The unstoppable Canadian metal force that is Exciter recently reformed and, with their original lineup, brought their speed/thrash sounds to Calgary Metalfest 2016, the group's first Western Canadian performance since 1985. Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario and active since 1978, we were fortunate to have guitarist John "Skricci" Ricci answer for us some gear-related interview questions.
What one piece of gear did you use to obtain your signature sound on stage at Calgary Metalfest? Ricci: I've been using my Washburn A-10 for 20 years now. It's not my original guitar I used on the early albums but I've modified it to at least come close to the tone I had in the early days.
What about it makes it so important to you? Ricci: This guitar from the factory did not come with a tremolo system so I decided to install a Washburn Shift 2000 whammy system minus the locknut and I drilled out the actual tremolo bar thread on the bridge to accept a Floyd Rose bar. This modification with the addition of 10-46 GHS Boomer strings makes this guitar stay in tune fairly well despite all the aggressive whammy bar technique I use. So, this guitar is set up for my playing.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album? Ricci: On the last Exciter album I did, my guitar held up well, no problem! It`s a neck-through body with jumbo frets therefore I find it very easy to play without my hand getting tired. The only down side is that the guitar is heavy, so since I stand up when I record it does get a bit annoying. Haha!
How did you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set at Calgary Metalfest? Ricci: My live sound and studio sound is more or less the same as long as I have my Marshall JCM 800 100 watt head.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what? Ricci: I do have a backup guitar when we don't tour, it's a Washburn A-5, very similar to the A-10 but it has a bolt-on neck. This guitar sound a little thinner because it has different pickups but as a back-up it`s fine. When we tour, the promoter supplies a back-up guitar for me as per my request.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it? Ricci: As I mentioned I've had my Washburn almost 20 years now. I think at some point I will get a custom guitar built for me with my specifications. I think I've enjoyed my Washburn so long because it`s never failed me no matter what conditions have been.