Favorite Gene Stories - Here are a some of the contest entries so far.
Okay, mine takes place back in 2006/2007. It was just after Brendon Small had hired Gene to drum for the first Dethalbum. It was back when we all had MySpace pages. Well, I had this cute cat photo as my avatar-cat with it's tongue out about to take a drink. Gene must have been checking out some of the Dethklok fans on MS. Because I got a PM out of the clear blue from him. He started out with "You don't know me, but...."
Not know him!??! Well, I spazzed a bit, alright more than a bit. I'm afraid my message back had a few misspellings. I may have been 51, but something like that can make me 16 again. We exchanged a few PMs then and I PM'ed him a couple of times over the year. (Including an exchange prompted by someone posting on his Wikipedia page that he had died in a car crash in Canada. Sort of "Are you dead?")
Forward to Nov. 2, 2007 and Berkeley, CA. I had decided at the last minute to fly from New York to Berkeley to catch Dethklok during the first tour. Partly because US Berkeley was one of the few stops you didn't need to be a student to get in and Nov. 2nd is my birthday. Had to have Dethklok play Birthday/Dethday for my day! So I PMed Gene and Brendon one more time with the news there was going to be a crazy New Yorker at Berkeley.
Now, I have asthma and everything was uphill of my hotel, specially the block the venue was one. So I was huffing up the hill and stopped to catch my breath. It slowly dawned on me that there was this bus parked a few yards ahead of me. Took a moment for it click that it had "Adult Swim Presents" on the front. THEIR BUS!!! And then I noticed there was a tall, long haired beard man talking on a cell phone by the bus. Could it be? Yep!
I started up the hill again and as I got closer, the man ended his phone call. I asked, or huffed more likely, "Would you happen to be Gene Hoglan?" He replied "You wouldn't happen to be Holly Kim?" Busted!
I was a bit too star struck to chat long. So I didn't ask him for an autograph then, but headed up to line up for the show. I've since got to see him again for Dethklok shows in NYC (didn't have the money to see him with other bands sadly. Wanted to very much.) And am planning to see Dethklok again this tour, thanks to an early birthday gift from my brother. - Holly Kim Wilson
I'll never forget the day I got the DVD in the mail; FINALLY I was going to be able to see Strapping Young Lad live. I was still in college at the time-- a small school in the boonies of Maryland-- and I was the only one home. I popped the DVD in, cranked the sound, and got ready for some fury. The shit got real. I fucking loved it. but what I loved MOST was the drumming. Now, I'm not a drummer. But I was feelin the tunes so hard, that I started, on the fly, assembling a makeshift drum kit out of all the garbage in the room. (typical messy college kids): Boxes, dirty glasses, bowls, and styrofoam containers were my landscape. All i needed were drumsticks, which I found in two fake plastic flower stems, complete with thorns. I was ROCKING THE FUCK OUT, with my eyes closed, body parts thrashing everywhere, when my roommates came in. I didnt know they were there, because the music was so loud, but when I finally opened my eyes, i saw my two roomates (who WEREN'T metal fans at ALL).. they were headbanging and air guitaring like crazy!!! they were gettin down!!! We were all rocking the fuck out. That shit was badass, and i'll never forget it. - Best, Frank Robert Perilla
My first metal concert was seeing Anthrax, Testament (with Gene) and Death Angel at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey last November. It was incredible.
I arrived at the venue a bit more than four hours before doors, and managed to meet Eric Petersen and Chuck Billy across the street, where they were doing a promo for Dean Guitars. But the man I was really looking forward to seeing was Gene Hoglan. Ironically, at the time of the show, I was far more familiar with Gene than with the rest of Testament, knowing only Testament's Souls of Black and The Formation of Damnation, while being a huge fan of Gene's work in Death, Strapping Young Lad, Dethklok, and especially DARK ANGEL. In fact, I'm wearing my Darkness Descends t-shirt as I write this; it's my favorite band shirt and one of my favorite albums.
As luck would have it, despite not being able to afford the Testament meet-and-greet package, they did a photoshoot right inside the venue, only a few yards away from my position at the front of the line waiting to get in. Me and a couple of other people in line were in awe at seeing Gene, and we jumped up and down outside yelling "HOGLAN! DARK ANGEL!!". He turned around and looked at us but I don't think he could hear us.
