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Click here for a HADES interview from Metal Gospel.
Click here for an interview Dan did with Brian “Head” Welch.
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Dan Lorenzo - Musician/Writer
Interview By: B. Gash | June 17, 2010
If you are from the New Jersey and New York City area then chances are you have definitely heard of Dan Lorenzo. Not only is Dan the guitarist and mastermind of New Jersey’s very own Hades and Non-Fiction bands, but he also helps to run the very popular Steppin’ Out magazine. His weekly 24-7 column in Steppinâ€ Out, which saw him speaking about all kinds of things on his mind, was a favorite of mine for years!
Socialbugg caught up with Dan for this exclusive interview with him.
SB: Hey Dan, How are you? First I’ve got to ask you, what happened to my favorite column, 24-7, and will it be brought back?
DL: Yeah, what DID happen? Umm. I'm on strike. Holding out for more money. I do have a "blog" of sorts under the "NEWS" section of my website.
SB: What inspired you to pick up the guitar and what are some of your musical influences?
DL: I started playing guitar in 1978. There was this band called Kiss. I swear back then they were cool as all hell. I was REALLY into Ace. I also loved Cheap Trick, Aerosmith and a couple years later AC/DC. When I was a senior in Paramus High school in 1980/81, I had my guitar tech Dan Garber paint AC/DC Highway To Hell on the back of my jean jacket. Everybody thought that was my new band. Kiss was my first inspiration though.
SB: Hades released â€śResisting Successâ€ť in 1987 and ’If At First You Don’t Succeed’€ť in 1988 on Torrid Records. Tell us how Hades was formed and how you got discovered by Torrid Records.
DL: I started playing out as soon as 1979 as HADES even though I had barely been playing guitar for a year. We were a cover band. In 1982 we played the Soap Factory with Twisted Sister. A couple years later we'd open up for TT Quick at the Stone Pony and The Rising Sun. Johnny Z. from Megaforce hooked us up with TT Quick and put us on the first Megaforce comp BORN TO METALIZE. Then we broke up. Only T.Coombs my drummer stuck with me. In 1985 Alan Tecchio, Scott LePage and later Jim Schulman joined. I had met Torrid at WRTN and they signed us.
SB: Why did Hades take such a long break after touring for the second record and how did Non-Fiction come about?
DL: We broke up after our first European tour in the Summer of 1989. I NEVER thought I'd be in a band again...I held out 4 days and started NON-FICTION. I made a recording of a new song I wrote called "KNOW YOU LIKE A BOOK" with Chris and John Milnes from Mucky Pup. Then Dan Nastasi came in on vocals, Mike Cristi on drums and we started playing as NON-FICTION. We'd open for Manowar and Nuclear Assault. People didn't know what to make of us because we were playing really slow music with no guitar solos.
SB: I.R.S. Records signed Non-Fiction in 1990 and the band went on to record 3 full length records. How did your record contract come about and how was your working relationship with I.R.S. Records compared to Torrid Records?
DL: It was Grand Slamm/IRS. Brian McEvoy saw us play at CBGB's opening up for Fear of God. Grand Slamm was a really fun time. We finally had a publicist behind us Steve Karas. Kevin Bolembach joined on bass and he helped us get a publishing deal with Concrete Management. They promised us big things. They got us to open for Pantera once, gave us $50,000... then we never heard from them again.
SB: You’ve done extensive touring all over the world, so what are some of your favorite venues to play and what was the largest crowd you performed in front of?
DL: Wacken in 2000 with HADES was awesome. 30,000 total. My favorite shows were with NON-FICTION at Studio One and the Limelight. Plus Houston and Raleigh. HADES will perform in front of 20,000 people July 17th 2010 in Germany at the Bang Your Head Festival with Twisted Sister, Queensryche and a bunch of other bands.
SB: What were the differences between playing in Hades and Non-Fiction for you?
DL: HADES songs hurt! They are so fucking fast and hard to play.
SB: Metal Blade Records signed Hades in 1999. How did this come about for Hades and what happened to Non-Fiction?
DL: NON-FICTION pretty much stopped when I got a job selling advertising for Steppin' Out in 1994. I actually didn't own a guitar for 2 years. Then Dan Garber gave me an acoustic in 1998 and I started writing again. We were shocked when Metal Blade signed us. They would fly us to Germany to do 20 interviews a day. It was amazing.
SB: How many records did you record for Metal Blade Records and what is your favorite and why?
DL: Three. I think THE DOWNSIDE has the best songs.
SB: In 2007, You and Overkill’s Bobby â€śBlitzâ€ť Ellsworth formed The Cursed and released ’Room Full Of Sinners’€ť. What was it like working with Bobby and can we expect another release from The Cursed?
DL: Terrible. He verbally abused me! (laughs) No-it was AMAZING. I still worship that cd. In fact I just bought another copy from Amazon.com last night. It is my last new music I released....which also means it's my favorite.
SB: Dan, You’ve released 3 solo records, what inspires all of your creativity?
DL: Lately I've had zero inspiration musically, but at that time I bought a ZOOM recording unit. I had never written with a drum machine before. I wrote new music almost every day for a year.
SB: Can you give any words of advice to young and aspiring musicians and bands?
DL: Play what you love. Don't do drugs unless you want to live with your mommy when you're my age. If that appeals to you...then do LOTS of drugs.
SB: What’s it like working at Steppin’ Out magazine and meeting so many people in entertainment?
DL: Who did I meet because of working here? Oh yeah-Ron Artest from the Lakers. Then I beat his buddy in on-on-one in NYC.
SB: What do you think of current music and do you have any new favorite bands?
DL: I don't think of it.
SB: You’ve traveled all over the world Dan, why N.J.? What keeps you a resident of N.J.?
DL: My job and family. When I retire I will NEVER see snow again!
SB: I know you are an avid basketball player. Can you tell us your favorite sports teams?
DL: Knicks, Mets, Jets and Giants.
SB: Got any opinions on the new iPhone 4?
DL: iPhone...Brother I don't have a cell phone! The cell phone was invented for women to use in an emergency. It has since become the devise that makes polite people rude and house moms even more annoying than they already are. And what is up with the World Cup? All this hype for games that end in a tie? I'll pass thanks.
SB: Dan, it was a pleasure talking to you. Where can readers reach you at?
DL: Email: Dan@DanLorenzo.net
Official Website: www.danlorenzo.net
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Thu, Dec 2nd, 2010 7:01 AM PST
Ramsey resident and musician Dan Lorenzo contributed his penne caprese recipe to the new heavy metal cookbook 'Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes and Mayhem from the Heavy Weights of Heavy Metal.'
MOSHED POTATOES cook book
Rocker takes his metal to the kitchen
Thursday, December 2, 2010
BY BARBARA BOUCICAUT
Ramsey Suburban News OF SUBURBAN NEWS
RAMSEY– Dan Lorenzo likes to rock in the kitchen as well as on-stage.
The head banger’s long hair and tattoos are an expected part of his persona as guitarist with the rock band Non–Fiction. But Lorenzo also likes to cook, and one of his favorite recipes can be found in the newly-released cookbook "Mosh Potatoes: Recipes, Anecdotes and Mayhem from the Heavy Weights of Heavy Metal" published last month by Simon & Schuster.
His recipe, simply called "The Dish" in the cookbook, is a "penne caprese." Tubular pasta is boiled in a chicken broth, which he says gives the pasta a unique flavor. It is topped in "caprese" style with fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, mozzarella, sea salt and "the best extra virgin olive oil you can find."
The author of the cookbook, Steve Seabury, also a heavy metal performer and music industry executive, approached Lorenzo about a year ago and asked him to contribute a recipe to the book. Lorenzo agreed.
"I felt honored, because there’s a lot of people in the book that I respect as musicians and that I’m really fans of," said Lorenzo. "So I was really psyched and honored."
