Years ago, I remember hearing a cover of one of my favorite instrumentals on the radio, Hocus Pocus by Focus. It was in the midst of the Grunge area, where rockin’ guitar solos were frowned upon and I hear this guy tearin’ it up. That guy was Gary Hoey, and I quickly became a fan.
On various occasions over the years, while traveling and performing in different venues, I would see that Gary had an upcoming performance, or had just performed at the venue that I was performing at. Since the timing never seemed to work out, I didn’t get to catch any of his shows. That is, until last year when we performed at the same festival in the Pacific NW. He put on such a great show, high energy, great singing and playing, and it was so good to finally see him live, a real pleasure. It was also a great pleasure to sit down and chat with Gary for this interview. He is a very cool, down to earth guy, and openly shares his experiences with us. Plus, he gives some invaluable advice for anyone involved, or thinking of getting involved in the music industry. I hope you enjoy.
Guitar Connoisseur: It’s now pretty well documented that you auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne to replace Jake E. Lee, and that you were one of the few to make it down to the final decision. Although they ended up going with Zach Wylde, Ozzy recommended that you move to LA because he believed in your talent. Can you talk about that moment and how you felt making the move across the country? Also, can you tell us how you made it work, mentally, emotionally and financially?
Gary Hoey: I mean for me, and I talked about this in another interview, I was such a huge Ozzy fan, and one of the guys that interviewed me, heard my new blues record, and he’s like, “I can’t picture you playing with Ozzy”, you’re playing all this blues. I told him, well listen, I came from Black Sabbath and all that sort of blues based seventy’s rock. I remember when I was a kid, I grew up north of Boston, in Lowell, Massachusetts. We used to, me and my friends, would literally hitchhike to the Civic Center in Springfield, to see Sabbath in the seventy’s. We got to see them in their heyday, like literally, I mean it was amazing!.
So, I remember seeing Ozzy and I was a huge fan. So, as time went on and I was developing my technique as a guitarist, he came to Boston and was looking for a guitar player. He was on the radio, I just thought, you know, I’m going to get a demo tape to them, and I’m just going to try it, what the heck. Then I got a call! I thought it was a joke, I got a call from his road manager or whatever, saying “Ozzy likes a couple of your songs and he wants to fly you to Los Angeles to try out”, and I was just so amazed, because I’d never been to California. I’d never really been too far Boston. Now, at the time, I was studying with a jazz guy in Boston, trying to learn more theory and understand more about music. So, I was working on all these jazz chords and I get this call that I’m going to play with Ozzy in seven days. So, I just took a Marshall stack, cranking on ten in the little rehearsal room, and I played extremely loud, for like, six days, and practiced the four songs they gave me.
So, we knew what we were going to do, but they told me I’d have to play for five minutes, doing an unaccompanied guitar solo in front of Ozzy. I think that’s probably the most challenging part of the of the audition, is standing by yourself and just doing that rock star guitar solo, where you shred, and then you do some clean chords, etc. I worked on that a lot, you know, because, I knew that was going to be a part of the audition. So, when I got ready to go out there, I was like, you know what man? I gotta stop working on jazz, I gotta focus on rock, because this is really what I love. So, going out there to see Ozzy, it really got me kind of focused. So, when I went in to do the audition, I was completely blown away. Because I walked in, and in the hall, there was all these other guitar players lined up. You know, they’re bringing people in and it was kind of the classic Hollywood thing. You got picked up in a limo, the guy was driving one hundred miles an hour down Sunset Boulevard, I thought I was going to die just getting to the audition and, this guy was obviously sick of driving to the airport. But it was amazing to stand in front of Ozzy, with his long hair and everything. It was 1987 or whatever, ’86 or ’87. So, he was in great shape, he was amazing, and he sang with us. He sang I Don’t Know and Crazy Train, with the band.
