Interview With Former Lizzy Borden/Current Generation Aliens Guitarist Gene Allen (Duarte) By Thomas Amoriello Jr.
Posted by NinaBRR on April 04 2020 07:58:49


Visual Truth

Interview With Former Lizzy Borden/Current Generation Aliens Guitarist Gene Allen (Duarte)

By Thomas Amoriello Jr.

Boston Rock Radio

City of Angels based band Lizzy Borden circa mid-1980's was known for shock rock imagery and was musically closer to the Iron Maiden/Judas Priest dueling guitar frenzy with a west coast swagger. The front man and namesake was a real life theatrical horror short with an Elton John versus Freddie Mercury charm that wielded a wood chopping axe, and then some.  Metal Blade Records was home base to the quintet that eventually landed videos on MTV as well as screen time in The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988).  Gene Allen (Gene Duarte) was a mainstay in the guitar position clocking in more hours of stage and studio on the 6 string than any other guitarist during what many consider to be the band's "classic era.”  The Max Norman produced single, “Me Against the World” was, and probably is, the band's biggest hit with Headbangers Ball rotation and Hair Nation airplay.  The group is still active and as theatrical as ever, but as a quartet with vocalist Lizzy Borden and his brother drummer Joey Scott remaining as the only original members.  Gene Allen has not been a part of the group since 1988 and recently started a new venture called Generation Aliens.  There is a special opportunity for musicians to submit an EPK to audition and work with Gene as details are discussed later in this article.  Boston Rock Radio would like to thank Gene Duarte aka Gene Allen for this exclusive interview.  One that the guitarist stated is his first in many years.

Lizzy Borden - Visual Lies | TShirtSlayer TShirt and BattleJacket ...

Lizzy Borden was a shock rock heavy metal band that came out at a time when Alice Cooper and Kiss were at a low point and W.A.S.P. was new and all of this was a decade before Marilyn Manson.  Looking back, do you feel there was an adequate balance between the stage show and the actual music being performed?

Yes, we had that balance because Lizzy would deal with the stage show concepts and the band would focus on musicianship, for Visual Lies. Joe (Holmes) and I would mix up the harmony guitar parts, we didn't always play upper/lower 3rd(s) guitar harmonies but would mix it up within the same harmony solo guitar parts, the solo harmony parts in "Voyeur" is a good example of that, sometimes it was 4th's or 5th's as well as 3rd's for the harmony parts. Of course that must have given players fits trying to figure that out (could be why LB never played the song live after Joe & I left.) 


Lizzy Borden: Archives- Live at the Roxy Theater 1986


You were the guitarist from 83-88 and saw Tony Matuzak, Alex Nelson, and Joe Holmes come and go in the band.  What do you attribute to your longevity at the time?

I don't know why I was able to last while others did not.   Tony got out of hand sometimes and maybe got on Lizzy's nerves one to many times.  Alex is a bit of an enigma to me about what happened with him and why he was out, maybe Mike Davis might be able to shed some light on that subject.  Joe & I left at the same time... why??? I hate dig'n up old graves these days so we'll just have to let sleeping dogs lie. As for how I was able to stick around? I had great song ideas, a positive vibe most of the time, always willing to work with everybody, but towards the end I started rock'n the boat a bit and that's never a good thing but sometimes happens in the form of progress.


Lizzy Borden "Give 'Em the Axe" (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

 Who were some of your guitar influences when you were learning to play your instrument?

Jimi Hendrix, Uli Roth, EVH, Randy Rhoads, Michael Schenker, Steve Howe, KK & Glen Tipton, Adrian Smith, and Dave Murray.


Lizzy Borden was an early group on the Metal Blade Records label.  Do you have fond memories of working with them?

No, not really.. but I do like Brian Slagel. I met him years before he started Metal Blade. He used to run "Oz Records'' in the valley where I used to buy all of my NWBHM records. I do remember Metal Blade using strippers and groupies to do radio promo and other office work in the early days. lol  Office eye candy I guess for everybody. 


The Murderess Metal Road Show was released as a VHS concert back in the day.  Was that your first time being filmed in a live professional setting?

Yes, great experience for the band. We had a good high energy show going by then and better stage props, but it looks like later release of the DVD has some different edits going on. 


Visual Lies was a great album looking back but perhaps not as heavy as the changing climate on the LA scene and elsewhere in the metal world.  What is a fond moment that you have from those recording sessions working with the legendary Max Norman?

