Former ANTHRAX Guitarist: It’s Because Of DAVE MUSTAINE That I Came Back To Play Full Time

Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal of Metal Assault recently conducted an interview with former ANTHRAX and current RED LAMB guitarist Dan Spitz. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metal Assault: [The RED LAMB debut album] came out early last year. Is there a plan to write any new material or are you just going to promote this album for a while?

Spitz: I have a bunch of material already written for the next project, so absolutely. But right now I need to take this tour around the world a couple of times and by the time I’m done, we’ll probably have everything ready to go straight into the studio and make the next record with the new lineup, which has crazy incredible musicians. If you listen to the album, it’s not what you’re going to see live. Musically, we all kind of know that in our genre. That’s the reason everybody comes to see what we do best, which is to stand on the stage and play live. There’s no background tape going. We’re live musicians, and that can be very rarely captured on CD. So what you got on the RED LAMB CD is a very good representation of me and Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH mainman] working together, two guys from the “Big Four” for the first time ever have done a full project like this. We were looking at each other one day and Dave was always yelling at me, “This is your album! You wrote all the music and you wrote all the lyrics first. It’s yours!” But it’s because of him basically that I came back to play full time. I was in Switzerland working on the world’s most complicated wrist watches. I didn’t have to come back and play. Dave was the one who said, “You’re the only one that’s that’s still alive. You have ANTHRAX in your veins. You are it! You can’t remove that. You’ve got to stop tinkering with those little watches in Switzerland and come back here and start playing.” So he knew the passion I had, and he made me decide to follow it. So my passion is full time, to take this around the world many, many times and feel everybody’s love once again. It feels really good to be back doing it.

Metal Assault: For the recording of the music on this debut CD, didn’t you originally get Peter Baltes of ACCEPT to play bass? I’m such a huge fan of ACCEPT and of Peter‘s songwriting, I just had to bring it up.

Spitz: Peter Baltes is one of my dear friends. When I first came back from Switzerland, I just needed someone to start writing with, to get my feet wet and see where it brings me to, just kind of messing around a little bit. Peter was obviously glad to do that. We worked on some fun stuff. When I decided that it’s time for us to get a drummer and step it up to the next level, Peter got the call from Wolf Hoffmann for the ACCEPT reunion. So that immediately engulfed all his time, and I said, “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Don’t worry about it.” I totally understood his commitment, and as we know, ACCEPT is doing so well now. But we still talk all the time!

Metal Assault: On the “Anarchy For Autism” tour, you’re doing the RED LAMB stuff and the ANTHRAX songs as well. How are you feeling now, doing these ANTHRAX songs again? Obviously the fans must be loving it at the shows.

Spitz: Well, now that we’re live, I can allow Donnie, who is an incredible singer and really in the vein of a Myles Kennedy, to be more open and kind of bend that way. So, he is very good at learning other people’s music and nailing it to the tee. I’ve never heard anything like that before. So the RED LAMB songs we’ve changed up quite a bit. I’ve kind of corrected it in a fashion where he can really sing in certain parts. And the ANTHRAX stuff, he just nails it and there’s a whole bunch of songs we can pick in and out of the set. He does a great job with either John Bush or Joey [Belladonna] songs. So we have a lot of fun doing it. I went back almost for two months just revisiting all the lead breaks and rhythms that I wrote, and I’ve really been playing them better than I played them since the days when those albums first came out. The fans really get just destroyed when they see it. Kevan Roy on drums, probably one of the most prolific and incredible drummers I’ve ever seen walking the planet, I’m sure he’ll be on the cover of most drum magazines within the next year. He’s just an incredibly nice guy as well, metal dude to the core. The bass player Alan G is from the band AGHORA. He plays a six-string bass, so you could say he’s fusion oriented as well as a metalhead. So the combination is incredible. I don’t even know what to say. He takes all the RED LAMB stuff to a great level. played the bass on the album, so it’s really simplistic, but live, Alan takes it to the level one of the world’s best bass players would take it to.

Read the entire interview from Metal Assault.