I am Excision, Dubstep/Bass Music Producer, DJ, Label Owner since 2005, playing well over 100 gigs a year. Most recently I have created a live dubstep band with Downlink and KJ Sawka, known as Destroid. The Debut album Destroid - Invasion is out today. Ask me Anything!

Proof that it's me: see facebook.com/excision and twitter.com/excision

EDIT: That was awesome. Done for the evening guys, time to get back to programming the Destroid set. thanks reddit!

Comments: 2259 • Responses: 62  • Date: 

OverhandPower7437 karma

Hi Excision, what's your opinion on drug use at the shows? I remember reading Datsik said some of his earlier stuff was inspired by Ketamine, would you say external substances have been the inspiration for any of your songs / your sound?

Excision_Official1420 karma

I've never tried any external substances before. Seeing as they are illegal. But if I had tried external substances I think they would have had a massive effect on pulling me out of my previous mindset, and re-arranging it. It probably would have steered me in a new direction that changed my musical outlook completely!

RymeswithOrange216 karma

What external substances have you not tried at all, seeing as they are illegal?

Excision_Official711 karma

I've never tried any of them at ALL.

Arctik7110 karma

I apologize if this is a touchy question, but what is your stance on the death at EDC Dallas during your set a few years back? It piques my curiosity about what artists feel about things like that even if the artist couldn't have prevented it.

Excision_Official404 karma

It actually wasn't at the stage I was playing it. It's horrible and I feel sorry for the kid, his family and friends, but people need to educate themselves. Research before you take drugs and learn how to help yourself if something begins to go awry.

OverhandPower782 karma

Also! Will you ever individually release the stuff that's not out yet from the Shambhala remixes (like the older ones)? Some of that stuff is gold!! I'd love to hear some of them as their own songs...

Excision_Official121 karma

To which do you refer sir?

OverhandPower7128 karma

I've always wanted to hear your version of Raining Blood by Slayer released! I know its on the 2010 mix, but it'd just be so awesome to hear its own song. :)

Excision_Official399 karma

i should probably give that away, remind me on twitter in a few months once the album isnt new anymore :)

garygaz376 karma

Any chance you'd ever consider doing a production AMA over at /r/edmproduction :)?

Excision_Official398 karma

Yes. Maybe in the winter when i have a bit of spare time?


this would have been far more interesting than this AMA, I'm cringing over the questions asked ...

Excision_Official311 karma

you dont like cringing?

nomansland333300 karma

If I scrolled through Excision's iPod, I would find...

Excision_Official659 karma

Metal and super chill/weird EDM.

slayer421114 karma

What kind of metal do you listen to? I picture Slayer and other old stuff like that

Excision_Official283 karma

yeah really anything from the popular late 80's shit Slayer Pantera Metallica then I was about 14 when Nu-Metal was cool so that still has a special place for me Korn Slipknot, nowadays there are so many different bands that are killer but none of them really stand out like back then.

Excision_Official281 karma

I just listed the ones that people would know so they could get an idea instead of listing 5 obscure bands to seem cool lol

BeyondDefinition264 karma

Do you have a standard chain of effects that you use on your basslines?

What filter do you use on your basslines? Do you use a standalone VST or just internal filters?

What is your go to synth? Massive or FM8? Or dare I say something outside of Native Instruments?

How did you manage to get the bass sound at 2:07 in Vindicate? Is this just a pitchbend?

What is your favorite reverb?

Will you ever do a masterclass video?

What qualities do you look for when scouting talent for your label?

Where do you see dubstep and bass music going in the next few years?

Excision_Official272 karma

1) yes, if you make 1 dope chain, save it then apply it to every other dope sound you make. 2) Fab Filter stuff 3) Massive is the go-to but also Albino,predator, gladiator, I have a Virus TI2 now which is badass 4) pitchbend plus low pass filter opening up. 5) I hate them all. CPU Hogs and almost always horrible sounding. do you know a good one? haha 6) Probably not. Way too many people trying to copy what other people sound like when they should be trying to be unique. 7) Songs that make dancefloors move but still have a hard/heavy edge 8) Up and Down constantly, every time one of these new subgenres comes out there is an Up. Drumstep then moombha then trap. Whats next?

halfbroPS3184 karma

1) yes, if you make 1 dope chain, save it then apply it to every other dope sound you make.

