Sitting opposite me in a room at Universal Records HQ is Olli; the charismatic, uber-talented frontman of Reckless Love, a band we’ve championed since our site’s beginning, as Olli himself mentions as an “honour”, the sweetheart. As we chat about our favourite tracks on the album, you can tell it’s not only us who are anticipating the release of third album “Spirit” from our favourite Finnish glam rockers.
Spirit is released August 30th in Finland, and September 2nd in the UK. Click here to read our review!
HTS: You’ve just wrapped your new video for “So Happy I Could Die”, tell us about the song. Also, did you know that was a Lady GaGa song title?!
(laughs) Yeah I actually knew that, but I actually copied it straight from her because thought it was such a cool title, but I think her song isn’t that good for that title, it doesn’t suit it, so I wanted to do a song for the same title but do a better song, and I thought “that sounds like a Reckless Love title” so we did our own take on it. And I think it’s such a perfect depiction of the heat of the moment and Reckless Love is all about, you know, ‘Reckless Love are here and it’s the best party in the world and this is the soundtrack’, we’re playing it and that’s how we feel on stage every night and that’s the kind of song we wanted to write for it, it’s a very straight forward rock and roll song.
HTS: What can you tell us about the video?
I just got some making of pictures from my friend, I can tell you this; it’s an abandoned building in my home town and it’s covered in graffiti all over, it’s a big factory, it used to be a match factory at some point. We chose the location because its used for local Finnish hip hop videos and punk stuff basically and hip hop people and punk people basically hate us in Finland so we wanted to give them a middle finger like “we’re going to shoot our video in your place!” (laughs) and at the same time the whole place looks really cool, it’s an awesome venue. It’s like an old building with smashed windows. We shot it all in one day and it’s gonna have a continuance to what “Night on Fire” was, we’re gonna paint ourselves fully. I can show you a couple of pics from there. [Olli flips through the camera roll on his iPhone and shows us the first photo, the interior of the building] That’s basically how the place looks, like really rough – [we point out the mattress on the floor] yeah it’s like a mattress that junkies use, we went there and the first warning was ‘beware of nails and needles’ (laughs). We did a lot of head banging, its gonna be an awesome video, I really like the footage that we got from there and its gonna be really rock and roll. This time around we didn’t even think of the pop aspect of the whole thing we just wanted to have a killer riff, killer scream, wanted to have like a big rock and roll chorus and really up tempo. Hair metal with an exclamation mark!
HTS: There’s a real musical progression on this album, you’ve matured a lot since 2011’s ‘Animal Attraction’, especially ballad ‘Edge of Our Dreams’, why did you want to explore that different style?
Reckless Love is a band that has a huge scale of influences, ‘Hot Rain’ and ‘Edge of Our Dreams’ are both really soft ballads but in a sense they fit into that hair metal mode, because of course you have Scorpions and Skid Row, all those cheesy ballads, Def Leppard’s “Love Bites”, which is actually one of the influences for ‘Hot Rain’, and you know, you got all that kinda stuff and then ‘Metal Ass’ on the album is the other end of the spectrum, as is “So Happy I Could Die’. For this record we wanted to prove it to ourselves that yeah, we got this thing covered, we know how to do hair metal, cus that’s what our fans love and that’s what our fans keep asking us to do more of; more of this, more of that, so we decided to do more of everything! (laughs) ‘Edge of Our Dreams’ is Pepe’s [Pepe Salohalme, guitarist] baby. Pepe’s got this insane sense for melody, he’s got that sense of how the melody flows but he has a way of doing it in such a weird quirky hair metal kind of way, I think it works beautifully, it was such a joy to write lyrics for that song. It’s got this certain special feeling and attitude.
HTS: People from all over the world ask you guys to tour in their countries, when will Reckless Love’s world domination take place?
We want to come! This is a message for fans all over the world, because we do get emails from all over the world from Brazil, Argentina, from the USA, and Canada, and we do wanna come but the thing is, it costs a lot to put on a show and to take it on the road costs even more, and we can’t come if we need to pay for it ourselves, sadly, it is true, but we would have to at least break even otherwise we would end up being really poor and couldn’t afford to do another record! That’s the harsh reality. But we’re determined to turn the tables and show the world that we do have a lot of fans and we do wanna put the record out and we can make it worthwhile.
