Dan Spitz

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Dan Spitz
Born (1963-01-28) January 28, 1963 (age 53)
Rockland County, New York
Genres Thrash metal, heavy metal, Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Mixer, Master Watchmaker of Mechanical Complications Specialist
Instruments Guitar, Weissenborn Lap Slide Guitar, Resonator Lap Slide Guitar, vocals, bass, keyboard, piano, programming
Years active 1980–1995
2004–2007
2010–present
Labels Elektra, Island, Megaforce(
Associated acts Anthrax, Voices of Extreme, Paige-Spitz, DII band, Overkill, Red Lamb
Website www.danspitz.com
Notable instruments
Jackson Randy Rhoads
PRS "Spitz"
Caparison Guitars Orbit "Spitz"

Daniel Alan Spitz (born January 28, 1963)[1] is a three-time Grammy-nominated[2] American musician best known for his work as the lead guitarist, principal songwriter and co-producer of the American heavy metal band Anthrax from 1983 to 1995 and from 2005 to 2007. More recently Spitz has joined the band Voices of Extreme on a full-time basis,[3] Spitz also founded the Christian music group Red Lamb alongside Dave Mustaine of Megadeth as his writing partner,[4] the first to bring autism awareness into any genre of music or music video. Spitz has earned Swiss and American degrees in watchmaking and micro mechanical engineering[5] and is a global advocate for autism awareness.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Spitz was born in a small town in Rockland County, New York as the second son of a lawyer and a high school substitute teacher.[8] His older brother is former White Lion and Black Sabbath bassist Dave Spitz. His parents were interested in music, his father liked big band and jazz music of Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Tal Farlow, but Miles Davis[9] was a huge influence on Spitz. His mother was into classical music and ballet. In the early 1980s, his brother David played bass and guitar. Dan Spitz got his brother's guitar and started playing. When he reached seventh grade, his mother bought him his first guitar. Spitz co-founded the band Overkill and later Anthrax.

Spitz comes from a pure Levite tribe Jewish family and converted to Christianity / Messianic Judaism in 1993.[10] Spitz has identical twin boys who were born in 2007. They were diagnosed with autism at 16 months of age. The Spitz twins were in numerous movies and television commercials before their autism diagnosis. They starred in the film Away We Go,[11] which also starred Maggie Gyllenhaal and was directed by Academy Award Winning Director (Best Director award) Sam Mendes.[12]

In June 2009, Spitz had a massive heart attack, causing him to undergo an emergency triple bypass, from which he fully recovered, but had to have stents placed in his main ventricular implementation and many other smaller arteries.[13]

In March 2014, Spitz's ex-wife, Candi, announced their separation and her immediate engagement to Johnathan Mazzeo, a bug exterminator.[14]

Dan Spitz is a single father[15] on a global mission to bring Glory to Jesus Christ and global Autism Awareness,[16] while breaking new barriers to do so. He also has two daughters from a previous marriage.

Career[edit]

Spitz was the lead guitarist co-founding member, lead guitarist, backing vocalist, co-producer, and principal songwriter of the thrash metal band Anthrax from 1983–1995, appearing on albums Fistful of Metal, Armed and Dangerous, Spreading the Disease, Among the Living, State of Euphoria, Persistence of Time , Sound of White Noise and countless movie soundtracks, television soundtracks, video game soundtracks and more, earning him RIAA certified gold and platinum album status for every album and song he has written and played on,[17] reaching sales of more than 30 million albums worldwide, in addition to countless gold and platinum albums from almost all countries outside of the USA[18] Spitz reunited with the band from 2005 to 2007.

Spitz's music was even played on MARS to awaken the NASA Curiosity Rover 2012 making him the worlds first Intergalactic heavy metal recording artist whose music was played on two planets consecutively, and cracked the Top 10 charts on two planets.[19]

Before playing in Anthrax, Spitz was co-founding member and lead guitarist for thrash metal band Overkill, and also Thrasher, at which time he shared the stage with bassist Billy Sheehan.

