Walter Ino is a Los Angeles based stage and studio multi-instrumentalist with decades of touring and recording experience. Currently, he’s the lead guitar player for Eagles of Death Metal. He spent 2011-2017 as a member of the multi-platinum, Grammy award winning band Survivor, playing keyboards, guitars and singing background vocals. He also currently tours as the keyboardist with legendary band The Baby’s and is also musical director and orchestrater for “A Night of Symphony Rock”, “A Night of Symphony Metal” and “Rewind”, a national orchestral rock show featuring Mickey Thomas (Starship, Elvin Bishop), Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Teri Nunn (Berlin), Robin McAuley (Survivor, MSG) and more. You can also see him as a rotating member of the award winning Las Vegas and Branson show “Raiding The Rock Vault” featuring the likes of Howard Leese (Heart, Bad Company), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), Hugh McDonald (Bon Jovi), Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol) and more. And he is also the guitarist for an all star tribute to the music of the band Rush called “A Farewell To Kings” featuring Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, Billy Idol, Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner), Francesco DiCosmo (Thin Lizzy, Evanescense) and Jonathan Sindelman (Alan White band).
Along with that, you can see him as the house keyboardist/guitarist for the world famous Ultimate Jam Night at the legendary Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood every tuesday night with Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter band/The Sweet), Matt Starr (Ace Frehly/Mr. Big), and Sean Mcnabb (Dokken/Lynch Mob). Then later see him playing either keys, guitar or bass with Baked!, a monthly music/comedy show that originated at the world famous Baked Potato, alongside Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa), Brendon Small (Metalocalypse), Pete Griffin (Dr. John,/Generation Axe) and Joe Travers (Zappa Plays Zappa/Duran Duran/Eric Johnson). He also was main keyboardist for the Russian rock ballet, Heart of Storm, which is a global touring show with other band members Doug Aldrich, Tony Franklin, Greg Bissonette, Brent Woods, Rudy Sarzo, Mark Schulman, Katja Rieckermann and more.
History: Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. At the age of 6, Walter started training as a classical pianist. At 8, he did a run of a regional tour of "The King and I" as an actor with Yul Brynner himself. At 9, he started elementary school band, where he played saxaphone throughout his school career. At 14, he studied piano under the head of music at Carnegie Mellon University and tuned his ear to the likes of Mozart, Beethoven and Rachmoninoff, which lead him to performances at churches and halls all over Pennsylvania, as well as St. Petersburg, Russia. It was also at this age when he bought a guitar.
From there, he played with a number of groups. One of which, was the daily entertainment at Kennywood Park, a legendary amusement park outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., where he played six shows a day, playing multiple instruments and styles of music. More bands formed and dissolved which lead him to 7th House, which ended up signing are record deal with Blackbird/Atlantic in 1999. After moving to N.Y.C, and all the tours and attempted radio success, Walter moved back to Pittsburgh to start his own project called Strangeway, releasing two full length CD's and playing shows all over the world. At the same time, he spent his free time producing other regional bands. From that time, he got hired to play and tour with numerous artists such as Survivor, Denny Laine (Wings, Moody Blues), Jack Russell's Great White, LA Guns with Tracii Guns and Philip Lewis, Dilana (Rockstar Supernova), Liz Berlin (Rusted Root), Jenny Galt (rockstar supernova), Radio Tokyo (regional band), Danielle Barbe (independent), Cherish Lee (independent) and many other artists.
You can catch Walter playing in and around the L. A. area on a weekly basis. He plays keys, guitar or bass in weekly bar band gigs along side LA and Orange county's finest musicians, the likes of Dizzy Reed (Guns-n-Roses), Eric Dover (Jellyfish/Slash's Snakepit), Frank Simes (The Who, Roger Daltrey), Yogi Lonich (Buckcherry, Wallflowers, Fuel, Melissa Etherighe), Joe Travers (Billy Idol, Duran Duran, Zappa, Lisa Loeb), Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr. Big), Jude Gold (Jefferson Starship, Jerry Garcia band), Brendon Small (Metalocalypse, Galaktikon), Scotty Griffin (LA Guns), Jimmy Paxson (Stevie Knicks, Ben Harper), Chris Frazier (Foreigner, Whitesnake, Steve Vai), Dan Rothchild (Beck, Melissa Etheridge), Koko Powell (Edgar Winter), Paulie Z (Z02) Shane Soloski (Five for Fighting), Mitch Perry (Lita Ford), Jimmy Keegan (Spock's Beard, Asia), Steve Fekete (Avril Lavigne, Cassidey Pope), Jen Oberle (Vertical Horizon, Five for Fighting), Steve Ferlazzo (Avril Lavigne) and many more. He also runs his own studio "Secret Asian Man Studios" where he has produced many artists of different styles, or just tracked different instruments for many artists. He also plays with his original rock Trio, The Strange West, occasionally in and around L.A.
1) What are you working on now? - “I’ve been playing guitar in the band “Eagles of Death Metal” since last summer, which has been amazing! Probably the funnest band I’ve ever been in! Looking forward to heading to Europe with them this summer! I also still play keyboards for legendary band “The Babys!” I’m also musical director/keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist for a show called “Rewind”, where I score a full 44 piece orchestra playing hits from the 80’s. This show travels all over the country using the local symphony from whichever city we’re in!
And when I’m home in LA, I’m part of the house band every Tuesday night for the award winning Ultimate Jam Night at Whisky A-Go Go!
Other than that, I basically live in my recording studio, Secret Asian Man Studios. Been producing many amazing artists the past few years!”
2) What is your musical background and influences? - “Luckily, I grew up in house filled with music. My parents had Beatles and Elvis playing at all times. My two older brothers started taking piano lessons which made me want to as well. Then I ended taking up saxophone in school band. Bought a guitar when I was 14 and that’s what did it! I knew what I wanted to do! In my first few years of learning guitar, I absorbed everything I can... learned as many songs I could from bands like Rush, U2, Yes, Simon and Garfunkel, The Smiths, James Taylor and so much more!”
3) What is the role of education in music? - “It’s extremely important. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my former teachers and mentors. My grandmother was a piano/music teacher in the Philippines. I ended up teaching privately for years and at one time had up to 60 students per week, ranging from 5-75 years old! Doing that actually taught me a lot too! I never went to college, and I’m not saying it’s not important, but you can learn music from anywhere and anyone, as long as you’re motivated.”
4) How do you feel about the current ‘state of the music industry’? - “It’s definitely different from when I started! When I was a kid, my first band in Pittsburgh grew a good following that generated interest in the music industry, which led us to many showcases, then rejections, then demo deals with big labels, then more rejections, then finally a record deal. These days it seems that it’s about how many followers you have on social media. We learned with actual producers who have been recording for years in big studios. Nowadays people are producing themselves in their bedroom studio. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. There are so many talented people that can have so much exposure with one click of a button. I will say this, I miss the days of buying an actual CD and reading the liner notes while listening from beginning to the end.”
5) Why do you play Nobels ODR-mini? - “I play it cause it sounds amazing and it’s built like a tank! It fits so easily on any of my pedal boards! And have you tried it with 18V??”