Joel Hoekstra is Dying To Live, and wants you to come alongBy William Simpson • Oct 11th, 2015 • Category: Feature Articles
Article by Jennifer Reid
While traveling the world with the legendary David Coverdale and Whitesnake, who would have to time to make a solo album? That would be the ingenious Joel Hoekstra.
“This is an album that the fans have been asking from me for quite some time. I’ve had alot of requests for solo albums that people could relate to a little bit more.” The debut album from his newest project, Joel Hoekstra’s 13 and titled “Dying To Live” is not only easy to relate to, but will grab you by the back of the neck, lure you in further, track by track, until finally, without realizing it, the tracks are complete. This album is why the repeat button was created.
In his own words, Hoekstra describes Dying To Live as “Dio’ish at it’s heaviest, and Foreigner’ish at it’s lightest.” The 11 song masterpiece is remniscent of the rock we all remember so fondly. Unwieldy guitar riffs, monsterous drum tone, invariable keyboards, and unequivocal vocals. So, how did this all come together?
“It all started with Tony Franklin.” says Hoekstra. “We had just finished a project and I asked him who he would want to use as a drummer. He recommened Vinnie Apice. From there, Russell Allen had just signed up to do Trans Siberian Orchestra, right as I was looking for a singer and I was like well, this is the guy.” Hoekstra explains,”he sang the first 7 songs and then I called in a favor to my friend Jeff Scott Soto to sing back up. I knew he was over qualified, but he did it.” Hoekstra says at that time it became clear it was going to be a project album. “I wanted Jeff to sing lead on the 2nd half of the record to add a little variety and bring more fun to the party.” He then started at the top of the list for keyboards, and asked Derek Sherinian if he was willing to play. Yes, he was. Excitedely, he states “all of the sudden I had one of the coolest line ups to ever play on a classic rock album!”
Joel Hoekstra feels he is most well known for his rock genre sound. Past albums have had a mixture of funk, blues, and easy listening, but according to him, “there is always something about the energy of rock that is most appealing to me.”
Dying To Live is his pet project as he has handled it from the ground up. “I’m usually just the guy who goes in and lays guitar down for these albums.” He continues, “but with me doing all the writing, the arranging, the producing, and handling the promotional end of it, it’s just been a really great learning experience for me.”
Dying To Live will be available to purchase on October 16. Any self respecting rock lover will have it in their hand, pronto.