Former Anthrax star Dan Spitz is struggling to cope raising two autistic children, insisting he feels like a prisoner in his own house because it's a challenge to go anywhere with the kids. The musician, who has five-year-old twin sons Brendan and Jaden with wife Candi, is currently touring the U.S. with Megadeth's Dave Mustaine in support of their 2012 album Red Lamb.
The rocker has opened up about his inspiration behind the record, revealing most of the tracks were borne out the frustration he experienced dealing with the boys' developmental disorder.
He tells Metal Assault Radio, "You feel my pain in all the other songs because it transcended into whatever the topic may be that Dave and I wrote about. It's all a piece of me. The place I was in when I wrote this album is not a good place to be.
"My daily life is hell. We're locked in our house most of the time as prisoners. There are chains on our doors. When our kids get outside they don't know their name - they cannot transition simply from inside the house to getting in the car. They could literally have what we call meltdowns. Someone else's child might have temper tantrums, but ours are brought on very severe, and it could just happen with a change in pattern in their daily lives. The pattern has to be exactly the same. To get themselves in the car is a major transition for them, to the extent that they can really throw themselves on the driveway and try to injure themselves. They can't handle it. The police are called, and they think quite often that we're trying to hit our kid or something like that. It has to be explained to the officer that they have autism."
And Spitz admits he's lucky Mustaine has been so supportive of his difficult family life: "Dave has stayed in my house and he has held our children, so he knows the pain that I live through. He knows what it's all about. He understood that my time can be stopped at any moment when there's a disaster at home that I need to take care of, and that comes first. Other producers might not have understood that because they don't understand the autism world. My world operates differently. So Dave has played a large role in getting the feeling and anger that I feel inside out there."