Spread the metal:
Gene Hoglan


Pictures and interview by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjala

Gene “The Atomic Clock” Hoglan needs no introduction as every metalhead has to have at least an album or two that he has played on. The man is currently sitting behind the drum kit for Testament who recently visited the Tuska Open Air festival in Helsinki. We managed to meet the legend before the show and then we sat and listened when Gene Hoglan spoke.  


Of course you’re best known for your awesome drum career but what many fans don’t know is that you’re a great guitarist too. What in fact made you to pick drums for your primary instrument instead of the guitar?

Well I have been playing drums for thirty two years now and I’ve been playing the guitar for thirty years. So you know, it’s like your pretty much even at the same rate. I play normally under most circumstances. And in fact, I do play more guitar than drums because you can’t really sit around your couch at your house with a drum set.  I have usually got a guitar in my hands most of the time.

So becoming a professional drummer was some kind of coincidence?

The drummer is what I wanted to be, being the guitarist became the coincidence. Because really the reason I started playing guitar was when I was 13, 14, 15 years old, all my buddies that were learning how to play guitar they would  be like “Hey man come over to my house watch me play guitar”, and I would ask them “Hey man can you do some of that Egyptian kind of stuff? I love Egyptian kind of sounding things”, and they would just be sitting there noodling for 20 minutes and they would be like “What was that that you said?”. I would be like “Ok, well fine”. So I figured to learn to play the guitar and you can do all the  stuff that you can’t get your friends to do so. I always figured that it would be a good way to  communicate with the rest of your musicians in your band if you learn their instruments. So I play lots of guitar. I play lots of bass and I sing, so I can do anything that any other band member, that I have and can do, so you can communicate on a better level that way I think.

Like you said, you play guitar a lot so that’s probably means that you’re doing some writing all the time`?

Absolutely oh yeah, all the time, I write all the time.

You also do a lot of lyrics – how did this start out at first place?

Well, when I started writing lyrics for Dark Angel for instance, it was really just because somebody had to.  Because I found out months and months into the band that say for instance, on DARKNESS DESCENDS, we had a song called” Burning of Sodom”, we were playing that for months and months and I asked the guys “Hey man what are the lyrics to this song”, they were like “actually, there are none.” We’ve been playing it live, and there was a vocal line, and Don Dotty was not singing any lyrics and I was like “Really – well ok”.  I was in high school at the time so I jotted down some lyrics for the song and just handed them to the guys and they were like “Ok great – Now we have lyrics to the song”.

When writing the lyrics for “Merciless Death Burning of Sodom and Death Is Certain – Life Is Not” I guess you were influenced by stuff like: “killing people, murdering” like that ?

Oh Yeah.

Like back in the day for example Kreator’s PLEASURE TO KILL came out it was all about “murdering and killing” based lyrics, a kind of fantasy things.

Sure Sure, Yeah, well everybody else was doing a whole lot of fantasy stuff; killing and all that stuff. I just always wanted to be more real, like “Death is Certain, Life is Not”.  I wrote that right around the time my uncle passed away and his death was an influence on the writing of “Death is Certain”.  So that was cool, I always wanted to write about more real life things than all the fantasy stuff.  We had some fantasy like for instance, “Darkness Descends” that was about Judge Dread.

Judge Dread? Like Anthrax did around the same time?

Six months before Anthrax ever put out any stuff any Judge Dread. It was about Judge Dread issue number four which was involved the four dark judges which if you notice in the lyric sheet, I don’t know if it ever made the reprints, but if you have the original album you’ll see there is. It starts off, fire fear, fire mortis and then the chorus is death.

Out of all of lyrics you’ve done during the years, which are the best lyrics you have done in your opinion?

