Jason Hook, lead guitarist for heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch, is currently using KRK Systems’ VXT8 monitors and 12sHO sub in his home studio, where he holds the additional roles of record producer, songwriter and solo artist. The skilled musician relied on his hard work and life experiences to record the band’s latest album, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 2, at the fully equipped recording studio that he literally gets to call “home.”
A long-time user of KRK gear, Hook chose the VXT8s for their low resonance, improved structural integrity, extended low-end and slotted ports for reduced port turbulence. He credits the sleek curvature of the design for providing excellent imaging characteristics and a wider sweet spot.
“I love KRK and have used them for years,” says Hook. “It wasn’t until after I became a Gibson artist that I found out KRK was part of the brand. That’s why when I upgraded my home studio, which is always a work in progress, I had to get my monitors from KRK. Basically, I do all of my music in there. It has all of my amps, pedals, guitars and recording gear, such as my Pro Tools HD rig. The KRK VXT8s definitely have the muscle I need for rock music.”
Like all KRK products, Hook’s VXT8s feature the company’s trademark yellow Kevlar woofer and visually striking enclosure design. The KRK12sHO 400-watt powered sub offers a strengthened version of the woofer. According to Hook, one of the standout features of the 12sHO is the Bypass Footswitch Control, which allows users to defeat the sub and provide full-range audio to their recording monitors for use with a standard latching ¼-inch mono footswitch.
“This is what I used all through the making of the band’s last record, which is set for release on November 19th,” says Hook. “I have a pro-level system right here at my house that allows me to work at home at a level that’s compatible with a professional studio.”
Hook’s musical career got its kick-start in Oakville, Ontario, when a friend introduced him to what would become a favorite band. “My neighbor came by the house with a few of the band’s records and asked me if I wanted them, since he wasn’t allowed to keep them at his own home. I remember saying, ‘Sure, what is it? What’s this band KISS?’,” he recalls. “I was looking at the cover, thinking ‘oh my god?that’s crazy!’” And it grabbed me immediately. It was extremely exciting. Plus, I liked the songs—they were simple, catchy and had a high level of energy. I remember thinking that KISS, which captured people’s attention with all the makeup and photos and images, was so much more exciting than playing whatever video game was popular at the time. I was like, ‘This is awesome; I want to do this!’”
Hook’s private guitar lessons began when he was just six, but his formal music training also included drums, piano and violin. According to Hook, he was a guitar player from day one, writing his own songs and putting together his own bands. In fact, he would multi-track himself with what he describes as a “ghetto blaster” and an external microphone.
“I would put the external mic on one side of the speaker and then play into the other mic, and so, I was playing along with a cassette and recording it into a separate cassette. That was crazy,” says Hook.
Eventually he moved on to multi-track recorders, such as the Tascam 246 Portastudio 4-track and then on to eight- and 16-track recorders. Eventually he dropped $5,000 for a computer, monitor and Pro Tools software.
While Hook’s interest in home recording grew, so did his career as a musician. While he may be best known for his role in Five Finger Death Punch, he is also a highly-skilled studio and touring musician who has played with the likes of such diverse artists as Alice Cooper, Vince Neil and Mandy Moore. By the time he joined Five Finger Death Punch in early 2009, he had already released a debut hard rock/metal album, Safety Dunce, for which received a Best Instrumental Record award at the 2007 L.A. Music Awards, and had recorded a follow-up solo project that is currently awaiting release. His first offering with the band, War Is The Answer, debuted as number seven on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
When Hook isn’t on the road with the band, co-headlining music festivals such as the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival with Rob Zombie, he is at his home studio or launching his own signature M4-Sherman guitar with Gibson.
About KRK Systems
Over the past two decades, KRK Systems, a Gibson Brand, has become synonymous with quality design and unparalleled performance in the world of studio monitors, subwoofers and headphones. And because KRK has remained true to its mission of providing accurate and reliable studio monitors, as well as developed products that fit its customer’s needs like a glove, the company occupies the industry’s #1 position for studio monitors. With four series of monitoring systems (both passive and active, in a variety of sizes), KRK offers products that meet the diverse needs of home studios, professional studios, and audiophiles. For more information, visit us at www.krksys.com.
About Gibson Guitar and Gibson Brands
Gibson Brands, one the fastest-growing companies in the Music and Sound industries, was founded in 1894 and is headquartered in Nashville, TN. Gibson Brands is a global leader in musical instruments, consumer audio, and professional audio, and is dedicated to bringing the finest experiences by offering exceptional product with world-recognized brands. Gibson has a portfolio of over 100 well-recognized brand names starting with the number one guitar brand, Gibson. Other brands include: Epiphone, Dobro, Valley Arts, Kramer, Steinberger, Tobias, Slingerland, Maestro, Baldwin, Hamilton, Chickering and Wurlitzer. Audio brands include: KRK Systems, TASCAM, Cerwin-Vega!, Stanton, Onkyo, Integra, TEAC and Esoteric. All Gibson Brands are dedicated to innovation, prestige and improving the quality of life of our customers.