Gene Hoglan

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Gene Hoglan
Hoglan with Testament in 2013
Hoglan with Testament in 2013
Background information
Birth nameEugene Victor Hoglan II
Also known asThe Atomic Clock, The Human Drum Machine
Born (1967-08-31) August 31, 1967 (age 54)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
GenresHeavy metal
InstrumentsDrums, Percussion, Guitar
Years active1982–present
Associated actsDevin Townsend, Tenet, Dethklok, Dark Angel, Death, Testament, Strapping Young Lad, Fear Factory, Meldrum, Unearth, Zimmers Hole, Pitch Black Forecast,Underside, Forbidden, Phantasm, Mechanism, Fall of Olympus, Old Man's Child, Viking

Eugene Victor Hoglan II (born August 31, 1967) is an American drummer, acclaimed for his creativity in drum arrangements, including use of abstract devices for percussion effects and his trademark lengthy double-kick drum rhythms. Though his playing style is very technically demanding, he retains high accuracy at extreme tempos, earning him the nicknames "The Atomic Clock" and "Human Drum Machine".

He is best known for his work with Dark Angel, Death, Strapping Young Lad, Devin Townsend, Fear Factory, Dethklok and Testament. Hoglan completed work on Dethklok's fourth album The Doomstar Requiem, which was released in October 2013. He released the highly successful Gene Hoglan: The Atomic Clock DVD, and rejoined Testament to record the drum tracks for their eleventh album, Dark Roots of Earth, released in July 2012. Hoglan had since rejoined Testament permanently, and by the time he left the band again in January 2022,[1] he was their longest serving drummer.

Hoglan was featured on the cover of Modern Drummer magazine in November 2010. He also won Terrorizer magazine's Reader's Poll for Best Drummer 2010, and Modern Drummer magazine nominated Hoglan for Best Metal Drummer, and Best Recorded Performance (for Dethklok's Dethalbum II) on their 2011 ballot. He was nominated for Best Drummer in Revolver magazine's 2010 Reader's Poll.


Hoglan got his first drum kit when he was 13 and is completely self-taught. He started jamming along to his Kiss and Rush records,[2] with Peter Criss and Neil Peart being his early influences.[3] Later Cozy Powell, Tommy Aldridge, Robb Reiner of Anvil, Rob "Wacko" Hunter of Raven and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor got him into double bass drumming.[3] Other influences include Stevie Wonder, Alex Van Halen, Steve Smith, Deen Castronovo, Mark Craney, Terry Bozzio, Bill Bruford, Steve Gadd, Sonny Emory, Rick Colaluca of Watchtower, Bobby Jarzombek, Dave Culross.[4][5]

In 1983, Hoglan began his music career as a roadie (lighting engineer) for the thrash metal band Slayer, where he also played the drums during concert soundchecks.[6] He also did backing vocals on the song "Evil Has No Boundaries", from the first Slayer album Show No Mercy.[7] He contributed in the recording of Haunting the Chapel, holding Dave Lombardo's drum kit together while recording "Chemical Warfare" because there was no carpet in the studio, said drum kit including a china cymbal owned by Hoglan. He became an influence in Lombardo's drumming style and speed. Lombardo had just had the double bass added to his kit and it was the first double bass Hoglan ever played. Lombardo was impressed with Hoglan's playing, and Hoglan gave Lombardo tips regarding the use of the double kick drum.[2]

In 1984, Hoglan was part of the band War God with Michelle Meldrum.[6] At the end of the same year he was asked to join the thrash metal band Dark Angel as the drummer.[6] He penned most of the lyrics for Dark Angel's next three albums. He achieved greater fame during the mid-1990s playing with Death, at the same time that bandleader Chuck Schuldiner was taking that group into a more progressive style. Subsequently, he recorded one album with the thrash metal band Testament, and made the acquaintance of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Devin Townsend, forging a lasting friendship. Around this time, coming off of the final tour he performed with Death, Hoglan was approached by Slayer to replace a departing Paul Bostaph. Jon Dette, however, took the position, much to Hoglan's approval.[8] He would go on to record several albums with Townsend, both as part of the speed/industrial/death metal band Strapping Young Lad and under Devin Townsend's name.

Hoglan was also part of thrash metal band Tenet, a side project of Strapping Young Lad guitarist Jed Simon, from 2003 to 2007. Hoglan left the band on amicable terms in January 2007. He was replaced by Adrian Erlandsson only to return to the group in June of the same year. Hoglan recorded his drum parts for the entirety of the following album in a mere two days.[citation needed]

On the Vancouver stop of Opeth's 2004 Lamentations tour, Hoglan stood in for drummer Martin Lopez, who was said to be having panic attacks.[9] Opeth's drum tech had filled in for the two previous dates on the tour and Lopez rejoined the band for the Seattle, Washington, show.

