|Do you really think that EXCITER needs any introducing comment ? I'm not sure how to introduce you one of the biggest Heavy Metal from Canada, which was pioneer in the heavy and pounding Metal in the 80's ? When listening to tunes such as "Rain Of Terror", "Pounding Metal"; "Rising The Dead", "Destructor", "Feel The Knife" nobody can deny they burnt the Metal scene with ripping riffs ! It's been a long since I wanted to do an int' with EXCITER, and when receiving an email at the end of May 2006 from Osmose Production stating Jacques Belanger left again the band, I thought it was my time to contact them ! Ricci answered the questions.|
Can you remember how you came into
Metal and which bands impressed you at the time ?
right, the band was first called HELL RAZOR, later you changed the name
into EXCITER… How did come the idea and the change ?
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
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 ?
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 ?
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 ?
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 ?
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 ?
It seems the deal with Shrapnel Records
was for only one album. How did you get in touch with Megaforce for the
second LP ?
"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 ?
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"
There was another label change as you
signed with Music For Nations. Did you think it was a better idea to sign
with a European label for promotion or tour support ?
"Long Live The Loud" was
released in ’85. There is more veracity, 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 ?
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 ?
| Can you explain
the reason why John Ricci left the band at this time ?
I left the band in August '85 because I found the rest of the band was making business decisions which was actually hurting the band's career. I felt I was losing control of a band that I originally founded in 1978. I couldn't take it anymore, so I quit. I didn't quit music, I just quit EXCITER at that time.
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…
What is your honest opinion about the "Exciter"
LP from 1988, with the addition of vocalist Rob Malnati ? Did you get
angry if I tell you that LP was felt like a kind of "a knife in the
back" for EXCITER die-hard maniacs ? And why Dan didn’t want
to sing anymore at this time ?
No longer after this release EXCITER
broke up. What were your activities before the comeback ?
In 1990, EXCITER re-united with John
Ricci and Dan Beehler, why Allan Johnson wasn't part of the reunion ?
The following year, you got a deal
with Noise Records and recorded "Kill After Kill". This time,
the songs were good, but not the sound unfortunately. What are your thoughts
about this LP ?
I saw there's a video of clip of "Rain
Of Terror" that was released a long time ago. What can you remember
from this video clip as it's rather a killer one ? Was it difficult to
video it ?
A lot of the EXCITER fans thought it
was sad you were the opener for Rage for the European tour, considering
the status EXCITER gained in the eighties and that you had enough killer
songs to play as a headliner. Do you agree with this thought ?
Should "Better Live Than Dead"
’93 CD to be seen as the testament of the second split as it contains
a Canadian live show from 1991 ?
When everybody thought EXCITER was
dead and buried, the band returned in 1997, with a new line-up and a deal
with Osmose Records, beginning with the release of the "Dark Command"
album, that is brutal and sounds evil. How did this return work ?
Why "Blood Of Tyrant was released
so late after ""Dark Command", three years is pretty long
for fans to wait ? How do you see "Dark Command" and "Blood
Of Tyrants" albums in the discography of EXCITER ?
You did European tours and several
appearances at summer European festivals, was the crowd receptive to EXCITER
new line-up and new songs ?
In 2005 you re-recorded songs for the
"New Testament" CD. What was the aim with this CD ? What do
you answer if someone says to you that it’s an heresy to record
old classic EXCITER songs with a different line-up ?
In 2003, Dan Beehler and Allan Johnson
were back in a band called Beehler. They play new songs and old EXCITER
songs. But this band didn't’ last long. Do you know the reason ?
I hope you will not find this question
boring, but have you never thought to an EXCITER return with the classic
line-up ? And how is the relationship between the original members ?
Recently "Heavy Metal Maniac"
has been re-released on CD in America with some bonus material. Are you
happy with the result ? Will it be available in Europe ? Was it also done
to fight against bootlegs ? Will "Violence And Force" and "Long
Live The Loud" be re-released this way too ?
Can you tell us the future plans of
the band ? Have you some fresh news ? Which label will publish the new
Excepted for the vocals, how will sound
the next album ? What kind of EXCITER should we expect now ? Could you
tell us a bit more about the tour that'll take please after the release
of this new opus ?
Being involved for long in the Metal
scene, how do you see its evolution all over the years ? Do you like new
bands ? Are you still loyal to the old bands you bought the records in
your youth ? And do you think it’s great to see the comeback of
many bands from the eighties ?
Everyone knows the band name is taken
from Judas Priest, I'd like to know your honest view about the 2006 Judas
Priest ? According to me "Angel Of Retribution" is one of the
strongest release they've recorded since a long, do you agree ?
you for your time on this interview. The last words will be yours !