2) Fab Filter stuff

3) Massive is the go-to but also Albino,predator, gladiator, I have a Virus TI2 now which is badass

4) pitchbend plus low pass filter opening up.

5) I hate them all. CPU Hogs and almost always horrible sounding. do you know a good one? haha

6) Probably not. Way too many people trying to copy what other people sound like when they should be trying to be unique.

7) Songs that make dancefloors move but still have a hard/heavy edge

8) Up and Down constantly, every time one of these new subgenres comes out there is an Up. Drumstep then moombha then trap.

Whats next?

For future reference, double-return makes a line break in reddit formatting.

Excision_Official216 karma

thanks for the tip

SYSEX27 karma

@Excision - Long-time dubstep fan here. Regarding #5, what you be knowing about Convolution Reverb?

If you haven't already, check out Altiverb and find yourself some impulse-responses from Bricasti, Lexicon, and any of the other great Digital Verb manufacturers.

If you (meaning anyone) don't know what Convolution Reverb is, you aren't using the best possible ITB reverbs...


Both Ableton & Logic (And likely PT and Cubase) have included Convolution Reverbs and impulse responses, so you can start using legit reverb right away.

Other ITB options that aren't convolution (algorithmic) are

Lexicon Native Series Audio Damage EOS (Do yourself a favor and buy this, it's cheap!) D16 Toraverb (Try it on maximum quality settingsl INSANE)

And finally, if you can, get some external reverbs.

An Eventide H4000 or some Lexicon rack gear will change your life.

As for the future, the future is Techno. ;) You heard it here first, folks...


Excision_Official45 karma

yeah, convolution verb is great, but its still a CPU hog. Which when the majority of your producing is on planes using laptop battery, sucks!

Altiverb is killer tho def using that in teh studio

Jisher234 karma

Whats up Jeff, last year I got 1st place in your X-Effect contest with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWdDIsHq7Xg

I won 4 3-day tickets to North Coast and got to meet you and you signed my camelbak. The contest details said the videos would have a chance to make it into an excision song. Do you have any intentions on using, "thats better than my vibrator" in anything. I would love to hear it in something. Thanks man.

Excision_Official229 karma

hahaha sounds good TBH i forgot about that, its a great sample. Can you rip the sound from your original video, or link me to a high quality version of it. The youtube one sounded a bit rough. Tweet it to me I'll get it.

tsfrederick192 karma

I appreciate the chapstick you sell at shows...you know whats up... just saying.

Excision_Official421 karma

we sell chapstick? Does Datsik sell chapstick?

jfd4mediCO180 karma


Excision_Official179 karma

That is a huge goal of ours :)

NYPorkDept160 karma

Do you ever fear that yourself, your crew, or your audience will suffer from permanent hearing loss or tinnitus after a show?

Excision_Official299 karma

Yes, but, I post on facebook AND twitter about every 6 months telling people to wear earplugs. I sell cheap and more expensive high quality ones at every show that has a big sound system (by expensive I mean $4 which is my cost).

I have had tinnitus since I was 2 years old from a car accident, it's really not that bad. haha

Excision_Official371 karma

Bass is meant to be felt, that's why i have it so loud. ears just aren't tuned to handle it that well, hence, earplugs :)

Kryloeg6138 karma

Any chance of DESTROID being added to EDC las Vegas. Was really hoping to see you all there.

Excision_Official223 karma

If you want them to book us, tell them, they can make it happen.

3210atown120 karma

Hey Ex, I've been a huge fan since I first heard the Shambhala mixes and let me start off by thanking you for doing this AMA.

  1. Who has been your favorite artist to collaborate with? Who would you like to work with?

  2. Craziest story from touring?

  3. There are noticeable themes from hip hop and metal in your music. Who would you say are your biggest influences outside of dubstep?

