Blog author: Alex Stojanovic
Well, this was unexpected. Out of nowhere, Testament dropped the bombshell that after 10 years of providing some tasty and powerful drum beats on their last three records, they are "amicably" parting ways with Gene Hoglan. This mainly has to do with Gene's commitments to his upcoming tours with his other projects that were going to conflict with the band's much anticipated Bay Strikes Back U.S tour, which was already postponed once before, so instead of having to reschedule a second time, they decided to amicably part ways.
"To all our Testament fans around the world. First off, we are beyond grateful to have had Gene Hoglan behind our drum throne for ten years, several albums and countless tour dates. Unfortunately, our brother Gene’s additional tours and solo endeavors in 2022 conflict insurmountably with Testament’s rescheduled dates after two years of lost time due to the pandemic. Rather than Testament having to reschedule upcoming dates (yet again) or Gene having to cancel his own plans, we have decided to amicably part ways. We understand that this announcement will cause some disappointment but rest assured: There is no drama, only the best of vibes between us. As Gene embarks upon a new chapter, we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for bringing the most powerful drum beats to Testament and heavy metal. We have no doubt he will continue to bring it as only he can. Gene Hoglan will always be family and we ask all of you to join us in wishing him only the best of luck going forward! Also rest assured that we will continue to deliver yet another top notch addition to Testament and will reveal soon! We will see you all on tour very soon!
Gene also posted the following statement on his Facebook page:
"It’s been a great ten years folks, and now it’s time for me to move on from the mighty Testament. It merely comes down to the fact that schedules can be challenging to align for in-demand dudes like yours truly. I wish Chuck, Eric, Alex and Stevie D the absolute best of luck as they will continue to crush as always. I’m moving into an exciting new chapter of my career and free agency, with all that it will entail. I’ll freely admit, I’m psyched. And I’m greatly looking forward to all the new opportunities the coming months and years are looking to bring, and again I wish my friends and family in Testament and their crew a fantastic future and all the best in ‘22 and beyond. Thank you gentlemen, for a great ride together." -Gene
Now for me as a drummer myself, this got me thinking right off the bat as to who could possibly fill the massive shoes that Gene is leaving behind. I can't see any of the band's past drummers coming back, because with the exception of Dave Lombardo and Nick Barker, none of them were blast-beaters, and there's very few drummers out there who can pull of blast beats the way Gene did. Whether they bring in another familiar face from the scene or an unknown remains to be seen, so we'll just have to wait. However, Testament have always had the best of the best with drummers, so there's no doubt that whoever the lucky bastard is that's selected to be the successor of Gene will kill it without a doubt. If I was living in the Bay Area, I'd definitely jump at the chance to audition, because Testament is one of my all-time favourite bands, but I know they won't want somebody like me.
Testament are also no strangers to drummer switches, because since Louie Clemente's departure, they've been switching drummers like crazy until they got Gene to play on the last three records, which makes Gene the band's most consistent drummer since Louie.
The band will make their much anticipated return to the road for the U.S Bay Strikes Back tour with Exodus and Death Angel starting on April 9th in San Luis Obispo, California and run through May 25th in Sacramento. We wish Gene all the best on his future endeavours, and thank him for bringing some of the best drumming ever heard on Testament records.