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15th January 2024

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Q: Somebody told me that you first met on the Monsters of Rock Cruise; is that correct?


JH: Yeah. Sometimes they combine artists on the Meet and Greets in the past and we were off the ship at one of the little islands that it stops at and they had us scheduled together which I thought was cool as we had never met. They were playing songs from both of our records and he said ‘That’s my stuff playing’ and I really liked it. We got along really well and I don’t think it was there that he asked about doing these shows together but he did say that he sometimes had a second guitarist on shows and asked if I would be into that. ‘Absolutely man’ because I’m always looking to work with talented, positive people and Brandon fits that description. So off we went, just doing them here and there between tours and we didn’t really anticipate doing as much as we are, it just all of a sudden became this thing where we were going over to the UK and going over to Europe, starting to turn into a full-blown thing.


BG: Joel said it just right. We were at the Meet and Greet, both records were playing and we got along really well and then when I got home, it was two or three weeks later and I got a text from a promoter that asked if we would ever do anything together. I said ‘Shoot! I just hung out with him. I have his number so I’ll ask him right now’. So again, we started small with here and there kind of stuff and we turned it into a rolling business but we didn’t expect any of the opportunity of what has been happening for the last seven years or so.


Q: Two guys, two acoustics, no big production or Rock ‘n’ Roll entourage, pretty much taking care of yourselves. Does it feel good to get back to grass roots level?


JH: Absolutely! I think the best thing about these is that the people that come to them are the people that really care. If I’m playing for Trans-Siberian Orchestra or Whitesnake, there might be a handful of people that leave the arena knowing your name or really caring about the individual, not just saying the dark-haired guitar player or the blond-haired guitar player or whatever but the people who come to our shows, are actively following your career and those are the people that deserve to meet and greet us and deserve the special attention. We can do that because these gigs are more intimate and obviously that’s possible after a Whitesnake show, I can’t meet every single person but this provides it.


Q: Well I had a look at some of the venues you play and they are about as up close and personal as you can get…


BG: It’s insane – we really, really, do our best. We do these intimate venues to give everyone our time afterwards and it’s just out of utter appreciation as we did not expect to be playing overseas for anybody. Joel and I do not check out of the venue until the last person gets a photo and a handshake and that comes from a good place. This is our thing and with respect to all the groups we get to play with, we created this and it’s because of all the people that come to see us. Afterwards it’s all high-fiving and hugging each other.


Q: Personally, I’m against paying for Meet and Greets as they have got totally out of hand with some of the price’s bands are charging so for you guys to do this is a real bonus for all the people in the audience.


BG: It’s equally as important as the show and then when we come back, people will say ‘These guys are cool and they came here and talked with us’ and t’s a pleasure for us as well! When you are in an RV or a bus all day long and you play your show, you crack your fingers and you do want to actually talk to some people. The shows are like a vacation to be honest. You get to hang out with cool people, play for them and talk to them.


Q: You both have resumes as long as my arm. Some of the songs are fairly obvious choices but you also throw in Doors, REO Speedwagon, Stealers Wheel…how do you choose the non-Hoekstra/Gibbs songs?


JH: Some of those were songs that Brandon was doing solo and said he had a version of and I am extremely easy when it comes to what people want to play so I just try and come up with something to emulate and fill the song out. Brandon’s singing and playing the chords and I’ll try and do what I know, cop a load of the piano stuff and work out how the solos could sound on an acoustic. You need to quote the important parts and then some of the stuff is a bit of a no-brainer. We both really like Tom Petty and the song is in two-part harmony so the song is tailor-made for the gig. The Doors is something that I am comfortable singing as I’ve been doing the Jim Morrison thing since I was a young guy…


BG: …and he’s really good at it!


Q: I have to say, the solo you pull off on that – because it is a keyboard solo on the original recording – I love all the inversions you do on it.

BG: Yeah!

JH: You’re the first person to notice and comment on that! Yeah, it’s obviously a Clavinet or harpsichord kind of sound on the record and luckily it is in the key of E so I can copy his solo note-for-note which makes it sound like The Doors but a different version.


