Interview With Daniel Dekay
(Exciter, Diemonds, Banger TV)
Shannon W. - What drew you to metal music?
Daniel Dekay - “I was lucky to grow up in a pretty rock n roll oriented household. My father has tons of stories of going to see the biggest rock shows through the 80's at the legendary Forum in Montreal - his numerous front row Ozzy stories make me jealous to this day! Wasn't long before I started snooping through his record collection and found Aerosmith, KISS, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Nuge, & Sabbath. Before long I had graduated from those records to Maiden, Priest, Metallica, & Anthrax. By the time I hit high school I was ready for even heavier tunes and thankfully I joined up with the right crew and was introduced to the extreme genres of metal. I guess you could say I was ‘born into metal’ but the truth is I was born into all sorts of music but metal really stuck with me because of the dark/evil imagery & aggressive tones - nothing cooler sounding than a distorted guitar and HUGE drums! I constantly crave something heavier…”
Shannon - How did you get involved with Exciter?
Daniel Dekay - “Was pretty simple actually: a mutual friend sent me a post announcing that original guitarist John Ricci had departed from Exciter and that the other two original members, Dan Beehler & Allan Johnson, were continuing without him. It said they were looking for guitarists to audition so I sent Allan a message, he had Dan phone me up, and next thing I knew I was in their jam space running through a set of tunes with them. I secretly filmed that entire first jam...it's wild how tight the three of us were having never played together.”
Shannon - Were you a fan of the band prior to joining?
Daniel Dekay - “Big time. They have always been one of my favorite early metal bands and their records are absolutely pioneering and timeless. Back in the day, Violence & Force was one of the first records I stole from my dad's collection when he wasn't looking. Additionally, I always felt a special connection to them too because I was from the same hometown. Fun fact: I interviewed them on the 70,000 tons of metal cruise with Banger TV about one year before joining. Maybe that interview will see the light of day eventually…”
Shannon - You’re part of the Banger TV team. What do you find to be the most enjoyable part of that?
Daniel Dekay - “First and foremost - it's totally surreal to work under the guidance of Sam Dunn. This is the dude that created the most definitive and comprehensive heavy metal documentary of all time. Nothing compares to Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and the feeling it first gave me when I saw it as a teenager. There's literally nothing I don't enjoy about being part of the Banger TV team: I get to work with some of my musical idols, I'm constantly discovering new badass bands, and I get to go to a ton of cool shows. Everyone on the team is truly dedicated to heavy metal and I'm glad to call them all friends.”
Shannon - You’re a fan of many subgenres of metal. What genre would you say has influenced your own sound the most?
Daniel Dekay - “THRASH! I'm a pretty hyper person to begin with so I find thrash is the only genre that can keep up with my naturally fast pace of life. Whether it's 16th note picking, speed driven solos, aggressively palm muted riffs, or telling the drummer ‘I wrote this one with a rippin' thrash beat in mind’, I always bring a hefty slice of thrash pizza to the table in any of my projects. “
Shannon - What does metal mean to you?
Daniel Dekay - “It's so much more than music - heavy metal is the law. It's about finding your own way, embracing your individuality, and finding your true family. Every aspect of my life is ruled by heavy metal: from the Valhalla Java coffee I drink in the morning to the symphonic metal I listen to while I fall asleep at night and everything in between - it's my entire existence. ‘I'm made of metal, my circuits gleam’”
Shannon - What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment in your career thus far?
Daniel Dekay - “Interesting question. I try not to measure success and accomplishments in the traditional way. I find too often we get caught up in the superficial nature of awards, accolades, & fame. Is winning a Grammy or selling out the O2 impressive? Hell yes it is! But for me a true accomplishment to be proud of at the end of the day is meeting another human who expresses that your art has resonated with them or affected their life in a positive way. There ain't nothing better than that feeling of knowing something you did helped someone else, even in a small way.”
Shannon - What is your favorite part about playing on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise?
Daniel Dekay - “The whole damn thing. I've been on and played aboard a few different music cruises but I gotta say that the MORC has this sense of family & community that a lot of the other cruises wish they had. It's definitely the most fun & debaucherous of the boats and always has an incredible lineup of classic, modern, & super rare hard to see bands.”
Shannon - What’s your favorite horror movie?
Daniel Dekay - “Hard to pick just one. I'm into mostly oldschool and campy stuff...I never get tired of Dario Argento's "The Church" & the first "Re-Animator" movie.”
Shannon - Anything else you want to include?
Daniel Dekay - “Hey thanks for interviewing me! If your readers dig what I'm all about they can check in with me on social media at @daniel_dekay on Instagram/Twitter where I post regular updates about all things Exciter, Banger, guitar videos, and whatever else is on my metal mind. Thanks for joining me on this wild ride!”