Lorenzo’s wife Gina says she likes the recipe. They’ve been married for 13 years, and enjoy eating out on a regular basis, but their aversions to fried foods have drawn them to cooking more at home.
"I love cooking penne caprese, but I really love eating it," said Lorenzo, 47, an advertising salesman for Steppin’ Out entertainment magazine and a self-proclaimed carbohydrates fiend. "It’s a dish I learned to make years ago."
Lorenzo, a borough resident for 10 years and a vegetarian, grows fresh basil on his deck at home and said the great taste in his penne caprese comes from the fresh ingredients. Fresh tomatoes are essential, he said.
But, Lorenzo admitted he didn’t cook much until last year, and does not consider himself the greatest of cooks. But, he feels "very fortunate" to be featured in the heavy metal cookbook.
Lorenzo, who has recorded three solo albums, has toured all over the United States and Europe, and has had the privilege to open for his favorite bands including Alice in Chains, Danzig and Slayer.
He has been quoted in books about bands like Metallica and Slayer.
"There’s something about being in a book that’s awesome," he said.
The heavy metal cookbook features recipes from other heavy metal notables including band members from Guns N’ Roses, Coheed and Cambria and The Offspring.
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Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: Why the name "The Cursed"? In knowing Bobby, I'm willing to bet he had something to do with it! (Laughs)
Dan Lorenzo: Bobby who? (Laughs) Yeah, it was Blitz who thought of it. Fucking impossible to come up with a name, you know. I would put two words together, thinking I thought of something original, then I would "Google" it and there would be a band with that name already!
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: What made the band decide to take The Cursed from being a side project to a signed act? Especially, when the band on different occasions have been quoted as saying that The Cursed is basically a garage band, and it left the impression from what I read that there was no intension of pursuing things beyond the album.
Dan Lorenzo: Well, often your intentions change as you go along. When I was thirty years old, I told my mom I would never get married. I believed myself! Four years later, I had my first girlfriend since high school, and later married her. The Cursed is fun for us. It came together reasonably easy. If it wasn't fun and easy, we would stop. When you start writing songs and they develop into something cool, you want to show the world.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: What was the writing sessions like for Room Full of Sinners, as the album is quite different musically from what any of the members have done in past or current projects?
Dan Lorenzo: I initially mailed Blitz a few riffs/song ideas from my home recording unit. He came cover to my home to show me what he had in December of 2005 and I was floored by what he wrote to All's Right and One Time. He knew exactly where the vocals should go. All music is opinion, but in my opinion, there are "right" spots to put the vocals. Jerry Cantrell is one of my favorite songwriters, but he writes chord progressions, which are much easier to write over. I write riffs. I think they are much harder to write over, but Blitz doesn't seem to have a problem with it.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: You recorded the album at Crystal Studios with Mike Koenig. What were the recording sessions like, especially being that both you and Bobby are used to producing most of your music in your other projects? Were there compromises?
Dan Lorenzo: None. We did whatever Blitz said and then we spoke bad about him behind his back! (Laughs) Not really "compromises". More like, different ideas/interpretations. Sometimes Blitz would give me an idea on guitar that I wouldn't have thought of, maybe I would tell him the chorus to Native Tongue works better if I stop playing guitar here.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: When thinking of a concept for the album, where or should I say, "who" was the inspiration? (Laughs)
Dan Lorenzo: It's not a concept album. If you mean stylistically, Blitz told me we should be less diverse than my solo stuff. We wanted more of a hard rock, bluesy, metal vibe. We had this one song, Luicifiction, that was actually one of my wife’s favorites, but Blitz thought it was a little too "metal". I think in my mind, we were going for something that sounded like Sabbath meeting old Aerosmith, like the first 4 Aerosmith CD’s.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: Room Full of Sinners seems to have more of an album-oriented song arrangement as opposed to a collection of songs on the same disc. Was the flow of the album intentional?
Dan Lorenzo: That's hard for me to be objective about. But, yes, I think it may work better as an eleven song entity of music. Thanks!
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: Can you tell us about the video for Evil, in the Bag that was recently shot and when can fans expect to see the release? I know there were talks on having it shown on MTV2's Headbanger's Ball.
Dan Lorenzo: No, I'd have to kill you. (Laughs) I can't say at this time, sorry.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: I'll get it out of Bobby, no problem! Your secrets aren't safe! (Laughs) As far as shows, The Cursed will be playing at the Highline Ballroom in NY on May 20th and is being billed as "the first and possibly only live show" but that was said with the last show. So, will this be the "last" show for The Cursed or can fans expect more dates?
Dan Lorenzo: In 1989, I said Hades would never perform together again. The music business, things happen. It's a fucking yo-yo, which I hate. However, you never know. I just know we made a great CD that I will crank in my car for a long time.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: Where do you foresee The Cursed in the future?
Dan Lorenzo: Impossible question to answer. Either people will buy it, and we'll do another CD or people will download it for free illegally or reject it and I'll go back to playing basketball after work. Either way, I'm happy.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: Besides The Cursed, are you working on any new material for your solo stuff?
Dan Lorenzo: I always have riffs and song ideas. I hope to release a "best of" with my three solo CD’s. I recorded a new song recently called What I Like. It has Scottie LePage age 13 playing all the guitars. His dad Scott LePage played on the first Hades CD Resisting Success. They live in Dallas now. I go visit them every year. I was amazed the last time I saw Scottie play. I invited them up to Crystal Studios back In January. My wife just had bought me a harmonica for my birthday two days prior. You know I had to sneak it into my newest song. The bass player from the Amish Outlaws played bass on the song, and I just sang. I used an electronic drum machine. It came out cool! Hopefully, I'll land a deal for my "best of" CD.
Dawn/TheMetalWeb.com: Danny, thanks for the interview. Good stuff! With that said, do you have any final words for The Metal Web!?
Dan Lorenzo: Yeah, don't you want to ask any questions about Mike Cristi or Job The Raver? Let me say this, Job The Raver said no to drugs but drugs wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. Mike Cristi has a new project called Nolenz Volenz. Mike is really talented and Job, he's a “really” good guy (Laughs).
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Not really an interview, but some interesting press:
From Metal Edge:
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The re-release of "Resisting Success" and "If At First You Don't Succeed" in a 2CD package on Mausoleum was a good reason to ask guitarist Dan Lorenzo about Hades' past and whether there will be any future activities or not. After all Hades have been an important factor in the US metal scene, both in the 80's as later on. With the last release "DamNation" in 2001 they proved they never lost their touch! But, we'll just have to be satisfied with this re-release, that has been called "Nothing Succeeds Like Success" and includes a few bonus tracks - one being "Thinktank", a new song recorded esp. for this occasion.
I love "Nothing Succeeds Like Success", but what's the reason for this re-release? Wasn't there already a re-release for these albums?
The first 2 cds were never properly rereleased in Europe. "Resisting" was never on cd except for a bootleg Jürgen Hegewald sold through Hellion Records. That pissed us off so we printed 2,000 copies on our own which we sold through the mail.
Your first two albums have always been milestones in US metal history. Have you ever had the feeling that it was hard to live up to that with other releases (or bands/projects)?
Many people love the first 2 Hades the most, but it's hard for me to listen to "Resisting" because the sound quality is so bad. I love "Exist To Resist" and "DamNation" the most out of Hades cds, but I like the Non-Fiction a little more. I wish the first 2 Hades cds sounded better so I could enjoy them as much as everyone else! I do like the remix of "The Leaders?" on the Mausoleum rerelease.
Why did Hades disband for a while after "If At First You Don't Succeed"?