But you know, if fans anywhere want us to come there, contact your local promoters, there are venues, there are rock n roll clubs; that can book bands. Promoters can contact booking agents, we have like two agents and they both work worldwide. So if the promoters notice there’s a demand for the band, there is potential ticket buyers, they will book the band, and magic happens and Reckless Love will come! (Get on it everyone! – Ed)
HTS: Everyone in Reckless Love is active on social networks, Instagram, Twiter etc. Do you embrace the modern social media need to connect with fans nowadays?
That’s one of the best qualities of the internet, to reach your fans, to bring yourself closer to the fans. I grew up in a time where there was no possibility of reaching the band ever, and a lot of bands got put on a pedestal and they became gods in that way. But other bands, I never got to know, I never knew how to respect other music because I just wasn’t that interested, it wasn’t particularly like my cup of tea or my can of coke (laughs & gestures to his signature can of coke). I kind of liked the music but if I had the chance, if that guy [in a band] would have tweeted me back I would have been like “yeah! Fucking awesome band! This guy is awesome!” It’s all a matter of who you are and what you are and embracing it. There’s a UK bonus track that we did for this album called “Die Hard” that’s all about appreciating what you are and what the fans are, because we’re all he same. Most of the rock fans have been mistreated when they were young because they looked different, they do makeup; I had long blonde hair when I was a kid so I was teased about it all the time. I talked to Michael Monroe [Hanoi Rocks frontman] in Finland who had it really hard when he was a kid in the 70s in Finland; he was constantly beaten for the way he looked but he ever gave up. Never give up, be a die hard, you know, you can shoot me but I’m still gonna look like a girl! (laughs)
HTS: That’s a good message! There are a lot of good messages on this album…
There are! That’s why I decid d to suggest to the boys that maybe we should call the album ‘Spirit’ because I think we managed to pack in so much of the spirit and fire of Reckless Love for the lyrics of this album and I incorporated the word ‘die’ or ‘death’ in many of the songs, I think every song, because its a big subject and people can easily relate to that. I see a lot of our fans suffering from the same things that we’ve suffered, but we’re a merry metal band and we’ve turned it positive; that’s a resource for us. If you’re gonna give me shit about my looks, fuck that, I’m gonna put on even more makeup and laugh about it cus I think it’s cool that you’re annoyed about the way I look! (laughs)
I had this idea of incorporating the skull which is like the heavy metal symbol, every band uses a skull at some point, and I thought that “fuck, we need to use a skull and make a merry metal skull”, and immediately I thought of ‘sugar skulls’, cus they’re all colourful and the whole Day of the Dead festival is more of a celebration of the dead and their life and that’s exactly the way Reckless Love celebrate the dead, to remember how they were when they were alive and how great they were. And of course colours always go with Reckless Love, we fuckin’ love colours, and you can see from ‘Night on Fire’ video; they just gave us a bunch of florescent paint and a black light, having fun in the jungle, and a couple of flame throwers and you’ve got a video! And the same thing on “So Happy I Could Die’. I think it all began with the opening line of ‘Night on Fire’; “gonna paint my face”, that was the starting point for the whole thing. For ‘So Happy…’ we decided to paint ourselves fully. I had this wake up to reality when I was carrying a bucket full of water in this abandoned building, pitch black, freezing cold around the 14 hour marker, having to wash my hair because I had pink paint thrown all over me and the bleached hair, it sucks in all the colours so I had to wash it straight away, I thought; “I’d rather do this in an abandoned building than go to a steady job from 9-5” (laughs) “So where do you wash your hair?”
HTS: Any special surprises or supports for the upcoming UK tour you can tell us about?
There’s still details we need to figure out for the tour, but yeah we’re determined to get some visual tricks for the shows, because the look for the videos and albums are really strong, really great, and we wanna incorporate some of that for the live shows as well and do something we haven’t done before. But it’s all gonna come down to what we can do in which venue, because we don’t have our own production, we don’t play at stadiums, so it all kinda depends on the venue. So can we throw a bucket full of paint in O2 Islington? (laughs) We have to see about that!
Check out Reckless Love on their UK tour:
October 1 – MANCHESTER Academy 3
October 2 – NEWCASTLE O2 Academy2
October 3 – GLASGOW Cathouse
October 4 – LEEDS Cockpit
October 5 – NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
October 6 – WOLVERHAMPTON Slade Rooms
October 8 – NORWICH Waterfront Studio
October 9 – BRISTOL The Fleece
October 10 – LONDON O2 Academy Islington
Check out the video for first single ‘Night on Fire’ & latest single “So Happy I Could Die” here!