Canadian Old School thrash metal legend EXCITER are back with a new album, “Death Machine” in 2010. Other Canuck thrash pale in comparison; and their Legend status is secured since years back. The line-up has changed numerous times, and two thirds of the originals can be found in BEEHLER these days, keeping their legacy alive by preserving the old tracks. How do you continue a legendary band with new music and with both old and new fans? Who better to describe the band´s development, core and new album than the still going strong original guitarist John Ricci.
*Please describe the new album. There has been 2-4 years between albums, why so long? Where would you rate “Death Machine” in terms of sheer heaviness and speed, compared to your entire back catalogue? How come you returned to Manfred Liedecker as producer? Which are your personal
favorite tracks of the album? How did you come up with the album´s brutal theme?
# It takes time to write good songs. Usually between albums we are writing but
we end up throwing songs out or re-writing them because we feel they`re not strong enough. Also, we`ve been playing Europe a lot so we have to make time to rehearse as often as possible especially with our lead singer Kenny, He lives in NYC and we are in Canada so our rehearsals with him are not that frequent. I think “Death Machine” is one of our heaviest albums in the catalogue. The songs on this album are very very basic and driving. I feel the simpler the songs are the better they translate when you play them live. Sometimes when you write a melodic and musically progressive song it doesn`t catch the audience`s attention fully and this is not we want so we prefer basic kickass songs. We went back to Manfred as producer because this time he was available. For the last album “Thrash Speed Burn” Manfred was not available and he was revamping his gear in the studio so we decided to try a different studio. Manfred really knows what Exciter is all about. He has the insight what we want. I`d say my favorite songs are “Death Machine” and “Pray For Pain” .The theme of the album was inspired by slasher movies. I`m a big horror fan and the imagery of heavy metal music mixed with horrific mutilations seems to be a natural. The last record had mostly satanic themes this time I thought I would emphasize the violence of torture and the sadistic individuals who deliver such acts.
*How would you describe EXCITER´s development over the years?
#Exciter the way we exist today function more as `one`. We have a more sensitive and diplomatic way how decisions are made within the band. Even though I am the leader of the band everyone in the band has equal say. Also, on the road we party hard and we get along better more than ever than the previous line-ups of the band. The songwriting has been consistent since I create most of the ideas so the songwriting stays focused. We plays shows today more than we ever did in the 80`s. I think the interest in Exciter is greater than it ever was in the past! To me these reasons are considered developments in Exciter`s career.
*What are the core values of EXCITER; the ones that applies no matter whos in or out?
#If you are going to be a member of Exciter first of all you have to be into the music and second you can`t be a jerk. You have to be able to get along with the rest of the band. Aside from the original line-up the musicians that have quit Exciter since 1996 haven`t been into the band I guess they were just there to experience the travel and the fans. So I say if a member of the band is not into it anymore get out and move on !
*Anvil made a successful documentary; will there be one about EXCITER? Why or why not?
#We are working on a documentary but it`s progressing very slowly. We are working with a local film company and it was their idea to do it. Ironically it was not inspired by the Anvil documentary. The film company had never heard of Anvil. The idea developed when I met the film company`s president at the music store where I work and I would tell him Exciter stories so he thought it was time for Exciter to be exposed through film. We have shot a lot of footage from around the world but I would say it will probably be another 2 years before anything is finished.
*What´s your opinion on BEEHLER?
#I don`t keep track of BEEHLER. I think 5 years ago I did hear one song. I wish all the best to BEEHLER. I`m doing my thing with Exciter and Dan is doing his thing with Beehler.
*What happens next; festivals, tours/gigs, PR etc?
#For 2011 we have a South American tour March 24-27, then a tentative one-off show in Madrid, Spain May 7 and we co-headline Thrashageddon 111 in AB, New Mexico August 20. So far that`s what we have but I`m sure more offers will happen. We are always doing interviews with the media in one way or another!
Cheers for your time John!