A lot of people auditioned without Ozzy, so I got to see him, I got to meet him, and they called me the next day for a callback. So, I was like, “Wow! I’m getting a call back”, you know, maybe that means I might get it, I don’t know. Then there was good feelings and everything, and then he and Sharon pretty much said, you know, we are probably going to go with someone else, but you have a real talent, and if you move out to L.A, you’ll probably get something going. They told me that I shouldn’t just go back home. So that was the recommendation, and I went back and I saved up seventeen thousand dollars because I was teaching guitar, sold everything I had, and I drove across the country in a u-haul trailer, pulling all my stuff, and came to Hollywood. I think in my twenty’s, I was just kind of blind and just, you know, dumb. It was like, “OK I’ll go for it”. So, you’re kind of fearless when you’re in your twenty’s. I just showed up, I had a little money, enough money to get an apartment and survive a little while. So, I just had faith and I was positive because of the Ozzy thing. I didn’t look at as a bummer that I didn’t get it, I looked at it as, wow, I came that close, maybe I do have something. So, it gave me motivation and then I went to L.A. I just started teaching private guitar lessons and that was kind of what sustained me until I ended up finding a manager, and getting things off the ground.
GC: That’s quite a story, something that movies are made out of, very cool!
GH: Yes, it really was and you know, it just gave me at least some faith that I could do something. Because every guitar player starts out in a small town, in a small garage you know, and you just don’t know if you’ve got what it takes. You’re just always trying to figure it out and, so, for me that was just a motivation to say “OK man, let’s just go forward”.
GC: Your first album was with the band Heavy Bones, and although it was a great album, the timing wasn’t the best for that style or sound, and it ended up being the only album for that band. Can you tell us how you transitioned from that to your solo career? How did you convince the label to give your instrumental music a chance?
GH: Well, what happened was, we, Heavy Bones, made that one record and we had Frankie Banali on drums, from Quiet Riot, because they were kind of on a hiatus, and we had Joel Ellis singing. It was a good band and I thought we wrote some really good songs. You’re absolutely right, the timing was bad. The Grunge thing had hit and all of a sudden, we just got caught in the vortex, we came out like three years too late and we just couldn’t get arrested man. I get it now, when I look back at it I’m like “OK the eighty’s had just ended, a new decade was starting, this really cool music came out by Nirvana and all these bands”. At the time I hated them (laughing), but now, I love them, and all the sudden, we were called posers. I was like, posers? Man, I worked my whole life to not be a poser. But we did have have big hair, and so we were kind of trapped. So, when the album just wouldn’t get off the ground, and Warner Brothers had poured over half a million dollars into the album, we realized at that point, that it just probably wasn’t going to happen, and they finally pulled the plug on the bleeding. They said the tour’s canceled, we’re not giving you tour support, you’re not getting a bus, it’s all over, forget it, go back and write another album.
That was kind of a big blow to everybody, so we we regrouped, we actually started writing some new songs, and then I had some instrumental songs that I had wanted to record. Now, our A&R person, Roberta Peterson, was a big fan of mine and she really loved my guitar playing. She thought I was going to be the next Eddie Van Halen. I went to her with these songs and I said, well can I just make this fun little instrumental guitar album, and maybe we could put it out and just for fun, make some money on our losses here. She gave me a very small budget, I think fifteen thousand dollars, and I borrowed this and that to get it done. I think I gave away half the points on the album and I ended up promising everything. Then we got the record done and the last, sort of last few weeks, we were recording, my manager said “what’s a cover song that you know?” That ended up being Hocus Pocus by Focus and I kind of redesigned it a little bit with the guitars instead of the yodeling. It was this cool riff out of the seventy’s, and we just kind of put it on. When it hit the radio, people started calling up the radio stations, the next thing you know, it started to become a radio hit in the middle of all this grunge thing and we just, it was kind of a fluke, you know? We put it out more for fun, and and Warner Brothers started getting behind it, once we put out the single, people heard it and it took off.
GC: That’s awesome! That was always one of my favorites as well from the 70’s, and when I heard your version, I was like, this is so cool! It wasn’t something that I would have expected to be pushed on radio at that time.
GH: Thanks! Yeah it was it was crazy. I just think you’re right, I think it hit a lot of people where they go, “I remember that song!” and, you know, in the middle of all this Grunge stuff, where solos were kind of dead. I think there was also a few radio deejays that were like, “Yeah I’ll play the grunge, but I’m still playing this one!”. It was kind of cool.
