Trespass America Festival coming to Expo Center
Monday, 30 July 2012 by Matthew Girard
To say the people who have heard or seen Jason Hook play guitar has changed in the past few years would be an understatement of epic proportions.
Just a few short years ago, Hook, who is the lead guitarist of the heavy rock band Five Finger Death Punch, got his big break playing for pop star Mandy Moore.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Hook moved to Los Angeles with $200 in his pocket while driving a beat-up Dodge Colt with one goal – to do whatever it took to play guitar.
After "over exposing himself" playing practically any gig he could get, a friend told Hook that he thought he was good enough to try out for Mandy Moore, whose band needed an acoustic guitar player.
Despite not owning an acoustic guitar, Hook immediately jumped on the opportunity. With a credit card and the thought of being able to return the acoustic guitar if he didn't get the job, Hook learned the songs and nailed the audition.
Hook was then living his dream.
"I looked at all my buddies working at Ace Hardware, while I was getting on a plane on to go play Times Square for a morning show, so I thought, 'Who's smarter?'" Hook said.
After his stint with Moore and releasing his own albums, Hook joined Five Finger Death Punch, who will play the Bell County Expo Center on July 25 as the headliner of the Trespass America Festival Tour, in 2009.
"I had a fantastic time doing that stuff," Hook said of playing with Moore. "It taught me discipline because it was a professional environment. You can learn something from every situation and I was there to see what I could learn."
In a relatively short time, Five Finger Death Punch has climbed to the top of the rock charts with songs such as "Walk Away," "Bad Company," "Under and Over it" and their latest hit, "Coming down."
Part of the band's success has come from the avid fans who are also serving in the United States armed forces.
"We have a great love and respect for those people," Hook said. "It's very close to my heart because I'm the band military history enthusiast. I study all of the classic wars and the combat tactics, so I'm really into that stuff.
"We kind of just found each other. Our music works for them and we understand that, so we try to help and give back as much as we can."
The band has played overseas in Iraq and Kuwait for troops stationed there.
"It's a moral lifter and if that's what they need, that's what we go do," Hook said. "When we went over to Iraq and Kuwait, I could sense that they were very anxious to have a night off and very excited to have that heavy metal release."
Joining Five Finger Death Punch will be Killswitch Engage, Pop Evil, Battlecross, Emmure and Trivium.
"We've had big turnouts," Hook said of previous shows on the tour. "We spent some money on this show. Everytime I see pictures show up on the Internet, it just looks insane."
Doors for the show open at 5 p.m. and tickets are available through the Bell County Expo Center website, www.bellcountyexpo.com.