Fear Factory has confirmed that Mike Heller has replaced drummer Gene Hoglan who had stepped down due to “conflicting obligations.” It would appear that Dino Cazares enlisted the help of Sick Drummer Magazine to help find a replacement as is evidenced in the following article which was posted on their site:
Due to conflicting obligations, Gene Hoglan recently had to step down from the Fear Factory throne, leaving it open for replacement. Dino Cazares came to us a while ago and asked if Sick Drummer Magazine could help the band find the ideal guy, and we were more than happy to make several suggestions, some of which actually flew out and auditioned in person. There were many amazing players auditioned in person and via video submission, but it had to unfortunately come down to only one guy.
Dino, Burton C. Bell and Matt DeVries want to personally thank each and every guy who spent time learning the songs and to let you know this was one of the hardest decicions they have ever had to make, but in the end… Mike Heller was just the best fit for Fear Factory moving forward. Mike’s abilities on the kit, transcribing notation, his feel, power and precision, are some of the best they have ever seen and they are very excited to welcome him to the Fear Factory camp.
Here is what Mike Heller had to say about joining the band: “It is an incredible honor to be chosen as the new drummer for Fear Factory! It’s something I never would have dreamt of as a kid listening to “Soul of A New Machine” and “Demanufacture” over and over again in middle school. It’s also an incredible honor to be following in the footsteps of two of the most amazing and influential drummers in metal drumming history. I hope to continue their legacy, creating some of the most forward-thinking and innovative music available today.”
You may know Mike Heller for his work with Malignancy or more recently, System Divide. Regardless of what you know, Mike is one of the most talented drummers we know, as well as one of the best drum teachers in the industry. Mike himself studied at The Collective School of Music in NYC and has since instructed countless industry professionals and worked with them (on and off tour) to improve their technique, overcome muscle issues, gain control and a myriad of other characteristics of being a pro drummer. He is a super nice guy and an avid collector of drum gear! Aside from his regular playing, we can honestly say he is the most talented linear player we’ve ever seen and want to say congratulations and good luck!