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Arts and Entertainment

LAist Interview: Frank Hoier, LA-born Folk Hero

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Frank Hoier is a nice dude, and writes great folk music. Although born and raised in Southern California, he's recently moved to the big apple, and has been blowing the doors off of anyone that stands in his way, and has become a sought after fixture in the East Village roots scene. His songs are witty and thoughtful, and his guitar skills are only rivaled by his harmonica riffs. Anyways he apparently checks his email, and agreed to answer some burning questions. So let's get crackin:How long have you been making music? And what are your influences?
I've been seriously writing music since about 22 years old. I messed around with electric guitars since I was 12. But it wasn't until I was 19 and I really heard The Beatles White Album that I wanted to write my own songs. I wanted to know where that music came from which led me to Chuck Berry, 50s rock and roll, and then eventually Bob Dylan, Blues, and Traditional Folk. Then it became this american roots music thing that I was and currently am obsessed with.

Why did you leave Los Angeles for New York? Where else (if anywhere) would you consider relocating to?
I left Los Angeles mostly cause I grew up there and was sick of the person everyone thought I was and expected me to be. Also LA doesn't really have a scene at all for roots music. I was reading some Bob Dylan biographies when I decided to move, so there was never a choice other than NYC. Sometimes I think of the Northwest, like Berkeley or Portland, maybe Seattle. I'd like to spend some time up there.

If someone in the subway tried to mug you, would you use your guitar like a weapon, and bludgeon them with it?

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Haha! Well I have a Martin, but it's the cheapest one they make so yeah I'd probably knock em with it. Well if they didn't have a weapon that is. I don't mess with that. How has your music career helped or hurt your luck with the Ladies?
Well, it's hard to say. Probably helped. No definitely. My luck was really bad before, now it's just kinda bad. Haha.

When can we expect some more Los Angeles-area shows?
Well I hope soon. Plane tickets are expensive. I wish I could open for Jenny Lewis. She's my favorite LA songwriter. I'll be touring soon to support the CD I just made, so maybe early 2007.

Is it true that you and Jon Stewart met in the subway?
Well he listened to me play about 5 songs in a park here in NYC. I was playing with my friend Debe Dalton who plays banjo. I tried to play him my song "Jesus Don't Give Tax Breaks", cause I wanted to see if he thought it was funny. But I just played him some songs, I didn't bug him. When I really respect famous people I just leave 'em alone. He tipped us 5 bucks, which is far above the New York average of some change or maybe a dollar. He's like one of my favorite people right now so that was a true honor.

What is (in your opinion) the #1 graff crew in LA?
Well I haven't been around for over 2 years, but I always liked CBS and TKO.

And are there any final words you would like to say to LAist.com's readers?
Hmm, listen to more Skip James? Haha I don't know. They can hear my music at www.myspace.com/frankhoier, and feel free to email me at frankhoier@gmail.com . Thanks!

photo borrowed form Frank Hoier Music's MySpace page