Paul Bostaph – Heavy Metal Drummer of the Century

Paul Steven Bostaph is a drummer who has specialized in heavy metal. He was born on the 4th March 1964 in Newark, California, United States of America. Most people know him as a member of the metal thrash band Slayer. He began his drumming career when he was 20. Apart from working with the Slayer band, he has worked with several other bands.

Paul Bostaph plays drums only, but he is interested in two music genres, thrash metal, and progressive metal. When he was young, he loved playing the bass. However, his great interest in the bass was cut short by a bass guitar cost compared to a bit cheaper than a drum kit. He started listening to rock music such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. However, AC/DC made him land fully into rock drumming.

Paul Bostaph
Paul Bostaph

He received his first-ever drum kit when he was only 15 when his mind was entirely directed to rock music. However, after listening to a song by Iron Maiden, he started loving metal drumming. He also received significant influence to join metal drumming from ELO, Black Sabbath, and Blue Oyster Cult.

The professional metal drummers that inspired him the most are Dave Lombardo, Cozy Powell, Steve Smith, Tommy Lee, Neil Peart, Jeff Porcaro, Tommy Aldridge, Phil Rudd, Nicko McBrain, and Clive Burr. From 1985 to 1992, Bostaph played drums for a band known as Forbidden. He helped this band in recording their first two albums, Twisted into Form and Forbidden Evil.

In 1992, Bostaph left the band, and on the next day, he was called in for an audition at the Slayer. The Slayer was looking for a replacement of Dave Lombardo, who had left that same year. Bostaph became lucky in the audition, and Kerry King (Slayer guitarist’s technician) recommended him. The Slayer members listened to the Forbidden records played by Bostaph, and they were not satisfied with the songs’ tempo.

They wondered how Bostaph was going to manage Slayer’s momentum. Slayer had to subject Bostaph to another nine songs, and Bostaph made only one mistake in the song Angel of Death. However, Slayer band members advised Bostaph to do more practice to improve the strength of his hands. Bostaph ended up recording four albums with the Slayer.

Paul Bostaph Performing
Paul Bostaph Performing

Bostaph left the Slayer following a tragic elbow injury that he had sustained. Dave Lombardo had to replace Bostaph temporarily, but it was later revealed it was a permanent arrangement. However, in 2013 Bostaph returned to the band and replaced Lombardo for the second time. During the period he had sustained an injury, Bostaph worked with several other bands. He worked with the Systematic band between 2003 and 2004.

From 2005 to 2007, he worked with the Exodus after receiving a phone call from Exodus’s manager who needed him to join the band. He later joined Testament in 2007 and left in 2011. He was asked to play a few shows for Testament in live events that they were committed to. After working with the Testament, he returned to his first home, the Slayer. However, Bostaph has done several other side projects in his entire life. He is also a member of the tribute band known as Hail.

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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