I think Alan may have wanted a reason for the band to break up after Watchtower contacted him right before we left to tour Europe in 1989. Things were going good before that... but on the flight over he started treating me different. He may have seen Watchtower as a better opportunity. I would also have fights with Jimmy because he was ALWAYS late for EVERYTHING. Tom was often cranky. If the tour was better attended we probably wouldn't have broken up.
For a while you've been busy with Non Fiction, Alan Tecchio also joined at some point, why did you want to reform Hades and not continue with Non Fiction?
After Hades broke up I formed NON-FICTION with Dan Nastasi from Mucky Pup/Dog. Then Danny left to join Murphy's Law. Before Hades broke up I had tried to convince Ed and Jimmy to tune down but they wouldn't. I wanted to place more emphasis on the guitar riffs. I STILL love Non-Fiction. It was a special band. The reason we got Hades back together was because I'm friends with Jimmy and Ed. I don't speak to Kevin or Mike too often. Plus there was more interest in Hades from the fans.
A bit later you got signed with Metal Blade and released 3 albums, but now you seem to be off their roster? Weren't you successfull enough?
Metal Blade would have put out another Hades cd after "DamNation". Personally I felt we could do no better than "DamNation". I was worried we would start to repeat ourselves. Ed and I were both not really into Alan's high singing anymore. I like when Alan sings lower. Ed wanted to start his own band. I was more interested in playing basketball. I kept writing songs at home and later released 3 solo cds. You can hear them at http://www.DanLorenzo.net .
So the band doesn't exist anymore?
No, the band are no longer together. I am still very friendly with Ron, Jimmy and Ed though. We hang out pretty often. Ron is now playing drums for Overkill.
A while after "DamNation" you guys decided not to play live anymore. Why was that? I know you don't like the repetition of playing the same gigs night after night, but was it like that for all the guys? Any chance you will get back on stage after all, if only for a festival or some special occasion like a benefit?
It might be fun to do another European festival.... if Jimmy could remember how to play the songs. I despise rehearsal. I remember how to play songs I used to play in clubs in the 80's like most Judas Priest/AC/DC etc. It's tough for me to sit through rehearsals for Jimmy's sake when I already know how to play the songs!
Back to "DamNation": you've been accused of being anti-American because of the burning US flag on the cover, but you said it was just to say that the country is going to hell and would need improvements. But that was even before 9/11, how do you feel about it now after all the things that have happened since?
I think the Clintons are horrible people. Highly intelligent, but low morals. George Bush may have a lower iq, but he has higher morals. After 9/11 he was the perfect president. In 2008 it will be time for somebody more moderate.
You've been releasing some solo albums, can you describe the style? What or who influences you in your solo work? From what I've heard of it, Black Sabbath and Kiss probably?
My solo music sounds like....it's very diverse. Mostly slower and heavy, like Non-Fiction, but I also have a country song and a blues song. Send me your mailing address and I'll mail you a copy.
Cool! I'll be happy to review that as well!
Thank you very much for your answers Dan, do you have any last words for our readers?
THANKS!!!! Visit http://www.hadesusa.com
Back to the top.
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As the man behind two of metal’s finest offerings, HADES and NON-FICTION, guitarist Dan Lorenzo should be living comfortably off royalties for the rest of his life. But he’s not. Not even close, and while many a former full-time metal musician might be bitter about “what should have been,” you’ll never hear Dan gripe about “that manager” that screwed him, or that “MTV didn’t play the video. We could have been... we should have been.” And if he did, who could blame him? His former bands released a total of no less than 9 full-length, often critically acclaimed albums (not counting live recordings and compilations), several of which have gone on to “cult” status, sought after by record collectors. He has toured the US and Europe, establishing strong fan bases here and overseas, playing to packed houses on both shores, opening for metal giants like SLAYER, OVERKILL and MANOWAR. But, Dan is not bitter. Quite the contrary. He’s a man that appreciates his life where it is now, and, as you will discover in this interview, has very few regrets about his past. He continues to write great, heavy music purely for the joy of it, having released 3 solo albums in 13 months. Dan is a man with quite a story to tell.
So three albums in a year and a half. What the hell possesed you?
After the Hades DamNation CD came out I bought a Zoom home recording unit with a drum machine. My whole life, I wrote music while playing guitar and I would just come up with things. Once in a great while I would hear a song in my head, without a guitar in my hands, then I'd figure it out. That's how I wrote the music to "Mortify Me" off (Non-Fiction’s) Preface. With the Zoom home recording unit, for the first time in my life I started writing to drum beats. I would find a beat I liked and try and write to it. Right away I wrote the music to "Nothing", "Cassius King", "Four More Years/USA". It was such a new way to write. I hardly ever play guitar, but at this point in my life I would say I could write, if not a song, at least a cool riff 2 times for every 3 times I pick up the guitar.
When you first started writing music again, did you think you would be this prolific?
No. I just noticed the older I got, the easier it became. It took me a bit to write melody lines again. Alan always insisted he write all the lyrics and melody lines after I wrote the bulk of Resisting Success. I think I wrote a couple melody lines in the songs "Peaked" and "Biocaust" but that was only if Alan couldn't come up with something.
You've been working with Ron and Jimmy from HADES, primarily, with a few other guests. Did you ever get the urge to start fresh and find all new blood?
Yes and no. The older you get the less you want to deal with the personality's of new people. Even if Jimmy would drive me crazy for always being late... at least I know what to expect. I did bring in old and new friends to a bunch of the songs.
Any chance you might play out live with your solo stuff?
Probably not. I hate when old looking people go onstage. If John Kosco would sing I'd be somewhat more open to the idea. I'd be way too scared to sing live.
Have you had any Hades or Non-Fiction fans go ballistic on you because of the direction of your solo material, or because (GASP!), you've recorded some COVER SONGS?
The "wacky/nerdy" Hades fans HATE my solo stuff. The Germans and Eddie Trunk don't like it either. I like Eddie a lot but I tell him all the time he has horrible taste in music (laughs)! He loves Tesla, UFO, and even likes new Iron Maiden. I'll listen to his show, and he'll play my least favorite song off a CD that we both love. He doesn't like Godflesh or Clutch. I totally respect his opinion, and I am so appreciative he is honest with me. I think Eddie still thinks like an A&R guy. I'm more into Metal Maniacs, Eddie is more of a Metal Edge kind of guy. My ego is huge when it comes to my song writing. I think anybody who doesn't like it is either stuck in the past or stupid.
Overall, how has the response to your solo stuff been, especially compared to how you expected it to be?
My drummer Ron has a friend who put it simply. He said "You can't market your solo music to anybody over 30, it's way too hip for that". He thinks Hades are like Spinal Tap. I just wish people my age would "get it" more, but then a few people my age DO love it. Unfortunately only you and Peter Fletcher from Pigmy Love Circus/LA Weekly seem to understand what I'm doing. Okay... maybe a few others. Blitz from Overkill and Mike Cristi. They inspire me to do more. I honestly thought people would flip for it. I think my riffs smoke almost anybody.
The solo albums you have released are much more "you" than the HADES/NON-FICTION albums, it would seem. Do you feel the reviews any more deeply than you did with HADES or NON-FICTION albums? Do the good reviews make you feel better and negative ones cut more to the bone?
Great question. The only time I get upset is if a reviewer says something I agree with, like how bad I sound singing "Two Timer" off my new CD. I'm always rushing and the artwork was finished for "Cut From A Different Cloth" when I realized the mix and my 2nd vocal were KILLING "Two Timer". Usually I just laugh at bad reviews. Some asshole from the magazine Explicitly Intense said a song from Nice Being Alone sounded like Overkill. Well look through the booklet jackass... maybe that''s because Blitz from Overkill sang on it! He also said my t-shirt was a Rob Zombie rip off. He must have been too young to know that both of us were INSPIRED by Ed Roth. My old metalhead friends in Germany don't like my solo stuff. I'd get more upset if they didn't listen to Running Wild and Manowar. If you like dated metal you will not like my solo stuff. Also some reviews say my songs are too short. To me, other peoples songs are TOO LONG! I have a fucking short ass attention span. Is this interview almost over? (laughs) I'm kidding I LOVE doing interviews.