Hoglan at the Gods of Metal festival in 2005

In 2005, Hoglan stood in for Lopez for the majority of the Sounds of the Underground tour when Lopez began having more panic attacks.[9] Hoglan played double duty by playing a set with Strapping Young Lad then performing with Opeth later in the evening. It was later announced Lopez had a rare blood disorder and was seeking treatment. Hoglan also appeared in Opeth's music video "The Grand Conjuration" as they filmed it on the tour while in Los Angeles, California.

Other bands have also recruited Hoglan as a session drummer. He has recorded albums with the Norwegian black metal band Old Man's Child and the Danish death metal band Daemon. Additionally he has done production and engineering work for other albums and demos. Hoglan also was recruited by Vancouver thrash metal band The Almighty Punchdrunk, and appeared as a band member for their only album to date, Music for Them Asses, released in 2001.

Hoglan is working with Dethklok, the band from the animated TV show Metalocalypse. The show was co-created by stand-up comedian/actor/musician Brendon Small, who also composes or performs all of the music. Hoglan features in Dethklok's debut album, The Dethalbum, which was released on September 25, 2007.[10] He toured with Brendon Small and the live band during the summer of 2008. Besides working with Dethklok, Hoglan is also a guest star by voicing a health inspector in one episode of the series. He later performed on Dethalbum II, the sequel album released on September 29, 2009, and again toured with Dethklok. The two later collaborated to make Brendon Small's Galaktikon using extra studio time from the Dethklok studio sessions.

Hoglan filled in as the drummer for Unearth when their then drummer, Mike Justian, quit while on tour. He has also joined the metal band Pitch Black Forecast, with Mushroomhead singer Jason Popson, as the band's permanent drummer. Even more recently, Hoglan was announced as the drummer for the reunited Bay Area Thrash metal band Forbidden's reunion tour, replacing original drummer Paul Bostaph.[11]

Hoglan played drums on Zimmers Hole's third studio album When You Were Shouting at the Devil...We Were in League With Satan in 2008.

Gene Hoglan with Testament at Ruhrpott Metal Meeting 2017

In June 2011, he reunited with Testament, to record their eleventh studio album Dark Roots of Earth. On that album, he filled in for Paul Bostaph, who was unable to participate in the recording sessions because of a "serious injury". In 2012, he began touring with Testament, and on January 27 filled in for Charlie Benante of Anthrax.[12] Although Hoglan was initially brought back to the band as a temporary drummer (in a fashion similar to his initial tenure when he recorded the Demonic album), he had since rejoined as a permanent member of Testament, recording two more albums with the band – Brotherhood of the Snake (2016) and Titans of Creation (2020) – and surpassing original drummer Louie Clemente as their longest-serving drummer. In 2018, Hoglan played with both Anthrax and Testament on the same nights during the Slayer farewell tour while Charlie Benante was recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome.[13][14] Hoglan announced his second departure from Testament on January 21, 2022.[1]

Gene was the drummer for Fear Factory from 2009 to 2012 and played on their release Mechanize; his association with the band ended when he was "no longer needed", and he expressed both a reluctance to join and a disappointment in the ultimate resolution of his tenure.[15] He also participated in the recording sessions of Viking's reunion album, No Child Left Behind (2015).[16]

In October 2013, it was announced that Hoglan would be participating in the reunion of Dark Angel, who still play live occasionally to this day.[17] The band is also planning to release a new album in the future.[18]

Other ventures[edit]

In 2017, Hoglan released an art collection consisting of long-exposure photography of him playing with colorful glowing drumsticks, resulting in psychedelic imagery.[19][20]

Hoglan made a guest appearance in the season 2 finale of The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim.


Gene endorses and uses Pearl Drums, Sabian cymbals, Pro-Mark sticks and Evans heads.

Drum setup[edit]

  • DrumsPearl Reference Carbon Mist Finish, Black Hardware[21][22]
    • 24x16 Bass Drum (x2)
    • 12x10 Tom
    • 14x12 Tom
    • 18x16 Floor Tom
    • 14x8 Brass Free Floating Snare Drum
  • CymbalsSabian[22]
    • 15" AAX X-Celerator Hi-Hats (or 15" AA Metal-X Hi Hats)
    • 19" Paragon Chinese
    • 22" HH Power Bell Ride
    • 18" AAX X-Plosion Fast Crash
    • 18" AAX Metal Crash
    • 8" Paragon Splash (originally owned by Neil Peart)
    • 10" Paragon Splash (originally owned by Neil Peart)
    • 19" AAX Metal Crash
    • 22" HH Power Bell Ride (x2)
    • 19" Paragon Chinese (or 20" AAX Chinese Brilliant) (x2)
  • DrumheadsEvans[23]
    • G2 Clear
    • SD Dry
  • Pedals:
    • Tama Camco (until 2015–2016) (×2)
    • Pearl Eliminator Redline (nowadays) (×2)
  • Hardware – Pearl[21]
    • B1000 Boom Stand (x7)
    • H2000 Hi-Hat Stand
    • S2000 Snare Stand
    • T2000 Double Tom Stand
    • D2000 Throne
  • Other






