RnRR: Did I read right that your new album "Neon Highway Blues" debuted at #2 on the
GH: Yeah it debut at #2 on Billboards Blues charts.
RnRR: Congratulatons !
GH: Ahh Thank you man ! Thank you so much.
RnRR: So was that a surprise or did you expect that charting ?
GH: Yeah its always a surprise because you hope it gets on the charts. You hope it's
good. You hope people are gonna like it. My manager use to tell me "Your nobody
until somebody throws down $15 and buys your record." It was really exciting
though to see where it charted. I've only transitioned to the blues over the last few
albums. I'm known for doing a lot of instrumental, medalotic rock, or surf music so for
taking on the Blue's was a new challenge. You can't change jandra's so quick in this
business and the first year I wasn't really welcomed with open arms but now folks see
I'm serious and now it's coming into it's own.
RnRR: Your 1993 release "Animal Instinct " and it's single the cover of "Hocus Pocus"
took on the Grunge phase and it faired really well. That had to have been a
complete shocker ?
GH: Oh man you want to talk about a shocker. I had just done a great album on Warner
Brothers with Heavy Bones which was a great band that was a cross of Aerosmith
meets Led Zeppelin and it's release was right when Grunge came in and we got buried. I
went to the label after and said hey I got an album I'd like to do for about $15,000. I told
them I got a bunch of songs and friends that will play on the album. So we made this
goofy album named Animal Instinct and my manager said lets do one cover tune. Lets
do the one you play in the garage all the time "Hocus Pocus" We did it kinda as a goof. I
threw in Ted Nuggent's "Strangle Hold" in the middle and then it hit the radio and it took
off. We weren't planning for it to take off but it just did. Sometimes you force something
and it doesn't work. Sometimes you do something just for fun and it happens.
RnRR: Did a lot of musicians come asking what the secret to your success was during
this ? LoL !
GH: Oh man there where so many guitar players coming up to me on that tour going "I love
that song Hocus Pocus we play it in my band also, why am I'm not famous ?" I 'd be like
I don't know. (Laughing) They where actually happy for me because the grunge thing
was coming in and guitar solo's weren't cool anymore and I stuck to what I do. The
timing was just right.
RnRR: Speaking of the guitar solo.... Will the day of the Guitar Hero ever exist again ?...ie the
likes of you, Warren DeMartini, Michael Schenker, Steve Via, Eddie Van Halen, George
Lynch or are those days long gone ?
GH: I really don't know ! That's funny because I just got an email from a mom who sent me a
link to watch her two kids. Their like 13 and 14 and I got to tell you I was so blown away
with this 13 year old guitar player. He looked like Dave Mustaine. He had the long hair
and playing a shredding style of guitar. His brother was the drummer and I was saying I
think the future of rock n roll is looking pretty good. I think there's a new group of kids
coming up. I don't know if the guitar hero days will ever be what it was. I don't know. It' a
different time now and people are so distracted with social media and their phones. Most
people don't even know the names of everyone in the bands now days. But the die hard
fans do dig in deeper.
RnRR: It's been awhile since any Christmas music. What's going on with that ? (Laughing)
GH: At one point I thought Ok I've recorded 40 Christmas songs what could be left. I have
recorded some new Christmas stuff. I've been working on the Nutcracker Suite Dance of
the Sugar Plumb Fairy along with a few other songs and trying to find things I haven't
done.The plan is we're gonna try and get something brand new out here soon.
RnRR: Our we gonna get treated to some early Christmas songs at your August 3rd show
at the Nugget Celebrity Show Room in Sparks Nevada ?
GH: Sure why not. (Laughing)
RnRR: Surf guitar question. Dick Dale under or over rated ?
GH: Over all I feel he was under rated. He created something that wasn't happening. He was
inventing shred in the 60's when no one was doing it. He had a sound and a style. Very
under rated. I do a tribute to him in our live shows. People are loving it so we'll continue
to do it.
RnRR: Old days of recording in the studio or the new days of recording at home ?
GH: I love the luxury of waking up and putting on my fuzzy slippers and walking across the
yard to my studio. I'm working on Lita Ford's new album and can work on it an access it
when I want. There's something I really like about being at home. (Laughing) No offense to
the studio guys but some would sit there with their arms crossed while I was recording and
that wasn't inspiring to me. They would be like that's good enough because they wanted to
go home. With home recording I can work on it at my leisure and get it just the way I want
it. Back then there was a budget and time constraints now there's time to get it perfect.
RnRR: Best move you ever made....moving to Los Angeles or moving back to the East Coast ?
GH: (Laughing hysterically) Thats such a great question. I think moving to L.A. was the best. I
got to try out for Ozzy, signed with Warner Brothers, found my manager, got my woman,
and had my kids. My whole life changed when I moved out there but I knew when to leave
at the right time before it took my soul and all my money. (Laughing)
RnRR: Last time you where here in Reno Nevada you jammed with Greg Golden and you got
him on the bill for this upcoming show..
GH: Where excited to have Greg jamming again with us. He such a great guy and musician.
His shop Bizarre Guitar is amazing. I met Greg through Frank Hannon years ago at
NAMM. Yea Greg and Shanda are the best.
RnRR: You've released 21 albums and have numerous accomplishments which I believe
speak for themselve about you but how does Gary Hoey want to be described or
GH: I get a lot of young musicians asking me all the time for help or advice. One of the things I
tell them is this "What you do the most is what you will become. If you want to be a
musician you got to just do it. Go out and do what you want to become. The legacy you
want to leave behind as a person in business and the people you deal with is try to be a
good and decent person because that sometimes will carry you further than your chops.
Don't be afraid to screw up and come back and say sorry because we all mess up
So I just want to be remembered for being a guy who made the best music he possibly
could make for people and he always tried to be a decent person as well. That's what I'll
try to leave for a legacy and that's what I hope for.
RnRR: And with that being said so well, we'll end it ! ( Laughing)
GH: Thanks man !
RnRR: Thank you Gary