Rotten Mind
Interviews

Post punk rockers ROTTEN MIND discuss politics, touring Europe and more

Fresh off the release of their excellent fifth album ”Unflavored”, a follow up to their 2020 album “Rat City Dog Boy”, Swedish punk rock outfit ROTTEN MIND joins us for a brief chat about some of the recent geo-political happenings in Europe, their new album, and being on the road in post-pandemic era.

Sweden’s Rotten Mind combines elements of 77’punk, post-punk, dark wave, and garage rock into their own brand of melodic and alternative punk. Effortlessly moving between gloomy, epic, bittersweet, punchy, and energetic soundscapes, the band brings vintage-sounding punk to the modern age with a timeless attitude and palpable verve.

Rotten Mind consists of Jakob Arvidsson (guitar/ vocals), Liz Panella (bass), Johan Sverredal (guitar) and Victor Nordin (drums). The band was formed in Uppsala, Sweden in 2015. As one of the four original bands affiliated with Lövely Records, Rotten Mind has released four studio albums; “I’m Alone Even With You” (2015), “Rotten Mind” (2017), “Fading into Oblivion” (2018), and ”Rat City Dog Boy” (2020). 

”Unflavored” is out now on all streaming platforms via Lövely Records.

Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut, Rotten Mind has toured frequently, playing shows in Australia, Germany, France, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, UK, USA, Spain and the Czech Republic. The band has shared stages with Hurula, Asta Kask, and The Sounds, and has been recognized in music magazines such as NME, Vice, Vive Le Rock, and Swedish Gaffa.

Existing somewhere in the dark wastelands where 80’s UK acts like The Vibrators meets US bands such as Christian Death and T.S.O.L. Their fresh and modern contribution to the genre makes Rotten Mind comparable with contemporary acts such as Crusades, Iceage, Radioactivity, Metz and High Tension Wires.

Rotten Mind

Hey there guys, thanks a lot for sitting down with us. How are you? How’s Sweden doing in these crazy time we’re living?

Hi! We’re doing well. Things in Sweden are usually pretty calm, but of course the events of the past couple of years have affected us here in many ways. It’s easy to see from the public discourse over Russia and Ukraine how worried a lot of people here feel right now.

According to some new polls, a majority of Swedes are in favour of joining NATO, and I guess it seems very likely to happen. How do you feel about the possibility of abandoning the country’s long standing neutrality?

I can only speak for myself here, but I think joining NATO is not the right thing to do. Expanding military alliances may seem like a good idea in the short term given the threats Europe is facing, but it would have so many long-term consequences that would be impossible to reverse, not least of which is giving more power to the US. I think we should be very, very careful.

What’s your take on the current crisis and the war in Ukraine?

I don’t know if I can say anything about the situation that hasn’t already been said. It is of course horrifying to see so many innocent people suffer needlessly because of Putin’s dictatorial power trip. Before our recent tour we organized a club night at our local DIY space to raise money to send to Ukraine. We should do something like that again soon, since the conflict is probably going to continue for a long time.

Ok guys, so back to music, I really love the old school meets modern vibe in your newest tracks. Please give us a brief overview of your top inspirations for this particular punk rock style you deliver.

Our inspirations are a mix of classic punk with post-punk. Anything from the Adverts to the Chameleons. Everyone in the band has slightly different taste, and I think that shows up in the blend of influences in the songwriting.

How about the lyrical content? What issues do you like to tackle with your newest tracks?

Our lyrics tend to be a twist on the classic themes of punk: alienation, feeling like an outsider, boredom, discontent, and so on. I think the newest record continues with these themes.

ROTTEN MIND live

ROTTEN MIND live at @alte.maelzerei in Regensburg, photo [email protected]_aaronbenjamin

You just returned from your recent European tour and I guess, considering the last two years and all the restrictions we’ve lived through, it must have been quite an experience. How was the trek?

It was absolutely cathartic. I can’t think of a better word to describe it. In several of the cities, our gig was the first one to happen after restrictions had been lifted. Everyone was just so happy and in the moment. It was so much fun.

What was the atmosphere among other bands and people you met on the road?

Excited! Anyone who’s been on tour before knows that it’s easy to get a little jaded on the road, but this tour wasn’t like that at all. Everyone was happy and enthusiastic.

Rotten Mind!

ROTTEN MIND in Orléans, photo by @ppandmusic

What were some of the places, venues or cities that impressed you the most and why?

Occii in Amsterdam was one of the best. Everyone there was so friendly and welcoming. And organized! I’m always amazed at how well punks can work together to make a place like that function so smoothly. It’s inspiring.

Are any of the bands you met worth wider recognition?

We played with a bunch of good bands on this tour. The Berlin show in particular was excellent. The opening bands were Rouge and Liiek and both of them absolutely smoked.

And in Parma we played with a band called Dadar who were also really great.

What did you get out of this touring experience?

Touring is always exciting, but this tour in particular was next level. It felt like waking up from a two-year dream. I hope we can hold onto that energy for a while!

Rotten Mind

Awesome, thanks a lot guys! Feel free to add your final words and take care! All the best from Warsaw!

Thanks! Hope we can make it to Warsaw soon!

Post punk rockers ROTTEN MIND discuss politics, touring Europe and more
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