FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH guitarist Jason Hook has teamed up with documentary filmmaker Fran Strine and music manager Jamie Talbot to chronicle the story of world-renowned musicians who are not household names, but are instead the session and backup musicians who have performed at concerts and on countless recordings with huge stars yet remain largely unknown to the public.
The film, called "Hired Gun", goes behind the scenes and explores the personalities and creativity of the best session players and backup musicians in the world, ranging from pianist/harpist Corky Hale, who has played with Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, to rock guitarist John 5 who has played with Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson.
A synopsis of the film described these musicians as "a group that possesses uncommon musical ability and an uncanny knack for being able to deliver a great performance time and again."
Hook himself came out of that world before joining FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, doing stints with Mandy Moore, Hilary Duff, MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil and Alice Cooper.
Asked by Metal Life about his stint with Moore, Hook said (see video below): "The metal community is dominated by an angry male demographic, and I understand all that, and I love all that. But the truth is I come from a place where I started playing guitar when I was six, and I wasn't angry; I just wanted to learn how to play this instrument. And so when I moved from Canada and moved down to the States, the one agreement that I had with myself was that I'm not gonna work at Starbucks or Home Depot or any of these places; I'm gonna just stick to the plan, which is to survive playing my guitar. If somebody comes up and says, 'You wanna go on a tour playing for [such and such artist]?' I'd be, like, 'Yeah.' And I wasn't thinking about whether it's fashionable, cool or anything like that. All I'm thinking about is here's an opportunity to do what I wanna do, which is play, and learn something. And then it turns into all this, and now everyone knows. But what am I gonna do? I think it's less cool to look back and go, 'What was I thinking?' That's not cool."
Hook told The Pulse Of Radio he understands what it takes to catch a break with a big artist. "I went through years of trying to get gigs myself, and so I really understand what it's like to be the guy reaching out," he said. "And I always admired people that gave me a shot, recognizing that it's an unknown, you don't know if it's… The referrals are easy, when somebody says, 'I've got the perfect guy,' that door has been opened. But for you to open your own doors is very difficult."
"Hired Gun" features interviews with Hook, Cooper, Jason Newsted (METALLICA), Aaron Lewis (STAIND), Richard Patrick (FILTER), former OZZY OSBOURNE bassist Rudy Sarzo, KISS drummer Eric Singer, John 5, CHICKENFOOT drummer Kenny Aronoff, WHITESNAKE guitarist Steve Vai and others.
Strine, who made films about STAIND, Dolly Parton and others, launched an Indiegogo campaign to fully finance the movie.