2011. január 14., péntek

Carl Canedy speaks about Exciter's Violence And Force record

Carl, how did you end up becoming the producer of the second Exciter record titled „Violence And Force”? Were other producers also in mind or...?
Jon and Marsha Zazula contacted regarding working with the band. I loved their music so I signed on. As for other producers, I’m not sure as I wasn’t privy to those discussions.
As the producer of The Rods albums, would you say, that you have quite a lot experiences considering producing a record?
I would say that now I have some experience. In those days of producing Exciter etc. I had an energy and some knowledge of how to get energy on tape. I always worked hard to get the best performances and energy transferred to the recordings. We had limited budgets and not always the best gear to work with but my goal was always capturing the band energy. Over the years I’ve learned much more about engineering so that if and engineer now told me that a particular sound was best they could do and I wasn’t happy I would know how to get past that. In those days I was, at times, limited by the engineers and studios in which we were working. I know do extensive pre-production and demos and make the entire process much more fun and less stressful. In those days there were few options with tight deadlines and budgets other than to just get it done.
Do you agree with, that in 1983 Exciter released a classic speed metal album in the form of „Heavy Metal Maniac” which had to have been a major influence in the development of thrash metal? Can it be considered as the very first thrash/speed records of all time, since it came out before Metallica’s „Kill ’em All” or Slayer’s „Show No Mercy”?
Going to back to what I’d said about first hearing Exciter and really loving the band was how much energy these guys had. They were so raw and hardcore about their music. Dan Beehler’s voice was so balls to the wall that you had to love it! I don’t think Exciter got close to the recognition they deserved.
When talking about the thrash heyday of the early 80’s, Canada’s pioneers of rage, Exciter, takes a back seat to no one, they were playing a distinct, rabid Venom/Motörhead/Anvil/Raven style, correct? Can be Exciter labelled as Canada’s answer to Motörhead or were they faster, rawer and more brutal than Lemmy and his Co.?
I think it demeans everyone listed to say that one was more or less that another on any level. They were all part of something that many other musicians didn’t have the desire or balls to do. Put it all out there without concern for hit singles or power ballads. They were all pioneers and as such deserve each their due.
To which extent were you familiar with them? Did you like their awesome, brilliant debut „Heavy Metal Maniac”?
I had heard about them but only really dialed it in when approached by Jon and Marsha.
In your opinion, musicwise did they have something to do also The Rods with or…?
Since we hadn’t heard of them really nor did we know them personally I would say that there was no real connection of any kind until we met.
While their debut album was released by Mike Varney’s label Shrapnel, „Violence And Force” came out through Megaforce, do you know something about the label change?
I think when you say Mike Varney’s name to many musicians you’ll have the same reaction and similar shared experience. They came to me with their story about their time with Shrapnel which in many ways was similar to that of The Rods. Let’s leave it that the music biz ain’t always pretty. Mike has done a lot of good for many musicians and shined a light musicians who might not otherwise have had the exposure or credibility given to them by being associated with Mike.
The band entered the Pyramid Sound, Ithaca, New York, November 1983, how did the recording sessions go? Was it easy to work with those guys with?
I still love the guys and have from day one. They are extremely talented and dedicated. There is nothing negative I can say other than I wish we’d been able to sonically have done better for them. They were a blast to work with and have nothing but good memories from my time with them.
Were Exciter prepared to record their second full length? Did they record some demos or pre-production materials before the recording sessions?
As I recall we may have done some demos (I’ll have to check my files) but they were ready to record. They knew what they wanted and weren’t allowing any partying to get in the way of their recording time.
While it doesn’t do anything different as it’s debut, one thing for certain the sound is way more polished and nowhere near the ass-kicking rawness of Exciter’s debut album but none-the-less it’s an excellent follow-up, what do you think about it? Is the sound a bit clearer than the one on the debut but it’s still heavy, corrosive and total speed, as the genre command?
As I’d stated in the prior question I wish we’d been able to do a bit more for them sonically. Comparing the two albums is probably something the fans can debate. I know these guys have never been anything but a fucking tank at high speed their entire career.
