Finnish grindcore band Rotten Sound, currently on tour supporting their recent release "Apocalypse" via Season of Mist, are celebrating their 30 years in the music scene.
Few days before we had the chance to chat with vocalist Keijo Niinimaa, who talked about the feedback of their new album and tour so far, as well as his view on the future of the grindcore scene and the bands plans.
Read below our friendly chat.
Order "Apocalypse" : http://shop.season-of-mist.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=rotten+sound
Mika Aalto – guitars
Matti Raappana – bass and backing vocals
Sami Latva – drums
Keijo Niinimaa – lead vocals
RockOverdose: Hello Keijo! How are you?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): I'm doing great! We're having a day off, after four shows and now we're driving to Innsbruck (Austria) for our next show!
RockOverdose: How's the feedback from the tour so far?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): We feel that a nice feedback for the album as well. It feels very fun to play live the new songs.
RockOverdose: The setlist has old and new ones I suppose...
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): Yes! We play 8 of our new songs and the rest are older... it's over 40minutes which is a quite extensive setlist for us to be honest but we enjoy it very much.
RockOverdose: Your new album “Apocalypse”, I think it’s the best you’ve done the last 15 years at least. What has been the response so far and how much satisfied are you with the final result?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): It's of course hard to say like in a longterm, how it will be in 10 years from now but it's going pretty good!
RockOverdose: Did the pandemic play its role on the delay of 7 years after “Abuse To Suffer”, or was it finally the time for you to rest a bit after continuous releases?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): A little bit of both! We didn't feel we need to hurry.We just wanted to focus on making a good album. Based in the feedback it seems that we've done the right thing and also now it's time to go back on tour. So, all in all since it's been 30 years for us this year ... There's no rush. We want to take it easy and put out an album when it was appropriate.
RockOverdose: That's better I think because as you said it's your 30 years anniversary. Did you expect to come this far while creating the band?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): Well, since the band started more like a project and we were just doing music, got more determind before our Murderworks album, for that point on it was quite obvious of how we wanted to continue and I hope it will be another 30 years!
RockOverdose: Why not! Well, this album is the shortest in duration of your career, with only 20’ playing time, an EP duration actually. Did you feel the need to fill the gap of 7 years with something more fast and furious this time?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): We've writen more songs that will come out later in different forms. These songs seemed good for us to create an album, it didn't feel good for us to add more songs on that. It's compressed music but it feels like it's the correct amount of music so why to add more and then if you think that nowdays they don't usually get more minutes. I think "Exit" album has similar duration so the difference is quite small, we work as a same team, so we produce quite the same amount of music, including the intros and stuff. We talked to our label and asked of what they think, and for them it was just ok. That's grindcore! Let's do it! The way I understood it from the reviews at least is that lot of people think that it's enough.
RockOverdose: I believe despite the short duration, that writing a grindcore track isn’t as easy as it seems. Would you like to explain us how is a Rotten Sound track born and how do you decide when it has to stop? Do you have certain ideas that you may split into parts, or do you go straight away for something short, then another, and so it goes?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): The riff writers know better, they write riffs and then something more that matches to the riff maybe. It might be individual song by song. A song might finish immediately or it might take some weeks or months to get the final form.
I remember in pre-production there were still some more changes in the songwriting in the music side, the way I do lyrics and the vocals is usually I write them on top of the songs and try to arrange similar way the feeling on the songs.
RockOverdose:You are one of the main responsibles to talk about how you see the grindcore scene in general. You have been always loyal to this sound, do you believe it can still go on in the years to come? What lead you to form Rotten Sound and play this style back in the day?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): We started as a metal band first. Then it started to go little bit towards melodic ... then Mika had grindcore, hardcore interest...
About the grindcore scene that you're asking I'm afraid I'm not so sure about it because when I think of the scene nowdays, we don't necessarily play with every possible underground way nowdays, it would be fun but since we've been around for 30 years now, we want to keep it somehow like mentally constructive... It's hard to say... meaning for instance having nice living conditions, not core, in every squat being there like ... when we're a new grindcore band.
Having that said, there are a lot of amazing grindcore bands coming all over . Even on this tour we've met some really great bands, like yesterday for instance Eastwood etc the bands that we played with were really strong and I'ven't seen them live before or even really heard. So like I said, there's young generation bands are coming and that's very refreshing. The good thing is that on these tour we meet great bands among the old friends we know for years.
RockOverdose: Do you have any memories of your last shows in Greece? Would there be a chance to see you again in this tour? Did you have any offer to visit us inbetween?
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): I remember it was well received. I want to come back soon!
RockOverdose: The last words as always belong to you, you can add anything we didn’t ask you and you feel is important to mention.
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): I definatelly hope that we come over some day soon and do some shows.
RockOverdose: Thank you so much for your time and for still being around.
Keijo Niinimaa (Rotten Sound): You're welcome! Bye! Take care!
Interview questions: Angelos Katsouras