Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Skitzo is a thrash band that has been around longer than Metal Core! Here is a long overdue interview with founding member Lance Ozanix vocals/guitar
MC: Tell me about your early days and how you got into music? What were some early bands that you liked and how did the world of heavy metal enter your life?
Lance: In the 70’s my 1st music heard was Credence Clearwater and George Benson on Broadway jazz epic. – Then I graduated to The Partridge Family and read my 1st book Helter Skelter at age 5, I was the only child. After my parents divorced when I was 5 my best friend Tuffy a cool black lab dog was beaten to near death by 2 neighborhood boys. I got home by the time Tuffy was on his last leg bloody and yelping with in an inch of his life I was 6 yrs old and he died in my lap from various hits to the head by a wooden baseball bat and thick chain. Blood was coming out of his ears, nose and mouth his jaw & teeth were broken but I was there for him at his time of passing….at 6 I felt a blood rage like no other…. I started to know what this new world was like…it was ugly and harsh and I had to survive it. I got into drugs and alcohol soon after to take some pain away…I needed an outlet and I did piano for a while but it was too soft. I did an acoustic guitar but not enough crunch, so I bought my 1st guitar had 1 string on it for 10$ at a Mexican garage sale. I played that thing for 3 years before I got a full set of real strings and taking lessons for it in 1979. I was using PCP and a lot of pills/alcohol and pot to escape puberty and the bullying I faced everyday being a fat, pimply kid with shaggy hair into metal and metal to some meant Journey & Loverboy…fuck that..I used to listen to my KISS records on slow 16 speed in God of Thunder for that deep low growl and sludgy effect. And then NUGENT guitar leads on 78 LP speed for thrash fast shredding.
MC: The band ended up forming in 1981. Were you in ant bands prior to that and at what point in your life did the idea of forming or being in a band enter your life?
Lance: In 1979 that time I was playing in a strange punk rock band called the God-awful I was 13 and the rest of the guys were 18 to 20. It was a mix of experimental and gutter noise punk. Nina Hagen, GG Allin, Lydia Lunch, Nick Cave, influences. Of course I was into Kiss, Alice Cooper and Aerosmith & Nugent, but in 1980 I heard Motorhead for the 1st time and it was like a reflex I WANT WHAT THEY ARE DOING! Heavy, loud fast dirty and mean. I found my true drug that eased the pain for me. So I quit the God-awful and started my own heavy band called VEMON!!! Yep. 6 months later I found out there was another band called Venom and I became an instant fan so SKITZO was the name and has been ever since. October 1981.
MC: Now tell me the early days of the band and did you actually form the band and if you did how did you find members for it?
Lance: The are old school chums David Bailey, Tomakazi, Rich Dewitte, Ken Abby & Brian Sullivan. Brian Sullivan was a singer guitar player and later I hired his little brother Jason on drums when Jason was 11 – that kid had mad chops and major drive.
MC: At what point did you know you wanted to be a singer and do you think you’re a good singer?
Lance: It was by accident. We started recording the 3 song 1ST demo for SKITZO in late 1984 at my high school. The teacher Gordon Langford allowed me to come in only at 3am to 7am to record. For Free, but try to find guys to wanna come in and record at 2am to set up and record by 3am was a challenge. I had so many guys lined up to do guitar, or sing (I did all my bass tracks and Jason did the drums) it took 1 year to complete the demo. Kelly Gillis was referred to me by a friend and Kelly came in and did the leads on guitar. And I did the vocals coz I wanted this project done and in mid 1985 the demo was done. At this time if I wanted to be a serious musician I needed to get off all the drugs and booze and I did. I white-knuckled it ever since. My new drug was metal & groupies.
MC: Now say like 1982 did you start performing live and what was the sound like of the band back then?
