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 54)
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, Paige-Spitz, Overkill, Red Lamb
Website danspitz.com
Notable instruments
Jackson Randy Rhoads
PRS "Spitz"
Caparison Guitars Orbit "Spitz"

Daniel Alan Spitz (born January 28, 1963)[1] is an American musician and watchmaker 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 2008. With Anthrax, Spitz was nominated for three Grammy awards.[2]Spitz also founded the Christian music group Red Lamb alongside Dave Mustaine of Megadeth as his writing partner,[3] 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 luxury mechanical watchmaking and micro mechanical engineering working on the worlds most complicated mechanical luxury timepieces. He has also held the title of Watchmaker instructor in charge of all other Watchmakers both mechanical and electronic for the swiss company Chopard for all of North America. He was also the head sole mechanical Complications Watchmaker for Chopard and Leviev for all of North America as well as the distribution timepiece hub for all of Leviev. Mr.Spitz held the title of being the sole Master Watchmaker and private service center in charge of mechanical complications, parts distribution and the sole Watchmaker instructor for Leviev timepieces North America.[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 parents were interested in music and it resounded very loud throughout his home on a daily basis thanks to his father having a passion for big band and jazz music such as Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Tal Farlow, but Miles Davis was the massive influence on Spitz. His mother was into classical music and ballet. Dan Spitz received his first guitar when he reached seventh grade, his mother Irene bought him his first guitar and was his biggest fan. Spitz was the co-founding member and lead guitarist of a very early incarnation of the band Overkill before co-founding Anthrax.

Spitz comes from an orthodox Levite tribe Jewish family and converted to Christianity / Messianic Judaism in 1993.[7] 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,[8] which also starred Maggie Gyllenhaal and was directed by Academy Award Winning Director (Best Director award) Sam Mendes.[9]

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 many arteries.[10]

In March 2014, Spitz's ex-wife, Candi, announced their separation and her immediate engagement to Johnathan Mazzeo, a bug exterminator.[11]

Dan Spitz has two daughters from his first 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,[12] 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[13] Spitz reunited with the band from 2005 to 2008.

Spitz's music was even played on MARS to awaken the NASA Curiosity Rover 2012 making him the worlds first heavy metal recording artist whose music was played on two planets consecutively, and cracked the Top 10 charts on two planets.[14]

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 [15] on a full scholarship. He became one of the world's most coveted watchmakers of Mechanical Complications Specialist[16] earning Swiss degrees in micro mechanical engineering, and opened his own luxury watch service centers.[17] Master Watchmaker of Mechanical Complications Specialist credentials[18] are highly coveted, even in Switzerland.[19]

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 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 the 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]

2012 Dan Spitz was voted the #1 interview of the year for the largest Watchmaking magazine in the world, Hodinkee [22]

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 six song EP along with three 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.[23]

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),[24] and Dan Spitz playing Weissenborn Lap Slide Guitar,[25] 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.[26]

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 Master Watchmaker of Mechanical Complications. This documentary brought close to one million views in just a few days to CNN and aggregated to tens of millions on a global reach.[27]

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[28] (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[29] at Seymour Duncan[30] 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 were 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[31] with Voices of Extreme, alongside his hand made Telecasters.

Discography[edit]

Anthrax[edit]

Main article: Anthrax discography

Red Lamb[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dan Spitz at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ "The Official Site for the Recording Academy". GRAMMY.org. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  3. ^ "Metal Rockers Shine Light on Autism". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  4. ^ "Credentials | Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  5. ^ "Red Lamb: Dan Spitz/Dave Mustaine Supergroup Releases Debut Album Without Fanfare Or, Uh, Dave Mustaine". MetalSucks.net. 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  6. ^ Leland, John (July 1987). "My Son the Headbanger". Spin. 3 (4): 51–53. 
  7. ^ Butcher, Andy (February 2000). "Back from the Belly of the Beast". beliefnet.com. Retrieved March 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Away We Go (2009) : Photos". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  9. ^ "Sam Mendes : Awards". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ May 21, 2014 (2014-05-21). "EXCLUSIVE — Anthrax Guitarist Dan Spitz: My Wife's Engaged to Another Man!". Gossipextra.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  12. ^ "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  13. ^ "Bio | Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  14. ^ "Mars Science Laboratory". Jpl.nasa.gov. 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  15. ^ "Wostep - maintenance". Wostep.ch. 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  16. ^ "Photograph of letter offering Spitz as the "Watchmaker, Complications Specialist" post" (JPG). Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  17. ^ "Photograph of workshop" (PNG). Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  18. ^ "Photograph of letter proclaimimng Spitz as the appointed "Master Watchmaker of Complications Specialist"" (JPG). Danspitz.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 12, 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  20. ^ "From Anthrax To Autism Awareness, Dan Spitz Returns With Red Lamb". Blabbermouth.net. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  21. ^ "Red Lamb - About". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  23. ^ "Dan Spitz Launches DII Band #Autism Awareness | Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". Danspitz.com. 2014-05-21. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  24. ^ "The Voice: Michaela Paige's Official Photos Photo: 241881". NBC.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  25. ^  Terry Bunch (2015-02-03). "NAMM 2015: Dan Spitz Lap Steel Demo |". Metallife.com. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  26. ^ "Michaela Paige & Dan Spitz". NAMM.org. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  27. ^ "Great Big Story - Timeline". Facebook. 2016-07-29. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  28. ^ "Paul Reed Smith Dan Spitz Headstock Original Drawings | Official Dan Spitz Blog and Community". Danspitz.com. 2010-03-23. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  29. ^ Gerry Ganaden (2013-07-25). "Builder Profile: Seymour Duncan's Custom Shop Queen". Premier Guitar. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  30. ^ "Guitar Pickups, Bass Pickups, Pedals". Seymour Duncan. Retrieved 2016-08-02. 
  31. ^ "Caparison Guitars on Instagram: "Caparison Artist, Dan Spitz Anthrax #caparisonfamily"". Instagram. Retrieved 2016-03-19.