Ironically, the cover art of your new album, Cut From A Different Cloth makes it look more like a power metal album than anything HADES ever released, yet it is just about as far from "old school" metal as anything you recorded. What was the plan?
My buddy/roadie since the 8th grade, Dan Garber, designed everything as far as art for Cut From A Different Cloth. I love it all EXCEPT for the sword, but when I asked him to remove it, it didn't look right.
What are you listening to mostly these days?
I just got the new Jesu CD. You know, Justin from Godflesh maybe because I don't do drugs. It seems SO boring. I listen to Clutch, Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrell but mostly the stuff I grew up on. I only listen to music while driving in my car. More often than not, it's one of my solo CDs.
The first two Hades albums are about to be re-released in one package. You guys wrote a new song for the re-releases. How did it feel stepping back into those old shoes? Did the writing/process go smoothly?
Yeah, it WAS like stepping into old shoes. All we did was fight and disagree! (laughs) We had one 3 hour rehearsal and came up with "Thinktank". It’s ok, but not as good as Hades stronger material. Hades was usually a struggle.
You’ve been anything but shy with your politics over the past year. Do you describe yourself as a Republican?
Well I'm moderate on some things. I'm pro-choice, but I can't comprehend how anybody gets pregnant "accidentaly". I think Democrats have their hearts in the right place, you know... 'no wars, let everybody out of jail,' etc, but I just think they lack foresight. I mean if Gore won in 2000, Saddam would still be in power. Libya wouldn't have had a change of heart. Egypt wouldn't be discussing elections and Lebanon’s government wouldn't have resigned. I totally understand when people are against war, I'm against war, but when Clinton was President we kept telling Saddam 'stop it... or else'. Other countries know Bush means what he says. My boy George is a horrible speaker, but you can't say much after the success of the elections in Iraq. EVERYBODY is against war... but sometimes it's necessary.
Do you look at Blabbermouth.net often?
Yeah, pretty much every day.
What do you think of the posters?
Well, anybody who has enough time to post is usually a negative person, but some of the people who post are hysterical. I love when people goof on Scott Ian. I don't know why exactly, but he bums me out more than just about anyone in music. Maybe because he reminds me of Paul Schaefer from Letterman. Scott thinks he invented everthing in metal. I have to admit I loved the first SOD album.
You've traveled Europe quite extensively, where HADES is probably most well-known. How many times have you been stopped on the street by a HADES fan over there?
Never on my vacations, only when we were on tour. Actually, also in Germany when Metal Blade Records flew me over to do press. When I first cut my hair in 1994 I could stand next to the biggest Hades fan in the world and they wouldn't recognize me.
When are the HADES re-releases expected and what labels are they on?
Tom Derr is rereleasing it in America on May 10th through his label Rock Ridge. Mausoleum Records SAID they were going to put it out May 24th in Europe, but then again, they also said they would pay the studio bill months ago and they haven't. We still owe Crystal Studios some money for the one new song we recorded, "Thinktank".
Where did the interest to re-release the albums come from? Did the labels approach you guys or did you put out the feelers to re-release the albums?
Tom Derr was blown away by the new Hades song "Thinktank". Alan and he have been friends since Alan was in Watchtower. Mausoleum told me how much they loved my first solo CD. I told them I couldn't tour, they said they couldn't release my solo CD, so I asked them about Hades.
I heard whispers that a label might release a compilation of all the Paul Smith stuff. Is that still in the works?
Yeah, I heard that too, ha ha. Monster Records sent me a contract 3 years ago about that. I signed it. They move incredibly slow.
So with these HADES re-releases on the horizon, and considering you never plan on playing a live solo show, on a scale of 1-10, what are the chances of a one-off reunion show to celebrate the re-releases?
It would be a pisser if Jimmy Schulman could remember how to learn the songs to play one more European festival or something. If it was easy I'd say "6,” but when things are not fun it doesn't hold a lot of interest for me. The rehearsals would not be fun. As a group we don't have the same vision. My heart just isn't into Hades right now. I try and throw on some of our CDs and it just sounds kind of dated to me. Hades to me ended up being 50% of my vision. That's why I'm way more into my solo stuff.
Two years ago, I think I would know the answer to this question, but now I am not quite as sure: you can either play music or basketball. Which is it going to be?
Music! It's very hard for me to both at the same time. After seven years of being obsessed with hoops I hurt my knee and fractured a finger right before I started recording Nice Being Alone. My knee hurt for 6 months until I got physical therapy and I just started playing basketball again last week. I suck. I was a natural quarterback, shortstop, pitcher in grade school but I'm not a natural basketball player. I can hit a bunch of "3's" in a row then throw up an air ball. I'm pretty good on defense, but right now I'm loving music again.
Last question. What are your biggest musical regrets?
That I didn't meet (drummer) Ron Lipnicki sooner. I also wish Non-Fiction did the video for "In The Know" before 'Reason To Live". Also in hindsight... after Resisting Success I should have never stopped writing melody lines. Alan did a great job 95% of the time, but I should not have given up that job entirely so easily when he asked for it.
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INTERVIEW WITH DAN FROM:
TSM 1. Although "Nice Being Alone" still has a touch of humor, it comes across
as being a bit darker than "Casius King". Were you in a different place while writting and collecting ideas for the selections?
DL 1) I know a few people thought my first cd "Cassius King" was more 'fun' and I probably agree. Ultimately I end up doing what makes me happiest musically, but
I'm definitely effected by others opinions. I listen to my wife, Jimmy Schulman, even longtime fans. I consider what everybody says then I do what I think is best. What I try to do is write great songs. Now that I'm solo I don't feel pinned down to any one style. If I write a country song, a blues song, a flute part that I beleive in I'll record it. 90% of the time I like heavy music most but I'm alsp a big fan of hip hop, Neil Young the Black Crowes. I would hate to be labeled as just "metal". If Nice Being Alone sounds darker than my first solo cd it could of just been the batch of songs I wrote the previous months before recording it. Not a real plan.
TSM 2. Your songs seem to be a reflection of your personality with plenty of dry
wit and sarcasm, aside from the obvious state of the world, what motivates you to inject those qualities in your tunes?
DL 2) Just being myself. It's pretty organic.
TSM 3. Can you describe how "Nice Being Alone" came to be? Was it a laborious project?
DL 3) No, not at all. If anything is "work" I want to get paid for it. Music for me is fun. I lose thousands of dollars with each solo record I make. This is the first time in my life a record label isn't paying for everything. So it has to be EASY. I didn't have one rehearsal with Johnny or Mike on drums. I just hand them home recording I make with a drum machine and we record it. I rehearsed with Ron Lipnicki a few times because Ron and I love jamming covers. He knows SO many songs and so do I. We can fake our way through well over a hundred,two hundred songs from Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Cheap Trick, Led Zep, Plasmatics, classic rock. We have a pisser jamming together. Jimmy knows a few Kiss songs but Ron and I love jamming things real spontaneously. Ron will just look up at the ceiling and say "You Can't Stop Rock And Roll" by Twisted Sister. Then I tell Ron "I don't know that". Then I picture the song in my head and a minute later we're playing it.
TSM 4. How has the process of making music changed for you? Do you ever feel lonely for your old bandmates?
DL 4) No...it's so much fun now. I miss Scott LePage who moved to Dallas about ten years ago. He's flying up to play on my 3rd solo cd which will be out in February. Hades and Non-Fiction will always have a place in my heart and most everybody in thoses 2 bands have played something on my solo stuff.
