Five Finger Death Punch
An interview with guitarist Jason Hook
by Tina Hall
Jason Hook first picked up the guitar at age 6. He also trained on drums, piano, and violin. Jason has worked as a solo artist releasing two instrumental albums, the first of which, Safety Dunce, won an L.A Music Award for Best Instrumental Record of 2007. He also works as a sessions artist and has appeared alongside Vince Neil and Alice Cooper. He is currently an active member in the band Five Finger Death Punch.
Maximum Ink: What was it like to begin guitar lessons at the age of 6? You also trained on several other instruments. Why do you think you chose to become a guitarist?
Jason Hook: I was obsessed with KISS when I was 6 years old. My next door neighbor brought over the destroyer album and I couldn’t stop staring at the cover while we cranked the music. That was it. I begged my dad to get me a drum set and an electric guitar. I was such an eager spaz I wanted to be Ace Frehley and Peter Criss!
MI: You are a bit of a history buff. Why do you think that is? When did you first develop an interest in that? Why is World War II your favorite area of interest?
JH: I think History is fascinating cause things outlive people. I was in an ancient castle in London and I could smell the old wood floors and the velvet walls. it was awesome to think that at one point a hundred years ago people lived there, and when you talk about Stone Henge, well forget about it. World War II had so many unique dynamics to it. It is interesting to follow how it unfolded, as well as some of the critical tactical errors Hitler made.
I would like to point out that I don’t approve of murder or genocide. I’m horrified at the brutality of that era. I think that’s why I’m drawn to it, because it’s so hard to imagine.
MI: You recently visited Stonehenge. What was that like? What led you to visit there?
JH: The story of that site is really cool. The stones themselves had to have come from hundreds of miles away, yet there was only primitive means to get them there. People would devote their entire lives to building these monuments. It’s kind of like the pyramids of Egypt. Again, it’s hard for me to imagine an existence like that.
MI: What is it like to work with Alice Cooper? What he is like as person? What did you learn from him?
JH: Alice is awesome. Super easy going, generous and kind. A real inspiration. He helped me with some sobriety issues I was having at the time.
MI: Can you tell us a little about Five Finger Death Punch? What led you to join them?
JH: At the time, 5FDP were a lethal band and I felt like it was a great cast of hard working individuals that I wanted to be a part of. On top of that, I have always been a creative person. I don’t understand musicians that don’t write music. I think that’s why the hired gun thing started to irritate me, cause I was desperate to be around creativity.
MI: Where does the name Five Finger Death Punch come from?
JH: Hell LOL.
MI: How would you describe the 5fdp sound? What can fans expect from a live show?
JH: It’s a high energy delivery. The music is drawn from instinct. It’s a feeling in your gut that makes your hair stand on end. It’s supposed to speak to your heart and make you tense at the same time.
MI: Do you find shows in Europe to be more intense than shows here in the U.S?
JH: Sometimes. The Europeans LOVE their metal that’s for sure. I think they look at the visiting American band as a special event, so they get real rev’d up.
MI: Do you have any solo projects in the works?
JH: Not really and when I say not really it’s because I have this “left over” solo album that is finished and will come out eventually. I really want to see 5FDP go all the way, it’s a full time job and I believe we have the tools to do it. Side project is code for “oh yeah? I’ll show you!”, which is not how I feel.
MI: What 5fdp projects can fans look forward to?
JH: We’re going to get right back in the studio and crank on a new album. We talked about trying to shorten the length of time in-between records. There’s no reason why we can’t come up with 12 songs every year. To have one album every three years really starves your fans.
MI: Where can your fans go for the latest information on 5fdp and your solo career?
JH: JasonHook.net. Oh and by the way 5FDP is my solo career!!!! LOL.
Five Finger Death Punch
CD: War Is The Answer Record Label: Prospect Park Records
• Purchase War Is The Answer on Amazon
• Download War Is The Answer on Amazon