A Tribute to Judas Priest

Interview By Ville Krannila / May 2007

First off the obvious question, why did you start a Priest tribute band and what does the music of Judas Priest mean to you?

Jack our singer got the idea a little over 9 years ago-Halford has always been his favorite singer so he got together with Virgil and some other local musicians and started the BEST Judas Priest Tribute out there!

Where did the name Xciter came from, a Priest song am I right?

YES-how did you know? We had to drop the “E” because of that Canadian band Exciter-it turns out it was a misunderstanding but we already changed the web site and all so it stuck. Bars still spell it with the E anyway!

How long have you guys been Priest fans, how did it all begin?

The first notes of Unleashed in the East and we were hooked! The rest is Heavy Metal History-and what would that be without ROB/KK & TIPTON-THE METAL GODS!

Of course singing the songs originally done by the Metal God himself ain’t the easiest thing in the world. Do you practice the metal screams or do any vocal training?

Actually no I have no formal training. Just Air-Born tablets and won ton soup!

How much practice in general it takes to make a successful tribute act?

For us practice is so important. We go over every detail to make sure it sounds tight-we dont like to “mail” in a performance. If anyone does that in this band they wont last long!

 What “gear” are the players currently using?

Greg– Marshal stack,2 custom Fender Strats w/Lace Sensor pick ups, MXR pedal board
Virgil-Peavey 5150, Gibson Les Paul,Jackson,Epiphone Les Paul,Boss GT8 pedal board
Mike– Black DW Drum set,Zildian/Paiste/Sabian cymbals
Jack-Shure 58 wireless,Shure in ear monitors,Boss digital delay pedal,Poland Spring water,Trident Bubble gum

Mike-Hartke 2000 Head,Hartke 4-10″ cabinet,Hartke 15″ cab, Black Ibanez 4 string,Red Ibanez 4 string, Silver Ibanez 4 string, Red Aria 4 string,Gun Metal Blue ESP 5 string(for Love Bites and the Fight stuff!),DR Coated strings aassorted colors(blue,red,black)M151 distortion pedal.

What’s the hardest Priest song to play live? Which one took most work to get done?

Sentinel,Painkiller,Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver

If you could add any song to the Xciter set, which would it be?

Never Satisfied! Because they are never satisfied-this band as a Priest Tribute over the years has played the most diverse songs than any other Priest Tribute! White Heat Red Hot,Dissident Aggressor,Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver, Stained Class,Saints in Hell,Burning Up-We’ve had over 80 songs on our list!

Have you recorded any Priest songs in studio? If not, do you have plans to maybe cut some demo versions of Priest classics?

yes we have! you can hear them on our Myspace and on xciter.org and yes we will be recording in the future.

What is the most memorable gig that you’ve played and what made it great?

Vanderbilt Theater- it was the first “BIG” venue we played and it meant to us that we finally made it! We were treated like “Rock Stars” food,beer,big dressing room! The following week we were back to the dives!LOL! 

Are there any interesting “Xciter on the road” stories to tell?

COOKS CAFE IN CT.+ JACK + JAGER/Virgil+Heineken+ Tequila=HOLY SHIT!

Have you ever seen other Priest tributes? What sets Xciter apart from other JP tribute bands?

Yes we have-no comment. We have Jack! No shit-Jack kicks fucking ass!

 What’s up next for Xciter?

2007 is gonna be a Kick Ass year for XCITER! Puerto Rico,Florida and more!

Thank You! Keep playing and keep bringing PRIEST fans an excellent tribute!

Check out www.xciter.org for more info!