Lance: It was unknown to me how to do anything. It was basically plug in and go full throttle. There was no formula to it or mastery. In 82 we did some parties and a lot of playing in warehouses or school functions. We played a punk rocker wedding in 83 and the cops showed up and shut down the place. We got that on 8MM FILM not video…lol…I also did a lot of filming for low budget zombie movies too. Back in the late 70’s so I had a camera to use for filming the band back then.
MC: You originally named the band Venom and the changed it to Skitzo. How did you come up with the name and at the point when you found out there was another band called Venom were you pissed at all?
Lance: No I was not pissed. I had a slew of names. MEPHISTO, SIX-IX-IX, FLAIRHEAD, UP-ROAR. It was Tomakazi or David Bailey that both came up with SKITZO at the same time…till this day they battle on who came up with this name. I saw VENOM’S name at an import record store and bought the 45 bloodlust and wow they deserve the title. I was an instant fan. I loved ACCEPT and SAXON as well.
MC: Now by the time 1985 rolled around how much of the band’s sound changed. I imagine a lot considering bands like Metallica, Slayer and Exodus, etc were around then.
Lance: Funny thing about Metallica? I bought KILL EM ALL and returned it for TANK. I just liked that lower growl and not so much the hi-pitch screech. It took a few listens and I ended up enjoying Ride the Lighting and eventually Kill em All was back in my collection. HELLHAMMER/SLAYER/EXODUS at 1st listen I was hooked. SKITZO ‘s sound changed more to try to be more technical or try to play better and faster and crazyyyy. It was effort to be remembered and wanting thrasher kids to come to your show.
MC: Now in 1985 you released your 1st demo that was self-titled. How was it going into the studio back then and at the time were you happy with the recording? Did you know about the world of fanzines and if so did you send many to them?
Lance: I was a customer to many import record stores the THE RECORD VAULT & REBEL RECORDS they sold magazines and fanzines and took demos for sale so yes I started to be a business person now too. I met Buffo rock journalist for ROCKHARD from Germany. He was at the RECORD VAULT one day . He took our demo and in 3 months the review came out and we started to get a lot of mail and demo orders from Europe. As well as more fanzines and magazine interviews. People were so cool, and nice I learned a lot of history and politics from these new fans. Especially one guy in Poland connected to (EAST GERMANY??) he was writing back & fourth with me and one day his poor mom wrote me said the police shot her son in the head for having a printing machine in the basement. He died for making a fucking fanzine.
MC: In 1986 you released demo # 2 called ‘Wrathrage”. Did you feel at the time it was a step above your 1st demo? I imagine the scene was unholy at the time with the whole Bay Area thrash thing exploding.
Lance: In 1986 it was magical. You know, that if you grew up in this era how the vibe just caught you like a virus. Thrash in 86 was pre-jocks. The pit was raging and it was our summer of love before corruption set in. Meth heads, violent jocks.
But our 2nd recording “WRATHRAGE” was a blast to make. It was a home studio and we had much more time to find the sound more and define our quest for heavy, fast thrash. I think ANTHRAX got the jocks and rappers more involved in metal. I was not a fan too much the THRAX after SPREADING THE DISEASE.
MC: Did you ever get to visit the “Record Vault” when it was open and if you did how was that store as I have heard many things about it.
Lance: I am sure you know it was pure heaven for the heavy metal/ punk crowd. Just rows of vinyl new & used. Posters and patches, local demos & bootlegs. Just an amazing place to meet with people, chat up new bands and make new friends and when a huge band comes to town they all did the in-stores meet & greet there. SLAYER, MERCIFUL FATE, SAXON, VENOM, EXCITER, MOTORHEAD and I got to meet them all and hang out with them.
MC: In 1987 a 3rd demo was released called, “Mosh Till Mush”. Was writing songs and stuff easy back then as it seemed you were releasing stuff rather quickly.
Lance: There was a MOSH DEMO A and a MOSH DEMO B: Kelly Gillis was let go in late 87 and we re-recorded the MOSH demo with John Crowhurst: That time was crunching getting ready for our 1st US tour with INSECTICIDE from LA. Yes the writing was pouring out. Ideas were being put to the test and deadlines trying to be met and getting signed was a goal.
