Here's on of our favorite interviews, which is with non other than those fun-lovin' Canadians, Hokus Pick. Some of the notes
that I sent with the interview were kept in this final version due to Russ's responses.
Last month (February), singer & guitarist, Russ Smith dropped
his bowl of Captain Crunch to answer some questions.
Jesus freak Hideout: Why the name, "Hokus Pick?"
Russ Smith: "Hokus Pick" is an old expression of surprise that we picked up through
the Canadian bible college circuit. If you were to open up a gift on
Christmas morning and it was exactly what you wanted, you'd say "Hokus
Pick! It's just what I wanted!"
JFH: How did the band get started?
Russ: Three of us (Russ, Rick & Dave) went to the same high school and we were
all involved in music there. I met Matt at a summer camp and we started
a band together, but it wasn't until a year later that I hooked up with
Rick and we did some recording together. We talked about starting a
Christian band and that's when we got Matt and Dave involved too. That
was back in 1989 in Vancouver, BC, where we all grew up.
JFH: How would you describe your sound?
Russ: Pop/rock with a touch of Canadian hockey and much fun.
JFH: What bands have influenced your sound?
Russ: We all grew up listening to different stuff, and that has helped shape
the sound of our band. We always enjoy listening to U2, although we tend
not to sound that much like them.
JFH: What inspired the song, "Love Stuff" off your Brothers from Different
Russ: Good old fashioned rejection. I'm sure anyone who's ever been dumped can
JFH: Hokus Pick has become known for their crazyness & wackyness portrayed in
their songs, videos & stage performances. It seems like you're always happy
& goofing off. How do you guys manage to always have fun?
(if this is a lame question, feel free to ditch it.)
Russ: We just like to have fun. We feel like God should be taken seriously
while everything else should be taken lightly. Life is usually quite
funny anyway. (if this is a lame answer, feel free to ditch it.)
JFH: You guys recently released your new album, "Snappy," last summer. Can
you tell us a little about it?
Russ: We enjoyed making Snappy because we would spend a week writing a few
songs and then go into the studio to record them. This was nice and it
made the studio process less tedious. Steve Taylor also critiqued the
songs for us and gave us pointers, so that helped a lot.
JFH: What inspired the song, "I'm so Happy?"
Russ: Just a simple song about having a great day. Did you notice the
reference to the Vancouver Canucks?
JFH: A difference in sound can be heard on the new album? What is inspired
the style change? (let me know if this question stinx...)
Russ: I think we got back to our roots on Snappy after releasing "Bookaboom"
and Brothers From Different Mothers. This was more of a return to our
usual style of going all over the place like we did on Pick It Up.
(let me know if this answer stinx...)
JFH: Who's idea was "An Appointment with Stupidity" & why did you do it?
Russ: Originally, Shoney's approached us about doing an advertising campaign
for them, but since we don't like their food, we decided to do a radio
drama about them instead. The radio drama became less about Shoney's and
more about Hokus Pick.
JFH: Do you guys like to tour? If so, what's the best thing about it?
Russ: We love going on the road and the best thing is meeting new people.
JFH: What is your favorite HP song?
Russ: At this point, my favourite Hokus Pick song is "I'm So Happy" because it
seems to make people so happy!
JFH: When Hokus Pick is over & done with, as a band, what would you like
people to remember you for?
Russ: My witty responses to interview questions. Actually, I hope people will
remember that we helped them laugh and be closer to Jesus.
JFH: What's your favorite movie?
Russ: So many movies. All four Hokus Pick guys agree that the worst movie ever
was Robin Hood: Men In Tights.
JFH: What's your favorite breakfast cereal?
Russ: Can't beat Captain Crunch.
JFH: What's one question you've never been asked before? (& please state the
Russ: Have the members of Hokus Pick ever considered adopting a pet poodle? --
JFH: The Jesus freak Hideout site was started out of appreciation
for good Christian music. We've set a goal to try to use the site to
spread Christian music, as well as God's Word, & show others how great
Christian music can be. Do you listen to Christian music? If so, what
Russ: There's some great music out there by The Kry and a fellow Canadian band
called Emerson Stone. Watch out for them!
JFH: I really appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to
answer some questions for us. Are there any last comments you'd like to make?
Russ: We love it when people drop by our web site (*no longer available*),
so tell people to come visit us there. We always make a point of
answering e-mail, so we invite everyone to drop us a line
(firstname.lastname@example.org) We're always on the road and people can check out
the concert listing on our web site to find out if we're coming to their