ESports – the multi million pound industry that shows no sign of slowing down

When some of Europe’s biggest soccer clubs become involved, it’s a sure sign that there is money to be made. Soccer’s voracious appetite for money is legendary and when it comes to exploiting market segments, few sporting organisations are better than soccer clubs.

Paris St Germain, Santos, Manchester City, West Ham United, Ajax, Besiktas and Schalke are just some of the clubs involved. When leagues begin partnerships, it’s a sign of more investment to come.

City signed their first eSports player others are ahead of that curve. For the clubs, it’s all about brand exposure. Tara Warren, executive director of communications at West Ham, explained that digital and tech are the club’s priorities as far as brand awareness is concerned. eSports and the professional game enjoy a symbiotic relationship.

So too do other sports and the burgeoning eSports, which is of little surprise when the market is estimated by some analysts to be worth $1bn in 2018. Global sport finance specialists, Deloitte, offers more caution, predicting significant – but smaller – growth, a point with which the Financial Times agrees.

It’s clear that some areas of eSports are more established than others. While the winners of the Interactive FIFA World Cup receive £20,000, the winning team at the International Dota 2 Championships get £6.7m. To put it into context, the winner of the Men’s Singles at Wimbledon 2017 will walk away with a cheque for £2.2m. According to the BBC, the total prize money won globally in 2016 was a staggering $93.3m.

Premier League involvement may see the FIFA money increase; 600m players worldwide mean that each year’s new version of the game pulls in more money than the previous edition.

And if you’re still not convinced eSports is the real deal, consider this. An ESL Gaming initiative, in co-operation with NADA and working toward WADA recognition, is to outlaw the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) which blight other sports. eSports has arrived.

Taking Advantage Of The Tools To Hand

All this from humble beginnings when groups of players met at conventions for multi-player tournaments. Now, most online bookmakers offer a full market on events, while Betway Sports made the headlines last year when they became lead sponsor of Ninjas in Pyjamas, one of the world’s most famous eSports teams.

Despite the money involved, there’s still a perception in the wider world, that eSports is a fad, a new toy whose novelty will soon wear off. Nothing could be further from the truth; eSports will evolve in the same way other professional sports did.

It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the UK bought into American football. Since then, it has grown through a path of two steps forward, one back. Now more popular than ever, the Super Bowl is becoming an ‘event’ in its own right in these green and pleasant lands.

eSports is unlikely to follow a similar trajectory. It’s very nature puts it front and centre of the technological world we live in today. Any advancements are likely to pull eSports along with them, giving it an immediate advantage on those which went before.

There’s little sign of the growth stalling. It may slow down in coming years but with studios producing games deliberately designed for the eSports, as well as the domestic markets, the signs are that there is much more to come.

Perhaps the biggest danger is the internal perception. With prize money commanding staggering sums, there is bound to be a schism at some point. Those who want the ‘purity’ of their eSports retained will reach a point where the mainstream popularity is too much for them. A bit like fans of a band who after years of working the club circuit make it big but some resent their ‘precious’ being popular.

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Unlimited

That won’t matter much in the overall scheme of things. As eSports gains in popularity and the additions outweigh the churn of players, there is no problem. BI Intelligence reported that 300m people “tune in” to eSports today, with projects of 500m by 2020. With that kind of reach, the cliff edge seems some way off.

It’s important to remember that as an industry, professional eSports is less than a decade old. Amateur level occupies the same level as Comicon, where the participants are viewed as obsessives. Professionalism confers a different status and in a young industry, there are still plenty of revenue streams to exploit.

Indeed, there are more games to exploit. The genres may be well defined but the games themselves are limited by technology and human imagination. So long as the studios come up with original ideas, as well as iterations of games which capture the imagination of the players, there is a market for eSports.

Find out when your favorite ABC shows are headed to DVD this Fall


Your favorite ABC shows are headed to DVD this fall. Here’s what’s coming down the pipe:

Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Tenth Season on DVD September 2nd
Castle: The Complete Sixth Season on DVD September 16th
Nashville: The Complete Second Season on DVD September 23rd
Once Upon a Time: The Complete Third Season on Blu-ray and DVD August 19th
Scandal: The Complete Third Season on DVD September 23rd
Revenge: The Complete Third Season on DVD September 26th


The Stakes Are Higher Than Ever Before in the Brilliant Sixth Season of TV’s Favorite Crime Drama* 

CASTLE: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON

Own Every Case and Relive All of Your Favorite Moments on DVD September 16, 2014

Get Even More Castle with Exclusive Never-Before-Seen Bonus Features

Synopsis: After Castle’s stunning romantic proposal to Beckett, what happens next? TV’s magnetic crime-fighting couple faces a whole new set of challenges as they juggle wedding plans and their most intriguing cases yet in ABC’s Castle: The Complete Sixth Season.