TSM 5. The cover photo of your shoes is interesting, what brought that idea about, and were you trying to make a statement?
DL 5) Jimmy Schulman took that photo when we went to Montreal. I originally wanted the cover to be the basketball NBA logo with my tattoos. Joe Zeckle sent that and people told me it was great. It took me awhile to be convinced.
TSM 6. What is the best thing about still being able to make music for you today?
DL 6) That people get to hear my vision 100%. I LOVE writing the melodies again. I wrote most of them on the first Hades album then Alan told me he wanted to write all the lyrics and melody's. Then when Non-Fiction started I wrote lyrics and melody to "The My Way" then Alan joined Non-Fiction and again he wanted that job. My lyrics are nothing special but I think I write catchy melodies.
TSM 7. Describe your time working with Blitz from Overkill, and why such a short
track at that?
DL 7) Blitz and I have stayed friendly since Non-Fiction opened for Overkill in America and Europe in 1993. Him and DD are both huge New York Knicks fans like me. DD played on the Hades cd "The Downside". Blitz loved my first cd. I told him I was going to cover "Bright Light Fright" on my new cd. He immediately said "I'll sing the Tyler parts". I sang Bright Light great at my house but for some reason choked in the studio. Blitz told me he couldn't track down Aerosmith "Draw The Line" anyway. So, I told him just come to the studio and I'll think of something. So he came at like 8:30 I played him my melody line for "Too Fast For Hate" and asked him to sing it. It kind of reminded me of Overkill in 1983/84. They were much more into punk than I was. My only regret for that song is I played it much better on my home recording. I had fractured my pinky 2 weeks before I went into the studio playing basketball and that song suffered a bit.
TSM 8. Are there any new bands in Heavy Metal that you find part of the new generation of Maidens, Priests, and Sabbaths?
DL 8) Not to sound old but no. The two most "recent" bands I love are Alice In Chains and Clutch. I love a couple songs by Static X a song or two by Fireball Ministry. Oh yeah, actually Pigmy Love Circus. The drummer for Tool, whose music doesn't do anything for me, also plays drums for Pigmy Love Circus. I've become friendly with Peter Fletcher the guitarist. I was emailing him telling him how much I like the Pigmys. I sent him my solo cds and he felt the same. I'm hoping to write a song with him someday.
TSM 9. What is in store for Hades, if anything? Will the back catalogue be re-released at some point?
DL 9) Mausoleum is rereleasing the first 3 cds in March with one brand new song we recorded the end of November called "Thinktank". I put www.Hadesusa.com back up.
TSM 10. Anything else you would like to say to fans of your music, in general?
DL 10) I am STILL SO sad about Dimebag. What a terribly sad thing. I keep thinking about his brother Vinnie. It's hard not to shed a tear about that. Dimebag’s buddy Jim Florentine, the comedian, has become a friend of mine. He's most known as the puppet 'Special Ed'. Florentine and I have the same opinions on almost everything. Anyway Jim and Don Jamieson made some prank phone calls for my next cd "CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH". I told them to call some stores asking for the cd even though it's not out until February. The pranks are going to be on the cd. Don was an old school Hades fan. The two of them got a bit of my song "BONjour" on HBO'S Inside The NFL. My 3rd cd should be the best one. Jimmy Schulman wrote the lyrics to "Betty Last Night" with me. He's telling me he wants to play on my whole third cd. These new songs I wrote are right up his alley and his style of playing adds something to my songs.Ron is playing some killer drums... he's the nicest kid ever. I hope he joins a huge band soon because he is so fucking talented. Other than
that.... buy my stuff! www.DanLorenzo.net
Thanks for your time Dan!
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Heavy-metal rocker settles down, but still struts his stuff
Friday, October 15, 2004 By BRIAN ABERBACK STAFF WRITER
All Dan Lorenzo wanted to do after he graduated from high school was record albums and tour the world with his heavy-metal band, Hades.
The Paramus native couldn't imagine working a real job or settling down. "I thought I'd never get married," said Lorenzo, 41. "And there was no way I'd own a home. I remember in the 10th and 11th grades, writing down song titles and telling this one kid, 'I just know some day I'm going to put out a record.' "
Lorenzo would fulfill that prophecy, and he's still making metal music 23 years after graduation. But he's not living the life of a rock-and-roll gypsy. Music is now a part-time gig, and Lorenzo has little interest in playing live. He's happily married, lives in Ramsey and works full time in advertising sales.
Lorenzo never attained rock-star fame or played to sold-out arenas, but he can rightly be proud of his résumé. Between his work with the bands Hades and Non-Fiction, Lorenzo has played on nearly a dozen albums that have sold more than 100,000 copies worldwide over the past 17 years. This year, Lorenzo released his first two solo albums, "Cassius King" and "Nice Being Alone," on his own ETR Records label.
Though he hasn't toured regularly since the early Nineties, Lorenzo said fans haven't forgotten him. "I've had a couple of [advertising] clients where they'll say stuff like, 'You mean Dan Lorenzo from Non-Fiction is my ad rep? That's so cool.' How could you not feel good about that?" Lorenzo's pursuit of the rock-and-roll dream is a colorful story, filled with the ups, downs and cringe-worthy moments of a struggling musician. The journey began in 1978 when the then-Paramus High School freshman was inspired by his favorite band, Kiss, to play guitar and start a band. Lorenzo said he chose the name Hades because he thought it sounded cool, not because of any interest in the occult. After several lineup changes and dozens of gigs, Hades released its debut album, "Resisting Success," in 1987 on Torrid Records, a small New York State-based label.
The band also included Bergen County residents Alan Tecchio, Scott LePage and Tom Coombs on vocals, guitar and drums, and Staten Island native Jimmy Schulman on bass. A second effort, "If At First You Don't Succeed," with New Milford guitarist Ed Fuhrman replacing LePage, followed in 1989. Hades, and later Non-Fiction, were staples on the North Jersey metal scene in the late Eighties and early Nineties. They performed regularly at such clubs as Studio 1 in Newark and the now-defunct China Club in Hillsdale and Birch Hill in Old Bridge. Lorenzo met his wife, Gina, at Studio 1. "For so many people in New Jersey, you hear Hades or Non-Fiction and it brings back so many great memories of the club scene," Gina Lorenzo said. Lorenzo was the businessman in both bands, telling anyone who would listen about Hades and Non-Fiction. "Dan was a promoting machine," said LePage, who now lives in Texas. "He would bring cassettes everywhere. Wherever we went, he would mention Hades."
Lorenzo recalls being in high spirits when Hades headed overseas for its first European tour in the summer of 1989. The trip was supposed to be a springboard for the band. Instead, it was a disaster. The fledgling tour company that arranged the trek booked Hades at clubs and bars in out-the-way towns in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.
"Night after night, the clubs would be in these remote villages," Lorenzo said. "We were expecting to play decent-sized rooms. Instead, we were playing to 40 or 80 people. I thought, 'Everything we thought about Hades' [popularity] was a lie.'"
The ill-fated trip ignited preexisting band tensions, and Hades decided mid-tour to break up once the group returned home.
Lorenzo said he was shellshocked at the time. "Since ninth grade, I'd built myself up as being Dan from Hades, and now there was no more Hades," he said. He quickly rebounded and formed Non-Fiction. The band, which also featured Tecchio on vocals, released two albums in the early Nineties on Grand Slamm Records.
"That was my peak," Lorenzo said. "Non-Fiction was Number One at [Seton Hall University radio station] WSOU-FM (89.5) and had a video on MTV. We were touring America and Europe and playing to packed houses."
At the same time, Lorenzo could be classified as working poor. He said he wasn't too proud to let fans and girlfriends treat him to meals. "In 1993, I was making $175 a week," Lorenzo said. "I was looking for quarters under my couch so I could buy a bagel."
