Born In Dallas, Texas on August 31, 1967, Gene Holgan is known for his creative drum arrangements. He bought his first drum kit at the age of 14 and actually taught himself without any outside help whatsoever. Kiss and Rush were his favorite bands to jam with while he was first learning the drums, it actually helped him become the drummer he is today. He got his first experience on the road with the band Slayer, he was a lights engineer, basically a roadie. He played drums during the sound-checks before each concert. At this same point in time, he was a part of a smalltime band known as War God.
After his experience with Slayer, he was invited to join Dark Angel as their drummer. This was not where his fame came from though. In the 1990s he ended up playing with Death at the same time as Chuck Schuldiner was redirecting the band to a more progressive style of music. He played with them for a few years, giving him enough experience and fame to move on to a series of other big projects. He played drums for Testament in the recording of one of their albums, which is when he met up with Devin Townsend, forging a long lasting friendship. He recorded many albums with Townsend, including those by Strapping Young Lad and Devin Townsend himself.
In 2004 Holgan filled in for Opeth’s drummer Martin Lopez during the band’s Lamentations tour. He only played one show with them in Vancouver, British Columbia, but it was said to be a fantastic show. A year later, he filled in for Lopez once again. Lopez had a history with panic attacks, being the reason that he needed fill-ins on both occasions. At this point Holgan played two shows in a night, one with Opeth and then later that night with Strapping Young Lad, a busy day indeed. Opeth also asked Holgan to record a music video with them, which he did. He appears in the music video “The Grand Conjuration.”
Among other bands that he has worked with as a session drummer, Old Man’s Child and Daemon were some of his best works in the black metal genre. He has done additional production work for bands as well. While he has accepted many jobs, he has also turned down anyone who did not fit his own style of music.
Currently, Holgan is working with Dethklok, or more specifically, Brenden Small. Brenden literally composes all of the music for the animated TV show Metalocalypse. Holgan plays the drums for all of Dethklok’s recordings, so obviously he is featured in the debut album entitled “The Dethalbum”. This was released back in 2007, then shortly after he actually toured in support of the album with other musicians taking the roles of the made up band members. He also recorded the second album for Dethklok which was subsequently entitled “Dethalbum II.”
Gene Holgan is typically a metal drummer, one of the best in the business. Even in Strapping Young Lad he demonstrates his love for metal drumming. He is definitely one of the best metal drummers of all time.