Beckett’s new job with the Justice Department takes her away from the wisecracking love of her life. But Castle’s devotion to his new fiancée – and her fascinating line of work – jeopardizes her career and creates a chain of events that might separate them forever. Back on the home front, Castle is none too pleased to discover his daughter has seemingly been captivated by, and now living with, her new, free-spirited boyfriend. It’s a season of surprises you won’t want to miss!

Experience every engaging moment of Castle’s brilliant sixth season, complete with all 23 unforgettable episodes, plus never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD.

Talent/Cast: Castle stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as Kate Beckett,
Seamus Dever as Kevin Ryan, Jon Huertas as Javier Esposito, Tamala Jones as Laurie Parish, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle and Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers.

Creator: Andrew W. Marlowe (Air Force One, End of Days)

Bonus Features:
Disc 1
Character Commentary (Need To Know episode) with Detectives Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan
Deleted Scenes

Disc 2
Audio Commentary (The Good, The Bad & The Baby episode) with Director John Terlesky, Consulting Producer/Writer Terri Edda Miller, Nathan Fillion and Seamus Dever

Disc 3
Audio Commentary (Deep Cover episode) with Supervising Producer/Writer Terrence Paul Winter, Nathan Fillion, Susan Sullivan and James Brolin
Deleted Scenes

Disc 4
Audio Commentary (In The Belly of the Beast episode) with Creator/Executive Producer/Writer Andrew W. Marlowe, Executive Producer/Writer David Amann and Executive Producer/Director Rob Bowman
Deleted Scenes
Castle Karaoke (TBD) – An extended performance of Seamus Dever singing “What I Like About You” in 618 The Way of the Ninja.

Disc 5
Castle in a Day with Stana Katic – Get an inside look at a day in the life of Castle with actress Stana Katic. Directed by filmmaker Mark Polish, this is a stylistic and intimate diary of a day during the cliff hanger scene of the season 6 finale.
A Few of Our Favorite Things – Nathan Fillion, Susan Sullivan and Molly Quinn, along with the rest of the cast and crew share some of their favorite things about Castle which we’ll compare to fan favorites collected via social media polls. Creator/Executive Producer Andrew W. Marlowe and Producer/Writer Terri Edda Miller reveal their favorite part of the show, the Castle and Beckett relationship and debut an unaired Castle and Kate moment from the season 4 finale.
Bloopers
Deleted  Scenes


Live For The Moments.

GREY’S ANATOMY: THE COMPLETE TENTH SEASON

 All 24 Heart-Stopping Episodes Plus Exclusive Bonus Features On DVD September 2, 2014

Synopsis:  The storm may have passed, but now the relationships and romance of Grey-Sloan Memorial must survive in its wake.  Bonds are tested, love is lost and the hospital bids farewell to Dr. Cristina Yang.  Experience every heart-stopping moment in the “can’t miss” tenth season of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Following a massive mudslide, the hospital becomes a madhouse, and the lives of two doctors hang in the balance. The drama escalates as Arizona tries desperately to mend her broken marriage, while Derek and Meredith juggle their roles as surgeons and new parents. Meanwhile, a stunning betrayal pits Cristina against Meredith and, as April prepares for her big day, a familiar face returns to town. Big secrets lead to big problems and turn best friends into rivals.

Relive “Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Tenth Season” like never before with DVD exclusive bonus features that take you behind the scenes and draw you closer into the lives of the unforgettable men and women of “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Talent/Cast:  “Grey’s Anatomy” stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber, Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery, Sarah Drew as April Kepner, Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson, Gaius Charles as Shane Ross, Jerrika Hinton as Stephanie Edwards and Tessa Ferrer as Leah Murphy.

Executive Producers:     Grey’s Anatomy” was created and is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal”, “Private Practice”, “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”). Betsy Beers (“Scandal”, “Private Practice”, “Casanova”), Mark Gordon (“Saving Private Ryan”), Rob Corn (“Chicago Hope”), Tony Phelan and Joan Rater (“Law& Order: Trial by Jury”), Zoanne Clack and Stacy McKee are executive producers. “Grey’s Anatomy” is an ABC Studios production.

