Playing for Mandy Moore helped forge guitarist’s heavy metal foundations…wait…what?

From The Courier Press:

In a business where fame is fleeting, Five Finger Death Punch and guitarist Jason Hook knows opportunity isn’t something to be squandered. He spent years paying dues as a session man in Los Angeles, finally catching a break when he joined the touring band of teen pop princess Mandy Moore.

While many metal enthusiasts would likely roll their eyes at the mere mention of Moore’s name, Hook doesn’t see it that way. He views his time with Moore as a means to an end: He saw a clear path into the music business, not to mention a steady paycheck.

“When I moved to Los Angeles, I was broke,” Hook recalled. “I just made a pact with myself that if I could just get into the field, I was going to take the job so I could learn whatever I could. It beat working at Home Depot. I had to beat out about 50 guys at the audition. And then it was like, ‘Pack a bag! We’re going on tour!’ I was pretty happy about it, you know?”

Hook said the Moore experience laid the foundation for much of his life as a professional musician, which eventually found him playing gigs backing the likes of Vince Neil and Alice Cooper.

“Every situation, whether it’s your favorite situation or not, there’s something to be learned,” he explained. “The (Moore gig) taught me a lot: There were rules, you had to be on time, you had to be prepared, you had to be focused, you had to be responsible. It taught me discipline and how to work in that environment. I’m very grateful to have the history that I have. Some people think it’s not cool, but that’s OK. I had the option to do roof tiling and all that stuff. I just didn’t want to.”

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