Recently we’ve conducted an hour-and-a-half-long interview with the legendary Gene Hoglan of Dark Angel/Testament! This time, the whole focus of the interview was based on Dark Angel and the sheer madness that surrounded the 80s Bay Area thrash metal! (You can find another, Chuck Schuldiner-related interview with Gene on our website!) However, we got some info from Gene regarding the upcoming Dark Angel and Testament albums. When it comes to D.A. upcoming release, Gene stated that the band has „5 or 6 songs on the go“ and that the album will be released „by the end of this year or by 2020.“ „I’m just trying to make it like a super energized, super fun, ball-crushing record that’s just gonna DESTROY ALL!” – said the almighty Gene Hoglan. He also stated that the new album will include “Darkness Descends type riffing with some Time Does Not Heal-esque moments” and that the band will be on the road “sooner or later.” Regarding the upcoming Testament release, Gene stated: Eric and I are in the process of writing it. We got about 6 songs together. We’ve got 5 to 6 serious formations of songs. Big, fat skeletons … Nothing is quite finalized yet. We can get in the studio and tweak a bunch of songs. So, nothing is truly done until the album’s out! Alex Skolnick, he’s bringing some killer ideas to the table, too so it’s gonna be a killer, kickass Testament record!
Since the interview is so long, we talked about whole bunch of stuff with Gene the Machine. We started the conversation with the early days of L.A./Bay Area thrash metal. Gene recalled the early Dark Angel days as well, before he was in the band. He also remembered early Slayer days, when the band was looking “kind of like the Scorpions“. Gene stated that Jeff Hanneman was „extolling the virtues of Dark Angel“. He then continued to talk about thrash metal albums and mentioned Artillery’s Terror Squad and Cyclone Temple’s I Hate, Therefore I Am as one of his favorite. Gene also stated that Ed Repka designed wings for the Dark Angel logo. But the funniest part of the interview is surely the story about „Poser Wars” in the Bay Area in all of its glory! From what he said, “killing posers” was everyone’s favorite sport back in the 80s! And yeah, the security guys back in the day were cattle-prodding people in the front row! Gene also said that a lot of powders were involved in this thrashing frenzy, especially crystal meth, cocaine and speed. However, Blind Illusion were an exception to the rule since they were more about mushrooms and acid. And then, Gene Hoglan explains the lyrical concepts of Dark Angel’s Leave Scars and Time Does not Heal albums. He also shared his views on censorship in music in the 80s, or more precisely about Tipper Gore’s PMRC noting that the PMRC sticker was actually the greatest thing that happened to some of the more controversial acts. Gene then recalls the moment when Ron Reinhart joined the band. What I really found funny in this interview is Gene Hoglan’s claim that Kurt Cobain was a fan of thrash metal, something that I’ve never heard before! He also stated that it was death metal, not grunge that killed thrash metal in the early 90s. In the final part of the interview, Gene discussed his guitar playing, collaboration with Strapping Young Lad and Testament etc. Enjoy!
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