Gene Hoglan, the drumming colossus behind many prime level metal bands, made a welcomed Iowa stop on his 2013 drum clinic tour, The Gene Hoglan Experience.
“The Atomic Clock” Hoglan became one of my most admired metal drummers (after Charlie Benante, for whom Gene filled in on six 2012 Anthrax dates) after my last century introduction to the mechanized pounding of Strapping Young Lad’s City and Ocean Machine’s melodic mass Biomech. In addition to his collaborations with Devin Townsend, I discovered Dark Angel, the frenzied thrash band for which he helped evolve from Slayer emulators to a more mature band, lyrically and musically. Time Does Not Heal is required listening for thrash fans wanting to explore the more obscure masterpieces of the genre. Death’s Individual Thought Patterns and Devin Townsend’s Physicist are just a few more exhibits of Hoglan’s accomplishments.
The early evening of October 17th, Hoglan met and signed autographs for fans at West Music in Coralville, Iowa, and represented for Pearl drums and Sabian cymbals. Dead Renaissance‘s K. R. Cook and I met up to chat with Gene, and were surprised how few people were also there to see him. We had briefly met him a few times years before at SYL shows, and most recently, after a ’15 Testament gig, and continue to agree on his humble, amicable personality as strongly as we do his talent.
Later that evening, at the Yacht Club in Iowa City, Gene cheerfully and humorously conversed with the packed audience and answered questions. As expected, he near flawlessly replicated his rhythmic performances on songs chosen mainly from his recordings with Death, Dethklok, and Testament’s latest disc, Dark Roots of Earth. Hoglan’s intelligently composed drum parts, with unique flourishes, cymbal dancing, and rock steady double kick work, all contribute to the man’s timekeeper reputation. In discussions, he’s stated his respect for Stevie Wonder, and while their musical birthings are dissimilar, their standards of perfection are much the same.
After the conclusion of the clinic, Hoglan chilled and spoke with fans outside the venue, again displaying his good nature and appreciation of his supporters.
If you guessed that I recorded the audio, you, kind reader, are correct. Also, here are some good pictures taken by Derek Wolfford during Hoglan’s soundcheck. Please, if you enjoy this sliver of drum history, leave a like or a comment and support Mr. Hoglan’s multitude of metal works.