Ex-ANTHRAX Guitarist Dan Spitz Talks About RED LAMB Project With MEGADETH Mainman - "It’s A Little Bit Of Dave, A Little Bit Of Me And About 20 Percent Of The Music That I Think Is The Future Of The Music That We All Started"
March 17, 2013, 2 years ago
By Kelley Simms
Ex-ANTHRAX shredder Dan Spitz has returned to the metal community with his new band RED LAMB for one reason: to shed awareness on autism. Spitz and his wife Candi are parents of identical twin boys with full-blown autism, and Anarchy for Autism is the upcoming tour that the band, also consisting of vocalist Don Chaffin, drummer Kevan Roy (MASTERY) and bassist Alan Goldstein (AGHORA), will embark upon.
“That’s what Red Lamb is,” Spitz said. “I didn’t come back to music just to play music. It had to be for a very important reason for me to leave my family ... to leave my children and go live on a bus somewhere and start this ride from scratch all over again. I had to do something. I looked around and I saw that there’s people in the film industry who are doing so much ... people in racing, golf, European soccer, and so many areas in the arts. (I needed to be) someone who can really be a true voice through the music in the industry. It’s not about raising funds or raising money, it’s about raising awareness. There’s no one who lives the hell that we live in everyday with identical twins who are five years old with autism. I want people to be able to see what we go through.”
On Red Lamb’s self-titled debut album, Spitz enlisted his good friend Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH, who co-produced and co-wrote all of the songs with Spitz. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and Red Lamb vocalist Don Chaffin certainly mimics Mustaine more than a few times on the album. Spitz explains that it was a conscious effort to have Mustaine’s stamp on the sound of the album.
“It’s a little bit of Dave, a little bit of me and about 20 percent of the music that I think is the future of the music that we all started. It runs in our blood. You can’t rob that from me, because it is me. It is Dave. So we took Donny (Chaffin), and he can clone anybody and we kind of molded him into being a little of Dave. And the music was all written by me. As soon as Donny started singing that way, we thought, there it is. What you’re going to get live, I’m going to let Donny be Donny. People will see that he can destroy.”
Anthrax always spoke the truth with its social commentary in its lyrics and Red Lamb’s mission is the same. The song “Puzzle Box,” and especially the accompanying video, is plastered with a bold and outspoken message about Spitz’s life dealing with autistic children.
“Dave knows my kids and knows my struggles. He understands autism well. So when it came time to write those lyrics, it really had to be a collaborative effort. Every single syllable had to be right. It had to have that impact of how two metal dudes would write. That’s how it had to be written. That song meant a lot. The video meant a lot. It was a blessing to us to get the CEO’s of Autism Speaks in the videos. That’s something they don’t normally lend themselves to, even for the cause. That’s how important they thought it was. It’s just a very important thing for everybody to see what we go through every day.”
Anyone who’s a parent knows how difficult it is raising children and most people don’t even have a clue about the unexplainable struggles of raising autistic children. Spitz’s demeanor and easy-going attitude certainly comes into play while dealing with his children’s sometimes erratic behavior.
“I’m a very quiet and patient dude and I think even people who don’t know me know about my ten years in Switzerland fixing the world’s most complicated mechanical wrist watches, Spitz said. “I think you can figure out my demeanor just from that if you don’t know me. Meltdowns happen a lot; someone who’s trying to self-injure themselves and can’t transition from the car into the house. Throwing themselves on the driveway; won’t get in the car or won’t get out of the car ... screaming and yelling. We can’t take our children to the supermarket. It’s not like we can just jump in the car and take them. The few times Candi has tried to take them, due to circumstances, I get a frantic call that there’s three cop cars because the lady next to her called the cops because she thought my wife was beating our children. Because she sees a kid thrashing about violently, throwing himself around, having a meltdown as my wife is leaning over the back seat. Those are the daily things we go through. So, it should be fun bringing them on the road. Actually, they’ll probably fit right in!” Spitz said with a chuckle.
Spitz is obviously psyched to be back playing music again. But with the recent announcement of guitarist Rob Caggiano’s departure from Anthrax, will this pave the way for another original member Anthrax reunion just like in 2005?
“Red Lamb was already five months booked (at the time of the announcement). What’s in my veins is Anthrax. Me and Scott started the ride, we fought the fight. You can’t take that out of me. I wish them the best of luck where ever they go and who ever’s playing with them. They’re doing just fine and it’s just time for me to make a difference. I love all of them but I have to do what I have to do. I have to do it for myself. I have to do it for humanity. I have to do it for my family. I’d like the world to see what struggles me and Candi go through every day.”
In closing, Spitz wants the world and most importantly, the metal community to hear his message.
“The metal audience is a force now,” Spitz concludes. “People always thought that we’d go away as we grew older. They’d say we were just going through a phase and would grow out of it as we got older. Well, it’s not true. All those people now are legislators, judges, doctors ... we didn’t go away, we just kept building and building. Now we’re an extremely powerful and global force when we join together. And we can change a lot of things together. Heavy metal didn’t go away and it’s not going away and it’s a lot stronger than some people give it credit for.”
For more info visit Redlambofficial.com.
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