Returning almost a decade after their second album German metal five piece Exumer are back stronger than ever! I caught up with vocalist Mem V. Stein to talk about their upcoming tour and his influences.
How would you describe the new album to someone who has not listened to you before?
Mem V. Stein (Vocals)
Aggressive, passionate, punishing, impulsive and organic!
What message are you trying to convey with this release?
The fact that a band can pick up where they left off 24 odd years ago and still is relevant today!
What are the main values that the band has?
Honesty, passion for what we do and the fans always come first!
What influences are there for this record?
Us, all the thrash metal and punk/HC from the 1980s, and everything in between.
Give me a brief history of the band
Exumer formed in summer of 1985, we recorded our first demo late 1985, got signed to label summer 1986, released “Possessed by Fire” in November of 1986, I left band shortly after release, Paul Arakaki returned to band to play bass and sing (was initially a rhythm guitarist when the band first started but had to leave because of schedule problems), 2nd album “Rising from the Sea” was released in summer 1987, tours worldwide followed, Paul left band in 1988, new line-up emerged without the success of the previous years, one last demo was recorded and then band broke up in 1990/91. Band played a one-off at Wacken open air in 2001, reformed in 2007/8, started touring and recorded third album in 2011, “Fire and Damnation” is released in April, 2012.
Where have you got planned for the tour? Are the venues bigger or smaller?
We will go to Mexico, play one show at a festival in Germany and then head out to South America. This will all take place starting in May, into June 2012. Then we go out on the road in North America in the fall. The venues all vary in size, depending on the country and event.
Twenty years ago bands and fans would swap cassette tapes to promote and share music. In this current climate, where do you stand on mp3 sharing?
I think it’s fine as long as fans also buy CDs or more my preference, LPs. I usually have mp3s of albums and also own the LP on vinyl, I mean.
What was the biggest challenge on this record?
To maintain the focus of not sounding forced, to sound effortless and organic, despite the fact that the band lives on 2 continents.
What was the first concert you attended and how did you feel about it?
I think it was Ted Nugent with Mothers Finest opening in May 1981. I felt very overwhelmed and happy at the same time… crazy, that year I also saw Saxon, Motorhead, Ozzy with Randy Rhodes, Rush, Def Leppard, Accept and Judas Priest. I guess the Nugent show ignited it…
When did you know you wanted to play music?
In early 1984, I bought a bass and then formed a band shortly thereafter.
What is the bands greatest weakness?
That we don’t care about us getting paid but a lot of people making money regardless.
If you could re-record any song from your catalogue, which one would it be and what would you change on it?
None, we just re-recorded two old tracks from our records from 1980s and switched singers. I sing on the “Rising from the Sea” track and Paul Arakaki sings on the cut from “Possessed by Fire”. That was the only way to re-record old songs and make them still interesting. We did that on this last album, no need to re-record anything again.
What new bands can you recommend to fans?
Ghost, Fueled By Fire, High on Fire…
What do you want to do after the band?
Work on my PHD!
Fire and Damnation is available now on Metal Blade. Check out my review here.