GC: You are enjoying quite a career that has spanned many years. Initially in a field, instrumental guitar, that may not have looked like “the path of least resistance”, so to speak. Besides the obvious, your talent, what do you think were some of the other key factors for your success were?
GH: Well, I think the one thing I’ve tried to do to stay alive in the business is, to kind of reinvent myself every so often, and not just stay in the same position all the time, doing the same things. I think for me, reinventing myself, trying different things is key. Also, I think the combinations of what I think makes success, in any business, is, number one, the product. What are you putting out? Is it really good? If it’s not your best, don’t be surprised when things don’t go that great. So, I always try to put my best work forward. And, if my career is just not happening, I’ve always said, “Gary, go write a better album, go write a better song, go practice your guitar, don’t blame everybody else, stop pointing fingers”. It’s really easy to start blaming your manager, and your agents, and how come you’re not giving me the big tours etc. You know, it’s easy to get on that road, but I’ve always tried to kind of keep a positive attitude, and I’ve also been really good to the radio stations, you know? For all the years I’ve been doing this, we visit a lot of stations and go in and hang out. Again being a cool person, being a cool hang, not being a prima donna is key. That stuff pays off man. When you fall off the charts, and your record’s not happening, and no one cares about you, those friendships and those relationships, can sometimes be the thing that will get you through those times. So, for me, being a good person and being a good guest, whether it’s at a venue or a radio station, I think it helped me
And then, I also have a phrase I always say, “You’re really struggling, or you’re juggling in the music business”, it’s because you either have way too many things going on, or you have nothing going on. So, I always tend to look for things to do. I tell young guitar players and musicians all the time, don’t just be a guitar player, you know, learn how to engineer, learn Pro Tools, learn how to teach guitar, learn how to co-write, like, learn other things in the music business and you’ll be able to do things in between the times that you’re not touring or playing live. Also, think about someday when you don’t tour anymore, what are you going to be doing? You have sort of start thinking about that now, there is life after music, there’s life after touring. Some people focus so much on the music, that they don’t really think of the other things, just diversifying their life, investing a little bit of the money into something that maybe will pay them in the end. I don’t know, but it’s the way that I’ve worked my career. T.V. and film has also been really important to me, I write for E.S.P.N. sports, I have songs in a few movies, not a lot, but enough that, you know, comes in handy here and there, when I’m thinking, how to pay the rent (laughs).
GC: That’s great! That is invaluable advice. Especially the part about just being a good person and appreciating the venues, the stations etc. As you said, developing those relationships can really help in slower times. Plus, if you can stay out of that trap of the “Rock Star” image, and remember we are all human beings in this together, I think you will find the world to be a friendlier place for you, especially in lean times.
GH: Yeah when you get off the stage man, we’re all the same people, you know? Someone asked me in an interview earlier today, they asked, do you think the Rock Star is dead? Do you think that mystique and the persona of all that is gone? I said, you know, it’s not, but what it is, is, nowadays, you go to my Twitter page and Facebook, and you can find out what I ate yesterday, you can find out so much about me, my son, my kid’s, like, now we have to sort of expose a lot more ourselves because people uncover more details about you, they want to know your personality. So, I think that ties into being a good person, and being a real person. But, it doesn’t mean when I strap on my guitar, and I put my sunglasses on to go on stage, that I’m not I’m not turning on that Rock persona, because I am. I’m an artist, I live and breathe it every single day, you know? That’s who I am, and so you don’t have to be afraid of being a Rock Star, and being cool and coming up with cool ideas, that you can make it a show, and make it really cool. But when you come offstage, you’ve still got to come down to earth, you got to be a real person. But, people do want to see a show, and they want to see you cocky, and they want to see you up there, like, just putting it on, you know? I never drink any alcohol before my show, because I want to do the best job I can. Those little things add up after time. If you really stay on your game, and you’re constantly trying to improve and trying to make yourself better, then the fans will see that, and they’re not stupid, they know what you’re doing, and they know when you’re putting your best work forward.
GC: Very true. You first became known on a National level for your instrumental music, however, the past 10 years or so, you have been showcasing your vocal talents as well. Is this something that you developed after your solo career, or have you always sang? To me, it sounds natural, like you’ve always been singing.