Did Exciter’s second album appear just as the metal world was feeling the impact of the thrash boom and the band was astute enough to adapt to the change?
I can’t say directly about that but it seemed to me that Excited was being Exciter every step of the way. They weren’t interested in jumping on any band wagon. They were leading the parade.
Does/Did „Violence and Force” feature the same characteristics of their debut?
Without a doubt you can’t have musicians with such strong personalties not bring to that each record. Their musical signature will carry through every time.
Do you agree with, that this album feature some of the greatest songs by this band and the title track is one of them? What are your fave songs from this record?
I thought these songs were excellent. I would have to go back and listen again to decide if I had a true favorite. There are some standout tracks but I felt and feel that it was an album that successfully made a musical statement as a whole.
Can be the songs devided into two parts? I mean, the first ones being speed metal monsters, and the second ones being slower mid-paced traditional heavy metal tunes; the faster songs are definitely better which is obvious considering that after all this is a speed metal band…
I’ve always thought that if you do a break down or mix it up a bit it makes the impact of the sledgehammer more exciting. I liked the way they did their bone crushing mid tempo stuff.
How do you see, that Exciter’s style on „Violence and Force” isn’t really thrash although they were certainly fast enough to keep up with the new breed and doubtless influenced the scene with this release?
As I’d said these guys were doing what they loved with their music. They were being themselves not jumping on a musical trend.
According to guitarist John Ricci, at this point, they were still discovering theirselves, the success of their first record was unexpected, so they wanted to follow up with even a greater record, what do you think about it?
Isn’t that the mark of a great artist or band? Need I say more?
Is it an absolutely outstanding record? Is it a legendary album of a legend?
I can’t make that call. I loved working with the band, I love the record, and I love the music. I think were trying to make a cohesive album and to that end I believe we succeeded.
Did Exciter manage to catch the attention of the then leading heavy metal label in the US?
That aspect of the business was something that Jon and Marsha were handling. I do believe they had interest but from whom or where it led I have no idea.
How was the record welcomed? Did it fulfill the hopes that were added to it? I mean, did it satisfy the demands of the fans?
I can’t recall all of the reviews from the time. I was busy and didn’t always follow every review. I don’t think any album can satisfy all fans but I think it served them well. I say that despite a cover which I found a bit weak.
Megaforce Records which at the time couldn’t be a better place considering the label had just released Metallica’ „Kill ’em All”, and later on Over Kill’s „Feel the Fire”, so being stuck next to those two definitely gave them an advantage in exposing them to a bigger audience, how do you explain this? Did Megaforce really help a lot the band? Did they really support Exciter?
Jon and Marsha, to my knowledge, never signed a band they didn’t believe in. They were tireless promoters but they didn’t promote something their hearts weren’t committed to. It certainly was an advantage for the band in the fact that all the bands on the label had credibility given to each other by their label mates. They were all in good company.
They were not all that popular, though they have always made great quality songs throughout their career; Exciter was a band that never hit it big but should have, correct?
Again, I feel that Exciter is a band who has not gotten the recogition they deserve.
Is Exciter often overlooked when it comes to metal?
Without a doubt!
It seems, a good friendship have woven among you and the band, because during 1984 Exciter embarked on the Hell On Earth tour with Metallica and with your band The Rods, how did that tour come into being exactly? How did the whole tour go? Did the bands get on well with each other?
Sadly this tour never materialized.
Dan Beehler was involving in your project Thrasher, what can you tell us about it? Could you give us details about the Burning At The Speed Of Light record?
When Duck (Andres Duck MacDonald) and I were working on Thrasher album we discussed musicians who would be right for the project. I’d always loved Dan’s voice and Dan as a person. As Duck and I worked on the song Burning At The Speed of Light we knew there was only one guy who was going to bring to it what it needed. Dan came in and just sang his ass off as he always does. The guy gives a hundred percent every time.

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