Paul Bostaph

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Paul Bostaph
Paul Bostaph with Slayer in 2013 (cropped).jpg
Bostaph with Slayer in 2013.
Background information
Birth namePaul Steven Bostaph
Born (1964-03-04) March 4, 1964 (age 54)
Newark, California, California, United States
Genres Thrash metal, progressive metal
Years active1984–present
Associated acts Exodus, Forbidden, Slayer, Systematic, Testament, BlackGates
Website Official website

Paul Steven Bostaph is a heavy metal drummer currently performing for the thrash metal band Slayer. His drumming career began in 1984, when he was 20 years old, and he has since worked with bands like Forbidden, Exodus, Systematic, Testament, and BlackGates. describes Bostaph as "a true professional and one of the best drummers on today's metal music scene." [1]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and criticism of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by vocalist and bassist Tom Araya and guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.



Early years (1964–1984)

Bostaph's first interest was to play bass but he decided to play drums because he found a drum kit cheaper than a bass guitar. [2] He approached rock music listening to the Beatles and the Beach Boys, but AC/DC got him into rock drumming. [3] He bought his first drum kit at 15 and, after listening to Killers by Iron Maiden, he wanted to become a metal drummer. [3] Other influences include bands like ELO, Blue Öyster Cult and Black Sabbath. [2] His biggest drumming inspirations are Phil Rudd, Clive Burr, Tommy Aldridge, Nicko McBrain, Cozy Powell, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Smith, Dave Lombardo, and Tommy Lee. [4]

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop forms, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and in later years experimented with a number of musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's sociocultural movements.

The Beach Boys Rock band from Hawthorne, California

The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California, in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. Distinguished by their vocal harmonies and early surf songs, they are one of the most influential acts of the rock era. The band drew on the music of jazz-based vocal groups, 1950s rock and roll, and black R&B to create their unique sound, and with Brian as composer, arranger, producer, and de facto leader, they often incorporated classical elements and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways.

AC/DC Australian hard rock band formed in Sydney in 1973

AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal. However, the band themselves describe their music as simply "rock and roll".

Bostaph attended Newark Memorial High School, in Newark, California. He had a strong dislike to his schooling years as he thought, "I felt I had enough to get me through every day life, why do I need more?" He was interested in sports and towards the end of his first year, his interest in music began, and he got a job, which took priority over his schooling. [5]

Newark Memorial High School

Newark Memorial High School (NMHS) is a comprehensive high school in Newark, California, United States. It is part of the Newark Unified School District (NUSD).

Newark, California City in California, United States

Newark is a city in Alameda County, California, United States. It was incorporated as a city in September 1955. Newark is an enclave, surrounded by the city of Fremont. The three cities of Newark, Fremont, and Union City make up the Tri-City Area. Its population was 44,205 in 2015 making it the third largest city in the US named Newark after Newark, Ohio and Newark, New Jersey.

Forbidden (1985–1992)

Bostaph played drums for Forbidden from 1985–1992, playing on their first two studio albums, Forbidden Evil and Twisted into Form . He also played on their 1989 live EP Raw Evil: Live at the Dynamo. He is regarded as their most prolific 'permanent' drummer to date. Bostaph had joined the band First Strike.

Forbidden was a thrash metal band from the San Francisco Bay Area. Formed in 1985 as Forbidden Evil, the group was founded by Russ Anderson and Craig Locicero, who were both ever-present members. Since their formation, Forbidden have broken up and reformed twice with numerous line-up changes. The most recent line-up of the band comprised Anderson (vocals), Locicero (guitar), Matt Camacho (bass), Steve Smyth (guitar) and Sasha Horn (drums). After breaking up for the first time in 1998 and briefly returning in 2001, Forbidden reunited once again in 2007 but has been on hiatus since 2013.

<i>Forbidden Evil</i> (album) album

Forbidden Evil is the debut album from American thrash metal band from San Francisco, California, Forbidden. The album was released in 1988. The title of this album refers to their original name before shortening it to Forbidden in 1987. The album was well received by both critics and fans and eventually became a cult classic.