GH: You’re, you hit it right on the head. I grew up singing in bands for many, many years. When I was a young guitarist, one of my teachers said you should start singing, like right now. He said, if you start singing now, you’ll be able to develop your voice and you’ll be way more valuable. So, he said to me, when you’re singing, find out what word lands on what beat, find the eighth note and the downbeat, and follow the words, so you can play and sing at the same time. So, I developed it and then as a kid growing up, we had cover bands, and we did like thirty songs a night you know? That’s how it was, three or four sets a night at the Holiday Inn, and I mean, we did that, we’d grind it out, the Bryan Adams and the Van Halen, and you know, the hits of the day. So, I learned a lot man, I learned a lot about how to write a good song, what a good song is etc. I learned about singing and I sang for many, many years.
Then when I had a hit with Hocus Pocus, after the band Heavy Bones, where we had a lead singer, I sing a lot of background vocals in the band, but I didn’t really sing lead, so my voice was kind of on hold. Then when I became an instrumental guitarist, I literally toured for years and years without singing. Then, I wanted to get back to it, my family was encouraging me, saying, “Gary you’ve got to get back to singing”, and I also was starting to get a little bit bored playing ninety to one hundred minutes of instrumental music live. I wasn’t seeing a lot of girls in the audience, it was, you know, it was like a lot of dude’s, and I’m like you know what? I’m going to get back to singing. But I’m not going to say, overnight I was great when I got back to singing. I had to kind of find my voice again. I had to find the notes that I sing well, and having produced Lita Ford and some other artists, because I am a producer, I learned a lot about how singers find their best notes. I found out that every singer sort of has five notes that they sing really well, and I found my range and I didn’t go above it or below it. I just sort of said this is where I sing the best and I learned about going in the studio and really trying to sing the song with heart and soul more than perfection, and really finding like the attitude more than anything. When I found that, I think on this new album, Dust and Bones, it’s probably the most comfortable I’ve ever felt singing, and I don’t think I’d be able to do it overnight, it was from probably fifteen years of singing in clubs.
GC: Yeah, like I said, it sounds great, very natural sounding.
GH: Thank you man, you know, I sent the album to my buddy Joe Satriani, and he sent me a nice response, but he the one thing he did say was, “I can’t believe your voice”, he said, “I didn’t even think it was you singing”. And that was probably the biggest compliment he could’ve gave me. Because, he likes my guitar playing and all that, but to get a compliment on the vocals was such a such a kick for me! That was the thing that I was trying to find, was how I could marry my voice and my guitar, and make it believable to people. And on a lot of the songs, I was dead tired, singing it at 4:00 am, my voice was fried, and I’m like you know what, that sounds great give me a mic, this is the blues man!
GH: Well, my approach to producing is kind of like, I look at the artists I’m working with, and I basically surrender everything to them. It’s all about them, it’s about their songs. I don’t try to push my sound on them at all, I try to find where their specialty is, because I’ve done country, metal, rock, blues, I’ve even produced hip hop. So, I’ve kind of done a little of everything. Plus, I am an engineer and mixer so, when someone hires me to produce them, I come in and do whatever the project needs. I’m actually working with a girl singer out of Detroit, coming up soon, and I’ll play all the instruments, I’ll play guitar, I’ll play bass, I’ll play piano, I’ll help her sing background etc. So, I tend to get into the songs right in the beginning, we just sit around and flush out what we have for songs, and make sure that we have some good tunes. That’s where I start, like with Lita Ford, when I produced her, she came to me with some songs that had been written by other people, right away I said “Lita, this doesn’t sound like you, I think we need to start from scratch”. I told her that I really think people want to hear what you have to say, and that motivated her to start writing from what she was living, and the album ended up coming out great because of it. People are calling it her real comeback record, and it has really good songs on it, and it was from her. So, my approach is, let’s flesh out the songs, sit with some acoustic guitars, and then we’ll work with them. We’ll throw in some drum beats and get into