STYLE: Melodic Hard Rock

PhotobucketDanny Danzi is one of South Jersey’s premier guitar players infamous for his distinct innovative style and his amazing versatility as both musician and recording engineer.

Danny’s musical repertoire is quite extensive. He is an accomplished songwriter and aside from his astonishing proficiency on electric guitar, he has also mastered drums, keyboards, bass, trumpet and vocals. Danny’s various musical contributions make him a valuable asset to any band.

The Danny Danzi story

At age 4, Danny was introduced to the drums. In 2 weeks, he was playing them like he had been on them for years without a lesson! At age 8, he decided to attempt to learn the trumpet, for his love for the group “Chicago”, inspired this musical need. “That brass section makes me feel something powerful” he would say.

As time went by, Danny played with many garage bands, and entered in school talent shows placing 1st at every one. At age 11, he started piano, and finally got his first real paying job in his piano teachers wedding band, playing the drums. The experience and exposure would feed his musical ambition to an even higher plateau. At age 14, Danny got into his first real rock band (Korners) playing the drums. This band would go through several personnel changes with guitar players, and force Danny to attempt to play guitar.

The guitar was much more of a challenge to Danny, for again there were no lessons ever taught to him, and the instrument frustrated him. At age 15, Danny was the captain of his high school marching band, and was 1st chair trumpet as well. Now playing trumpet in the school’s rock band, orchestra, and marching band, he also devoted his time to his 2 other bands playing drums and guitar. His band playing drums (“Dark Angel”) would soon break up, and leave him in his guitar band called “Sentinel”.

Danny about frustrated with his endeavors playing drums, decided to put all of his energy into the guitar and “Sentinel”. But people laughed at him for he really never knew how to play guitar; he just tuned it to what he heard in his head, which was an already made open “C” chord when strummed. Playing barre chords with his thumb, and sitting down to play; he wanted to get this system of his to work to attempt a new little twist in the instrument. While people laughed and cracked jokes at him, telling him he should have never stopped playing the drums, Danny locked himself into his own little world of music, the guitar, writing and mastering his little tuning secret.

At age 16, Danny came out of hiding in the schools talent show, playing the Eddie Van Halen solo “Eruption,” just like the album. Followed by Ozzy’s “Mr. Crowley”, the high school auditorium was in awe! The guy that sat down and played with his thumb was finally respected. Danny’s long time band “Sentinel” would get its chance in the club scene that summer. Somehow, Danny managed to persuade rock club owner Bill Haigh of the “Galaxy” to book the band there. Little did the band know, but they would be opening up for “Cinderella” one of South Jersey’s top rock acts. Of course this was a major learning experience to the members of “Sentinel” and Danny. “We were blown off the stage, and then broke up!” Danny recalls.

Danny would of course pick up the pieces, and continue his dream, forming his super group, “Passion.” “Passion” would stay together for 6 years, open up for “Cinderella”, “Brittny Fox”, “Heavens Edge” and “Tangier”. With 75 original songs and steady club dates, this band would eventually burn itself out and break up because of ego’s members departing, and the workload. It was then that Danny would embark on becoming the lead singer/guitarist for his next project.

“Passion III” as Danny refers to it today, would never get off the ground due to “missing pieces of the puzzle”. Once again frustrated by his enormous efforts, Danny would take a break from the original scene, which was now 95%, dead in his area. All the original clubs turned into cover band clubs, leaving extreme traveling distances for bands to play their original material. The yearning to play live was killing Danny. He did not want to go the cover route, but hoped it would find him some quality players to give the original gig another shot. At that time, the Van Halen tribute band “Skeleton Crew” had been auditioning guitarists. Danny auditioned, and played a show with the band the following Thursday. This band would gain popularity rapidly for their authentic look and sound. Interviews and magazine articles would follow naming “Skeleton Crew” best tribute act, and Danny Danzi to be the closest thing to Eddie Van Halen in the Tri-state area.

The Record Deal

After 3 years, Danny would leave “Skeleton Crew” to pursue his life long dream of being an original artist, alone. No more would he have to deal with the loss of members, or bands breaking up, lack of seriousness etc. In 1998, Danny signed with Z Records of England and released his debut album “Somewhere Lost in Time.” He performed all drums, rhythm and lead guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals, keyboards and bass on the album as well as the lyrics. “Hollywood” Joe Orner assisted on the lyrics to “Come to Me” and Andy Slostad assisted playing a few bass, keyboard and rhythm guitar parts. Andy went on to help Danny with the writing of “Lost Without Your Love”, “Dreams” and “Is Love A Lie” forming a perfect writing team. Danny also recorded, produced, mixed and mastered the album, sharing the mastering with Wayne Davis of DSR Recording studio in Berlin NJ.

With the success of SLIT, Danny decided to put a band together to deliver his music to the world. Several shows in England and the US followed with several studio musicians and borrowed musicians from other bands. Andy Slostad, now Danny’s main writing partner and rhythm guitarist, was the first member. Andy had worked with Danny in one of the last versions of “Passion” and moved to pursue a new career when that band broke up. They never lost touch, and Danny always said he’d be interested in working with Andy again should he have something real to offer him. When the decision to form a real band came about, Andy was the first to be approached and of course accepted. Wayne Davis was approached to play bass for the band. Wayne and Danny worked very well together when SLIT was mastered, and Danny also had the chance to become friends with Wayne and listen to his present project. Wayne’s bass skills were incredible, so of course he was asked to join the project, which he too accepted and molded as a permanent member instantly.

Drum try-outs took place and after several attempts, Danny, Andy and Wayne were still not impressed. Long time friend and Danny D fan club VP Karen Ruggero posted an ad on the net for a drummer. A guy by the name of Timmay Lloyd contacted Danny and happened to live in the same town. Danny being familiar with Timmay’s drumming asked him to come over for an audition. The first jam was pretty incredible, so Timmay was asked to come back just to make sure. Into the second song, the band knew Timmay was the man for the job and he joined the family. Next was a keyboard player, the hardest member to find other than a singer. The band needed a keyboard player to orchestrate the band and not kill the guitar driven vibe. Easier said than done. Totally out of ideas on who to contact when current keyboard player Fran Wood left the band to pursue his own original project, Danny’s long time best friend Phil Buckleman contacted him through e-mail to congratulate him on his new record deal and CD release. Phil, who was a great writer and killer player, had not seriously played in quite some time. Danny asked him if he’d be interested in working with the band, and Phil turned out to be the perfect guy for the job. The final piece of the puzzle was in place. 2 years in the making with many hard ships, “The Danny Danzi Band” was formed.

What’s up now?

Danny and the band are now actively writing, recording, and performing new material for future projects in progress.   The new album entitled, “Danziland”, was released in Japan on December 17, and will hit the streets in Europe on March 15, 2004.  The new material far exceeds what was delivered on SLIT, but will keep the SLIT fans equally if not more impressed. A bit heavier sounding, though just as commercially acceptable and guitar driven. The lyrical content has been said to be “well matured” and the instrumentation and creativity input from the rest of the band puts this album in a class all by itself. This is one album to watch for as nothing in the melodic rock genre’ sounds anything like it. “A familiar sound with a fresh powerful delivery with guitar to die for” best describes this album. For people that have claimed to want their rock ‘n roll back, this is the album that will give you just that. Songs so catchy you’ll be singing them for years, top notch singing, playing, hooks, production, class, and guitar driven music that isn’t too over the top for the average listener to enjoy. With the release of DanziLand, the Danny Danzi Band will be one dominating force to reckon with.
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Danny Danzi – Somewhere Lost In Time [1999]
Danny Danzi – Danziland [2004]

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