MC: Did you get to many live shows back then and what were some of the bands you played with and how crazy were those shows back then?
Lance: We opened for POSSESSED, DEATH ANGE, BLIND ILLUSION, SPASTIC CHILDREN (metallica) Piranha (Baloff’s solo project) THE MENTORS, VIO-LENCE. It was just an amazing time. Crazy times? Sure, but a lot of fun.
MC: In 1989 you released an Ep called “Derrangerous”. What that on a label and if not were you sending stuff to them and how were the reviews back then from fanzines and stuff?
Lance: This was our 1st quality sounding demo for 1989? It was all about long songs and technical thrash. We started doing 7-8 min epic songs like CASTLE OF BLOOD and working on the SKULLING. These were the best reviews so far. Many mags by now have said SKITZO has reached that level of signing and it was great to hear this, but 1 label wanted to sign us but change us at the same time. It did not work for CELTIC FROST why would it work for SKITZO? Never; I turned them down and thus throwing away $ 100,000 (you can’t put make up on me or in spandex and expect people to like you?). Fuck that. We all saw what it did to CELTIC FROST. I never wanted to go down that road.
MC: Now between 1985 and 1989 was there a lot of member changes and if there was, how easy or hard was it to find new members?
Lance: Back then it was easy. We had a name and crowd and a rep for getting shit done. Touring and recording etc.
MC: Back then how would you classify the band’s sound and at what point in the band’s career did you think you found the ‘Skitzo” sound so to speak and did you were an original band and what were some bands you would say you were influenced back then?
Lance: “THE SKULLING” has to be the refined sound. It was a major break through for us and now with management and bookers it was getting real busy. It was just a taste of what the 90’s gave us. A window view before the break out, but it didn’t last long. Our influence was horror, gore, metal epic obnoxious punk/hardcore/thrash: we were too ugly of a band to be good looking metal guys. TESTAMENT/VIO-LENCE and we were kind of like SICK METAL And speaking of SICK METAL, I am trying to get a documentary out titled SICK METAL of all the underground bands who never seen the light of day and they fueled the metal scene. SICK METAL are bands like us, RIGOR MORTIS, INSECTICIDE, HIRAX, SACRIFICE, BEYOND POSSESION, DBC, PEDIFILE, POSTHUMOUS, CARNIVORE, MORBID CURIOSTY, tons of bands that are so rare and un found that they deserve to be recognized. I wanna do this film soon!
MC: In 1990, you released a single called “Haunting Ballads”. Why only one song or was it like a 2 song demo/7”?
Lance: By this time. We got some interest in a major label and SKITZO was given $$$ to do a speck deal. A video was shot for LADY IN THE LAKE promo only. And a demo 2 song single. So the ghostly ballads were just a try – these were eerie gothic songs I had in my head for years and decided to get them onto tape and make some $$ for the band. It sounds like a sell out but believe me it was not. We did these songs only once on stage and never again for a showcase. Some people liked them. Others did not. It was just 2 song tape – it never went anywhere.
MC: How was the morale of the band back then as thrash was pretty much at its peak then. Did you get to play more and more shows as thrash was pretty big and you were in the heart of it?
Lance: 1992 was a weird time. Funk thrash and alternative was setting in and NIRVANA the final nail in the coffin for metal. Alice n Chains (who opened on CLASH OF THE TITANS are now the major headliners) with that SEATTLE whine voice and thrash bands are funking out and glam bands who were the kings of the MTV and radio were becoming laughing stocks to a younger generation. All my friend’s HAIR was being cut short or shaved. TOOL opened for SKITZO a year ago in 91 and they are now the huge band. It was a weird and depressing time for metal and we hated it. I still hate it.
MC: Another Ep followed in 1991 called “The Skulling”. Was this a financed release or did it come out on a label?
