Do you really need an introduction for EXCITER after publishing Ricci's answers ? Well let's say they're an awesome Heavy Metal band from Canada. This interview is a bit special as I got in touch with Paul Champagne who forwarded questions to Dan Beehler who was the first singer and drummer in EXCITER. Actually his vocals and his way of drumming created the EXCITER's touch, melted with twisted Ricci's guitar parts. This interview is divided in two parts as Daan answered to the only 16 first questions and I'm waiting for the end of his answers. Read on what this genius had to say.
Can you remember how you came into Metal and which bands impressed you at the time ?
My brother got me into Metal. He was my biggest inspiration. Early Alice Cooper was first.

If I’m right, the band was first called HELL RAZOR, later you changed the name into EXCITER… How did come the idea and the change ?
We were called Hell Razor at first. My brother suggested Exciter because we were all big Judas Priest fans. I still like Hell Razor !!

The band was born in 1978, but it seems the first demo tape only surfaced in 1982… So was the band concentrating on writing songs, rehearsing and playing live at the beginning ?
Correction, the band was born in May 1979, I was 17 years old. We were writing and doing some early demos trying to gel and playing the odd live show. We hit a point where we started writing songs like on the Maniac album but this took years.

In 1982, there was a demo tape with "World War III" and "Sail On". How were the reviews back then ? I guess this demo helped you to get in touch with Shrapnel… Will the "Sail On" track eternally rest into the crypt, as it seems you never used this song on vinyl back in the earlier days ?
WWIII started everything for us as you know. "Sail On" was a perfect example of the early demos I told you about in the last question, we just weren’t there yet.

The same year the "US Metal II" compilation LP including EXCITER’s "World War III" was released, an amazing song by the way ! Do you remember the response for your first vinyl appearance ? Did the deal for the first LP come quickly with Shrapnel ?
Like I say it started everything for us and when we started to get shit loads of fan mail from Europe we Freaked !!! And as you know, soon after came "Maniac". The deal with Shrapnel was very quick. It was the best deal we ever had !!!

In 1983, you recorded a three tracker tape including "Under Attack", "Rising Of The Dead" and "Cry Of The Banshee". Was it done to promote the LP or to help signing the deal with the record labels ?
I’ve never heard of this tape. We didn’t release it. We released a full version of the album in cassette format to the underground Metal movement (Europe).The first version was called "WWIII Heroes", later changed to "Heavy Metal Maniac" and released by Shrapnel.

Then you put out the "Heavy Metal Maniac" LP, an incredible masterpiece in my opinion as it has remained one of my favourite album of all times ! Although the distribution was limited in Europe, you received an incredible feedback ! Are you still proud of that album and the fact that with "Heavy Metal Maniac" you have left a timeless jewel in the story of Metal ?
Thank you for the amazing compliments !!! It’s too bad about the distribution but a lot of people got this album somehow. Even today with the re-releases I know that if I only had the money to buy one (which is true) I would shell out for "Maniac" !!! Johns guitar was a monster, never came close after that.

What are you memories to be the opening band for Black Sabbath in ’83 ? Did you play only local gigs to support the first LP ?
We just did one gig. Johnny Van Zant cancelled out at the last minute. We got a phone call while we were recording "Maniac". We did the whole album that night in front of 7000 people !! I will remember it for the rest of my life !! I still meet a lot of people around the city that were at that gig, it was a milestone in our career.

It seems the deal with Shrapnel Records was for only one album. How did you get in touch with Megaforce for the second LP ?
Megaforce got in touch with us and the rest is history.

In ’84, "Violence And Force" LP was unleashed, full of killer songs again ! Were you satisfied with the job done by Megaforce ? Was this label good for the tour support also ?
Megaforce did a great job.. We fucked up. It was a strong album, but the production should have sounded more like “Maniac”.

You were also part of a Megaforce compilation LP with the track "Death Revenge". As this song is really killer, why didn't you use it for the LP ? Will you put it as a bonus-track on a possible re-release of "Violence And Force" ?
"Death Revenge" didn’t turn out the way we wanted, mainly the vocals. I sang it terribly but never had a chance to sing it again, we had to go on the road with Anthrax, so we tossed it and opened the album with "Violence And Force" instead. They dug it up later for INTO THE MEGAVAULT. I still cringe !!!!

There was another label change as you signed with Music For Nations. Did you think it was a better idea to sign with an European label for promotion or tour support ?
We had no choice, Megaforce dumped us on Music For Nations. We woke up one morning and we belonged to them. They did what they could, helped us out a lot but again we Fucked Up.

"Long Live The Loud" was released in ’85. There is more versality, but no sell-out to an accessible market as the songs definitely still are strong, raging and memorable. Do you see this album as a natural progression ? Was it as good as received the first two ones ?
This album wasn’t as strong as the first 2. It was written in a hurry and it sounds like Shit !!! It should’ve been the next HMM. Some diehards liked it though. It has it’s moments.

What was the idea behind the release of the "Feel The Knife" 12’’, including the devastating title track and live versions of "Violence And Force" and "Pounding Metal" ? Was it out of question at the time to put out a live LP with songs from the three albums ?
We wrote “Feel the Knife” in about half an hour. The record company wanted an extra track…….I HATE IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The live tracks are cool tough, and very authentic for the era.

Can you explain the reason why John Ricci left the band at this time ?
He was fed up and wanted to pursue other things in his life.

The "Unveiling The Wicked" LP saw the light of day in ’86, with new guitarist Brian McPhee. There are good songs on this album, but do you think McPhee was a good choice for the band ? I still think that tracks like "Die In The Night" or "Breakdown The Walls" would have been more killer with John’s guitar playing…
Brian was a great guitar player, but a wrong choice for the band. At that point we should’ve come back with a Speed Metal Album from Hell!!