As many musicians have learned, selling a few thousand albums and having a loyal following doesn't translate into financial success. "The band manager, the lawyers, the record labels, the distributors, they all have their hands in the pocket," Lorenzo said. "Until you get over half a million [records sold] and sell lots of merchandise, you can't make a good living."
Non-Fiction, like Hades, never rose above mid-level success. By 1994, Lorenzo knew it was time to hang up his guitar. He gave up music, landed a job in advertising and got married three years later. But his musical retirement didn't last long.
Hades reunited in 1998 and signed with Metal Blade Records. The band, now content to play local weekend gigs and hold onto day jobs, released three albums between 1999 and 2001. The band called it quits again, this time amicably, in 2002.
Lorenzo said he's happy to be working as a solo musician. "It's completely my vision," he said of his solo project. "I'm doing things exactly the way I want to, whereas in a band you have to make some concessions."
Lorenzo's solo albums are predominantly metal, but he also has expanded his musical boundaries. "On the new album, I have a blues song," he said. "I have a song with a flute on it."
What would he like people to think after listening to his new music? Said Lorenzo "Man, this guy is 41? He doesn't act it. His music is still as heavy as ever."
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Feature: Dan Lorenzo
By Sue Nolz
From the August 2004 issue of Metal Maniacs
In a music world dominated by image and feigned attitude, where certain opinions are more popular than others and daring to debunk the golden idols of rock & roll is the ultimate taboo, Dan Lorenzo has continually flown in the face of sensibility, letting his convictions be known in no uncertain terms. His no-holds-barred approach to guitar playing in veteran power/speed metal outfit Hades, and especially in the short-lived but highly acclaimed Non-Fiction—one of the first metal bands to change the guitar god paradigm, eschewing solos in favor of creative melodic structures—has earned the New Jersey native recognition in and of itself. As a composer, he has filled his albums with versatility, revealing his wide range of influences. And for those of us NY metro area residents who know Dan as a local character, scene stalwart, journalist and/or friend, his abrasive, opinionated, no b.s., honest-to-a-fault yet endlessly entertaining and downright lovable personality has made the Italian-American with Jersey attitude to spare a legend in his own living room. And plenty of the rest of the world, too—deservedly so.
That being said, Dan joins the ranks of a select few musicians who have truly earned the right to release a solo album, the pinnacle of artistic self-indulgence. Dan has been able to spread his wings throughout his career, but with his debut solo effort Cassius King he has found the freedom to fly in as many different directions as he wants to, all the while wearing a shit-eating grin that says, “This is my record, and fuck you.” Still, the result is an album that takes itself far less seriously than any of the Hades or Non-Fiction releases, without entering the novelty realm or forgetting to be heavy. Quite the contrary: with the kind of dirgy lo-fi buzz that is the benchmark trait of stoner rock, songs like “Frozen Planet” and “Dan Zig Hates X-Mas” show Lorenzo exploring lead weight territories he hasn’t been to since the ’92 Non-Fiction lost classic par excellence, In The Know. He has also boldly gone where he has not gone before—to the microphone, singing on all tracks except “Target Fixation,” featuring an inspired turn from Hades/N-F frontman Alan Tecchio, and “Fiend,” sung impressively by Dropbox vocalist John Kosco. Like a Gene Simmons or Ted Nugent, Dan is a competent vocalist if not a technically amazing one, and his voice suits the songs, which was his only goal. With contributions from Hades bassist Jimmy Schulman and drummer Ron Lipnicki, as well as former Mucky Pup/All Boro Kings drummer John Milnes, Cassius King is Probot-like in its spirit of adventure and reverence to all that is heavy, yet fun at the same time.
Still, the album will probably manage to piss a few people off. The Hades core audience of European fans will want this album to be speed metal, which it isn’t. The rap influenced title track and the twang of “Big Country” will not please the purists, nor will the spoken word “4 More Years/USA” be high on the list of those who disagree with Dan’s right-leaning political views. Then of course there’s “Kiss Off,” the opening track which features Dan ripping off a KISS song riff and ranting that he deserves to, because he was in the KISS Army, bought every record, went to their shows, and they owe him. What if the humorless God of Thunder gets wind of that? And let’s not forget the elaborate Bon Scott hoax, a simply hilarious stunt that Dan pulled shortly before the release of the album. Long story short, there is a local AC/DC tribute band called Overdose whose lead singer, Tom Mulligan, sounds so much like Bon Scott it is absolutely uncanny. Dan’s humorous song “B.S.” features Tom singing two verses about the late Scotsman. Dan sent a press release out to Blabbermouth.net saying that he got ahold of actual Bon Scott vocal tracks and used them on his album; two days later he admitted to the hoax, much to the chagrin of many diehard AC/DC fans who failed to find the stunt funny. Like it or not, it brought a lot of publicity and some harmless notoriety to the album.
Having known Dan since Non-Fiction was an unsigned band, when we sit down to talk the conversation often veers off into friendly chatting; that’s not even to mention that he says three words in the time it takes most people to say one. So, what we have here is a distilled version of my recent talk with Dan Lorenzo, a man who would rather play basketball than rehearse, loves Public Enemy and traveling with his wife, hates Christmas and has met the Pope. For all his bravado, he’s just a musician and a music fan out to have a good time, and wants you to do the same.
Metal Maniacs: I enjoy your album very much. It’s refreshing, it’s different, and it’s a lot of fun.
Dan Lorenzo: Thanks! I feel exactly the same way. Fun was definitely the key word in the whole thing.
MM: Cool! Actually, where I want to start is catching up on what you’ve been up to in the interim since we last talked to you, which was a while back. What’s going on with Hades at this point? Is it on hiatus?
DL: The last press release I sent out, which made it to Blabbermouth.net and then subsequently pretty much made it everywhere around the world, the last thing I remember saying was that I can’t see us playing any more shows. And that got misconstrued to ‘we broke up.’ I really, at this moment in my life, and we’ve changed with this before, I don’t see any reason to continue it.
After we decided to take some time off the road, Ron Lipnicki, our drummer on DamNation, got cancer. He’s a lot better now—he’s been cancer-free for a few months. I hate to say that Hades has run its course, and then maybe we’ll get back together in three years or whatever, or be called to do a festival in Germany and consider doing it. Inside my record I said, ‘The European fans want a speed metal album from Hades, and every year it gets harder and harder for me to write that. I could do it, but it would take me years. Right now maybe I would have three songs that would be right for a Hades record. Right now I’m just not that interested in going down the same road and having the same things that, when you’re doing a band—you’ve got different personalities, and right now it’s just not where my head is at. I wanted to try and do something different, and the result is my new album.
MM: So the album is a reflection of where you are right now as a musician.
DL: I’ve been writing these songs—I got a digital 8-track recorder with a drum machine in it probably right after DamNation. I’ve had three years of material—I have 174 musical ideas, some of them are just one riff, some of them are two riffs, some are three riffs, but what I did was, I picked a dozen of those and I gave them to my friends who are drummers, and said I want to go in the studio at some point and do this, like Johnny Milnes who was in Mucky Pup and All Boro Kings. We did a record with Jeff the Drunk from the Howard Stern Show. It was all cover songs, Christmas songs and stuff like that, and it was just so easy…we went in the studio and recorded everything in one take, and it was just so much fun compared to the normal band process of having 15 or 20 or 50 rehearsals. I don’t get it—to me that doesn’t make the songs come out better, it just makes it less exciting when the songs are over-rehearsed.
MM: So I take it this was a very different process in all aspects of it, because for one thing you’re writing the melody lines for the vocals and you’re writing all the riffs, and you’re playing a lot of the parts yourself.
