Excision Announces The Paradox Tour, Talks Brand New Stage Design: Exclusive

Devin Taylor
Excision

The dubstep artist unveils his most ambitious setup to date.

Excision has created a bass music experience quite unlike anything else in the dance music space. With 150,000 watts of sound and a fully-custom stage rig, his live shows have achieved a cult-like status among his followers.

The Kelowna-native, real name Jeff Abel, was a seminal figure in the rise of the American dubstep scene in 2009 and 2010, and his appeal hasn’t dampened since. The last three years, for instance, have seen him embark on three national tours with his amorphous, cutting-edge stage, The Executioner.

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Now Abel is beginning a new chapter with The Paradox. “I felt that we had done everything we could do with the Executioner,” he says. “Rather than do the same show for a fourth year it was time for something new.”

The Paradox is Excision’s third custom stage installation to date, and mark’s his team’s most ambitious project yet: “Over the last few years we've been tracking all of the things we wished the Executioner stage could do, and we've rolled every one of them into the Paradox,” he says. Whereas the Executioner utilized video projection mapping, the Paradox will be a modular, LED-based setup, capable of adjusting its size to meet venue constraints.

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To showcase the new production, Abel has announced a 50+ date North American tour that will run from January through April. The tour will feature Excision’s signature 150,000 watt PK sound system as well as support from Figure and Bear Grillz. The Paradox stage will be premiered for the first time on Dec. 11 in Minneapolis, followed by a second debut on Dec. 12 in Chicago.

Read Billboard’s full interview with Excision detailing the new stage production below.

What inspired you to build the new Paradox stage?

For me, spending such an insane amount of money on production every year isn't as much a business decision as it is a creative one. I felt that we had done everything we could do with the Executioner and rather than do the same show for a fourth year it was time for something new.  Over the last few years we've been tracking all of the things we wished the Executioner stage could do, and we've rolled every one of them into the Paradox.

How will The Paradox be different from your past stage designs?

This is the third stage we’ve built, all with the same core team, so we’ve learned a lot about what works, and what doesn’t. I can tell you it’s an LED-based setup, and that it’s modular depending on venue size. It was designed to match the intensity of my DJ sets as I don’t think the previous stages could really keep up. Other than that you’ll have to wait and see.

Who did you work with to help develop the stage?

We are working with a structure and engineering team in Maryland, as well as a mechanical engineering team in Nashville. The planning and design of the stage, many years in the making, is 100% my own crew that I've had since the beginning. I am very lucky to tour with such smart, dedicated and hard working guys. Out on tour earlier this year, one of us would have an idea and we'd get together after the show and build it into our design. It started out with a simple concept and slowly grew into the monster it is now.

Your new tour consists of more than 50 performances across four months. How do you prepare for such an ambitious tour?

Over the last few years my approach has completely changed. With such a grueling travel schedule it's extremely hard to fit sleep in. When you're flying 3-4 days a week it's mainly about trying to squeeze in as much sleep as you can between the late gigs and the early flights. But the upside is you usually have the weekdays to recover.

On a bus tour, you get to avoid the airports and sleep a full 8 hours, but you're usually playing gigs almost every day to cover all the extra expenses of doing your own production. It becomes more about fitness and making sure your body can physically do it. Last year, between Excision and Destroid playing over 200 gigs in the previous 14 months I had a bit of a wake-up call.  I developed some serious lower back issues and am still dealing with it on a daily basis. Luckily I was able to avoid any career-ending consequences by cutting down my gigs to a more manageable 100 per year and hitting the gym 5 days a week to strengthen my back and surrounding area. It's a bit sad to realize I'm only human and not a super powered robot dinosaur from outer space, but I'm proud to now be in the best shape of my life and tour the world rattling bones and melting faces for many years to come!

The Paradox Tour Dates:

1/22 Vancouver, BC

1/23 Vancouver, BC

1/24 Spokane, WA

1/25 Eugene, WA

1/26 Portland, OR

1/27 Boise, ID

1/28 Reno, NV

1/29 San Francisco, CA

1/30 Los Angeles, CA

2/2 Albuquerque, NM

2/4 Tulsa, OK

2/5 Houston, TX

2/6 Dallas, TX*

2/7 San Marcos, TX

2/16 Asheville, NC

2/17 Knoxville, TN*

2/18 Charlotte, NC

2/19 Atlanta, Ga.*

2/20 Nashville, TN

2/22 Buffalo, NY

2/23 Syracuse, NY

2/24 Montreal, QB

2/25 Albany, NY

2/26 New York, NY

2/27 New York, NY

3/2 Hartford, CT

3/3 Pittsburgh, PA

3/4 Boston, MA

3/5 Philadelphia, PA

3/9 Norfolk, VA

3/10 Richmond, VA

3/11 Washington, DC

3/12 Detroit, MI*

3/15 Cleveland, OH

3/16 Columbus, OH

3/17 Indianapolis, IN*

3/22 Memphis, TN

3/23 Wichita, KS

3/24 St. Louis, MO

3/25 Kansas City, MO

*Denotes date without Figure and/or Bear Grillz

(More dates to be announced)