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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.
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  • 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 Mothers album?
    Russ: Good old fashioned rejection. I'm sure anyone who's ever been dumped can relate.

  • 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 answer.)
    Russ: Have the members of Hokus Pick ever considered adopting a pet poodle? -- Ironically, no.

  • 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 bands?
    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 (hokus@sprynet.com) 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 town.
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