Well, there is two songs that I wrote that I’m super proud about. The first one was “The Death of Innocence” off of LEAVE SCARS which I started writing that when I was fifteen for whatever reason, but that song is about child molestation from the Pedophile’s viewpoint, and that’s the worst thing that could ever happen, and I wrote  it from the molester’s standpoint. It’s one thing, like back in the day thrash metallers everybody wrote songs about like you over there you suck for being bad, you know all that over there, were out here looking at you you suck. I wrote that from the standpoint of I suck. I’m no child molester but I figured the song would have a little more impact if it was like written from the molesters viewpoint. Then there was a song later on the TIME DOES NOT HEAL, it was called  “Ancient Inherited Shame”, and that song was about rape.  From the females standpoint and those are two lyrics that I was really into.

Those lyrics are still current and a real thing nowadays as the world is getting worse and worse and your lyrics are still hitting the current world.

Sure, sure.

And timeless.

Awesome I always wanted to try to do that.

Being like Nostradamus.

Yeah well – hey that’s black prophecies’ “Laughs”

Gene Hoglan
Gene Hoglan with Testament in 2013


Let’s talk next a bit about Testament. In 1997 you recorded the DEMONIC album with the band. How did you get involved with Testament in the first place?

Chuck Billy called me up and said “We are done with Testament, it’s done, Eric and I are creating a band called Dog Faced Gods. Would you be interested in coming up and jamming and being a part of that?” And I was like “I have always wanted to work with you Chuck, since when I heard you to sing on PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH for the first time.” I said “Yes I want to work with you.” So that’s how that project started and over the course of like nine months we were rehearsing this project, it turned back into Testament, and we are already so involved in the music, I was like this isn’t very Testament music but ok, we’ll call it Testament, and that’s basically how it started.

DEMONIC is a little bit different than any other Testament album because it’s a way more brutal and there are lot of elements from Death Metal, right?

Yeah, and that’s because it was more Dog Faced Gods material. It just happened to get a different title to the band back to the old Testament title, and I like the album. I really dug the LOW album but this one was like even Lower. I think that was myself and Derek Ramirez the bassist and he was also the original guitarist for Legacy. He was the original second guitarist for the Dog Faced Gods project, but then when it turned into Testament, they were like “Ok we need a guy that can play leads.” So Derrick was way more rhythm oriented, but that was Rob and Glen, Glen allegorized for the lead portions, but that was really more Derrick all the time just going “Chuck you should do more Death Metal vocals, your Death Metal Vocals are awesome.” His Death Metal vocals are awesome. He’s about the only death metal vocalist that I have worked with that when he starts singing Death Metal, the entire ground rumbles. There’s more than just throat there, there’s chest and gut coming from Chuck Billy’s. So, for it to be a Testament record that’s probably why it threw many Testament fans for a little bit of a loop like “ Wait a minute..” I thought it was killer, I thought it was their best album that they had done at the time. So I was stoked

How much did you do the touring with the band back then – Not too much I think?

Not much. I did three shows in Mexico with them and that was it. They went on tour after the album came out, this was back before guys were kind of doing like two shows a night with – Ok I’ll play with this band and I’ll play with a headliner or whatever – So I was with Strapping Young Lad and when I came into the DEMONIC project I had just completed the CITY album with Strapping at this point and I was super stoked on it. I was like this is my thing I had mentioned to the guys no matter what happens with Testament, I’m Strapping Guy and that’s before we even started rehearsing. We ended up going on tour with Testament, Strapping did. I guess I could have done two shows a night or whatever. It was fun. Because that’s not too hard, I do it a lot now. At the time they wanted there I guess focused only drummer, so they got John Dette. He had already done the stuff with them and he had already done Slayer and so this is after his 20 minutes in Slayer or whatever he was in.

You had many many years break from working with Testament but last year you ended up playing on DARK ROOTS OF EARTH. How did you get involved with them again?

