Exciter interview + tour

I decided to prepare something special for Musictivity readers when I noticed that the first band in the world which have ever played speed metal announced European tour in November and December 2019.

British Judas Priest have created heavy metal but Canadian Exciter moved this music on entirely new level 40 years ago. It was raw, aggressive, wild, violent and fierce.

Nowadays Exciter is considered as a pioneer of thrash metal. They showed on the scene how to be extreme before Metallika, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth defined thrash metal. I guess that Canadian bands have usually harder way to the top than US bands so we can appreciate that Exciter still exists in 2019 and is full of energy to give us the best show.

Current Exciter line-up:

  • Allan Johnson, bass, Exciter 1980-1988, from 2014; also: ex-Reverend, ex-Beehler, ex-Jet Black
  • Dan Beehler, drums, vocals, Exciter 1980-1988, 1992-1993, from 2014; also: ex-Thrasher, ex-Beehler, ex-Jet Black, ex-Kiljoy
  • Daniel Dekay, guitars, Exciter from 2018; also: Aggressor, ex-Midnight Malice, Diemonds, ex-Shotgun Cure

source: Metal Archives https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Exciter/1103

Asomvel is a special guest on Exciter European Tour. They come from England, play heavy metal since 1993 and released 3 studio albums: “Kamikaze” (2009), “Knuckle Duster” (2013) and “World Shaker” (2019). What I find common both for Exciter and Asomvel is that they play straight to the point. They know how to keep listener’s attention on their music because each moment is meaningful and energetic. Especially Motorhead’s fans will love Asomvel!

Below you can remind yourself entire “Heavy Metal Maniac”, watch new official Asomvel videoclip, check tour dates and read the interview with Exciter’s bassist Allan Johnson.

source: The Classic Heavy Metal Vault https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVgHY9v7ubs&t=1573s

source: Asomvel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5Vwv_ce2tY

02.11.2019 Tokyo, Japan

27.11.2019 Zaragoza, Spain

29.11.2019 London, UK

30.11.2019 Hagen, Germany

01.12.2019 Mannheim, Germany

03.12.2019 Rome, Italy

04.12.2019 Paderno Dugnano, Italy

05.12.2019 Winterthur, Switzerland

06.12.2019 Tilburg, Netherlands

07.12.2019 Kuurne, Belgium

08.12.2019 Billstedt, Germany

Hi \m/ Vocalist and drummer Exciter Dan Beehler sent recently a personal message for all European fans: “Maniacs – get ready for some oldschool punishment as we bring the EXCITER machine pounding through Europe – see you at the front, long live the loud!”. This massage pounded my smartphone. It was almost like Rob Halford’s kick. Rob punished a fan in Chicago (Illinois), 25th May 2019, kicking out a private smartphone from his hands because the guy distracted Rob with too strong flash in the camera. Haha! What kind of punishment do you prepare for European fans and for what a crime? Or maybe Exciter’s concert is a sport?

Allan Johnson: Well maybe punishment is the wrong word to use haha. It’s going to be loud and fierce – that’s the only way we know how to deliver. As for the cell phone thing, during one of our last shows I had two guys standing right in front of (me maybe five feet away) and they videotaped the entire time with their cell phones. Too bad that they missed the show by looking through their phones the whole time. At some point I thought they would stop but they didn’t. It kind of spoils the show for me because you know if you make a mistake it’s going to show up on Youtube the next day. I let people do it though. Otherwise if you get mad at them, you end up looking like a jerk and you lose a few fans.

It seems that you will perform pure metal for the first time since 1986 in England, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands. How good contact do you keep with fans from these countries?

Allan Johnson: There are a few fans that like to contact me on Facebook, and that’s cool. I try to reply to everyone that messages me, sometimes it’s difficult to get back to everyone because there are so many messages. There’s also the EXCITER Facebook page which people message us on and it’s me and Dekay that answer over there because Dan is not on Facebook. It’s great to have social media now to be able to communicate with the fans.

What a masterpiece coming from Belgium, Switzerland or Netherlands would you call the most impressive for you (of course it can be music or something not related to music at all)?

Allan Johnson: I don’t know about anything coming from these countries except the beauty of the countries themselves. Whenever we’re in Europe and we travel on land I just really enjoy seeing the countryside and even some of the cities are beautiful too.

Everybody knows that Exciter created speed metal. However I can hear doom metal in “Power And Domination” (“Death Machine”, 2010). There is something about bondage castle in the lyrics on the beginning of this composition. Why bondage castle?

Allan Johnson: We did create speed metal which was then named Thrash metal. We were one of the first bands to do the Death metal vocal style, mainly in the choruses and backing vocals really though, Dan used to overdub some really low vocals but they were mostly lost in the mix and did not become as prominent as we intended. We had nothing to do with the Death Machine album, we didn’t write it or play on it, that were all John’s songs and the lyrics were terrible. Most of the time they don’t even make any sense. Bondage is not something that Dan and I would write about.

Popular proverb states that all roads lead to Rome. So then we have a traffic. And you will play in Traffic Club on 03.12.2019. Two days before in Germany, one day later in another Italiano big city, Milan. Don’t you need more time to immerse yourself in Rome’s atmosphere?

Allan Johnson: We often wish that we could get to see more of the places we travel to but it’s never a standard option. We fly in a day or two before the show, do the show and leave the next day. That’s typical. When we played the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise last year my wife came with me and we booked some extra days to hang out in Florida. It was like a mini vacation for us and it was great. But unfortunately we don’t do it very often. 

I can understand that your wild performance will be so intense that you will actually make the best use of dynamic opportunities available in Rome. That’s amazing because who else is able to experience Rome in one evening? Spartacus could feel jealous!

Allan Johnson: Our performance never changes, we always give it our best. Sometimes you have an off night, or there’s certain things that go wrong, equipment malfunctions or the monitors don’t work right and you can’t hear yourself or what’s going on. You can’t let the audience down though. I’m hoping that this audience takes it all in and enjoys it to the max. But yeah, we only get a bit of time in any place we go to so we have to make the best of it.

Your music is full of aggression but I need to admit that Exciter is likeable. Thank you very much for the interview \m/

Allan Johnson: Thanks, it is aggressive, it’s not metal if it isn’t, and the new music we’re coming out with is the same and better in some ways. We’ve never been comfortable, we’ve always had to fight for everything, nothing ever came easy for us and it still doesn’t in many ways. That comes out in the music, the aggression, the anger, the edge. I think Dan hits the drums even harder than ever, and with the addition of Daniel Dekay who is a wild guitarist on stage we’re better than ever before.

author: Sam O’Black