The Reckless talk ‘Only One’, Guitar Hero and the one riff that “changed everything”

“I have always enjoyed the more rap, funk, rock style,” Fritz Fayman of The Reckless told Happy Mag.    

Earlier this month, we were treated to the sweat-fuelled rock romp that is The Reckless’ latest single, Only One.

An explosion of nimble guitar licks and athletic drum fills, the track marked the trio’s first release since their 2023 EP, Get in A Fight, and served as a testament to the American band’s commitment to their craft after years of pandemic interruptions and lineup changes. 

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Fresh off the release of Only One and with a handful of upcoming shows slated for the US, Happy Mag caught up with The Reckless bandmates Michael Kennedy (bass) and Fritz Fayman (vocals/guitar) and Riku Myllykoski (drums) for a chat about video games, breakfast food and the one Led Zepplin riff that “changed everything.” 

Read on for Happy Mag’s complete interview with The Reckless, and listen to their new single Only One below.  

HAPPY: What are you up to today?

MICHAEL: Well, I had work which was only exhausting because of the heat. Then I went and played dnd(dungeons and dragons) with my work buddy and his friends who invited me to join their campaign they are running. 

FRITZ: Not much, I had an exhausting week as I had to run a summer camp so I worked 10 hour days, or close to that amount, for 6 days this week.

I also played basketball during the weekend and just wanted to relax on Sunday. So that’s what I did until I had work later in the day. 


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HAPPY: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?

MICHAEL: The music scene is awesome and very welcoming to everyone. I was very lucky to meet a very outstanding and unique group of individuals in the scene who have become my regular friends and showgoers. 

I have even met my girlfriend in the music scene, as her band the MicroBlades was given their first show by one of my other bands I was in. So I have some very fond memories in the local music scene.


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FRITZ: The scene is pretty solid. I have been lucky enough to meet a really solid group of people who throw shows and we all work together to help book shows with each other.

San Diego also has a lot of breweries and those are always really fun shows to play. Some of the difficulties come from the fact that we don’t have a strong large industry music scene; meaning labels and that sort of thing.

On a purely personal side of things, I have met nothing but nice people in our scene, everyone makes sure that people are safe at shows so everyone has a good time. 

HAPPY: Describe an average day? 

MICHAEL: An average day for me consists of waking up, doing my morning routine of getting ready for the day, going to work, either spending time with my gf, or doing band practice, or dnd with my previously mentioned group, come home or go to the gym (then go home). 

FRITZ: On an average day I’ll wake up, go to the gym, and then spend about 45 minutes to a couple of hours on music related ventures.

This could mean writing new stuff, sending emails to venues, seeing what other opportunities are out there, communicating with potential managers and agencies, all the stuff that I don’t enjoy about making music haha. 

But if this is what I want my life to be then I have to work hard at all aspects of it, not just the parts I enjoy. I will then play some video games for a bit until work. 


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HAPPY: What did you read or watch growing up that fuelled your passion for music?

MICHAEL:Well my passion for music started with my dad who always listened to the good bands like RHCP, Green Day, Zepplin, etc.

Listening to these bands with him and jamming on playing rock band and guitar hero and stuff made me wanna learn an instrument, but I actually didn’t start till middle school Jazz.

Where I picked up a bass for the very first time, that’s where my musical journey started.

FRITZ: Honestly my love for music came in kinda late. I enjoyed music but I don’t really recall watching or reading something that changed something.

Really it was a song that changed everything. My dad was a big music guy, he was a drummer and tried to make it in multiple bands when he was younger. 

I tried guitar when I was really young and saxophone in middle school but they just didn’t sit. One day we were driving to school and a song came on, he turned it up and said I should check it out.

It was Black Dog by Led Zeppelin. I had never heard anything like that before. Everything on the radio was so poppy and maybe the rockiest song I heard up to that point was American Idiot, which is definitely not a bad song.

I like it a lot, but it didn’t make me want to pick up an instrument. Black Dog changed everything. That riff was amazing and since then I knew I wanted to learn guitar.

HAPPY: Can you delve into your musical inspirations for the ‘Only One’?