Bonus Features:
Extended Episode “Do You Know?”
Spotlight on Sandra Oh – Dr. Cristina Yang is one of the most beloved characters on Grey’s Anatomy. Get to know the actress who plays her as we sit with Sandra and reminisce about her favorite moments and memories, as she winds up her 10-year run.
Medical, Medical – The medical procedures on Grey’s Anatomy have intensified the hospital drama since day one. In this featurette, watch selected cast members get a tutorial from medical producer Linda Klein. From sewing stitches to starting a central line, we’ll see what it takes for the actors to pull off their TV surgical skills.
Bloopers
Deleted Scenes


TV’s Breakout Hit Returns

NASHVILLE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

Own All 22 Tantalizing Episodes Plus Never-Before-Seen Bonus Content Available Only on DVD September 23, 2014

 

Synopsis: Indulge your passion for drama, music, intrigue and seduction in ABC’s much buzzed about second season of “Nashville.”

Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton) and Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere) are at the top of their game, but in Nashville, the higher you rise, the farther you fall. In the aftermath of her mother’s death, Juliette is poised to shine brighter than ever – until a sordid scandal threatens to destroy her. Meanwhile, after Rayna nearly loses her life (and her voice) in a horrific accident, she bounces back with her own record label and a new man. But can she still fire up audiences without Deacon by her side…and in her bed?

Meanwhile, Deacon must strike a balance with Teddy when the truth about Maddie’s paternity is revealed, Rayna’s breakout label star Scarlett must find a way to cope with life in the proverbial fast lane, and Lamar Wyatt’s sudden release from prison exposes the truth behind a shocking murder mystery!

Relive all 22 compelling episodes, plus access never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD. Savor every moment of sin and song in a city where everyone has something to prove and everything to lose in “Nashville: The Complete Second Season.”

Talent/Cast: “Nashville” stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, Hayden Panettiere as Juliette Barnes, Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, Eric Close as Teddy Conrad, Clare Bowen as Scarlett O’Connor, Jonathan Jackson as Avery Barkley, Sam Palladio as Gunnar Scott, Chris Carmack as Will Lexington, Lennon Stella as Maddie Conrad and Maisy Stella as Daphne Conrad.

Executive Producers: Dee Johnson (“Boss,” “The Good Wife”), R.J. Cutler (“The September Issue,” “The War Room,” “A Perfect Candidate”), Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”) and Steve Buchanan are executive producers of “Nashville.” The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment.

Bonus Features:
Bloopers
Deleted Scenes


The Time for New Adventures Has Come.

ONCE UPON A TIME:THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

Own All 22 Bewitching Episodes and Never-Before-Seen Bonus Content Only on Blu-ray & DVD August 19, 2014

Synopsis:     Can five heroic characters set aside their personal grudges and private demons to rescue Henry – and themselves – from the ultimate evil? Experience the heart-pounding action and tantalizing suspense of Once Upon a Time: The Complete Third Season.

The stakes are higher than ever in a Neverland that’s the stuff of nightmares. At the dark heart of its mystery is Peter Pan, an ageless entity with a diabolical agenda and a chilling secret. For Emma, Henry, Hook, Rumple, Regina, Charming, and Snow, Pan’s actions have far-reaching consequences that will change their lives forever, create new alliances and introduce both Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest to a powerful new villain of legendary wickedness – the Wicked Witch.

Add Season 3 to your Once Upon a Time collectionand relive all 22 bewitching episodes, plus access never-before-seen bonus features. Each time you watch, you’ll fall deeper under the spell of this irresistible series!

Talent/Cast:  Once Upon a Time stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret Blanchard, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/David Nolan, Emilie De Ravin as Belle/Lacey, Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook/Killian Jones, Lana Parilla as Evil Queen/Regina Mills, Jared Gilmore as Peter Pan/Henry Miles, Michael Raymond-James as Baelfire/Neal Cassidy and Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold.

Executive Producers:   Once Upon a Time was created by Adam Horowitz (Lost, Tron: Legacy) and Edward Kitsis (Lost, Tron: Legacy), who serve as executive producers. Steve Pearlman and
David H. Goodman are executive producers.  Once Upon a Time is produced by ABC Studios.