Q: For all the songs you do, does it take long to work out the parts or do you have one of those natural telepathies between you?


BG: Maybe in the very beginning, we would discuss who was going where on the arrangements but right now, we kind of have a formula which is that I will hold down the rhythm foundation and Joel does more research on the parts like The Doors as you just mentioned. The iconic licks that you hear be it piano or guitar, he throws those in and let’s say I’m playing G chord down the bottom of the neck, he will play one further up; we don’t have to discuss that much. We are going to have to discuss that more though because we are talking about writing a song together but as far as what we are doing together right now, either Joel brings it to the table or I bring it to the table and we kind of know who is going to do what. In the shows, we both have our time to shine. We both have guitar solos but generally, we try to build each other up in every way we can.


Q: How strict are you during the shows? Granted the arrangements are the same but do you wander off a bit or extend solos sometimes? Do you jam or shake it up a little bit?


JH: One of the good things about this is that if someone takes a left turn, there’s only one other person who needs to follow him, right? (laughs)


BG: I take a lot of left turns and Joel goes ‘Whaaaa…?’ (laughs)


JH: It definitely happens here and there. It’s another of the things that is cool about it in that it’s not presented in a massively scripted way at all. It’s one of the  differences you can do as a duo as opposed to doing a full band thing.


Q: Do you find that arranging some of the songs for two acoustics gives them a different connotation either musically or lyrically?

BG: The popular cover songs that we do from bands we have been in, we kind of stick to them as close as we can. I don’t know really… Joel, what do you think?


JH: Brandon, inherently, is…when I’m sitting in with a band that’s doing a Whitesnake song for example, everybody is usually doing their best Coverdale and Brandon just sings it his own way. He has a bit more American, cross-over Blues-Country vocal so when he’s singing Here I Go Again, it’s different to David. So in that regard as a duo, as opposed to a Whitesnake cover band., the songs do take on a little bit more of their own life, yes. Both are great, they’re just different and each is their own version. There are all kinds of differences and it’s fun to play around with all the different inversions of stuff like Every Rose Has it’s Thorn. My guitar parts are very different to what you would hear at a Poison gig.


BG: That’s the along way of saying what I wanted to say! (laughs)


JH: Performance wise, we each put our own spin on things but the framework remains the same. How’s that for a more concise answer.

Q: Got it. Do you have to play the solos on acoustics differently to when you do them on electrics given that you probably have different dynamics and probably different string gauges as well? I can’t imagine you bending up the top E string s fifth on an acoustic.


JH: Yeah. Some of the bendy stuff like what John Sykes did on Is This Love, instead of bending it, I’ll phrase it like a chord so the notes ring over each other and you get a bit of the overtone vibe that gives you a kind of sustain. You find ways to make it work. Acoustic shows are always something I’ve enjoyed doing and I’m not sure exactly why. I study Classical a lot and have worked with a lot of singer-songwriters where I have been the second guitarist. We did acoustic shows with Night Ranger and I always loved those. Sadly, we never had any with Whitesnake; David talked about it but we never got there.


BG: Joel uses a little bit lighter gauge. I use thirteens because we don’t have percussion and bass so I try to do the heavy-hand chug-chug when he’s doing a solo which makes it sound more full.


JH: Yeah I use twelves because it’s a little but easier to get some of the vibrato. I can bend the E and the B when I need to.


Q: Two guys onstage, the audience in three feet away, how on-the-ball do you have to be?


BG: We warm-up almost all day. Joel in the RV is constantly playing and I have different hand exercises I use so once we get on stage, we feel like we have put the work in to feel loose so if we do make a mistake, nine times out ten we just laugh at each other.


Q: Sounds like you both put an awful lot into these shows.


JH: If you’re a seasoned pro, you know how to play off other people. You have to remember as well that if you take away guitars and drums and keyboards, there is more room to play. When everyone is playing in a band, you have to play a little less active. That’s my advice to my students all the time; listen to the parts everyone else is doing and if they are all playing active, you need to think open. With Brandon just strumming, that gives me room to play a little bit more.


