Dillon Grant put some questions to Exumer’s founding member singer/bassist Mem V. Stein. The band has just released a new album, ‘The Raging Tides’, on Metal Blade Records.
The new album, “The Raging Tides” is your fourth studio album and potentially your biggest to date. What kind of inspirations from other bands were you guys taking at the time of writing?
Mem: “We weren’t really inspired by anybody else in regards to other bands, we don’t look to other bands for inspiration. We have our own sound and have been around for a while so we don’t really try to emulate any other band’s style. Obviously we like the things we like, those are obviously rooted in the 80s, especially riff wise and vocal wise.
Mainly we try to make Exumer records sound like Exumer records.”
If you had to personally choose one song from the album as your favourite, which would it be and why?
“One of my favourite tracks would probably be ‘Welcome To Hellfire’, it talks about a prison in Nigeria where torture and corruption was rampant. Above the entrance of the prison there was a sign which read “Welcome To Hellfire”, that kinda inspired my lyrically to put that together which creates a vibe that helps fit the song.
You guys are currently on the road on the “Road Rage 2016″ tour, if you could choose two other bands to tour with who would it be and why?
“We actually just got back from Road Rage 2016, we had two openers one from Israel Coma 7 and one from Greece Exarsis and they were great choices. If we could choose two other bands, uh, I don’t know, a band like Exodus who influenced us early on with Bonded By Blood, however in reality we would look for someone out with the thrash genre, someone like Obituary you know that has a tradition but we could reach more fans other than pure thrash fans that would make a lot more sense”.
Do you have any future tours planned, or any festival appearances for the summer?
“We’re confirmed for a couple of festival appearances, one in Finland, I think Germany but we also have a South American tour planned in the Summer so it might be difficult to do a whole lot of European festivals but we’ll try to do it.”
In keeping with tours and festivals, what is one stand out story for you that encapsulates a tour with Exumer?
“There’s so many stories that stand out from when we tour, too many. I can tell you the one trademark of ours, especially with tours we start kinda slow and we get into our stride with the drinking and the air guitar playing and the music and the singing on the bus, so a lot of good stories have came from that tradition.”
What is one gig that stands out in memory for you and why?
“One gig that stands out is Thrasho De Mayo 2009 in Los Angeles, insane atmosphere, super packed. We headlined that festival and we were surprised with the energy and insanity the fans brought that night, total mayhem and people flying everywhere. It was just insane.”
Is it truth that both Mensh and Stein met at a Slayer show in Frankfurt, a band which would then go on to influence the music of Exumer?
“Yeah, Ray and I met at a Slayer show in Frankfurt, we were influenced by early Slayer. I approached Ray because I wanted to form a thrash metal band and I saw him standing there tuning a guitar because we were both working as local road crew and we hit it off. He looked the part, long hair, shredded jeans and what not and yeah obviously we were very much influenced, “Hell Awaits” was the album they were touring from so excellent choice for us and excellent choice for them!”
Could we expect to see another album from you guys in the not too distant future?
“Yeah! We’ll try to write another record 2018, maybe have it out early 2019 to keep with the four year gap we had between “Fire and Damnation” and “The Raging Tides”. You know it’s definitely quality over quantity so we’ll take our time, we’re gonna keep on doing what we do”
If you could give a few tips to the bands out there struggling to get their first release out there and break through the first barriers. What would they be?
“Some tips for bands just starting out I would say, stay true to what you believe your music is and be convinced of your music. Work the scene, just like we had to work the scene and make as many friends in different places like magazines and labels as possible. You always need to deliver top notch quality material, musically and also in the presentation. So with those things in mind you’ll start to reap the rewards sooner rather than later”
Lastly, if you had to choose any animal to be for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
“I’d be an elephant for the rest of my life, smart animal, social animal. Not too many predators outside human beings. Human beings can be the lowest of the low when it comes to killing animals. They’re also an emotional animal, not very thrash metal! But an animal which symbolises myself in both life an reality.”
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