Rough Grind: Hard Rocking Pieces Of Resistance
Rough Grind: Hard Rocking Pieces Of Resistance
Rough Grind is a hard rocking metal band from Finland whose music is jammed packed with auditory intrigue. Describing their intensive sound as “Dark Roasted Rock, Served In Your Face,” Rough Grind has just unleashed their debut album Pieces Of Resistance. Available worldwide through the Inverse Records compound, Pieces Of Resistance presents a band ready to rage the night away complete with some vividly thought provoking lyrics and dynamic musicianship. Highwire Daze caught up with vocalist Sami to find out a whole lot more about this dynamic new band on the rise. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Rough Grind, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Sami, the singer and bass player. The band has been together since 2011, and I started as the singer & lead guitarist. We’ve had a few changes in the lineup during the years, and last year we had the pleasure to welcome our dear old friend and an awesome axeman Arg to our group. I decided to return to my bass-playing roots, and those changes immediately brought new energy to the band. We definitely took a big leap forward with this new lineup.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Our HQ is in Laukaa, Central Finland. It’s right next to Jyväskylä, which is the largest city in Central Finland and home of many great bands, such as Lost Society, Swallow the Sun and Steve ’n’ Seagulls, to name a few.
How did you wind up signing with Inverse Records?
Inverse Records is our long-time partner in promotion and distribution. They’re located in Jyväskylä too, so it was a quite natural decision to start co-operation with a local company, which happens to be one of the best in their business in Finland.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the Pieces Of Resistance album title?
The title is a bit ambiguous. First of all, there are many songs that deal with injustices that plague the modern world. We shouldn’t just accept everything that is force-fed to us. The rich get richer, but the poor remain poor, and the insatiable greed and simply staggering stupidity of those in power is making our lives a rough grind (haha) and the whole planet sick. We should have the courage to resist that.
But there’s also a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the title. I’m sure you know the phrase ”pièce de résistance”. We’d like to think that the album is a conversation piece or a collection of ten masterpieces, hahaha.
Select two songs from Pieces Of Resistance and what inspired the lyrics.
Referring to the previous question, I’ll choose Corporate God first. I believe these lines summarize the message of the song pretty well:
We’re living in a time of terror
never seen before
Follow the man with a dollar sign
unleash the dogs of war
If we do nothing
he will consume us all
Don’t bow down to the Corporate God
We have to stand tall
The other one would be our second single release The Die Is Cast. Our music isn’t entirely about resistance and fighting the system. We feel that it’s also important – personally and in general – to cast an eye on the pain points of life and talk about them. And that’s what we’re doing in The Die Is Cast. People can feel like they’re prisoners in a relationship or a bad situation in life or even inside their own head, and if that goes on long enough, you know it’s going to get ugly. Sometimes you just have to find the courage to make the hard decision that gets you out of that vicious circle.
What could one expect from a live Rough Grind show?
No one will leave the show without a smile on their face. We’ll do everything we possibly can to give our fans an energetic and entertaining rock’n’roll show. This is all about having fun. Our mission is to prove that a hard rock/heavy metal band can bring a professional performance and strong messages to the table and make their audience laugh at the same time.
What are you looking forward to the most about your upcoming shows in May?
The first of those gigs is in Joensuu, where Arg grew up. My childhood home was also near that town, so we’ll meet a bunch of old friends there, and it’ll be fun for sure. The second show is in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. It’ll be great to play some of our new songs for our fans there.
If Rough Grind could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
A great question! It would definitely be Motörhead. We all love that band, and although Lemmy sadly passed away a few years ago, he still is an immortal epitome of rock’n’roll. We want to honor his legacy and carry his torch.
Are your any other members involved with any other projects outside of Rough Grind?
Our drummer Killi has a couple of projects and also plays in a cover band, and our guitarist Arg has another band in Helsinki, but Ville and me are fully committed to this band at the moment.
When you look back on your three previous EP’s Son Of A Gun (2014), Four For The Road (2017), and Trouble Or Nothing (2018), what do you think of them now in retrospect?
Son Of A Gun was more like a demo release quality-wise. Pretty good songs though. Four For The Road had a bit more professional touch on it, and we still love to play Dead End Street. And then Trouble Or Nothing was a big step forward. The production was better, and we invited our good friend Petri Koistinen (Burnclear) to show some of his keyboard wizardry on that EP. Personally I still like that release a lot, and it has two real gems on it: Gilded Cage and Hereafter.
What’s up next for Rough Grind?
Currently we are promoting our new album and trying to set up some more concert dates for the summer and autumn. During the past few years, I’ve been writing a boatload of songs for Rough Grind, because I was born with this chronic compulsion to create (haha). I believe I’ll start to outline the songs for our second album in the coming months. And of course the other three will bring their ideas to the table as well. It’s so awesome to play with these guys, the band has a great drive and pushes forward like a bulldozer.
Any final words of wisdom?
Only fools don’t like rock’n’roll!
Rough Grind is:
Sami – Vocals & Bass
Ville – Guitar
Arg – Guitar & Backing Vocals
Killi – Drums
(Interview by Ken Morton)
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