have the hottest drummer in the world and we still have the hottest bass player in the world. So, as long as you have someone who is even remotely like a sex symbol in the band, women are going to want him just because he is in a band. Being in a band is like having a six pack or something. I’m married, you know? And I’m am a helpless romantic. You can never get me.
You’re married? And faithful?
Yes. I used to be really unfaithful with a different girl, of course, but since I’ve been with what is my wife nowadays, I’ve never cheated on her and I never will, because I got really bored of it. It’s too easy and it’s boring as well. If you really love something, you should really hold on to that and treat it with respect. If somebody doesn’t respect you, you’re allowed to give them a middle finger. I’ve always been an idiot who never respected anyone and nowadays I’m old enough to respect everyone.
Next album, when?
Next album will be out next spring. We have sketches and demos but we haven’t got real songs yet but at the same time we should have the album finished by the end of the summer because if we want to release it next spring we have to record it before Christmas. But it’s never been a miracle with Reckless Love. Pepe, our guitar player, is the guy that writes most of the songs. He’s the songwriter in the band. I write the lyrics and it’s amazing that people still like my lyrics in England because I’m such a stupid idiot who doesn’t bleach his hair without a reason. We just come up with these stupid choruses that people can sing along to. It’s like every one of my idols: Def Leppard, KISS, Van Halen… they sold millions making stupid songs and you can pour some sugar on that, baby!
Any messages for the UK readers?
The message is that even though we are shamelessly commercial, we are really humble at the same time. We’re not in it for the money, honey. and I’m quoting Lady Ga Ga here. The same thing with us: if we ever get the money, honey, we are going to spend it for an even bigger show to get you guys in the audience even better entertainment, because that is why I am into rock and roll. I’m not in it for the pussy or to make myself feel better and more wanted. I’m in it for good entertainment. My greatest idol is David Lee Roth and he’s one of the greatest entertainers in the world, so my greatest ambition and the greatest ambition of Reckless Love is to entertain everybody that comes to see our show.
But you are making some money now.
We’re not really making any money out of this because it’s really expensive to come from Finland to the UK to do a show. So, if I had it my way, we would have had bombs and fireworks and exploded that tent and burn it to the ground, but it’s not like that.
So, do you guys have full-time jobs?
Not anymore. We’ve got too much work to do any real work, so to speak. But we’re not rich. If you think that we’re rich, you’re wrong. If you want some money, the music business is the wrong business to be in. We’re in this just to have fun and to have a fucking blast onstage and that is what I like to do. I love to see people amazed. We do simple stuff nowadays. We have a reputation of being an energetic live act and when we first read that on a magazine we decided that we are going to stand still for the first song so that people would be amazed that we are not an energetic live band. We stood, didn’t move a finger and people’s jaws dropped to the floor. Next song we were all over the place: I was doing high kicks and all the rest.
I was thinking about that during the first track you performed tonight. But then for the second song, you took your T-shirt off and you seemed to be more comfortable.
It wasn’t just being comfortable. It was for you guys, just to make you think: ‘what the fuck is happening?’ And that is the main reason why we are in this music business: to raise questions and to give answers to that. And you know, just to be curious about stuff is not that big of a deal, but anyway, it’s fun.