Once I got into the venue, I secured a spot on the center of the rail soon after Death Angel's set, as the couple in front of me (workers at the venue, not a fan of the bands) couldn't handle the moshing and crowd surfers and left. When Testament got on, I was immediately blown away by Gene. Testament is probably more famous for Eric Petersen's riffs and Alex Skolnick's solos, but everything else paled in front of the power and precision of The Atomic Clock himself. It was brutal as hell and the pit was insane, driven, I'd say, mostly by Gene's masterful rhythmic assault. When they started playing D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate), pandemonium would be an understatement to describe the fury of the audience.
After their set, the members of the band all came out and my friends and I were thrusting the horns out chanting "HOG-LAN! HOG-LAN!" Gene saw us and grinned.
My friend Gabe took a picture of him giving his trademark pentagram sign to the crowd, and we figured out how to do it so that we have the proper way to salute our drumming idol when we see him again in New Jersey in October. - Kushal Naik
The memory is so clear- I was at The Toronto Opera House, busting though my skin to Strapping Young Lad and primed to crush the most sacred pit in Ontario's most sacred venue. I had been 'relentlessly' playing the City album and "For those about to rock" set on my own drum kit, even started open hand playing on my kit that was set up EXACTLY like Gene's.
After turning around from the merch booth, I saw the mountain of a man standing in a black trench coat, boots, black shades, handle bar mo and the black SYL hat. I asked him if I could trade him for his hat if I bought one, he obliged. After traveling the world and metalfests around the world (including Norway and Australia), I had one of my best mates Todd Hansen (The Berzerker, Man Must Die, Amplitusion, ROME) get my hat signed by Gene almost 10 years later at Sick Drummer Camp.
Gene's contribution to SYL still blows my mind, I still give my all to shred it as I'm double kicking at 6'5" 290 lbs; perhaps I can try out for SYL if they ever team up again.
Thanks for the inspiration, the hat is on my alter of metal in my own studio. CRUSH EXTREME GENE!
-KAKAKAKA!!!! Big Jim
Gene once played a birthday party in my living rm. back in the early 90s. He was with Dark Angel at the time but that night he played with the VIOLATERS also know as F.U.B.A.R with the late great Gonzo on vocals. The video is on you tube. Any ways it was an awesome night for everyone thanks to Gene and Gonzo and everyone else, thanks again for making my friends birthday a night to remember. - Curtis Townsend
I used to do an internet radio show and had the opportunity to interview Gene when he was touring with SYL on the "Alien" tour. We met him in London at the Astoria and was led into a dingy changing room where Gene gave us about an hour of his time and regaled us with stories of touring with Dark Angel with an arm that was asleep, meeting Devin Townsend for the first time, how playing uber technical metal was "not rocket science!" and his love of Stevie Wonder!
After which, he invited us to the sound check where we stood open mouthed and astonished by the sheer power of the band.
Years later, I ran into Gene at the Bloodstock festival in 2010. He had been playing with Fear Factory and was wandering around the arena looking for a place to buy cigarettes.
"Gene, do you remember me, I interviewed you at the astoria years ago!" I asked
"Yep, i remember you... You seem to have put on a few pounds since then."
Yeah... shit just got real! Gene called ME a fat bastard!
Gotta love him tho, he was a gentleman and tried to get me backstage for the after show party, but security was not having any of it, So I said my goodbyes and went back to the entertainments of the festival grinning from ear to ear.
"hey, are you Gene Hoglan!?" some random person under the influence of alcohol asked me.
"yes... yes I am!" i replied and proceeded to drink the rest of his beer :)
Gene, you are a gentleman and a legend. Luv ya dude! \m/ - Digideus (Jeff)
I've been a fan of Gene's since I heard "The Philosopher" for the first time! Since then I've followed his work with Testament, SYL and others, always with high expectations... And every time I've been blown away. I've had the pleasure of meeting Gene one time back in 2006. It was at "Hultsfredfestivalen" in Sweden. Gene was there playing with SYL (who kicked ass by the way). Me and a couple of friends where watching Deftones, who also played the festival, when we spotted Gene in the audience. We approached him and had a quick chat and had him sign my Alien CD. He was really friendly and down to earth... A true gentleman, especially considering we just interrupted him watching the Deftones concert.
Never before listening to Death's 1995 release 'Symbolic' had I heard a drummer set the tone of an album. Your elaborate, odd timed technique compliments the complex song writing on this album with such fluidity and also has the addition of not sounding like a triggered machine. The drumming on this album gives the music a certain atmosphere which blends perfectly with the rest of the band. Each riff progression has so many original approaches and the rhythms fluctuate flawlessly, this is why 'Symbolic' is still one of my favourite albums to spin. Every time I listen to it there's always something I've missed. Something new. Thanks Gene for years of enjoyment and for many more to come!
Wishing you all the best,
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