"I hate music!"



Magazine: Rock Hard / Germany
Article: Schwatzkasten mit Gene Hoglan

Written by: Volkmar Weber
Published: December 2002


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 school?
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 now.

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…. well, 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, hahaha!

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.

Meaning nothing less than that nobody's better than you, doesn't it?
I'm quite in the lead, let's keep it at that.


to talks

Translated by KK/YK/MM for EmptyWords-Published on December 3 2002