Gene Hoglan is very well known amongst metalheads all over the world. Born as Eugene Victor Hoglan II (Dallas, Texas, 1967), he is famous for his creativity in drum arrangements and his technical playing, extremely accurate at almost any tempoearning him the nickname "The Atomic Clock".
Gene Hoglan's claims to fame:
- Sang backup vocals on Evil Has No Boundaries (on 'Show No Mercy' by Slayer)
- Held Dave Lombardos bass drums in place in the studio while he recorded 'Chemical Warfare' from the Haunting the Chapel-EP
- Was light man for Slayer
- Almost played for Dokken at age 14
- At age 15 posed as the executioner on the cover of the Savage Grace album 'After the Fall From Grace'
Yeah, but what about his claims to fame as a drumgod
, right? Well, we should thank Gene's baseball-coach, with whom it all started...
Let Gene himself do the talking:
"Hoglan, you didn't make the team."
"Whaddaya mean, Coach? You saw my try-out! You pitched to me! I hit your curve balls!"
"Yeah, I know. And frankly, you'd probably be an asset to this team, but remember when I asked you yesterday if you'd be willing to cut your hair for the team..."
"...And I said 'no'."
"And you said no. Well remember that next time you're brushing it while we're winning the city Junior High championship without ya."
Ahhhh... yes. The politics of adolescent sports. That was one of four different times I lost out on doing really cool stuff in my little baseball career due only to my being a freak, having long hair, and dressing in my sister's clothes.
'Fuck this', I thought. 'Baseball, metal and drums are my life. If I can't have baseball, hell, I'll be a Metal drummer in the heaviest fuckin band around!'
I was 14 years old and thus started a life of metal. Albeit a broke one. There's never been a lack of hair or rock and roll in my life. Both of these are due to my Godly sister Lisa and my Godly parents, Mom & Dad. My sister is five years older than me so when I was nine, she was a fully rockin' fourteen year old into all the cool bands of the 70s: Queen, KISS, Angel, Black Sabbath, well, you get the picture. So along with my Godly cousin Ken, she completely influenced my life. Hell, she is the reason I'm here in the first place. Y'see, when she was about three and realized dolls were too inanimate, she demanded from my folks a baby brother. After four unsuccessful attempts (I was the proverbial 'miscarriage that lived'), I came along and was promptly to be named Batman and Robin by Lisa. Obviously, cooler heads prevailed and I was named after my Grandad (hence the II). Although I've always thought having Cisco Kid (her second choice) for a name would be pretty damn cool.
When I was 15, I joined a band coincidentally named 'Dark Angel'. I made them change the name however, coz I thought the name was pretty gay. We changed it to 'Carnage', a name recommended by my sister (meaning 'slaughter and bloodshed' so I thought 'hey, that's for me!') We broke up after the cops showed up at our rehearsal and informed us that the house that our singer, Leon, had 'arranged' for us to rehearse at, wasn't 'arranged' at all but merely a house that we had broken into, set up, and started playing in. It took about a month to get my gear out of impound. So, I really don't recommend that kind of rehearsal deal. Get yourself a proper jam space, I suppose.
Later that year, I had been palling around with Slayer when Tom Araya asked me "Say, Gene, our light guy isn't gonna show up at this gig tonight, you wanna run lights for us?' After carefully considering it for 3 milliseconds I said 'SURE!"
and that's when I proceeded to do lights for most of the real metal bands around LA. Bands such as Savage Grace, Omen, Bloodlust, Exodus (when they were in town), and this other band called 'Dark Angel'.
I toodled off on tour in the summer of 1984 with Slayer, and I've gotta admit, as a roadie I was pretty crappy. I know the Slayer dudes would definitely agree, but I got to play in Dave's stead for sound checks and that was pretty cool. After that tour Dave asked me to stick around and become his sort of 'drum tutor', even though I probably didn't know any more about playing double bass at the time than he did. I really wanted to play in a band though and since Dave didn't look like he was going anywhere for a while I politely declined.
On that 1984 tour however, I met a budding Guitar God named Michelle Meldrum who was relocating to LA when I got back home. We, along with a couple of dudes named Rob and Blake, formed 'War God'. Full Force blistering technical metal a-la Megadeth, Possessed, Slayer, Exodus. I think we weren't too good, however we did have a couple tunes on some European compilations and a Metal Massacre - Volume 800 or something.
In December of '84 Dark Angel asked me to climb out from behind the light board and start pounding for them, and needless to say, I jumped at the chance. War God kept on for a while and upon breaking up, Michelle formed the all-girl Guitar-God widdly-woo band Phantom Blue, with whom folks might be familiar (she then married widdly-woo god John Norum, so if they have kids, whaddaya suppose the chances of them having a bassist are?).
So far for Gene Hoglan's own comment.
In 1987 Hirax-vocalist Katon W. De Pena, along with drummer Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Death, Testament, Strapping Young Lad), original Metallica bassist Ron McGovney, and guitarists Nathan Williams and Rodney Nicholson formed the band Phantasm. They recorded a six-song demo with Bill Metoyer of Metal Blade Records.
As for his Death-period: he replaced Sean Reinert on "Individual Thought Patterns" (1993) and had left the band when "The Sound of Perseverance" was released in 1998. This album featured Richard Christy on drums.
In an interview with Vibrations of Doom magazine, Gene tells about his experience within Death:
"I write all the drum parts myself. Chuck [Schuldiner] just tells me to go sick, and he will give me a tape with the songs completed and he'll tell me to put beats down, change whatever I want, he gives me complete control on my writing, but as far as lyrics and what not, Chuck writes the lyrics himself. (...) Death metal really has stagnated, but you can't blame Death for that. To a lot of people, we created death metal, so we can redefine it whenever we feel like it."
And so they did...
2005 saw Gene Hoglan fill in for Opeth on their Sounds of The Underground tour after the group's regular skinsman Martin Lopez went back to Sweden for treatment of a rare blood disorder he's had for most of his life.
Gene Hoglan has performed with Strapping Young Lad since 1997 as well as Devin Townsend's Infinity and Terria projects. He performed drum tracks on Old Man's Child's Ill-Natured Spiritual Invasion, but he is committed to working with Devin Townsend, and - more recently - to Fear Factory.
Gene was also a session member on Daemon's Eye For An Eye as well as Just Cause's Finger It Out.