John Driskell Hopkins (Founding Member of Zac Brown Band) - 10 Questions Music Interview
The musical career of JOHN DRISKELL HOPKINS spans more than 20 years. As a member of several rock bands, Hopkins first rooted himself in the Atlanta music scene in 1995 — but he is most well-known as a founding member, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter of the GRAMMY Award-winning Zac Brown Band. Hopkins became a founding member of the Zac Brown Band (ZBB) in 2005 as a bass player and has enjoyed engineering and songwriting credits on hit songs including “Toes,” “It’s Not OK,” and “Sic Em On A Chicken,” from the triple-platinum selling record The Foundation, as well as “Nothing,” “I Play The Road,” and “Settle Me Down,” from the platinum selling record, You Get What You Give. Hopkins also co-wrote the second single from the Zac Brown Band’s third platinum album, Uncaged, entitled “Goodbye in Her Eyes” — which was the group’s ninth Billboard No. 1 single. Hopkins met Zac Brown while hosting an open mic night at the Atlanta. Over the next several years, they remained friends and with Hopkins lending a production hand, they released the first Zac Brown album, Home Grown, in 2004.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
When I first heard the Indigo Girls’ album in 1989, I decided that I wanted to write music like THEM. “Love’s Recovery” is still one of my favorite songs of all time.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
That’s none of your business...:)
What has been the high point of your music path?
We have so many high points to choose from, but I would certainly put working with Dave Grohl near the top of the list. He’s a hard working, honest, brilliant talent and it’s an honor to know him.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
I’m almost always lyrics first. I don’t write fiction, and I generally keep my songs very close to my heart. After that, my BS detector is always engaged. If I don’t like it, it’s gone.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Gaining an engaged listening audience is still very challenging. Technology today provides many opportunities to gain exposure, but maintaining a following can still be very difficult without backing and a strong team.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
U2. Because they’re U2.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Our rehearsals are focused and efficient. No one drinks, no one messes around. We take rehearsal very seriously.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
"Human” wasn’t that hard to write, but it has been extremely challenging in the recording process. I have such a grand vision for this song, and it always seems that I miss the mark in the studio Still swinging!
What's coming up in the future?
I’m releasing my new original solo album in 2019.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
This interview was brought to you by BWH Music Group