Starting at the beginning of you as a musician, what first made you want to pick up a guitar?
Well my parents are classical musicians, so I was always- well there was always music around the house. I played cello at three and piano at age seven and it really wasn’t until I heard AC/DC at age 11 that made me wanna play guitar.
Did you ever picture yourself playing with bands like Night Ranger and Whitesnake? Is that what you wanted to do?
Not necessarily, it’s just funny how the stuff I started with came full circle for me. And that’s what I’m doing right now, I mean I grew up playing that style and genre of music and I went through playing a gazillion other styles and playing all types of different gigs. And then it seems that about the past seven or eight years that you know, I’ve been a part of the revival of those bands to a degree and that’s been great fun for me.
You have done a crazy amount of session work from what I can see on your website, how’d you get all those gigs with all these different people?
Well I mean my biographies like a bit deceptive cause like a lot of the people I’ve only played with like one time or something like that. Through gigs like World Stage and Scrap Metal I got to play with a lot of those people. Or it’s just bizarre situations where I’ve played with them briefly- one time or whatever. But I still consider those playing with somebody, so yeah I guess through the process of just trying to work hard and living life you end up in playing situations with all those people.
Do you have any favorite things you’ve done session wise?
Not necessarily. I mean I think that everything I’ve done has been a learning process for me in my life, so I just kinda value it all because it led me to where I am right now.
How did you end up on Broadway?
Well my first theater gig was not on Broadway, it was a show called ‘Love, Janis’ about Janis Joplin and that was the reason I went to New York, and that was because the girl who played Janis Joplin- Cathy Richardson- I was playing in her band back in the Chicago area. So it was really there, and ‘Love, Janis’ ran for a couple years and the director hired me to do that on the road a bit in another show of his, and then a friend of mine asked me to sub for him in the show he was playing in the pit. He’s like a tradition pit musician, so after doing that on all the shows that he was working on, subbing for him, I ended up getting Rock of Ages through that. So Rock of Ages went six years, and yeah. I mean I never really set out aspiring to play in theater at all but that’s just kinda what happens in New York. Those are the gigs that are there.
New album wise, clarify for those who don’t yet know- your current side project is called Joel Hoekstra’s 13, right?
Now would you consider that a band name or just a side project because from what I can see some people are taking it differently.
I think for now it’s a project name. I didn’t want to call it a solo album because it sounds like a band, but the hitch is that it’s not really a band either. I did all the writing; so for me it was kind of difficult to know what to call it. If I called it Joel Hoekstra I think people would be expecting fancy guitar all over the place. And like I said this sounds pretty much like you’re putting in a CD of a band. So I think a project name was the best fit for now. Joel Hoekstra’s 13, and then that way if I wanna make more records like this I have a brand set out for it, you know? [Read more…]