Hailing as BC’s reigning bass king Excision is set to bring a main stage gut punch to FVDED In The Parks’ second day. For those who have yet to witness Excision live—it’s a full body experience. Fresh off the release of his second LP Codename X and ready to make #FVDED2015 his second round of FVDED, we sat down with Excision for a rare exclusive interview;
Blueprint: Let’s start out with BC, for you as a born-and-bred British Columbian and a Kelowna native, what is it about the province that keeps you grounded here when you could easily move to almost any metropolitan hub?
Excision: Having had the opportunity to travel the globe extensively and visit most major cities a dozen times now, I do enjoy my time there. But being on the road for three quarters of the year leaves me wanting an escape from city life when I do have time off. I may be biased but from my experience it truly is the most beautiful place on earth. I enjoy having all four seasons, and the activities that come along with them. When you couple all of that with the fact that I have my family and friends who I’ve known for ages, it is not only the most enjoyable place for me, but also helps to keep me grounded (which many people in this industry are missing these days).
Blueprint: In terms of musical prowess, Kelowna has been a Dubstep hotbed for years now. What is it about the interior of BC that has inspired the creativity of so many influential bass producers?
Excision: A huge part of that was Subvert aka Jeremy Bridge of PK Sound who runs the Village stage at Shambhala. Their extremely early acceptance of a genre that was still unknown outside of Europe. They gave me a great place to start spreading the sound locally in 2008, which helped influence the next wave of Dubstep guys like Datsik and Downlink. From there we began to work as a team and share our knowledge which gave us a huge advantage. Nowadays you can simply pull up YouTube and learn everything there is to know, but back then you mostly had to figure it out on your own.
Blueprint: This year you released your second full length album, Codename X. What was the inspiration behind the overall production style of the album and what was the most challenging/rewarding aspect of working on a new LP?
Excision: It was a different way to work on an album for me. When I wrote X Rated in 2011 I wasn’t touring nearly as much, and was able to set aside a few months to put it all together. This time it was built much slower, some of the tracks started over a year before they were released. What I love in music and what I want to make is constantly changing. If you’ve listened to my Shambhala mix from 2008 then skip to the 2014 mix there is a huge difference, but if you listen to each one in sequence the differences are there but not as noticeable. So while X Rated had a more cohesive feel and was representative of where my head was at in 2011, Codename X has tracks made between 2013- 2015 and there was a lot more variety and evolution in my sound over that time.
Blueprint: Is Codename X stylistically reminiscent of future releases you have set for the rest of 2015?
Excision: I’m not sure what they’ll sound like until they happen, it’s usually a result of whatever I’m experimenting with in the studio combined with influences from the tunes I’m listening to around then. For instance, right now I’m listening to some classical music while I write this to drown out some annoying loud people in the hotel room beside me. Earlier in the gym I was listening to some ridiculously heavy metal tunes. A few minutes ago I had to stop and write a quick idea that drew influence from both of them. So yeah, it’s a weird process for me, I’ll always aim to write a balance of bangers like Codename X and home-listeners like Float Away or Interstellar. Perhaps the next album will have some more that fit in between!
Blueprint: Production and spectacle has always been a large part of your touring persona—what is in the works for 2016’s tour staging?
Excision: We’ve been hard at work all year designing and re-designing our new stage. I’m excited that we are finally in the construction phase now and are on track to have everything ready for the next big tour. This time we’ve paid special attention to making the design flexible so that it can have a huge look and fill the stage in big venues, but also still shrink down to work in medium size venues. It’s a huge investment for us into our production yet again, I’m probably spending way too much, but to me, there is nothing better than to see the look on people’s faces as we blow their minds!
Blueprint: This year #FVDED2015 is upgrading from the PNE Amphitheatre to Holland Park with 22,000 festival attendees a day. What can fans look forward to from your set, and why are you excited to return to FVDED for the second year in a row?
Excision: FVDED last year was a blast. I’ll never forget the guy climbing onto the stage and sprinting to stage dive into the crowd before anyone even saw him coming, only to immediately face plant and knock himself out. Please don’t do that…haha. I love playing in Vancouver, and having so many old friends there makes it extra special for me. This year looks bigger than ever and I’m excited to check the new venue!
With only a handful of days until Excision’s triumphant Vancouver return it is time to start preparing yourself for a dark twisted dreamscape of frantic energy engineered by the genius that is Excision. Passes to both days of #FVDED2015 are still available so grab them now.
Throw up your X’s—Excision is waiting.
– Ryan Hayes