The '80s were a great time to be introduced to hard rock and heavy metal. The influence is clear when speaking with Joel Hoekstra for this edition of Loudwire's Gear Factor. The in-demand guitarist, who counts Whitesnake, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Cher and his own project Joel Hoekstra's 13 amongst his current credits, took us down the rabbit hole of his guitar influences and also shared his favorite guitar moments from his own band.

When asked about what inspired him to pick up the guitar, Hoekstra reveals, “I would say it was the early days of MTV and seeing AC/DC on there with the ‘Back in Black’ video. I just loved Angus [Young]’s energy and his stage presence and obviously the songs were so awesome.”

From there, young Joel asked his parents for a guitar and sought out a guitar teacher who could help him learn what he wanted to play. “The first riff I learned was from my first teacher. I went in the first week and he taught me how to play the verse riff for ‘Paranoid’ from Black Sabbath. I remember not having an amp at that time and just plugging into the auxiliary output on our home stereo and turning it all the way up to 10 when my parents weren’t home and driving the entire neighborhood completely nuts, I’m sure.”

Digging into his own music, Hoekstra recalls one of the earliest riffs that he wrote ending up in Joel Hoekstra's 13. The track, "Anymore," was on the Dying to Live album and he recalls, "That one I remember writing in a hotel room while I was still on tour with Night Ranger. I kept thinking, ‘Come on, straight ahead rock,’ and that’s what all these Joel Hoekstra’s 13 albums are all about. It’s kind of melodic hard rock that is kind of Dio-ish at its heaviest from my roots and Foreigner-ish at its lightest.”

From there, Joel shows off an impressive array of favorite riffs from the latest Joel Hoekstra's 13 album Running Games. Watch as he rocks out bits of the bluesy "Heart Attack," the album opening "Finish Line," and his favorite riff from the new album in "Take What's Mine."

And if you're loving what you're hearing and seeing, be sure to pick up the Running Games album from Joel Hoekstra's 13 right here (As Amazon affiliates, we earn on qualifying purchases). See the full Joel Hoekstra Gear Factor episode below.

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