In 1995, Spitz left Anthrax to pursue a career in luxury Swiss watchmaking, attending the prestigious Swiss watchmaking school WOSTEP [20] on a full scholarship. He became one of the world's most coveted watchmakers of Mechanical Complications Specialist[21] earning Swiss degrees in micro mechanical engineering, and opened his own luxury watch service centers.[22] Dan Spitz Master Watchmaker of Mechanical Complications Specialist credentials,[23] Watchmaker teaching credentials[5] are highly coveted, even in Switzerland[24]

On April 1, 2005, Anthrax announced that the band's original line up would once more come together for the Among the Living reunion, and Spitz reunited with the band. They embarked on a world tour and released Alive 2, a DVD with footage from those performances. Following the end of the reunion tour, Spitz again left Anthrax to concentrate on his watch designs.

In 2010, Spitz formed a new Christian rock/metal band Red Lamb based in Palm Beach, Florida. The band's line-up included Spitz (lead guitar, guitar, bass guitar, programming, background vocals, engineering,co-producer), Don Chaffin(vocals) and[25] Grammy winning[26] artist Chris Vrenna (programming and synths). The band has been described by critics as a variety of genres, most commonly explosive hard rock, pop punk, alternative rock, with a taste of thrash. Their self-titled debut album is co-produced by Spitz and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth). All Music was written solely by Spitz with all lyrical content co-written by Dave Mustaine and Spitz. It was mixed by Grammy nominated producer Johnny K. Spitz and Mustaine have penned the first heavy metal song and video about autism. The video "Puzzle Box" is an insight of truth about Autism and the Spitz families daily struggles with it. The video includes Bob and Suzanne Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks within. Dan has identical twins sons with autism. Red Lamb and Spitz were the first professional music artists on mission of global Autism Awareness.[27][28]

2012 Dan Spitz was voted the #1 interview of the year for the largest Watchmaking magazine in the world, Hodinkee [29]

On May 2014 Dan Spitz announced his first Christian music acoustic duo featuring him playing an ancient hollow neck lap slide slide guitar called a Weissenborn. The DII Band released a 6 song EP along with 3 videos.. A few songs revisit the past catalog of Dan Spitz work, but bring forth a new sound. The others, originals, are an emotional walk through life's struggles and truths based on the word of God.[30]

On January 2015 Dan Spitz announced his first Christian based musical male / female duo, Paige-Spitz. Michaela Paige – Vocals (from the television show The Voice team Blake Shelton),[31] and Dan Spitz playing Weissenborn Lap Slide Guitar,[32] 6 & 12 string acoustic guitars, Octave Mandolin. PS represents musical art Born from God above to enlighten the world through Christian Faith based worship lyrics to raise global awareness of Autism and its staggering climbing statistics.[33]

On December 31, 2015 Dan Spitz joined the band Voices of Extreme[3][34] on a full-time basis. He has announced he will be playing his electric guitar on a full-time basis, as well as his rare Weissneborn hollow neck lap slide guitars. His new band will be releasing a full-length album with the new music being brought forth to bring Glory to Jesus through Christian Faith based music with a new sound.[35]

On April 2016 CNN / Great Big Story released a video documentary on Dan Spitz and his uniqueness of being the only professional musician and Swiss Certified Watchmaker. This documentary brought more than a half million views in just a few days to CNN, with global reach of millions.[36]

Equipment[edit]

Spitz was originally known for his use of Jackson Guitars (he was famous for his custom self inventive Jackson Randy Rhoads model with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles painted on them) now an iconic part of thrash metal history, and countless innovations and inventions he personally made with Grover Jackson. Some of these first ever inventions where the body shape cut down to a smaller dimension, 10 string model, white limba model, solid through blistered maple model, first ever comic book art hand airbrushed on a guitar (silver surfer), volume and toggle switches moved to better positioning for palm muting, and more innovations too numerous to list. Most recently during the Anthrax Reunion tour he became the first thrash metal endorser of Paul Reed Smith Guitars. Spitz helped Paul Reed Smith create a special "Spitz" head stock[37] (a first for PRS) and a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rendering was painted on this new guitar by tattoo artist and painter JR Linton. He also used a PRS Private Stock white limba guitar with 3 custom wound by custom shop legendary queen MJ[38] at Seymour Duncan[39] soap bar pickups. He terminated his endorsement with PRS after leaving Anthrax in 2007.

