Recently(January 2018), while visiting the LA/Anaheim area for the great NAMM Show in California, I found myself at
the legendary Whiskey A Go Go where I chanced upon a short performance by a young guitarist, originally from
Guatemala named Hedras Ramos.
At the show he was hailed as one of the top guitarists in the world. Of course this kind of reference peaked my
skeptical curiosity and I paid close attention to him. After watching him throw down a blistering solo to a classic Skid
Row tune I decided I wanted to talk to this guy.
After talking to him, doing a little bit of research, listening to his music and watching some YouTube videos, it is clear
to me that this guy is the real deal.
Here we discuss his career from his early beginnings to his current status and projects.
I want to go back to your earliest beginnings.
At what age did you begin to take an interest in music?
It was very early, my dad is a musician, so I was exposed to
music since I was a baby.
I remember being fascinated by Drums when I was 6 years old, I
even took some Drum lessons by local drummers, but then
something happened and I started getting attracted more to
guitar, there were more guitars in the house and my dad
listened a lot to guitar players, so it was a very natural switch
for me, but it wasn't until I was 13 when I really decided to be a
guitar player and started studying by myself with tons of
instructional material my dad had in the house.
Can you tell us how your interest in music turned to
I remember very clearly being in the car with my dad on my way to school, listening to all these guitar players my
dad liked and I was like this music is so good and it was mainly rock, instrumental guitar music, so I grew up
listening to high gain amps played by great players with killer band loud bands.
Who/what were your primary influences as you began your journey on the guitar?
Everything started with Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and John Petrucci!
Listening to G3 and watching the live videos of these guys was like my bible for a good chunk of my life, specially
my high school years!
Then I started listening to bands from grunge to more heavy metal music that really got me! I also must confess
that in recent years I find myself studying lots of jazz, transcribing and exploring different sounds and then just
balancing my nerdy diet with some mainstream pop music. So, I honestly just really love music and playing music.
How did you learn to play, lessons? Self taught? Other?
I'm completely Self-taught, aside from the Pentatonic scale my dad taught when I was a kid. I remember being
obsessed in my room after school studying and practicing for even more than 7 hours just to nail and achieve
those super licks on the videos my dad had! I went thru lineal study which is basically split your routine/time into
specific things like 1 hour of any specific technique, 1 hour of chords, then 1 hour of learning a new tune, etc!
|Hedras Ramos perforing with Moriah Formica at the Whiskey A Go Go in LA
I was very nerdy, now my study routine is more abstract which is basically
sitting down and exploring specific sounds just to find and develop my own
language into specific harmonies and then adapting my language to actual
music and changes I like, and for sure lots of transcribing, and composing my
own music where I feel free to blend everything I like and just be me!
At what point did you begin working on creating your own original
My interest in composing started at a very young age I remember being 13
and already exploring the instrument and composing little songs in a very old
computer using Audacity, some people may know about that! So, exploring
sounds, putting together stuff that sounded fun to me and made sense was
something that I started doing as soon as I learned my first 3 chords and the
Is there a particular process or formula to composing/writing your music?
No, there is not, it's very abstract, sometimes it happens by mistake or just playing around with the instrument
until something cool happens. At the beginning when I was a small kid, sometimes I didn't even know what key
the song was in, and I didn't care, to be honest, it was pure experimenting, but now that I know more about
harmony I have more control over what I'm writing and I know what specific sound and by its name I'm hearing it
in my head, so it's cool!
Also, it happens by really emotional inspiration and feelings, I've been writing ideas on quiet and dark midnights,
with just the unplugged sound of my electric guitar and not getting help from any other gear or ambiances, I just
really love that honest inspiration that comes from nowhere and makes me start making music. I also have
experienced that nerdy side where I know exactly every chord and sound I'm using and putting everything on
purpose just to create a musical idea or a firm statement, so yes, it happens in so many ways.
No project, solo, or full band can truly be done by oneself. What can you tell us about the people who
appear on your recordings (drums, bass, guests, etc.)?
On my latest album, "The Impressionist", I had Anup Sastry on drums, a really killer player with a huge tone, and
also Simon Grove on Bass, who plays for Plini, and many others. I also had special guests Plini and Martin Miller,
make sure you check out this album, it's available everywhere!
On my previous album "Atoms and Space", I had Billy Ashbaugh on drums, he played for Justin Timberlake,
Britney Spears and many others, and my dad Hedras Ramos Sr. on Bass. On this album I also had killer guests
like Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson), Andy James and Muris Varajic.
What can you tell us about the recording process for your latest release "The Impressionist"?
Everything was composed by me, back in Guatemala!
Some of those tunes are kind of old even if they sound modern,
some of them were composed maybe back in 2013 and 2014,
but it took me some time to make this album happen, because I
wanted specific gear on my home studio to record this album
that didn't have at that time, so it took me a long time to save to
buy that; the recording process of drums and bass also took
some time, everything was done over the internet, these guys
recorded everything at their own studios and then sent me the files to record my final guitars, then mix and lastly
mastering, which I did with Ermin Hamidovic in Australia.
What are your plans for the near future?
Now there I just to moved to LA, I want to play and tour as much as I can!
Also, I need to finish the new album I'm working on, and just get out there with a killer band and play from
rock/metal to jazz and fusion!
Beside world domination, what are your long term goals?
I wanna tour the world, play hundreds of shows, play my own music, but also collaborate with musicians and
artists I like, and just enjoy all of it!
Who in the music world would you most like to work with at some point in your career?
I'm really open to playing with people that make good music, I'm not closed minded when it comes to music genres or styles, I even
love electronic music and hip-hop, and also being part of a killer band to tour the world would be sick.
I would love to play with my guitar heroes too, like Satriani, Vai, and Petrucci!
Can you tell us much about the album you are currently working on? What kind of vibe or genre will it most relate to?
Next album is still instrumental guitar driven. There are a couple of Prog Metal tunes, but there are also a couple of tunes where I
started to integrate some electronic textures, sounds, and rhythms! Drums were recorded already and the bass is being tracked now,
guitars and everything else is done! So I think this album might see the light of the sun this year 2018!!
Have you appeared on many other artists recordings so far? If so, can you tell us about that (who, what albums or
I've worked on many projects, from Fusion and Metal to Hip-Hop from artists in the USA and Europe, but one project that really stands
out is all the stuff I did for Sir Christopher Lee, a British actor that for sure you watched at the movies The Lord of the Rings / The
Hobbit (Saruman) or Star Wars as Count Dooku! For this album titled "Charlemagne: The Omens of Death", I recorded all the guitars
and my father did the bass, I also composed 2 songs for the same album. This album hit the Top Charts in the UK when launched
about 5 or 6 years ago.
I have appeared not precisely on another artists recordings, but on a massive advertising campaign back in Guatemala in 2016
where Super Cola (Guatemala's own response to Pepsi and Coke) where more than 8 million cans of soda were sold nationwide.