“One of the first, if not the first, guitarists to put his name forward after hearing that Doug Aldrich had left the band, was an exceptionally talented musician whom we had met briefly last year when his band opened for Whitesnake in Arizona“, said David Coverdale in a statement on the Whitesnake website. “Everyone was very impressed by him, not only for his ability to play amazing guitar, but, also, his very agreeable personality and he was definitely foremost in our minds when we began to search for Doug’s replacement in Whitesnake. We jammed together and were mutually impressed enough to ask him to join Whitesnake on the spot. This was May 30th. 2014”.
Doug Aldrich, who Hoekstra is replacing, bowed out after an 11-year stint in May, admitting it had been an “insanely difficult” decision, but that he wanted to pursue other opportunities. He’s since confirmed the formation of a supergroup with Journey’s Deen Castronovo and Jack Blades, also of Night Ranger.
Night Ranger have wished Hoekstra well, saying: “We couldn’t be happier for Joel. The last eight-plus years have been a blast.”
Whitesnake are currently working on a project Coverdale calls “so exciting to me that it’s beyond words.”