Few people know that Knoxville’s family tree of doom metal royalty extends beyond Victor Griffin of Pentagram/Place of Skulls and a handful of excellent current local bands. Knox expat drummer Greg Rogers, who first surfaced locally in the 1980s as a member of Turbine 44 with Trey “Col. Bacchus” McReynolds, and later the Trivia Birds with Carl Snow, left our fair city in the mid ’80s to first serve in Austin, Texas, punk band Poison 13 with Tim Kerr. Rogers then relocated to Los Angeles, where he played with former St. Vitus singer (and present contender for the title of the American version of Motörhead’s Lemmy), Scott “Wino” Weinrich, in the Obsessed, one of the most respected bands of the doom subgenre. Rogers played on the band’s lone major label LP, The Church Within.
Fear not, the Obsessed are back. The band has a handful of reunion performances slated for major European festivals in 2012.
Rogers has been plenty busy in the interim. He played in another heavy-hitting doom act, Goatsnake (with Scream singer Peter Stahl), recording a couple of highly regarded albums for the Southern Lord label. Goatsnake, like the Obsessed, is another band that does occasional high-profile reunions.
“We played at Roadburn in the Netherlands in 2010 and did a really short European tour this last June ending at Hellfest in France,” Rogers says, adding that it’s difficult for either band to play in America because bassist Scott Reeder, bassist in both acts, resides in Amsterdam.
Rogers is presently also in yet another band, the Los Angeles-based Sonic Medusa, which features former singer/guitarist Tom 5 (formerly of White Zombie), guitarist Steve Darrow (who served in Hollywood Rose before they became Guns N’ Roses), and ex-Sourvein/Brickbat bassist Scott Renner. Rogers says a Sonic Medusa album is in the works.
On the professional front, Rogers busies himself as a Hollywood video/film editor, working on a number of concert DVDs for the likes of Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, Faith Hill, and even the Dave Matthews Band. He has also worked on several TV shows, such as Trading Spaces and American Gangster.
Rogers’ wife, Shannon Gaulding, who was also a participant in the fabled Fort Sanders punk scene of the ’80s, is a movie executive who has worked on all three Spider-Man movies, The Grudge, and Dear John. Rogers and Gaulding have two children; Elijah, 10, and Zeke, 8.
Rogers just can’t get drumming out of his system.
“I tried not playing drums for a while,” he says. “It just didn’t work. I’m lucky that I got to make a living playing for a few years and then got into editing, which enabled me to raise a family. I’ve had some amazing experiences, like playing in front of 50,000 people at a the Dynamo Festival in the Netherlands in 1994. I still get a major charge out of playing live and being able to continue to do it is way cool.”