Zachary Hietala

Influences: Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Al DiMeola. Actually I am more into whole bands, not only individuals.
Fav. albums: Black Sabbath: Heaven And Hell
Judas Priest: Painkiller
Rainbow: Long Live Rock And Roll
Deep Purple: Burn name a few. If I list here all my favourite bands, albums or influences, this space is not enough for it.
Fav. books: Mika Waltari: Sinuhe the Egyptian
Fav. movies: Matrix Trilogy
Fav. drinks: Any Vodka will do, Finnish long drinks
Fav. foods: Pasta, pork and Gorgonzola?
Best Tarot Show: The last gigs of the For The Glory Of Nothing Tour, Helsinki and Tampere, were so outrageous as playing wise as emotion wise, so those are the gigs I will never forget.
Fav. Tarot song: Warhead
Fav. song from Gravity of Light: Hell Knows / Pilot of All Dreams
Perversions: I do not consider this a perversion, but a lot of people do. I have been playing ice-hockey since I was a kid. It is legalized violation and when you put all of your enthusiasm in it, you can get rid of your stress.
Other band(s): Marenne
Gear: Modified Marshall JCM800 100W amps
Marshall 1960 300W A&B cabinets
Heavily customized Kramer, Charvels (3), Tokai, Lag and ESP strats.
Dunlop 1mm. black teardrop picks and Boss effects.


  • 2010
  • 2006
  • 2003

Coming soon!

Q: How is your musical taste towards metal music / other genres?

A: It's mostly heavy metal but I listen also pop/rock artists like Tina Turner, Phil Collins, etc and some techno, he he.

Q: Your live performance looks quite confident these days...has it always been a natural thing to you? Did you use to be very nervous before the shows in the early days?

A: We've been so many years on the road, so it is easy to get live routine going. This summer has been busy and gigs are really kicking. Somehow I don't never get on stage without butterflies in my stomach, but I consider that a good thing, it gives you an extra adrenaline burst to do your best.

Q: Which album you've been listening to the most recently?

A: This year there's been mostly Turmion Kätilöt (Janne's other band) and Iommi/Hughes latest albums. First one is an industrial and second original, great mix in the car stereos. Great metal indeed!

Q: Do you go to see a lot other bands' live shows?

A: I see a lot of bands in the festivals, so I don't go in the concerts especially very often. Last time I saw a great gig in the place we didn't play that night, was Graham Bonnet (ex-Rainbow singer) gig in Henrys pub. Only hit songs and sweaty atmosphere.

Q: Reveal musical sceleton(s) in your closet??

A: As I said, I like pop too and believe or not, I have all the albums of Michael Jackson, pity me…

Q: Name one album you've bought that means especially much to you?

A: So many years has passed by to remember... Okay… my brother Marco bought Judas Priest Screaming For Vengeance album and that showed me exactly the way I wanted to play. You can hear my roots from the playing.

Q: The instruments you and why have you ended up using these particular gear?

A: I like to customize my guitars heavily and use them, I don't have any deals and that's the way it seems to go on. I don't support any trademark and anything goes as long as it has quality and it is easy to build to the way I need. I have Kramer, Lag, Tokai, ESP and Charvel guitars, which I have done to fit my way of playing. I'm really satisfied of them and it needs a lot from me to let them be at home and going touring with different guitars. Amps wise I use only customized Marshall and pedals I use are Boss.

Q: Have there been any turning points that have had strong effect on your musical career or musicianship?

A: Between first and second album I changed my right hand technique from open right hand to Al DiMeola way, it was pain in the ass to do after many years of playing, but when succeeded, I knew you can do what ever you want by training. You have set a goals for you all the time and try to reach them. Developing your tech and compose new songs has to be musicians main point through the life.

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?

A: Mainly watching videos, training guitar and having a good time with friends (means drinking).

Q: What would be your future goals as a musician?

A: Getting better in my job as a musician and band member, making good songs for the future and enjoying my life on the road.


I started playing guitar at about the age of 14. I think the main reason to start playing was my father's influence. He used to sing and play guitar next to mine and Marco's bed, to get us sleep when we were young. He played a lot of old English folk songs and he told bedtime stories backing them up with some guitar chords. I have very warm memories of those moments.


When I started, father gave me a couple of "how to start playing guitar" books and showed me some basic chords. I didn't take it too seriously in first years, but later when Marco was in musical high school, he said to me that if I don't learn theory and put more time to practice, he won't play with me anymore. So I started practice like a lunatic, about 8 hours in a day and that was the point of no return.

Now on I practice a couple of hours a day, maybe 4 to 5 days in a week, some chord progressing and scales mostly. Actually I teach music theory and technique in school to ninth and tenth grade students.


There was so many different metal bands, put up together by me and Marco before Tarot and actually the band called Purgatory was the original Tarot. Lineup was Marco, Pecu, I and Harri Veteli. That was 1984. Late in the year 1985 we got our first record deal and the company asked us to change our name to something easier to pronounce for Finnish people and we ended up with the name Tarot.


First it was the girls, I think, ha, ha. There was the thing, "you're a musician, give me some sex"! Truthfully, realizing that you can do your own thing and the crowd goes nuts for it, that's the most driving force for me.

Of course the fame and glory doesn't do bad, either does money, but if I have been understood correctly, any of our colleagues have never started a professional musician career for those reasons only.


Of course the first album and the "Spell Of Iron tour" is the most memorable for me, everything was new and so exiting. There was huge crowd almost in every place we were playing and lot's of girls/partying, it was the late eighties, so you understand.

This latest "For The Glory Of Nothing tour" gives me best memories playing wise. We recorded many shows for later observation and songs were so heavy, melodic and well played, they still shiver my spine. Always there are so many funny things going on the road that I just can't wait to get on the road again!