JOEL HOEKSTRA (JOEL HOEKSTRA’S 13, WHITESNAKE): “Even Though I’m Writing Everything, Everyone Gets To Play The Way They Play”

Joel 13

Let the Games Begin

Joel Hoekstra’s 13 was created as a side project in 2015 by current Whitesnake and Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist Joel Hoekstra.  Under the 13 moniker Hoekstra released Dying to Live that same year.  On February 12, 2021 the group returns with it’s follow-up Running Games.

Hoekstra is once again flanked by Russell Allen (Symphony X), Vinny Appice (ex-Black Sabbath, Dio), Tony Franklin (Every Hard Rock band that had a record in the 80s), Derek Sherinian (Sons of Apollo), and Jeff Scott Soto (Sons of Apollo, W.E.T.).   I jumped at the chance to speak with Joel Hoekstra about the new album.

Highlights Include:

  • Discussion of Running Games
  • Why he prefers home recording and file sharing to recording in the studio
  • Were any songs on Running Games leftovers from the last Whitesnake album
  • Why Jeff Scott Soto is only doing background vocals this time around
  • His YouTube jam sessions
  • Is there any future with his Echobats project with Tony Harnell (TNT)
  • How he got the gig as the live guitarist for Cher
  • Is Whitesnake working on new material
  • How Jim Peterik (Ex-Survivor) helped jump start his career
  • … and much, much more!

Joel Hoekstra’s 13 is:

Joel Hoekstra – Guitar
Russell Allen – Vocals
Vinny Appice – Drums
Tony Franklin – Bass
Derek Sherinian – Keyboards
Jeff Scott Soto – Backing Vocals


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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