Bobby Jarzombek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Robert Jarzombek
Also known as Bobby Jarzomek
Born (1963-09-04) September 4, 1963 (age 52)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Genres progressive metal, heavy metal, power metal, hard rock
Instruments Drums
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts Riot, Sebastian Bach, Halford, Spastic Ink, Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos, Demons and Wizards, Iced Earth, Rob Rock, John West, Juggernaut, Crush 40, Jun Senoue

Bobby Jarzombek is a heavy metal/progressive metal drummer and best known for his work with Halford, Sebastian Bach and Riot. He has also recorded and toured with Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos, Iced Earth, Rob Rock,[1] John West,[2] Spastic Ink,[3] and Juggernaut, among others.[4]


Jarzombek was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and grew up in a very musical family of Polish descent. Picking up the drums at age 10 after his mother bought him a $14 kit from Sears for Christmas, Bobby soon started jamming with his two brothers, Ralph and Ronnie, and eventually hit the club scene by the time he was a high school senior. Quickly developing into one of the hottest drummers in town, he then joined local up-and-comers, Juggernaut, with whom he made his official recording debut, aptly titled Baptism Under Fire, in 1986. A second album followed but by then Bobby had already been tapped to join seminal New York metal band Riot for their CBS comeback release, Thundersteel, a power metal milestone that also yielded the MTV video "Bloodstreets".[citation needed]

As a member of Riot, Bobby toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan and recorded a total of 6 studio and a pair of live albums, including The Privilege of Power (1990), an eclectic semi-concept album featuring the Tower of Power horns and guest vocals by Joe Lynn Turner, Nightbreaker (1994), and 1998's Shine On!, recorded live in Japan. Bobby took leave from the band early into the Brethren of the Long House sessions but was persuaded to rejoin in time for Inishmore (1997).

In 1993, Bobby also reconnected with his younger brother, noted guitarist Ron Jarzombek of WatchTower fame. Joined by Riot bassist Pete Perez, the duo formed madcap tech/prog metal outfit Spastic Ink whose 'anything goes'-approach owed as much to the spirit of Frank Zappa and cartoon music icon Carl Stalling as it did to the brothers' early prog heroes such as UK and Rush. The band went on to release two highly acclaimed albums, Ink Complete (1997) and Ink Compatible (2004). In the fall of 1999, he was asked to submit a package to former Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford whose new project was deep into the pre-production phase for their debut album. Halford was duly impressed by what he later described as "seeing a videotape of the sickest drum solo I've seen in my life. It takes a lot to impress me 'cause I've been around the block! I knew Bobby from Riot but had never seen him play live. He's like an illusionist on the drum kit. It's effortless and entertaining, and he's just brilliant."[citation needed]

Bobby became the drummer for Halford and has subsequently been part of every recording - including Resurrection (2000), Live Insurrection (2001), Crucible (2002), and the Fourging The Furnace EP (2003) - and tour, highlighted by an appearance in 2001 at the massive Rock In Rio III festival in Brazil in front of a quarter million fans. Halford went on indefinite hiatus when Rob Halford rejoined his former band, Judas Priest, in 2003. Halford would re-active his solo career in 2009 with Halford III: Winter Songs, a heavy metal Christmas album, followed by the release of Halford IV: Made of Metal in the summer of 2010 which also saw the band appear on the main stage at Ozzfest[5] as well as co-headlining the Loud Park festival in Japan. The show was filmed for the 2011 Live At Saitama Super Arena DVD.

In 2004, Bobby was asked by future Howard Stern sidekick Richard Christy to take over his drum duties with Iced Earth who were in the middle of their U.S. tour in support of The Glorious Burden.[6] The following year, Bobby recorded Touched by the Crimson King with Iced Earth offshoot Demons and Wizards[7] and was also approached by former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach who was in need of a touring drummer.[8] With Iced Earth on hold due to guitarist Jon Schaffer's persistent back problems, the Bach gig became permanent. In 2006, Bobby toured worldwide with Bach supporting Guns N' Roses whose frontman Axl Rose put in a guest appearance on Bach's 2007 album, Angel Down.