In the early days of Anthrax, Spitz used Marshall amplifiers, using a JCM800. Later on, around the time of "Among the Living," he switched to Mesa/Boogie, using many Mark IIC modified heads. These modification's where of Spitz' creation. He could also be seen using a Mark III combo amp on top of a Mesa/Boogie 4x12 cabinet on the music video for Got the Time. Spitz was using Mesa/Boogie MKIV modified amplifiers before he left Anthrax in 1995, due to a fire of the Anthrax rehearsal room destroying his recording and touring amplifiers. During the Anthrax Reunion in 2005–2007, Spitz used Matchless heads and Marshall Plexi-style heads he hand-built himself that were pushed by a Keeley-modded Boss DS-1.

Recently, Spitz said he has embarked on a new journey of innovation, improvising his skill of guitar wizardry into an art form that includes his mastering of new instruments, including the Weissenborn Lap Slide Guitar and Resonator Tri-cone Lap Slide Guitar.

Spitz is now using Caparison Guitars Orbit beta "Spitz" model guitars[40] with Voices of Extreme, alongside his hand made Telecasters.

Discography[edit]

Main article: Anthrax discography

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dan Spitz at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ https://www.grammy.org
  3. ^ a b "Dan Spitz joins Voices Of Extreme Band Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  4. ^ "Metal Rockers Shine Light on Autism". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  5. ^ a b http://danspitz.com/watchmaking-credentials/
  6. ^ https://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/autism-speaks-ambassador-and-lead-guitarist-anthrax-dan-spitz-featured-rock-revolt-ma
  7. ^ RED LAMB: DAN SPITZ/DAVE MUSTAINE SUPERGROUP RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM WITHOUT FANFARE OR, UH, DAVE MUSTAINE http://www.metalsucks.net/2012/02/06/red-lamb-dan-spitzdave-mustaine-supergroup-releases-debut-album-to-zero-fanfare-or-uh-dave-mustaine/
  8. ^ Leland, John (July 1987). "My Son the Headbanger". Spin 3 (4): 51–53. 
  9. ^ Miles Davis
  10. ^ Butcher, Andy (February 2000). "Back from the Belly of the Beast". beliefnet.com. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1176740/combined
  12. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005222/awards
  13. ^ http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/29/16102/Former-Anthrax-guitarist-Dan-Spitz-still-among-the-living-following-heart-surgery.html
  14. ^ http://www.gossipextra.com/2014/05/21/anthrax-guitarist-dan-spitz-wife-new-man-3666/
  15. ^ "Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  16. ^ http://danspitz.com
  17. ^ http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?content_selector=gold-platinum-searchable-database
  18. ^ http://danspitz.com/bio/
  19. ^ http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/
  20. ^ http://www.wostep.ch
  21. ^ http://danspitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/chopardoffer.jpg
  22. ^ http://danspitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/danspitzwatchmakerservicecenter.png
  23. ^ http://danspitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/levievsite1_128.jpg
  24. ^ Spitz's biography, from his website
  25. ^ Grammy
  26. ^ Nine Inch Nails 1995 best metal performance https://www.grammy.com/nominees/search?artist=nine+inch+nails+&field_nominee_work_value=&year=All&genre=All
  27. ^ http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/from-anthrax-to-autism-awareness-dan-spitz-returns-with-red-lamb/
  28. ^ https://www.facebook.com/redlamb/info
  29. ^ https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/the-2012-hodinkee-year-end-recap-most-popular-posts
  30. ^ http://danspitz.com/2014/05/dan-spitz-launched-dii-band-autism-awareness/
  31. ^ http://www.nbc.com/the-voice/photos/season-3/michaela-paiges-official-photos/241881
  32. ^ http://metallife.com/namm-2015-dan-spitz-lap-steel-demo/
  33. ^ https://www.namm.org/thenammshow/2015/events/michaela-paige-dan-spitz
  34. ^ "Voices Of Extreme — Official Website". voicesofextreme.com. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  35. ^ http://danspitz.com/2015/12/dan-spitz-joins-voices-of-extreme-band/
  36. ^ https://www.facebook.com/greatbigstory/videos/1533456540290107/
  37. ^ http://danspitz.com/2010/03/paul-reed-smith-dan-spitz-headstock-original-drawings/
  38. ^ http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19347-builder-profile-seymour-duncans-custom-shop-queen
  39. ^ http://www.seymourduncan.com
  40. ^ "Caparison Guitars on Instagram: "Caparison Artist, Dan Spitz - Voices of Extreme/ex-Anthrax #caparisonfamily"". Instagram. Retrieved 2016-03-19.