Bonus Features:   Wicked Villains – What makes the villains of “Once Upon A Time” tick?  These complicated characters are not only wicked, evil and dastardly but sometimes heroic, charming and brave.  The actors who embody these bad guys and the writers who create them take an in depth look at the show’s interpretation of everyone’s favorite foes. 
The Tale of Ariel – Follow the tale of everyone’s favorite mermaid, Ariel, played by Joanna Garcia, as we track the character’s development and story throughout the season. We will see the development of her look, track her story and watch her introduction to the other characters of Storybrooke/Fairytale Land.
 Inside the Writer’s Room: The Next Big Character – Get an inside look into the secret chambers of the writers of “Once Upon a Time.”
The Fairest Bloopers of Them All
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentaries


Revenge Has No Limits.

REVENGE: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

All 22 Devilishly Entertaining Episodes + Revealing Bonus Content Available Only on DVD August 26, 2014

Synopsis: Get ready for a sizzling hot summer in the Hamptons. Emily Thorne’s brilliant plan for vengeance takes a wicked turn in ABC’s “Revenge: The Complete Third Season.”  Relive the mystery, the fire, and the intrigue of TV’s most delightfully devilish series.

Season Three starts with a bang as Emily Thorne is shot and left for dead on her wedding day. But who pulled the trigger? Back at Grayson Manor, Conrad finds himself in the line of fire, and a flame from Daniel’s past may be the perfect new pawn for Victoria to play with – as she moves to defeat Emily for good. To top it all off, a surprise appearance of an old rival makes sparks fly as the wedding of the century approaches.

Experience the drama of all 22 smoldering episodes, complete with exclusive bonus features that reveal even more juicy secrets. Let the fireworks begin!

Talent/Cast: “Revenge” stars Emily VanCamp as Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke, Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson, Josh Bowman as Daniel Grayson, Nick Wechsler as Jack Porter, Gabriel Mann as Nolan Ross, Henry Czerny as Conrad Grayson, Christa B. Allen as Charlotte Grayson, and Barry Sloane as Aiden Mathis.

Executive Producers:     “Revenge” isexecutive produced by Sunil Nayar (Body of Proof, Oz), Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (The Twilight Saga), as well as Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts (GCB).  The series, created by Mike Kelley (The O.C., One Tree Hill), is produced by ABC Studios.

Bonus Features:              Table For Five – Josh Bowman, Nick Weschler, Barry Sloane, Gabriel Mann and Henry Czerny enjoy some downtime at the Stowaway. Rivals on screen and buddies behind the scenes, the men dole out equal parts respect and ribbings  as they share details about their beginnings and ending, bromances, and on-set pranks.
Audio Commentary
Bloopers
Deleted Scenes


The Secret is Out!

SCANDAL: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON

Get Even More of the Show You Love with Exclusive “Too Hot For TV” Bonus Features, Including a Never-Before-Seen Extended Episode!  Available on DVD September 23, 2014

Synopsis: Forget everything you thought you knew about who to trust…and who to fear. The suspense ratchets up as secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested, and dark truths come to light in ABC’s “Scandal: The Complete Third Season.”

Now, seemingly invincible “fixer” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) must confront the ultimate challenge: fixing herself. After sifting through her mysterious father’s labyrinth of lies, Olivia’s search for answers about her mother threatens not just national security, but the entire world. Meanwhile, the lives of her “gladiators” – as well as those of the president, his wife and key White House staffers – take sinister, unexpected turns. And when the major power brokers are themselves broken, who will be left to clean up the mess?

Watch the intensity unfold in all 18 episodes of “Scandal’s” riveting third season. Then, delve deeper behind the intrigue with exclusive, never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD.

Talent/Cast:   “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Columbus Short as Harrison Wright, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelen, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant, Jeff Perry as Cyrus Beane, Josh Malina as David Rosen, Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant and Scott Foley as Jake Ballard.

Creator: Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice)

Bonus Features:  Extended Finale Episode “The Price of Free and Fair Elections”
 L.A. For D.C. – The White House, The Capitol and the National Mall – these are just a few of the places that viewers see as they watch the show.  Check out the magic as we discover how Hollywood, CA transforms into our nation’s capital.  See the locations which Scandal shoots, learn how they accurately build sets, and see the digital magic  that goes into plate shots.
Jeff Perry Spotlight – Get to know actor Jeff Perry who portrays Cyrus Beene, the President’s Chief of Staff, and close friend of Olivia Pope.  Jeff has a long history with Shondaland, and we will hear from Shonda and his costars as Jeff shares with us his personal acting history.
Deleted Scenes
Bloopers

Titus Makin, Jr. talks about TV shows “Star-Crossed” and “Glee”