Lance: We had a private investor and manager and self-released and 1st time we dealt with CD pressing. Having a CD was a big deal back then. Vinyl was great always, but a cd? It was new territory and an high priced one at that. We recorded it the same place DEATH ANGEL did the ULTRA VIOLENCE lp and what a great recording room it was.
MC: Now at this time was the band’s sound pretty intact so to speak? Now for those who have never heard your band’s music, what would you say you sound like?
Lance: A few people said we were a cross of VENOM and a low budget TESTAMENT. And that was a good review. I liked both bands and we were dirty enough and technical enough to get both jobs done in 1 band.
MC: In 1992, you released your 1st full length called ‘Evilution? I would imagine this came out on a label. Looking back what are your thoughts on this and how was it finally having a full length after all time?
Lance: 1992 was when these band members broke up. Jason Sullivan was with us for 9 years and Ron Klinger amazing guitar player and both left: it was a time when thrash was on its way out and no future for the career of it. The EVILUTION was only on tape and the band broke up before to even think about a CD. I remember having a good time in the studio recording it. But trying to promote it was a difficult task. It was a mix of 80’s rock /some thrash. It was a big mix of influences and it may not have had a real focus. I hear it in the mix and the writing today.
MC: What label did this come out on and how was it working with them and what are your thoughts working with them at the time?
Lance: Self label and it was pretty much dead in the water before it hit the stores. My focus was to get new members in and record a new release for 1993. I still had a vision and hope for the band. I still had a manager and bookers and I did not wanna give up the ship just yet.
MC: You have released stuff on Open Grave Records, Mourning Star Records, Wolf House Media, Boneless Records. Out of all the labels what was the worst one and best and why?
Lance: Mouringstar was by far the best. Signed with them over 10 years we had full creative control and tour funds and releasing funds. You can’t get better than that in the 90’s and 2000 – various distros to sell our stuff and promote tours. Mouringstar was amazing. As for the worst? I am very carful when singing and so I can’t really say I got screwed over or anything like that..I really don’t have a bad thing to say about any label. I have to give AREA-DEATH props for being good guys in China. Fair people for sure. I was reluctant to work with them and I had my reserves for being a new label but I was surprised by them and how hard they worked for those SKITZO BOX SET CDS. Wow.
MC: In 1992 you released “Evilution”. Now thrash metal was starting to die out being replaced with death metal. Looking back how do you feel about that and was the morale of the band still strong and were many members coming and going?
Lance: It was going away by 92 the morale was disappearing. DEATH METAL was on the rise. More than thrash. Glam was fading out and SEATTLE as flooding the gates. I still had my own vision for SKITZO and I was not about to give up.
MC: Out of all the line-ups you have had, what one do you like best and how many releases were done with that line-up?
Lance: I can’t say the best line up: each line up had it own special quality and memorial to it.
I loved the JASON SULLIVAN & RON KILNGER days as well as the early days with TOMAKZI & DAVID BAILY & RICH DEWITTE in 81. Then there is KEN SPRINGER AND SCOTT REYNOLDS-JAY SPRAY and the longest running member to date my bassist NASTY NATE CLARK. We had some great times with Mike Carli and Noah Smith – Drummin Dave-Sherri Stewart – Kurt Houser – Stacy Misenbauch & Kelly Gillis & John Crowhurst.
MC: In 1994 the whole Seattle sound was at its peak and thrash metal was way back in the trunk. Was that pretty much the case in the state of CA and Bay Area? How were the sales for your ”Synusar’sukus” releases and you guys deep down inside know that thrash metal was pretty much dead at this point?