Q: Brandon, earlier on, you mentioned writing a song together. Please tell us more…


BG: Joel and I want this to be the year when we come out with our own single and it’s important to us right now because I call this whole thing, an accidental success. As we mentioned before, it was two friends playing together and now we’ve got a lot of tread on the highway, done a lot of things and met a lot of people. We tried before on the road in hotel rooms and places before playing to come up with ideas but now we actually have time to figure something out. I think it will be Blues-Rocky, that’s where we might go but you never know. Every time I start writing a song, at the end of it is nowhere near where I started out with or envisioned – it always gets better.


Q: I’m sure you two will come up with something good. Just before we sign off, anything you would like to add?


JH: It is guaranteed the greatest show in the history of entertainment (Joel is grinning widely, supressing a giggle, as he says this)


BG: Not only the greatest show but the most fun you will ever have. (Likewise, Brandon is smiling from ear-to-ear). It is scientific.


Q: Perfect. Gentlemen, thank you very much for doing this, much appreciated.


JH: We appreciate it, thank you.


BG: See you guys, thank you.

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ジョエル・ホークストラ & ブランドン・ギブス インタビュー



Q: 最初に出会ったのはモンスターズ・オブ・ロック・クルーズだったと聞いたのですが、そうなのですか?

JH: そう。以前、ミート&グリートでアーティストを組み合わせることがあったんだけど、僕らは船を降りて小さな島に寄ったんだ。僕らは同じスケジュールで、初対面だったから、クールなことだと思ったんだ。彼らは僕らの両方のレコードの曲を演奏していて、彼は「これは僕の曲だ。」と言って、僕はそれがすごく気に入ったんだ。僕らはとても仲良くなったし、そこで彼が一緒にライヴをやりたいとは言ってなかったと思うけど、彼はライヴに2人目のギタリストを参加させることがあると言って、僕がそれに参加するかどうか尋ねてきたんだ。「当たり前じゃないか。」って答えたよ。才能があり、前向きな人たちと仕事をしたいといつも思っているからね。ブランドンはそれに当てはまる。ツアーの合間にあちこちでやっていたんだけど、これほどたくさんやるとは思っていなかった。これほど多くのことをやるとは予想していなかったんだ。突然、イギリスへ行ったり、ヨーロッパへ行ったりして、本格的なものになり始めたんだ。




Q: 2人だけ、2台のアコースティック楽器、大きなプロダクションもロックンロールにつきものの大勢のスタッフもいない。ほとんど自分たちで面倒見ています。草の根レベルに戻るのはいい気分ですか?



Q: あなたがプレイする会場をいくつか見てみたのですが、可能な限り間近で、パーソナルなものですね......。



Q: 個人的には、ミート&グリートにお金を払うことには反対なんです。バンドが請求している料金の中には、まったく手に負えないものもあるから、あなたたちがこのようなことをしてくれるのは、観客のみんなにとって本当にボーナスなんですよ。

BG: それはショーと同じくらい重要なことだし、僕らが戻ってきた時に、みんなが「この人たちはクールで、ここに来て私たちと話をしてくれた」と言ってくれる!それは僕らにとっても喜ばしいことさ!一日中RV車やバスの中にいて、自分のショーをする時は、指をポキポキ鳴らして、何人かの人と実際に話したくてうずうずするものさ。正直なところ、ショーは休暇のようなものだ。クールな人たちと一緒にいて、彼らのためにプレイし、彼らと話すことができる。


Q: お二人とも私が腕を広げたほどもある経歴の持ち主ですよね。いくつかの曲はかなり分かりやすい選択ですが、ドアーズ、REOスピードワゴン、スティーラーズ・ホイールも入っています。ホークストラ/ギブス以外の曲はどのように選んでいるのですか

JH: ブランドンがソロでやっていた曲で、彼が違うバージョンもあると言っていたものもあった。僕は、人が何を演奏したいかということに関しては、非常に簡単なんだ。だから、僕はただ、何かを模倣し、曲を埋めようと思いつくだけなんだ。ブランドンが歌ってコードを弾くので、僕は自分の知っていることをやってみる。ピアノをコピーして、ソロがアコースティックでどう聞こえるかを考えてみる。その際は重要な部分を引用する必要がある。そのうちのいくつかは、ちょっとしたことなんだ。僕は二人ともトム・ペティが大好きだし、この曲は二部ハーモニーだから、このギグのために作られたような曲なんだ。ドアーズは、若い頃からジム・モリソンのようなことをやっていたから、歌いやすいんだ...。




Q: あのソロは素晴らしかったです。オリジナル・レコーディングではキーボード・ソロだったのですが、そのソロであなたがやっているすべての展開がとても気に入りました。

BG: そりゃあ良かった!