Pro Tools etc. I spend a lot of time on that, and then when I get people in the studio to start recording, I always try to make them feel comfortable, as much as I can, that’s my thing. Like with singers, I know how nervous people are when they are singing, so I won’t be overly critical, you got to pump them with energy, and you’ve got to say things that you know can lift them up. I will use auto tune when I’m working with singers, but I don’t overuse it. I let them sing like, ten to fifteen takes, if they want to keep singing. I love to get a lot of takes and then, find the best verse and I’ll comp the vocals together from there. Same with guitar players, I hate when someone goes in to solo, you know, going to solo with a producer, they’re like, yeah, go ahead do a take, and then they’re like, it was a pretty good take, want to try one more? You know I just put it on loop record, and I tell the guitar player just jam man, just jam, play 10 takes, play for one hour, do whatever you want, and then later, we’ll go back and listen, and we’ll pick the best pieces. Because I think with the technology of Pro Tools, why not just relax and just do a bunch of takes until one feels great. I don’t like stopping people and correcting them, because there’s no need to, we’re in a digital world now, we can cut and paste things. I might say something like, hey when you do this next take, I want you to close your eyes, I want you to walk up to the mic, and I want you to imagine this song just went to number one on the charts. It’s already number one and now you’re singing it at some arena and you’re walking out, and now you’re singing it. And I’ve seen people turn on some different performances when I just say something like that, they’re like wow! So, you’ve got to kind of direct them and give them a little push.
GC: That’s great. I produce as well, and one of the biggest things to getting a great performance is the level of comfort and setting up a stress free environment.
GH: Yeah, exactly. They can relax you know, another big one Rod, is when when I’m recording guitar players or singers, sometimes the first take, oh my God, if I never… I always record every single thing they do, like, I will tell a guitar player, listen I need to get the levels, I need to get the E.Q. settings, can you just play a take for me and I won’t even tell them I am recording and then…
GC: (Laughing) Yeah, I do that as well
GH: Oh do you do that? OK, now both our covers a blow and we will never get a producing gig again, we’re liars (Laughing).
GC: Oh no (laughing) Yeah, but it has to do with the mental state, if the pressure is off, they are free to just play without judgment.
GH: What about a vocal? Same with vocals. On this new album, the two songs I’ll point out particularly, one was Boxcar Blues, the very, the very opening song before the band kicks in, that was the demo. I could not beat the demo, you know? I just couldn’t. I kept trying, and it was something in the attitude of a vocal, I didn’t even use a great mic on the intro, it sounded awesome. Then another one was kind of a Brian Setzer theme, a song I did called Who’s your Daddy. It’s a real uptempo swing song, the very first line, it goes, “look me in the eye, tell me it ain’t true”, that was from the demo, the rest of the lyrics, if you listen really close, you’ll maybe hear the vocal tone change, I actually could not beat that first line, it is just weird.
GC: That’s great! Yeah, I think your emotional state has so much to do with what type of performance you are able to give.
GH: It’s so true, it’s so true. I was doing a record one time and me and the lead singer were having a having a fight, an argument in the studio. If you could believe that ever happened between a guitar player and a singer, but we were fighting, we were arguing and he’s yelling at me like, don’t bore us, get to the chorus, you know, all this stuff, because he said my solo was too long. So, the engineer comes in, he breaks us up, and the singer is like, I just want to punch Gary, or whatever, and the engineer is like, you know, I might need some of that attitude right now. Could you go in and sing, like right now? And the singer is like, yeah I’ll go in right now! Then he does this like amazing take. Because, he was kind of all like, you know, worked up and everything, and the song was really this uptempo song. So, his attitude turned out to be great, and the engineer saw it, and he’s like, you know what? That attitude you have right now, just go in there and just sing, he goes in and takes it out on the mic.
GC: Awesome. Now, your sound has gone through various changes throughout the years, stylistically as well as tonally. Can you talk about where you started as far as gear and equipment and where you find yourself today?
