2014 in Review: Whore of Bethlehem's Ryan Sylvie - "I'm just waiting for Chris Barnes to rejoin Cannibal Corpse"...

Austin, Texas is well known as something of a hipster Mecca, but there's a big underground metal scene there too...

Greetings! For the benefit of the tape, please identify yourself, your band and your role in that band. "Ryan Sylvie, Whore of Bethlehem, guitarist".

Thank you. 2014 - Has it been a good year for the band? What have you spent the year doing? "It has been a great year for the band! We released our debut album, Upon Judas' Throne and played with some of the biggest names in the extreme metal genre. It has been a blast".

A blast in every sense of the word!  When you look back on2014 personally, what things stand out for you as highs and lows? "Personally, I have switched day jobs a couple of times and been on probation for a DWI charge from two years ago so that sucks. But I have had some fun too. I played and beat both Dark Souls games, which I immensely enjoyed. I also grew a lot as a person and musician"..

That's good to hear. How was 2014 for you musically, aside from any projects you’re involved in? "I think it was great. Lots of great tours and new releases in metal this year".

Best album(s) of the year for you? "Evergrey's Hymns For The Broken and Primal Fear's Delivering The Black".

Can't fault you there - we love both those albums here at MaF! 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? "Opeth. That new sound doesn't do much for me. I love Porcupine Tree, but I think Opeth is trying way too hard to imitate them".

Now back to you. What does 2015 hold in store for the band? "Hopefully a new album and a worldwide distribution deal. We are confirming some festival dates in the US right now, but I would love to go to Europe and play".

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? "There are some really great and creative bands from here like Id, Vex, Oceans of Slumber, War Master, Uncleansed, et cetera.. All of those bands kick major ass!"

Thanks for the tip - we'll try and find out more! 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? "That is a great question (laughs). I personally see nothing wrong with artists wanting to relive their glory days and celebrate that with their fans. I am not really into that many new bands so I kind of like the reunion thing – just waiting for Chris Barnes to rejoin Cannibal Corpse for a tour!

Well done - you've pre-empted my next question with that answer! Is there anyone who hasn’t reformed that you might like a sneaky look at should they get back together? "Barnes with Cannibal Corpse, Matt Barlow back with Iced Earth. Oh, and a new Disincarnate album!"

Hopefully Santa's reading this and you'll get what you've just asked for for Christmas! 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? "U2 is pretty much the worst thing ever and I would never purchase anything with their music on it".

Now for an important lifestyle question–vinyl, cd or mp3? "CD for sure. I do Vinyl and Mp3 but I grew up in the cassette and CD era".

I was convinced you'd say vinyl! Final question now - Is there anything else you’d like to bring to the attention of the MaF readership? "Be on the lookout for Whore of Bethlehem playing select shows and festivals in the U.S. in 2015 and check us out on www.whoreofbethlehem.com. Thanks for the interview!"