Rotten Sound Frontman Talks 'Species at War' and Where They're Headed Next

Rotten Sound Frontman Talks 'Species at War' and Where They're Headed Next
Finnish grindcore masters Rotten Sound are back with their new six-song EP, Species at War, the highly anticipated follow-up release to their 2011 album, Cursed. In a recent interview with Exclaim!, vocalist Keijo Niinimaa discussed the misanthropic lyrical concept behind the release and how the band are starting to move in a different direction with their sound.

Niinimaa explains that the themes brought forth through the lyrics on Species at War carry on where Rotten Sound's previous album left off. "Cursed was about features, or curses, of humanity and I consider Species at War as the final chapter for that album," he says. "Species at War is handling the most evil consequences caused by our curses: wars caused by religious and other cultural differences.

"Everyone knows that none of the religious or political systems were originally meant to spread violence, but people interpret them in this way all the time and it really makes me wonder if they're just an excuse to destroy. The songs, or parts, are starting from the cause definition, moves through conflict into war and defines the solution. The winning religion/culture/system applies the salvation and then enters into a bitter peace."

Niinimaa says the title of the EP refers to humanity. "I'm referring to people, who are unable to be humane enough to stay in peace. Humanity is generally thought as a good thing in our behaviour, but Homo sapiens as a species is far from that."

Niinimaa also goes on to explain that Species at War is an extension of Cursed musically, with songs that follow a similar sound and formula. "The songs were in the works already in 2010 when we wrote and recorded Cursed, but when the Cursed content was complete, we decided to put these six songs aside for a while.

"Then, we toured quite a lot around Cursed's release and didn't really think about these songs at all. But when Mika [Aalto, guitar], Sami [Latva, drums] and Kristian [Toivainen, bass] started to put together material for the next album, they realized that these songs don't really fit so well with what's coming up next and as a result we decided to finalize this [as an EP]."

Niinimaa says that Rotten Sound will be moving in a different direction for their upcoming full-length, while maintaining their classic sound. "It's going to be grindcore, but a little bit more diverse. I think we're done now with most of the stuff we can do with blast-dbeat-groove, which will probably remain, but we also want to find some new elements to use without losing our sound or main direction.

"The demos I've heard sound really interesting and the coolest thing is that we have three riff/songwriters again, since Kristian has also started to write songs."

Species at War is out now via Relapse, and in support of the record, the band will be playing some North American dates. You can see their schedule below.

Tour dates:

5/10 Vancouver, BC - Funky Winkerbeans
5/11 Portland, OR - Branx
5/13 Los Angeles, CA - The Joint
5/18 Toronto, ON - Hard Luck Bar
5/20 Cambridge, MA - Massasoit Elks Lodge
5/21 Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary
5/22 New York, NY - The Acheron
5/24 Baltimore, MD - Maryland Death Fest