2014 in Review: Exumer's Mem V. Stein - "Thank you for supporting METAL!"

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Hello and welcome! You don't need to introduce yourself to me, your band has been one of my favourites for nearly thirty years, but for the benefit of our readers, can you let us know who you are, your band and your role in that band please?  "Mem V. Stein, Exumer, Vocals".

It's a pleasure to speak to you!  Has it been a good year for the band? What have you spent the year doing? "It has been a great year, a few tours, festivals and we began working on our new album which is scheduled to be released in 2015, via Metal Blade Records".

Good news! When you look back on 2014 personally, what things stand out for you as highs and lows? "Highs: playing live in Moscow for the first time and headlining at The Avalon in LA, after a five year absence from Los Angeles. Lows: the passing of a former band member (One time guitarist HK)". 

Life has a habit of bringing you back to earth like tat I guess. How was 2014 for you musically, aside from any projects you’re involved in "Great, the music I listen to as far as rock/metal goes is a style called Doom, and there have been some monster releases this year in that genre".

Best album(s) of the year? "Electric WizardTime To Die".

An easy choice to make if you love doom! Now, we’re not going to ask for your worst album of the year, as people always say they try and stay away from bad music, but did you feel disappointed by any album that came out this year that you were looking forward to? "The last Exodus album, I was expecting murder on wax but it did not turn out that way. At least not for me". 

'Murder on wax'. A good phrase! Looking ahead, what does 2015 hold in store for the band? "Most importantly the recording and release of our 4th album". 

Ah yes. Already looking forward to that! And on a wider note, how healthy do you think the extreme music scene is where you are from, looking towards 2015? Any bands we should be looking out for next year that we might not already know about? "I live in New York and unfortunately there is more of an Indie than a metal scene but whatever we have going on here is pretty “healthy”.  I am a fan of this band from the West Coast called Night Demon. Look out for their full length". 

Yes, it's called Curse of the Damned. Their last record was pretty good so I'm looking forward to hearing it. The last couple of years have seen almost every band from the eighties and nineties that were even half decent (and many not even that good) reforming for another go at stardom. Is this a reflection on the state of the music industry as it stands, with labels unable or unwilling to nurture young talent and punters forced into going out and watching something more tried and trusted? Or is it simply a reflection on the laziness of those same punters who’d rather watch a bunch of old blokes performing in their own tribute acts rather than risking a tenner on new music? "My band is also from the 1980s, so I will try to answer this in the most honest way possible. I believe that anyone can or should play/record/express if they feel they have something to contribute. It is ultimately up to the listening audience to decide whether they want to hear it or not. I also believe that there a good amount of new acts out there, one just needs to explore their respective scenes etc. It’s very tough to establish new acts from a record label’s point of few and I can understand that they (the labels), are careful how they spend their budgets. That is why it’s important for new bands to do a lot of things DIY style, especially in the beginning". 

A well made argument. And notwithstanding what you may have answered to that question,  is there anyone who hasn’t reformed that you might like a sneaky look at should they get back together? "Not really, not that I can think of right now". 

Fair enough! And talking of old farts for a bit longer – what did you make of the U2/Apple business? Great piece of marketing or appalling imposition on individual privacy? "I did not care whether they did it, it’s on my new phone and I have not listened to it once… guess it doesn’t always have the desired effect". 

Haha no! Next up, an important lifestyle question – vinyl, cd or mp3?"Vinyl, vinyl, vinyl".

And finally, Anything else you’d like to bring to the attention of the MaF readership?"Thank you for supporting Metal!: