Reckless Love are heading out across the UK this month with fellow Finns Santa Cruz in tow. Simon Rushworth caught up with Child Of The Sun Olli Herman ahead of the band’s Hard Rock Hell AOR headline slot.
RUSHONROCK: Is there a little bit of rivalry underpinning a Reckless Love/Santa Cruz double header?
OLLI HERMAN: Not that much! We’re really good friends with the guys. I suspect there will be a little bit of rivalry each night but that’s good. But I’ve known the guys in Santa Cruz since 2010 – even before they had any kind of record deal. And I have nothing but respect for that band. They’ve always been really great guys and they’re superb musicians. We’ve always been friends and I don’t ever see that changing. Everything that they do makes me really proud. Of course at this point they’re still trying to catch us – maybe in the future it will be the other way around! We haven’t toured the UK together and it’s such an honour to bring this Finnish hard rock double header to Britain. There’s definitely something weird going on in Scandinavia right now with so many cool bands coming out of the region. Rock is alive and kicking over there right now and so it makes sense for Reckless Love and Santa Cruz to join forces. They deserve all of the support that we can give them and I know they feel the same as us. We’re two different bands but we’re one band of brothers.
RUSHONROCK: What’s it like when Reckless Love hit the road?
OH: Well first of all we’re really, really looking forward to coming back to the UK. As a country it’s always had a really special and warm welcome for us. The UK was the first country to put our first record out and we’ve always had a great respect for our fans there. It’s always such a cool feeling to come over and see so many people singing our songs. We’re visiting a lot of the same places and hoping to see a lot of the same faces. Most of my idols are British bands – Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and a whole bunch of others. They were the bands that I grew up with and the bands I look to emulate. So when we hit the road we’ll have our heroes in mind. I saw Leppard last summer – they played 100m from where I live! It was a big festival at the beginning of the summer
RUSHONROCK: What’s the Finnish winter normally like?
OH: A couple of weeks back it was really, really cold. Minus 30C. But in the last few days it’s been hovering around minus two. There’s snow all over the place which I love. I prefer it that way. I’m not a big fan of rain and sleet – I like a lot of snow and the dryness of the Scandinavian air.
RUSHONROCK: You reference your winter in Scandinavian Girls, from the new album InVader – did you have any particular girls in mind?
OH: It’s just hats off to all of the girls at home. It’s basically our tribute to the Beach Boys’ California Girls. I’ve lived in Finland all of my life and I think anyone in the same situation will have a good idea what I’m talking about. It was a fun title. I came up with the title and the whole hook line before the music. And then Pepe came up with a killer riff. Some of our female fans outside of Scandinavia might feel as if they’ve missed out but we didn’t mean to upset anyone. Then again it doesn’t really hurt if girls in the rest of the world try to up their game! We’ve always liked to tease a little bit with our lyrics. And of course we don’t really want to alienate any of our beautiful fans wherever they’re from.
RUSHONROCK: Does the new album title have anything to do with Darth Vader?
OH: It’s what everyone wants to know! But in all seriousness I only thought about it after we’d completed the album and settled on the title. It had never crossed my mind. I suppose it’s a bonus if it’s got people talking. In truth the reason the ‘I’ and the ‘V’ are capped up is because it’s our fourth album. That side of it is as simple as that! We just wanted a cool title built around the number four. Pepe came up with it and we all loved it. He feels like every song is destined to invade your ears and your brain. But when we saw the lay out on the artwork we realised that there was the potential for Star Wars fans to go nuts. And they did! But it’s a fun, cool name. And who isn’t a Star Wars fan? I’ve seen them all but Pepe is the real fan in the band. He’s a Star Wars geek. Another interpretation of the title came from a journalist in the UK – he felt it represented the second Viking invasion: this time it’s long haired guys with guitars rather than axes but you get the idea!
RUSHONROCK: Getting back to weather – are you really a Child Of The Sun as the song on InVader suggests?
OH: I was thinking of Queen’s Radio Gaga when I wrote that song and I think that comes through. It’s synth driven and has a real feelgood vibe. I suppose the lyrics don’t really make that much sense! But it’s essentially about taking it easy – and admitting that sex on the beach is what I need! On a more serious note the song is about being true to yourself and it’s actually a really self-centred lyric. I actually wrote the words in Miami. I was there on holiday with my wife and Pepe had sent me a demo of the song. It clicked straight away and I wrote the song with the idea that people can escape reality – for a while at least.
RUSHONROCK: You’re one of the Hard Rock Hell AOR headliners this year – how excited are you about appearing at your first UK festival of the year?
OH: I’ve seen Tyketto at HRH before and can’t wait to see them again. Then there are two genuine legends in the shape of Gilby Clarke and Joe Lynn Turner. Turner is up there when it comes to classic rock vocalists and someone I must see if I can. I’ve been told to check out his work with Yngwie Malmsteen on the Odyssey album – it’s not a record that I know but I love nothing more than discovering hidden gems from the 80s. Every month I dig out something old that’s new to me and it’s great to hear how it used to be done – and compare it to what we’re doing now.
RUSHONROCK: And will you be checking out fellow Vikings Turisas?
OH: Well they are part of the Viking invasion so it would be rude not to! We actually met the guys in Spain last summer – we both had a show at the same festival. Their front of house and tour manager lives in the same city as we do and we ended up having a pretty late night party with those guys. They wear more make-up than we do!
RUSHONROCK: Talking of which how much time in a week do you spend keeping in shape and how much writing music?
OH: It all depends on where I am. When I’m laying waste to cities across England there’s not much time for keeping in shape but when I’m at home I try and do a 10km run every couple of days. When I’m back in Finland I try to keep my 30-year-old body in shape!! Because I know that touring and the summer festival season is going to take its toll. I normally exercise four or five times a week but when we’re on the road hardly ever. But when it comes to music it doesn’t matter where I am. I’m writing all the time – even in my sleep! I’ll often wake up in the middle of the night, turn on my light and wrote down a lyric or something. Too many times in the past I’ve not bothered and the idea has gone. There’s nothing worse.
RUSHONROCK: Do you advocate any other kind of love – or just Reckless Love?
OH: I support all kinds of love. There’s nothing wrong with any kind of love. But every so often you have to take a risk. And our kind of love is always Reckless. But in that case there’s always a chance that you might hurt yourself…