Très Hanley-Millman is a multi-tasking talent – an actress and a singer, she has performed in films with Robert Downey Jr., Dame Judy Dench, Ian McKellen and Javier Bardem. A teenage protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Très, also studied at the Julliard School of Music, and has performed in numerous musicals from London to New York, enjoying residence on both sides of the ocean. This of course, is besides all the TV commercials and voice-over work she does. Très Hanley has released 3 music albums thus far and is releasing her fourth, “Shades of Darkness”, in 2018, which promises to be her most introspective, reflective, and interpretive project to date. From that album comes the lead single “Fade to Black” released the 30th of August.We recently caught up with Très to find out more about this highly anticipated release.
Hi Tres, it’s good to speak with you again! When I last spoke to you in 2015 for the release of “Siren’s Odyssey”, we briefly discussed this upcoming album “Shades of Darkness”. You mentioned that the song “Fade to Black” was about your friend, the late Spanish composer and musician Bernardo Bonezzi.
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT BERNARDO?
Well, he was probably best known as a film composer. Anyone who is a movie buff or fan of foreign films will know the Spanish director Pedro Almadovar. Bernardo composed the score for many of Pedro’s films. Bernardo was probably best known for composing the score of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios) in 1988 and “Nobody Will Speak of Us When We’re Dead (Nadie hablará de nosotras cuando hayamos muerto) in 1995 which he won a Goya for (Spain’s Oscar). Though he got his start in the industry as a singer, songwriter, as a teen. Performing as the front man for group the ZOMBIES.
They had a great deal of success in Spain and in some parts of Europe in the 80’s. He seemed to fashion himself over time as a performer on David Bowie. He worshipped David Bowie. He really missed performing and he was getting back to that part of his life after such a long break from it.
YOU HAD MENTIONED TO ME EARLIER HE WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE ENTIRE ALBUM.
Yes, it made me think about the dark places people go – which was the inspiration behind the album concept. “Fade to Black” was the 1st song we wrote for it. I wanted to write something for him as a tribute but also as therapy for myself. I carried lots of guilt after his passing.
IN WHAT WAY?
Bernardo and I spoke, texted, messaged fairly often. So I didn’t think much of putting him off when he contacted me 2 days before he died – I was in the middle of some personal stuff, and told him I’d get back to him over the weekend.
Now I know, never put someone or something off. You never know what tomorrow brings.
I knew his “Essence of Science” tour wasn’t going well. That he’d been bummed out. The week before he told me the crowds weren’t great. Also that he fell off the stage and was badly hurt at one of the performances. He was very depressed about it all. But still he would joke and try to laugh through it. So it was hard to read how he was really feeling.
On the surface to most, he was happy, jovial. Always holding court, being the center of attention and funny. Always joking, but to those who were close knew there was another side, he fought with addiction, depression as well as being an insomniac. In fact his last post on his ‘private’ Facebook page was “I’m fading to black”. He was notorious for being a bit dramatic so you didn’t take some of the comments serious but this time, it was. Which is how I chose the title.
HOW DID YOU MEET BERNARDO?
We met back in January of 1995. I had a supporting role in a Spain/UK Miramar film “MOUTH TO MOUTH” aka “Boca a Boca” which starred Javier Bardem. My character also performed a song in the film; therefore I had to record for the soundtrack. So I was working closely with him in the studio. The role was that of a Hollywood actress who was ‘not a great singer’. He was always telling me “stop singing it so good, you need to be a bad singer, this is a comedy” We had lots of laughs, we clicked. I visited him in Madrid and he would visit me in London. We got to know each other’s friends-had many great times. But despite all the glory, the awards, he longed to perform in a band again. That is where his heart was, not scoring films. He would always say, he was not longing to go back to those days. But I never believed him. And so there he was, out there touring again, performing and it was not what it was back in those glory days. Personally I believe that was part of what caused his depression.
FADE TO BLACK IS A SINGLE. FROM THE UPCOMING ALBUM ‘SHADES OF DARKNESS’. WHEN WILL THAT ALBUM BE RELEASED?
We plan to release 2 more singles over the next few months then the rest of the album in late 2018. We decided we wanted to add a few more songs so we’re still working on them. My collaborator also had some major life changes, he moved from Miami to Chicago and got married in June so that has pushed back some of our work. We wanted to release FADE TO BLACK to mark the 5th anniversary of Bernardo’s passing. Which is why August 30th was chosen as a release date. I hope everyone will check it out, be curious to learn more about Bernardo and his legacy.
FADE TO BLACK
Music: Daniel Moctezuma
Lyrics: Tres Hanley
iTunes: Tres Hanley – Millman
Official website: www.treshanley.com
Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/treshanleyfanpage