  • The Almighty Punchdrunk (1999)
  • Daemon (2002)
  • Devin Townsend (1998-2001)
  • Frygirl (2001)
  • Just Cause (2001)
  • Naphobia (1995)
  • Wargod (1985)



Hoglan played drums on the following albums, unless otherwise noted.


  • Dark Angel - Ultimate Revenge 2 (VHS, 1989)
  • Strapping Young Lad - For Those Aboot to Rock: Live at the Commodore (DVD, 2004, Century Media Records)[25]
  • Gene Hoglan - The Atomic Clock (DVD, 2010, Hoglan Industries)[26]
  • Behind the Player: Dimmu Borgir (DVD, 2010, Alfred Music Publishing)[27]
  • Gene Hoglan - The Clock Strikes Two (DVD, 2016, Hoglan Industries)
  • Bryan Beller - "Mastering Tone and Versatility (DVD, 2012, Alfred Music Publishing)


  1. ^ a b "TESTAMENT Parts Ways With Longtime Drummer GENE HOGLAN". January 21, 2022. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Maddocks, Claire. "An Interview with Gene Hoglan Down Under". Retrieved April 19, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Tolleson, Robin. "Haulin' With Strapping Young Lad". Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  4. ^ Worley, Gail. "Atomic Clock: An interview with drummer Gene Hoglan". Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  5. ^ "Gene Hoglan Interview". Archived from the original on October 27, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c "".
  7. ^ "Gene Hoglan Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  8. ^ Hoglan, Gene (January 31, 2018). "Episode 136. Gene Hoglan Returns (Testament) // Ian Wadley". Talk Toomey Podcast. Interviewed by Joshua Toomey. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  9. ^ a b " - April, 2006 - OPETH Mainman: We Don't Know If Drummer MARTIN LOPEZ Is Ever Coming Back" April 11, 2006
  10. ^ "STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's GENE HOGLAN Laying Down Tracks For DETHKLOK Album" December 23, 2006.
  11. ^ "Forbidden to Tour With Drum Veteran Gene Hoglan".
  12. ^ "Testament Recording New Album With Drummer Gene Hoglan". Archived from the original on September 13, 2012.
  13. ^ Childers, Chad (May 24, 2018). "Testament's Gene Hoglan Sitting in for Anthrax's Charlie Benante". Loudwire. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  14. ^ Kennelty, Greg (May 23, 2018). "TESTAMENT's GENE HOGLAN Is Filling In For ANTHRAX's CHARLIE BENANTE For Next Few Shows (Video)". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  15. ^ "GENE HOGLAN Found Out Via BLABBERMOUTH.NET That He Was No Longer Needed By FEAR FACTORY". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. August 2, 2013.
  16. ^ "GENE HOGLAN In The Studio With Reactivated VIKING; Video Available". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. November 2, 2011.
  17. ^ "DARK ANGEL: Video Footage Of Last Week's Rehearsal Posted Online". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. October 20, 2013.
  18. ^ "Reunited DARK ANGEL Is Working On 'Super Awesome' And 'Super Aggressive' New Material". November 1, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2015.
  19. ^ "GENE HOGLAN ART".
  20. ^ "Gene Hoglan, drummer of Testament and Dark Angel".
  21. ^ a b "Gene Hoglan's Equipment Configuration". Pearl Drums. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Gene Hoglan On Tracking Dethklok's New Album". DRUM! Magazine. September 17, 2012. Archived from the original on May 31, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  23. ^ a b "Drummer Spotlight with Gene Hoglan". Live High Five. September 24, 2013. Archived from the original on May 31, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  24. ^ "A Lethal Dose Of Truth, by Sylencer". Sylencer.
  25. ^ "STRAPPING YOUNG LAD: DVD Details Revealed". Archived from the original on October 12, 2004.
  26. ^ "GENE HOGLAN's Long-Awaited Instructional DVD Has Finally Arrived". Archived from the original on September 10, 2012.
  27. ^ "DIMMU BORGIR 'Behind The Player' DVD Now Available". Archived from the original on September 7, 2012.

External links[edit]