Everyone's Replaceable

Analysis: Slayer’s Paul Bostaph Must Endure Ex-Drummer Talk

  • Anso DF

Paul Bostaph Slayer 2013 by Andrew Stuart

Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph has a tough job. We’re not talking about playing drums at huge concerts by Earth’s most revered metal band. And we’re not talking about tracking their upcoming 11th album — though we acknowledge that the task carries a bit of pressure (more later). Nay, right now the facet of Bostaph’s job that is back-breakingly intense is this: Enduring all the talk about recently-departed drummer Dave Lombardo.

For Lombardo is top-ten awesome, he’s Slayer’s beloved original drum dude, and his departure was noisy and contentious. That’s a three-pronged assault on Bostaph, who is either weaker or tougher for having done this dance in the ’90s the first time he replaced Lombardo. Still, it’s in his job description to withstand the omnipresence of Lombardo’s ghost and to be cool about it, though it’s a four-person task, like unloading a jacuzzi. So we hope that Bostaph’s business partners in Slayer are lending a hand, though that seems unlikely cuz that’s not really Kerry King and Tom Araya’s vibe, and because Bostaph seems to be cracking at this early stage. To Australian radio, he explained this week:

People tell me all the time about, ‘Hey, he said this,’ ‘He said that.’ After a while, you’ve just gotta, like …’I just wanna play drums, man.’ That’s all there is to it.

I heard that Dave [said that he] wrote all the parts on the new record for the drums. It’s funny that I didn’t see him anywhere around when I was working on the music. So it’s one of those things where I get where he’s coming from, but man, there’s two sides to every story, and I’m getting a little tired of hearing his. 

Ah nuts, it’s getting to him after just eight months. And the weird thing is that his description of King’s writing style kinda undermines his claim about Lombardo’s claim:

When Kerry comes in and he shows you an arrangement, he’s gonna go, ‘I want this kind of beat here,’ or ‘that kind of beat here,’ or ‘double bass here.’ After a while, you figure it out and you interject your different ideas into the parts. Certain drum fills here, or maybe there’s a part of the song where he’s, like, ‘I don’t really know what I want the drums to do here, so do whatever you do here.’

So that means Kerry King (lovvve youuuu) penned the drum parts — or at least exec produced them — and Lombardo put his signature on them before his ouster, upon which King and Bostaph resumed (or recommenced) their creation. So Lombardo can take credit in technical honesty but with practical intent to imply that Bostaph is aping his work, when really the latter is merely connecting the same dots (sorry about the mixed metaphors). It’s bait from an embarrassed dude. Stay strong Paul Bostaph, for yours is a job for the confident and thick-skinned.

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