Gene Hoglan, the legendary drummer, spoke with me recently about his latest project, The Atomic Clock DVD. Hoglan was recently nominated in the “Best Drummer” category at the second annual 2010 Revolver Golden Gods Awards and his resume reads like a veritable who’s who in the metal world, (he has played with Dark Angel, Death, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad, Pitch Black Forecast and Testament to name but a few) and he is currently touring the globe with Fear Factory. As busy as he is though he has still managed to put together a DVD that is not only instructional but entertaining as well, it features nine full songs from various projects plus different improvised solos, and tons of drumming tips. Here is what Hoglan had to say about the project.

Can you tell me a little bit about The Atomic Clock?
Gene: After Strapping Young Lad went on hiatus I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen with me. You know I didn’t know if I was going to get calls from bands to go out on tour so I decided to take my own career into my hands and not rely on anyone else or flakiness anywhere and so I just thought the best thing to do would be to put out a little DVD. Maybe do a clinic tour and just get this thing out there. People have been asking for about a dozen years if I was eve going to do one of those things. This didn’t start off as an instructional DVD; I just wanted to film me doing the stuff that I do that allows me to do what do. I had some fun little extras and just kind of a fun two hour long disc. You don’t necessarily have to be a drummer to enjoy it; I tried to make it entertaining. I completed filming it and now it is out and people seem to be digging it, which is pretty cool.

How long did the whole thing take to put together? It must have been difficult working on it while on the road.
Gene: Well yeah, the fact that I had been on the road so much it was pretty hard to get it completed. But since I wasn’t in a hurry to get it out or anything I never really had a hard fast deadline. So if I went out on tour with somebody for a couple of months or did some project for a while it was not like I had someone breathing down my neck saying I had to have it finished. I funded it myself. I did not have any of my drum companies give me any money for it so nobody was sweating me for a deadline. I was just able to leisurely get it out and make it pretty perfect, I suppose.

So it truly was put together all by yourself? There were no outside influences affecting the project?
Gene: Absolutely. Any of the companies that I am talking about on the DVD it is because I choose to and not because somebody is footing the bill and I had to. The integrity of the project is intact.

How long has it been available?
Gene: Unofficially it has been released since April. I had kind of a limited edition release for the past few months but that was kind of hush hush and I was not advertising it or doing interviews for or anything like that. Now it is out… it came out a couple of months ago and I posted it on my MySpace page saying it was available. I guess officially it has only been out for about two weeks now.

So the response has been good then?
Gene: Oh yeah. Absolutely. I recouped my cash on it. I spent five figures on the thing and I have made my dough back and that is pretty cool. That is all I wanted to do was make my money back and now it is rolling along and we are having a hard time keeping them in stock so that is really good.

While we are talking about the DVD. Where can people find it?
Gene: As of now it is available from my website and also my Myspace. I also have a brand new Facebook account and I even have a Twitter account. In Canada it is also available from Reversed Records. I am really afraid of distribution deals with a lot of these companies right now because a lot of my musician friends who have put out DVDs or instructional videos are still waiting to get paid. It took a lot of up front cash to do this and luckily I was fortunate to have it but that is why I am keeping it real tight and it is only available at HoglanIndustries.com.

It is cool the response has been so good considering the economy is in such sad shape?
Gene: It does not seem to have affected things that much but that is why I tried to keep the price pretty reasonable. I was going to sell the DVD for 40 bucks but then I thought with the economy I decided to sell it for 30 and that seems to be the right price for it and I am doing pretty good.

You have had a long and illustrious career playing drums for some amazing bands. That being said what would you say has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Gene: Oh God, there are so many of them. Playing the opening festivities of the World Cup in Seoul Korea in 2002 with Strapping… that was pretty cool. Doing the Golden Gods Awards last month that was pretty cool. All the Dethklock stuff that we did was fun and both albums debuting as high as they did on the Billboard chart, that was pretty sharp. Playing with Opeth was a highlight.

Are there any bands or artists that you have not played with but would like to?
Gene: I would like to play with Stevie Wonder. That would be awesome. I would love to play for Stevie Wonder… that would be awesome. Anything, I am a huge Stevie Wonder fan and that would be super awesome.  [ END ]