GH: It’s true man, you know, it’s funny my tone has gone through a lot of changes, but in some weird way, it’s it hasn’t changed a whole lot. Because, I’ve been with Fender for almost twenty years now. I used to play Hamer, I played the flush fall for fifteen years when I first started. So, I’m I’m a big fan of humbuckers, so a lot of people, if they see me live, they’ll see me with Strats with two humbuckers going like, “why does he have a humbuckers in a Strat?”. it’s because I like humbuckers, but with a five way switch on my my gold Strat, which has become one of my main ones, it’s a 1997 Big Apple Strat, it’s a hard tail, so it was never routed for a tremolo. It’s just got that string through the back kind of thing, with a hard tail. So, it really kind of rocks a bit like a Les Paul, but with a five way switch, you know? I like the five way because I can split the neck, I can do the two pickups, which sounds a little bit like a Tele, so I can get some other tones.
Then I play a 1960 relic that John Cruz built for me, from a custom shop, that has a really cool vintage kind of approach. It has the three singles, but again, I swapped out the bridge pickup for a mini J. B., which is by Seymour Duncan. I’m not crazy about the single coil in the bridge, so I put in a mini J.B., which I really love. It’s funny, about thirty years ago, I bought a Soldano amp from Mike Soldano, and it was a purple rack mount, all tubes. And I kind of stuck with that theory of just stay with the tubes, and I’ve had that amp, literally, for thirty years. And when he started making his 5150 amps, I kind of followed that, and Fender started making the 5153, and that amp has become my main touring amp. I have a fifty watt that I just love beyond belief, I mean, that clean channel is, the channel one is like the best clean channel you’ve ever heard from Fender. And it also has a gain control, so you can gain it up a little bit, and get it a little bluesy, and then channel two is the “brown” sound that Eddie uses, and it’s really the perfect sound for me. So, that right now, has been my main amp in the last two albums. I recorded literally seventy percent of the solos and the rhythm parts with that amp. And so, it’s kind of funny, it’s really stuck with me, but I always throw in like a Fender, I bought a Fender Super Reverb a 4×10 amp, which is on the song Soul Surfer, on the new album and then, I picked up a Vox. In 2007, Vox came out with their 50th anniversary amp. It’s a fifteen watt amp Rod, and it’s unbelievable. Because what they did is, they copied the 1963 top boost, and I think the 1958 F E T channel. So, it’s a two channel tube amp, but it’s loudest fifteen watts I’d ever heard in my life. So, if you can find one on e Bay, I really recommend you buying them, because they did a limited amount, and that amp was all over the new record too, for like my clean tones and in some of the blues stuff like, Who’s your Daddy. I think I use it on the solo, but I’ve put a tube screamer in there to give some grind
GC: You now seem comfortable to have settled in a more blues type setting, it has and authenticity to it. Is this a return to where you started as a kid, or did you come to the blues later in your career?
GH: Well, you know what, I did. it’s funny, because the music that influenced me in the beginning, I think it was sort of blues influence to rock, you know I mean. It was like when I heard Clapton, and I heard Hendrix, and I heard these people, there was like, blues behind it. But it wasn’t as far back as Robert Johnson, or Elmore James and those guys. I didn’t really know those guys in the beginning. B.B. King caught my eye pretty early on though, I ended up buying a Lab Series L6 because of him. Because that was his favorite amp, I have a compressor built in and everything, and I use that amp for a long time, as well as Marshall’s. But I have the sort of blues based foundation in me, absolutely. I remember playing like Chuck Berry songs, you know?
Then, teaching guitar and some kid came to me, I think in 1978 he said, listen to this tape, and it was a guy named Eddie Van Halen. I looked at him and I said, “something is wrong with the tape player” I said, it’s not playing right, that’s really fast, I think it’s on fast forward. And he said no, that’s how he plays it, and I said no way. Then I heard this guy named Yngwie Malmsteen, and students were coming to me saying, “you need to teach me this”, and again I said, something’s wrong with this tape player, this is way too fast. So, it made me pull out my metronome and I started practicing, trying to get fast, but I was not a fast guitar player, I was a blues guy. And then we were all trying to play too fast, and then this guy came along named Stevie Ray Vaughan, and then David Bowie hired him to play on Let’s Dance, and he stopped us all dead in our tracks, and we were like, oh my God, this guy is playing every note with so much conviction, and it made me rediscover again, the blues. I started going back and going deeper, and deeper, and I started realizing he was listening to Albert King, and I realized that Eric Johnson was listening to Freddie King.