At the time I guess they had a deadline to complete the record and at the time Paul Bostaph was injured. Like he had an arm injury, I’ve actually spoken to Paul about this arm injury. Because you know a lot of times when it’s in the presses it’s like “Oh he’s injured”. He was telling me, like” Dude I went for about a year thinking I may never play the drums again”. He’s got some, it involves crazy knuckles and tendons and all sorts of crazy stuff, he can tell you better than I could. But he was trying to rehab himself at that time, and I guess Testament’s deadline for turning in the album was approaching rapidly and Paul was not going to be able to do it. So I got a call from either Eric or Chuck, I think it was probably Chuck saying “Can you come out and do a record with us in two weeks”. I was just going on tour with Fear Factory for two weeks and I was like ”Ok, so at the end of that I’ll drive on up to the Bay Area and I’ll track your record with you.” And we tracked it over the course of like twelve days or something like that. They sent me a demo and I could listen to it in the car as I was driving up from San Diego to the Bay Area and that’s how I learned the record. Pretty much started tracking a couple of days after I got there.

Weren’t you supposed to be just a session member for Testament at that time?


But you have now stayed a bit longer with them?

That’s because I tried to clear my schedule for Testament. I’m still a session guy. But I like playing with Testament, I like the guys. I guess in all reality I’m a session guy, but I always go where it’s fun, that’s where I like to play. Like if the band is fun and its cool touring situations and the stuff like that, I’m there for it. I like being valued, I like having an opinion that is listened to, and I like having a say and so I guess that’s the reason why I’m around still.

It would be awesome if you did some writing with Testament in the future. Have you ever talked about it?

Yes we have. We talked about the future our next record. I am with Eric, it’s like “Don’t write with your drum machine, hopefully I’ll have the time to come on in and help you write your next record.” I think that’s always best. It’s awesome to have a drum machine or “the drum kit from hell” to pull tracks from and write like that. But if you can write an album with a live drummer that’s always the coolest I think.

Do you already have plans for the next Testament album, I mean, when you’re going to start working on it?

You have to talk to Chuck and Eric and Alex about that I don’t know.

So it’s going to be like six to seven years ?

No no. Six to Seven months I would imagine at the most.I would assume they would start writing the new album pretty soon.

Testament: Dark Roots of Earth
Testament: Dark Roots of Earth

Testament: Demonic
Testament: Demonic


Like you said, in a way Testament is your priority at the moment.

Testament and back in The States Dethklok. We are having some huge time in U.S, you know?

Well, as you might know Dethklok is not too well known here but how big is the band in The States right now?

Let’s put it this way. Sometimes when we go out on tour with Mastodon for instance, we were on the road a couple of years ago they were our opening act and we’re playing five thousand seat arenas two nights in a row. Dethklok is huge in The States. Maybe people don’t understand it over here or whatever. The music is incredible and the live show is amazing even if you’re not a fan of the TV show or you don’t know the TV show. Come down and see the show and you have a lot of money behind Dethklok, so it is gargantuan. Really big. Like our last album we debuted, the first album debuted number twenty one on the billboard charts and that was unheard of at the time, the next album was number fifteen on the charts, and the third album, the latest album was top ten, so.

So it’s getting bigger all the time?

Or the album sales are getting smaller. “Laughs”

As you’re playing big arenas and venues – somehow we Europeans don’t understand how big Dethklok is there in The States. Maybe it’s because you have never been in Europe?

We haven’t played at all, but we’d like to change that. We’ll come over and do smaller shows over here, like a thousand seat show or something. Who knows about the future, I think that might happen?

You also mentioned that after this tour finishes, you are going back to Los Angeles and start working on the next project with some of the former Meldrum members ?

It’s not called Meldrum, Meldrum is now finished. But our guitarist, from the latest Meldrum album, her name is Laura Christine. She and I start working on our next project together which is like the extreme next level metal. Like Meldrum is very hard rock very easy to listen to. We loved Michelle she is one of my lifelong friends and my best friend for twenty five years until she passed and we really tried to honor her with the recording of the last album. But Laura Christine and I worked so well on it and she is such an amazing guitarist that I’m like “Ok let’s work together on something super brutal.” So our project will be some next level just psychotic metal.

