Pioneering Canadian thrashers EXCITER have released the following statement:
"It is with a heavy heart that EXCITER announces the departure of guitarist John Ricci.
"After 30 ass-kicking years in the music business, John has decided to retire, leaving longtime members Rik Charron (drums), Clammy (bass), and Kenny Winter (vocals) to carry on the EXCITER legacy.
"As one of the founding members of the band, John was a driving force behind EXCITER's genre-defining albums including the ground breaking 'Heavy Metal Maniac' (1983), 'Violence And Force' (1984), and 'Long Live the Loud' (1985). As part of the modern era of EXCITER, his unique, manic, style propelled EXCITER's comeback album 'The Dark Command' (1996) along with 'Blood Of Tyrants' (2000), 'Thrash Speed Burn' (2008) and 'Death Machine' (2010).
"EXCITER wishes John the very best in his future endeavors and invites all you metal maniacs to continue pounding metal with us in 2014 and beyond!"
EXCITER's latest album, "Death Machine", was released on October 29, 2010 via Massacre Records. The effort was made available as a standard CD, a digipak and a limited-edition (500 copies) gatefold LP.
In an interview with Music Legends, Ricci stated about the making of the CD: "The recording sessions for "Death Machine" were a little disjointed. We recorded all the instruments at different times because of scheduling conflicts and also the fact our singer, Kenny, lives in New York City, therefore it wasn't one smooth recording session. Kenny arrived to record vocals after all the music was done and he sang the songs for the very first time without really hearing the songs previously. Nevertheless, the album turned out good. Because we were trying to meet the deadline to complete the record, I think we rushed the mixing process as well. All in all, no matter what we do or what gear we use, we always get this raw garage or 'very analog' sound."
When asked where he finds the inspiration to write music, John replied, "EXCITER's inspirations to write music comes from everyday news events, mostly of violent topics. Killings, murders, etc. We live in such a sick world, with senseless killings and unprovoked violence. The lyrics I write do not glamorize violence but condone it. Of course, some song topics include witches and Satan, but these topics are strictly fantasy. For example, if you watch a horror movie, it's not for real only make-believe. The instrumental part of EXCITER's music is always from an angry point of view. As far as I'm concerned, metal has to be played with aggression and simple power chords to get the message across to the listener. This has been the EXCITER formula for over 30 years."