33 Years Ago: EXCITER release Heavy Metal Maniac (Early Recording History – POWER Metal)

Our “Heavy Metal Maniac” LP was pressed from a 1/4 inch reel to reel tape. We sent the tape to Mike Varney as a demo tape and he called us and said “Hey, this is a great tape.” Then we said, great, when can we re-record it for an album? He said, “Oh, no, we can press this demo tape.” We thought he was kidding, but he was serious. About a month later, he called and said that we had sold 20,000 copies and still going strong.

– John Ricci, Grinder zine #4, 1984

About the WWIII demo:

This was about 4 years ago in Toronto, we recorded “World War III” and the three other songs. Those three other songs sound nothing like EXCITER. It was done at Nimbus 9 Studios, which was used for early Alice Cooper albums. We just went there to record a demo, but the only song from the tape we want to be heard is “World War III”, because the other 3 sound nothing like us, we don’t want them to get around, our song-writing was nothing like it is now. “World War III” was the beginning of the style we have today. It took us a year or two to develop the style we have now.
– John Ricci, Grinder zine #4, 1984

About working with Mike Varney:

Mike, for our first album, was excellent. He treated us really nice and we sold lots of records. Actually, he gave us the break we were looking for. Our first album was really a demo…

It’s the same, what happened was, our soundman produced the tape and he mixed it down the way he wanted to, throwing in all those effects he never told us about. He made all these copies and started sending the tapes all over the world to various agents, penpals and whoever. All of the sudden, we started getting fan mail from around the world, and they told us all these things were on the tape that we never thought were on there. So, when we sent the tape to Mike Varney, we told him to cut somethings out, like the bullshit at the end of “Cry Of The Banshee.” We fixed it up a bit, there’s some endings, like at the end of “Iron Dogs” where it’s faded down, originally it didn’t fade out, it had a definite ending to it. Our “Heavy Metal Maniac” LP was pressed from a 1/4 inch reel to reel tape. We sent the tape to Mike Varney as a demo tape and he called us and said “Hey, this is a great tape.” Then we said, great, when can we re-record it for an album? He said, “Oh, no, we can press this demo tape.” We thought he was kidding, but he was serious. About a month later, he called and said that we had sold 20,000 copies and still going strong. So we guessed that the production of the LP wasn’t so bad after all. As a result, a lot of our fans we’ve been meeting prefer the production of the first LP because it’s really raw sounding and very edgy. The reason for that is because we were using such bad equipment, we didn’t do it on purpose. We do sound very raw and edgy live, but on “Violence and Force” we went into a professional studio and we lost the hard edge that is on the first album. Some people were disappointed, but we still think it’s a strong LP.
– John Ricci, Grinder zine #4, 1984

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