Dan Spitz

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Dan Spitz
Dan Spitz.jpg
Background information
Birth name Daniel Alan Spitz
Born (1963-01-28) January 28, 1963 (age 55)
Rockland County, New York
Genres Thrash metal, heavy metal, Rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Songwriter, Producer, Mixer, Master Watchmaker of Mechanical Complications Specialist, Watchmaker Instructor
Instruments Guitar, Weissenborn Lap Slide Guitar, Resonator Lap Slide Guitar, vocals, bass, keyboard, piano, programming
Years active 1980–1995, 2005–2008, 2010–present
Labels Elektra, Island, Megaforce
Associated acts Anthrax, Overkill, Red Lamb
Website danspitz.com

Daniel Alan Spitz (born January 28, 1963)[1] is an American musician and watchmaker best known for his work as the lead guitarist of the American heavy metal band Anthrax from 1983 to 1995 and from 2005 to 2008. With Anthrax, Spitz was nominated for three Grammy awards[2] and earned several platinum albums. Spitz also founded the Christian music group Red Lamb,[3] which was known for lyrics on autism awareness.[4] Spitz has earned Swiss and American degrees in luxury mechanical watchmaking and micro-mechanical engineering, certified as watchmaker instructor for the North American operations of Swiss watch company Chopard.[5][6]

Career[edit]

Dan Spitz was an early member of Overkill in 1981[7] and joined Anthrax in 1983. From 1983 to 1995, he was lead guitarist and backing vocalist on the Anthrax albums Fistful of Metal, Armed and Dangerous, Spreading the Disease, Among the Living, State of Euphoria, Persistence of Time, Sound of White Noise, earning him multiple RIAA-certified gold and platinum records.[8] Anthrax sold more than 30 million albums worldwide during this period.[9]

In 1995, Spitz left Anthrax to pursue a career in luxury Swiss watchmaking, attending the Swiss watchmaking school WOSTEP on a full scholarship. He was certified a Mechanical Complications Specialist, earning Swiss degrees in micro-mechanical engineering, and opened his own luxury watch service.[10] In 2012 Spitz was voted the number 1 interview of the year for the watchmaking magazine Hodinkee.[11] In 2016, the production company Great Big Story produced a documentary on Spitz's work as a watchmaker.[12]

Spitz reunited with Anthrax for a classic lineup reunion tour in 2005, appearing on the tour DVD Alive 2. He left the band again 2008 to return to his watchmaking career. In 2010 Spitz formed a new Christian rock/metal band Red Lamb, which also included singer Don Chaffin from Voices of Extreme and keyboardist Chris Vrenna. Dave Mustaine was an early member but ultimately stepped back into a songwriting role with Spitz.[13] Mustaine and Spitz wrote the song "Puzzle Box" which was claimed to be the first heavy metal song to deal with autism; the song's video featured Bob and Suzanne Wright, co-founders of Autism Speaks.[14][15] In 2017, Spitz formed another Christian metal band with former Journey drummer Deen Castronovo.[16]

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.[17] Spitz comes from an orthodox Levite tribe Jewish family and converted to Christianity / Messianic Judaism in 1993.[18] His older brother is heavy metal bassist/guitarist Dave Spitz.

Spitz has two daughters from his first marriage. Spitz also has identical twin sons 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, including the film Away We Go.[19] In June 2009, Spitz had a massive heart attack, causing him to undergo an emergency triple bypass. He fully recovered but required stents in many arteries.[20] Spitz divorced his second wife in 2014.[21]

Equipment[edit]

Spitz was originally known for his use of Jackson Guitars (he was famous for his Jackson Randy Rhoads model with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles painted on them), and he collaborated on guitar designs with Grover Jackson. During the Anthrax Reunion tour, Spitz endorsed Paul Reed Smith Guitars, using a custom model with a "Spitz" head stock.[22] This guitar was also painted with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by tattoo artist and painter JR Linton. Spitz terminated his endorsement with PRS after leaving Anthrax in 2007.

In the early days of Anthrax, Spitz used Marshall amplifiers, using one of the first incarnations of a pre JCM800 derived from a collaboration with Jim Marshall. Around the time of "Among the Living," Spitz switched to Mesa/Boogie, using many Mark IIC heads modified by Spitz. During the Anthrax Reunion in 2005–2007, Spitz used Matchless heads and Marshall point-to-point wired 2203 modded heads he hand-built himself that were pushed by a Keeley-modded Boss DS-1.

Discography[edit]

Anthrax[edit]

Red Lamb[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dan Spitz on IMDb
  2. ^ "Grammy Awards: Anthrax". Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  3. ^ "Metal Rockers Shine Light on Autism". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  4. ^ "Autism Speaks Ambassador and Lead Guitarist of Anthrax Dan Spitz Featured in Rock Revolt Magazine". Autism Speaks. May 9, 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  5. ^ Reardon, John (August 22, 2012). "Meet Dan Spitz, Anthrax Guitarist Turned Master Watchmaker". Hodinkee. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  6. ^ "Credentials | Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  7. ^ "Interview With Rat Skates". Metal-Rules.com. May 3, 2008. Retrieved November 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Bio | Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  10. ^ "Photograph of workshop" (PNG). Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  11. ^ Clymer, Benjamin (December 30, 2012). "The 2012 HODINKEE Year-End Recap + Our Ten (+/-) Most Popular Posts Of The Year". Hodinkee. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  12. ^ "Meet ehe Metal Thrasher Turned Virtuoso Watchmaker". Great Big Story. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  13. ^ Rosenberg, Axl (February 6, 2012). "Red Lamb: Dan Spitz/Dave Mustaine Supergroup Releases Debut Album without Fanfare or, uh, Dave Mustaine". MeatlSucks.net. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  14. ^ "From Anthrax To Autism Awareness, Dan Spitz Returns With Red Lamb". Blabbermouth.net. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  15. ^ "Red Lamb - About". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  16. ^ Drespling, Josh (April 1, 2017). "Former ANTHRAX Guitarist, Ex-JOURNEY Drummer Join Forces In New 'Thrash' Band". Empire Extreme. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  17. ^ Leland, John (July 1987). "My Son the Headbanger". Spin. 3 (4): 51–53. 
  18. ^ Butcher, Andy (February 2000). "Back from the Belly of the Beast". beliefnet.com. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Away We Go (2009) : Photos". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  20. ^ "Former Anthrax guitarist Dan Spitz still among the living following heart surgery.html - The Gauntlet Heavy Metal News". Thegauntlet.com. 2009-06-08. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  21. ^ May 21, 2014 (2014-05-21). "EXCLUSIVE — Anthrax Guitarist Dan Spitz: My Wife's Engaged to Another Man!". Gossipextra.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  22. ^ "Paul Reed Smith Dan Spitz Headstock Original Drawings | Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". Danspitz.com. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2016-08-02.