[INTERVIEW] Excision Talks Touring, Sci-fi and Dinosaurs
March 25th, 2014MASS EDMC STAFF
Canadian Jeff Abel, known to fans as Excision, has been incredibly busy since bursting onto the bass music scene in 2004. After starting a label, Destroid Records, Abel released his first track in 2007. His style pulls from a wide variety of genres, like dubstep, drum & bass and hop-hop, in such a way that it is instantly recognizable. In 2013, Abel joined forces with Downlink and KJ Sawka to create Destroid, an epic supergroup known for their robotic full body costumes worn during their live performances. Abel’s signature sound, plus his energetic and visually impressive stage set ups, mean that his tours – like the one currently hitting the Northeast – are definitely worth splurging on.
It’s exciting to see EXCISION back on tour for so many dates in 2014. What can fans expect when they come to your show?
With every tour we’ve done we aim to go bigger and better. After years on the road I can pretty much guarantee we’re going to be cramming more sound, lights, and video into these venues than any other act you’ve seen there. With Dirtyphonics and Ill Gates on board this year, we’re excited to take things to a level far beyond expectations.
The tour marks the return of The Executioner stage show. Any new changes to it?
Last year was a huge learning experience for us. It was our first time doing a huge stage with so many moving parts and different types of technology. This time around we’ve got a ton of experience under our belt to really fine tune everything to work better together, and the sum of all the parts is now much greater.
You are known for your innovative uses of cutting edge technology. Can you tell us about your tour production?
We’ve got a huge mass of sick new animations created by people who’ve worked on The Walking Dead, Transformers and other major TV/Film animators.
“We’ll be the first touring act in North America to bring out some of the new and truly unique lights that we have.”
We’ve got a ton more tricks up our sleeve that we’ve invested a lot of time and money into that you’ll have to come see for yourself. I don’t want to ruin the surprise!
What is your music release schedule for around the tour? Tell us about the singles you will be releasing and when.
I’ve done the album thing twice now. It’s great but not only is it a huge pile of stress and expectations to meet the deadline, it also ends up with extended periods of no new music coming out. This year I’m going to try something different and aim to drop a single once per month. Life always manages to get in the way, so I’m not guaranteeing they’ll come out on the first of every month, but I’ll do my best!
How did you hook up with Space Laces for “Get Stupid”? Any other collaborations in the works?
All of my fans know I’ve made a ton of tunes in the past with Datsik and Downlink. I started working with Datsik heavily in 2009. He blew up and we both had such intense touring schedules that we can never link up to work together. The same thing happened with Downlink in 2011. I think tunes suffer when collaborators are spread out all over the world. Space Laces is insanely talented, and I’m sure he is going to blow up and we’ll never have time to collaborate in the future, but fortunately right now he can work with my crazy touring schedule. We’ll get together at my studio or his and crank out an entire tune from start to finish in just a few days. As far as other guys that I’m working with, I met this kid in France who goes by K12. We got some really sick shit going when I was over there, and I can’t wait for a chance to finish them up!
We hear there is a dinosaur that will be running around during your show. What’s that all about?
Shhhhh that’s a secret.
Dirtyphonics and Ill Gates will be joining you on tour. Who are they? And how did they come about getting picked for the tour?
Usually there is a ton of back and forth trying to get the right acts, but this year I got my number one choices right off the bat. I love their tunes and the energy they bring to the stage. Not only that, they are awesome dudes who I am stoked to live with on the bus for three months!
You are a big sci-fi fan. What are you into these days?
“Sci-fi fans are spoiled these days. It used to be so niche but now with comic book movies ruling the theaters, you can find something in the sci-fi genre on any platform, for every level of geek.”
My latest thing is shows/movies that feature crazy futuristic technology. Black Mirror is a UK TV show, each episode with a different cast and plot and showcases life in a different future/reality. Another one I’m really enjoying is a new show called Almost Human, a police/crime show set in the far future where androids far exceed human capacity. The soundtrack is very dubstepp-y and the technology is mind blowing. Even if the acting isn’t the best, it gets my imagination going, and that’s why I watch TV/movies in the first place!
While you are on tour is there anything you like to do outside of your shows? Any places you hope to check out while you are on the road?
If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a bit of an extremist, but I’m also an introvert. To balance out the loudness and craziness of touring, I like to do the complete opposite. Check out some redwoods in North Cali that you can drive a car through, wander the forest feeling about the size of a bug, go snowboarding and really get that peaceful Zen feeling, or simply retreat to my bunk, put some headphones on and get lost attempting to design the craziest sound my brain can imagine.