Jason Saulnier of Music Legends recently conducted an interview with guitarist John Ricci of Canadian thrash metal pioneers EXCITER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Music Legends: EXCITER just released "Death Machine" on Massacre Records?
John: Yes, we just released "Death Machine" in the USA as a domestic release. It's actually been out since 2010 in Europe and considered an import in America. This way, instead of fans paying $20-$25 dollars for the CD as an import, I believe the price should around $15.00. Most of our records for the past 30 years mainly have been imports except for a brief period in the early '80s. Our first and second records were on American labels (1983's "Heavy Metal Maniac" on Shrapnel Records; and 1984's "Violence And Force" on Megaforce Records). Most of all the other releases were European. It's very exciting to have a USA release again. The response and reviews so far have been positive. For me this very satisfying because we've been around for so many years and obviously the media and fans are still interested.
Music Legends: How did the recording session go along for "Death Machine"?
John: 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.
Music Legends: Where do you find the inspirations to write music?
John: 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.
Music Legends: What's your vision on the Internet as a tool to promote and market music?
John: Even though there is a lot of illegal downloads on the Internet, it is still promotion for the bands involved. It's not so good for record companies. It's hard to stop, because every time you put a halt to it, the culprits will find another way to make it available or illegally sell. But you are right — the worldwide web is definitely the best way to make your band known. It's a lot easier than the old days of sending out demos and promo packages!
Read the entire interview from Music Legends.