Hessu Maxx and Jalle Verne - Reckless Love - Interview Exclusive Print E-mail
Written by Debz   
Sunday, 31 October 2010 05:00

If you haven't already heard about Reckless Love then I have to ask, "where the hell have you been the last six months?"

The Finnish rockers name became the one to start dropping shortly after they secured a recording deal with Universal Music in early 2009.  Then with the subsequent release of their self titled debut album earlier this year Olli Herman - vocals, Hessu Maxx- drums, Jalle Verne - bass and Pepe Salohalme - guitars proved they were truly ready to take the world by storm with their 21st century take on all things Glam Rock.


On the live stage following a rocking debut sold out London show and two very impressive sets at this years Download Festival the band have been quickly winning over legions of new fans with there high energy no nonsense attitude and feel good rock. 


The guys came back to the UK during the month of September for their sell out 'Back To Paradise' tour, and I was lucky enough to catch up with Hessu & Jalle along with a brief appearance from Olli (who was under doctors orders not to talk to speak but kindly agreed to chat for a while) before their Reading show at Sub 89.


So without further ado let me introduce you to Hessu & Jalle two guys who are 'Born To Rock'.





Hi guys thanks for taking the time out to talk with me today, I've going to start with a pretty simple question to break you both in, and that is how did Reckless Love get together?


Hessu; Well, those guys (points at Jalle and Olli) have known each other most of their lives almost, but I got to play with them less than two years ago.


And didn't you start off as a tribute band?


Jalle; Yeah me, Pepe, Olli and our first drummer we did a Gun's 'n' Roses covers thing and we were actually called Reckless Life, and then when we decided we wanted to start doing our own songs then naturally we had to change the name to what you see today.


Reckless Life, god I never knew that. So, can you describe what Reckless Love is about for those who might not have heard you yet?


Hessu_Maxx_by_AJ_SavolainenHessu and Jalle (together); Oh it's a Merry Metal band...(lots of laughter). 


Hessu; We think that is a good description; we got it from Powerplay magazine, they called us Merry Metallers and we're merry guys so we thought "that's a good expression we have to use that one"...So Merry Metal it is.


Olli I do have a question of you is it OK if I ask it? (I get a thumbs up from the guys) You joined CrashDiet for a brief while and recorded the 'Unattractive Revolution' album with them, how did that come about?


Olli; (speaking in almost a whisper) Umm Reckless Love wasn't really going anywhere back then and umm at the time perhaps we weren't doing the right things with the band, and it started almost as a joke between me and my friends that we looked like them and sounded like them so I should apply doe the singers job.  So I sent in a couple of pictures and a couple of Reckless Love songs and then suddenly I'm recording an album with them, but I'm a Merry Metaller and they are a band with a sad story and sad songs...so it got kind of odd when I'm singing these sad songs on stage and smiling all the time.  Also there wasn't that good a creative connection with them, I wanted to do party, happy songs and they wanted to continue with the dark sleazy type of thing.


OK then you came back together, and after eight years you finally got signed...it was eight years wasn't it?


Hessu; Well the boys first started in 2001 or something like that, but if you take out the time Olli was with CrashDiet and the time as a covers band, then the real Reckless Love have only really been doing this for about four years now, maybe one year or two before I came into the picture they were doing demos and stuff with a publishing company in Finland, but now we are older and we know more about life and how to write a good song that we wouldn't have been able to do eight years ago when we were young boys. So it's not really eight years when you think about all those things.


Moving on to your debut album then, what was the writing and recording process for that little gem?


Jalle; Pepe wrote most of the songs with Olli writing the lyrics but I also wrote some stuff with Pepe and then you have the influence of our Producer (Ilkka Wirtanen) and all the songs were ready when Hessu came into the picture.


Hessu; Yeah by the time I cam into the picture it was really just arranging songs like 'Sex', only small things needed to be done.


So will things be different for the next album?  I mean will you get more of an input Hessu?


Hessu and Jalle (together); Yeah


Hessu; We have some ideas together already, and by the end of this year album number two should be all but figured out, and we should know what songs we are then going to record. And we're demoing stuff as we go along.


Brilliant I can't wait to hear that, so thinking about album number one again for a minute, what are your favourite tracks from that album then?


