Artwork by Suzanne LaFleur

Suzanne’s Circle: Spotlight On Legendary Rock Singer Tony Harnell

Suzanne’s Circle is very excited to present its premiere spotlight on Tony Harnell, the American rock singer whose career began three decades ago and shows no signs of slowing down. His bio sketches a telling portrait of the artist’s unique career and one-of-a-kind voice.

Tony Harnell

Tony Harnell

Tony Harnell’s voice is likely the most powerful you’ll discover this year. Or should we say rediscover. With nearly 30 albums under his belt, he’s no stranger to the world of rock and has a distinctive voice with a range and strength that few other can achieve. Tony brings decades of stage experience – most notably as the lead singer of the Norwegian hardrockers TNT, during their most successful years – as well as a multitude of distinguished awards. Among them are numerous gold and platinum awards; sold out concerts worldwide; 5 top requested MTV videos; as well as a Grammy in Norway for “Rock Album of the Year.”  The beauty of the human voice, particularly in one so talented and diverse, is that it continues to grow and Tony taps into new and old influences alike to bring a richness found only in those who truly evolve. As one of his fans recently said “most voices, I just hear – and like or don’t like – but Tony’s voice you feel. It buries into your soul and rests like a nugget of musical gold.” If you haven’t heard Tony sing recently, prepare yourself to be impressed. Driven by his life-long love of music – not the fame – he pulls his listener in with his warm and honest approach and personality. Hearing Tony live is anything but commercial, indeed one leaves feeling as if they’ve been invited to a private affair and blessed by the voice of genius. You may not yet have heard of Tony Harnell, but once you do, you’ll never forget him. Be careful, he may just become your new favorite singer, it happens all the time! Look for concerts and brand new music in 2013!

Tony is placing current focus on his new band, Tony Harnell and the Wildflowers featuring Bumblefoot.  A cancer survivor himself, Tony uses his high-profile image to generate awareness and support for cancer related causes.  Working on creating and releasing the band’s new EP, Tony has aligned his latest project with Pledge Music, an online platform that allows fans to help their favorite artists.  He is donating 20% of the money raised after he reaches his goal to Metavivor, an organization committed to providing research, support, and hope to those affected by metastatic breast cancer.  Tony lost his mother to breast cancer in 2009.  He sees this project as a way for people to form new and stronger bonds in order to fight the disease.

Cancer affects everyone since I truly have not met anyone who has not lost someone to cancer or know of someone who is suffering from the disease.  It has become like the thread through all of our lives that connects us and makes us one.  It is time we pull together and do what we can to fight this disease and you can enjoy great music at the same time.

Tony took the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us and answer a few questions.

You have been an influential fixture on the rock music scene for a while now. What keeps you creatively inspired?

Tony:  Life. It’s an adventure and I try to express the highs and lows through my music and lyrics. Also, I tend to latch on to various artists – both new and the classics and draw different things from them as well.

Do you feel that being a musical artist has any influence on the way that you look at and experience visual art?

Tony:  Sure. Visual presentation is a big part of what I do. From album covers to clothes and web presence, which is a particular challenge for me.  But I grew up around music and art so it all seems very relatable to me.

You recently visited Suzanne’s studio. Were there any particular qualities of her work with which you connected?

Tony:  I think her freedom of expression was what hit me the most. I love that about any artist and my favorite musicians tend to also have that quality. Pure expression of emotion is always the best art.

Can you tell us about your current project, Tony Harnell and the Wildflowers featuring Bumblefoot? Looking back, do you see it as being any different from your earlier work?

Tony:  For sure. In many ways, I think this will be the most daring thing that I have ever done. It’s not what people expect from me and the songs are very personal and unusual for an artist who comes from my background. I am already proud of it and it is not even finished yet.

Do you have any shows or events in sight that you would like to tell us about?

Poster for Show at Cutting Room on Friday, January 18th

Poster for Show at Cutting Room on Friday, January 18th

Tony:  We have a show at the new Cutting Room on January 18th that we’re excited about. And then I have a week out in LA for the NAMM convention where I’ll be performing almost every day, both with my group and with other known artist.  So a busy month ahead. Then we’ll be finishing a CD we’re working on in February and more shows in March and April and beyond….

For information on Tony Harnell and the Wildflowers featuring Bumblefoot’s upcoming show at the Cutting Room, visit:

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