What was the name of singer on the last Meldrum album – she is the Australian ?

Her name was Michelle Madden.

And she used to sing with…

…Tourette’s. They played in Europe a few times.

Yes. I saw them in Hamburg playing in a small club. She’s very aggressive on the stage- How did you find her to do the vocals on the Meldrum album?

Yeah totally man she’s amazing in that regard. When Strapping Young Lad was in Australia back in early 2000, Tourette was our opening act. We all saw her and we were like “Holy Moly she’s on fire”, incredible. A few years later they came up to Canada when I was living in Canada to record their album and I did a few shows with them with some of my other bands other than Strapping Young Lads, and when we lost – In Meldrum – we lost Moa, our vocalist, I mentioned to Michelle, “Hey there’s this other vocalist from Australia named Michelle, check her out, YouTube stuff” and Michelle went and checked her out and like wow she’s perfect, and that’s kind of how that happened.

Because you have so many things going on  all the time,  I have to ask, how often do you have to turn down offers because of your extremely busy schedule?

All the time. I have to turn down a lot of things especially when I do things like commit myself to Testament because I’m like “You guys have got a really killer record here , I want to be a part of you touring cycle”. So I will clear my schedule, like I could be out making albums with other people, making shit tons of money, and it’s always Dark Roots of Earth has a solid line up on it, but rather than having “Ok, we’ve got a brand new album out, but were going to bring out some other drummer with it”, and it’s like “I will do my best to clear my schedule and be a part of your touring cycle for it”, because I think that’s more impressive and convenient for the fans it’s like “Hey everybody that’s on the latest record is there on stage” – Not like “Oh God, Testament has yet another drummer.”  You know I just want to help the guys out in that fashion.

Dethklok:The Dethalbum
Dethklok:The Dethalbum

Dethklok:Dethalbum II
Dethklok:Dethalbum II

Meldrum: Blowin Up The Machine
Meldrum: Blowin Up The Machine


How is your relationship with Devin Downsend these days?

Devin is great. Just because we are not working together, it’s like ok, that’s fine – Devin is awesome. I’m excited for him and his solo career. How much success he’s been having, he’s been getting nominated for Juno’s which is up in Canada, which is their Grammy. I’m like “Good for you Devin. Go!” and its fun.

It’s fun to see him now when he’s sober and he’s a little bit different than he used to be back in the day.

Sure, a little less crazy?

Yeah, I think he was sometimes really crazy to work with?

Devin was crazy without drugs or alcohol. No matter how much Dev says “I was a psycho on drugs, or I was so into booze”, the guy was the most non-partying guy I know, like.

Actually it seems that he is a very down to earth guy.

He always has been. And like I think Devin felt like his partying was out of control, but to anybody else who was like a real partier, would be “What are you kidding me? Dude you smoke a little pot you have a couple of drinks, you are not a partier dude”. I was a partier. Yeah so, I know he denigrated himself a lot back in the day. He was like I got so into drugs and so into booze and it’s like you weren’t man.

You were in Finland with Strapping Young Lad in 2008. Any memories from that visit?

That’s right, that was in Provinssirock. It was really fun, I remember there was a guy with a in a bunny suit or something like that out in the crowd, I remember seeing this YouTube thing later I was like “Hey you in the Bunny suit, what’s up?”

Strapping Young Lad came as kind of surprise to me that I didn’t know the existence of the band when seeing the first video on some music channel. It was completely different to anything else what came out in the nineties. It reminded me of the elements from the industrial metal stuff and extreme metal stuff together. It was kind of unique. I guess you were fascinated how the Strapping Young Lad sounded back in the day?