DL: Before Alan joined Hades, we had a singer named Paul Smith. He wrote a lot of the lyrics and melody lines. When he left to join the army, and I was in between lineups of Hades before Resisting Success, I wrote a lot of the lyrics and a lot of the melody lines, for like the first Hades album. Then after the first Hades album, Alan said, ‘I really want to sing all the lyrics and melody—I think I can put more of my emotion into it if I’m the one writing everything,’ and I was fine with that. But then I realized—the same thing happened at the beginning of Non-Fiction, where I would write some of the lyrics and melodies, like for “The My Way,” and then Alan and I hooked up and he wanted that job. I always loved doing it, I always had some ideas, but—it was something I was always capable of – I don’t think I’m the greatest lyricist in the world, but I do like where I put my melody lines. I definitely try and sing in between the riffs. I didn’t know I could sing —I’m not gonna sing at the World Series, I’m definitely not a real singer, but I’m a musician. I’ve been doing this since 1978, playing guitar and writing songs, and I realized now that I was waiting for the last couple years to find the perfect singer, and it ends up being myself!
MM: That’s pretty great! One thing I liked about the record is that it’s eclectic, musically. There are a few different styles going on. You’re not stuck into one thing.
DL: I always thought that was one of my strengths, and maybe I got pigeonholed doing a Hades record, like I said, the Germans want speed metal. And I love that, that’s great, but look, I sang a country song on there which I think is gonna shock people. But it was a song that was in my head for years and years and years, and I finally said, ‘You know what, this record is not called Hades or Non-Fiction. I’m just gonna put stuff that’s in my head.’ And you know what’s funny? After I was done recording, I found a couple tracks on my digital 8-track that I forgot about that would’ve been the best songs on the album, so I’m already looking forward to doing another one in a few months. I’ve written reggae songs and now a country song, I’ve written doom metal, stoner rock, thrash, whatever, I’ve got a million songs. Your audience is gonna cringe here, but I’ve got a million songs for Dr. Dre or Eminem, with big drum beats and heavy guitar lines.
MM: For people here in NJ who know you, we understand what your personality is like—you’re funny and very direct, and it’s something that comes through on the record. For people that don’t know you, do you think they’ll be taken aback and say, “What’s this guy all about?”
DL: My boss says, in my column, “24/7” [in Steppin’ Out magazine], that I sound angry all the time, but I come into the office and I’m always laughing! I guess everybody has two sides. There’s a certain side that you want everybody to see, and there’s another side. I think people would be shocked to know that I really do give a shit. But, I think music should be fun. I think it’s a fun record, but I’m also very serious when it comes to music, especially heavy stuff. I drive around in my car listening to Slayer, and I just want to kill people! There’s nothing funny about that!
MM: I liked how you broke a lot of rules on the album, like the very first track goofing on KISS. I found that funny.
DL: I was in the freakin’ KISS Army. I bought every record. And then these guys put out some of the biggest shit ever toward the end of their Peter relationship. I was furious when I bought Unmasked. I said to myself, ‘What the fuck happened?’ And I went to the reunion shows and enjoyed those, and then they put out Psycho Circus! Gene Simmons is telling you it’s gonna be the heaviest record ever, he says that every record, and they put out shit! KISS and Aerosmith, when they first started, they got their core fans, became millionaires and sold millions of records. How come now they only write songs that little girls like? I don’t understand it.
MM: I loved Aerosmith too, so I like your cover of “Round and Round.” Their early albums were amazing.
DL: They were unbelievable, perfect albums. For today’s generation, I don’t care what they say, there are no perfect albums. I don’t want to name names, but even the bands that are in these pages, nobody knows how to write a perfect record, like Highway to Hell or Aerosmith Rocks or Rock & Roll Over. These albums don’t exist anymore.
MM: You also had the big Bon Scott stunt. When I actually heard the song it was hysterical.
DL: I asked a lot of people about it and they thought it was funny. I launched my website, and I put it on Blabbermouth.net that someone I met in Scotland sent me tapes and I manipulated it so he sang on my song. People were flipping! All the while I intended to tell people two days later—‘Are you fuckin’ insane?’ I called the song “B.S.” which stands for bullshit. Does it make any sense to anyone with half a brain that I could manipulate songs to be A) in key and B) in perfect time? People fell for it, and some people were really pissed, and some thought it was really funny. There were discussions in chat rooms, like, ‘I don’t know about this song, but when Bon Scott came on I got goose bumps.’ Fuckin’ dummies! Some people got really mad because I tricked them. We are the most gullible people in the world, the heavy metal fans. But I think it was a funny way to launch my website and get my name back out there.
MM: I like the song very much that Alan sings on. Did he write it with you, or did you just write it and think he would sound good on it?
DL: I had written so many songs, and I’ve given them to Alan and I knew he wanted to sing on that one…So he wrote all the lyrics and melody after the music was recorded, and in one night Alan like he always does came and knocked it out in one take.
MM: The whole album has that spontaneous kind of feel. I know you were trying to capture that.
DL: I couldn’t help but have a somewhat rough-sounding record, because I don’t have the interest to spend seven hours mixing a song. We literally mixed the last eight songs on this record in three and a half hours. Of course it could sound better if someone gave me a million dollars, but there’s also something a bit sterile about a lot of the albums that come out today.
[Obligatory discussion of the production of St. Anger follows which we’ll skip over, but Dan goes on…]
DL: I’ll never talk bad about Metallica because those guys were innovators, although I always thought it was odd that—if somebody was in my band that wrote some riffs for me and then they quit I wouldn’t use their riffs, but they used Dave Mustaine’s riffs for the first three albums. Still, James Hetfield is a great writer. But I have a full-time job. I like to travel and play basketball, and I’ll write 20 or 30 great songs a year in my spare time. I just don’t know why a band of that ilk can’t write a perfect album in one year’s time. That’s just ten songs! These guys have nothing else to do but write music. Unless I’m just the biggest egomaniac and I think my shit’s great and everybody else is mediocre, I just don’t see what the big deal is to come up with a phenomenal album once a year.
MM: It is unusual that you close the album with songs by other bands! Tell us what you had in mind with that.
DL: I thought it was a great idea. I was thinking, whether it’s Atlantic Records or Metal Blade Records, there’s 45 minutes of music, and another 20 or 30 minutes more of music you could fit. I know people wouldn’t want other bands’ music reviewed on their CD, but what I did was, I labeled it 14 songs, that’s my album. Then I talk, and I introduce my friends’ bands. I think everyone should start doing the same thing.
The first pressing of Cassius King has been released independently, and is available at www.danlorenzo.net. - Sue Nolz
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Interview with vocalist and guitarist Dan Lorenzo
Most people know Dan Lorenzo has the main songwriter behind Hades and Non Fiction. Both bands were also highlighted by the impressive vocals of Alan Tecchio and together they released nine studio albums, each one a must own for any metal fans. When Hades split up following their last disc, 2002's Damnation, I was very disappointed seeing two of my all time favorites inactive. Fortunately Dan has returned with a new solo disc, Cassius King, which is a departure from the Hades and Non Fiction sound (although this is mainly due to his mid range, passionate vocals). With other Hades members (bassist Jimmy Schulman, drummer Ron Lipnicki, and Tecchio) helping out on the actual recording, Cassius King is pure and simple Lorenzo vision. It is an honor to have Dan once again grace these pages.
What events led you to want to record a solo album?
