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CoG chatted with frontwoman Deb Hooks in April, 2006

CoG:  How did PP form as a band?

DH: Plastic Parachute was started by Ricky Brewer & myself. We were really just a songwriting team who loved playing acoustic shows at Coffee Houses, but Ricky is a drummer at heart so he always heard the songs as full band material & thus we started inviting our dearest friends to come & jam & wahlah! Plastic Parachute was conceived. All of the guys in the band are from the same tiny town in Oklahoma. We really never dreamed we would one day be a fulltime touring act based out of LA. Seriously, we never even thought we would SEE L.A. or half of the cities & states we've been able to tour through.

CoG:  Can you tell me a little about your musical influences?

DH:  Our influences run the gamet. I'm a huge Annie Lennox fan, mainly because when I saw her live she made me cry my eyes out & I knew that was what music was about. Y'know? Touching a soul & Taking someone someplace they may or may not want to go. Plus she has great instinct & intellect over her career and never follows rigid boundaries. The guys have influences from Nirvana to George Strait. They are just really true music lovers who respect all genres. You can also find us hangin' out at smokey & seedy jazz clubs whenever possible. Now that's where the real cats with style are found.

CoG:  What is yr creative process?

DH:  The process is never the same way twice. Sometimes a song starts only with an emotion or a feeling & we build on it. Sometimes it starts with a guitar riff & I'll go running into the room screaming "what was that?" & the guys will say "what? we're just pickin' around & I'll say NO go back go back go back...I heard a chorus" ;o) Sometimes it starts with heartfelt lyrics & builds from there. No gimmicks. No real method to The'Chutes & if it ever becomes that way? We would have to pack it up & head it back home. We have a saying in this band, "From the Heart or Forget It" & we mean it. We remind ourselves of it over & over again. It can be a challenging thing to remember too....especially in a town with so little heart sometimes. How do the songs come together? ( I think I already answered that maybe)

CoG:  What was the first live show you attended?

DH: Wow this is going to sound SO Oklahoma, but it's SO true. My first real LIVE music memory would have to be my grandpa & my greatuncle playing their harmonicas on the front porch. Those two could harmonize & improvise like nothing I've ever seen before ...or since. And exciting too! You cant' listen to harmonica music without slappin your hands or stompin your feet or doing a little dosie dough here & there. :o)

CoG:  What was the first piece of music you ever purchased?

DH: I didn't purchase it, but my parents had a lot of old records & I had a little plastic record player. My mom had an old Petula Clark record & I must have played Colour My World like a billion times. I also became obssessed with Cyndi Lauper and her style. I thought she was the most beautiful & most oddly strange cartoon character come to life & she amazed me...she still does. Where did that voice come from??? She's magic.

CoG:  What are you listening to now?

DH:  I'm currently listening to alot of Billie Holiday because a friend of mine just gave me the entire library of Billie Holiday standards. She haunts me. I think the truth & grit in her voice is the kind of thing that awakens a soul & plops your ass right into reality. She never hid her scars...she put them right there in the open for the whole world to see. I think she is the voice of courage & realism & she inspires me.

CoG:  Did you have female role model growing up?

DH:Well my strongest female role model had to be my mother because she was (and is) Supermom. She surrounded me with courage, music, kindness & love. These are the simplest of things which I strive for everyday. When one is missing? Watch out..the house is falling.

CoG:  Do you consider yourself a feminist...why or why not?

DH:  This is such an interesting question because I was just thinking about this in regards to music lately. It seems to me that we have an awful lot of singers, musicians, actors etc playing the 'dumb chick card. What's up with that? Now, I don't know about you , but I tend to believe someone like Jessica Simpson is actually quite intelligent .....why does she play the "dumb" card, why does someone with a beautiful voice wash a car in a tiny bikini for a video?? Because that's what society hungers for. Do I think it's damaging?? yes. Do I think she is laughing all the way to the bank? Oh yess. I think women should be proud of who they are & stand their convictions. Be who it is you want to be. I think as women we should always be aware of those who went before us & whose struggles paved the way for this much easier life. In this respect, yes I am a feminist & when I say feminist, I'm talking about equality and awareness of perceptions of roles.

CoG:  Who or what inspires you the most?

DH:  Big dreamers who never quit.

CoG:  What is PP currently up to?

DH:  Recording new tunes in the studio! Touring? We are currently touring the west coast & life is good. New Album? Our brand new acoustic album "the acousticChute" will be available on April 25th!!

CoG:  Future Plans? Staying Big Dreamers who never quit.

CoG:  Anything else you would like Church of Girl Readers to know?

DH:  Church of Girl Radio is amazing & inspiring for their commitment to the independent artist. Thank you for the love.


Thanks for reading our interview with Deb! Catch up with the latest from Plastic Parachute at their website: