What happens when you collide some of the biggest Heavy Metal musicians to shout the truth to the world?
You start a new band called RED LAMB
Dan Spitz, formerly of ANTHRAX and Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH who together have sold records approaching 50 million copies and obtained somewhere around 15 Grammy nominantions are telling the story of what it's like for a family to live with identical/mirror image twins with autism.
Dan Spitz and his wife Candi have identical twins with autism and are vocal advocates about the cause and taking the power of music to now help educate awareness on a global level as never before
Dan Spitz was on of the co-founders and lead guitarist of the legendary band ANTHRAX, a band now included in the "Big 4" (Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer) who single handed changed the face of Heavy Metal Music by breaking down many barriers once never allowed.
Dan Spitz has crossed the globe on more than fifty arena tours, spanning 32 countries on five continents, released twenty or so platinum selling studio albums, platinum videos, gold and platinum singles, cracked billboard's Top Ten, an actor on television shows such as "Married with Children", wrote platinum songs for movie soundtracks for Adam Sandler, Arnold Schwarzenegger etc. He played in Broadway musicals and has left an indelible mark on the music industry.
ANTHRAX was the first band to mix hip hop and heavy metal with the legendary collaboration of their track "Bring The Noise2 as well as the first sold out Hip Hop/Heavy Metal-Arena World Tour featuring Public Enemy and Anthrax, the first Heavy Metal Band to record their own platinum selling Hip Hop Song "I'm The Man" and so much more.
Now this legendary guitarist (Spitz) has returned to music after his long hiatus in Switzerland to become a master matchmaker of the world's most complicated mechanical wristwatches to once again pave new ground for a great cause and set new trends
RED LAMB AND INTO THE FUTURE:
Red Lamb's second video for the song "Puzzle Box" is a song with lyrics co-written by Mustaine And Spitz, all music written by Spitz and the entire CD co-produced by Dave Mustaine and Dan Spitz is gaining a foothold in the music community rather swiftly and taking a stance in the usual Heavy Metal fashion of pulling no punches and telling the truth within it's lyrical content to the people on a global level.
In addition to these two legendary musicians of the "Big 4" (Mustaine & Spitz) they have recruited Grammy winner CHRIS VRENNA (of Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails), virtuoso DON CHAFFIN on vocals, PATRICK JOHNSON (Yngwie Malmsteen, W.A.S.P.) on drums as well as famed Grammy nominated producer JOHNNY K to mix the entire CD.
Carving into something that has never been done before, Spitz and RED LAMB will bring awareness in a way on one can.
AUTISM AWARENESS AND RED LAMB:
A band with a permanent mission like no other.
Candi Spitz (Dan's Wife) devotes all of her free time to the largest autism non-profit, Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org)
She can be seen on every billboard, print ad, newscast and radio ad.
Candi and Red Lamb have recruited "Autism Speaks Co"-founders Bob and Suzanne Wright to be in the video for "Puzzle Box". Bob Wright was the Ceo and chairman for NBC Universal for more than 20 years, who also has a grandson with autism. This is powerful stuff people.
The extensive filming of "Puzzle Box" was done over a three month period and includes footage from the "Walk Now For Autism Speaks" in Palm Beach, Florida, where thousands were filmed for the video.
Other notable people in the video include WPTV Channel 5-Anchor Mike Williams and television and film actors who open the video.
THE MESSAGE OF MUSIC:
Dan Spitz says: "It's time for someone in music to wake the world up to autism. We have Holly Robinson Peete in film, we have vocal people in Nascar, and of course Dan Marino and others in Sports.
Now it's time for someone who lives it and speaks the truth to the people in true Metal fashion.
I come from a time when the lyrics of a song represented the truth that can certainly change the world.
Now it's time to let people know we are in epidemic form with autism, as one in every 88th child born (1 in every 54th boy) will be diagnosed in the spectrum.
I feel that if we don't do something about this now, the autism epidemic, more people will suffer the consequences.
01. The Cage (3:46) 02. Runaway Train (4:42) 03. Standby Passenger (3:32) 04. One Shell (In The Chamber) (3:21) 05. Puzzle Box (4:37) 06. Watchman (4:35) 07. Keep Pushing Me (4:17) 08. Get Up (3:38) 09. Don't Threaten To Love Me (3:53) 10. Angels Of War (4:04) 11. Warpaint (3:11) 12. Temptation (3:59)
Dan Spitz on autism
The main theme on the RED LAMB-Album is autism. And this has reason….
Dan Spitz: Our children Brendan and Jaden are 5 years old and they are mirror image twins. Mirror image twins are the closest thing to having a Conjoined Twin. Every freckle is opposite one another, they fall asleep in a mirror image position to one another, their teeth come in on opposite sides of the mouth along with both being the same exact tooth, etc.. So they are unified human beings and not just being from the same egg as identical twins are. Both have autism, but autism has affected each of them differently.
That is the reason why it is so hard to find a pathway through medical avenues on what causes and/or what we can do to fix or help this condition. Brendan and Jaden being from the same egg BUT being effected differently by Autism.
In addition to that they were not born with autism. They were talking at 9 months and hitting every milestone they were supposed to, but then slowly started to un-learn all they knew around 16-18 months. This is documented as well because they were doing movies (with Maggie Gylennhal) and lots of television commercials (ex: with Brooke Shields for Volkswagen) at an early age (before 18 months). So we have visual proof of their early days, including interaction with others in a normal fashion.
When I grew up (and the generations before me) nobody knew about autism in this widespread global way we do know. The new CDC statistics being every 88th person born and every 54th boy born has autism (what we call being “On The Spectrum”) today.
Many people don’t know much about autism and wonder, if it is a disease or a gene defect.
Dan Spitz: Some people are born autistic. My children were not. In the first 12 months children must get certain inoculations, and this is a very controversial topic now of how these shots are administered (the time frame of them and the time frame between the series of them).
When I grew up I received approximately 8 total vaccine inoculations against polio etc. as my governmental cocktail. Today the children get about 38 inoculations blasted into them at such an early age.
Many believe this has an effect and a shock to the human nervous system. Many believe we are bombarding our children with too much inoculation at one time and there is NO standardized time frame between the series of these shots you are forced to get. We should ALL have the choice to say “no” or defer the pattern and time between them over way longer periods of time. . The other thing is that we place all of the liquids and food our infants use on and in plastic bottles, spoons, forks and plates. These bottles are made out of chemicals (plastic derivatives). The plates they eat from are plastic. When you put their baby bottles in the microwave to warm up the formula for them the plastic warms as well and it is well known that PCB's are leached back into the food and liquids. There is now a plastic numbering system in effect because of this.
Unfortunately our children were pre disposed to these PCB's before this law was in effect. After my wife Candi and I found out about this we were instructed to remove all of this plastic with a certain number stamped on it from being used to see what would happen. Within 24 hours of doing so both of our children started to verbalize words once again. A pattern once lost.
In which way does autism affect the daily life, like eating for example?
Dan Spitz: We spend a lot more time in a hospital than most because of eating disorders. One child only eats a certain brand of Chips and a certain brand of Rice Cakes and has no other daily food intake. We must supplement with liquid proteins being hidden in their juice cup. Trying to force teach another food can turn them away from all food intake and they will stop eating all together.
What is the mission of Red Lamb?
Dan Spitz: Red Lamb is here to simply bring "Awareness" to the world about Autism in a positive light. In television, sports and in film there are plenty of people that are trying to bring awareness to autism. But there has been no one in the music business so far who's family actually lives it each day and can speak from experience. As I did in Anthrax, Red Lamb write words and convey our messages pulling no punches. The truth from me to your ears along with my friends who are part of this creation and live shows to come.
In which way does the autism of your children affect the way of making music?
Dan Spitz: It took almost two years to get to the point where I got the sound for Red Lamb. In our house a disaster nearly happens every 30 seconds because we literally can’t take our eyes off our children. They have mini epileptic type seizures we call “Meltdowns” that can result in self-injuring behavior and everything they do in the house is very ritualistic. Everything has to be the same pattern over and over each day with no changes at all. They have to drink out of the same colored cup placed in the same exact spot on the floor for instance. If anything changes there can be "meltdowns" as we call them in our world. Even to move them from inside the house to the car can take extremely long periods of time and sometimes not happen at all in its completion. We do a lot more laundry than most. They wear the same clothes, shoes, sox, etc. each day even though they have 30 pairs of Vans shoes to choose from and drawers full of clothes as well. All doors in our household to the outside world must be locked and chained. Because Brendan and Jaden do not know their names if prompted and communication is limited. People on the spectrum also wander and are enticed by water. They can walk into any water body and drown. Especially if there is a fountain spraying water for beautification reasons.
Being invited to go to many events as a married couple or even friends invitations to parties are always a "no". Our children cannot handle changing of environments or patterns and we are limited as to whom they can be left alone with. They must be trained in the ritualistic behaviors of our particular children's day and evening activities.
The work (and the way I work) that has to be done in a much different pattern than it used to be in the past. But this also gave me time to think and analyzethe lyrical content with Dave Mustaine in a more minute way, as every single word means a lot to us as a team because of "The Cause". We recorded the album on both the East coast and the West coast (at Dave's studio). Everyday my wife phoned / text consistently to tell me how the children are, of course. For couples who have children who are not on the spectrum it's a big deal if they get injured or have other significant issues while their musical partner might be in the studio, but our problems are a bit different, and every panic is definitely justified mayhem that interrupts the musical and artistic creative day. The simple "married life" things that most can do, my wife Candi and I cannot. Going out to dinner or even to McDonalds with your children simply is an almost impossible task usually ending with the entire establishment watching us and talking under their breath. We usually have to go tell them "Hey.. they have autism".
What have you learned from your children? Autistic children have skills, which we don’t have…
Dan Spitz: Yes, they have extremely heightened skills and have very low functioning skills as well. When Brendan and Jaden were two years old they could not speak. The therapists would try endlessly to teach them to no avail. One day one of the twins located a therapists iPhone in her purse, grabbed it and hacked her entrance code of her iphone! The therapist watched him start reprogramming it, moving apps and so on. Back then nobody knew Ipads, ipods or Iphones could help children with autism. So we got our 2 year olds Ipod devices and loaded them up with learning apps, a ballistic type cover of course and blocked them from adult content (they cracked those codes as well). In turn they mastered them and taught themselves the alphabet and started to verbalize themselves. They could go at their own pace and in repetitive actions for endless hours this way.
Please give me a simplistic explanation of heightened skills in people on the spectrum
Dan Spitz: I always explain it this fictitious example: Lets make believe a normal person has five channels or pathways that lead to their brain that carry information to the brain. An autistic child has three channels switched off and has just two channels, but they have the same POWER shooting down only 2 pathways in the brain as the person with five channels. So you have extra pressure blasting through those 2 pathways and the person gets an over blast in a certain areas of the brains cognitive receptors. Perhaps this person can now know every book in a library, the catalog number and where it is, for instance.
Is the Red Lamb album a therapy for you?
Dan Spitz: Definitely. In the beginning I was totally pissed off because I did not know anything about autism and it was like a “what’s happening here and why is this happening?” kind of feeling. You go into denial, big time. The end result is that this has sharpened my way of writing music and is teaching me daily things I once took for granted. In the past we never used cheesy words in our songs, it always was about what was bothering us or intrigued us. In “Metal” we write about the things that are written on our heart and we pull no punches. I don’t want to preach about autism that’s just not me or the way I operate. I just want to bring “awareness” on a global level through music. The fans (as others call them) of Thrash Metal will do the rest all on their own. It’s one big family in what I do and it feels killer to be back with something so special and brand new. This music runs naturally through my arteries into the listeners soul. We are all one and no different. The people that enjoy my artistic creations and guitar sounds are “In the band,” and not fans. . . .