Yes. When I heard the first album, I was not on the first album, HEAVY IS A REAL HEAVY THING, but when I heard it, I was like wow there are elements of this record that I would love to be a part of. And I immediately got Devin’s new demo that he gave me a demo because we were going to be playing together he gave me a demo of a bunch of songs off of the CITY record. They were pretty much in the same ballpark that we recorded the album with. So they were already came kind of like that. Bunch of noises on top of everything, drum machine playing everything, and I was like this is the coolest thing ever right now. It was my perfect ultimate band, this is so awesome and the music was so cool we could have gone and kicked everybody in the teeth destroyed everybody, at least that’s what I was all about, that’s what I love my music to do. I don’t want to put out music that makes you go, ok, nice music. I want you to be like stop hitting me stop kicking my teeth out. That for me Strapping was the coolest band ever, there one of my all – I’ve said this a million times but even if I wasn’t playing in Strapping they would still be one of my favorite bands, just period. Because there is so much aggression, so much talent, Devin is all over the place. It was an all-encompassing sort of music for me, brutality and then you have some tasty stuff and then you have some groove even. I just thought Strapping had limitless potential.I was super stoked when we recorded CITY, I was super excited about that.

Strapping Young Lad: City
Strapping Young Lad: City

Strapping Young Lad:Alien
Strapping Young Lad:Alien


How about the Fear Factory thing, it’s completely done by you now?

Yeah, they made some choices and I wasn’t a part of their choices, so it was like “Ok. You got the human drum machine playing for you, but you’re going to record with a drum machine? Ok Bye”. Like I was saying earlier it’s like I go where it’s fun and if it’s fun and I’m valued and I feel like part of the team – great – and apparently I was so not even part of team I wasn’t even told that “oh yeah we recorded the record, with the drum machine.” I was waiting for a schedule, like seriously I waited. Waiting for like hey “When do you guys want to go to the studio, like hey I’m booked, I’m trying to get in touch with you guys to block time out – everybody’s asking me to come play on this project come do this over here. When are you guys going to go in the studio” and they are like “Oh we will let you know “. Then I read on Blabbermouth the album is done, I’m like “Ok well so am I, so you made your choice. Bye.”

How did you get involved in Fear Factory in the first place ?

It was because of Byron from Strapping…

…who is playing with 3 Inches Of Blood nowadays.

Yeah and he asked me to be a part of it. Because I always said, the band knows this I said “I would never play for Fear Factory, that’s one band that I will never play for ever ever ever”. Byron asked -he’s my brother, he’s like “If you don’t do this, we can’t be a band, I will, you do this, and I was like for you, yes, and so I did it”. Byron quit and so I was like I don’t want to be a part of this anymore, I didn’t want to be a part of this in the first place, made a kill record, you know MECHANIZE is a good album. It’s good for them, all I know is I know, I mean I read stuff and I see what people say about the latest record there like what a disappointment sinking ship this is .. Ok you guys made it really obvious, You two guys wanted all the money.

It seems that Fear Factory is not a real band anymore but just a project of Dino and Burton.

Those guys are my friends still, they’re still my buddies, but your business decisions were, I understand it’s like there is not a lot of money there and I don’t come cheap and I went cheap for them, but they knew that the next album since I did that first one super cheap and all the touring super cheap that it wasn’t going to be cheap anymore. They made the proper business decision for themselves, so they wouldn’t be super broke, but I don’t know it, I think they’ve made it very apparent that it’s no offense intended but it kind of looks like a sinking ship. I dig the guys that are playing for them, they’re nice guys but you know – bury your differences with Christian and Raymond – get those two guys back and you’ll be on top of the game again. You know that’s all you got to do. I’m sure that will never happen, because they’ve gone to court against each other and all that sort of stuff, but if you really want to have a future that’s the only way.

Gene Hoglan
Gene Hoglan



About this Death-To-All tribute thing, where the former Death members have been involved and been touring – how do you like that project and how do you see the future of it?