Jalle_Verne_by_AJ_SavolainenJalle; I think my two favourites are 'Badass' and 'Sex'


Hessu; For me it changes all the time, but I like right now, 'One More Time', 'Badass' and of course 'Born To Rock', it may be very simple but it's a great song, but I like all the songs really, and who doesn't like 'Sex'?  (much laughter) And it can also change from night to night when we are playing live....


And for me last night 'One More Time' was just brilliant. (At this point I get some huge grins around the room).


So what's the critical reaction been to the album?


Hessu; We've been getting great reviews like 9/10 and 8/10.  I think the worst has probably been like a 7/10 in Finland and the UK. Oh there was one review in Finland where this guy normally gives good reviews he gave us like a 2/5 or something like that, and I think it was probably because he hated the whole Eighties kind of style we have, so it wasn't really a review about the album it was more a review of the whole scene...so he kind of made a fool out of himself so.....that's no problem.


Guys you've managed to create a huge 'Eighties Metal' vibe on the album, how difficult was it not to simply come across as a copycat band?


Hessu; Well its 2010 at the moment and we're trying to capture the sound the atmosphere of that time, we don't copy, it's close, but when you think about that time in the Eighties and the music and the bands there was a lot of copying, you could spot the melody or the chords that pinpointed to one time, but with us its totally different.  The atmosphere of that time is there, and that's the whole key.


Jalle; We didn't want to be like Steel Panther, because they are a joke.


Hessu; And it's funny for a while, but the joke gets old maybe?


Well do you think that Reckless Love can achieve the same level of success as the big names from back in the Eighties?


Hessu; Yeah we think its possible, anything is possible if you put enough effort in, and we're definitely trying anyway.


This past year seems to have been a bit like "your year", what's the highlights been for you so far?


Jalle; Maybe Download, yeah both of those shows.


Hessu; Yeah both of the Download shows were special, but there are a few things coming up like later this year.  Like we are going to Japan to play some shows with Ozzy Osbourne shortly, and I think there will be something like 15,000 people at those shows, and that looks like its going to be massive. First gig in Japan and it's something like that, so we must be doing something right.




So are there any plans to take Reckless Love to the US?


Hessu; Yeah, we have some plans already and some ideas, and some promoters over there have been in touch, and we're thinking "we have to go, you know", but at the moment we're working hard in Italy, Spain, Japan and the UK, and you guys want us to come back already and we haven't even finished this tour yet, so sadly we cannot be everywhere at the same time.


Olli; I should really keep my trap shut but while you're talking about the States our manager told us the other day that we have been officially airplayed in the States and our album is gaining some real interest.  It's been on local radio for a few months but now commercial radio is also picking up on it, which is fantastic for us.


That's brilliant news that guys, if you don't mind, I'd like to take you back to the night of your first UK show in London earlier this year and ask you what memories you have of that night?


Hessu; You know what, for me I really didn't know what to expect, that was my first time in the UK, as a tourist even, so for me it was just awesome.


So how did it feel last night selling out the much larger Garage venue?


Jalle; Amazing.


Hessu; And we've had that situation like three nights in a row now as well. And as you we've said before we must be doing something right.


So why did you do that Acoustic set at Download?


Hessu; Well they asked us to and we just love playing our music whichever ways we can, so it was a nice idea to go and promote us doing something different, and to then play two sets is always nice you know. And we had something for everyone I think.


And I hear that the acoustic set was particularly well received.


Reckless_Love_by_AJ_SavolainenHessu; You mean you weren't there? (laughing) We hit the record for the attendance outside the Jagermeister stage all the other bands had a few hundred people watching them and for us we had a few thousand.  So I think we can call that a great success especially when the Pepsi Maxx tent was also rammed out with our fans.


How many singles have you released from the album now?


Hessu: Well we heard yesterday that last Monday 'Back To Paradise' had been released in the UK too, so that is our fourth one from the album.


So can we expect a video for it anytime soon?


Jalle; We're making it right now. (laughs)


Hessu; We're trying to arrange it as some sort of special video from this tour, and take video footage as much as possible from these gigs and from some other shows in Finland but we are also thinking of just filming one show in a very special place to us, but let's see what happens, maybe we do it for 'Back To Paradise', maybe we do it for the next one.