Lance: As you know as well being in the hey-day yourself. TRUE: but Synus was doing great sales world wide it had a death metal sound to it. We tuned our guitars lower for this one for a death-thrash sound. A great recording and the songs were fun as hell to play. Our stage show was equipped with puke girls and by 94 we didn’t even let SEATTLE take us down…by now what ever metal bands back in the 80s were all now sticking together. We did great shows with FORBIDDEN, JIM MARTIN of FNM-BEHEMOTH. MALEVOLENT CREATION, PRONG, DRI, shows where still packed and cds & merch were selling like hot cakes….lines around the table for our merch was a great site to see considering the lack of metal exposure. We even accidently opened for FASTER PUSSY CAT around this time…even glam & metal bands were trying to stick together and hold the 80s together, but eventually the 80’s were dead.
MC: In 1996, you stubborn bastards lol, released “Psychobabble”. At any of this time, did the sound of the band change and was the reaction to this release and were you still able to play many live shows? Are any of these shows or older or newer ones on You Tube at all?
Lance: DARK TIMES fell in 95 we lost KEN SPRINGER to a motorcycle accident and died at the age of 27. Scott our drummer went to the Army and I got a rare sickness called H-pylori. We lot our booking and management team….stubborn or stupid is right?
Metal is virtually dead. Greenday punk and emo-ish top 40 raking in most of our old crowd we hung with have gotten married and having kids and no longer going out anymore. As I got better after surgery, I had these songs in my head and wanted to get them out again. I could not find band guys anymore. No one played fast double kicks. MARILYN MANSON was the only metal icon at this time for teenage angry kids. Weird was in and I said I can do this so I started to write for PSYCHOBABBLE and it was an important record for me. Though it was my darkest album ever…hardest to write, it was a sick record, just a crazy piece of work and if the record you thought was weird…the live show got weirder…like I said I could not find new band guys to fill the shoes. So I bought 2 mannequins – put wig on them, bought them a drum set and had a fan blowing on them and a strobe light and did a track show like RAPPERS used for live shows. I played bass over the tracks and sang live over the pre-recorded show. Fuck it and I named the mannequins: Birtha Leech on drums and Greg Stiff guitar. After concerts I’d hit an all night diner and buy my band breakfast we’d sit at the table and I’d have band info for curious people and this got our name back out there again.
MC: In 2000 you released “Got Sick”. Why the 4 yr break and the line-up the same for this as it was for 1996? What are your thoughts on this these days?
Lance: Lots of touring and with the mannequins I added some real people to the set SHERRI STEWART being one of them. She is an incredible bassists that learned all the hard songs off the SKULLING – very dedicated musician. GOT SICK was an amazing record. Far from the BABBLE record. I had a lot of fun with GOT SICK. Working with STEVE SMYTH Testament / Nevermore and JIM MARTIN (faith no more). KURT HOUSER producing it recording it at Grizzly studios again was always a pleasure.
MC: During all this, had you ever been asked to play in any other bands and if so, who dammit.
Lance: By 1999 it was apparent that the hey day of thrash was over and all the bands we known and loved are gone so I decided to do TV and really used my resources to sell our merch and spread our music and band name through JERRY SPRINGER, JUDGE JUDY, RIPLEY’S HOWRD STERN, LARRY KING LIVE, and many of the radio shows MANCOW and MARK N MIKE show, all over the US. This opened up the band to a new level – exposure to the max and Mourningstar had a huge influence on this venture.
MC: In 2001, an M-80’s best came out. What was on this and speaking of at that time and even up until today is there any lost jewels that may see the light one day?
Lance: LOST JEWEL is right. ONLY 200 WERE MADE AND ALL 200 SOLD IN 1 Month. Gone for ever. Basically area death 2 disc cd. Maybe there were more rehearsal tapes from 1981 on it. And the MOSH TIL MUSH A and B.
MC: In 2002 another full length (you guys don’t stop huh) came out called “Hellavator”. What are your thoughts on that these days and by now I imagine going in the studio was like second nature.