Max was rad!  Learned so much from him, worth every penny (he wasn't cheap).  Yes, some metal bands got darker, more heavy, d-tuned guitars etc, but we just did our thing and not really tried to follow this or that sound. The fond memory is, I learned how to get a great guitar sound.  When Max left the room I would look at the mixing board and study what frequency and bandwidth settings he was using.  All of these guys have their secrets and tricks they don't tell ya, so then right before he walks back in the room I jump back to my seat and check guitar tuning (or act like it). We shipped a couple of Joe's (Holmes) special Jose "modded" Marshall heads and cabs w/25watt Greenbacks. Guitar tone was kill'n it!  Max backed off the gain to get more clarity, it sounds clean but you do lose some of that metal chunk as well.

 Did you leave the band after that tour? There was confusion as to whether Master of Disguise was a band effort or solo effort from the singer similar to what happened previously in the Alice Cooper camp and later in Marilyn Manson.  

I need to say it is not my intent to paint anybody in a bad light or way. The story of my departure and why is a sensitive one, not for myself but for others really.  And the last time I spilled the beans about this in an Japanese mag interview back in the day Lizzy got all bent out of shape over it.  Plus it was so long ago it doesn't even matter what happened at this point in time (for me anyways).  I had no part in any songs from MOD (Master of Disguise), from what I heard on the album some of the songs were rejects that never made it on Visual Lies or other past Lizzy Borden albums. Lizzy was, and is, able to write a complete song without other guitar players around.   He's a great lyricist for sure and can play guitar good enough to get a basic chord structure. Master Of Disguise songs don't have the guitar part sophistication that Joe & I would deliver so that is missing, but hardcore fans still dig it and I'm happy to see it paid off for Lizzy in the long run. 

 Have you played music and guitar often since that point of no longer being involved?

 That's a long story... we'll cover that next time.  At one point late in life I pulled a Jay Adams (Dogtown) and walked away from the music world and biz. Had to do some soul searching, got into the Architecture field for a while, then doing odd jobs, skateboard'n & hang'n at Venice Beach and Santa Monica. In 2018 the manager from a local Venice Beach band "Luicidal" (X-Suicidal Tendencies) called me and informed me they we're look'n for a new guitar player but I was way out of shape and didn't audition.  Six months later he texted me to come meet Louie (the bass player/band leader) but I didn't even text back or show up. Around May of 2019 he called one more time and I said ok send the songs to learn. After going through 18 - 20 songs I let the manager know I'm ready to audition. They have a show in June in Arizona at the Tap Room on a Friday night, so I'm waiting and waiting (while going through guitar boot camp to get back in shape) and no audition, so I figured I wasn't going to AZ.  Thursday night before the gig they call me up "We'll pick you up in the morning to go play AZ". Dude, you guys didn't audition me yet. The manager said "It's ok, we know you can play etc..." So it was kinda like a gang/band initiation I guess to see if you choke on stage lol. The show went good, only a couple of boo boo's on my part but overall it rocked.

Your current project that you have in the works is called Generation Aliens.  Would you like to tell Boston Rock Radio readers about what we have in store in the not too distant future? 

Generation Aliens is a name that is a past Lizzy Borden song title.  It just seemed to fit the vibe with what's going on in the world, I think rock fans and many people in general feel somewhat alienated from society or something. This band is a home for all those people, some will be players and others who enjoy the sound and energy.  Generation Aliens is a 2020 version of the Lizzy Borden early years. I'm producing the session using veteran engineer Barry Conley (Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society) who is great with us, a tone freak guitar players who are very critical on the final mix guitar tone and overall sound. The band will include a keyboard player verses a second guitar player. The new sound will be more progressive and will have a different concept of members moving forward. The project will feature a variety of musicians that will come in and out of the project over time. The music and sound will always be in flux and should keep things interesting for fans who will like to hear what other players will bring to the mix. Hope to have this ready to launch sometime in April 2020. Band artwork, webpage(s) and other details are also in the works. Any pro player male/female can have a shot at being part of this, I might have a West/East Coast team of players, Japanese and European players etc. All players get paid for live gigs (rehearsal and recording sessions are not paid, jam rooms and studios are paid for by Generation Aliens. To join the GA Musician Wolf Pack send your EPK to   We are in mix down mode for 3 songs off "Visual Lies" (things are on hold due to this virus scare campaign).  Then we'll shoot a video and complete the EPK.  I think it may take some time before shows get booked but I will take this on the road and go play live shows so I'll keep ya posted.  The link will be although not officially launched yet, but people can check this link in a couple of weeks to see what's up and get updates, other band pages coming.  I'm also going to release 5 other new never before heard song demos from past projects I worked with, went through some past recordings and found them as well as other new songs ideas to develop. I will have them on iTunes etc, and will have links posted on GA Facebook page ASAP.


Boston Rock Radio Music Journalist Thomas Amoriello Jr. is a heavy metal guitarist, children's picture book author, educator and recording artist who resides in Lambertville, New Jersey, USA. You can learn more about Tom at