(Producer / Rock Artist)
Since releasing his first recording “El Gran Orgo” with the El Paso, Texas band At the Drive-In, Tony Hajjar has established himself as one of the most exciting and influential drummers & composers of the modern era.
With his aggressive drumming and spectacular spasmodic display of skill, Tony quickly became a force to be reckoned with, going head-to-head with At the Drive-In’s front-man for top showmanship during their legendary live shows. With Tony, what you see and what you hear, is what you get: uninhibited ambition.
Born on August 17, 1974 in Beirut, Lebanon. Tony migrated with his family to El Paso, Texas in 1979 during the Lebanese Civil War. The progressive exposure to American pop-culture in subsequent years inevitably lead to music and the flame was sparked after his cousin introduced him to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Blizzard of Oz” album. Yet, it wasn’t until he heard Tommy Lee’s drumming in Motley’s Crue’s “Shout at the Devil,” album where his destiny in music was sealed and playing drums would become Tony’s primary medium of artistic expression, recording and touring all over the world.
In 1996, after graduating college with a degree in Chemistry/Mathematics, Tony joined local El Paso band At the Drive-In and thus he began his music career in quintessential DIY fashion--recording EPs and a relentless and stubborn touring schedule in the US. A small gig in Los Angeles, earned them their first recording contract, with indie label Fearless Records. The next six years were spent touring, recording and releasing EPs and full-length albums with the band’s most successful album “Relationship of Command” released in 2000 on Grand Royal Records. Soon thereafter due to internal and external pressure, At The Drive In disbanded, separating the members into two different camps.
Immediately after the break-up Tony along with ATDI guitarist Jim Ward and Paul Hinojos formed Sparta. They released the EP “Austere” and within the year they inked a deal with DreamWorks and released their full-length debut “Wiretap Scars” which featured the fan-favorite and signature encore song “Air.”
Two years later the band released the ambitious “Porcelain,” which found the band experimenting with orchestral strings working along side industry legend Suzie Katayama (who has worked with the likes of Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Prince & the Revolution). After the release of “Porcelain,” Sparta toured as the opening act for Incubus followed by their own headlining tour with a stop at the Coachella Music Festival where the band performed in front of a crowd of 50,000 as the third headlining act before the much anticipated Pixies reunion and headliner Radiohead.
In 2006 the band released their third album “Threes,” which featured the hit “Taking Back Control” and the epic “Translations” which featured Merry Clayton (famous for her duet on the Rolling Stone’s “Give Me Shelter.”) on backing vocals. “Threes” kept the band on the road for over a year.
Tony has been instrumental in the co-writing of songs with both and ATDI and Sparta. As well as being dedicated to his Los Angeles community with the same enthusiasm as his own music, by producing other Los Angeles area artists.
After being involved in post-production and directing the ATDI video for the track “Invalid Litter Department,” Tony upped the ante by producing the autobiographical short film “Eme Nakia” which told of his family’s remarkable experience fleeing their home in Lebanon during the country’s civil war of 1975-1990. The independent film received critical acclaim and was featured in the 2006 Los Angeles Short-Film Festival and ran at a Laemmle theater before being released as a bonus disc on Sparta’s third album, “Threes.”
After some much needed time off, Tony began composing with the goals of eventually getting the music out in film and tv. He was eventually hired to play percussion/drums on a movie trailer disk and that is where he began his time writing music for movie trailers. Tony has had music in hundreds of movie trailers that include Spiderman, Thor, Saw, Lincoln, Homeland, Batman, Red Sparrow, Jurassic Park and many more.
In 2015 Tony and his writing partner finished the score for Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Which was a score that included over 230 minutes of music. From that project, ideas started circling of starting a band that also could work in the cinematic space. That is where Gone is Gone was born. A band started by Hajjar, Mike Zarin, Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, A Perfect Circle) and Troy Sanders (Mastodon). Since then the band has released a self titled EP, a full length Ecolocation, and a 7” called Phantom Limb. The band is currently writing a new record at Hajjar’s studio in Los Angeles.
In October 2015 through 2018, At the Drive In reignited for a three year working cycle that included multiple World Tours and producing the critically acclaimed full length called In-ter-alia and the Diamanté EP.
He continues to master his craft in his Los Angeles studio as a performer, producer and composer.
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