“There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ Mnemic fan, and we’re very proud of that. Our fans are open-minded people who appreciate good metal – just like every member of our band.”
That Mnemic have been able to produce what is clearly the album of their career thus far in the tongue-twistingly monikered Mnemesis is a small miracle in itself. If 2012 is the year in which the band will triumph, 2011 was the year they lost a cascade of members, including long-time guitarist and creative force Rune Stigart. But according to Eftemie, this changing of the guard was crucial for the band's survival.
“Even though it's been a while since all that turmoil happened, it still feels strange because now I'm the last original member in the band,” he says. “What happened is that over the period of about six months we lost member after member. There wasn't any one event that caused this; it's just how things turned out. First it was the bass player, who wasn't happy about a lot of aspects of the band, so he left. Then the drummer left because he'd really lost interest in the band – he wanted to record the new album with a drum machine, and of course that wasn't going to work. And finally with Rune, he just wanted to go in a different direction stylistically, so he left as well.
“But I think all these things happened for a reason. With the new members we have, Mnemic is in a strong position. We're all on the same page with what we want to achieve, and the record we've just made together is our strongest and just shows the rejuvenation of the band that's occurred because of all the new blood. We couldn't have made Mnemesis with the old lineup.”
Eftemie's confidence is well founded. Mnemesis is a sleek beast that takes from a wide range of genres and churns out a seamless metallic assault. “I hate trying to describe my own music,” he laughs. “But I guess the easiest way to go about it is that with Mnemesis, fans will definitely recognise it as a Mnemic album, but it's like we've got a new engine. It's definitely more energetic but at the same time it's more modern, more melodic and edgier than anything the band's ever done. It's not as technical as the older stuff, where I think we overanalysed things too much. This time 'round we focused on writing simpler songs, and the new band dynamic really helped us. With the old lineup there were too many opinions, too much deliberate thinking about standing out from everyone else and taking things to the next level. Sometimes when things are so crowded like that you don't get the results you are looking for. So it was a great relief that the songs this time came so naturally during the songwriting process. Also I can sing these songs in the shower – so that's a good sign,” he chuckles.
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“I also have to pay tribute to our producer Tue Masden for how this record turned out. He's like the sixth member of the band because he has the exactly same mindset as we do. He knew straight away that we wanted to simplify things this time 'round and he made it so easy for us to do that.”
While Mnemic's past habit of genre bending has proved lucrative in that the band has attracted metal fans of all stripes, it did serve to turn some people away. But according to Eftemie, that's a risk the band has always been willing to take. “We've never gone out of our way to create some new hybrid form of metal,” he explains. “We just wrote songs that were informed by our influences – and that's why there are elements of everything from melodic death metal and metalcore right through to industrial in our sound.”
“There's no such thing as a 'typical' Mnemic fan, and we're very proud of that. Our fans are open-minded people who appreciate good metal – just like every member of our band.”
Mnemic will be playing the following shows:
Saturday 20 October - Sandringham Hotel, Sydney NSW
Sunday 21 October - The Hi-Fi, Brisbane QLD
Thursday 25 October - Youth Arts Warehouse, Gosford NSW
Friday 26 October - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
Saturday 27 October - ANU Bar, Canberra ACT
Sunday 28 October - The Hi-Fi, Melbourne VIC