A few weeks ago I re – connected with an old friend of mine from Toronto, Jonny. Jonny used to be in a Thrash/Speed metal band Maniac. I initially heard about Maniac through another friend, Alexander Erhardt (Bloodbucket Productions) who signed them to his label after their played at his annual metalfest.
The band developed a cult following in Toronto due to their live performances. I saw them perform a couple times when I was in Toronto and they put on a great show. In 2007, they released a kick ass album “Fast and Deadly“, however they parted in 2009. Listening to the album now, I feel they were ahead of their time as this was before the 80’s heavy / thrash /glam metal bands started getting popular.
Here is an interview I did with Jonny soon after the release of “Fast and Deadly“.
Hails!! How are things in Toronto?
Jonny Exciter-Things are pretty good here, lots of stuff going on, nice weather, birds are singing, bees are playing, babies are laughing.
Your latest release “Fast and Deadly” is an album I had been waiting for a long time and it did not disappoint me one bit, tell me a bit about it with regards to writing and recording it.
Jonny Exciter – Well thank you kindly my friend. It was written mostly about a year ago and recorded over a really long time, but it’s a really honest record.
Mostly it’s all one guitar track, one bass track, one drum track and one vocal track (not counting the chants). Chris Hall is the guy who actually recorded all the instruments, and he’s a genius at capturing huge sounds, I was really amazed at what we had to work with when it came time for mixing. And Terry just made it sound incredible, I couldn’t believe I was listening to my own album after Terry mixed it.
You had Terry Brown who has worked with bands like Rush, Voivod on the album Angel Rat master your album, how was it working with him?
Jonny Exciter – It was a real pleasure and honour. The guy is unbelievable, he really knows his stuff and he’s a great person to be around. He was really enthusiastic about the tunes and it was so much fun working with someone who enjoyed the music so much and was genuinely excited about doing what he was doing. Just got nothing but the best things to say about the guy.
I know you guys spent a lot of time working on the album, are you satisfied with how the album has turned out?
Jonny Exciter – We’re really satisfied. Like I said, when I put it on I can’t believe it’s my own album I’m listening to. It really captures what we’re all about and is really genuine and honest sounding. Chris did the most amazing job with the layout too.
What is the inspiration behind your songs?
Jonny Exciter – The sparkle in the eye of a child
How do you guys compose/write? Jam together or alone?
Jonny Exciter – In the beginning I would write the songs and teach them to the brahs, now we jam them more. Chris makes the songs what they are with the drumming he comes up with, just the coolest shit I never would have thought of.
What influences your music (other bands/books etc.)??
Jonny Exciter – I was really influenced to start the band by the amazing local scene here, mainly Demontage, Rammer, and Goat Horn. Our music is 100% influenced by Steven Segal’s classic movie “Hard to Kill” though.
You are signed to BloodBucket Productions, how did the deal come about?
Jonny Exciter – Alex invited us to play his Bloodbucket metal fest when we were first starting out. More as a favour to a friend, he hadn’t even heard us, but he really liked what he saw when we played, and I saw him at a show a few days later and he offered us a really cool deal.
How does someone reading this interview get hold of your albums and merchandise?
Jonny Exciter – Well they can pick up some stuff from us by emailing email@example.com we’re going to be setting up one of those paypall interweb stores soon at http://www.fuckinmaniac.com and probably a p.o. box. You can also order copies of the cd from bloodbucket productions http://www.bloodbucketproductions.com
What albums are you currently banging you head to?
Jonny Exciter – Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of the new Cauldron Ep, and a lot of Lee Aaron and Michael Jackson, mainly Thriller.
How did you get into metal? What was the first metal cd you bought? The first metal gig you attended?
Jonny Exciter – I don’t remember how I got into metal, probably because I really loved music with electric guitar, and metal has a lot of that. The first metal album I bought was Ozzy’s No More Tears and I’m pretty sure the first metal gig I went to was a Sepultura show.
Do you guys hang out together other than rehearsal time? Get drunk together?
Jonny Exciter – No, our egos are way too big. I’m all like, “well I just got out of rehab and I can only jam until 4:00, I don’t want you guys working on tunes after 4:00 because then I’ll feel left out.” And Chris is all like, “fuck, you know, that word just keeps popping into my head, fuck, fuck, FUCK, FUCK.” Then Jakkie’s like, “come on guys, don’t fight, lets just get our aggression out in the jam space, lets direct our negative energy into our music instead of at each other.”
What is your favorite alcohol?? What are your favorite Canadian beers?
Jonny Exciter – Labbat 50 and Genesee, Jakkie only drinks Tom Collins’ and daiquiris.
You released a live album “Hell on Hogtown” earlier this year; can we expect another live album in the future?
Jonny Exciter – No plans to do another one anytime soon, I hate that thing.
What can we expect from Maniac in 2007?
Jonny Exciter – Lots of rocking, an animated television mini-series, a videogame based on our mini-series, and Chris is having a baby with Danny DeVito.
Thank you for taking time out to answer my questions. Do you have any final words or thoughts?
Jonny Exciter – Thanks a lot Peter, hope to see you soon. METAL UP YER VAGINA!
Maniac was Jonny Exciter – Guitar/Vocals, Chris Six Stix- Quick Stix & Single Kicks and Jakkie Slaughter – Electric Bass Guitars.
Jonny and Jakkie are now in a band called Skull Fist. They released an album “Head of the Pack” last year, check it out if you are into 80’s metal.