Slayer and solo project (1992–2001)

Following the departure of Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo in 1992, the band was looking for a new drummer. Lombardo's drum tech was filling in but constantly made errors. [6] After auditioning several drummers and listening to hundreds of demo tapes, Bostaph was recommended by Slayer guitarist Kerry King's guitar technician. [6] Slayer members listened to Forbidden records, however, they did not see how Bostaph could fit into the Slayer momentum – Lombardo's style being "over the top", while Forbidden was more melodic. [6] Slayer auditioned Bostaph with nine songs, and he made only one error on "Angel of Death". Bostaph had to continually practice to improve the strength of his hands and feet; "I respected and loved Dave's drumming but as a fan, if they got a new drummer and I bought a ticket to a show, I would expect to hear the stuff that Dave does, that's what I would want. So, I went in and every time I had to learn a new song I would play them exactly how Dave played them". [6]

Dave Lombardo Cuban drummer

David Lombardo is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of American thrash metal band Slayer. Lombardo played drums on nine Slayer albums, including the 1986 album Reign in Blood and the 2006 album Christ Illusion, for which he received critical praise. Lombardo's music career has spanned forty years, during which he has been involved in the production of thirty-five commercial recordings covering a number of genres. He has performed with numerous bands, including Grip Inc., Fantômas, Testament, and Suicidal Tendencies, in addition to Slayer. Lombardo is currently playing drums with Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross and the Misfits.

Kerry King American musician

Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist and songwriter for the American thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and has been a member ever since.

Melody linear succession of musical tones in the foreground of a work of music

A melody, also tune, voice, or line, is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. In its most literal sense, a melody is a combination of pitch and rhythm, while more figuratively, the term can include successions of other musical elements such as tonal color. It may be considered the foreground to the background accompaniment. A line or part need not be a foreground melody.

Bostaph recorded four albums with Slayer; his least favorite is 1994's Divine Intervention . This is due to the guitars not being loud enough as they were in the recording session, moving around to several recording studios, and a producer who had never done any heavy metal music. The producer changed near the end of recording to Toby Wright – Bostaph stating "that record never had any consistency to it although a lot of fans still like it." [6] Bostaph left the band in 1996 to concentrate on his solo project, Truth About Seafood, and was replaced by Jon Dette; however, he returned in 1997. His second favorite album is 2001's God Hates Us All ; "The whole era that I was with the band that was the album that was the most well-rounded and mixed the best" with Diabolus in Musica . [6]

<i>Divine Intervention</i> (album) 1994 studio album by Slayer

Divine Intervention is the sixth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. Released on September 27, 1994, through American Recordings, it was their first album to feature Paul Bostaph, replacing the band's original drummer Dave Lombardo. The production posed a challenge to the record company, as its marketing situation drew arguments over the album's explicitness. The band used the Decade of Aggression live album to give them time to decide the album's style. Since it was released nearly four years after Seasons in the Abyss, vocalist Tom Araya said that there was more time spent on production compared to the band's previous albums. The cover was painted and designed by Wes Benscoter as a re-imaging of the group's early "Slayergram" graphic.

Toby Wright is a record producer and mixing engineer who has worked with artists such as Alice in Chains, Metallica, Sevendust and Korn. He currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

<i>God Hates Us All</i> 2001 studio album by Slayer

God Hates Us All is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on September 11, 2001 by American Recordings. It was recorded over three months at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, and includes the Grammy Award-nominated "Disciple". Guitarist Kerry King wrote the majority of its lyrics, taking a different approach from earlier recordings by exploring topics such as religion, murder, revenge, and self-control. The band experimented, recording most of the album in C# tuning, with three songs in drop B and two others with seven-string guitars in B♭.

Bostaph departed from Slayer after the release of God Hates Us All, following a chronic elbow injury he had sustained that would hinder his ability to play. [7] (although he later revealed that the actual reason for departure is because "Musically, I wanted to do something else". [8] ) His third last performance with the band is recorded on the DVD War at the Warfield recorded on December 7, 2001. Bostaph is yet to watch it as he feels "It's like breaking up with a girlfriend" and needs to move on with his life. He remained friends with Slayer members, and when asked if he would work with them in the future, he replied "sure". Bostaph was temporarily replaced by original Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, which later proved to be a permanent arrangement [6] until 2013, when the band announced he has replaced Lombardo for the second time.