  4. When can we expect a follow up to X Rated?

  5. Have you seen this video?

Excision_Official315 karma

1) My fave artists to collab with, well the obvious guys are Datsik (we are both touring so much we never see eachother anymore), Downlink, and Space Laces. We seem to have the best chemistry of loving and hating each other enough to crank out some of my favorite pieces. I love working with Bassnectar as well, we've actually made about 5 tunes together even tho today was the first time one actually got released.

2) A few weeks ago we had a day off, we were in the middle of nowhere at a South Carolina hotel. A few of us decided to hit the pool/hot tub. While in there a 70 year old man opens the door to the pool room and lies down on the floor. He pulls out his DSLR camera and just starts taking pictures. We tell him to fuck off and he says "OK" then just keeps taking pictures. He literally walks up within 2 inches of our faces to get a close up of this awesome zit I had that day. After about 15 minutes of ripping on him and him trying to get us to attack him while he takes pics/films us we leave and he follows us all the way to the bus. Clearly a Class A troll trying to get us to hit him so he can sue us. We later found out he had a window looking out to where our bus was parked and saw us walk in, thinking we were rich rock stars coming out of that tour bus. It was my first taste of what the life of people who are actually famous must feel like. Fuck that shit. There is a reason why my face is hidden in almost all my press photos ;)

bananarheanna130 karma

You are so detailed this is by far my favorite AMA and it just started

Excision_Official182 karma

<3 thanks

Eustis43 karma

Do you ever see yourself collabing with Datsik again?

Who have you not collaborated with yet that you'd like to in the future?

Excision_Official96 karma

yes 100%

HALF-LIFE8104 karma

What was your dream when you were younger?

Excision_Official400 karma

I wanted to be a paleontologist (dinosaur skeleton excavator) haha

Time4theMeatstick104 karma

What's your opinion on the (often negative) label entitled "brostep"? Also, do you enjoy dubstep that isn't all about the wobblez (Cyrus, N-Type, Kryptic Minds)? Thanks... I saw you last year and it was great!

Excision_Official246 karma

yes, and i actually far prefer to listen to that stuff in my spare time. But on a dancefloor I find it boring, and that's where the "brostep" shines IMO

nolanrad83 karma

Favorite moment of any song, ever?

Excision_Official561 karma

The drop on Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up"

DrMikeFeltercunt76 karma

Hey Excision, big fan here. Looking forward to the Destroid stuff you guys have coming soon, but I'll always love your older stuff the most.

How much influence do you have on the lighting/visual creations that you have on tour. Do you design the contraptions your self, or do you leave it up to designers to make the craziest shit possible to facilitate your grimey tunes?

also, how are you not completly deaf from playing show after show with that 100,000w system behind you?

Excision_Official223 karma

I design all of the lighting/visual stuff myself. I am far more hands on than any other artist i've met in this scene. Hence why I have no life outside of work. But I am a strong believer in maintaining quality control, and we are pulling off things far beyond what our budget SHOULD allow, because of my constant involvement :)

skylezie70 karma

Hey man, love your stuff.(Been listening to Invasion all day!) I went to your show in ATL and that was insane, can't wait to see Destroid this summer.

I was wondering what is the best story you have from people's reactions to the insane loudness of your shows?

Excision_Official312 karma

I really love it when people in the front row puke. This one is my favorite though http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxf9X93m60k

Damptowelman64 karma

What's your favorite video game?

Excision_Official240 karma

Megaman X

potland59 karma

1) Will you go on tour around the US with Destroid? Please.

2) Will Destroid come to Portland, Oregon? Thanks.

Loved your music at the Roseland this year.

Excision_Official82 karma

1) Eventually yes, need to build the name up. hopefully a full tour Fall 2014

2)eventually yes. probably seattle far sooner tho.

samm1010158 karma

How come Datsik isn't in destroid?

Excision_Official111 karma

He actually was originally, but it just never worked out. We couldn't even get us all into the same room to work on stuff together, so it was either destined to fail/never happen, or make a change. It was tough but that's life.

akrostixdub57 karma

Hey Jeff, huge fan. You are one of the most forward-thinking artists around today, and all of your productions are fucking top notch.

  1. Do you use MIDI for drums or work purely with audio?
  2. What are your go-to VST’s? (instruments, effects, etc)
  3. Do you have a typical way that you start a tune? (melody first, drums first, etc)

Thanks for taking the time to do this! Can’t wait to see what else you and the Destroid project have in store for us!

