Combining a passion for playing rock, classical, and jazz music; Jeremy Hook is a guitarist that is always striving to create something new. Having played in many rock bands while studying jazz guitar in his hometown of Fredericksburg, Jeremy developed a taste for combining styles and techniques from the many genres he loves.
Jeremy started playing the electric guitar over ten years ago, and has sense expanded his playing to acoustic, finger-style, nylon, and extended ranged instruments; such as 7 and 8 string guitars. He firmly believes that learning music is a rich and endless journey, and enjoys mentoring students to discover their own musical path. The current step of Jeremy’s musical journey is studying classical guitar at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he is in pursuit of obtaining his Bachelors in Music Performance.
Aside from playing the guitar, Jeremy possess a deep love for composing music. Rather it be songwriting for his progressive rock band, Epiphany, or arranging music for video games/film; Jeremy believes that creating art is the most important, and wonderful thing a musician can do.
Tell us a little bit about your musical background; when you first started, the first experience that made you want to become a musician.
Having been exposed to my father’s record collection of 60’s/70’s music at a very young age, I learned to admire musicianship and the art of songwriting while still in elementary school. When I listened to bands from his collection, such as Cream and Yes, the guitar always managed to capture my attention beyond all else.
At age 12, I expressed my interest in music to my uncle who plays guitar, who proceeded let me try out his Fender Stratocaster. As an adolescent teen, life seems very uncertain; but when I picked up that guitar, for the first time in my life I experienced something that I knew was meant to be. In that moment, nearly twelve years ago, I discovered that there was nothing more in life that I wanted to do than to play guitar.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
It’s certainly difficult to choose my favorite artists when I have so many from so many different genres!
From traditional rock music; I would have to say that no artist has had a bigger influence on me than The Beatles and heavy metal legends, Metallica.
In modern music; I religiously follow progressive rock bands Animals as Leaders and Dream Theater.
In classical music; I always gravitate back to the compositions of J.S. Bach, as well as my classical guitar hero Francisco Tárrega.
In jazz; I deeply connect to the works of early jazz composers like Dave Brubeck and Charlie Parker; but I also share a passion for modern players such as Pat Metheney, Allan Holdsworth, and pianist Hiromi Uehara.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations, musical, and non-musical?
Musically, the joy of composing, progressing, and playing keep me inspired to continue my musical path.
Non-musically, there is no bigger non-musical inspiration than the love and compassion I receive from my wife.
If you could follow in any musician’s footsteps, who would it be?
As interesting as it could be to follow the footsteps of a hero, I would rather walk my own path. I’m a firm believer in borrowing and learning from your idols, but you should strive to forge your own way in life.
If you had the ability to pick anybody to collaborate with musically, who would it be?
Honestly the choices are endless, I would love the opportunity to write with all my heroes! I think the greatest honor of all time would be able to create music with Paul McCartney. Paul can write the most memorable, emotionally moving songs with even the simplest of chord progressions. I would love to tap into his writing process.
What are your plans for the future of your music?
My dream career would be to compose music for film and video games, while simultaneously teaching; be it in academia or private instruction. I plan to complete my Bachelors of Music at VCU and pay my dues performing locally. After becoming a seasoned musician in Richmond, I intend to continue my education in pursuit of earning a Ph.D. in Musical Composition.