– First of all thanks for answering to our interview. An well, I would like to know how is EXUMER currently doing near to the release of your new album.
We are doing great we are getting prepared to leave for our first shows since the fall of 2010. We start in Mexico, then off to Germany and then we will tour in South America, so yea, we are very happy. The album is getting a lot of positive attention. Everything could not be better!
– The album is entitled “Fire & Damnation”. Tell us a bit what does EXUMER sing about in this new effort and if there’s some link between the songs.
The title reflects what this band has been going through in the past 26 years+. It also speaks to the difficulties of making this album and that is felt like going through fire, just to be damned on the other side. The artwork for the cover and rest of the sleeve is amazing and reflects all of what I’m speaking of.
– I have had listened the opus and I think is really powerful, clean and aggressive. Is this exactly the sound you were looking for? Are you pleased with the recording?
We recorded 10 songs for the new album and I would say that it is by far the best effort in regards to the level and quality of musicianship that this band has ever recorded. You have to remember that we were quite young when we our first two albums dropped and now all our experiences or technical gains have been poured into this record. Having said that, I think we were able to maintain the spirit of our sound from the 80s with the force of our expertise of today.
– Something else I appreciate and I dig is the album’s length: tracks shorter than 4 minutes which makes it more straight-forward. Was this something planned or did everything just turn out so straight-forward?
We just wanted to record the album that we wanted to hear and thought the fans would enjoy the most. Our ideas of great thrash albums include Slayer’s “Reign in Blood”, 28-minutes. So, yea we wanted to make it as focused and compact as possible, can’t really do that with 7/8 min. long songs.
– And about the band you are playing with right now; who are they and how has their adaptation been to what EXUMER and its sound does represent into de Thrash Metal world?
Ray and I have met in 1983 and we have been friends since 1985. T, our bassist and I have been friends since 2000.T played guitar in Sun Descends in 2002-2003. We found Matthias through Death Squad Management, who knew and recommended him. He immediately fit in and his drumming chops are out of control. H.K. is an old time EXUMER fan and guitar teacher who lives in Ray’s area. He approached Ray after he had heard that we were looking for a new guitarist. He went to Ray’s house- they jammed a bit and a week later Ray gave him a call, asking if he wanted to join.
– Looking back you are one of the bands de appeared in thrasher Germany in the mid 80’s. How were those beginnings like for the band and why didn’t you have the luck bands as KREATOR or DESTRUCTION had?
We are all pretty much friendly with all those bands and respect their longevity and their respective careers. EXUMER has and will always be a very unique band that a lot of people love and some hate. It was the same in 1980s and still holds true today and maybe that’s why the band didn’t get as far. However, there were so many other circumstances like personnel changes etc. The list goes on but we have maintained to be a cult band after all and that is just as fine.
– Nowadays your first record, “Possessed by Fire”, is a cult album into the Metal scene. Thanks to technology lots of people has access to unknown albums for them and it’s easy to see kids at festivals as Keep it True wearing t-shirts and tattoos of this opus. Do you share this thought?
It’s amazing what impact that album had on the younger generations and on young thrash metal bands. I think the new bands give the younger fans a guide or a bridge to research the roots of thrash and the early bands. The cool thing is that we ended up becoming friends with Fueled by Fire and Merciless Death, great guys.
– After “Possessed by Fire”, “Rising from the Sea” came out, but you then disappeared. What happened and how has your life been until today?
After leaving EXUMER in late 1986, I moved to the U.S. for the first time and played in a band in New York but we broke up the project, due to financial problems. Then I formed Phobic Instinct in 1988, which broke up in 1990. I formed Of Rytes and then played in Humungous Fungus with Ray and Bernie of EXUMER. I formed Sun Descends after my 2nd move to New York in 2000, and then finally reformed EXUMER with Ray and Paul.
– And well, how was your comeback to the stage? I saw you at Wacken and Keep it True; what were your thoughts on festivals like these?
The Wacken Open Air was like a “Thank you”, to all our fans who didn’t have the chance to see Exumer with Ray and myself in the line-up. I founded the band with Ray in 1985, but left the band shortly after “Possessed by Fire”, was released and a lot of people never seen the band with that line-up. We were all there, except the drummer; Syke. The “Keep It True” Festival was a great time for us and the fans enjoyed it. Some people didn’t like our look but I can’t help that. We refuse to pretend that we are 16 years old and still wear the same clothes like we did in 1980s. That’s not honest and NOT thrash metal! Thrash metal is an expression of honesty and not carnival.
– Coming back to your present, how’s the live situation and the promotion of the new album going? And on a view to the future; do you have plans for further recordings? Any live album? Maybe a DVD? So that’s all from our side, thank you so much and our best wishes. Hope to see you in Spain if possible.
Metal Blade is promoting the hell out of the new album. Metal Blade is the only logical choice for us, since we need a label that can represent us globally and MB can do that. Metal Blade Records is an awesome match and in line with the demands we have on ourselves and the entire vision of Exumer in 2012, and beyond. Lots of touring, starting with a few warm up shows in Europe, followed by a South American tour and then hopefully a few dates in the U.S. in the fall. So, yes, we will keep busy after taking an entire year off from touring last year. Thank you for having us and most important thanks to our fans that have been faithful throughout our 27 year long career, in the end none of this means anything without them!