Photo: The CW

Probably best known as David, one of the rival “Warblers” on the popular television series “Glee,” Titus Makin, Jr. can now be seen on the popular new CW show “Star-Crossed.”  As Lukas, Makin gets the chance to help save the day with the occasional blast of humor.  While getting ready to take a break from filming and finish his new musical EP, Makin took the time to talk to me about his new show, “The Lion King” and a possible return to “Glee:”

Mike Smith:  Can you give the readers a brief introduction to your character, Lukas, in your new show “Star-Crossed?”
Titus Makin, Jr:  Sure.  Lukas Parnell is one of Emery’s  (Aimee Teegarden) best friends.  He’s the guy that shows her the ropes in her new high school.  He breaks down who people are, what they do and how it all works.  He’s also the “logical” guy…the tech savvy guy.  He’s the guy to go to if you need answers or need to know how to get into dangerous places.   (much brighter) And he’s also the comic relief!  He can cushion the blow of an otherwise dramatic situation.

MS:  What attracted you to the project?
TMJ:  The sci-fi aspect definitely attracted me to the project.  I’m a big sci-fi buff so as soon as I saw the word “spacecraft” I just said “sign me up!”  (laughs)  I also love the comedic aspect within the drama.  I love drama and sci-fi so to be able to play a comedic role within that?  What a dream come true.  I definitely was on board.

MS:  You really do a little bit of everything.  You act, you sing, you dance.  Do you have a preference among your talents?  Is there a dream project out there?
TMJ:  I really don’t have a preference.  I’m very content with both acting and music.  A dream project would probably be….you know, “Glee” pretty much touched everything that I love to do so in a way I’ve already done the musical dream project.  As far as the acting side goes, it’s probably to be able to do a film with Will Smith.  Of course, that’s probably everybody’s dream!  (laughs)

MS:  I know one of your fellow “Warblers,” Darren Criss has appeared on Broadway (Criss took a break from “Glee” to star in the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”).  And desires to tread the boards?
TMJ:  Oh yeah.  I would love to be able to appear on Broadway one day.  I love the stage.  I love theater acting and I love musical theater.  That would be an honor.  I’ve thought about that before, but when I did that dream seemed so farfetched that I didn’t consider it for a while.  But now I think it would be amazing to one day jump into a great role.  I need to get a little older so I can jump into a good role in “The Lion King.”

MS:  As “Glee” prepares for its final season next year, do you know if there are any plans to have “the Warblers” return?
TMJ:  I definitely think so.  I haven’t heard much since I’ve been filming “Star-Crossed,” but I do keep in contact with a lot of the other guys and there is always hearsay about us coming back for a “competition” episode or some kind of dramatic moment.  Of course they never get confirmed.  But that’s the great thing about Ryan (Murphy, the creator of “Glee”).  He’s always willing to bring back fan favorites so I think there is a huge chance “the Warblers” will be back.

MS:  What else do you have coming up?
TMJ:  Other than waiting for “Star-Crossed” to air I’m going to dive back into music for awhile while we’re on our break.  I’ll be recording an EP down the road here so for me music is still doing well.

Gene Hoglan talks about his “The Gene Hoglan Experience” shows

Gene Hoglan has been a drummer in the music business since the early 80’s performing with groups such as Dark Angel, Death and more recently Testament and the Brendon Small helmed Dethklok. When not performing with one of his my projects Gene partakes in drum clinics around the world. He newest run of performances are being billed under the name “The Gene Hoglan Experience” which combines clinic style demonstrations and impromptu question and answer sessions. Media Mikes spoke with Gene recently about the shows and all of the other cool projects he has going on.

Adam Lawton: What led to the idea of doing “The Gene Hoglan Experience” shows?
Gene Hoglan: Whenever I go out and do clinics they always end up being at drum stores and a majority of the people who attend those are drummers however, I have had people come up to me afterwards and tell me they aren’t a drummer but love my work and find me interesting. I started to think about ways to reach a larger audience and make it less drummer exclusive. I also was thinking of it as a way to revolutionize the clinic industry by taking these types of performances to larger/different venues. I wanted this to be something more than just drums or drumming. I have a lot more than drums in me so I am always open to talking about whatever and answering all the questions people may have. I tested this idea out in Canada and it went really well. From there I decided that once I had some time in my schedule I would try and do more of these. This is a way for me to get out there without having to hit up my drum companies up for crap loads of money. I’m getting to do this kind of independently which is pretty cool. I get to interact with the fans and give them a chance to have a one on one moment with me. I like to talk and play drums so this is really great.

