Interview with Tony Hernando

Tony Hernando live

Spain’s guitar virtuoso, Tony Hernando, recently released a blistering live CD/DVD combo entitled TH III Live! as his fourth solo release, which also featured power drummer Mike Terrana. Metal Express Radio was ecstatic to get some time with the guitarist himself to talk about the live package as well as forthcoming plans!

Metal Express Radio: Hello Tony! Thanks for taking the time to speak with Metal Express Radio and your fans.

Tony Hernando: Thanks to you too! It’s a pleasure for me!

MER: The combined live CD/DVD package was a great idea. Was the release originally planned to be such a package from the start of the project?

Tony: At least in my mind it was, but I also knew that would be expensive and difficult, since I didn’t have anybody taking care of the pre-production and the filming, etc. I just told the camera guys what to do and stuff while I was on tour, so I wanted to record and film the last show of the tour, but I really didn’t know if it would work for releasing it properly!

MER: With only three studio albums under your belt, what was the driving force behind doing a live CD now?

Tony: The force was the album III where Mike and I got a great vibe and completed some of our best performances with many songs that we really knew were going to sound even better in a live situation, like “Now,” “Into The Black,” “The Wakening,” and “Truer Than Ever.” So having Mike Terrana for doing the promo tour for III was a good chance for doing something like this.

MER: When you were putting together this live CD/DVD project, did you have a say in what “bonus features” were to be included?

Tony: During the process, I found very good performances from other shows, so I came out with the idea of making an extra CD with different songs and some bonus remixes and even a couple of completely new songs! “More value for the money,” I guess they used to say!

MER: In the “Behind The Scenes” footage, it looked like you did your own sound check and it seemed like you seemed persistent on getting things to your liking. Is this typical for you, or were you being extra cautious given the live recording was going to be done?

Tony: It is like that more or less, but that day, especially, because I just wanted to be sure about the sound onstage and forget as much as possible about the filming. It was going to be “one take, now or never,” you know, so I didn’t want to fuck up anything! We didn’t have an extra night for extra filming!

MER: Mike Terrana is a powerhouse live… he almost steals the show from you on the DVD. How is it to play alongside Mike live?

Tony: I don’t agree with “almost steal …,” but I don’t mind if you think so! That’s because Mike is very energetic live, and I love that fact and I wanted to capture it in the movie. I’m definitely not an ego guy, and I told the video guys to go as much as they could after Mike’s spotlights without screwing with my main performance.

MER: Most of the time Mike Terrana can be seen on the DVD without a shirt (LOL). When he’s playing live, his facial expressions seem to indicate he’s very serious. Is this how his personality is?

Tony: He plays more comfortable almost naked, so its cool, but although he is pretty serious about playing as best as he can, he is a very funny guy, making a lot of jokes all the time. We know each other pretty well and its been fantastic… never an argument, never a bad feeling. But, considering its my music and my band I must be the leader and guide everybody to get the best from all of us, and also to keep the cool vibe around us. It’s not easy sometimes when I’m also the tour manager and I have to take care of many other things outside music.

MER: “Time To Believe” was a bonus studio cut on the live CD and it features you doing some vocal work. Is this an indication of the next step for your music (i.e., adding vocals)?

Tony: Not really, it was a last minute thing, and I’m writing a lot of material oriented for a singer, but it will not be me. I hope I’ll find a great singer for this, but I’m also writing instrumental songs. The thing is that I’m really always going further in terms of compositions, performances, etc. Whatever I come out with, you can bet it’s going to be different and better, as I’ve done with all my previous records. I will never record an album that sounds like the previous one… its just not exciting for me.

MER: Are there any other live tour plans for Tony Hernando?

Tony: Well, I’d like to arrange another GuitarFest tour with some of my friends sharing the bill, but this requires a lot of time in advance and Mike is also pretty busy and with some important changes right now, so I don’t know yet.

MER: When can fans expect the next studio release by Tony Hernando? Has work begun on it? Any thoughts to who else will perform on it?

Tony: It depends on a few factors, but I’ve started writing material. Then, I will make a selection and demos, and after that I will try to get the right musicians and get into the studio.

MER: Any other side projects with other musicians in the works?

Tony: Yes, I’m always open to work with anyone who has the same goals, music likes, and professionalism, but it depends on schedules, budgets … we’ll see.

MER: Who were some of your musical influences?

Tony: In the very beginning bands like Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Ozzy, great songs, great guitarists … then I found Yngwie and that was crucial, cause I actually started with Classical guitar and that was an inspiration for making something between Rock and Classical; my initial passions. But, I did find it very limiting and even boring, that Neo-Classical style, after a while and I moved to other directions, like Fusion and Blues. I’ve learned from so many styles and guitarists, I think it’s good to be versatile.

MER: What’s in your CD player at this moment?

Tony: I only listen to music in my car. I have always had some of the latest releases combined with some old classics … right now I have the last Europe album with some early Ozzy/Randy stuff and Van Halen.

MER: Any last words for your fans?

Tony: Thanks so much for the support, for buying music in these difficult days, and I hope we’ll be doing some shows in the USA soon. Anyone who’s coming to L.A. and the Namm show next January can find me at the booths of Ibanez, Bogner, and RebelStraps and we can have a chat!


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.