John Ricci, guitarist for Canadian Speed Metal band Exciter. Interview March 21, 2012
Exciter Interview with John Ricci
1. Exciter just released Death Machine on Massacre Records?
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 (hopefully, he,he).Most of our records for the past 30 years mainly have been imports except for a brief period in the early 80′s. Our first and second records we’re on American labels (Heavy Metal Maniac 1983 Shrapnel Records and Violence and Force 1984 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.
2. How did the recording session go along for the Exciter album Death Machine?
The recording sessions for DM 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 NYC 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 turn 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.
3. Where do you find the inspirations to write music?
Exciter inspirations to write music comes from every day 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 condones 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.
4. Are there any tour dates coming soon?
The next shows are in Mexico, March 17 + 18 with Destruction and Soul Fly at outdoor festivals and then April 20th we are in Brazil at Metal Open Air fest with headliners Megadeth and Anthrax. We have other offers around the globe but nothing confirmed at this time.
5. What is Exciter currently endorsements?
Clammy, our bassist has an endorsement with ‘Neal Moser Guitars’ and DR strings. Rik Charron, our drummer has endorsements with TRX cymbals and AHEAD drum sticks. Myself and Kenny do not have any deals with any companies.
6. What’s your vision on the Internet as a tool to promote and market Music?
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 !
7. With all the bands coming out today. Do you keep updated with what comes out online at all?
I try to keep up with new bands but I find many bands sound alike and the don’t have a distinct sound therefore I don’t go out of my way to get their recordings. There are so many bands today trying to accomplish the same goal (and they’re all very good bands) I find they get lost in the shuffle of up and coming artists because they don’t stand out with a totally original ingredient .
8. What would be some of Exciter’s influences in regards to the Death Machine?
My influences have always been the same in writing music for all Exciter records including DM. The topics as mentioned before are war, death and destruction and my musical influences are the classic bands, Sabbath, Priest, Motorhead.
9. Could you describe what goes on in a day in your life as a musician?
Our daily lives are routine lifestyles. We all have 9-5 jobs and play in Exciter part-time. Even though we have an international profile we`ve always kept our regular day jobs. I work as salesman in a music store and for hobbies I restore classic cars.
10. How is the health of the Metal world in 2012 in your eyes?
I’ve seen many motivated young bands and I’m glad to see that these newer bands have embraced the old school influences. As far as I`m concerned ( besides lacking originality) the new bands play faster and heavier than the old school bands and it’s good to see that they are driven and inspired by the roots of metal. So, to answer your question yes the Metal world is busting out with fresh blood !
Check out Exciter Online http://www.excitermetal.com/