Rock Overdose Interview with Bobby Jarzombek (4/09/2013)
Bobby Jarzombek (FATES WARNING/SEBASTIAN BACH) on Rock Overdose
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 Arch/Matheos, Iced Earth, Rob Rock, John West, Spastic Ink, and Juggernaut, among others.
In addition Bobby is the new drummer of Fates Warning with whom is doing to release the band΄s new album, “Darkness In A Different Light”, their first since “FWX” (2004).. Rock Overdose had the chance to speak with the talented drummer and here is the chat…
RockOverdose.gr: Hi Bobby and welcome to Rock Overdose.
Bobby: Thank you.
RockOverdose.gr: It’s a real honor to have you here. What are you up to lately?
Bobby: I just got through doing the FATES WARNING record a while back and it’s going to come out on September 30th I believe, or sometime in early October maybe in Europe. I’m not sure about the dates in territories and I’m gearing up for a FATES WARNING tour in Europe and of course in Greece and also we have some stuff in the States. All that is going to happen with the CD release. Right now I’m actually in Minnesota, touring with Sebastian Bach. I have a few dates with Sebastian and then we’re going to South America, next month, so there’s a few things happening. I’m also gonna record the new Sebastian Bach CD in a couple of weeks, so I just got a couple of songs from him and I started working on those songs a little bit. They should be ready in a couple of weeks too.
RockOverdose.gr: Great news and great events in your life, with great bands and musicians. So do you want to tell us a few more things about the new FATES WARNING album?
Bobby: The song titles and all that haven’t been released yet, so I can’t go into details about that, but the FATES WARNING record is very cool. I could say that musically is at the same lines as the ARCH/MATHEOS album I did with Jim, Joey and Frank a couple of years ago. I think musically it’s probably like that, because we kind of evolved since the early days when the band started. I like the approach, it’s a little more aggressive and Jim has mentioned to me that he started writing this way because of my drumming, so there are some cool musical things in that record and the sound is overall great on this new record. People is going to be surprised with Ray’s voice and sound, the melodies that he uses, so I’m looking forward to it.
RockOverdose.gr: How close is it to the band’s classic sound?
Bobby: I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to say… I won’t compare it to “Parallels”, or anything like that, just because I think that was the place and time where everyone were in a certain way, the musicians wrote in a certain way and I think FATES WARNING’s music has evolved and changed over the years. CD’s like “Disconnected” and “X”, those are very different records than earlier records and I think the band has changed a little bit over the years, so I don’t know if you can say that it has anything to do with the classic, familiar sound. I know one thing… it doesn’t sound like any other record. You won’t be able to say that it sounds like this or that, like a specific record. It’s not like that. It’s different enough, but it’s also… It has a little bit of everything.
RockOverdose.gr: It’s the first official record with you in the lineup. How do you feel about this?
Bobby: I feel great. It was about time, because I started playing with the band in 2007 and we were talking about doing a record in different points and then we were working on the ARCH/MATHEOS album and it was supposed to be the first FATES WARNING album with me on it, but it didn’t come out this way, because of certain things. I think that this is cool… it’s finally the first record. We’re talking with Jim and at some points, he mentions the next record and I say to myself “oh there’s going to be another record?”… This won’t be the last one.
RockOverdose.gr: We are expecting to in Greece for some live shows.
Bobby: Yeah we have a couple of shows there planned.
RockOverdose.gr: What should the Greek fans expect from those appearances here in Greece?
Bobby: Always a great show, it’s definitely a nice place for FATES WARNING. Very passionate fans. It’s gonna be nice to play some new material there, I think the CD will be out, and you can listen to some new material, maybe you can get a little bit of taste for that. I think it will be a great show.
RockOverdose.gr: You have worked for many well known bands, like RIOT, HALFORD, SEBASTIAN BACH and plenty more. How does it feel like? What effect did it have on you as a drummer?
Bobby: It’s cool. I’ve been playing for a lot of years. I played with RIOT for many years and got to visit Greece also with the band, which was great and then I think the first big thing I did was with HALFORD, so as long as I had the drumming job with HALFORD, things kind of opened up a little bit, I was able to get out and play with a lot of bands. You know how it is, when you start to get out and everybody starts to know you when you’re playing with somebody like Rob. One thing led to another and that led to Sebastian and to FATES WARNING and lot of the other side projects and all the other things I was involved in, like ICED EARTH and played with John West on his record, Rob Rock and some of the other things I was doing. I think the most important thing is when you’re a drummer, when you’re a musician, you have to be cool to people and try to be easy to work with, do your homework when somebody gives you songs to learn, when you have to give a show, you have to prepare. If you have a bad reputation, it’s gonna end pretty soon.
RockOverdose.gr: With which band did you enjoy sharing the stage with? Is there any memorable concert?
