Jason Hook

Bullet Boys

The 80's was the greatest era in Hard Rock music (I don't want any disagreements on that) and almost every band that comes from there became legendary. One of the bands that survived the misery of 90's (Thank God!!!) is Bullet Boys. Their guitarist, Jason Hook, handed us this pleasurable interview and we are obliged to thank him for spending his precious time on these questions and for being so friendly with us.
By Dimitra Zertopouli
August 27, 2001
Jason Hook (Bullet Boys) interview

Bullet Boys are in the music scene for more than a decade, but people aren't familiar with them here (Greece). Would you like to introduce the band to us? Can you tell us more about the current line-up?

Yes, the current line-up is Marq Torien, Lonnie Vencent (the co-founders), Myself (Jason Hook) and a new drummer Pete That 70's Show Newman. The band, consisting of former members of King Korbra and Ratt, originally burst on to the LA circuit in the mid to late 80's. It wasn't long before they caught the interest of heavy weight Warner Bros. And were signed to an extensive recording contract. The first album was produced by legend Ted Templeman (Van Halen, Doobie Brothers) and immediately scored a top 40 hit with their first single, Smooth Up In Ya. Subsequent Albums and hits would follow until the introduction of the grunge movement in the early 90's, resulting in the break up of the group.

Can you describe the sound of Bullet Boys?

Their sound has always been raw and raunchy. The sexually charged music seemed to bypass a lot of the glossy production that most of the other bands were shooting for at the time.

You weren't in the band since the beginning. Can you tell us when you joined in and how did that happened?

I've been in the band for about a year and a half now. When I first moved to Los Angeles, back in 1994, I played in a band with the original Bullet Boys guitarist, Mick Sweda. He was the one that actually referred me to the gig. We are still good friends.

You are also the guitarist of Mandy Moore. How did this cooperation happened? How does it feel to be involved with two completely different styles of music?

I got the Mandy gig the same way, referral. For anyone who is wondering how to get gigs, Los Angeles is the answer ............... If you are a good player, just move to LA. it won't take long before people will want you.

Is Burning Cats and Amputees Bullet Boys' more recent release? Did you participate in the song-writing process? Can you tell us some more things about it?

The B.C.A. record was actually done just before I joined the band ........... The idea behind that record was more of a greatest hits package than anything else. I'm pretty sure they recorded it live off the floor in a short period of time. It had the four original members which really brought that classic energy to the record.

Do Bullet Boys work on something new right now?

Yes in fact, we are in the process of recording the 5th studio album with producer Andy Johns. We have already finished 3 songs which you can preview on my website (www.jasonhook.net)

Bulletboys participated to the tribute album Breaking The Law: An Industrial Rock Tribute To Judas Priest with the song Living After Midnight, right? Can you tell us some things about this? Do you think that the term Industrial Rock is appropriate for the bands that were included in the album? (To tell you the truth, I hate that term.)

Well, I wasn't aware of the Priest tribute album, I'd be curious to hear more about it. The term industrial rock never made much sense to me, although I guess it was helpful in distinguishing bands with raw instrumentation, from those who incorporate mechanical sounds etc.

Recently Bullet Boys were on the road and you performed on some shows of the Glam Slam Metal Jam Tour along with Enuf Z Nuff, Great White, Vince Neil, Warrant, Quiet Riot and Poison. How was the response of the audience towards the band? How does it feel to share the stage with so many great 80's bands?

It was awesome! Probably one of the highlights of being a Bullet Boy. Most of the bands already knew each other, so it was like attending the world largest rock n' roll backyard party. We were talking to Bret about being included on next years bill.

Bullet Boys started touring with Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns. Why you are not on the bill anymore?

That's a great question (by the way I'm doing this interview on my laptop on the plane to NY right now, and the guy beside me has the worst breath I have ever smelled.) anyway, we had to pull out for a few different reasons, one of them being that we are trying to get this record finished, and we just couldn't physically do both. (plus I had a prior commitment to Mandy to do promotional appearances for the release of her new record.)

Do you have any tour plans for the future? (I heard something about touring with Pretty Boy Floyd).

No .......... that's off too .......... same reason.

Obviously, you have toured with many bands, which ones do you consider as the best touring experiences you had? Is there any other bands that you would like to go on the road with?

I would have to say that touring with Mandy Moore is pretty awesome. The two experiences are totally different (Bullet Boys/Mandy Moore) Most of the stuff with Mandy gets us up early in the morning and we do a lot of stuff on weekdays .................. with Bullet Boys we stay up all night sleep all day and do most of our shows on weekends. There is a real camaraderie with an all male rock band that I love. Mandy puts us up in 5 star hotels, we travel first class everywhere, even our rehearsals are catered ............. sometimes I laugh to myself, I'm so happy.

Do you have any funny incident from the road that you would like to share with us?

Oh boy do I ............... nothing I should tell .......... let me tell you this ............... the members of Mandy's band (not Mandy) can get pretty out of control. I'm talking activity that could rival Guns and Roses.

There are rumors over the net that Bullet Boys have several problems these days are they true?

................ Yes and no ............ I mean what rock ‘n roll band doesn't? we seem to be able to work through our problems without any major loss of momentum. I hate to use the old cliche but a band is like a marriage. If you spend enough time with someone, the way you hear them say hello can be misinterpreted as a fuck you asshole.

Do you have any musicians in mind that you would like to work with?

Oh yeah, I'm managed by the same people that handle the Warrant band. I always thought Jani Lane was a great song writer. I'm trying to collaborate him on one or two things.

Do you have any plans for solo-projects?

Yes. After the Bullet Boys record is finished I would like to do my own record ......... I want to be very careful, not to do a self indulgent guitar record, I think that has been thoroughly covered. I think I'd like to do a record that has a collection of songs on it with guest singers.

On your web-site you say that you like web-designing. How deeply are you involved with computers? Do you think that the internet help bands to get more known?

I'm a total self professed hardcore computer junkie. I really need to get away from the damn thing! It's like the worlds greatest unsolved puzzle .............. anything you want to do, you can find software to make it happen. Learning software takes time, so therein lies the challenge and mental stimulation that I adore.

Would you like to give a special message to your fans?

Well, I have to be humble, I'm not sure if I even have fans. It just seems that my list of friends is growing exponentially every day. Message? Well, thanks for being awesome friends. I wish everybody could feel how great it feels to have such great support and encouragement. Turn it up loud!

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