AL: What type of feedback did you get from that first show?
GH: People were coming up to me telling me that they had never seen anything like this before. Musicians were saying this is much more different than your typical clinic. Things have been super positive. I know I am not perfect but I think I have a good enough grasp on this type of thing to make it fun an enjoyable for those who attend. Things have sort of evolved over time. I did one show where I was asked if I could play a Strapping Young Lad song however I didn’t have any of that material with me. Someone from the crowd said they had the CD in their car and could go get it. They brought it in and we did it! Things have just evolved in to this really cool interactive and engaging thing. I love people having their faces rocked off followed by smiles.

AL: Being that the show is live and unscripted is there ever any nervousness on your part?
GH: It’s a very unprepared type of scenario. There are a few prepared elements like what songs I may be performing that night but even that can change. I don’t get nervous. My fiancé was with me while I was prepping for a clinic in Vancouver and she told me that she couldn’t believe how little I prepare. She’s is a musician herself and said she would need flash cards and things like that. I just have my own thing going on and she couldn’t believe how well it ended up going. I usually have a couple points in my head that I try to get to but if it doesn’t happen I try to make sure my content is so strong that it makes up for it. I want to make sure that I and everyone else have a great time.

AL: Have there been any talks about filming these upcoming run of dates?
GH: We haven’t really talked about that part of things yet. The main reason I will be out doing these shows is that I have a new DVD coming out. I’m not sure as to which show I would actually choose to film though because each night is going to be different. I don’t think I’m really up for filming all of the shows and then putting them together into one. Mainly I don’t want to wear the same shirt every night. (Laughs)

AL: In the past few years you have begun working with Brendon Small of “Metalocalypse” and Dethklok. How did that partnership come about?
GH: Brendon is one of the best guys I have ever worked with. I mean that and am not just trying to put my lips to his butt. I will tell him that to his face. From the start Brendon has always been a really easy going and fun guy. I think that also comes across in his work ethic. Brendon is a guy that always has my back. Having never dealt with a network before he has always been there backing me. The support has just been great. How things started was one day I got a call out of the blue from Brendon asking if I would be interested in recording a soundtrack album for season one of the show. I had seen the show before but wasn’t really aware of what it was. The show has killer music and it was something I was definitely interested in. We were a two man project for quite awhile until we started touring and added Brian Beller on bass and Mike Keneally on guitar. Things have just gotten cooler with each album we work on together. I love Brendon to death.

AL: Being a guy who often has multiple projects going on at once. How do you adjust your playing/mindset to fit all the things you are working on?
GH: I suppose it has to do with the fact that I am always willing to forego the “Gene Hoglan’s Style” for what is best for the band. If I am playing with someone like Death which calls for a pretty technical, busy style while the stuff I did with Strapping Young Lad wasn’t as busy but needed to be very powerful. I am very willing to suppress my own style in an effort to do what’s best for the band. I filled in on drums with Otep for a few shows and they were already mid-tour. They were used to how there drummer did things so I had to try and fit to what was already being done. When I filled in with Anthrax I sat behind Charlie for a few shows with a video camera so I could make sure I learned exactly what he was doing. Charlie doesn’t play some of the material the way it was recorded 25 years the same now. I wanted to make sure that I was able to capture that and not just learn the album versions of the songs. I was blessed with sort of a steel trap mind when it comes to learning material and I think that has been somewhat beneficial as well.

AL: What other projects do you currently have in the works?
GH: Well the new DVD I have coming out is titled “The Atomic Clock: The Clock Strikes Two”. That is going to feature a lot of the stuff I have been doing at my clinics. For this release I was able to get the licenses for the songs I am playing. Everything from Death, Testament and Meldrum are going to be on there. The new DVD has a lot of depth to it and I have tried to improve on everything included. Testament has a show coming up in August with Iron Maiden and a bunch of other great acts. After that Testament will be out with Lamb of God and Killswitch Engage and from there have already started making tour plans for 2014. Then recently I received a text from Brendon stating he has completed the next Dethklok album so I am sure we will be getting involved with that real soon. I am hoping to do some Death To All shows which is a tribute to Death performances as well. Lastly I have been recording a ton of new stuff with my guitarist Laura Christine who is just amazing. Hopefully we will have material out this coming year. I am really stoked about all of this stuff. It’s going to be great and is something I wished for. I wanted to play drums for a living and I am getting to do that.