Chad Bowar of About.com Heavy Metal recently conducted an interview with legendary extreme-metal drummer Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DEATH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DARK ANGEL, DETHKLOK). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
About.com Heavy Metal: What inspired the Gene Hoglan Experience?
Gene Hoglan: I want to take the concept of a drum clinic and expand upon it, to reach everybody, not just drummers. My drum clinics have always had large elements of "spoken word" to them, but they were, in essence, drum clinics. Now, to take the same basic concept and put in a venue, the night is now open to all metal fans or Gene fans. It will be extremely interactive, where I'll take questions all night, relate stories, as well as get behind the kit and pound along to tunes from my entire career.
About.com Heavy Metal: What can fans that attend one expect to see?
Gene Hoglan: A whole lotta personality! I've never done any preparation whatsoever for any clinic, and everything I do or say is completely off the cuff and ad-libbed. Hell, even any solo I do is pretty much made up on the spot. I definitely like to bring a ton of humor and lightheartedness to these things, so hopefully people will come away thoroughly entertained and satisfied. Or at least howling at that train wreck of a solo.
About.com Heavy Metal: You've been in numerous bands and played on tons of albums as a "session guy" instead of being in one band for 30 years. Was that your goal as a young musician, or just how things turned out?
Gene Hoglan: Y'know, I never really knew where I was going to go with my career when I was starting out in my teens. All I knew was that I was gonna stick around, like a cockroach or fungus, or a cockroach infested with fungus. I was thinking about it recently, about my career involving many bands, many players, and I thought about a lot of the guys I looked up to, like Tommy Aldridge, Cozy Powell, Steve Gadd, Terry Bozzio, and those guys did plenty of bouncing around themselves. I'm sure there was some, "It's okay to do your thing with many different bands, just always try to be awesome and worth their time" type of influence that rubbed off on me from watching their careers, and the fact that I always felt like DARK ANGEL was not going to be my last stop. Well, I guess it's just natural that things have turned out this way. I've always liked expanding my boundaries by playing with as many cats as I have, and I know my playing has greatly improved due to it. I sure know that my sense of diplomacy has, indeed. I tell ya, there sure isn't the downtime involved in jumping around that there is with being stationary. I don't get to receive the, "Okay, we're done with the touring cycle, everybody take a break, and we'll meet up in a few months to start the next album." I bounce!
Read the entire interview at About.com Heavy Metal.