Gene Hoglan has been a house hold name in metal and drummer circles for a long time. First getting noticed when he played on the legendary thrash album, Darkness Descends, by Dark Angel, Gene has gone on to play in many iconic metal acts including Death, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend solo and most recently Testament. The drumming tyrant has an upcoming DVD titled, The Atomic Clock Strikes Two. This DVD footage of Gene breaking down tracks from his many bands, telling stories,as well as interviews with members of other bands including Anthrax and 3 Inches of Blood. I was recently able to interview Gene on topics including this DVD as well as other stuff including Testament’s current tour and the upcoming “Dethklok” album. Also special thanks to fellow Alternative Nation writer, Birdman Dan for contributing a question to this interview.
Can you tell us about your new DVD, The Clock Strikes 2?
Well it is a love letter and pretty much just an update and a much cooler approach to my other DVD. For instance i’m playing songs from the more popular bands on this DVD. On the last one I focused more on my lesser known stuff. This one i’m playing tunes from Strapping Young Lad, Testament, Brandon Small and Death. I’m Really excited to play these tunes for people and break them down for all my fans to enjoy. I try to make my DVDs for more than just drummers., cause I know many of my fans are not drummers, but they would be interested in what I say about a lot of stuff. For drummers it’s great and for none drummers I hope its great to.
What made you choose these exact tracks to play on this DVD?
Well for example the Testament songs, are from Dark Roots of the Earth which I chose cause they were cool songs and easy to obtain. Testament has a new record, out but at the time I recorded the DVD, that album wasn’t out yet. I wanted to put some actual Dethklok on there, but Adult Swim owns the right and even though I played on those, they wanted to charge me an arm and leg for the rights. Instead I put on some Galaktikon, since Brendon small owns the rights to that and it’s also a really cool record so I was excited to put a song from that on it. For the Death, the album it’s from, Individual Thought Patterns, just got a remaster so I thought it would be cool to include stuff from it. The idea for this DVD came about while I was playing all these clinics and focused on that album. I plan on doing a third DVD down the road and maybe I will put some Symbolic on that. The Meldrum song was included as a tribute to our fallen friend Michelle Meldrum. They all got a reason and a lot of it was convenient. Actually finding the drum track to the Strapping song. Strapping’s songs are layered and full of effects and samples on top of the music. This version you hear what is actually happening on the guitars so it’s a fun different mix.
I understand people can get signed pre-release copies?
Yeah that is what i’m in the process of doing this morning for people who want to get them before Christmas. The real release will be February 3rd. If you check out www.hoglanindustries.com or my Facebook page, you can find info on how to get this DVD.
How is your current tour with Testament going?
We finished our part of it. We did a month or so in Europe and it went well. Amon Amarth is an awesome band, great dudes. Grand Magus are also pretty great and we have become great friends with them. Everyone on the tour, the bands, the crews, everyone was so cool. It’s great to play tracks from the new album in front of thousands of people.
What would you say is the favorite part of your long multi-band career?
I don’t think I had my favorite moment yet, cause everyone I had is just so amazing. I’ve been in the industry for 33 years and i’m not even in my 50s yet. Every year has it’s ups and downs,but I tend to always forget the downs and remember the ups and all the ups are pretty awesome. Just the fact that I got to play with all the guys and girls I got to play with and all the amazing talented bands. Being able to re-invent my self to where my drums in band A don’t sound like how they do in band Q and the ones in between. I have had the best of all worlds in my career and I get to live the dream I had when I was an 11 year old who said “I want to play music for a living”. I am the prime example of someone who makes a living off their dream. All thumbs up for everything.
Birdman: Would you ever fight for a proper ending to Metalocalypse?
I’ts not my fight to fight but if I could do anything to help I would be glad to. I don’t think Dethklok or Metalocalype has had it’s proper end. Branden Small and I just recorded a new record together and I’ll flat out say it, it’s a Dethklok album it just can’t be called Dethklok cause of rights. I will say this if you love Dethklok, you will love this record.The lyrics, the music and everything is Dethklok styled. It might not have a season of the show to go along with, but the music is still there. It is an amazing record, so we will say what happens in the future. I never say never to anything and I hope Dethklok one day gets the final due it deserves. The record will be called Galaktikon 2. Galaktikon is kind of his little solo project and he needed a new name so it stick. I don’t know what the album will be called, it might just be self titled, but other than that the music is still kick ass.