Keijo about a new start with a new drummer, a new EP, and some new concepts |
Hi guys. You longed for a break in 2006, but you were back in studio without further delays. No days off for burning underwear?
Keijo: Hehe, that's right. The original reason for our break to burn our underpants was the fact that Kai was having a 2nd child in March and then he was starting to rehearse (full-time) for the WINTERSUN album, which is still under work. But then, when we started to get festival offers and we started to ask Kai if he's free to play 10 fests with RS this summer, he suddenly noticed, that there's no way for him to give ROTTEN SOUND what this band needs. And we just had to swallow that fact and move on with Sami, who's having much more time to play with us than we could have even imagine. 3-4 rehearsals in a week is something we really weren't that used to during the last few years. And we've always wanted to spend a lot of time at the rehearsal room to really move further musically.
Your new drummer Sami replaces the fast and furious Kai. How much listening sessions did you do with other drummers, and why did you decide for Sami?
Keijo: Sami is at least as fast and even more furious... We knew that Sami can play Kai's drum-trax of the old songs and we also knew that he's able to add something of his own to this band with his more rocking way to play. D-beats are something that Kai learned (finally) on "Exit", but Sami can do them much faster, which makes it possible to keep the tempos high in the "mixed", traditional d-beat grind-songs. And when we all also knew that Sami is very good guy (our friend, who has been Kai's drum-tech on some shows in the past), we had no other options. So, when Kai announced his leaving, we asked Sami right away to join ROTTEN SOUND. Then Sami rehearsed our former live-set (the one from January tour) for 2 weeks before we rehearsed with him for the 1st time. All of us felt right away very comfortable with Sami's playing and nobody was willing to look back or hesitate even a bit about the selection of our new drummer.
Sami sounds a bit different than Kai ....
Keijo: ... as I mentioned, we first learned to play our old set with Sami before we moved into the creation of the mini-CD. He does sound different, of course, but I believe that the difference was made even bigger because of the drum production difference (in between "Exit" and "Consume to Contaminate"). Sami is having very organic sound, which is quite different from Kai's machine-like sounds on "Exit". The balance was also changed quite much because none of us was really that happy with the exit balance with drums very high & guitars very low. But as I said before, Sami's able to play our old songs, which anyway make the most of our 45-60min live-set.
So it seems that Sami has an effect on your songwriting. The new songs sound more primitive, but very, very aggressive. Will you increase the speed in future to get more noise and chaotic elements?
Keijo: I have a feeling that we will make some very fast parts in some songs, but at the same time there's going to be more of those heavier elements, that are already on "CTC". Or maybe not... We're writing new songs all the time, but we never know the end-result before the nect CD is done. ROTTEN SOUND has always been something like "compressed" death-rock that's the thing we all like to have: recognizeable songs, which differ from each other - even when they're all the time on the edge of total chaos.
The older DVD is full of funny backstage material, and full of aggressive live shows. Would you describe yourself as a funny bunch, or are you more bad guys in real life?
Keijo: I would like to describe us as funny and nice people. And why wouldn't we be when we can put all of our aggression to the music when we play live. So, after show, we're just happy and usually that leads into excessive drinking parties, which again lead into embarrassing, but funny, backstage material...
You seem to do a lot of excessive party on tour. How do you manage the gig in the evening?
Keijo: It's not that hard... I would say that there's a "big" party every 3rd day and then 2 other days we're just having a few beers (few on tour can be quite much, but still...) before we hit the bunks of the nightliner. And another important thing to remember is to not to be drunk on stage. We may take a some beers before the show to get well from the night before, but nobody's drinking too much, because it's impossible to play these tempos totally drunk...
What's the craziest thing ever happened to you in your band history?
Keijo: I guess that's the pissing accident at Obscene Extreme 2002: Kai was wandering somewhere at the fest and so was Mika and they hadn't seen each other in something like three hours and both were really wasted (it was a day off at the festival... something we all fear...). At some point Kai needs to piss really bad & he goes to piss at this one house, which is in the downhill of the backstage area. Suddenly he notices that "oh fuck, it started to rain really damn hard now... wait a minute... that's not rain, THAT'S PISS!!!" and he looks up, where Mika is pissing from the roof of the house on top of him by an accident. Kai was mad for half a minute until he realizes how weird accident this was & he joined all other people who were laughing like hell around these two drunked reatded mongoloids... And it does not end here: the next day Kai realizes in the van that "man, something stinks really bad in here... Wait a minute... IT'S ME... oh shit, I was too wasted to get a shower at the hotel in the night".
Your lyrics are very serious, and you talk about actual problems of the world. Most people expect more gory violence because of your optical appereance and covers. Your actual cover is total different - did you ever felt misunderstood in your image, so that you'd like to change it?
Keijo: Well, "Murderworks" and "Exit" were both just images, which were created to match the musical and lyrical content of the albums. We just took the more violent sides because both albums just sound very violent. "Consume to Contaminate" is still violent, but we thought that it's probably a good idea to start to renew our covers after 2 almost similar conceptual covers. Mush Design just created more graphical cover & he was able to use gold very nicely (which was the only thing we told him - to use gold). Cover is still loosely connected to one of the tracks in the Mini-CD, but the main idea was just to renew how we look just to have something different. So, to answer your question, which was by the way pretty well though, we did not intentionally want to push our message closer to the people who buy the CDs. I think that there are always people who just listen and there are also people who also want to understand what they are listening.
Are some of you vegan or vegetarian, or is it just hate on the human race that inspired you to the 'Flesh' lyrics?
Keijo: 3/4 of us are being vegetarians on tours, but right now only Mika is (who has been as long as I remember). But even when I'm not a vegetarian, I still eat meat only 1-2 times in a week and I'm not going to McDonalds to do that... Usually it's a local restaurant with very good food. I'm a bit selfish because the problem in Finland is that there's not that good vegetarian food at our shops... But if I cook at home, it's vegetarian or I'm using only fish, which are normally having pretty okay conditions to live. This all sounds a bit hypocrate, but even 'Flesh' is talking about Excessive consumption of meat by those (usually pretty unhealthy) people, who eat mostly meat.
What do you do in your private life?
Keijo: I'm a SW-engineer, Mika's working at a company which is doing school photographs, Toni is unemployed and Sami is also unemloyed currently.
Do you have plans for the future yet? For example a new tour or full length album?
Keijo: We are just now working to find a few short (and maybe one longer) tours for the next winter and Spring, but it's currently a bit too early to say anything about them. As for the next album, we are writing new material, but most likely it takes some more months before we even reserve the studio. There has always been a lot of plans to do also splits & somehow we'd like to record really much more than just one album the next time we go to the studio & use the leftovers for a few splits.
Thank you very much.
Keijo: Thank you! Check.out www.rottensound.com occasionally for news about tours, recordings & everything else going on with this band!!!