2011. január 14., péntek

Carl Canedy speaks about Stricken By Might of E-X-E

How did you get the job being the producer of the debut E-X-E record titled „Stricken by Might”? Were you familiar with this band prior to the work?
I wasn’t familiar with them but David Carpin came to me with the band asked me to work with them.
How do you view, that E-X-E found themselves stuck in the middle of the thrash explosion a little too late for 1985’s releases like Agent Steel’s, Destructor’s, Abattoir’s, Over Kill’s or Savage Grace’s etc. debuts?
I would say that was correct. The timing for them was a little off, sadly.
Did E-X-E seem to take a little more influences from the speed metal side of things rather than Bay-Area?
These guys were way more New York than West Coast. There was no mistaking that.
Is the diversity all over the place?
I think they could have used a little more time on the road perhaps.
Do you think, that the guitars are razor sharp and stand out more than anything else? Do the instruments themselves often sound downright evil, giving practically every song quite a dark and utterly metal atmosphere to the music?
I thought these guys were pretty scary musically. Not as people because they were all great guys but musically they were definitely there in dark side of metal.
Would you say, that „Stricken By Might” is a mixture of fast furious thrashers and generic heavy metal? Does/Did the record mix elements of conventional heavy/power metal and more furious speed/thrash metal?
I would have to agree with that and yes to everything. I think that is both its strength and weakness.
Do you agree with, that tracks, such as „Slayer”, „Metal Hell” or „Warchild” are forgotten, underground classics?
I loved the songs but that type of thing is best left to the fans.
Did the record have a pretty raw sound?
Absolutely raw however as I recall David had a huge hand in the mixing process. He had a certain sound he wanted and we spent time trying to find that for him. I don’t think we always agreed with him but he was the label exec so we did what we could to make him happy without selling out the band.
What do you think about, if E-X-E had not been for terrible label backing and lineup shifting, we might still be hearing from these guys?
Well, I think you’ve nailed it on the head. David was a bright guy but seemed distracted from his duties at times. Ultimately the label was unable to deliver what the band needed in the way of support. I also agree that the band had its own issues with regard to band members. The best thing about Shatter Records was Monte Connor. He was such a fan and such a smart A&R guy but was basically working at a sinking ship. Fortunately for the Metal world Monte was able to transition into another position and has been VP of A&R at Roadrunner Records for many, many years. He’s signed not only some hugely successful artists but Metal artists who helped carved their own niche’s in the Metal world. So I guess that E.X.E. and Shatter Records obviously had the talent behind them but not the label head to make things happen. Monte has remained a good friend to this day and on several occasions we’ve discussed our experiences with Shatter (David Carpin) and bands such as E.X.E.. If Monte had been given more support I believe we we would have seen major success from that label. Sadly, David was unable to keep it together long enough for his artists and staff to prove their talent.
Did this album develope a small cult following, but never received much attention? Did the record draw a lot of fans attention back in the day?
I’m aware of it receiving good reviews but I don’t believe it sold nearly as well as it should or would have had Monte been able to promote it properly.
In your opinion, did it succeed in making a name for yourself both as musician and as producer? Were all of the groups satisfied with your work? Can you tell us your best and worst experiences as producer?
I’ll take this question in several parts.
Did it succeed in making a name for yourself both as musician and as producer?
I believe I am now referred to as both musician and producer. To that end, yes, it did help enhance my rep.
Were all of the groups satisfied with your work?
I wish I could say yes to that question but in honestly I doubt that there’s a 100% satisfaction on their parts with my work. I can only say that I always brought my best intentions and worked as hard as I could with what I was given. I don’t think that any of the groups would deny that and I’m grateful that many of the musicians I’ve worked with have been kind regarding our time together and have remained my friend. I’ve been fortunate priviledged to work with some extremely talented artists.
Carl, thanks a lot for the interview, anything to add to this feature?
The only thing that I would add is that I’m ever grateful to The Rods fans. In recent years between contact either live or through the internet I’ve met so many fans and I’m truly appreciative for their kind words and support. I’m always amazed and humbled at how loyal they are. The Rods fans have really stuck with us and now that we’re releasing new product I’m looking forward to meeting many more of them. Thanks for giving me a chance to discuss these bands. Some really interesting and insightful questions and I’ve enjoyed answering all of them.

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