Can we expect single number five then?


Hessu; Well there are some places in the world where the album hasn't been released yet so who knows.  But in Finland 'Back to Paradise' will be the last single from our debut album.  So it's time to move on to the second one and keep things rolling on.  But if we go to places like Italy and Spain they only have one single out there so we can chose the singles.  Like for example, in UK 'Badass' was the first single, and in Finland 'One More Time' was the first single. And that is down to who is releasing the album in what territory, so we have to do more than one video, as they want to be able to pick the singles every time.


Where do you see Reckless Love being in five years time then?


Hessu; Top of the world.


Jalle; At a "sold out" Wembley.


When you play that can I get an interview beforehand then guys? (much laughter)


Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what makes Reckless Love who they are, what are your main influences?


Album_SleeveJalle; Well for me its Van Halen, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi.


Hessu; For the album we just listened to a lot of Eighties music, you know, Kiss etc, but for me when I was younger I didn't really even know the band names, I didn't know the characters.  Someone said to me I looked like Nikki Sixx and I can tell you honestly I didn't even know what he looked like until around six months ago.  I loved the songs, of Motley Crue, I knew the songs but I never had the interest to get to know the bands that well, and in Finland sometime in the Nineties when I was old enough to finally be able to go and see a gig, it was difficult to see Motley Crue, they may play Sweden or some place like that but not Finland.  So for this album I think there is far more of a wider influence because we had Seventies stuff going on as well, but I have always loved the Eighties. These guys (pointing to his band mates) though they absolutely love it and know everything there is to know about it.  But you know we're already thinking of doing something different for the second album, and of course we are trying to make it even better than our debut.


And on that note keeping your influences in mind if you could play a gig with any one of them (alive or not) who would it be?


Hessu; Well for me there are a few bands and I cannot choose just one but I'd go for Dio, Whitesnake, Toto, and I have to say Motley Crue also maybe Queen, but there are so many.


Jalle; For me it's Whitesnake and Bon Jovi.


Just out of interest and it's not me being a stalker I promise, what do you do for fun when you're not on the road?


Hessu; I try to do as much exercise as you can do, and sauna and sports are regular things for all of us.  And most importantly we relax, because when you re on the road you relay do not have time to relax.  We were talking about this with Pepe earlier today and we think that after this tour we will all probably just sleep for a week.  You have to take some time off you know.


And what's the Leather Factory by the way I'm intrigued?


Hessu; The Leather Factory is a place I bought about 2 or 3 years ago and our rehearsal place is there, and I've got plans to build a small studio there.


Jalle; Yeah and we're also looking to start a "School of Rock" thing


Hessu; Yeah the "School of Rock" thing allows me to teach kids to play drums and Jalle teaches guitar and bass.  It's us giving something back to the kids.  The place where I grew up there are something like 5,000 people living there, and I have 10 students already from just one village.  They all seem to be exactly the same age, eleven and they all want to be a drummer, and its just nice to give something back you know.


Jalle; And it gives them something to do other than just sit on Facebook all the time.


Hessu; And I'd like to take more than 10 students but I can't I'd try and take 30 at least if I could, but wanting to play myself also I just don't have the time.




And talking of time, I'm guessing I've taken up about as much of your time as I should right now as you have a show to play tonight.  I do have one more question though which is...Are you guys single?  I have to ask that for all the ladies who might be reading this.


Hessu; Yeah we're all single, (laughing) and that's the best answer you will get, and it's the only one you'll be getting also. And our last words for the UK and anyone reading/listening/watching this are "We Love You All".


Brilliant, "thank you" Hessu and Jalle, for taking the time to talk with me, and making my first interview for Uber Rock go without any problems; I'm really looking forwards to tonight's now.


Hessu and Jalle (together); No thank you,


Hessu: It's been a blast.


So if after all that you still haven't heard Reckless Love check out there Myspace here or the band's website here for everything you need to know about the guys and more.


Uber Rock would also like to take the opportunity to thank Dante Bonutto for arranging this interview, and making Debz the happiest woman on the Glam Rock planet.


Promo Photo Kudos AJ Savolainen