Excel (band)

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Excel
Excel Classic Formation.jpg
Excel in 1988, L-R: Adam Siegel, Shaun Ross, Greg Saenz and Dan Clements.
Background information
Also known as Chaotic Noise
Origin Venice, California, United States
Genres Crossover thrash Thrash metal Heavy metal
Skate punk
Years active 1983–1992
1994–1995
2012-present
Labels Suicidal (1985–1988)
High Speed (1987)
Caroline (1987–1989)
Delicious Vinyl (1994–1995)
Capitol (1994–1995)
Malicious (1995)
Associated acts Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, Cyco Miko, No Mercy, Against, My Head
Members Dan Clements
Alex Barreto
Shaun Ross
Greg Saenz
Past members Adam Siegel
Brandon Rudley
Rickey Palamino
Evan Warech
"Max"

Excel is a punk/metal fusion band from Venice, California founded in 1983 by singer Dan Clements and guitarist Adam Siegel. They were influenced by famous 70's punk rock musicians like The Police and The Sex Pistols, and heavy metal bands like Black Sabbath, Trouble, Slayer, Corrosion of Conformity and Cryptic Slaughter. They were also influenced by street art, Excel is known for painting graffiti[1] on the streets of the cities where they make their tours, therefore there are many different logos of the band.

Excel repeatedly jumped on stage with different bands from Venice and elsewhere California like No Mercy, Beowülf, Suicidal Tendencies (with whom are very close friends) and Cryptic Slaughter, and sometimes with other performers on the thrash metal scene like Testament, Overkill and Megadeth.

Excel has recorded three studio albums, three split albums, five demos, three singles[2] and two live albums;[3][4] the band broke up in 1995 but in 2001 they released new versions of their first two albums:[5] Split Image and The Joke's on You, with some bonus tracks. In August 2009 they edited a special collection of eight DVDs of their tours around Europe and L.A. and published them on their official MySpace. As of January 2012, Excel has reformed.

History[edit]

Chaotic Noise years (1983–1985)[edit]

The band formed in 1983 under the name Chaotic Noise (created by Dan Clements and Adam Siegel). Then Evan Warech joined as drummer, while the bass was occupied by a lot of different musicians that year (Dan Clements said: "We had a different bassist every four months, and people just figured we were unstable"[6]). In 1984 Rickey Pallamino took over the four strings, with the line-up finally completed they recorded their first Demo. In 1985 Warech and Pallamino left the band, the latter was replaced by Shaun Ross who created the name "Excel" with his friends from the L.A. graffiti crew KSN (Kings Stop at Nothing),[7] then they changed their name.

Career trajectory (1985–1995)[edit]

Kings Stop at Nothing graffiti.

A few months later a new drummer joined Excel: Greg Saenz. Excel participated in the compilation Welcome to Venice (released by Suicidal Records) which includes three of their songs. In the next few months they recorded three demos:Sonic Decapitation[8] in February 1985, Personal Onslaught[9] June 9 and Refuse to Quit[10] in January 1986. In 1987 they participated in the tape Thrasher Skate Rock 5: Born to Skate[11] which included their song "Insecurity"; also recorded on their first studio album, Split Image (recorded by Suicidal Records and released by Caroline Records), released in July the same year. Excel had performed live in L.A. in recent years, but the June 16 of 1987 they gave their first official concert in the "Fender's Grand Ballroom" of Long Beach, California, and a second time March 18 of 1988 to promote their new album. Later that year, they edited their first single, a cover of the song Message in a bottle[12] originally released by The Police in the album Regatta de Blanc in September 1979. In early 1989, Excel recorded another single, "Blaze some Hate",[13] to promote their second studio album: The Joke's on You, released June 20 of 1989 by Caroline Records. In march the band made a show at the "Chuck Landis Country Club" in USA, California and the "Palasades Theater" in San Diego(with the band B'LAST!). In November, Excel made their first tour, which was made in Netherlands in the cities of: Sneek, Heemskerk, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Goes and Den Bosch.

On their return to United States, Excel played at "The Palace" in Hollywood, California, the "Star Club" in Ybor City,[7] Florida and Philadelphia April 29, 1990. Then Adam Siegel joined the ranks of Infectious Grooves to record the album The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move...It's the Infectious Grooves in 1991; he got back in 1992 to play at the "Whiskey A Go Go" in Hollywood. A few months later they recorded their fifth demo: Third album demos; the songs of this demo were used later in the reissue of The Joke's on You. In 1993, Siegel returned to Infectious Grooves to record the album Sarsippius' Ark February 16 of the same year; then him and Greg Saenz got together to form the power trio My Head, leaving Excel definitely. After three years of silence, with Brandon Rudley on guitar and "Max" on drums, Excel returned with a new stoner metal style to record a new split album with the band Shrine.[14] They recorded their last single to promote their third studio album: Seeking Refuge, released August 29 of 1995. After releasing the album Clements was unable to find a replacement for "Max" on drums, preventing the band from playing live shows, shortly after, Rudley passed away from a brain aneurysm[15] at the age of 25; due to these events Excel was officially disbanded a few months later.

Post-breakup (1996–2011)[edit]

In 2003, ex-members of Excel started legal action against thrash metal band Metallica over the song "Enter Sandman", which they claim borrows heavily from Excel's song "Tapping into the Emotional Void",[16] originally included on The Joke's on You LP, released in 1989, two years before the release of Metallica's Black Album (It was most recently echoed by Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine in an interview[17]). In May 2006, singer Dan Clements joined forces with original Suicidal Tendencies members Grant Estes (guitar), Amery Smith (drums) and Louiche Mayorga (bass) and the former No Mercy Kevin Guercio (vocals) to form the band Against to record two tracks for a new split album called Welcome 2 Venice.[18] After the release of the album there were rumors about a possible Excel reunion, however Clements said he had no intentions of reforming the band and did not want anyone to take Against as a return of the group.[19]

Reunion (2012-present)[edit]

Excel announced their reunion in January 2012. Involved in the reunion include Dan Clements on vocals, Shaun Ross on bass and Greg Saenz on drums; Adam Siegel was asked to participate but he declined the offer.[15] Alex Barreto, a long time friend of the band, replaced Siegel on guitar.[20] On March 30, 2013, Excel played their first reunion at a private party at RVCA in Los Angeles, California.[21]

Members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1987 Split Image Suicidal/Caroline
1989 The Joke's on You Caroline
1995 Seeking Refuge Delicious Vinyl/Capitol

Live albums[edit]

(All Excel's live albums are self-produced)

Year Title
1989 Live at the Nighttown, Rotterdam
1990 Live in Philadelphia-PA

Split albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1985 Welcome to Venice Suicidal
1987 Thrasher Skate Rock 5: Born to Skate High Speed
1995 Excel/Shrine Malicious

DVDs[edit]

Main article: Excel DVDs
(All Excel's DVDs are self-produced and released in August 2009)

Recording Year Title
1989 Live at Bolwerk
1989 Live at the Willem II
1989 Live at the Donkey Shot
1989 Live at the Nighttown
1989 Live at the Podium 'T Beest
1989 Live at the Dynamo
1989 Live in Europe
1987–1992 Live in L.A.

Demos[edit]

Main article: Excel demos
(All Excel's demos are self-produced)

Year Title
1984 Demo
1985 Sonic Decapitation
1985 Personal Onslaught
1986 Refuse to Quit
1992 Third album Demos

Singles[edit]

Year Title Label
1988 "Message in a Bottle" Suicidal/Caroline
1989 "Blaze Some Hate" Caroline
1995 "Excel" Capitol

References[edit]

External links[edit]