Slayer’s Paul Bostaph Plays His Favorite Drum Parts
Slayer's Paul Bostaph has become one of most relentless drum beasts in metal music, but you might be surprised to know that his drumming career started with just a pair of drumsticks, the air and some pillows.
Speaking with The Music Experience's Squiggy for this edition of Gear Factor sponsored by Sweetwater, Bostaph revealed, "My father got me a pair of drumsticks. I said I wanted to be a drummer so I had this pair of drumsticks, but no drum set or drum pad. My older brother had some AC/DC records and I think the record was High Voltage, so I started learning how to play drums to High Voltage. 'It's a Long Way to the Top' -- I loved the songs and it seemed like a really good place to start."
Bostaph says he studied a photo on a Boston album to see how Sib Hashian had his drums arranged. "It was like, 'There's supposed to be a hi-hat here, a snare here, got a kick drum here, rack toms and some symbols, but I didn't have any of them, so all I had was a stereo and a chair, so I started air drumming and I taught myself on pillows."
Once Bostaph did have a kit, he eventually found work in the Bay Area thrash music scene, but knew that he wanted to differentiate himself from the crowd a bit. During a double kick demonstration, Bostaph told Squiggy, "A lot of Bay Area bands sounded the same, and we were stuck in the scene and I've got to try to find something different," so at that time he looked to Journey's Steve Smith and Tommy Aldridge, who played with everyone from the Pat Travers Band to Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake. "They did stuff that thrash metal drummers weren't doing," says Bostaph, who proceeds to take viewers from how most thrash metal drummers were playing at the time to how he pulled from Smith and Aldridge to develop his own style while playing in Forbidden.
In the clip above, catch Bostaph break it down with Squiggy while revealing one of the songs that helped define his drumming style.
At present, Bostaph is behind the kit for the legendary Slayer. The group is currently in the midst of their final world tour and will pick up the next leg Nov. 1 in Dublin, Ireland. See all of their dates here. To grab the gear you see in this Gear Factor episode, head over to Sweetwater.
See Where Paul Bostaph Ranks Among the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All Time