Studio engineer extraordinaire and hunky sex god Leo "Boom Boom" Herrera has made quite a name for himself in the music business, working his magic behind the scenes with such icons as Julio Iglesias and Ricky Martin. He's also responsible for the groundbreaking Nine Inch Nails album The Fragile, and is currently hard at work in L.A. making their next album, Bleed Through. Meat Beat caught up with the dreamy Mr. Herrera recently to chat a little about his background, his likes and dislikes, his inspiring advice for aspiring musicians, and more!
LEO HERRERA: It all started for me after being in a synth-pop band in high school with a couple of friends. We got a little budget to go and record a demo, and when I entered the recording studio, I was like "Fuck, this is what I want to do with my life, it's easier than trying to make it as a rock star." So I've been in it for a long time, since 1988. Right out of high school I knew what I wanted to do and started doing it.
M: What kind of education do you have in regards to engineering? Did you go to college or did you learn the trade on your own?
LH: I did go to college for about a year and a half taking all the requirements and taking my Music Major classes, but then after falling many time my ENG 1101 class, I was like, "What the fuck do I need an English class for my music career?" So after that I discovered a "technical school" of engineering and graduated 7 months later with a degree in music and video production.
M: Why did you start working with Trent Reznor? Was there no other work available at the time?
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE:
Movie? Barely Legal volumes 1-69.
Non-porn movie? None.
Justin Timberlake song? Seņorita.
Ice cream flavor? Dulce de leche.
Magazine? Juggs, Busty and BIG Tail.
Web site (besides the Meathead Perspective)? NIN.com and Tapeworm.net. (laughs) Nothing really happens there, we might need to talk to our "web-designer".
M: I noticed that you served as Assistant Engineer/Mixing Assistant on Julio Iglesias' record, Ao Meu Brasil. Tell us, how did you get involved with Mr. Iglesias?
LH: If you would've done your research properly, you would find out that I did four albums with Mr. Iglesias! I got involved with Mr. Iglesias based on my Latin charm.
M: Research? What's that? Say, how about walking us through a typical day in the life of Leo Herrera. Is there more to it than money, women and booze?
LH: 1 PM: Wake up and pay the "girl" to leave.
3 PM: Get out of bed.
3 PM - 3:45 PM: Shower. (Yes, I do shower every day)
3:45 PM - 5 PM: Lunch with great friends.
5 PM - 7 PM: Think about working.
7 PM - 9 PM: VIDEO GAME HOURS.
9 PM - 10:30 PM: Dinner with same great friends.
10:30 PM - Midnight: Watch some TiVo.
Midnight - 2 AM: Yoga.
2 AM - 2:45 AM : Wait for the "girl" to show up (usually arrives within 30 minutes after the call).
2:45 AM - 2:46 AM: Enjoy myself!
2:46 AM - 1 PM: Sleep.
M: You've gained quite a bit of celebrity status as a "ladies' man" in the past few years while working with Nine Inch Nails, thanks in part to certain websites which will remain unnamed. How do you feel about your notoriety? Do you ever get stopped on the street? Has anyone ever asked you to sign their ass? Your fans must know.
LH: I don't think it has only to do with Nine Inch Nails. I think is just by being me. And yes, I have signed many asses and tits as well.
Paper or plastic? Paper.
Coke or Pepsi? Coke.
T or A? Both.
Nine Inch Nails or painful burning hemmorrhoids? They are both very painful, but NIN wins.
FINAL WRAP-UP QUESTIONS:
M: When you're not working on the latest masterpiece from Nine Inch Nails or Ricky Martin, what music do you find yourself listening to?
LH: Old Nine Inch Nails songs that don't make it on any album, and some Latin stuff as well.
M: What's your favorite aspect of your job? Is there anything about it that you would change if you could?
LH: Hanging out with Trent Reznor, dude! I think everything is perfect right now, so there is nothing to change.
M: Any advice you'd give out to any aspiring young studio engineers out there who have yet to get their big break?
LH: Yeah, good luck on that break. Like that shit really happens. Work your asses off. Or better yet, don't get into this business.
BONUS QUESTION (100 POINTS):
M: Finally, and most importantly: Does your milkshake bring all the boys to the yard?
LH: I don't understand this one. But no, my milkshake doesn't bring no boys nowhere.
Leo Herrera is currently very busy "working on the new NIN album," playing PlayStation and spreading his seed throughout the greater Los Angeles area, so we're especially grateful that he took some time to stop and talk to Meat Beat! Thanks, Leo!
Don't miss our next totally rad issue, when we'll dish out the latest hot Keith Hillebrandt rumors, and talk to some guy who cut Charlie Clouser's hair once! WOW!