PS. Execution Tour was a life-changing experience. Just incredible.

Excision_Official145 karma

1) Drums in audio when they are samples. Or in the synth (for kicks) sometimes when I feel the need to geek out. 2) Everything by Native Instruments is killer. I love FabFilter for eq/comp etc. Camelphat is essential for bass fattening. I use a lot of guitar amps on basses as well (plugins or real ones doesn't matter). 3) Placeholder drum loop then bass/melody, then change the drums to fit the bass/melody. Sometimes I make a whole intro before I even start the drop (Existence, X Rated, Raise Your Fist) You can usually tell which ones those are because of how epic and long the intro is. The main thing to remember is you are trying to tell a story with every song you make, make the most important part of your story first.

treeizzle44 karma

Hi Jeff,

I was just wondering what made you go from this (Your Dubstep Summer 2006 mix) to ... Well ... Doing what you do now? Because honestly I consider that mix one of the best of all time, I still rinse it weekly.

Excision_Official78 karma

People change, tastes change. I make and play what I like. If in 7 years you still listen to that same mix every week I will be very surprised. ;)

BestofNothing42 karma

During your NY show this past March at the Best Buy Theater, people kept going onto the stage, did you mind it or did it piss you off? Also, what was your initial reaction from having so many shows canceled during those past two weeks. And last question, how do you feel about the current scene?

Excision_Official158 karma

For most shows I don't really care. But when i clearly have a projector shooting at the stage with visuals that I paid thousands of dollars for, and some douche climbs up and blocks them, the rest of the crowds experience is ruined. It's no longer a giant bass tank on stage, it's a projector screen and a fat dude with no shirt on. LAME.

So, it depends, be respectful of what the DJ is trying to present to the crowd.

Having shows cancelled always sucks, especially when its a bullshit reason like the city having a dispute with the venue, or the city shutting down a venue because 1 underage kid was an idiot OUTSIDE the venue.

dpain3338 karma

Are you going to be at edc vegas? You're playing bassrush massive the night before so i find it odd that you and/or destroid aren't listed on the lineup yet.

btw the destroid album is unreal!

Excision_Official61 karma

I know, we were really hoping to play EDC this year as Destroid. But EDC books who they want, and I think they'll book us next year. If you want them to book us, TELL THEM!

espnzone35 karma

Why are you called Excision? I mean.. are you an omission that is made when an editorial change shortens a written passage? I don't get it.

Excision_Official93 karma

Excision the omission, I like it.

Bren273934 karma

Hello, You are the sole reason I ever got into dubstep & electronic, I went out on a limb one year and went to the first ever electric forest in rothbury Michigan. There was a huge storm & they had cancelled almost everything the first night because of it, but you went on at the end of the night, with lightning still flashing behind your set, it was incredible. I don't think I'd have ever listened to this kind of music if it weren't for that performance, so thank you.

In terms of questions, I always get laughed at by people for enjoying dubstep because it "isnt music" but i know just as much work and passion goes into producing electronic music as producing any other music. What do you use for inspiration, seeing as there isn't a huge library of "past dubstep" to draw patterns and ideas from?

Excision_Official43 karma

Metal is the original source but nowadays i seem to just wake up with them pounding in my brain.

Noob2Pro31 karma

Who is your favorite artist ?

Excision_Official116 karma

right now, Devildriver. It changes daily/weekly.

xhighalert31 karma

What exactly do you feel during your shows?

Do you ever get overwhelmed with emotion knowing that so many people are having quite literally the time of their life because of what you do? Do you just enjoy it as much as the crowd is? Does it ever get monotonous?

Excision_Official104 karma

Sometimes it's amazing, it's all about what is different.

After playing years doing small shows, when I got to finally play the huge shows to 10,000 people it was an amazing feeling. Lately after playing to huge crowds so much, I really enjoy the smaller shows in random cities that don't have shows often, they rock out so much harder!!

nagro23 karma


Excision_Official33 karma

Happy birthday, I don't post set lists but If you look in this years sham mix (when it comes) hopefully those tracks are in there :)

nomunit22 karma

What do you tell people who say dubstep isn't music?