There is the future to it. They are going to keep doing it, they are talking about doing some European stuff somewhere in the future. I would like to be a part of it, it’s my opinion that they should do it right, like in The States a couple of months ago they went out with half of the band that they did on the first tour. They only went out with three guys from, they went out with Sean Reinert, Paul Masvidal, Steve DiGiorgio and then they got a singer guitarist for it and then they played up until the HUMAN Album. I’ll be quite honest, I think that’s wrong, I don’t think you should do that, I think you should take you, if you don’t take the entire band out, if its only most cost effective to take four guys out make sure those four guys play the entire catalog, if I’m involved with it, I can play everything from every album.


All the way up to the SOUND OF PERSEVERANCE album. Anyone that I’m involved in we will play stuff off of every record, I will not cut half of Chuck’s legacy out live, because I just think that rips off the fans. So that’s my opinion on that. That’s Gene Hoglan’s opinion. Maybe other people don’t subscribe to that. I think if you’re going to dedicate a night to a man’s legacy – a past brother’s legacy, play his whole legacy don’t stop half way, I think that’s fucking wrong.

Yesterday we talked to Andy LaRocque and he mentioned that he had just met you first time in person just few weeks ago.

It was the first time, was it two weeks ago?

You worked together on the DEATH album INDIVIDUAL THROUGH PATTERNS over twenty years ago but you didn’t meet during a recording sessions at all?

That’s right, Yeah we were stoked, I was stoked I was like “Fuck – got a chance to meet the man”, we got like literally like three minutes to be like, the bus call was happening and we were late, “Hi Andy, nice to meet you. Got to go”. Hopefully I will get to see him for a little bit longer tomorrow that will be cool.

Death: Symbolic
Death: Symbolic

Death: Individual Through Patterns
Death: Individual Through Patterns


Of course we have to talk a bit about Dark Angel as well. First of all, what’s up with Jim Durkin nowadays?

Yeah, he has his band Dreams of Damnation.

Is that band still around?

Yeah. Apparently they are still going. He sent me a text message a couple of weeks ago saying man “I have this kind of hard rock project I‘d like you to listen to and tell me what you think.” I was like wow; Jim can write anything but I was kind of surprised at that. I like it when Jim writes really brutal savage and catchy awesome Dark Angel type stuff, but we will see, I haven’t had a chance to hear any of his new stuff, but I’m sure it’s good.

Didn’t he play in Ruthless?

Yeah he came over here and did a couple of festivals

Like Keep It True -festival in Germany?

That’s right, I was really excited, I saw that on YouTube and I was real excited for him. Finally he made it over here to Europe, that’s cool even if he only played a show or two, but I’m glad he got to come over.

Some years ago you tried some kind of re-union with Dark Angel but it didn’t work out in the long term.


And some time Dark Angel played one off show supporting Kreator and Destruction in L.A ?

Oh they did? Oh ok, I don’t remember that, I never did anything. They got some other drummer, because I was on tour with Strapping, but I think they got like three of the guys from the LEAVE SCARS lineup I guess, I think it was like Ron, Eric, and Jim. Different drummer, I think Jim’s Drummer from Dreams of Damnation, and probably his bassist from Dreams of Damnation too. Yeah they got up on stage and played a couple of Dark Angel songs in one of those shows and I think they got excited about the idea like let’s try to do something with this. That’s why I was like ok, because back when I was involved with Dark Angel I was pretty much doing the majority of the work; writing all the music most of it, all the lyrics all the business, doing all the interviews, taking care of all the business aspects of it. I was like “Ok, if you guys want to do a reunion, I’m ok with it, just don’t make me do any work for it. You guys take care of it, set it all up, tell me where I got to be, what songs I got to know, I’ll fly in and we’ll do some rehearsals and hit the road.” It never got that far.

Was there some kind of tension with Eric and Jim?

That I’m not sure about, I don’t think so, but I think you’d have to talk to those guys about that. I don’t really know.

But they recorded “Creeping Death” for the Metallica tribute album

I don’t think Jim was a part of that.