MICHAEL: On the bass guitar side of this song, Fritz came to me with this song, I got the RHCP vibe from it almost immediately so I wanted to try and take some elements from the great bassist Flea and incorporate some hard hitting slap bass, as well and some very groovy walking basslines and fills. 

While also creating a powerful and emotion catching chorus bassline that will be remembered and get stuck in peoples heads, this is also the very first song I added some tapping in. I wonder who will notice.

FRITZ: The Inspiration for Only One came from a couple of different spots. The first one was that it started out as just a riff based around a F minor 7th chord.

I always enjoyed the funk rock style of the Red Hot Chili Peppers so that influenced a lot behind the overall sound. I think part of the influence also came from work, where I hadn’t done a lot with chords until I joined school of rock so I was experimenting more with different shapes and progressions instead of a purely scale based riff.

Minor 7th, to dominant 7th, to major/major 7th is one of my favourite combos and this influenced the chorus chord progression. 

RIKU: On the drumming side of things, I really liked the RHCP vibe that it had going, so I really leaned into that aspect for most of it.

I tried to capture some of the power and feel of Chad Smith as best as I could.  I also went into a bit of a James Brown thing on the chorus by moving the snare into places where you might not expect to hear it.

I remember Fritz wasn’t a huge fan of that initially, but I think he was sold on it once we had the demo nearly finished.  


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HAPPY: Can you discuss the recording process of ‘Only One’? How did you go about crafting this eclectic sonic experience?

MICHAEL: Well, we will track our songs and our drummer Rikus house and get a rough draft mix cuz he has a really nice and convenient recording set up at his house and we can usually get a very good draft and what we like.

Then after we get our rough draft we send it out to Fritz’s friend Cottee who mixes and masters it for us and adds any tones and effects we wanted added in and also fixes any last minute errors for us.

FRITZ: We recorded it at Riku’s place. He has, in my opinion, a really good and convenient set up.

We got everything to where we liked it and set it to our mixing and mastering friend, Cottee Embry, to clean everything up and get it how we wanted it. In terms of gear, I’m going to let someone else handle that. That is not my forte haha.

RIKU: We tracked the drums at my place in what’s essentially a bedroom. I played along with a demo that Fritz and Daniel had put together, which helped a lot.

Then we rebuilt the song, tracking guitars, bass and then vocals finally. I also added some tambourine and shaker at some point to spice up sections of the song.

We didn’t do anything crazy this time in terms of micing, since I figured we’d get a good sound as long as our instruments sounded good and we played them the best we could.

It ended up being a pretty seamless process this time around. We were smart enough to give ourselves a deadline, so there wasn’t a lot of tweaking or demoitis going around. 


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HAPPY: Could you elaborate on the creative stage you mentioned, where the core trio of The Reckless has started combining their songwriting talents?

FRITZ: We all come from different backgrounds. We all have shared music tastes such as all enjoying the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

But all of us have different tastes as well. I am a big fan of hard rock, punk rock, and classic rock. Although our drummer, Riku, enjoys some of that music as well, he likes more, for a lack of a better term, prettier stuff. 

This means that when we write new stuff or bring stuff we have written to the band everyone is going to approach it a different way.

This means we have to find a way to compromise and find a sound and style we all enjoy yet also takes some of what we all do differently. This process creates the most unique and “Reckless” sound.


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Riku: I’m really excited about our future songwriting endeavours. We’re really learning how to communicate as musicians while we play and we’re sounding more and more solid with every show.

When we write, there’s always an abundance of ideas. Almost too many ideas sometimes, but we never seem to hit any creative dead ends, so that’s nice.

We’re all pretty open-minded musically, but we share a similar vision of what we want the band to sound like. 

HAPPY: Lastly, what makes you happy?

FRITZ: Fuck me, I don’t know lol. Still trying to figure that out a bit. But I love family, I love my friends, I love history, I love Avatar the Last Airbender, I love basketball, I love good food, and I love music. I like to make other people happy, and music is a great way to do it. Seeing people like our music is an awesome feeling.