Interview By Oscar Jordan

Photos by Kimberly Annette ©2014

In the late 1980s Gary Hoey called into a local Boston radio program to speak to Ozzy Osbourne and wound up with an

Gary Hoey - Guitar Gods - Photo by Kimberly Annette ©2014

Gary Hoey – Guitar Gods – Photo by Kimberly Annette ©2014

audition to replace guitarist Jake E. Lee. That gig went to Zakk Wylde, but Hoey was a strong contender. With encouragement from Ozzy, he moved to Los Angeles and the rest is history.

He later broke into the Billboard’s Top 5 with his cover of “Hocus Pocus,” released successful Christmas albums, and continues to push the envelope mixing blues and rock. His current album is called Deja Blues and it’s just in time for the 2014 summer Guitar Gods Tour featuring Bumblefoot, Uli Jon Roth, and Yngwie Malmsteen.

Jordan: You’re a busy guy.

Hoey: I spent the last year touring on this blues album Deja Blues. I played with Robert Cray and Johnny Winter doing more of a blues thing. I’ve also been doing some producing, and working with different artists like Lita Ford again.

I’ve also been working with some young artists and working on new recordings. I just got asked to do this new Guitar Gods tour with Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, and Bumblefoot. It’s very exciting. The players are good people and it’s going to be really fun.

Yngwie was such a big influence on me in the ‘80s. I’m going to pull out some songs from the early albums that people have been asking me to play for a long time. I’ll maybe play more instrumentals on this tour.

Jordan: You’ve covered a lot of musical ground but blues seems to be a constant.

Hoey: It’s sort of a foundation for me, and it’s the kind of music I can live with as I get older. I can play the blues forever. Playing harder rock music or music that you’re trying to get on mainstream radio is a different mindset. The blues is home for me but it’s also a challenge. It’s a music I respect.

Deja Blues was probably the hardest album I ever made. When you make a record full of arrangements and melodies, you record things and they have to be in their place. They have to be in tune and the harmonies have to fit. When you play the blues, it’s like five minutes of wrenching every bit of your soul. You’re trying to give this intense performance because it’s the blues!

When I recorded it I noticed that it’s more intense in terms of staying true to what I was feeling. Not just faking it, and not just kind of letting it go. That to me is more difficult. I love songs with great arrangements and really good guitar work, but the blues is really cool because every time I do these songs live, I don’t do them exactly like the record. We count them off andsome nights they go in different directions.

Jordan: Is playing accessible guitar music a conscious choice?

I like to play music that draws people in. I love to play technical guitar, but I’d much rather move someone emotionally. When I got back into singing, playing guitar, and telling stories, that was to try to reach people and connect to what I’m thinking. Also to get more girls at the shows. When you play all instrumental music, there are no girls at the shows. It broadens the audience and it’s something I like. I want to play music for people.

Jordan: How did you find your voice on the guitar?

It’s about the songs. The thousands of guitar players that have really good talent and ability and want to be successful, don’t have songs. You gotta have something to sell people. It has to be original, unique, and your own.

I never knew I was unique and original. I just kept playing and eventually someone said, “You have a style.” Once you know it, you have to accept the way you play and who you are as a musician and artist. The other part is getting along with people, being a good person, treating your fans with respect, and realizing those are the people you work for. The fans are the ones that are keeping you alive.

What can we expect on the Guitar Gods Tour?

I’m not sure what Yngwie has in store. We’re excited to be there. I think there will be some surprises. I’m sure there will be some different guitar guys popping in jumping up on stage and jamming. I know that if I wasn’t on this tour, I would be one of the guys in the audience with my arms folded saying, “I wanna play!”







Date City Venue Country
06/22/14 Sunday Joliet IL Mojoe’s Concert Hall – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
06/23/14 Monday Minneapolis MN Skyway Theatre – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
06/26/14 Thursday Seattle, WA Showbox Theater – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
06/27/14 Friday Portland, OR Roseland Theater – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
06/28/14 Saturday Richmond, BC River Rock Casino – GUITAR GODS TOUR CA
VIP Upgrade
07/02/14 Wednesday Santa Ana, CA The Observatory – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/03/14 Thursday Beverly Hills, CA Saban Theater – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/04/14 Friday San Jose CA Club Milano – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/05/14 Saturday Ramona CA Ramona Rodeo Grounds – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/07/14 Monday Las Vegas, NV House of Blues – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/08/14 Tuesday Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/10/14 Thursday Dallas TX House of Blues – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/11/14 Friday Pharr TX Pharr Events Center – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/12/14 Saturday Houston TX House of Blues – GUITAR GODS TOUR US
VIP Upgrade
07/30/14 Wednesday Sterling Heights MI Freedom Hill – Peter Frampton Show US
08/01/14 Friday Lincoln, RI Twin River Casino US
08/10/14 Sunday Lebanon OR Guitars Under The Stars US
10/16/14 Thursday Mashantucket, CT Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp – feat. Roger Daltrey US
October 16th – 19th; Benefits “Tean Cancer America”





Gary Hoey Joins The Guitar Gods
Give us your opinion!
4.6Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

Leave a Reply