JH: それに気づいてコメントしてくれたのは、君が初めてだよ!ああ、レコードの音は明らかにクラヴィネットかチェンバロのような音で、幸運なことにキーがEだから、彼のソロを一音一音コピーすることができた。ドアーズのように聴こえるけど、これは違うバージョンなんだ。




Q: 本番中の規律なんてあるのかな?アレンジは同じだけど、ソロを少し外したり、伸ばしたりすることはありますか?ジャムや展開させたりとか?

JH: これのいいところの一つは、誰かが左折した場合、その後に続く必要があるのはもう一人だけということだね(笑)。


BG: 僕は左折が多いんだけど、ジョエルは「おいおい.....」って言うんだ(笑)。


JH: 確かにあちこちでそういうことがある。台本がないのもこのユニットのいいところさ。フルバンドでやるのと違って、デュオでできることの違いの一つだね。


Q: いくつかの曲を2つのアコースティック用にアレンジすることで、音楽的にも歌詞的にも違った意味合いが出てくると思いますか?



JH: ブランドンは、本質的に...例えば、僕がホワイトスネイクの曲をやっているバンドに同席している時は、みんなはたいてい最高のカヴァデールをやろうとしているけど、ブランドンは自分なりのやり方で歌っている。彼はもう少しアメリカ的で、ブルースとカントリーをクロスオーバーさせたボーカルだから、「Here I Go Again」を歌う時はデヴィッドとは違うんだ。だから、ホワイトスネイクのカヴァー・バンドとは対照的に、デュオとしてのその点では、曲はもう少し独自の生命を帯びていると思う。どちらも素晴らしいが、それぞれ違っていて、それぞれのバージョンだ。いろいろな違いがあるし、「Every Rose Has it's Thorn」のように、いろいろな逆転の発想で遊ぶのも楽しい。僕のギター・パートは、ポイズンのギグで聴かれるものとはまったく違うよ。


BG: それは僕が言いたかったことだ(笑)!


JH: パフォーマンス面では、それぞれに工夫を凝らしているが、枠組みは変わらない。これがもっと簡潔な答えだろうね。


Q: 了解です。アコースティックでソロを弾く時とエレクトリックでソロを弾く時では、ダイナミクスも違えば弦のゲージも違うでしょうから、弾き方も違ってくるのでしょうか?アコースティックで一番上のE弦の5弦をチョーキングするなんて想像できませんし。

JH: そうだね。ジョン・サイクスが「Is This Love」でやっていたような、ベンディングしやすい曲は、その代わりにコードのようなフレーズにして、音が重なって鳴るようにするんだ。それをうまくやる方法を見つけるんだ。アコースティック・ショーはいつも楽しめるんだけど、なぜなのかはよく分からない。僕はクラシックをよく勉強しているし、セカンドギタリストとして多くのシンガーソングライターと仕事をしてきた。ナイト・レンジャーと一緒にアコースティック・ライヴをやったんだけど、僕はいつもそれが大好きだった。悲しいことに、ホワイトスネイクではそれは一度も実現しなかった。デヴィッドはそれについて話していたけれど、結局実現しなかったんだ。




JH: 僕が12ゲージを使うのは、ビブラートをかけやすいからだ。EとBは必要な時にチョーキングできる。













JH: エンターテインメント史上最高のショーになることは間違いないよ。(ジョエルはそう言いながら、必死に笑いをこらえている)


BG:最高のショーというだけでなく、最高に楽しいものになるよ。(同じく、ブランドンは満面の笑いを浮かべている) 科学的にそうなる。





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