Every so often, we take a little time on Mondays to pay tribute to the Muthas! That is, reprinting the adorable metal/maternal Q&As that run in the magazine. Today, enjoy Justin Norton’s chat with Bernice Rakes, mother of Richard Hoak (Brutal Truth/Total Fucking Destruction).
Can you tell me more about yourself?
My name is Bernice Rakes and I’m 88 years old. I’ve been working all my life, and I’m getting ready to find another job and go back to work. Oh, and I like to go play the slot machines once in a while.
What was Rich like growing up?
Rich was friendly, polite, a good scholar and got good marks. He graduated from high school — I think second in his class – then went to the University of Pennsylvania. He got four years done in three years. He did great in school. He’s a good person and he loves to play music.
Is Rich from a musical family?
No, not really. But whatever he wants to learn he can. He taught himself the guitar, the drums and all the instruments he played in the Trinity High School band. I’ve heard him play the drums and it sounds like he’s a good player. Anyone I talk to who has seen him play says he’s about the best drummer they’ve ever seen.
Were you surprised when Rich joined a band?
I never expected that. He didn’t like his high school band at first, but then he got into the competition. It got fun as he got older and made friends. We went to different competitions in Pennsylvania and Delaware. They were a good band and got a lot of trophies. I don’t like the idea of him going across the ocean to so many countries, but I guess if he’s a musician he has to play where they want him to play.
Rich is known for making interesting facial expressions when playing drums. Did he make weird faces as a kid?
He did a little bit of everything. I just found out from some of his schoolmates how he would clown around at school, but at home he was kind of quiet. He was studious. He did his homework and read, and I believe he still reads a lot.
What did you think of Rich’s dreadlocks?
I didn’t like em’ but they were his so that was fine. I wouldn’t have them myself! He gave them to me when he cut them off. I put them in a bag in a drawer and I’ve had them for a good many years. They’re rolled up and still tight.