Dan Spitz

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Dan Spitz
Born (1963-01-28) January 28, 1963 (age 52)
Rockland County, New York
Genres Thrash metal, heavy metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, watchmaker
Instruments Guitar, Vocals
Years active 1980–1995
2004–2007
2010–present
Associated acts Anthrax, DII BAND, Overkill, DeuxMonkey, Red Lamb
Website www.spitzwatch.com
Notable instruments
Jackson Randy Rhoads
PRS "Spitz"

Daniel Alan Spitz (born January 28, 1963)[1] is an American musician, best known for his work as the lead guitarist of the American heavy metal band Anthrax from 1983 to 1995 and from 2005 to 2007. More recently, Spitz has performed in the heavy metal group Red Lamb.[2]

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.[3] His older brother is former White Lion and Black Sabbath bassist Dave Spitz. His parents were interested in music, his father liked the music of Dizzy Gillespie, his mother was into classical music. In the early 1980s, his brother David played bass and guitar. Dan got his brother's guitar and started playing. When he reached seventh grade his mother bought him his first guitar. Spitz reached twelfth grade, went to college but left it after a few weeks without graduating[3] and co-founded the band Overkill and later Anthrax.

Spitz comes from a Jewish family and converted to Christianity from Messianic Judaism in 1993.[4] Dan has mirror image identical twin boys who were born in 2007 and were diagnosed with autism approximately at 16 months of age. Dan and his fiance', Beth, are on a global mission to spread Autism Awareness through music and many other venues. He also has two daughters from a previous marriage.

In June 2009, Spitz had a massive heart attack, causing him to undergo an emergency triple bypass, from which he fully recovered.

In March 2014, Dan's ex-wife, Candi, announced their separation along with her immediate engagement to Johnathan Mazzeo, an exterminator.

Career[edit]

Dan Spitz was the lead guitarist co-founding member, lead guitarist, backing vocalist and principal song writer 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 gold and platinum status for every album he has written and played on. Spitz reunited with the band from 2005 to 2007.

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 on a full scholarship. He became one of the world's most coveted watchmakers of Mechanical Complications Specialist, and opened his own luxury watch service centers.[5]

On April 1, 2005, Anthrax announced that the original line up would once more come together for the Among the Living reunion, and Spitz was 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 rock/metal band Red Lamb based in Palm Beach, Florida. The band's line-up included Dan Spitz (lead guitar, guitar, bass guitar, programming, background vocals, engineering,co-producer), Don Chaffin(vocals) and 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 Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) and Dan Spitz (Anthrax). All Music was written solely by Dan 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 mirror image twins boys with Autism. Red Lamb and Dan Spitz were the first professional music artists on mission of global Autism Awareness. [6][7]

Equipment[edit]

Spitz was originally known for his use of Jackson Guitars (he was famous for his custom Jackson Randy Rhoads model with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles painted on them) and countless innovations with Grover Jackson. Most recently during the Anthrax Reunion tour he has been an endorser of Paul Reed Smith Guitars. Paul Reed Smith has created a special "Spitz" head stock (a first for PRS) and a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rendering was painted on this new guitar by tattoo artist and lowbrow painter JR Linton. He terminated his endorsement with PRS after leaving Anthrax in 2007.

In the early days of Anthrax, Dan used Marshall amplifiers, using a JCM800. Later on around the time of Among the Living, he switched to Mesa/Boogie, using their Mark III heads. 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. It's unknown what amplifiers he used before he left Anthrax in 1995, he was possibly still using Mesa/Boogie Mark heads. During the Anthrax Reunion in 2005–2007, Dan used Matchless heads and Marshall Plexi-style heads he hand-built himself that were pushed by a Keeley-modded Boss DS-1.

Recently Dan 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.

Discography[edit]

Main article: Anthrax discography

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dan Spitz at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ 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/
  3. ^ a b Leland, John (July 1987). "My Son the Headbanger". Spin 3 (4): 51–53. 
  4. ^ Butcher, Andy (February 2000). "Back from the Belly of the Beast". beliefnet.com. Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Spitz's biography, from his website
  6. ^ http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/from-anthrax-to-autism-awareness-dan-spitz-returns-with-red-lamb/
  7. ^ https://www.facebook.com/redlamb/info