Dan Lorenzo has accomplished a lot over his 25-plus year career in music: the classic heavy metal band Hades, the alternative metal band Non-Fiction, the contemporary hard rock of The Cursed, solo albums, and a columnist for a popular new jersey weekly (Steppin’ Out Magazine).
As a fan of Lorenzo’s work, the biggest disappointment was the split-up of The Cursed. The Cursed was perhaps the finest band that Dan had formed. Partnering with Overkill vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, the music was soulful, metal-edged hard rock that was very dynamic. Fate, however, dealt an unlucky blow to the project, and, as of this year, The Cursed is no more.
Here is a brief Q&A with Dan Lorenzo on what is happening in his life now.
POWERLINE A.D.: Whatever happened to vocalist Paul Smith?
Dan Lorenzo: One of my best friends, and guitar tech, Dan Garber, encouraged me to get rid of Paul after Paul chose to go down the (New Jersey) shore with his girlfriend and miss a Hades show. Paul and I are still friends. He’s been in the Army for years. He actually went to Kabul Afghanistan for seven months after 9/11…so he’s braver than I am. Paul loved HADES and he and I see eye to eye on most things in life. He is a great guy.
POWERLINE A.D.: What do you consider Hades’ first taste of success?
Dan Lorenzo: Selling out local clubs before we had a record deal. That was in like…1986. Just word of mouth. Alan and Jimmy and Scott were in the band. It was an exciting time.
POWERLINE A.D.: I remember Hades being termed Speed Metal in the 80s. I considered the music more Power Metal because I don’t think you ever wrote a Hades song with only speed in mind.
Dan Lorenzo: Well, I’ll leave that for people like you to decide. I DID write the opening of Widows Mite, the “new” opening, with only speed in mind and that opening makes me cringe. You should ALWAYS just write from the heart.
POWERLINE A.D.: I was once told by a metal journalist that even though he liked Hades’ music, he could not embrace it because it expressed religious fanaticism. Was it because of songs like “The Cross”? I don’t know. I always found that to be a peculiar remark.
Dan Lorenzo: Religious fanaticism? Hmmm…I picture “religious” people flying planes into buildings, so we were pretty far from that. I believe in Jesus, I say my prayers, but I would never go to church. Religion is like baseball, a great idea, a beautiful thing, that money has corrupted and ruined. I would never pay to go to a sporting event and I LOVE the big 3 sports. I just don’t condone celebrities. They seem to have a hard time with simple moral choices.
POWERLINE A.D.: Actually, I find “The Cross” to be one of Hades’ finest moments. The religious subject matter should not matter to the secular listener because the song is simply amazing. I’m not a religious person at all but I also found it refreshing that Hades never wrote pro-satanic lyrics (which was an “in” thing at the time, and still is). And I think the 1985’s 7″ of “The Cross” was the superior version. Agree or disagree?
Dan Lorenzo: I like both of them, I also like the version John Collura sang. No…I don’t have a copy. Some dude from Monster Records said he would release it years ago. It’s never come out.
POWERLINE A.D.: You recently told me there were no more Hades demos. Do they really not exist anymore? In a metal scene where fans traded demos in the 80s, Hades had some of the finest demos out there, (83-85) circulating. I think it would be kind of cool if you released these tracks on a CD (with out-of-print 7″ singles like “The Cross”). Do you think it would be worth it? Especially if only nostalgic people like me would buy it.
Dan Lorenzo: Oh yeah Pat…I’m sure there is a LONG line of like -17 people who would want to buy that! (laughs)
POWERLINE A.D.: What happened on the European tour in 1989 that disbanded Hades?
Dan Lorenzo: Well, in four words IT STOPPED BEING FUN. Maybe I’m a pussy, but when ANYTHING stops being fun I walk away. You can say, “Well everything CAN’T be fun”…I ask, “Why not?”. We were arguing about anything and every thing. I really wanted to tune down, but Ed and Jimmy thought their guitar necks would fall off or something. They both grew to love tuned down guitars but in 1988 they were NOT into tuning down even a little.
POWERLINE A.D.:Did you have a positive or negative experience being signed to Metal Blade records? I know a few bands that hated the experience of being signed to Slagel and his label.
Dan Lorenzo: I loved every second of being on Metal Blade until “DamNation” was released. The US office dropped the ball on that one. EJ was more concerned with starting his own label than promoting the HADES cd. Then they released a METAL BLADE 25th anniversary cd that had zero HADES songs and a bunch of Lizzy Borden songs. If they thought Lizzy Borden wrote better music than HADES…I had enough. The European Metal Blade office ruled. Michael and Andreas…are great guys.
POWERLINE A.D.: I always thought Hades album “Resisting Success had an anti-capitalist message at heart (as well as the title track having a giant fuck off to major label record companies). Was I misled?
Dan Lorenzo: Yes Pat! I am a capitalist. It was my way of saying, I’ll never wear a suit to work or work a traditional 9-5 job. We won’t write hair metal music to get a few more sales.
POWERLINE A.D.: Years later, on some songs on your solo discs, like “4 More Years” and “Clintonesque, you seem to show a more unapologetic right-wing message?
Dan Lorenzo: Well I always vote Republican because they are tougher on crime, but they are insane, too. Politicians are like celebrities, they think they are above the law. It’s really sad. I don’t know why people still choose to bring children into this world. The religious right scare me ALMOST as much as the ultra liberals. I’ve been told I’m more of a libertarian…but I’m too disinterested to look that up.
POWERLINE A.D.: Do you find rock music’s stance too liberal nowadays? Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of right-wing musicians out there, except maybe Ted Nugent.
