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Rotten Mind are what can only be described as a Street Punk Rock’n’Roll band with dark undertones, crashing out into the world from Uppsala Sweden.
The 4 piece are made up of Jakob Arvidsson (guitar/ vocals), Rune Strömbom (bass), Johan Sverredal (guitar) and Victor Nordin (drums)
The latest full length “Rat City Dog Boy” was released on February 7th 2020 and reviewed on this site, simply put, this new album has taken the scene by storm and deserves every accolade it gets, being that this is their 4th album in 5 years, we are convinced that this is by far the best yet, full of Street Punk and sublime musical beauty with its dark undertones it seems to paint a picture of an Uppsala seen from their eyes.
We chatted with lead singer Jakob and asked the questions that hopefully give fans old and new a chance to get a feel for how they came about and what they take from to create this awesome new album.
Let’s set off with a hopefully straight forward question What is or is there a story behind the title of the latest album?
– The story is basically that we had the song “City Rats” and wanted to do something around that title. The city rats are the people that you always see when you’re out in the city, in the bars, at the punk shows etc. The dog boy is pretty much the same thing. Hard to describe so I’ll just leave it to everyone to make up their own meaning for it.
Band Name? Origins? Is there a story or was it just impulsive naming?
– Just impulsive. We wanted to be a band that played catchy, poppy songs but in a hard way with hard lyrics, so we wanted a name that kind of represented what we sang about.
Based on the fact that you have now released 4 albums in 5 years, how long would you say that this album actually took to write?
– I would say only a few months. Can’t remember when we started but we made this really quickly. This one went a lot faster than the other albums, and I think it suits us well. We write better songs when we’re under pressure.
Based on the last question, I’m guessing that you are continually writing so, Are the songs on this album brand new, in this I mean do you write record and then write more?
– All the songs are brand new. I have new songs now that came after the album also. It’s an ongoing process, we just write songs. But I would say all the songs on the album are from the last year for sure. We just keep going.
I am gonna be straight upfront and admit that before the album dropped in my mail I had only maybe heard a few songs and then checked out only the previous album. I do though still get how much this had moved on from the other the other albums, Do you feel that this album has surpassed the others or does it simply have its own place in the order of things?
– I definitely think this is our best so far, for sure. We keep getting better at our thing, I think. In the beginning we just went for it and I think it might have been a little bit too much of everything instead of just doing our thing, you know? On this album, I think we’re more Rotten Mind than we’ve ever been, and it feels really nice to have found our sound more now than before.
As i commented in the Punk Site review of the album, it felt that behind all pure punk rock n roll there was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on until “Fyrisan” and then it all became clear, or at least I believed it did, was it a fair comment that The Cure can be found lurking deep within your sound?
– Haha yeah maybe. We listen to The Cure a lot, but I’m not sure if that was the inspiration for “Fyrisån”. We want to blend some of our fast punk songs with a little bit more gothic post punk songs, that’s our thing. I would say The Cure is definitely an inspiration, together with a lot of other bands.
How do you feel the scene is in Sweden as a whole and how difficult is it to break out?
– I’m not sure, actually. We’ve got a good punk scene in Uppsala at least, and I guess cities like Stockholm and Malmö and so on have good punk scenes. I’m not as involved as I used to. Nowadays I like to go to shows and just hang out instead of putting them up. But if you look outside of the punk scene I think there’s more and more interesting things popping up, at least in Uppsala.
Can you describe where you are from?
– Uppsala. Old city with a big cathedral and a castle in the centre of the city. The city is so different depending on where you hang out. It’s a big student city so you have all the student places with bars and clubs. You have the “normal” bars in the city and in the suburbs. You have Femman, a punk house in an old industrial area. There’s a lot of gang related violence basically all over the city. What else? Oh yeah you have the most beautiful football team in the world, IK Sirius.
And aside from all the comparisons that have been made about your music, who are all the individual members influenced by, can they all answer separately?
– I guess we all listen to similar stuff. I can’t get them all on the line right now. We are all inspired by a lot of different stuff but I think when it comes to Rotten Mind we try to stay as “united” as we can. But I’m not too keen on talking about influences since it doesn’t really matter. We do what we do and it is what it is.
Being out on tour, what have been the best experiences you have had so far?
– Just playing sick shows are the best. We’ve had some really great shows in Germany, France, USA etc. We always get this question but it’s quite hard to just come up with a certain thing that has happened. Some things are classified as confidential as well.
And have there been any bad experiences?
– Loads haha. Waking up every morning? No we’re having a good time most of the time but sometimes touring can be a pain in the ass as well. No sleep, hangover etc. But we’re positive guys, you can see that in our lyrics.
I know that each member will probably have a different answer, but what would be your fav track on the album and is there a reason?
– I really think City Rats is our best song ever. It’s so simple, but it has all the Rotten Mind elements in it. The reason? I don’t know. I just like the feeling of it, really.
What next for Rotten Mind, anything new in the pipeline, Videos? Tours?
– Not sure. If the corona virus doesn’t stop us, we’ll go on tour. Otherwise we’ll just stay home and watch netflix I guess. I have a couple of bottles of red wine at home so I’ll be fine.
A great new album from a band that should now jump from strength to strength in the coming years.
Check out the music we chat about on their Bandcamp page HERE
ROTTEN MIND EUROPEAN TOUR 2020! Final tour schedule below.
Rotten Mind European tour 2020:
27.03.2020 – DE – Kiel, Alte Meierei
28.03.2020 – DE – Hamburg, Molotow
29.03.2020 – NL – Nijmegen, De Onderbroek
30.03.2020 – DE – Dortmund, Rekorder
31.03.2020 – FR – Lille, CCL
01.04.2020 – FR – Paris, L’Espace B
02.04.2020 – FR – Bordeaux, Void
03.04.2020 – FR – Toulouse, Les Pavillons Sauvages
04.04.2020 – IT – Parma, ArtLab Occupato
07.04.2020 – DE – Regensburg, Alte Mälzerei
08.04.2020 – DE – Dresden, Ostpol
09.04.2020 – CZ – Prague, Klub 007 Strahov
10.04.2020 – DE – Leipzig, Zoro
11.04.2020 – DE – Berlin, K19