DEATH TO ALL Feat. GENE HOGLAN And STEVE DIGIORGIO: Fan-Filmed Video Of San Francisco Concert
March 8, 2023
DEATH TO ALL (DTA) — which features former members of DEATH celebrating the life and music of Chuck Schuldiner — played the fifth show of its North American tour last night (Tuesday, March 7) at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, California. Video of the concert — courtesy of the Iron SerbianYouTube channel — can be seen below.
The current lineup of DEATH TO ALL includes Gene Hoglan (TESTAMENT, DARK ANGEL, DETHKLOK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD),Steve DiGiorgio (TESTAMENT, CONTROL DENIED, SADUS) on bass and Bobby Koelble on guitar. Max Phelps (CYNIC),who has been touring with DEATH TO ALL, is once again handling the vocal and second-guitar duties.
As part of Jonathan Montenegro's "My 3 Questions To" series, Hoglan discussed his time in DEATH, with whom he played from 1993 to 1995. Speaking about DEATH's mastermind Chuck Schuldiner, Gene said: "Chuck was, at heart, a very… He was a very peaceful person. He loved animals. He loved gardening. [He was] not a big fan of people or the music industry, but he liked his friends; he liked his animals. That was Chuck. As well as being one of the godfathers of death metal. He was a great chef as well. There you go. He was a great cook. Boy, he cooked us up a bunch of amazing stuff when we spent those few years together. So that was pretty cool. His legacy will always live on.
"Myself and [fellow former DEATH members] Bobby Koelble and Steve DiGiorgio, we have [the tribute band] DEATH TO ALL going, and we start a DEATH TO ALL run starting next week here in the States. So, there you go there. And it's always a super blast to play Chuck's material and make it sound cool."
Hoglan previously reflected on his time with DEATH in a 2019 interview with Andrew McKaysmith of the "Scars And Guitars" podcast. At the time, the drummer said: "Chuck was very open-minded, and he was into having his musicians that were playing with him just reach out for the best stuff that they had. Every time I'd come up with some crazy beat, he'd be like, ' I'm good. I can play my riffs over your beats, so if that's the one you want, go with it. Go sick; go nuts. I'm good over here, so you keep doing your thing.' In that regard, Chuck was always a real pleasure to work with in that way. You had no handcuffing whatsoever — and it was pretty apparent [that] nobody handcuffed me on the drums. I played everything on 'Symbolic'. There definitely is some overplaying, [but] he never said, 'Hey, don't play that,' or, 'That's not working.' The only time I remember anything like that happening was two different times. One was in the 'Individual Thought Patterns' sessions, and that's where [producer] Scott Burns, while I was tracking 'Jealousy', I remember Scott saying, 'Hey, man. I'm not feeling that beat. Maybe can you simplify it?' I was like, 'Yeah, no problem.' Then on 'Symbolic', [producer] Jim Morris had pretty much said the same thing — like, 'I'm not sure about that one.' What was funny was, on the beat that Jim Morris said 'That's not happening,' it was a beat I robbed from Sean Reinert. It was something off of 'Human'... as for Chuck, he was always real gracious, like, 'Yeah, man. Do your thing. It's going to be great.
"Chuck was a pretty complex guy," Hoglan continued. "Some days, certain things would affect him that might not affect you or I... Chuck did not have a lot of trust for the music industry. I understand that — I get that, totally... He was generally real cool to work with, and we had a good time up until he had to make the moves that he had to make in order to keep himself sane. When he had to put DEATH aside after the 'Symbolic' album, he broke DEATH up, and he had to move forward. The best way for Chuck to move forward was the statement that was CONTROL DENIED."
Hoglan also discussed how 1995's "Symbolic" was initially received. "The hardcore death metal fan, the attitude was very pervasive throughout the scene — 'What the fuck happened to DEATH?' Chuck did not care, and I appreciate that absolutely," Hoglan said. "That's the way I am. I play music for me. If you guys enjoy it, that's a bonus, but it's not going to make me stop playing music if nobody cares and I'm the only one who does. I'm still going to play music, and that's kind of the way Chuck was. He was a very brave person. He could have just gone the safe route and put out another 'Scream Bloody Gore' or 'Leprosy'. He had to go with how he was feeling. Any true musician can appreciate that, absolutely."
Hoglan joined DEATH in 1993. He replaced Sean Reinert, who — along with guitarist Paul Masvidal — quit the band to focus on CYNIC. He appears on the group's albums "Individual Thought Patterns" and "Symbolic".
In a 2014 interview with Metal Rules, DiGiorgio was asked what DEATH TO ALL means to him. He responded: "Our formulated answer is that it is a tribute memorializing the memory of Chuck. To me, it means getting back with buddies. And you've seen their lineup change a little bit here, we had Paul [Masvidal] and Sean [Reinert] from CYNIC. We had Shannon Hamm in for a while. And now Gene and Bobby. I've jammed with all these guys over the years. They're pretty much some of the best musicians in the world. At least in my opinion."
He continued: "We did those albums back in the day, and when our cycle was over, and when whoever lasted however long, we went our own ways. Now we're back together again and it's cool, from my point of view, to do music with some of the best, amazing musicians/guys in the world. It's awesome. And we have a lot of fun every night, man, because we all realize that not only did we make a statement 20-something years ago, but here we are 20-something years later in our mid-40s playing that stuff as we did as young men. It's kind of, like, yay us. Because we are only just a few years off of 50 and we're playing this music we did just turning the corner into 20 and we're doing it pretty good. And that's not a brag. The reason is we push each other. Somebody falls a little bit behind and this guy's right behind him. You don't want to let your guard down, because everybody's really good at what they do. And that's what it means to me, man. It means to carry on what we did back then with no idea where we'd be in the future, and here we are doing it with conviction."
Schuldiner died on December 13, 2001 after a battle with pontine glioma, a rare type of brain tumor.
In recent years, DEATH's storied catalog has undergone a meticulous reissue campaign via Relapse Records.
Relapse released the first-ever fully authorized DEATH tab book, featuring 21 classic songs tabbed out for guitar from the band's entire discography. The book, which includes traditional notation as well as tablature, also comes with a digital download of all tracks.
In a 2011 interview with Bass Musician magazine, DiGiorgio stated about working with Schuldiner: "Sometimes people make good music together, and sometimes they vibe like yin and fucking yang. Chuck is credited with a lot of things in the music world (metal world, of course),but one thing a lot of people don't know much about is how aware he was. What I mean is that he was a good listener. If I thought of a wacky bassline to something he was writing, before I could even try to explain why it came to me, he was already ahead of it and looking for something on the next part. He had a good sense of when to hold me back and when to push me. It was great to have someone, especially the 'main man' of the band not only appreciate what I contributed but also help me find my inner demon to conjure even sicker and more abstract things to play. There really was some math going on in that roiling storm sometimes."
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