First up, how are you guys feeling right now?
Lennie RizzoWe are feeling great, thanks for doing this interview Rik.

The band’s latest release was “Coldblackugly” in 1996. Now you're back with a new album. What triggered the return or who was the initiator?
Lennie RizzoWell myself and Ed. We accidently met at a bar. A friend of mines band was playing, They asked me to come up and sing a song or two. I bumped into Ed Lavolpe and we started talking about forming a coverband. Just for fun. About a week later, he contacted me and asked me about reforming Exxplorer. I was a little hesitated about it at first, did a little thinking and decided to go with the flow, once again.





That mind blowing debut got an unbelievable guitar sound! The new album has also that trademark, but with a more up to date sound. But still I can hear a lot of references to the 80's metal bands. Was  it done intentionally?
Fred GorhauNot really, that’s just our sound.  The way we like to hear guitars. Kevin and I have both always loved the sound of old vintage Marshalls. We both recently picked up Marshall 9200 power amps, and we run Digitech 1101’s.  They have very good sounds. We both love our Gibsons and we both recently got endorsed by “Raven West Guitars”. They are awesome and you can hear them all over this new album.  Judas Priest and Megadeth I believe run the same amp setup.  I just think they have a few more than we do though, haha.


The voice of Mr. Rizzo has stand the test of time very well. Does he do something special to keep his voice in good shape?
Lennie RizzoGood question, my friend. I really take care of my voice. It means so much to me. I don’t smoke or ever abuse my voice. Before a gig or studio time, I drink tea, take honey, drink a lot of water on stage! Whatever I can do to take of my instrument, I do.

How did you experience the presence on the Keep It True festival in 2009?
Lennie RizzoAll of us in Exxplorer had the greatest time at Keep It True. We were welcomed with open arms. Festival, the bands, the staff, the fans, all fabulous. Would love to do it again someday. Great festival.


Who are the main songwriters or is it a group effort? And how went the recording process?
Lennie RizzoWe all add something to the table. Kevin has many, many ideas, prearranged stuff. So does Fred. I have ideas, little twist and turns and the lyrics of course. Mike and Jay also contribute to our writing formulas. It’s a group effort. As far as the recording process, we recorded the new album in a friend’s living room. Never done this way before, by us. Very odd at first, but we got it done. It kinda worked on me. I released my inner feelings and that came out into our music. It was a different method, but it really worked for us.

 Just like on the debut album the artwork for the new album is stunning! Did the artist get total freedom to come up with the result or did you give him some guidelines?
Fred GorhauWe gave him a basic idea of what we were looking for, and let him do his thing. He did a great job, and it was almost exactly what we wanted the first time he sent us a draft. We made a few changes, and within a very short time, we had a finished cover. We’re very pleased with the work he did.

Are there any plans of visiting Europe (and especially Belgium or The Netherlands) in the near future?
Fred GorhauThat is a big yes.  Especially now that we have a new album out, and it’s not just a reunion show or two.  We have started talking to a few people about coming back to Europe in 2012.  We’d LOVE to play in Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as everywhere else in Europe.  Festivals and venues are invited to contact us to discuss Exxplorer coming back to Europe.

To conclude, would you like to say something to the fans and the readers?
Lennie RizzoTo all our friends, fans and readers: pick up our latest release “Vengeance Rides An Angry Horse” Please, support true metal! We appreciate all the support and love from the fans! Fans are fucking great. Mad love to you all and hoping to see you soon! Peace, love and metal! Thank you Rik, God bless \m/

Fred GorhauWell, by now, the new CD will be out, and we really hope you enjoy it. Thanks so much for your loyalty and support over the years. We can’t wait to see you again, and request that Exxplorer plays on a stage NEAR YOU….

 And thanx for answering these questions, guys!


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By Rik Bauters 

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