DARK ANGEL's GENE HOGLAN On JIM DURKIN's Death: 'This Was One Of Our Direct Family Passing Away'

June 5, 2023

During an appearance on "That Metal Interview" podcast, DARK ANGEL drummer Gene Hoglan spoke about the passing of the band's founding guitarist Jim Durkin, who died on March 8 at the age of 58. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "We did not foresee Jim's passing. We didn't foresee that. We knew that we were gonna be carrying on playing some shows with [stand-in guitarist] Laura [Christine]. We knew that she was gonna be playing some shows. We did not see Jim's passing coming. That was a complete shock and surprise to us. We had no idea. And so it's just a little on the strange side how this latest incarnation of DARK ANGEL, how this latest lineup… It's not very conventional how it has worked out that we have a new guitarist and that new guitarist is Laura Christine. It wasn't a conventional, 'All right, a guy has stepped aside. Here's his replacement.' It goes a little deeper than that, a little more challenging from a feelings standpoint, from somebody's heart."

Gene continued: "We are carrying on. And we do have experience with carrying on without Jim Durkin. From the 'Leave Scars' to 'Time Does Not Heal' lineup, we've had to carry on without Jim in the past. And we were able to do it. We just did not expect Jim to be taken from us. I found out on the DEATH TO ALL tour. We all found out while I was on the tour. And DARK ANGEL's crew was also on the DEATH TO ALL tour. So it was challenging from that respect — trying to play shows, trying to entertain people and put that smile on your face that the fans deserve, of course, but inside your heart's breaking."

Hoglan added: "We're all pretty tough guys in DARK ANGEL, but this wasn't just like, 'Oh, yeah, a friend of the band passed away.' We've had that happen throughout history, of course; somebody's friend passes away. This was one of our direct family passing away, and it was a death in the family, and it was very challenging to deal with. And we still are challenged by it. We all have our heavy moments, but we are grown men; we know how to tamp those feelings down. But that's one thing about DARK ANGEL, is that we are also very good with communicating our feelings to each other, for each other. We have each other's backs, and that comes with being a family for the last 40 years. Even when DARK ANGEL was not an active band, we were still tight, we were still close. So it's not like we broke up and everybody just went their separate ways and middle fingers in the air. It was not that at all. We were all still pals."

An original member of DARK ANGEL, Durkin played on the band's first three albums — 1985's "We Have Arrived", 1986's "Darkness Descends" and 1989's "Leave Scars" — before departing the group in 1989. He was part of DARK ANGEL's lineup when the band reformed in 2013, and had been playing with them ever since.

DARK ANGEL released two albums with Don Doty on vocals — the aforementioned "We Have Arrived" and "Darkness Descends" — before he exited the group and was replaced by Rinehart (after a brief stint with Jim Drabos in 1987). The band issued two more studio LPs — "Leave Scars" and "Time Does Not Heal" — before calling it quits in 1992.

DARK ANGEL 2023 is:

Gene Hoglan - Drums
Ron Rinehart - Vocals
Eric Meyer - Guitar
Michael Gonzalez - Bass
Laura Christine - Guitar

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