Surrey family bonds as mall band

SOUTH SURREY – They’re not the Partridge Family, but it’s not difficult to draw parallels between them and a local band of siblings, 3v1.


Just like in the 1970s sitcom, this gaggle of brothers and sisters – well, in this case, just one sister – have found an unexpected closeness and camaraderie through music.


The four Hooker siblings from South Surrey – Aaron, Melissa, Jacob and Daniel – have been jamming together in their parents’ garage for the past few months, and already the band is booking gigs.


3v1 – that’s three brothers and one sister – played Willowbrook Shopping Centre on Black Friday (Nov. 22), and they’ve got another two shows booked at the Langley mall before Christmas.


"We started playing music together for Christmas about two or three years ago and the funny thing is we got together because a few years back my dad bought a game called Rock Band," said Daniel, 14, who plays drums.


"From there… instead of playing the game, we decided to get into the real thing."


Aaron, the youngest Hooker at just seven years old who sings back-up vocals, is quick to add that the lesson is "basically, lots of video games are educational."


Ranging in age from seven to 14, the kids are exhibiting exceptional talent only a few years into music lessons.


The Hookers began performing at their church during Christmas time a few years back, but started gelling musically more recently.


"I feel like playing music with our siblings makes it a little easier, although we do fight a lot sometimes. It kind of brings us closer together and that’s why I really like playing together," said 12-year-old Melissa, who plays the keyboard and sings.


"It’s not hard for us to agree on a song to play, since we all kind of end up listening to the same things since we all live in the same house."


On the roster of songs played by 3v1, radio hits are always a go. Their most recently polished tune is "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic, but the kids note that other items on the set list include "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit and a few Maroon 5 songs.


"We just play a lot of covers that are played on the radio. Our mom’s always telling us we should play songs that people know because they’ll enjoy it a lot more," Melissa said, nodding to her mom, Rosario, who is hailed by the kids as the band manager.


"I’m more into old songs like Led Zeppelin," offered up Jacob, who’s already mastering "Stairway to Heaven" at the wizened age of 11.


"In reality, if there’s a song we like, we play it. We don’t settle for any specific genre," Daniel chimed in.


As for nerves getting in the way when the band of siblings gets on stage, they’re used to it.


"Since we’ve been playing a lot, we just got used to it and we don’t get nervous anymore," Aaron told the Now.


"We’re not focusing on that," Jacob is quick to add.


What the band is focusing on, however, is getting polished up and perhaps foraying into songwriting.


"We don’t have any specific goals," Daniel said when asked what’s next for the group.


"We’re just going to keep going and whatever happens, happens," sister Melissa added.


Aaron, although the youngest sibling, seems to have a clearer direction.


"When we get even better, then we might start writing our own songs and then we might get a record deal or whatever," he said, wide-eyed.


For now, the kids are saving up cash they get from delivering the Now newspaper on Tuesdays and Thursdays to spend on expanding their collection of musical instruments. In the end, they’ll all be closer for it.


"It’s true that they fight sometimes but something I am glad to say is after every show, we can see that they are closer. Something happens and after the show, I can see expressions that I don’t normally see," said Rosario proudly.


That amity and harmony is exactly what has the band well on their way to becoming the next Partridge Family, so you just might want to ask for an autograph with your next newspaper delivery.


3v1 will perform at Willowbrook Shopping Centre (19705 Fraser Hwy, Langley) on Saturday, Dec. 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and on Monday, Dec. 22 from 5 to 6 p.m.

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