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Jarocin Festival 2016 - Five Finger Death Punch concert
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Monster interview with Jason Hook from Five Finger Death Punch

Dec 212016

Killer rock songs, tens of hits, sold out shows, great riffs, dedicated fans. Guys from Five Finger Death Punch know how to do it and they do it right. Check out what Jason Hook says about mastering guitar, emotions, social media and fans!

What makes guitar solo into great guitar solo?

I think that a great guiar solo should have a beginning, a middle and an end. It should make a statement of a song. I think that a guitar solo is an art form. It’s supposed to grab you, it’s supposed to give you a feeling…

What keeps you interested in playing guitar?

It’s KISS and Ace Frehley. I got my first KISS record when I was a kid, when I was very young and it was like the greatest thing I have ever had. I had to be in KISS. I’m still waiting for that!

You were lucky enough to meet the band and get close to them, am I right?

Oh yes! They are completly over me.

We all have a certain image of our idols, so you must have had your own way you saw the guys from KISS. When you met the band – real people, not imagined characters – did your reception of the band’s members change?

Not really. They have always been very nice to me. This is very good about them. I think that noticed that they nurture a feeling that their fans have. They never want to alter the emotions – they are very good about that. My interaction with them has always been positive. I’m a friend of Eric, we played together in Alice Cooper band. Also we played several times with KISS. I think they got used to have superfans.

Recently you produced a film called "Hired Gun". What was the biggest challenge for you in this project?

The whole film was a big challenge for me because I got used to Five Finger Death Punch where we always have pretty much of the things done; when we want things, we get them quite easily. There are many people who help us get them. Outside the band, there is a totally different story. You have to start from the ground zero. When you want to have something done, you have to be patient, very humble. Making a documentary means that you have to get people donate their time for interviews, delivering content: finding old photos, old videotapes etc. So, I found that the biggest challenges ware trying get everybody to help and securing material. We had to pay for everything. When you make a documentary, you have to pay for every photograph, every song and every piece of video… everything. And it’s not cheap. I saw that rock costs. It was a very expensive experience.

Are you going to continue as a film producer?

I don’t know actually. I would love to do it again because ultimately I’ve learnt so much about it. It might be a little bit easier next time. I think I have to wait until the time it feels natural. There must be a place for emotions. I wouldn’t do it just to keep it going. If I ever do it again it will be because of passion of pursuing something. 

When you are on stage, you burst with energy from the first seconds of the show. Do you ever feel nervous before the shows?

I don’t. It’s five of us stepping there so we’re presenting on stage as a group. If I were to give a speech at a wedding, that would probably make me more nervous, than going up on stage and presenting us in front of thousands people, in the spotlight, flashes, as a part of rock’n’roll show. To do something by myself is totally different.

But you, Jason Hook, has been involved in many projects, besides 5FDP. You don’t always have your bandmates around you. Emotions are different with every different project?

Five Finger Death Punch is definitely the best feeling for me because the music we’re playing is the one I help write. It’s obvious that these songs have more personal meaning for me and I’m attached to them emotially. With the other touring projects I’m just a guitar player. Emotions are very different, never the same.

What makes 5FDP a great performer?

I think our shows are really exciting. We are very comfortable on stage. Ivan is a very good performer. He’s very good on stage. Very charismatic, quite funny. You get a whole range of emotions when you come to see our show. This is something that we always give and something you not always get from other bands. Have you ever seen our show?

Almost! You cancelled the one I had been planning to go. But yes, I know what 5FDP is about. People post a lot of pictures on social media, my American friends recommended you to me.

Yes! This is very cool. Every time we play somewhere, our fans bring their friends or share pics and make new people come. So the audience is growing and growing. We pick up new fans with every concert we play.

I spoke to your fans earlier today because I wanted to know what do they love you for. Most of them mentioned lyrics and being cool, whatever that means. What else do you think your fans admire in you?

I think that lyrics are definitely a huge connecting element. They are real, nothing is made up. I think that people feel that it’s real and they can relate to this because it’s real. That draws people in. Outside of that we have good guitar solos!

Of course you do!

I’m joking!

You are right! But if you take it as a joke, I have a privilage to dig this subject more… What was the most difficult 5FDP song to track on the guitar?

"Remember Everything" – I used to play this on acoustic guitar. It was pretty tricky, required very much finger work.

Do you think you’re still rediscovering playing guitar with every album, every project you participate in?

I try to. I try to push myself and do new things on every album. We’ve achieved so much, conquer a lot too but still need to come up with some fresh sounds and ideas. That’s the challenge.

You’re very active on social media. You get off the stage and share with your fans moments behind the stage. Why?

It’s almost like having a free commercial. Free global commercial that’s running 24/7. This is also great because there are many people who want to feel connected to us, so we feed them and satisfy their desire. Our fans love that they can see what’s up behind the scenes and stuff they would never had a chance to see: dressing room, tour bus, airplane, recording studio. Even at home. We are feeding them with content. It’s like your favourite TV show or a favourite magazine. You can read, you can watch. The difference is, that you get it for free. We all love it.

You also give credits to your fans who share your look, show their love to the band.

Yes, social media let us interact with them. We feel that something is exciting and we want to share it with our audience so they feel the same way. If they show up with the same hairdo or hair color, it just means that they’re getting feeling like we are. They want to connect with us. It’s just a good fun, really.

What has been the greatest lesson you learnt about yourself as a professional musician?

Stay sober!

Is there anything that your fans would be surprised to learn about you?

I have four cats. I love cats!

Thanks for the nice chat!

Thank you!

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