PAUL BOSTAPH Reflects On Worst Show He Ever Played As Member Of SLAYER

May 10, 2023

During a new appearance on "Put Up Your Dukes", the podcast hosted by ex-EXODUS singer Rob Dukes, acclaimed San Francisco Bay Area drummer Paul Bostaph, who has toured and/or recorded with SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS and FORBIDDEN, reflected on the worst concert he ever played. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I had one show with SLAYER where I hadn't been playing drums that much. This was [during] the 'Divine Intervention' [1994] era. So I hadn't been playing drums too much, and a tour got dropped on us, like, two weeks before we had to leave. So I remember playing that show. And I'd never dropped more sticks in my entire life, 'cause my hands weren't up to snuff. And so I'm playing, and I'm playing pretty good. I'm pushing through it, though. You shouldn't have to push through it as a feat of survival or an act of survival, which that's exactly what it was. I wasn't in the physical place I should be, so as I'm playing, sticks are flying out of my hand, 'cause the muscles that are responsible for gripping the sticks weren't doing their job. So, yeah, I would say that would be physically, probably, the worst — physically, in terms of not being ready for it and sticks flying out of my hands."

Bostaph and Dukes will both perform as part of the "Jasta And Friends" lineup at the official Milwaukee Metal Fest pre-party on Thursday, May 25 at The Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In August 2020, Bostaph confirmed that he is involved in a brand new project headed up by his SLAYER bandmate Kerry King. The duo has spent the last couple of years working on music with the hopes of recording it properly once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided.

The 59-year-old drummer opened up about his latest collaboration with King in an interview with Australia's Riff Crew. Asked to describe the musical direction of the music he has been working on with the founding SLAYER guitarist, Bostaph said: "I guess the best way to put it is Kerry writes what he writes. Is this gonna be a rock and roll record? No. Is it gonna be what you want it to be? Yes. Is it gonna be what you expect it to be? Yes. It's not gonna be some rehashed stuff… It's gonna sound like SLAYER without it being SLAYER — but not intentionally so. I mean, Kerry's been writing songs in SLAYER his entire career, and he has a style. And that style, as a songwriter, you just don't change your style because your band is done. But that's what you love to write.

"Are things gonna maybe morph over time? Yeah. I would imagine so," he continued. "I don't think the first song Kerry wrote as a kid is the same as the last song he wrote for [SLAYER's final album, 2015's] 'Repentless'. Songwriters do change over time based on their influences and how they feel at the time.

"Kerry's on fire right now. So, all I can say is if you like heavy music and you like SLAYER, you'll like this. Is it gonna be SLAYER? It's not gonna be SLAYERSLAYER is done; they retired…

"The thing about it is that we don't wanna sound like 'Baby SLAYER,' you know what I mean?" he added. "There is SLAYER. But it's gonna be good — it's gonna be really good. I've been listening to the music and I just cannot wait to get into the room and start jamming with Kerry.

"Part of it for me is that I don't have to… And this is not an insult; it's definitely a compliment… I don't have to drum under the show of [original SLAYER drummer] Dave's [Lombardo] drumming badassery. That's a good thing to do, but I might be able to stretch out a little bit and do some things that I like to do and still make it fit within the framework of what we're doing. I'm looking forward to trying some things that I've wanted to try within SLAYER but couldn't, just because I didn't have it developed well enough. And we'll see if I can make some of that stick in some of the new music."

Asked if his songwriting approach with King has changed compared to how it was within the confines of SLAYER, Bostaph said: "Right now, the formula's gonna be the same. I know how Kerry writes.

"When I first joined SLAYER, before we did [1994's] 'Divine Intervention', Kerry and I were roommates, and we barely knew each other," he explained. "And we spent a lot of time together, on a friendship level and jamming musically. I know what he wants out of a song, and we have that formula, and it's a good formula that works, and we're not gonna change it. If it's not broke, don't fix it. You know what I mean?"

Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band, rejoined SLAYER in 2013 after the group's original drummer, Dave Lombardo, was effectively fired from the band due to a contract dispute with the other members of the veteran California-based thrash metal act.

In an interview with Fuse, King stated about Bostaph: "Paul, I mean, he's a machine. I don't worry about him at all. He never would have been out of SLAYER if he didn't quit twice. It was never over anything personal — he was always my friend — so it was very easy for him to come back and be a part again."

SLAYER played the final show of its farewell tour in November 2019 at the Forum in Los Angeles.

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