Mario: Jason, I
know you’ve been playing for years, are you self taught?
Jason: I actually started piano lessons when I was 6 years old.
I hated it, but seemed to be able to play simple melodies. I really
wanted to be a drummer but got turned on by guitar when I saw the cover
of Kiss Alive. My parents bought me an acoustic guitar and found this
amazing private teacher, Allister Morrison who would drive to my house
every Wednesday. I took lessons with him till I was about 12.
Mario: Who influenced
you and who are you listening to now?
Jason: Ironically, I never really liked guitar players. I really
just liked bands with good singers and good songs. I love singers like
Glen Hughes, Steve Perry, Paul Stanley, and Don Henley. I listened to
the Police for the early eighties, but never considered Andy Summers
an influence. If I had to name a few it would be Ritchie Blackmore,
Ace Frehley, Neil Schon, Zakk Wild, Steve Shelski. A pretty unusual
list right? Someone took me to see Jeff Beck I was really impressed,
very moody music. And the stuff the guy plays with no pick is amazing
but I wouldn’t jam it driving around in my car you dig?
Mario: It must be
cool to be in two really different bands. Bullet Boys and Mandy Moore.
Do you use the same gear or do you need different set-ups?
Jason: Two totally different set-ups. With Bullet Boys I’m loud and
proud. Marshall’s etc… With Mandy I’m playing all acoustic and classical
Mario: What’s the
hardest thing about juggling two bands?
Jason: I have been pretty fortunate to avoid scheduling conflicts so
far. Mandy does a lot of one-off stuff like TV Shows and Radio Concerts
during the week. The Bullet Boys will Fly out and play weekends around
the country. This summer I will be missing the Bullet Boys tour and
going to Europe with Mandy Moore. It was a hard decision. I’ll be regrouping
with the BB’s afterwards. We (Bullet Boys) just finished a new record
Produced by Andy Johns which sounds sick!
Mario: What advise
can you give aspiring guitarists about playing music for a living?
Jason: Quit now while you still have a chance! No just kidding. Well,
you have to be good, no; you have to be great to get referred. Living
in Los Angeles has made a world of difference to me. It all happens
here. On any given night out I’ll see 10 famous Musicians. Eventually
you get to know some of them, they get to know you, and if you play
your ass off you might get asked to join a band etc.
Mario: What would
you be doing if you weren’t playing music full time?
Jason: Computers. I’m addicted to programming and graphic computer
arts. Mario: What do you practice when you pick up a guitar? Jason:
I never practice but if I pick up anything, it’s always my Godin Acousticaster
so I can write. The Acousticaster is my favourite cause it’s small,
and plays like an electric, but I can still hear it, like a semi acoustic.
Mario: What’s involved
in your writing process? Does it just have to happen or do you force
yourself to write?
Jason: I write all the time. That’s the fun part of music. I used
to force myself to write. It made it painful. I have learned to just
let it come out like I do at rehearsals and not lock yourself in the
basement studio with the drum machine and 8 track recorder.
Mario: I know you
own an Acousticaster that you’ve been playing for years but recently
you’ve been using a Multiac Nylon Duet. What do you personally like
about this guitar?
Jason: It’s perfect. Next question. No really, it has unprecedented
super clear output and total control over the EQ frequency output. It’s
not bulky or fragile like a regular nylon. When Mandy’s band heard me
play the nylon, they couldn’t believe the sound. I recently went down
to Guitar Center (Hollywood) to try the Multiac Steel string and in
about 10 min in I had people asking me “What Guitar Is That?”
Mario: For the
Mandy Moore world tour are you just plugging the Multiac directly into
Jason: Yes. I run two outputs. The XLR output goes in to one channel
into the front of house and the 1/4 inch output goes into my pedal board
which allows me to tune/effects etc… then I send it out of the pedal
board into a DI box and into a separate channel on the front board.
The sound is God like.
Mario: Is the transition
from electric to Nylon easy for you?
Jason: Yeah. The neck is a little wider but it’s not a big deal. In
most cases, young guitar players hide behind distortion, not me, I love
hearing clarity. I did a lot of acoustic guitar playing as a youngster.
Mario: Is the new
Bullet Boys album out yet? What’s it called? Are you guys really gonna
change your name?
Jason: The album will be out by summer. Hopefully the band will not
be changing the name. Thank God.
Mario: What’s next
Jason: I’m touring my ass off the rest of the year. Mandy’s new record
is out June 19 and they have us on the road till December. We will be
visiting Japan and Australia and playing every major TV show. I can’t
wait! I’m playing a couple of shows on the Poison tour with Bullet Boys
before then. My schedule is always posted on my website www.jasonhook.net
after all that I’m going to pursue my acting. Just kidding. I would
like to do another record with the Bullet Boys and maybe a solo effort
but not instrumental. I would invite different singers in and record
one song with each person.
you’d like to add?
Jason: Just keep up the great work and thanks
for all your support.
is a Product Specialist at Godin Guitars.