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Artist:

Patrick Hooker

When did you start playing music? I got my first guitar when I was in, like, eighth grade. I just kind of started doing . . . whatever preteen would do on an electric guitar. I guess I was just doing . . . like, not good rock music. I started teaching myself chords and stuff. Then, I got my acoustic (guitar). I just kind of started just playing that and doing the music I've been doing now since 10th grade (or) 11th grade.

Describe your sound/style. I went to city schools my whole life, so a lot of my music influences (are) . . . any sort of rock, alternative . . . hip-hop and R&B and stuff. When I started playing guitar, I definitely wanted to try to do more of a different sound that didn't sound like any other acoustic (artist). I tried to collaborate with a lot of rappers.

Who are your influences? I guess it's kind of cheesy. (Laughs) I was all about K-Ci & JoJo (and) pretty much any kind of music that was on the radio. I didn't really get into any like underground (or) indie music at all.

Is it just a solo project? It's kind of like a whole Bright Eyes situation. Whenever (Conor Oberst) plays shows, he has different musicians play with him, but, for the most part, he writes the songs. I was in a couple bands. I was in . . . a jam band . . . and we played at a couple bars around York and Sparky & Clark's and stuff. I'm kind of too picky of a musician to really be in a band. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to songs.

Who have you collaborated with? There's a local rapper named Prof who I'm working with right now. There's another (rapper) . . . who moved from New Jersey to Lancaster called Tha Monsta. I like to keep . . . a very open mind with different artists. I don't really like to stick to a certain genre of music.

Are some artists surprised that you want to collaborate with them? They definitely love the acoustic thing. A lot of (artists) like Lil Wayne (are) trying to do rock and rap. That's admirable. I don't ever hear a lot of, like, acoustic-folk kind of rap. So, for a lot of the rappers and artists I work with, I think that's a unique idea.

Where do you play in the area? For the most part, I've kind of had to stop, so I can get some money so I can go back out again. I've played pretty much everywhere South of here. I've done Maryland and Virginia and North Carolina and stuff. (I've played) Sparky & Clark's (and) Amp Avenue. I'm trying to work out something with Club 19. It's kind of hard (to book places like Club 19) because it's . . . the heavier scene. I didn't realize, like, how hard the York music scene was until I started, like, playing at bars and different venues. I grew up in the whole scene, and the only thing I remember about the scene was just (that) if you don't play heavy music, you don't play at all. If you don't know any covers, you can pretty much kiss the bar scene goodbye because nobody really wants to hear originals when they're drinking.

Do you sometimes throw covers into your sets? I try. I do a couple Lil Wayne covers. I did a little demo of, like, four tracks that I put my own spin on Lil Wayne songs. I know a couple Hawthorne Heights (songs) and just other kind of songs that kids my age would probably know. I know a couple Weezer (songs) for, like, the bar shows and stuff.

When you write original songs, where do you get inspiration? When I was living out on my own (at) my last apartment, my roommates were very creative people. My one roommate, he was just, like, a schizophrenic . . . and I always tried to, like, take what was going on in his mind and try to, like, put it in a song. A lot of my friends were going though some hard times and I was going through some hard times, so I would just try to channel that and make a song that everybody could relate to, but it would still get stuff off my chest.

You already recorded one CD. Do you have plans for another album? The first CD was really fun. It was just at, like, a really small studio that was set up in Towson (Md.) at my friend's apartment. (There were) sleepless nights. (The CD) I'm working on now, I've been recording at different people's houses. The one song, I've been, like, actually recording out in the woods. I bring my recorder and stuff out there. It gives it a more natural . . . sound. I'm going to try to finish it up in Atlanta some time before summer's over. I'll get it mixed down there. I'm pretty excited about it.

- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF

Check him out

For details about Patrick Hooker, visit www.myspace.com/wepullout. To listen to the interview, visit www.flipsidepa.com.

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