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Rotten Sound: Metal Dudes Playing Punk, or Punks Playing Metal?

Kevin Scullion

Rotten Sound have been lacerating the ear drums of extreme music fans since 1993. On the heels of last year’s ‘Napalm’ EP, they’ve deployed ‘Cursed’ — 16 tracks of intense death-grind mayhem guaranteed to punch a hole into the side of your skull.

Currently, the band is on The Finnish Metal Tour II with Finntroll, Ensiferum, and Barren Earth. Rotten Sound’s drummer, Sami Latva, took a few moments to answer some of our questions.

‘Cursed’ sounds massive. Where did you record it?

We recorded it at Nordic Audio Labs in Vaasa, Finland. It was engineered by Nico Elgstrand and mastered by Panu Posti.

Do you generally enjoy the recording experience, or would you rather be playing live?

I enjoy recording very much, but I think everyone enjoys live performances much more.

Typically, how does Rotten Sound write material? Do all the members contribute or is there one primary writer?

Me and Mika wrote all the songs to the new album. Usually, we write the songs pretty much at home and then record a demo [to] send to the other guys. Sometimes we arrange the song structures together at the rehearsal space.

In addition to blisteringly fast grindcore, ‘Cursed’ features a lot of groovier parts on tracks like ‘Scared’ and ‘Exploit.’ The earlier records focused more on speed — what brought about this change?

I think we just wanted to make the album as versatile as possible. We are listening to lots of different kinds of music, and get our influences from there. We just like to mix new things with grindcore.

What other kinds of music have you guys been getting into?

All kinds of things — industrial, electronic, dark ambient, noise, drone, doom, sludge, and occult rock.

How did you get that ripping guitar sound on the record?

There are four rhythm guitars in every song. We used the Boss HM-2 distortion pedal with a Marshall JCM 800 amp and Marshall cabinets on two of the tracks. The other two were tracked with the Boss HM-2 through an old Peavey Bandit combo.

One of the most appealing aspects of the band’s sound is the mixture of metal and hardcore/crust, similar to Napalm Death. Would you say that you guys are metal guys playing punk or punk guys playing metal?

I guess some of us are more into punk and some are more into metal. So there [are] both kinds of guys in this band.

Tell us about this tour.

This [is] the second Finnish Metal Tour the promoters have done so far. Besides us, it also features Finntroll, Ensiferum, and Barren Earth. We got the offer to join the tour and decided to do it because it was [very] different from the kinds of bands that we usually go out with. The tour was a lot better for us [than] we expected, and there [were] a lot of people at the gigs that had never even heard of us.

Are there any other plans to tour the US in 2011?

We are planning to do something later this year, but nothing is confirmed yet.

Download Rotten Sound songs | Buy Rotten Sound albums

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