TESTAMENT Drummer GENE HOGLAN Looks Back On DARK ANGEL's "Darkness Descends" - "Oh, That's Cool, We're Influencing METALLICA Now..."
July 23, 2020, 15 days ago
Testament drummer Gene Hoglan, who made a name for himself with Dark Angel, Death and Strapping Young Lad, is featured in a new Metal Hammer Q&A featuring questions submitted by drummers including Joey Jordison (ex-Slipknot), Dave Witte (Municipal Waste), Art Cruz (Lamb Of God) and Eloy Casagrande (Sepultura). Following is an excerpt.
Q: If you could go back in time and say something to that 13-year-old Gene, what would you say? (Eloy Casagrande / Sepultura)
Hoglan: “Steal all you can from drummers. That's what drummers do – it's just how you apply it that makes it your own. I had such a mishmash of influences it was going to be inevitable that I was going to develop my own style. Like in Dark Angel, I was trying to create beats that had never been heard before. Like the opening of (1986’s) 'Darkness Descends', that beat in the very first minute; I'd never heard anyone play that beat before, so I dropped it in. Then a few years later I had all the phone calls: 'Hey have you heard that new Metallica song 'One'? It's got your beat in it, it's got the riffs, it's even got the lyrics, 'Darkness imprisoning me!' I thought, 'Oh, that's cool, we're influencing Metallica now!' (laughs)."
Q: How do you manage to hit hard while seeming so relaxed? (Sean Radcliffe / Loathe)
Hoglan: "I think it's because I am relaxed, and that is a very important aspect of drumming. If you're driving a truck you want to be relaxed, you don't want to be stressed and freaking or you'll crash your truck. I know playing high speed, loud metal you might consider yourself a machine gunner frantically mowing down the crowd with your bass drums, but I prefer to look at it like I'm a sniper. My breathing is pretty relaxed and I'm controlled like a sniper as I'm about to take that shot. I know when you've got a blastbeat coming up and you've got to pound it out, if you give into the terror and panic you're feeling you're just going to seize up, play uncomfortably and not nail that part. Just breathe inside your brain and tell yourself: 'You can do this.’ That's been what I've based my whole career on."
Read the complete interview here.