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Whitesnake man reveals AC/DC inspiration

Guitarist Joel Hoekstra says Angus Young made him want to play rock music

Whitesnake guitarist Joel Hoekstra has revealed AC/DC inspired him to take up rock guitar.

His parents are both classical musicians and pushed Hoekstra to play instruments at an early age – but he reveals he had no real interest in music until he heard Angus Young’s riffs.

He tells Double Stop: “I came from a very musical family – both my parents are classical musicians, so they had me on cello and piano at an early age. All that gave me a solid foundation to build on but I wasn’t really into the concept of playing music until I started rock guitar aged 11.

“I heard AC/DC and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’ I think a lot of people my age heard rock music when they were growing up and it was part of their upbringing, but it really wasn’t for me as my parents listened to nothing but classical. 

“It was really the first time I thought music could be really cool. AC/DC and Angus Young was the inspiration.”

Former Night Ranger man Hoekstra joined Whitesnake earlier this year following Doug Aldrich’s departure after 11 years with the band. And he says once he heard the news, he sent an email to see if Whitesnake mainman David Coverdale would give him an audition.

Hoekstra continues: “I just thought, ‘That’s a darn good gig, I’ll shoot an email off – just to put the feelers out there and see what’s happening.' It was a combination of me doing that and a couple of well respected people put my name forward to David.

“I flew out and we got on great, and that’s always the most important thing. David is rock royalty – working with him is fantastic, he’s an unbelievably great dude.”

And Hoeckstra says the material they’ve been working on for the upcoming Whitesnake album is “kick-ass” and fans should expect something great from the record, which is due to launch next year.

He adds: “The songs are kick-ass. It’s straight ahead, blues-inspired rock that Whitesnake’s been playing for years – we’re not going to come out with a formula change. It’s going to be great."

Whitesnake release Live In '84: Back To The Bone on November 10 via New Frontiers Records to mark the 30th anniversary of the Slide It In album.

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