TONY PORTARO guitars/vocals
TONY got his first guitar at age 5. His adoptive parents were supportive of his passion for music and entertaining. He began playing in bands with friends at age 15, and after graduating from Clifton High School, he entered Berklee College of Music in Boston. At Berklee, TONY learned the principals and theory of music. He began writing original material, and seeking talented band mates. Discovering the depth and complexity of composing thrash metal, his career as the vocalist and guitarist of WHIPLASH began in 1984.
After submitting a demo tape and receiving offers from several record labels, the WHIPLASH power trio of the three TONYs — Portaro, Scaglione and Bono — signed with the Roadrunner label in 1985. WHIPLASH first hit the road in the US with the debut album, "Power And Pain," and followed it with "Ticket To Mayhem" and a European tour.
TONY always believed in music first. Assembling different musicians, to achieve his musical vision, brought many personnel changes to the ranks of WHIPLASH. Four subsequent records were released, with three to five members in each lineup: "Insult to Injury," "Sit, Stand, Kneel, Prey," "Cult of One," and "Thrashback." While acknowledging the talent and contribution of the band members he worked with, TONY strived to create the right musical fit for WHIPLASH.
Taking time off from the band between 1999 and 2009, TONY turned his musical interests toward studio work and family. Then in 2009, ready to record more thrash, and recognizing the WHIPLASH fan preference for the early recordings that featured his vocals, TONY started up WHIPLASH as a three-piece once again. The seventh release, "Unborn Again," brought WHIPLASH on a round of touring, reigniting fan interest in Europe and South America.
With the opportunity to devote more time to music, TONY sought to strengthen the old school thrash sound. He recruited the talents of an acclaimed, precision-timing drummer, Dan Foord, and a veteran, local scene bassist, Dank DeLong. This power trio produced the tight, focused, thrashing unit that TONY envisioned. 2011–2012 saw WHIPLASH on tour to more South American and European cities, performing old school, classic WHIPLASH songs.
TONY PORTARO - THEN & NOW
With thrash popularity resurging world-wide, WHIPLASH steadily performed shows and festivals to new fans, and older fans who brought their thrashing children with them.
The excitement of the WHIPLASH sound again brought the attention of promoters and labels, and TONY's passion for thrash refueled an interest in writing new material, although the metalheads continued to request the old school classic WHIPLASH songs.
Giving the headbangers what they want, TONY keeps bringing his power-trio sound to metalheads young and old everywhere in the thrash world.