After DamNation we did about 7-8 out of state Hades shows and 2-3 New Jersey shows. Not that we wanted to tour, but Metal Blade U.S. wouldn't give us a dime to help pay for hotels or other expenses when we played out of state shows like the Classic Metal Fest in Kalamazoo MI. So we'd make a few thousand dollars playing NJ and use that money to pay for van, hotel etc. when we drove to Chicago, Cleveland etc. The Metal Blade publicist for America was E.J. from Prosphetic Records. I think he was much more interested in getting his new label off the ground than he was promoting Metal Blade bands. I thought DamNation was the best disc we handed Metal Blade and they dropped the ball in the U.S. The European staff at Metal Blade are killer... but I couldn't see the point in releasing another Hades c.d. Then Ron got cancer. He told me when he was done with chemo he wanted to go record some Kiss songs in the studio. I thought it was an odd idea. I had never recorded cover songs before, but he, Jimmy Schulman and myself loved jamming them so I said sure. I figured we might as well record the music to a couple of my new songs as well, then we would find somebody to sing on them.
When and why did you decide you wanted to be the vocalist on this disc?
When Mike Cristi was too busy to show up to either one of the rehearsals we had. I sang the song "Cassius King". He came down and sang "B.S." Then he kind of flaked out on me. But he also encouraged me "YOU can sing" he told me. I also spoke with Billy Milano. I really wanted John Kosco to sing everything. He sang "Fiend" and "Devils A Lady" for me a year earlier. I promised to help him get a major label deal. He had met Sully from Godsmack at the PNC Bank Art Center in Jersey once, I called Sully's management and left a message for Sully to call John. He did. Then he signed John and had him sing on the new Godsmack acoustic cd as well as having Johns new band Dropbox tour as openers with Godsmack... so I was left to try and sing on my own.
The sound of Cassius King is different than Hades or Non Fiction, why did you choose to go in this direction?
Hopefully musicians don't "choose" to go in a direction... it just happens.
Why was the decision made to end Hades at this time and can we see a reunion in the future?
We've said no before and then it's happened. My heart isn't into it now. Ed is really not into it, he has a new band called Ten Ton Truck.
Who did you choose to work with while recording Cassius King and why?
After I booked the first day in the studio Ron told me he had a gig with his Southern Rock band. I had always talked with (drummer) Johnny Milnes. I knew he could learn songs quicker than anybody. We recorded a Christmas c.d. for Jeff The Drunk from the Howard Stern show after one rehearsal. We recorded a dozen songs for Jeff in half a day. So Johnny and I recorded the music to "Sweet Pain," "Cassius King," BS," and "4 More Years". Jimmy played bass on the first two songs and I sang "Sweet Pain" and the chorus I had to "Cassius King." Two weeks later Ron and I recorded a few more tunes.
The story of Ron Lipnicki's recovery from cancer is inspiring, care to fill readers in on him and how he's doing?
He's great. Eight months clean. He's a great guy. I was kind of surprised that when he got cancer a few band members/ friends kind of backed away from him. I was calling him all the time, sending him tons of shit in the mail. He's really grown up through his struggle.
How long did it take to record Cassius King? There's something to say about being spontaneous as this album rocks- it may be raw but you feel the emotion and heart behind it as a result.
Absolutely. The whole thing was recorded and mixed in less than a week; a couple days here, one night there.
What will be your next recording venture? Will you continue to pursue a solo career?
I think so. It's so much quicker with one vision. I have so much more music I've written.
I remember hearing that you are more passionate about music these days than ever- where do you find inspiration to write and play lately?
Just doing this record. It's a thrill when a song is in your head and it comes out exactly like you hoped.
Why are you such a big Kiss fan? Any other music really inspiring you these days?
I love the old stuff. When I was fifteen and starting to play my friends and I didn't know Kiss tunes to e flat. We'd figure out all the songs incorrectly. I still love old Kiss, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick. Even though Ron is eight years younger, he and I love jamming the same stuff. I love Clutch and two songs by Fireball Ministry. That song "Stem" by Static-X is one of my favorites of all time. I love the Jerry Cantrell double solo album.
What type of response have you received thus far from the album? Do you feel it is important to have people like it or are you doing this more for yourself?
It's nice when they like it; but more people would like to hear a new Hades cd. As I said- I think Hades' DamNation was the best we could do. I don't see the point in doing the same thing again.
You've recently married and it appears things are also going well with Stepping Out Magazine, how do you feel about your life? Are you content and happy to be where you are now? What goals do you have left to attain?
It's been seven years already married. This is not a "starter marriage" where we're going to break up like everybody else does. My wife Gina and I are best friends. She's an NYU graduate. We watch Jeopardy and she knows most every answer; and I'm like "I think I'll go play basketball now". I started working at Steppin Out over ten years ago and my boss Larry Collins is all you could ask for from a boss. Because I'm on straight commision the job is not rigid or structured which suits me perfectly. I am way happier at 41 then I was at 31 or any other time. My goal is to retire young and continue to travel the world. Gina and I love going to the South of France, Italy; Europe in general is just gorgeous.
Check out www.DanLorenzo.net. You can download a bunch of Hades, Non-Fiction and my solo material. You can see the video for "Frozen Planet". You can hear Hades and my solo material that got played on the Howard Stern show plus me, Jimmy and Ron doing Kiss covers.
2004... Cassius King
Dan Lorenzo... vocals and guitars
Jimmy Schulman... bass
John Milnes... drums
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INTERVIEW WITH DAN FROM:
Toni from TSM had a chance to do a quick interview with Dan Lorenzo from Hades fame and well-known New Jersey musician, now currently working on solo efforts. Check it out!
TSM: 1.How long have you been playing professionally and what is your view of today's music scene?
DAN: I started playing clubs in 1979 when I was still in high school. The scene today is not what it once was. Things always come back, so I'm optimistic.
TSM: 2.Who were your major influences growing up?
DAN: Kiss,Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, AC/DC then later Judas Priest, then much later Led Zeppelin.
TSM: 3.How has your fame from Hades carried over into your solo career? Are you easily recognized?
DAN: My name seems to be pretty well known, sometimes people recognize me....less since I cut my hair 8 years ago.
TSM: 4.What inspires your writing and how do you build your compositions?
DAN: If I pick up an instrument I'll usually write. It's one of the few things in my life that comes easy to me.
TSM: 5. In your opinion, how does your solo material differ from your work in Hades? Are there any similarities, as well?
DAN: Hades fans will not like this cd for the most part. It's a little more contemporary than Hades in my opinion. Much more simplistic. More choruses.
TSM: 6. Describe the creative process behind your solo cd. How long were you working on it, and did it come easy? Where was it recorded?
DAN: It came real easy. I only had 2 rehearsals, and recorded EVERYTHING on the first take. I recorded the whole thing at Crystal Studios in Park Ridge in under a week.
TSM: 7.What is your fondest memory from playing live?
DAN: In August of 2000 Hades played the Wacken festival in Germany. 30,000 people were there. We also had a perfect show in 1989 in Boston in front of about 3,000 people. Non-Fiction had great shows in Houston and Raleigh I'll always remember for the multiple encores.
TSM: 8.What was the most outrageous thing that ever happened to you while on tour?
DAN: It was always a bit boring for me, I was almost always the only straight guy. Plus you don't see shit when you tour. It's way more fun traveling with my wife. We got married in Rome in 1997 and met the Pope. There were a lot of laughs touring but it's best left to young men.
TSM: 9.Are you planning to tour to support your new solo material and will it be state-wide as well as European?
DAN: Can't see that happening. I have a wife, a job, and a home I love and don't want to lose. It's cool to be poor when you're young, but I'm 41 now. The most I ever made on tour was $175 a week!
TSM: 10. How's your PT Cruiser doing?? Do you still own it?
DAN: Well after 3 years my silver PT needed new tires so I bought a 2003 black Limited Edition PT Cruiser.
They wanted $160 for a couple new tires....I HATE putting money into cars so I told them to burn the tires and get me a new one.
Big thanks to Dan for sharing some of his musical background, ideas and experiences with us! Please visit Dan's website and order his CD, "CASSIUS KING" at his website, www.danlorenzo.net