We could list a whole load of reasons why Excision has had the best and most accomplished year of his life. But everything dwarfs in comparison to Lost Lands: a dedicated heavy bass festival that conceptualised, curated and hosted with his team. Themed with his signature dinosaurs, loaded with an absolutely hench line-up and powered by his trademark 1.21 gigawatts of bass (okay actually 500,000 watts – but that’s a technicality), this wasn’t a crass commercial endeavour but something designed for the community that he’s encouraged between his fans both online and at every sell-out show. To back that up, he was public, visible and real with everything about it. It was clear that he wanted to create the perfect party environment and make sure all the details that make a festival truly memorable were in place.
Just as his tours have got bigger every year, it seems Lost Lands may, too; his team are already at Legend Valley, Ohio, building, preparing and installing an even better infrastructure. Tickets are already on sale and just this week they’ve created a library of many of the festival’s sets. He’s also recently released the Lost Lands 2017 Compilation, shared the Lost Lands 2017 mix and Hoods Up with frequent partner in crime and next-gen headliner Dion Timmer.
We called up Excision directly to get a view of 2017 from his perspective….
“Where do I start? It really has been an amazing year. The first three months of the year on the road for my 2017 tour really surpassed all of my expectations. We booked bigger shows, bigger venues, back to back nights in multiple cities, all of which were massive sold out shows. The entire festival season this year was incredible as well. My personal mission for this year was planning and launching Lost Lands, which was going on behind the scenes for the entire year. It’s been quite a ride looking back over 2017 but seeing Lost Lands come together the way it did has been extremely rewarding.
Lost Lands was about bringing a vision to life. This was something I had dreamed of; a festival designed for bass music fans with an immersive environment that transported people into a different time and place. Fans put a lot of trust in me to deliver on some very big promises, at the end of the day I wanted to keep that vision and the responsibility of executing it properly directly on my shoulders. My team and I worked around the clock before and during the festival to make sure everything was as close to perfect as it possible could be. The first year of a festival of this scale is never without issues or challenges but all things considered it was a massive success and now we have set our sights even higher knowing how much we were able to achieve in the first year.
The whole thing is kind of like this incredible and amazing blur in my mind, but there a few moments big and small that stand out to me. Dropping the first song of the festival at the surprise Thursday pre-party where we brought the Executioner Stage out of retirement for an insane b2b pre-party. Watching the full-sized dinosaurs go up for the first time. Ordering every item on the menu from The Dino Diner one night at 3AM. Throwing down the Detox Set on Sunday afternoon… At the end of the day just bringing the whole thing to life and meeting tons of fans who said the festival was everything they dreamed of was enough to make every minute of hard work worthwhile.
In terms of Lost Lands 2018, planning began long before anyone had arrived at Legend Valley. We started with making a list of everything we wanted to improve regarding the festival ground infrastructure to enhance everyone’s experience. We already have a team on the ground installing new wells for more showers and free water stations. We are building new roads and paths to accommodate a larger capacity for 2018 and have been working with a government highway maintenance team on new dust control methods to keep dirt in the air to a minimum. We’ve re-mapped and expanded the entire campground area to make more space for everyone to camp, while also adding 50 square feet of space to every GA campsite. On the experience side there is still a ton to reveal, but I can tell you there will be two main stage-sized stages this year, we’ve added more sound coverage bringing us up over 1,000,000 total watts of bass and just released more info about our new fan-run sound camps which will allow fans to keep partying even after the main festival gates shut down each night.
The amazing thing about bass music is about how it continues to change and evolve over the course of each year. There are always new artists that rise up really fast because the fans recognize a fresh sound. The guys I’m about to hop on the road with (Liquid Stranger, Dion Timmer, Monxx) definitely represent where I feel like bass music is moving right now, each in their own unique ways. I approach the Lost Lands line up the same way and always try to find a balance of past, present and what I think will be future sounds so the fans have a mix and can be exposed to styles of bass music they may not have heard before.”
What would I like to see more of in 2018? More of a focus on community. Spending as much time as I can being involved with the bass music community that supports me has been one of the best things I’ve done in the last few years. The roots of our scene are all built around a sense of community, and all that it entails, from the idealistic PLUR to a simple openness and acceptance of people and opinions that are different. As the EDM world has grown that sense of community has been overshadowed and even forgotten by many. Thankfully, within the bass music world, the artists, labels and majority of the fans all seem to hold true to our roots but its up to all of us to strengthen it and continue to move forward together.
I’d also like to see more people taking their hearing seriously. If you go to festivals or concerts frequently you should invest in high quality ear protection. I’ve worn custom fitted earplugs with -25db filters since the beginning of my career, at every show I’ve ever played. Music is such a huge part of my life as I know it is for so many others, I want to make sure we can all enjoy the experience of listening to music for the course of our lives. As someone who has had tinnitus since the age of two from a car accident, the idea that it’s “not cool” to wear earplugs is ridiculous. My entire crew wears earplugs religiously and pretty much every professional musician/artist/producer I know does the same.”