EXCITER Announces Summer 2024 North American Tour With MIDNIGHT

March 22, 2024

Canadian thrash metal pioneers EXCITER will embark on a summer 2024 North American tour with MIDNIGHT. Support on the trek will come from WRAITH and HELLWITCH.

The dates are as follows:

July 18 - Morro Bay, CA - The Siren
July 19 - Santa Ana, CA -La Santa
July 20 - San Diego, CA - Brick By Brick
July 21 - Phoenix, AZ - Nile
July 22 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
July 24 - San Antonio, TX - The Rock Box
July 25 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall
July 26 - Austin, TX - Come And Take It Live
July 27 - Dallas, TX - Echo Lounge
July 29 - Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club
July 30 - Chicago, IL - Reggies
July 31 - Cincinnati, OH - Legends
August 1 - Brooklyn, NY - Meadows
August 2 - Boston, MA - Middle East
August 3 - Montreal, QC - Foufounes
August 4 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace

In an October 2023 interview with Mark Kadzielawa of 69 Faces Of Rock, EXCITER drummer/vocalist Dan Beehler spoke about the 2018 departure of John Ricci. The guitarist has since been replaced by Daniel Dekay, who has previously played with DIEMONDS. Asked how the reunion with Ricci came about a decade ago, Dan said: "What sparked it was a fight between John and his bandmembers. So then his bandmembers tried to walk away with the name, and then me and Al [bassist Allan Johnson] said, 'I don't think so.' So, I went to John and I said, 'Look, you wanna put it together?' And he said, 'Yeah, okay.' And that was 2014. So we went for five years with John. And after the fifth year, it was the exact mirror image of 1985. John walked, blamed me, blah, blah, blah. 'See you later.' It was exactly as it was [more than three decades earlier]. It's, like, 'Oh, we're gonna quit? No, I don't think so.' We got Daniel Dekay, and here we are five years after that."

Regarding how he and Allan found Daniel, Dan said: "I've known Daniel forever. I know his family. I know his dad. He knows my daughter. I saw his bands around town when he was younger and stuff. And when he heard there was an opening, he called me up from Toronto, and that was it. So we never tried anyone out. A whole bunch of people sent stuff in, and thank you very much, but we never had to go to the list. As soon as he got ahold of us, me and Al just went, 'He's the guy.' And after the first rehearsal, he played the whole set. So that was it. He was in, and there was no looking back."

Asked what Daniel brings to EXCITER, Dan said: "Everything. He manages us, does all the business, keeps all of our shit together. There's no way Al and I would be able to do all that. It's just immense what he's done to it. We went to a complete different level in the past five years, and we keep going to another level because of him, what he does off the stage. And never mind what he does on stage. You know what I mean? It's crazy. For us, it's the best guitarist we ever had, and we don't wanna play with anyone else."

As for the possibility of new music from EXCITER, Beehler said: "Eventually [there will be]. Yeah. That's another story. It's taken a long time. After five years of John Ricci, we realized that we couldn't write with him anymore. We had one song after five years. And so now we're slowly chipping away at it. Eventually there will be new music."

Back in August 2022, Dekay told Metal Crypt about the progress of the songwriting sessions for EXCITER's long-awaited new album. He said: "I think we were hitting a good streak with writing and demoing prior to the pandemic, and then the pandemic hit. Al, Dan and I live in different provinces in Ontario and Quebec in Canada. There was a travel ban between provinces. Old-school heavy metal sometimes means old-school mentality, which means not fully embracing technology. For us to write music and record music, we need to be in the same room. The pandemic really put a very fast stop to us getting together to work on music. By the time we were able to get back together in the same room, it was already time to get back to working on a live set."

He continued: "There are a handful of songs that are in various stages of completion. Some are done with vocals and solos already, some don't have any leads, some don't have any vocals. There are songs in all sorts of different stages. Plus, Dan Beehler has a million song ideas in his brain and Al Johnson has a million song ideas in his brain.

"The intention is still to release a full-length record and to give the fans what they want," Daniel added. "Even in my contributions, I do like to make EXCITER my own in the style that I play John's songs and the style I play Brian McPhee's [former EXCITER guitarist] songs. I do try and make it my own, but at the end of the day, for a new record, I want my influence to be felt, but I want it to be true EXCITER for the old-school fans because they deserve that, and the intention is still to put out a full-length record. I just don't have more of a timeline and we have to get through these live shows first. Then we can get together. We do it the old-school way. We like to be in the same room."

Asked who is responsible for the bulk of the songwriting for the new EXCITER material, Daniel said: "Dan and Al completely. Dan and Al get together and flesh out songs. It's incredible. Dan Beehler is a drummer who doesn't play guitar, but he'll hum riffs to you. He hums a riff. He's, like, 'Yes, I want a picking part to sound like, [humming a rhythm] I'm like, 'All right.' You flesh it out that way. It's very old school, man. It's very, very cool. Dan and Al telling me this is how they wrote songs in the '80s. Someone would come to the room with an idea or Dan would have an idea and hum it out, and John would play it on guitar, or Dan's brother, Richard, was the fourth member of EXCITER. He would help out with songwriting and songtitles and lyric ideas and all sorts of stuff. It's always been a cool collaborative effort. Dan and Al really, they get together and bless their souls, man, they get together, and they come up with some crazy cool ideas. Then they send me their ideas that they recorded at the jam space together and I add on from there. It's a really cool collaborative process, but they're definitely predominantly the songwriters. They know what they want and I'm happy to facilitate their vision however I can."

Regarding a possible new label home for EXCITER, Daniel said: "Yes, there are three labels that e-mail me weekly asking when I'm going to have a record to send them. I don't know which of the three labels that we'll end up with. Maybe it'll be a fourth label. Yes, there's significant interest. Literally weekly I get a check-in from someone at a label asking if I have a record for them yet. They're willing to make offers without even hearing a song. It's pretty funny. Yes, there's lots of interest. I'm sure that we're going to find a great home for the album. We'll go with whatever feels right."

Ricci previously left EXCITER in 1985 following the release of the band's first three classic albums — "Heavy Metal Maniac" (1983),"Violence & Force" (1984) and "Long Live the Loud" (1985).

EXCITER's latest album, "Death Machine", which featured Ricci as the sole remaining original member, was released in October 2010 via Massacre Records.

Ricci, Beehler and Johnson reunited as EXCITER in 2014 and had been playing sporadic shows for four years before John's latest exit from the group.

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