Lance; This was a nice time getting back on the road with KELLY GILLIS with our rolls reversed. In 1984 I was on bass and he was lead guitar and in 2002 we switch rolls. It was fun as hell and some nights he’d take the guitar from me. On tour in TX, AZ, or WA he’d have a blast playing music and recording new music. We were in WA at Sickie Wifebeaters (The Mentors) studio and laid down some new music there (unreleased). We had a great chemistry but he became a dad and duty calls…thus leaving the road and late studio nights behind. I will have you know he is back with a new band called INNER EDGE think of QUEENSRYCH/DIO AND SLAYER. His kids are all grown up and he is now a granddad… J
MC: In 2005 another full length called “Heavy Shit” came out. With all this material coming out, how easy was it to write songs and lyrics and who did most of this?
Lance: Noah Smith on drums it was very easy to write with this guy. He had been a fan in our home town growing up hearing SKITZO for many years it was great to work with someone who knows the background. HEAVY SHIT aka 5 POINT CONTAINMENT are one in the same. Produced by METALLIC’A producer TOBY RAGE (RIP) and tons of bay area metal guys on this thing from PHIL DEMMEL, JEFF BECERRA, JOHN MARSHALL, SICKIE WIFEBEATER, a great list of people on this epic monsters I call it. Me Nate & Noah all contributed.
MC: What was this radio promo release you had come out in 2007.
Lance: It was off tracks from heavy shit. Redone in the same studio as HEAVY SHIT CELLULITE CELLULAR BITCH, AND HOUSE OF DEMNTIA and a new track WOLFS BANE. Plus 3 tracks off heavy shit. WE SENT THESE OUT TO ALL record, radio, magazines.
MC: Also in 2007 you released another full length come called “Five Point Containment. What made you keep the band going and what is a bit disheartening seeing all these bands on major labels and selling records, etc?
Lance: By this time I counted 30 contracts from many semi-pro labels I would totally sign but by this time the labels make the artist responsible in lost revenue if the cd is not a good seller. FOR INSTANCE: if a label prints up 20,000 cds and ships 5000 them to Europe and 3000 to Canada, and 3000 to Mexico etc and not giving the band tour support, but when those 20,000 CDs sitting in stores over 9 mo the store can SHIP THEM BACK TO THE LABEL for full credit and the ARTIST has to pay back the shipping costs which can result in 30, 40,000 dollars in costs and the label gets your social security number and this will go on your credit as owed. To me I did not want this over my head. I will do it my way and if they want me – we can talk. Other than that I will just keep doing what I do. I have enough solid 5000 strong fans world wide that have been fans and supports over the years. I am happy with them and they with me for not selling out so much its ridiculous. As I keep cranking out quality genuine THRASH from the 80’s style, I figured it’s not going out of style for my 5000 true fans. I have 3 Facebooks SKITZO THRASH 1,2,3 (coz your limited 5000 friends). I use to have 400,000 on Myspace, but that is over now and a website is up now: WWW.SKITZO.BIZ our people keep in touch. It’s a blessing and a trip. We as a small time band are very thankful for the strong fan base for many years.
MC: In 2008 you had a great compilation come out on Area Death Productions. How did this come about and how was the response to it?
Lance; It was a wonderful release and he said it sold out in 6 months. I wish I had more. The release was amazing: 2 cds, booklet, patch, pin, sticker, and a green fortune cookie, plus a t-shirt. The music was similar to M80’s with less rehearsal tapes.
MC: A split came out in 2008. Who was the other band and who arranged this release?
Lance: Sacto’s SHRINE OF SCARES. Great guys and killer band.
MC: Since then 2 other releases have come out. “Put in your Face” and “Spit Pea Soup”. How recent are these and when can we expect some new music?