Dan Lorenzo: If you’re far left OR far right you’re probably insane. Fuck Ted Nugent. He’s released nothing but bad music after Scream Dream….and I USED to LOVE Ted Nugent. I probably even agree with his message but he comes off as obnoxious as Rush Limbaugh does…you know the anti-drug right wing asshole who got caught with illegal drugs? Fuck them all…all celebrities. I love when former drug addict musicians discuss politics. What a joke-you did drugs by choice-now tell me how I should live MY life. I’m a “pro-choice, legalize prostitution and marijuana but kill criminals conservative”. It’s this thing called “common sense”. I’m super close to retarded, but I have common sense so I’ve always landed on my feet. Work hard, work smart and marry your best friend, and if you have your health, life will be great!
POWERLINE A.D.: To this day, there are a few Hades fan sites still active. Do you monitor these sites?
Dan Lorenzo: If by “monitoring” you mean masturbate to old photos of myself…then YES…I’m guilty as charged. No. I don’t really. Are you just making this shit up?
POWERLINE A.D.: Non-Fiction was labeled alt-metal. But this kind of metal had been played for years before by bands like Watchtower. Isn’t there a more appropriate term than adding the popular 90s term “alternative” in there?
Dan Lorenzo: NON-FICTION and WATCHTOWER in the same breath? Pat are you high? They were a super technical band…NON-FICTION was a “dumb it down” band. I fucking loved NON-FICTION.
POWERLINE A.D.: Why did you and Alan Tecchio switch gears from Non-Fiction back to Hades in the 90s?
Dan Lorenzo: Mostly because there has always been more interest in HADES. I prefer NON-FICTION, but HADES always had more passionate fans.
POWERLINE A.D.: A friend of mine told me that Hades did a radio interview in the 90s at Drexel University but as soon as Hades left, the radio guy started talking trash about how arrogant the band was. Do you remember this interview? I never got the impression of Hades ever being arogant. The band was always accessible to fans, no?
Dan Lorenzo: If by arrogant you mean-the dj’s girlfriend gave us blow jobs after she met us… maybe! Seriously, I don’t believe we EVER did an interview down there. I was sometimes rude to drunk male fans. I still am!
POWERLINE A.D.: How did the formation of The Cursed come about and, then, what happened?
Dan Lorenzo: Blitz and I were tight after Non-Fiction opened for Overkill in America and Europe in ’93. He loved my first solo cd, then sung on my 2nd. He told me he wanted to do something with me, so I wrote the music for (The Cursed’s) Room Full of Sinners. As soon as I heard the melodies he wrote to my riffs I thought, “this guy gets it”. I LOVE what he did…I LOVE the cd…I wish more people bought it!
POWERLINE A.D.: As a musician who has been involved in many projects over the years, what are you most proud of (this can include collaborations as well)?
Dan Lorenzo: Hmm…I think THE CURSED cd then NON-FICTION’s In The Know then HADES The Downside then my first and 3rd solo cds. In some ways I’m most proud of my solo stuff because it was all me pretty much.
POWERLINE A.D.: What group has the greatest chance of a reunion: Hades, Non-Fiction, or The Cursed? (I mean, a real reunion, not a one-off gig like Hades’ gig at the Keep It True Festival in 2010)
Dan Lorenzo: Wow…umm…none of the above? It’s almost time for warm weather in NJ which means I’ll put down the guitar and start playing basketball. I play 3-5 days a week depending on the weather. Been playing for almost twelve years. It’s fucking intense.
POWERLINE A.D.:What is your favorite solo disc, and why?
Dan Lorenzo: Probably “Cut From A Different Cloth”. I love all of it except for “Two Timer” and the opening instrumental. I LOVE Jimmy Schulman’s bass line on “Betty Last Night”. “Cut” is sold out. I only printed 1,250 copies and they are all gone.
POWERLINE A.D.:When’s the solo album F-Bombs coming out?
Dan Lorenzo: I wish I knew!
POWERLINE A.D.: Do you plan to ever tour to support your solo discs?
Dan Lorenzo: Yes, as opener for Metallica.
POWERLINE A.D.: Ha! Do you like touring then? After years of being a musician do you find it unbearable now?
Dan Lorenzo: No. Touring is fun if you’re single. I could never tour now. I’m happily married so it makes no sense to me. I couldn’t go a whole week without seeing my wife!
POWERLINE A.D.: Tell me more about this year’s release of the Hades DVD “Bootlegged in Boston 1988”
Dan Lorenzo: Well, it really is a bootleg, the show anyway. One of our best shows ever. The most fun part of the DVD is AFTER the show, the interviews and old footage.
POWERLINE A.D.:Do you enjoy having your own column now for a newspaper? A description for your column, 24 Seven, in Steppin’ Out Magazine stated this: “He writes this column to piss you off.” Trying to say you’re opinionated, Dan?
Dan Lorenzo: Hey Pat…like I said, if it WASN’T fun I wouldn’t do it.
POWERLINE A.D.: Are you a NEW JERSEY type of guy? The Bruce or Bon Jovi of Metal?
Dan Lorenzo: Yes…although I wish I lived in South Beach from November until April.
POWERLINE A.D.: Lastly, I love this statement on your website: “Even though I love HEAVY songs first and foremost sometimes I have a different opinion of what’s heavy. To me “Angie” by the Rolling Stones is heavy.” As a Rolling Stones fan, I agree. but can you explain more?
Dan Lorenzo: Well when I first heard Angie it was when my mom was in the hospital. Bad. Ugly. Sad. Enough painful memories to last a lifetime and bring me to my knees whenever I hear that song.
Thanks for your time, Dan. And for any of you hard rock fans out there who haven’t heard The Cursed, go to Amazon and buy the one and only album, Room Full of Sinners. You won’t be disappointed. I even voted it the best hard rock/metal album of 2007. That’s how good it is.