STRAPPING YOUNG LAD drummer Gene Hoglan (DARK ANGEL, DEATH, TESTAMENT) recently spoke to TheMegalith.com about boots, bongs, and everything that's happening in the Hoglan/SYL camp. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
TheMegalith.com: How do you think [the new STRAPPING YOUNG LAD album] "Alien" is going to be received by the fans?
Gene Hoglan: "Well, I think if you're like a super-duper STRAPPING fan, if you've been into us, you know through the evolution of our career — you know it's just going to be another notch in the right direction for us, you know? I think if you really dig STRAPPING you're really gonna be psyched with the new record, and if you've never heard STRAPPING before, it'll definitely be you'll be like, 'Holy crap, what the hell's going on with these guys? These guys mean business.' So, I think everybody who's familiar with us or not familiar with us is definitely gonna get their jaws punched right in the face by the new record cause we're all really really proud of it, really happy, and I feel the same way — especially with a song like 'Skeksis', you know, full... full-on glory is celebrated with that song, and the whole album really. Just watch us, watch us go nuts!"
TheMegalith.com: What's the thinking behind [the song] "Shitstorm", like the idea?
Gene Hoglan: "Well, it was just Dev [Townsend] and myself, trying to write a really really crazy song. Like, let's just go nuts. I know there's that one part like after we're hauling through the double-bass stuff, right around when he starts saying, 'Now you listen to me... the motherfuckin life,' and all that stuff, we've already just hauled the double-bass part, and you think, 'Alright, they're gonna break it down or something, fuck they just go nuttier!' Then there's another crazy double-bass part right after that in the same section where it's just fuckin unrelenting, you know, it just will not stop. Are they gonna explode or fall apart or all that? So it was just Dev and I just trying to freak out and write a really crazy song, you know?"
TheMegalith.com: I just wanted to ask you actually about the boots you wear. Do you wear the same, the same... those black boots every time you play, and what do they have to do with your performance?
Gene Hoglan: "Well, those, yeah. I've just got a new pair actually. But yeah, for the past ten years, I've just worn boots, I've got one pair of shoes you know? Don't have a closet of shoes or anything, I just got my boots. I wear 'em all day long, and it's just a hassle to change you know... to find some tennis shoes that I like so I just kept wearin' the boots. I go through pairs of boots, by never taking them off even when playing, I just grind the soles down. But I've got a couple of new pairs, so I'm sure I'll be doing a number to both of these really soon. I think it's really neat, I wear Docs and I got a new pair recently, and I got my sister to do some painting to 'em, next time I see you I'll show you my boots. She did some airbrushing, she airbrushed STRAPPING logos on the boots, and she was weighing them — she had to weigh the boots cause she says 'Look, these things are too heavy for me to just hold.' So she put 'em on the scale and she weighed them and they're two and a half pounds apiece."
The complete audio (in MP3 format) and text transcript of the interview is available at TheMegalith.com.