Lance: PUT YER FACE was the x rated cover for PSYCHOBABBLE but SPLIT PEA SOUP was the spit 7 inch with FOUL STENCH. Boneless Records great guys and killer band. In 2009 we started to write for the new CD titled DEMENTIA PRAYCOX it’s still being recorded and mixed. Maybe in 2014 could be done. It’s been a rough few years for music and we have not toured in a long time. The music scene has kind of evaporated and just not the same or even remotely close to what it used to be. The thrash pits today are not brotherhood it’s violent and against each other. Too many forms of metal may have poisoned the true metal seeds. The true metal mind from the early 80’s is just too different than today’s metal head. It’s like the movie INVASION OF THE BODY SNACHERS, they may look the part and you cut them open and they have all the same parts but when you put them in the pit? It’s game over.
MC: You were also on an episode of Judge Judy. Tell me all about that and how funny was it to be on there?
Lance: Me and Nate drove to LA to be on this show. Well, I would just tell the readers to google the episode. And see for them selves. (JUDGE JUDY SKITZO LANCE)
I’d have to say it was pretty surreal and kinda fun, but the video editors really tried to make me look dumb: I remember times on the show I was really throwing it back at the judge but they cut it. And the part where Judy says “Your not a house hold band name” – I yelled back to her saying we are just an underground metal band of course HER Bailiff wouldn’t hear of us and then they stuck a video frame of me with my mouth open like she owned me or something like that. It was her game and they won in that aspect. But it was epic trash (trash) tv and it was just one more avenue for people to hear about us.
MC: How long have you been vomiting at the end of a live show?
Lance: I really started in the late 70’s puking on command. Puking on my enemies and for fun/to get out of class or stay home from school and then by 81 I put this in my show as a bonus to remember us by and by doing it at the end of the show you hear the music first and vomiting later. What is a trip about the vomiting is people were terrified by this act and the cool thing to do was pay – go see Skitzo and hear them and watch him puke on stage and run out of the theater and tell all your friends. Now by 1992-93 society changed. The cool thing to do was see Skitzo and get puked on. It was a phenomenon. I never had it in my vision to puke on people unless they were dicks to me or my friends, but this became a staple for our shows ever since and till this day someone in the crowd - 2 or more want to get puked on!??!?!? It is weird but they are our fans and it gives them something to tell their grandkids I guess…lol…
MC: Do you have an original copy of everything you have released and do you have an old truck full of old flyers, reviews, etc?
Lance: I have 2 storages full yes. I have so much old memorabilia from the 70s & 80s its mind boggling… I mean my stuff I grew up with KISS, SABBATH, NUGENT, AEROSMITH – ALICE COOPER etc and then throw all the 80’s fliers and magazines records & tapes (yes I said TAPES) reel to reels and album folders – tour itineraries, 1000’s of photos = I even have calendars dating back to 1977 that I filled in what I was doing that day. All my old TV guides too/ comics and MONSTER MAGAZINES…I have a museum.
MC: Do you think if you had and other bands had the technology of today back in the day bands such as yourselves would have become a bigger band?
Lance: Nope. Back then we were one of a kind and in the world was only a few 100 extreme type metal bands existed and there were 10,000 people into this metal. Those kids sought it out. Now today there is a million metal bands and a 10 million kids into metal. Band are likely to give free music to fill that void and this takes the time to search dead in the water. Everyone and there brother has a metal band with cds and everyone gives a cd to people to hear them. This has become a CHORE for the metal fans. For example back in the 80s some skater kids were rolling along and it’s 1986 and I pull over and give each a Skitzo wrathrage cassette tape and those kids expressions were like wow and then we’d see them at our shows forever more.
Nowadays, I tried this stunt and it was like I gave the kid a cd and it was look of “oh great another cd” following by “yeah my little cousin is in a band and makes cds all the time too”. Metal fans today are being beat by the punch to search for new music by 100s of bands throwing free music in the face of metal fans thus limiting the time and energy for fans to discover old new bands. They are literally being drowned in today’s flood and not reaping the breath of oxygen of true metal. It was very difficult for me as a kid to find new bands. We didn’t have the internet / we had import record stores and zines – pen bangers / no videos no YouTube. No google.