So, I started to go back to where they got it from. You know, I’m always a student of the blues, I’ve always have been. So, when you dive back into it, you can’t fake it, people just know whether you’re really feeling it. And just like you said, authenticity and all that kind of thing, that’s something I have been striving for. But you know what? Every white guitar player you know, from some mill town, does not think he’s an old authentic blues guy. So, I realized that I have to just be myself, and that’s what I’m feeling right now. So, to be honest with you, I am coming home to the blues, and I’m committing to it now for the next several albums. Because, I felt like Rod, one day, I woke up, I said this is something I can grow old doing, this is something I can really put my heart behind and that’s the motivation.
GC: Very Cool! Can you tell us about your brand new CD, Dust and Bones, and what you have in store for us as far as touring, videos etc?
GH: Well, the new album, Dust and Bones, comes out July 29th, and we have some shows booked already. So, we’re planning on touring a bunch behind the album, and we’ve been looking at Europe actually, Mascot Records (Hoey’s Label) is out of the Netherlands. We’ve been talking to some European agents and things about going over and playing in the fall, which is something I’ve actually been trying to do for a long time, and the timing wasn’t right. it just never really was happening, so now that we have an album out there, we have some presence over in Europe, we plan on doing a little bit over there and then obviously more in the States. And we are going to shoot a couple videos coming up for the album, and I plan on doing, once the album rolls out, we’re going to do a bunch of videos, like on Facebook and Twitter and things like that, just to dig a little deeper into the songs. I want to show people how I played them, and maybe what tones I was getting and how I used the dobro. So, we plan on doing a series of of like, little instructional videos to just kind of, let people in on how we created the songs a little bit. I thought that might be fun once the album is out, you know? I don’t want to do it now, because it still too new.
GC: That will be cool! And you said you have stuff in the States lined up?
GH: Yeah, we do actually. We’re heading out to Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago and then we’re going to be heading out to places like a New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania etc. At garyhoey.com, we’re posting stuff all the time. Now we’re building a brand new website, my website right now is so old and dated, it’s like an old WordPress or something. So, I apologize for my website, we’re revamping the website and a big part of it is going to be instructional. I’ve been filming videos for the last several weeks where we want to load up a bunch of instructional stuff and really give it a new look.
GC: Will you be releasing instructional DVDs, or are you looking to partner with someone online such at TrueFire, or other online publishers?
GH: Well, it’s ironic, you should mention TrueFire, because we actually just finished the series with TrueFire a couple of weeks ago. I just filmed an online series for them, it’s a blues rock series and we actually dissect a bunch of the songs off my last album Deja’ Blues, we go through some of the parts. So that’s coming out, they haven’t announced when it’s coming out, but that’s again, another thing I’m doing for my commitment to instruction. So, I did the TrueFire series, and I’m also doing my own online stuff, where I’m going to have a lot of free stuff, and then we may do some subscription based stuff. I have a fourteen year old son who plays guitar, so, we jam together on stage and he’s a big motivation for me also to do more instructional stuff. Because I love teaching him, and he’s always on You Tube saying, “Dad, check this out”. He’s really into Stevie Ray Vaughn, so, it’s becoming a thing that I think when I stop touring, I’ll probably be into education a lot in my older years.
GC: That’s great! Well, I would like to thank you for taking the time to sit down and chat. It was definitely a pleasure for me, and I know we all look forward to your new CD and catching you on the road! Maybe we’ll get a chance to do another festival or show together, that would be awesome!
GH: I was a pleasure to chat with you Rod, and I’m sure we’ll do another show together soon. That’d be great! I look forward to seeing you then.
GC: That would be awesome! Thanks again. Take care.
GH: Thank you, take care man
Have a look at our Current Issue “American Guitars”
Featured Interviews with Joe Bonamassa, and Greg Howe as well as Luthiers Gabriel Currie from EchoPark Guitars, John Monteleone, and a look at Benedetto Guitars after 48 years by CEO Howard Paul. The Photographers Vault by Derek Brad of his shoot of Joe Bonamassa at the State Theatre.