In the summer of 2007, Bobby began his affiliation with long running progressive metal outfit Fates Warning when he was asked to fill in for the band's 2007 Italian 'Evolution Fest' appearance.[9] He was also on board for the European tour later that same year and has continued to be the group's full-time drummer ever since. In 2011, he recorded the Sympathetic Resonance album with Fates Warning offshoot Arch/Matheos, featuring original lead vocalist John Arch.[10]

In May 2008, it was announced that the members of Riot's classic Thundersteel-era line-up - Mark Reale, Tony Moore, Don Van Stavern, and Bobby Jarzombek - would reunite for a new studio album. Initially slated for a late 2009 release,[11] the album, entitled Immortal Soul, eventually surfaced in the fall of 2011. Founding member Mark Reale would pass away only months later from complications due to Crohn's Disease at a San Antonio, Texas hospital.

In 2008-2009, Bobby was a session drummer for several vocal tracks of Sega's video game Sonic and the Black Knight. His drumming can be heard on "Through the Fire" and both versions of "With Me", the final battle version and the Crush 40 "Massive Power Mix" exclusive to the original vocal soundtrack: Face to Faith.[12]

In October 2010, Bobby was approached by Dream Theater's management about an audition following the departure of Mike Portnoy but decided to pass. Talking to U.K. website Give The Drummer Some! in the fall of 2013, Bobby explained why he turned down the opportunity: "I was on the road with Halford, as I mentioned, and I said, 'Well, when are you doing auditions?' And then there was, like, a ten-day window when I was coming home from when we were doing U.S. to Japan, or South America, or whatever. And I said, 'I'm not even home when you're gonna do these auditions.' And he said, 'We would get back together again and reschedule and make a special session if you wanted to do it another time.' And I said, 'Well, I have ten days. Send me the songs.' So then they send me three songs, and it's, like, 28 or 29 minutes' worth of music. And I'm thinking, 'God, that's a lot of music to learn for an audition.' And I totally understand it. Because they need to know. And they need to give the guys as much stuff as possible.

"So I checked it out and I was, like, 'I don't even have time to learn this. I'm gonna have ten days when I get home,' and then I would have to have everybody wait for two months for me to get back. And then I thought, 'What's even going on here? Is Mike [Portnoy] out completely?' And I thought to myself, 'Surely he's gonna be back in the band at some point.'"[13]

In early 2011, Platinum Samples issued the Bobby Jarzombek Metal MIDI Groove Library, a multi-format MIDI groove library featuring over 1,670 MIDI files (over 3,430 bars of unquantized grooves) formatted for BFD2®, BFD Eco®, EZDrummer®, EZplayer®, Superior Drummer 2.0®, Addictive Drums®, Cakewalk® Session DrummerTM as well as General MIDI.[14] Bobby's first foray into MIDI samples came in 2007 via Joe Barresi's Evil Drums, a six-DVD set released by Platinum Samples, the second BFD Expansion Pack in the company's 'Master Engineer' series of drum samples featuring the work of multi-platinum award-winning producers and recording engineers. That same year, Bobby also featured on Sebastian Bach's Kicking & Screaming, produced by Bob Marlette and released in the fall of 2011.

Bobby's studio debut with Fates Warning, Darkness in a Different Light, was released September 27, 2013 via Inside Out Music.[15] Bobby also joined Transatlantic progressive metal group Zierler, featuring members of Beyond Twilight, Scar Symmetry, Firewind, and Circus Maximus,[16] whose debut album, ESC, was released in October 2015.[17]

Continuing to divide his time between recording and touring with Sebastian Bach and Fates Warning, Bobby featured on Bach's 2014 effort, Give 'Em Hell,[18] and Fates' latest, Theories of Flight, set for a July 1, 2016 release.[19]

Drum Instructional DVD[edit]

In 2003, Bobby released 'Performance & Technique', his first ever drum instructional VHS/DVD. It was initially available as a self-released VHS tape but was soon picked up by Warner Bros. Publications and released on DVD with additional content in 2005. It was slightly re-packaged and issued again by Alfred Publishing in 2006.


Jarzombek was voted '#1 drummer 2000' by the readers of Japanese metal magazine, Burrn!, in recognition of his work on Halford's Resurrection.


Bobby is currently endorsed by Drum Workshop (DW) / PDP (Pacific Drums and Percussion), Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, Evans Drumheads, Samson Technologies, Beatnik Rhythmic Analyzers, Kelly Shu Microphone Mounting Systems, and Planet Waves Cables.



External links[edit]