Thanks again to Ami from The Mighty Scoop for hooking up this interview with Keijo Niinimaa, vocalist for Rotten Sound. Rotten Sound will be playing two New Zealand Shows on April 11th and 12th. You can find out more about these shows here. If you live in either Wellington or Auckland, keep an eye out for a free special edition of 'Subcide Zine' containing this interview. Copies will be available in all the usual places.
In the meantime read what Keijo has to say...
In the meantime read what Keijo has to say...
1) You are playing in New Zealand for the first time this April. What can the audience expect from your Live performance?
Well, I was in there last August with Nasum and it was really a huge surprise how similar NZ-crowd was to Finnish people. What to expect? Well, loud and furious grind-core with groove and insanity in front of us by everyone who is brave enough to enter the moshpit. Afterwards we will enjoy some fine alcoholic beverages together and laugh our asses off, because of all the good times. Having Ulcerate to play with us is going to be a huge honour and we’re actually a bit worried about the fact, that they’ll be really hard to follow in front of their home crowd… But we’ll do our best to grind your faces off.
2) Of course this is actually your second visit to New Zealand. In September last year you were here as front mate for the Nasum farewell tour. What are your recollections of that experience. What were some of the high points of that world tour as a whole?
Yeah, just like I said already… That experience was really short because we spent only 17 hours in your exotic country, but the way we were welcomed to the venue, to the stage and to the afterparties (which we unfortunately could not do because of early flights to Japan the next morning) were simply amazing. Once again, I felt actually more home than in pretty much any other country of the Nasum tour – except for Finland, obviously..
3) A while ago I saw a Rotten Sound T-shirt which featured a picture of the “Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal” with the secret setting on its dials. What does this pedal and setting mean to ‘Rotten Sound”? What will you do when you can no longer find these guitar pedals?
Ahh, well, those are the old settings (everything set to max), nowadays Mika has let off with few knobs… We have tried a lot of different things with our sound, but somehow the HM-2 and the way Mika uses it with his A-tuned guitar (darker than average HM-2 sounds, I think) seems to really work well. But that’s not all, Kristian’s Big Muff bass really adds a lot to it too and actually our bass feels like a 2nd guitar in the overall mix. Lastly, Sami is not using any triggers and tunes his drums quite low, which means that we’re playing grind with aggressive stoner-doom sound.
It’s pretty much the best sounding release we have done and it shows how we sound today in studio and on stage. It’s almost like one long song. I’m pretty bad at “selling” ourselves, so, I think it’s better for you to go and check-out at least the lyric video for “Salvation”-track to hear how the EP feels.
5) “Species at War” is being touted as a stopgap EP before the follow up to your 2011 Album “Cursed”. Are you able to give any insight as to what to expect from the next album? Are there any titles or indications of musical direction you can tell us about?
We have about 20 new songs, but I haven’t started writing lyrics to them yet… It’s going to be a grind-core album, but probably a bit more diverse again than Cursed or SAW is… Probably we’ll use the rest of this year to write more songs and to pre-produce all of them before we decide which ones will be on the next album. So, it’s way too early at the moment to say anything that concrete.
6) For 2013 you’re embarking on a pretty intense World tour. Could you please tell us why youhave chosen to do this. What are you hoping to do that you haven’t on previous tours?
We didn't have a chance to tour that much last year and there seems to be quite a lot of possibilities for us to play shows now. We also like touring a lot and this somehow fits our 20 year anniversary.
7) Word association time. What do the following things mean to Rotten sound:
- Napalm Death - Influence
- Obscene Extreme – Best party in the world
- War - Wrong
- 99% - Not done
- Veggieburgers – Once a week treat
- Stereo Drinking – Fun as hell
The next 4 questions are from Rotten Sound Fans who were asked to contribute to this interview via the punkas.com forum and Subcide webzine facebook page:
8) What are your thoughts on Scion A/V and corporate involvement in grindcore? [Tim Punkas]
Well, one could think that Toyota corporation is not the coolest companion to work with, but when they help bands to tour and they also made it possible for us to support Carcass back in 2008 by sponsoring us, we are the wrong people to criticize them in any possible way. I also think that Scion is good at bringing cool ecological vehicles to US, where most of the people need a car.
9) Why does the guy on the cover and video for 'Exit' wear a paper bag on his head? It seems pretty impractical, considering a paper bag could just fly off at any time - for instance if he had to make a run from the police - and in any case he kills himself with a shotgun, why did he bother concealing his identity if they're going to find his body and eventually be able to identify it via DNA testing or distinguishing marks if too much of his face is missing? Had he previously committed a crime he had every intention of getting away with or was he suicidal in the first place?. [Logan Muir]
Haha, good thinking in there… The bag represents the way that society and some corporations treat human beings as faceless, expendable resources. This poor fellow has realized, that his only way out from his misery is this “Exit” at his office.
10) Why do most of your song titles only contain one word? [Dan Birrell]
My English is too broken to have longer titles on stage… More seriously: I started to think about song titles a lot more when we did Murderworks album and my process has been pretty straight-forward since that album: I write the lyrics and pick up one word, that describes the song in a best possible way. I've done a few exceptions over the years, like “Sell Your Soul”, “Western Cancer” and I've even invented fake words like “Corponation”, but otherwise this seems to work pretty well as long as I remember to avoid the words I've already used.
11) What was behind the decision to move from Relapse to Season Of Mist? [Craig Hayes]
We didn't move, we wanted to change our label in Europe. Relapse is still doing the rest of the world and this same setup is going to continue with the next album too. Main reason was that Relapse was lacking distribution and promotion in few major European territories, which have been pretty good for us before when we still were with Spinefarm. But Relapse is doing really great job in North America and they can also keep our releases available for all other places. Season of Mist has been already really impressive with “Species at War”, but I believe that the next full-length will be a lot better way to measure their success over here.
12) Thank you for your time. Any last comments?
See you at the shows!