DANTE FOX

Country United Kingdom

Style Melodic Rock/AOR

Dante Fox was formed in September 1989 by vocalist Sue Willetts, who wanted to put together an AOR/Melodic Rock band which could create and play really good, strong songs. Guitarist Tim Manford was in a band called Express, which had caused quite a stir with rock magazines (i.e. Derek Olivers, Wimpwire) and record companies but because nothing major had happened the band split.

Tim and Sue joined forces and began writing songs that came out naturally and from the heart. The next few years were spent recording, writing and playing anywhere and everywhere. On the strength of the songs and live performances, Dante Fox came to the attention of a lady by the name of Linda Bruce who was quite well known in Birmingham, as the owner of Rich Bitch studios which she owned and ran along with her husband Rob Bruce. Rich Bitch was used by Black Sabbath, Slade and Magnum. She heard one of the new songs and liked it so much she asked Rob to come and have a listen, and they booked the band into their studio to record it. The song was “How do we learn about Love”.

More songs were recorded and Linda pushed the tapes around various major labels in the UK. With new band members Jon Cooksey on Drums and Bryn Jones on Bass, Dante Fox signed to Now and Then Records in March of 1996 and in May appeared on the Gods line up next to Hugo, Ten and Jamie Kyle. The band was eager to play live and appeared on the ELO tour of the UK. ELO’s more mature audience really warmed to the melodic sounds of Dante Fox.

In October 1996 “Under Suspicion” was released in the UK and Europe (recorded and mixed at Rich Bitch Studios) and the response from the press was very encouraging, with Dante Fox being compared to artists such as Heart, Cher and Witness. On the back of the success of “Under suspicion” Dante Fox were asked to go over to Europe to play the Antwerp Metal Convention, the Ardshock Festival as well as some headline club dates in the Netherlands. The next territory that Dante Fox wanted to crack was the Japanese market. In April 1997 “Under Suspicion” was released in Japan and the band was reviewed in Burn Magazine and Tim received a great double page interview in Young Guitar.

Through the summer of 1997 Sue Willetts and Tim Manford started writing for the new album. This time they wanted to make a conscious effort to make the second album sound tougher but not sacrificing the harmonies and strong vocals that the band is known for. In February 98 Dante Fox entered Mad Hat Studios to record the second album “The Fire Within”. The album features Shy’s Tony Mills on backing vocals and Hard Rains Paul Hodson ..boards. Again with a positive response from the press and some great shows, it was time for a well deserved break.

In February of 2005 Dante Fox were offered the support to US Melodic female rockers Vixen and Girlschool, for their summer tour of the UK. Dante Fox recruited Mick Hales on drums who is a veteran of the midlands rock scene (who had been recently playing for ex-Judas Priest singer Al Atkins). Dante Fox also appeared at the Firefest show with House of Shakira and Pride in Bradford .The band received an awesome reaction and were featured in Powerplay magazine. The band has been very busy supporting bands such as Shy and Hayseed Dixie from the USA.

In 2006 Dante Fox recruited new bass player Mike Dagnall (Hope n Glory. Max Bacon Band) and Keyboard player/ guitarist Roman Wieckowski and began to record their third album at Mad Hat Studios. This album is not only their strongest album to date, high in the individual performance factor, but also features some very mature songwriting. The title track on the new album “Under The Seven Skies” boasts the combined songwriting talents of the new line-up and is the first song finished and written as a team. This happens to be an Nine minite epic with string arrangements, classic Brian May-esque harmony guitars and, as normal, Sue’s passionate vocals.

The first track recorded “Breakin me Down” has had heavy rotation on Steve Price’s Show on ARFM with great reaction and support.The new album”Under The Seven Skies” was released on Frontiers Records and Dante Fox have been busy in support of the album touring with Wig Wam,Danny Vaughn and even appearing at the Z Rock festival as special guests to label mates House Of Lords.The band are currently in rehearsals writing material for the Fourth album with US Keyboard ace Eric Ragno. Sue, Tim and Andy thank everyone who visits these pages and they look forward to seeing you late 2011 with the brand new Fourth album.

The Fourth album Lost Man’s Ground released in October 2012 at the band’s appearance at Firefest. This featured a new rhythm section Andy Perfect (Drums) and Alan Mills (Bass), and also Alessandro Del Vecchio on backing vocals and Eric Ragno on keyboards. In June 2012 a magical night was experienced opening for US band Night Ranger in London. This year ended with a much anticipated performance at Firefest and a great slot at Hard Rock Hell.

Sue Willetts was voted 19 in the top 50 Female vocalists of all time in Classic Rock Magazine alongside Ann Wilson and Cher and the band performed at HRH AOR (Tesla, FM ) Hard Rock Hell Ibiza and a very successful tour with Romeo’s Daughter. After their performance at HRH AOR 3 2015 time was spent writing and recording material for a new album.

The new album Breathless was recorded with Mark Stuart/Sheena Sheer and mixed and mastered at M2 Studio’s UK in May 2016 by Sheena Sear (Magnum). The album also features Keyboardist Eric Ragno and vocalist Lee Small who sang harmony backing vocals. Dante Fox are very excited to be working with AOR Heaven on Breathless and looking forward to presenting the new album to their fans on its release date of 26th August 2016.

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– Under Suspicion [1996]
– The Fire Within [1999]
– Under The Seven Skies [2007]
– Lost Man’s Ground [2012]
– Breathless [2016]

 

 

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