Excision_Official104 karma

let them think that. who cares what they think! Your music is so cool it's not even music anymore hahah

Jeremy56x22 karma


Excision_Official66 karma

I don't think the whole mainstream stuff matters. It's the natural progression of any music that becomes popular, you can't fight it. Most people who hear it couldn't care less what it is, or that it's called Dubstep. The people that do hate on it for this reason are idiots. You can complain about the tide coming in or going out but it's not going to change anything.

EDM is doing the same thing, peaks and valleys, right now maybe its going down a bit because it hit an unsustainable peak. It'll go up again like it always does. I definitely haven't noticed any decline, from what i'm seeing its still rising.

Elfking19 karma

what kind of distortion do you use on your bass patches? also, do an ama on /r/edmproduction

Excision_Official60 karma

All kinds, try layering lots of different distortions but dont push any of them very hard at all ;)

staceybee17 karma

Hey why won't you or Destroid be at Paradiso?! Also, Love the new destroid shit that what, came out yesterday, today?

Excision_Official17 karma

we'd love to, hopefully next year

EKShadz17 karma

X, what was it like working with bassnectar? Your respective sounds can be so different, I had no idea what to expect, great outcome BTW and whats your favorite song off of THE INVASION (Bounce? The sample at the end is perfect)

Excision_Official41 karma

My personal favorite is Funk Hole because it just sounds like a metal tune and makes me want to chew my face off

Galakra16 karma

Hi, Mr.Abel!

May I ask how many times Meowingtons has attempted to murder you?

Also, next time you see Joel, you should smack him, square in the face.

Excision_Official23 karma

hahahah will do

Asator8315 karma

In your opinion, how important is a formal education in music/ audio engineering for someone with a desire to produce quality electronic music?

Excision_Official38 karma

NONE at all. you dont need it

x0neManWolfPack14 karma


First of all, I totes have a man crush on you. I've seen you live 4 times, 3 times in Seattle and once last year at Paradiso. When it comes to dubstep as a genre, you are deffff my favorite artist. You came to seattle with 50,000 watts one year, then 100,000 watts w/ the X stage, THEN 100,000 watts w/ the Executioner stage. My question is what's next??

Excision_Official26 karma

DESTROID LIVE is next :)

danledinek13 karma

HUGE fan bro, seen you once and cant wait to see you again. so my question is: wheres your fav place to preform and why?

Excision_Official49 karma

I preform in the shop with my safety goggles on. It can get dangerous.

slayer42113 karma

How did you feel about Troy (Datsik) moving to California? Also, how do you think this will affect future collaborations between the two of you?

Excision_Official30 karma

I don't think it will really affect our future collabs as we hardly see each other anyway. I am in LA because of business more often than I am home in Kelowna anyway!

I think it was the right move for him and he is happy there.

CamAnold0912 karma

You're awesome... Got the new Destroid album today and I must say it is pretty dope. Of course I am wondering how well it is going to transition in a live format. Are you guys just going to play the Invasion track list or do you have other tunes ready to roll out. Also majority of the songs seem to be just collaborations with you and other artist. Did KJ Sawka work on any of the drum parts or is he just need to play it live?

Excision_Official38 karma

KJ did work on a few of the drum parts, but not much. We intend to make songs with him very soon but we have all been SLAMMED busy for the last 2 months getting the live show ready.

We are in the fortunate position of being friends with almost all the other bass music producers that we respect, and have hit them all up for stems of what we thought are their best tracks. So our sets will consist of a lot more than just our own songs. It will sound somewhat like an Excision DJ set in that it will have fast mixing between songs and a lot of tunes played in our set, except that we are playing ALL of the pieces LIVE.

VyleBass12 karma

Hey excision, I'm an amateur EDM producer, I produce everything from techno, house, electro, dubstep, trance, to drum n bass and beyond. I love EDM with a deep burning passion, what should I do if I want to make a career doing this?

Excision_Official60 karma

commit your entire life to it and work 10 hours a day every day until you are pro. Make stuff that other people don't make. Try your best to be DIFFERENT and not sound like everyone else.

ch00bie11 karma

What was going on the with the projectors at the show in Boston in March?

