Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax — the big four of heavy metal — might soon have to make room for Lance Barnewold and his Middle Village-based band, Fate Breaks Dawn.
Barnewold is the new kid on the block in the competitive world of the music industry. Born and raised in Middle Village, Barnewold is determined to become an established guitarist. He spends eight hours a day practicing and sometimes even plays with metal royalty.
“I knew I wanted a career in music when I had my first jam session with Albert Bouchard, the original drummer of Blue Oyster Cult, and metal icon Ross ‘The Boss’ Friedman,” Barnewold recalled of his experience as a 14-year-old.
Ross says that Barnewold is quickly moving up the ranks.
“Lance is truly becoming a world class musician,” said Ross. “Lance and his band, Fate Breaks Dawn, really have a bright future ahead.”
With mentoring from rock legends like Ross and others, Barnewold has started off on the right foot.
“It all started when my uncle taught me how to play guitar,” said Barnewold, who has been playing since 13. “I enjoyed myself so much that I knew I was going to have a career in music one day. After coming in second place in the EMG Metallica Challenge, I knew I could get somewhere in the music industry.”
The EMG Metallica Challenge is a contest where contestants put videos on YouTube of themselves covering Metallica songs with EMG-equipped guitars. Barnewold was up against thousands of contestants. The band members of Metallica served as judges, and the winner received a $4,000 prize package.
In November 2012, Barnewold formed his current band, Fate Breaks Dawn. He met the other members in his hometown. “When you love music you find other people who are just as passionate about it,” he said. “That is how I met my band — we all just clicked.”
They’ve quickly made a name for themselves in the local music scene. In 2013, at New York City’s legendary music venue Webster Hall, the band opened up for Orianthi and Alice Cooper.
“It was one of the best feelings in the world knowing that I played on the same stage as the legendary Alice Cooper,” said Barnewold.
Barnewold and his band have also played other big venues like the Gramercy Theatre, Six Flags, Irving Plaza, the Zebra Club, the Knitting Factory and the Roseland Ballroom. To most musicians that sounds like a résumé that most established rock stars have.
“Lance is a great musician. The sound of his playing draws you and all who are watching him into his world of music by his guitar strings,” said Rosa Porcaro, an avid fan of Fate Breaks Dawn.
Recently, the band released its first CD on iTunes. They have not signed with a label yet, but Barnewold says the band is currently in talks with multiple agencies about a deal.
Barnewold’s pursuit of a career hasn’t been all glamorous, however. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of hard work.
“The most stressful part of being a musician is the time and money that it takes to become successful. If you want to be a musician you have to have another job on the side,” Barnewold said.
When he’s not jamming with his band, Barnewold works at a glass company with his father.
Barnewold’s job at Serenity Glass is what pays his bills until he becomes a full-time musician. The money he makes goes toward funding his music career.
“The most important people that back you up are not superstars, but your family,” Barnewold said.
Most families would be skeptical about their child putting it all on the line for music. But Barnewold said his whole entire family — father, mother and two brothers — helps him with his career.
“My family helps me try to achieve the best, but my father is the one who really pushes me to succeed,” he said. “He is my band’s manager, supplies all my gear and gives me all the moral support I need.”
Barnewold said he continues to pursue his dream not for fame and fortune but rather because he’s passionate about his music.
“I just want to be able to make a comfortable living playing music, but my ultimate dream is to be one of the greatest metal bands of all time,” he said. “I would be okay with either.”
He added, “When you get on the stage and see all those people looking at you in the crowd, it’s nice to know that everyone is having just as much fun as I am.”
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