Greatest metal drummer of all time is a title that gets thrown around more often than not. Everyone has their own opinion of who could be and is the so-called “best” behind the kit. Many factors play into it; whether it’s about speed, style, substance or history of work.
One drummer, in my humble opinion, possesses all the integral elements of an outstanding drummer. He is head and shoulders above the rest and every single day, I always hear at least one person praising his career efforts.
That man is Gene Hoglan.
He’s actually half man, half machine.
I interviewed him around a year ago in Vancouver when he had a run with Testament, supporting Lamb of God in North America. He’s super personable. I wanted to gush to him about how great he is and how awesome Testament, Death, Strapping Young Lad and others are, but he was having none of it.
Apparently, modesty is a symptom of ridiculous skill.
I wanted to go over his body of work but then I realized I would be in the Testament tour bus for about a week if I would list off his accomplishments and bands he’s played in.
Long story short, he’s currently in Testament, Dark Angel, Dethklok and does occasional runs with Death DTA Tours. He also does appearances for his “Gene Hoglan Experience” which is basically him, telling stories, playing along to some favorite tracks and giving tips about the music business and drum technique.
As if all that isn’t astonishing enough, he is no stranger to pulling double duty at shows or for entire tours. Here’s some perfect examples;
— In 2012, Gene filled in for Charlie Benante on the Testament and Anthrax U.S. dates because of his ailing mother. An entire American run where he played twice every night.
— Back in August of this year, Gene once again had two sets; one with Testament and one with Dark Angel during Finland’s Jalometalli Festival.
— Dark Angel and Death DTA Tours have been confirmed for Bloodstock in 2015. Back-to-back once again for Gene.
Phew. Writing about that made ME tired. Gene is definitely a machine. I couldn’t imagine doing that for one night, let alone cross country headline runs.
His next endeavor in a few weeks is the most insane out of all of them. He’s gonna play Knotfest with Testament in the morning in San Bernardino, California, and then fight the hectic LA traffic and play a set with Dethklok at the Los Angeles Sports Arena later in the day.
Two sets in two cities with two bands in one day. Inhuman. Crazy. Nuts. Whatever you want to call him, he gets the job done.
I’m proud to say I’ve met Gene, chilled with him for a bit and even more proud to mention him to all my friends as the greatest metal drummer on earth.
I urge you to go see him on tour wherever you are. Buy a Hoglan shirt, scream symbolic acts at your mother and give his manager, Rob Shallcross, a pinch on the ass from me.
Go ahead and make your case for another drummer. It has epic fail written all over it.
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