Excision_Official56 karma

Apparently one of the connectors got destroid by bass. My video guy had to hold it in place and not move or else it would cut out. Hence the glitchyness for the rest of the show

avalanche2948 karma

Let me start off by saying you're hands down my favorite dub step artist. I have been to three of your shows and each and every time you have improved (especially with that new executioner stage!)

My first question is about your new project Destroid. I was wondering what the dynamic of that group is like. What elements of each song are most attributable to each individual, and how easy do you find the guys to work with?

Second, What is your definition of "elevated existence?" The phrase comes up a lot in your viral marketing and occasionally in your songs. Has the meaning changed since you first used it, and did you intend on using it as much as you do now when you first used it?

Looking forward to seeing you again next time you stop through in New Orleans! Keep up the excellence!

Excision_Official15 karma

1) they are a fucking pain in the ass. But we all work well together :) Downlink and I play the basses/synths. KJ plays the drums.

2)It definitely wasn't originally intended to be used that so much, but we thought it had a good message. Kids might think its about getting high but its a much deeper meaning than that. stay tuned for more explanation on that in upcoming video uploads ;)

BatteriesInc7 karma

Hey, who would you say is the most talented DJ who is currently active? How about the most talented producer?

Excision_Official13 karma

I cant tell you who i think for DJ, i have too many friends that will get butthurt hahaha. Producer= Space Laces

RediBear6 karma

Hey Excision, Just a quick question. How come Destroid isn't going to be at Shamhala this year ?

Excision_Official5 karma

We wanted to, but it just wasn't feasible for many reasons. We hope to resolve these issues for next year.

SubHertz5 karma

Hey Jeff, thanks for doing this AMA! I saw you at Club Nokia in LA the past 2 years. You were one of the first raves I had ever gone to, and you set the bar for how a live edm show should be. I went to the first show with someone who since then has become one of my best friends. I remember after you ended your last song, me and some random stranger looked at each other, and without saying a word gave each other the mother of all high fives. You melted our faces. After that show, and the raves that followed as a result, I have been inspired and working hard to create my own music. So thank you so much.

I have so many questions for you, but I'll try to keep it down to 4 haha

1). What are some artists that have influenced you the most? What are some that haven't influenced your music directly, but you love to listen to?

2). How are Destroid's live shows going to look?

3). Will you still tour as Excision?

4). I have been working hard to create my own music, but have no clue where to go from here. I have a few songs I'm very happy with and am starting to get professional sounding mix downs, so what should my next step be in order to make a living doing this?

Thanks a lot, can't wait to be Destroid!

Excision_Official8 karma

1) all the music i listen to influences my music. It's impossible to ignore the influence. 2) the cover of the comic book on destroid.com is as best as i can explain it. otherwise wait a few weeks. 3) YES, there will be more Excision shows per year than Destroid probably forever. 4) Keep spending as much time as you can on it every day. A/B with other producers for mix downs, but make as different as possible music from them as you can!

DJEXxorcIST5 karma

Which tour did you enjoy more? X-Tour or The Execution Tour? I went to both and had an incredible time at both.

Excision_Official4 karma

The Execution tour had a lot more crazy technology. A lot more things to go wrong. It was def far more stressful. I would say I had more "fun" on the X Tour, but was far happier with the show we were presenting on the Execution tour

biggereasy4 karma

Hey Excision, seeing you're from BC and all I was wondering if you were a hockey/Canucks fan? They aren't doing too well at the moment.

Excision_Official6 karma

haha yeah, not looking good for us this year!

Veriscis3 karma

How often do you sleep?

Excision_Official16 karma

not very often. and i LOVE sleep. I limit myself to 6-7 hours a night on days off, less when I'm touring, just to keep up with all of the stuff I have to do in order to keep two full time touring acts running.

fpsdr0p2 karma

Sup Excision!

So what do you think about the trap genre? Can we trap heads expect to see some Excision in the trap game anytime soon???


Excision_Official6 karma

probably not. Tunes like headbanga have trap elements, so does Put It Down, but i see Trap as more of an intro thing not a full song thing