Sean Harris of Broken Neck Radio recently conducted an interview with legendary extreme-metal drummer Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DEATH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DARK ANGEL, DETHKLOK, FEAR FACTORY). You can now listen to the chat using the Mixcloud widget below.
Asked how the DARK ANGEL reunion has gone so far and there there are any plans for the band to record a new album, Hoglan said: "Right off the bat, it's been super fun." He continued: "I grew up in the music business playing with DARK ANGEL, and I put so much heart and love and attention into that band, because I had nothing else but DARK ANGEL from age 17 to about 25, so I just poured everything I had into DARK ANGEL. And then, to see it just kind of dissolve the way that it did…
"There was no acrimony; we were all friends, we've all remained friends. It wasn't because we had some big fight and everybody said 'f you' to everybody else; it was never like that. So it was just kind of… I guess it [was] time to move on. We all wished each other the best, and hopefully we all get to remain in the music business or partake in whatever endeavor we all do.
"I was fortunate. Right after DARK ANGEL split, pretty quickly thereafter, I was getting calls from Chuck Schuldiner [DEATH], saying, 'Hey, why don't you come out and do this?' So I know of landed on my feet after DARK ANGEL. So that's when the rest of my… whatever the next chapter was… me playing with a ton of bands, which still continues to this day; that's when that started. So going back and hanging out with the rest of the dudes… I mean, like I said, we've all been friends, we've all remained buddies and we've all grown up quite a bit; we're not quite as rude with each other, we're all really nice and really polite with each other. That's pretty cool.
"I was a real taskmaster back in the day. Jim Durkin [guitar] was always the leader of the band, and then when he departed, I guess I kind of… I stepped in to take over, I suppose, and I was a super taskmaster. I was not the polite, fun Gene that I am now. Just because I was so young and hungry and focused… Now you can still be hungry and focused, but you don't have to treat other people like a tyrant, I suppose, and I guess I got a little tyrannical back in the old days: 'My way or the highway, damn it! Get on the train or get off!' And now it's just like, 'Hey, we're coming back together to do this to have some fun.' That should be Number One.
"We've all remained buddies. Like, I see all the guys. When I cruise into New Mexico, I hang out with Gonz [bassist Michael Gonzalez]; when I cruise up to Washington, Ron [Rinehart, vocals] comes out; and Eric [Meyer, bass] has come out to quite a few shows in the L.A. area; and Jim I stay in contact with. So we've always been pals, so getting back together was done out of fun. And we'll see where it goes. That was kind of our attitude when we started playing some shows. And then it just started kind of building a little bit: getting cool shows, and then getting offered bills completely out of the blue. For instance, there was Hellfest in France, where MEGADETH… It was MEGADETH, SOUNDGARDEN, BLACK SABBATH on the main stage. MEGADETH had to pull out for whatever reason, and they invited us. So it's, like, wow, okay, people are starting to see that we just didn't reform and go to playing clubs or something like that; we reformed to play cool festivals, and that builds upon itself. So we've taken that a step further. Now we're writing new material. Jim and I have a whack of new stuff, and it's super awesome and super aggressive and super DARK ANGEL. And it's gonna take a lot of work, but we're all interested and we're all into it. So that's all it really needs. We wanna write some songs, we wanna put out a record, we wanna go on the road, we wanna see what happens. There were a lot of reasons why… It was always me that was reticent about creating another DARK ANGEL, just creating another chapter in DARK ANGEL's life. It was mostly schedule based. Like, 'God, when am I ever gonna have the time?' And now it's just, like, 'Jesus, man, you just make time. You make it happen. Anything you want, you can make happen. So make it happen.'"
DARK ANGEL 2014 is:
* Gene Hoglan (drums)
* Eric Meyer (guitar)
* Jim Durkin (guitar)
* Ron Rinehart (vocals)
* Michael Gonzalez (bass)
DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — 1984's "We Have Arrived" and 1986's "Darkness Descends" — before he exited the group and was replaced by Ron Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — 1989's "Leave Scars" and 1991's "Time Does Not Heal" — before calling it quits in 1992. Rinehart, Hoglan and Meyer reassembled DARK ANGEL more than a decade ago but were forced to abandon their reunion plans after health issues reportedly put Rinehart's singing career on hold.