With GENE HOGLAN
"I hate music!"
Dark Angel, Strapping Young
Lad, The Almighty Punchdrunk. You can go on endlessly with the
list of bands in which Drum-God Gene Hoglan tortured the drum
heads. Who sees this man wobbling with his walking stick, wouldn't
bet a dime that he's able, like no other, to pound any drum kit
quickly and precisely into the ground. Doc Hoglan is not only
very cool but an entertaining chatterer as well. He maneuvers
with jokes, irony and quite a portion of self-confidence through
the question course, something he masters fabulously.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Dallas, Texas. Then I grew up in El Paso, Texas,
which was officially the most dangerous town in the USA at that
time by the way. When I was four or five years old, we moved to
Los Angeles and from there to a nearby suburb.
So you were used to traveling
since you were a kid?
I already lived in New York, Florida, Oakland, the Bay Area-well,
actually everywhere. I'm always on the road. Staying in one place
is just not like me.
Did you ever thank God for not
being born in North Korea, Mali or München?
Why God? I thank my parents that I'm a fuckin' Texas-cowboy.
What was your favorite toy,
when you were little?
I was a total fan of "Hot Wheels", those 68'ers
Camaros, Mustangs, Firebirds and the whole caboodle.
Can you still remember the name
of your first teacher?
I can even remember the name of my nursery school teacher.
Her name was Mrs. Hallbeck.
What do you remember from that
Right on the first day I ousted somebody to the hospital.
Somehow he walked into me. I just wanted to push him back, but
he fell kinda stupid on his face. The glasses cut his face quite
bad. But what can I say? Larry Kling is one of my best buddies
What was your first car?
A Datsun Pick-Up Truck from 1970, a gift from my grandfather.
The weirdest thing was the exhaust, which wasn't at the back but
on the side. I once left that car in South Central in Los Angeles.
When you want to get rid of your car: park it in South Central.
When you had to, because of
totally new spelling rules within the universe, rename earth,
which name would you give her?
Gene's house - keep the fuck off.
Why not? That's the name I just picked.
Here in Germany almost every
year some new spelling rules are being carried through, so often
that the elderly are getting so confused that in the end they
see death as the best solution. Did you know that?
I read about it, I'm quite educated. In Europe everything
is being changed constantly. Take the Euro for example, nobody
could take my Dollars.
What do Canadians and Americans
do when they are old and don't have to struggle with new words
and new money anymore?
They are waiting for war. USA versus
Canada. Damn, everybody here is waiting for such a war. The only
thing they can't agree about are the rules. There's one fact,
when it's going to be a gunfight, the USA is going to win. But
when the victory is going to be fought out at the bar, I swear
by God, that those damn Canedians are going to swill the complete
USA into destruction.
What is to you the most absurd
thing of the 21st century?
The internet. People spend tons of money to download cheap
porn pictures that can be bought very cheap in any fucking sex
shop. Mankind is getting numb. I always use the internet only
as a learning tool. I'm interested in rhinos, those animals are
so clever, you can find everything about rhinos on the internet.
I'm a rhino-freak.
What gets on your nerves the most?
You will laugh: I hate music. I hate everything: the bands,
the stupid gasbags, all those people that send me tapes from different
bands, and another band that I should know. I don't listen to
music anymore anyway, except the music I make myself, at least
not voluntarily. I listen to Strapping Young Lad, Zimmers Hole,
The Almighty Punchdrunk and of course Dark Angel. So the bands
I play with. I became a musician because the music that is to
be heard everywhere was just getting on my nerves. I knew I could
do better, so I did.
Who is the coolest rock &
roll bastard on this damned planet?
I'll tell you: that's Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy.
I read books about his parties. And I'll tell you, if there really
is a cool bastard showing all of us his middle finger all the
time, it's definitely him.
Many people say you work too
hard and that you should take a break.
The hell with those who tell me I should take a break. I tell
you this: being on tour, that's my vacation. I won't let anybody
take that from me.