Dark Angel: Darkness Descend
Dark Angel: Darkness Descends

Dark Angel: Leave Scars
Dark Angel: Leave Scars

Dark Angel: Live Scars
Dark Angel: Live Scars


I know that Black Sabbath is one your all time favorite bands, so I’m going to ask how you do like the new Black Sabbath album?

I’ve only heard very little bits of it, and I’m such a Bill Ward fan as a human being. He’s such a wonderful awesome amazing man he’s the nicest man ever to come along ever and I’m in his court  – period.  Black Sabbath is one of my all-time favorite bands period, but I don’t know any of the other members of Black Sabbath. But I know Bill Ward and that man is so genuine and so sweet and so wonderful, that I guess it’s like great your all-time favorite band is putting up a hopefully a killer record. But a central part of it is missing. I back Bill on the entire thing, should they have done it without Bill on it? I don’t think they should have,  I even thought if they were to ask me, then I were to go to  Bill and be like they are asking me not that they would but I would have been like Bill, what would you play then I will go play, what would you play rather than having Brad Will from Rage against Machine playing some nondescript drumming.  I would have taken every song secretly over to Bill and say” Here is what they’re giving me what would you do here?”  And I would play exactly what Bill said and I would be Bill Ward for Sabbath.

Which other drummers have influenced you to become a drummer? I do remember that on some interviews you’ve mentioned names Neil Peart and Peter Criss?

Absolutely. Out of those two guys there are Tommy Aldridge, Rob Reiner from Anvil, definitely Rob “Whacko” Hunter from Raven. Huge influences Cozy Powell, Terry Bozzio, a lot of those  guys I try to just absorb Steve Gadd massively even Frank Beard from ZZ Top I have been going back listening to some old ZZ Top is that  where I stole that lib from, I guess I did.

How do you take it when young musicians of nowadays come to say “you influenced us”?

That is very sweet, very nice and I suppose that’s a really nice place to be in, everybody wants to leave a legacy and everybody wants to be an influence and if I am, then awesome.  That’s why I have always tried to be very open and honest about where my influences.  Deen Castronovo from Wild Dogs, that era of Deen Castronovo if that Reign of Terror –  Wild Dogs record was never released, I mean, half of the Death stuff I ever did wouldn’t have existed.

And now he plays with Journey – what a difference.

Yeah Totally. Have you ever seen him sing with Journey?

Yes we have.

He does that song “Still They Ride” from the ESCAPE album.  Arnel Pineda sounds so much like Steve Perry, but Deen Castronovo sounds even more like Steve Perry.  If he wasn’t such a God on drums, it’s like step out from behind the kick and be their singer, he does the throaty stuff really well.  That’s cool.

We have seen Journey a couple of times and I have a photo of him singing truly professionally as he has his spot. But you said you got the legacy all the way from Dark Angel, Death, Testament, Strapping Young Lad and so on but what is the most important legacy that you want to leave behind ?

All of them.  Just like the  Gene Hoglan legacy it’s like, because I’ve liked being a chameleon with all the bands, that I have been in,  like Dark Angel did not sound like Death and Death not like Strapping, and Testament not like any of the other bands. So I would just like to leave a legacy of “Hey that guy can do some stuff like this band does not sound like that band and he doesn’t sound like himself in all of it”. I suppose the last few years, it’s started sounding, I have always wanted to be a chameleon, but the last few years I suppose there is a lot of things that I have done throughout my career. That I’m Always trying to evolve, and try to bring out like, “Hey I’ll pull out some  double ride stuff for Testament” or something or I didn’t do double ride with Testament on the latest record I’m sorry.  I do a lot.  So I guess just I’ve been in so many bands and all of those bands have been very very important to me, and I’ve always admitted Strapping was my favorite band that  I’ve played with that most people have heard, I’ve always been really open about that. That had the most magical music for me and the most magical spirit – kindred spirit with the guys in the bands, so I’m stoked with Strapping.

Gene Hoglan
Gene Hoglan


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