12 Questions with Derek Hoke
by Jim Simpson
Twelve is an iconic number. There were the 12 Tribes of Israel, there are 12 eggs in a dozen, and 12-step programs. Twelve is also a sublime mathematical number, there are 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 disciples of Christ, 12 months in a year, 12 strikes to a perfect game in bowling . . . we could go on and on.
So, what better number of questions to ask one of our favorite artists. Our first guinea pig interviewee is Nashville singer/songwriter Derek Hoke. We love his debut, Goodbye Rock ‘n’ Roll, which we reviewed a while back.
So, what does Derek have to say for himself? Read on.
CMP: What’s for supper?
Derek Hoke: Lately it’s been Mexican. I’m a taco junkie.
CMP: List five items currently in your refrigerator.
DH: Limes, lemons, apples, some sort of Japanese sauce, and a lonely piece of cake.
CMP: Buck Owens or Roy Clark?
DH: Well, if you catch a Hee-Haw re-run at the right time, both of ’em!
CMP: What are you listening to these days?
DH: The Black Keys “Brothers”, The Broken Bells, and Jerry Douglas “Everything Is Gonna Work Out Fine.”
CMP: What was your first paying job?
DH: Washing cars at my grandfather’s drywall business.
CMP: What was your first paying music gig?
DH: Playing at a dive bar in S.C. called the Wooden Nickle. I was in high school at the time. Think I made 10 bucks.
CMP: Did you always know you wanted to be a musician? (John Prine was a mailman, you know.)
DH: I’ve always played music, but I had a brief stint as an insurance adjuster. After realizing all I did was blow my paychecks on CDs and guitars, I knew it wasn’t for me.
CMP: What record or artist changed your life when you first heard it, him or her?
DH: Paul McCartney’s first solo record [McCartney, 1970]. I’ve always loved the Beatles, but there’s just something about the sweet innocence of that record that draws me in every time.
CMP: For you, which comes first, the lyric or the melody?
DH: I usually just start mumbling a little catch phrase or whistle a little melodic line that pops into my head. If it stirs up something I’ll start to try and develop it. Sometimes it’s just a little annoying jingle I’ve created out of nowhere, but sometimes it turns into a nice little tune. A song is born!
CMP: What does Nashville mean to you?
DH: Home, friends, tradition, progress.
CMP: If you were voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame tomorrow, what would you say in your acceptance speech?
DH:: “I think you have the wrong guy.”
CMP: What’s next for Derek Hoke?
DH:: Music and Arts festivals in Chicago and Bristol (TN), writing for next record. Just keep having fun!
Stalk follow Derek on Twitter @derekhoke or catch him playing around Nashville.