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 a three-time Grammy-nominated [2] American musician best known for his work as the lead guitarist, principle songwriter and co-producer of the American heavy metal band Anthrax from 1983 to 1995 and from 2005 to 2007. More recently, Spitz has founded the Christian music group Red Lamb, the first to bring autism awareness into any genre of music or music video. Spitz has earned some of the most coveted Swiss and American degrees in watchmaking and micro mechanical engineering[3] and is a global advocate for autism awareness.[4][5]

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.[6] 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 Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Tal Farlow, but Miles Davis[7] 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 reached 12th grade, went to college but left it after a few weeks without graduating[6] and 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.[8] 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 and 12-month vaccines. They starred in the film "Away We Go",[9] which also starred Maggie Gyllenhall and was directed by Academy Award Winning Director (Best Director award) Sam Mendes.[10]

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.[11]

In March 2014, Spitz's ex-wife, Candi, announced their separation and her immediate engagement to Johnathan Mazzeo, a bug exterminator.[12]

On July 19, 2015, Spitz proposed to his personal manager and girlfriend Beth Thom.[13] Spitz and his fianceé are on a global mission to spread autism awareness through music and other venues. 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 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 RIAA certified gold and platinum album status for every album and song he has written and played on,[14] 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 [15] 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 who’s music was played on two planets consecutively, and cracked the Top 10 charts on two planets.[16]

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 earning Swiss degrees in micro mechanical engineering, and opened his own luxury watch service centers. Dan Spitz Master Watchmaker of Mechanical Complications Specialist credentials, Watchmaker teaching credentials [3] are highly coveted, even in Switzerland [17]

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 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 [18] Grammy winning [19] 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.[20][21]

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[22] (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 [23] at Seymour Duncan [24] 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 vintage National 1928 original Resonator Tri-cone Lap Slide Guitar.

Discography[edit]

Main article: Anthrax discography

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Dan Spitz at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ https://www.grammy.org
  3. ^ a b http://danspitz.com/watchmaking-credentials/
  4. ^ https://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/autism-speaks-ambassador-and-lead-guitarist-anthrax-dan-spitz-featured-rock-revolt-ma
  5. ^ 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/
  6. ^ a b Leland, John (July 1987). "My Son the Headbanger". Spin 3 (4): 51–53. 
  7. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Davis
  8. ^ Butcher, Andy (February 2000). "Back from the Belly of the Beast". beliefnet.com. Retrieved 4 March 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1176740/combined
  10. ^ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005222/awards
  11. ^ http://www.thegauntlet.com/article/29/16102/Former-Anthrax-guitarist-Dan-Spitz-still-among-the-living-following-heart-surgery.html
  12. ^ http://www.gossipextra.com/2014/05/21/anthrax-guitarist-dan-spitz-wife-new-man-3666/
  13. ^ http://bravewords.com/news/former-anthrax-guitarist-dan-spitz-engaged
  14. ^ http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?content_selector=gold-platinum-searchable-database
  15. ^ http://danspitz.com/bio/
  16. ^ http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/
  17. ^ Spitz's biography, from his website
  18. ^ Grammy
  19. ^ 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
  20. ^ http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/from-anthrax-to-autism-awareness-dan-spitz-returns-with-red-lamb/
  21. ^ https://www.facebook.com/redlamb/info
  22. ^ http://danspitz.com/2010/03/paul-reed-smith-dan-spitz-headstock-original-drawings/
  23. ^ http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19347-builder-profile-seymour-duncans-custom-shop-queen
  24. ^ http://www.seymourduncan.com