The only thing close to google was Koogle (a form of mixed swirled peanut butter & jelly in a jar at the store) I remember buying an album solely on the cover itself and taking a chance and 99% Id love it. In the 70’s you had bands like NUGENT, AEROSMITH, ELO, KANSAS, BOSTON, KISS, ALICE COOPER, ETC. None of those groups sounded like each other. Now look at today’s bands: scream/o-cookie monster voice nu-metal. All sound the same to me and this can get a listener pretty bored quickly.
(I agree 1000%-chris).
MC; What are some of your highlights and low lights of the band throughout your career?
Lance: Highs were: the early days and mid to late 80’s / a lot of highs with Ken Springer & Scott & Kurt. Got Sick studio work and Hellavator tour along with the Heavy Shit work.
Lows: parting ways with ex-band mates, getting ripped off by clubs or other bands stealing our music. And one low time recently was getting a call from BILL GRAM PRESENTS. Asking Skitzo to open for ROB ZOMBIE & GODSMACK. At Sacramento’s Sleeptrain theater…holds like 30,000 people…Ummm yeah we’ll do the gig for sure:
Its booked and we are ready and I get a call from the promoter night before and cancels us coz “the band SHINEDOWN paid to bump us off and pay big $ to open this show and it was business he said money talks and real bands walk – so imagine making that call to our friends, crew and band mates the biggest gig of our life and we get canceled / that made me very ill….But oh well…moving on. And a big shout out to SHiNEDOWN fuck you and your cut throat management I hope you choked on the catered crap cakes.
MC: How long do you think the band will still be around and on Oct 8, 2011, you played in Petaluma, CA for your 30th anniversary? Do you ever sit back and say, “holy shit 30 fuckin years in a band”?
Lance: I was too stressed to think. I was on auto pilot that week. I we had to re-learn songs we have not played in 30 years and there was a crew of the old band mates like 10-15 people scheduled to play on stage it was a whirlwind of magic. But it was the day after or so I reflected and was very grateful for the 30 years it was unreal for sure.
MC: Have you ever gone on Ebay and seen some of your stuff for sale and what does it go for?
Lance: This sometimes makes me cringe and happy at the same time. I’d see one of our original t-shirts that I silkscreened my self go for $200+ or some old original demo tapes go for $100 or more. Original cds went for $40-$80 each…I was like wow… really? I use to give that shit away….hahahaha~ but all in all I am glad there are people who still give their left arm for Skitzo – I did.
MC: What stuff of yours is out of print and if it is, any chance of seeing it back in print as I am ready for your 10 cd box set ha ha?
Lance: I want to get the PSYCHOBABBALE & GOT SICK onto one cd set. They are the concept cd set and the CORPSE GRINDER was never really given a chance but I’d like to re-release that too. I have been throwing this out to some labels the DIRTY 30 SKITZO BOX SET. That would be the 3 lps 10 cds thing you are thinking of…lol…
MC: Don’t worry we are almost done. Plug any websites you have and any merchandise you are selling these days as a Skitzo t-shirt would be cool to have.
And FACEBOOK SKITZO THRASH TWO are good to connect.
We have some limited shirts left and we just got in black skitzo-logo hats for $10
MC: What are some of the best parts and worst parts of being in a band?
Lance: The business aspect for sure is the worst. I hate battle of the bands, any completion sucks.
If you are in a metal band…JUST BE METAL. And move forward.
Best part to me is practicing performing and eating pizza - hang out and chatting it up being a friend with good people.
MC: How much longer do you see the band being around?
Lance: It’s hard to say. I tried to quit once in 1999 and it really messed with my identity – so as long an I’m here I guess for a while.
MC: What would you like the band to be remembered by?
Lance: Never giving up when some people thought we should.
MC: Any last words thanks for doing this long ass interview.
Lance: Thanks Chris for the kind words and devoted ever pounding metal-energy yourself to promote bands new or old.
With out people like you and your media we’d be no where. Thank you