Systematic (2003–2004)

Unwilling to give up music, Bostaph joined Systematic in 2003 – a band which he had previously formed with vocalist Tim Narducci and guitarist Adam Ruppel before recording Slayer's Diabolus in Musica. Bostaph introduced the band to Slayer's manager – Rick Sales – to help the band gain notice. As the band needed a drummer in 2003, Bostaph was willing to help out. [6]

Bostaph toured with Systematic for four months, although departed in 2004 stating: "I wasn’t having very much fun and it’s not for me." [6] In 2003 Bostaph sustained an injury to his knee, while playing soccer. After finishing Systematics tour, Bostaph underwent surgery – not touching a drum kit for over a year until he received a phone call from Exodus members. [6]

Exodus (2005–2007)

Bostaph received a phone call from Exodus' manager, who asked him to join the band. Exodus bass guitarist Jack Gibson talked to guitarist Gary Holt if they should recruit Bostaph – Holt knew Bostaph while Exodus toured with Forbidden, as both bands were from the San Francisco Bay Area. When Bostaph received the phone call, two members had already left Exodus, and drummer Tom Hunting was thinking about leaving. Bostaph knew how to play all the records except for Impact Is Imminent , and recorded drums on the band's 2005 album Shovel Headed Kill Machine . [6]

Bostaph asserts the album is different from the band's previous albums; "It's so different because Bonded... was such a landmark record, such a great record that…I watched the band the whole time and I think this is a more, probably, the most brutal record the band has done since Bonded by Blood." Bostaph also says the chemistry between members was very different, due to three out of five members being replaced in one year; "it's a totally different band than before." The band toured for over a year promoting Shovel Headed Kill Machine, and wished to enter the recording studio to record another as soon as possible. [6] However, on March 28, 2007, Bostaph announced that he parted ways with Exodus; "They now have their original drummer Tom Hunting back in the band. I always said from the start if Tom ever wanted to come back, the drum throne is his. I have the greatest respect for Tom and his playing." Bostaph also announced he is no longer endorsing TAMA drum kits, and is proud to represent Drum Workshop and their products.

Testament (2007–2011)

Testament's official website announced Bostaph rejoined the group in October 2007. [9] The Formation of Damnation was the first Testament studio album of all new material in nine years, and the first to feature Alex Skolnick on guitar since 1992's The Ritual , also the first to feature bassist Greg Christian since 1994's Low was released on April 29, 2008. This is also the first full length Testament studio album to feature Paul Bostaph on drums. This album was awarded the 2008 'Album of the Year' by the Metal Hammer Awards.

In June 2011, Testament began recording their next studio album, entitled Dark Roots of Earth , expected to be released on April 27, 2012. [10] However, due to a "serious injury", Paul was not involved in the recording sessions; Gene Hoglan (who previously played on the band's 1997 album Demonic ) filled in for him. He was expected to rejoin Testament when they tour to support the album. [11] However, frontman Chuck Billy stated in December 2011 that Bostaph has left the band again. [12]

Other projects

Bostaph is also a member of a tribute band called HAIL!. HAIL!'s rotating cast of members include Andreas Kisser, Tim "Ripper" Owens, David Ellefson, Mike Portnoy, Jimmy DeGrasso and Roy Mayorga. Ripper, DeGrasso, Ellefson and Kisser formed the band in late 2008. [13] The band, toured Europe in 2009 and in June 2010 HAIL! is on their second European tour with the following line-up: Andreas Kisser, Tim "Ripper" Owens, Paul Bostaph and James LoMenzo. [14] [15] Due to the death of announced bassist Paul Gray, LoMenzo agreed on only one day's notice to fly to Portugal and rescue the Rock in Rio Festival where HAIL! was scheduled to perform on May 30, 2010.

In addition, Bostaph played drums for the Bay Area metal band BlackGates from 2009 to 2014. The band also featured Dan Nelson on vocals and rhythm guitar. The band released a three-song EP in 2010, recorded and mixed by Tim Narducci of Systematic (band). Also released were the singles "Burn Eternal" (2012), and "Overcome" (2014).

Return to Slayer (2013–present)

On May 30, 2013, Slayer announced via their official Facebook page that Paul Bostaph had returned once again to replace long-time member Dave Lombardo behind the kit on a full-time basis. [16] He is featured on Slayer's eleventh studio album Repentless .


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  2. 1 2 Paul Bostaph interview
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Preceded by
Dave Lombardo
Slayer drummer
Succeeded by
Jon Dette
Preceded by
Jon Dette
Slayer drummer
Succeeded by
Dave Lombardo
Preceded by
Dave Lombardo
Slayer drummer
Succeeded by