After having been heard, drumming with Toni Basil’s band by composer, Danny Elfman and his longtime orchestrator, Steve Bartek,Johnny Vatos Hernandez was hired as a session drummer on Elfman’s first film score, “The Forbidden Zone”. Hernandez joined the original lineup of the famous band, Oingo Boingo, a position he held for seventeen years, until their breakup in 1995. During that time, the band released eight albums, toured the world and played thousands of concerts.
After the breakup of Oingo Boingo, Hernandez joined the band, Tito and Tarantula and was featured in the Robert Rodriguez film, “From Dusk Till Dawn.” He had a rewarding time, touring Europe with Tito until 911, but at that point, he decided to return to Los Angeles to play jazz again. In the 1990s, Hernandez returned to regular session work for composers, like Jason Johnson, Steve Bartek and Bear McCreary. He was the drummer for Bear McCreary’s hugely popular “Battlestar Galactica” live orchestra concerts.
For the past seven years, Hernandez has been touring with his own, Boingo Dance Party, a high energy, wild Oingo Boingo music show that features former members of Oingo Boingo. As well, Hernandez is the drummer for the Don Kubec Big Band and recently formed his own avant-garde group, Vlatko, featuring composer and arranger, Michael Vlatkovich on trombone (with whom Hernandez has played professionally for the past forty years). Vlatkovich is one of the leading talents among the Los Angeles improvisational scene. Playing unrestricted free style music always will be good for Hernandez’s soul.