HOOK, the new solo project of former FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook, will make its live debut on next year's ShipRocked cruise.
ShipRocked 2023, which will expand to six days for its 13th sailing, departs on January 22 from Port Canaveral, Florida with stops at Half Moon Cay in The Bahamas, Grand Turk in Turks & Caicos Islands, and Dominican Republic's Amber Cove.
Last October, Hook spoke to the "Making Waves" podcast about his new project for which he has been writing music for much of the past three years. He said: "That's been the only agenda I've had, really, since leaving DEATH PUNCH. I just went right to work writing songs. I've got 30, 35 songs. Where I'm getting stuck is I've had many singers come through and I'm just really trying to be patient to pick the right guy. [People on my team] were, like, 'Don't be in a hurry to pick your singer. Make sure you find the right guy.' And I don't disagree with that because it really is the make-or-break element. So, that's top priority right now."
He continued: "I've done my work. I've got all the material prepared; some are completed songs, some are just music. But I really wanna find a co-writer, a partner, somebody that I have that chemistry with and that we're both on the same page musically. I've got the facility. That's the only element that's missing."
Asked what kind of singer he is looking for, Hook said: "I like heavy music, but I also like melodic music. And I think that's one of the things that [FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH singer] Ivan Moody was fantastic with, is that he sells his lyrics, he can sing really well, and he can get heavy but you can still decipher what he's talking about; you can follow the storyline. It's not like that guttural [death metal-style vocal]; you can really understand what he's saying even when he's singing with his heavy voice. And Ivan Moodys don't just grow on trees [laughs]; it's hard to find.
"I like guys like Dave Grohl," he added. "I certainly like Corey Taylor. I always loved Adam Gontier's voice, from THREE DAYS GRACE; those early records and the power and the grit of his voice. But most importantly, I'm just looking for somebody that has something above and beyond, something that's magic. There's a lot of good guys out there — I've certainly had them over here — but I'm looking for something that's magic, not just good."
Hook went on to say that he is not trying to simply launch another version of his former band. "I'm not necessarily looking to recreate FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH," he said. "That band is an anomaly, and I think it would be foolish to try to clone it. The music will have familiar sounds and elements from what they sound like, but that's only because I had a pretty decent hand at writing that music. So it's inevitable that I'm gonna take me over here, and it's gonna have some familiarity, obviously. But as far as a singer goes, it's kind of like when Tom Morello found Chris Cornell, you've got two guys that are extremely good at their role; that was destined to succeed. Now, when Eddie Van Halen had Sammy Hagar, they got very lucky 'cause that clicked, that worked. But when they got Gary Cherone — not so cool."
In October 2020, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH confirmed that it had officially parted ways with Hook eight months earlier during the band's sold-out European arena tour. He has since been replaced by renowned British virtuoso Andy James, who made his recording debut with FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH on "Broken World", a song that was included on the second installment of the group's greatest-hits collection, "A Decade Of Destruction - Volume 2".
After his recovery from emergency gallbladder surgery at the end of 2019, Hook had to leave midway from the group's tour of Europe to address further complications.
Jason, who joined FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in 2009, said about his exit from the band: "As for the reason I'm leaving… well, there really isn't just one. I've been in bands my entire life and I feel like I've done all the good that I can here. It's time to pass the baton and move on to new challenges."