Were you brought up religious?
No, not really. My mother was quite Christian, but she never
forced me to go to church. That was obviously the reason why I
often, even as a little boy, worshiped myself, hahaha.
When you think of God at all,
why doubt him?
If there's a God, he would have noticed the Satanic bible
under my bed and told my mother.
Have you ever been in prison?
Yeah, damn. Last year in Seattle. Three days, because I kicked
up a row in a hotel.
With who would you like to be
trapped in an elevator?
Anna Nicole Smith.
Hey, didn't she get really fat?
Really? I love women who have something on them. Not fat women,
but there has to be something on. I don't mind a few more pounds.
Have you ever, when you took the elevator, worried about the construction?
Elevator constructions? (sounding like Tom Hanks) Yes, sure.
I love to jump up and down when the elevator moves. Especially
when there are people in it. Most of them scream at me or call
me names. (with trembling voice): Don't do that young man, we
could die. I think I will do that every time again, because it's
cool that they say young man to me. Well, I love to jump the most
with senior citizens, hahaha!
Who would you never want to
meet again in the sauna?
Our ex-manager, who stole a lot of money from us. I would
probably shove him in the oven. Then I would end up in jail and
could never play drums again. So it's better I would never meet
him in the sauna again.
What kind of a drinker are you?
I'm a cheerful drinker. Others from my bands always get crazy
when they drink, I don't. By the way, the Germans invented the
best drink of the world, Apfelkorn. I love it.
What is, in your eyes, the worst
band in the world?
I would say, all bands are at the same level. There's Strapping
Young Lad, Zimmers Hole, Punchdrunk, and the rest
the rest is garbage, haha! And all that comes close to Oasis,
is heavily disturbed. When you look back at bands like Mötley
Crue, 20 years ago, bands like that are still pure magic. I can't
imagine somebody in 2022 looking back 20 years still worshipping
Korn or Limp Bizkit, let alone know them. I don't have anything
against those nu-metal bands, but I'm sure that even sooner, perhaps
in 10 years time, nobody will be talking about them anymore.
What makes you so sure?
Nu-metal bands aren't authentic. They try to be heavy, but
they aren't heavy. It's not coming from their asses. They are
kids, not rockers. That's the point, man!
What was your first job?
I was in the nail studio at the reception. Only the chic,
rich ladies came there. But I think they just wanted to talk and
dreamed of dirty sex with the longhaired guy from the reception,
Were you born a drummer?
I get along quite well on the guitar. I composed a lot of
things for the new SYL album on guitar. I don't get it when you
should be able to play just the guitar or just drums. Those are
two totally different worlds, you have to know both. When guitarists,
that have no idea of drumming, knew how a drummer feels and thinks,
they wouldn't write such crazy riffs. And if a drummer knew how
a guitarist thinks and feels, he wouldn't be asking constantly
what to play with that, or build in those unbelievable stupid
breaks. Exactly that's why I do both.
Would you be
able to put away your drumsticks for one year to lengthen your
live with about 10 years?
Fuck man, sure. The best would be when those 10 years wouldn't
be at the end, but to live the most interesting things once
more right away. My last 10 years were damned cool. I would
always like to repeat them.
Have you ever
imagined, how drummers of a parallel universe would play having
4 legs and 8 arms? Could you tell us how a kit of such a drummer
in theory could look like?
I thought about that often. The kit would be round. You
could do crazy stuff, let the double bass go on and play a swing
or a groove with the other feet, all in the same tempo. The
dynamic would be unbelievable. You could use 2 arms just for
the cymbals. Then I would take one deep and one shallow snare.
And then you still have 2 arms left. One thing I can tell you:
whenever such a freak finds his way to our rehearsal room and
plays something to SYL guitarist Jed, then it's about time for
old Gene to pack his bags. But whenever that alien is sensitive
to sharp smells, he'd better not enter our rehearsal room.
less than that nobody's better than you, doesn't it?
I'm quite in the lead, let's keep it at that.