Band History
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Silent Witness - A Band History

Silent Witness was started by bass player Hal B. Selzer, and actually came into fruition in the early 1990 s. Hal was the leader of a band well known on the New Jersey music scene, called Adrian Dodz. Adrian Dodz included Hal on bass, John Bushnell on guitar, Joe Nevolo on drums, and Freddy Dodds on lead vocals. The band released a CD in the late 80s on Rock Dream/Relativity Records. The critically acclaimed CD received great reviews in all the major music industry publications, including Billboard, Metal Forces, The Hard Report, the CMJ Music Journal, and Burrn Magazine.

In fact, it received a 5-star rating in Burrn Magazine s Demolition review section. The CD also featured guest appearances from Joe Zukowsky, keyboard player with Prophet, and Bobby Bandiera, who is now the guitar player for Jon Bon Jovi s new solo tour and album, entitled Destination Anywhere .

In 1990, Joe Nevolo left the band. Joe was a former member of the band Phantom s Opera, which included Alec Jon Such and, later, Tico Torres, both of Bon Jovi. Joe was replaced in Adrian Dodz by Lance Hyland Stark, who was famous in the local scene for his wild stage show, which includes throwing his sticks 20 feet in the air, playing standing up, and running around the drum kit. Soon after Lance joined, the band started to look for a new lead singer. Lance took Hal to a small club in Clinton, New Jersey, to see Robert Mason, the singer in a local cover band called Magnum. They played songs by Billy Joel and Led Zeppelin, and Robert was a great frontman. Robert had formerly played in a band with guitar virtuoso Stephen Ross, who put out a highly acclaimed solo instrumental album on Shrapnel Records. They soon asked Robert to join Adrian Dodz, and at first Robert was reluctant. He was making good money playing in the cover band, and would have to give that up to play with the original group Adrian Dodz. The first show the new band played was at the famous Limelight Club in New York, to a packed house. The band then played more shows in New York at CBGB s and the China Club, and soon had record company interest. The band signed a deal with Epic Records, but when the A&R vice-president left the label, the band also left the label.

This is when the group started to evolve into Silent Witness. With new material, and a fresh, new sound starting to develop, the band decided to change it s name. The group recorded constantly, all the way up to 1997, even while the members were working on other projects. John put out his own side project, a blues band called Unguided Missile , which sold well in Germany. Lance and Hal recorded with many musicians in and around New York, and released a CD under the name Tenfold . Hal and Lance also toured with Bobby Bandiera, and Hal did some shows with Bobby Chionard and Alan St. John, both long time members of the Billy Squier Band, and Michael Clayton, the drummer of Tyketto. Robert worked on projects with The Pack, which featured members of Prophet, and with The Lynch Mob, featuring George Lynch of Dokken.

He toured as a backup singer with Ozzy Osbourne, and has recently been singing with Cry of Love. When Dean Fasano, the singer of The Message, which featured Richie Sambora and Alec John Such of Bon Jovi, was looking for some songs for a new album, he contacted Hal about some of the Silent Witness recordings. Dean sent them to Khalil Turk of Escape Music, the UK label that put out the first Message CD.

Khalil liked what he heard and contacted Silent Witness about the music. For the second album, Thrills, the group got together with Anthony Lee Fontayne, who had recently returned from Los Angeles, where he recorded with Warrant while Jani Lane was pursuing solo work. Anthony's antics on the Jersey club scene are legendary (he is banned from a few clubs around the state), along with his soaring vocal prowess.

And the rest, as they say, is music history ...

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