Bobby: Playing with Rob Halford was great. He’s a legend and anytime I was on stage with Rob was definitely a great moment to be there and be a part of that. That was huge for me, anytime HALFORD was playing live… Of course I remember the first time I met Sebastian and started to work with him, that was also some sort of an amazing thing, because Sebastian has this cool stage presence so it was cool. FATES WARNING, I like a lot, because musically, all of us were very much on the top of our game all the time and it’s very difficult music and so I always love to be on stage with FATES WARNING for that reason and I guess RIOT, because it’s the band that I started with basically and it was sort of like family to me, so there’s these great thing with all the different bands that I worked with and been on stage with for different reasons.
RockOverdose.gr: Do you have any inside story with a band of artist you might want to share with us?
Bobby: I don’t know about that. There’s a lot of funny things that happened. When I was with HALFORD, I don’t know if it was Rob’s or Metal Mike’s idea with black faces as a black metal band. Mike mentioned it to Rob and Rob sort of thought it was funny and a good idea, but I didn’t and it was dropped after one day. Rob came out and this was when we were opening for IRON MAIDEN. Rob came to the dressing room and he had a whole bunch of makeup sticks that he had bought from some sort of makeup store and we were like “what’s this? Are we gonna go out with black metal faces?”, so we all put on some black metal faces and we went out and played the show, dressed up like a black metal band… I thought it was a bit funny, kind of a crazy thing. Rob heard us talking about it and he made it happen, so there are some funny things like that that happened on the way like you know, unexpected. Sometimes nobody wants to take things to serious. We all want to do our jobs, but sometimes you have to make things a little bit humorous, kind of interesting.
RockOverdose.gr: So you have a lot of interesting stories to tell to your kids and your friends. What bands are you listening to lately? Is there any new one that caught your attention?
Bobby: I like bands like OPETH, PORCUPINE TREE, I like KATATONIA a lot, I like bands that have a little bit of a wider sound to their music and different sort of texture, that is a little bit different that the normal, sort of heavy metal thing. Those bands are more interesting for me. I don’t like the power metal stuff that much. I like some bands that are a little bit interesting in textures.
RockOverdose.gr: Is there any non metal band or musician that you like?
Bobby: Yeah there’s a lot of different stuff that I like, like the classic stuff, singers from the 40’s and the 50’s, like FRANK SINATRA, NAT KING COLE, I like that kind of stuff, it’s easy listening music. I like a lot of those singers, I listen to country music a lot and I play country music, so there’s a lot of different styles that I listen to, definitely not only heavy metal. I think it gets kind of boring if you are only in one type of music all the time and my iPOD has like classic rock in it, country music, dance music or something, metal, maybe death metal, prog metal, prog rock, world music, vocals, I have my iPOD in categories, because sometimes I don’t feel like listening to metal. I like a lot of different bands.
RockOverdose.gr: Which drummer do you consider to be the best in the metal scene?
Bobby: Oh, I don’t know. I think certain guys in death metal with speed, Kollias… he’s a great death metal drummer, the drummer from SOILWORK, the drummer from TOOL is great. I think that there are a lot of great drummers out there. I’m missing some, I could start and name a whole bunch more. I’m not sure if there is a best one. I think that everybody has this cool thing they do, great things that they can offer. One guy might be really fast and another guy might have sort of very good technique with his hands. Another guy might have better technique with his feet, one guy might be faster, one guy might play more creative, which is the most important thing to me.
RockOverdose.gr: So what about Sebastian Bach? You have a new album right?
Bobby: Yeah, he has a new guitar player, Devin Bronson who wrote quite a few songs. I believe there is a song Stevens wrote with Sebastian, so there’s a little bit of different song writers and Sebastian right now is fine tuning a couple of things and I’m starting to work on the demos and so I am kind of putting things together and when I get home, in about a week or so later, I’ll go in the studio. With Sebastian and FATES WARNING, everything is planned out, so I know exactly where I’m going to play, when I’m going to the studio. With Sebastian it’s like I have an idea and we work it out and maybe something different will come up, or maybe I won’t have an idea in a certain part of the song and they will want me to try something, so we’re figuring some things out in the studio… it’s a bit more spontaneous working with Sebastian. FATES WARNING’s music, is a bit more organized, so it’s the way things go with the band. They have the things already figured out.
RockOverdose.gr: Would you like to tell us your future plans?
Bobby: My future plans? I don’t know… I’m just gonna keep playing and working with various artists. I have my own home studio for those various people that I record tracks and I’m planning to do more on that. I made an album for a keyboardist from Denmark and we’re going to release that CD probably early next year I hope and I just plan to keep working and playing live and in studio. There are a couple of things that I have to do and hopefully I will be able to do some of those things. I am really happy with those things, because they are completely unrelated and they are things that I’m feeling I have to do. We’ll see.
RockOverdose.gr: What’s your last message to your Greek fans?
Bobby: I really look forward to be in Greece with FATES WARNING in October. I think it’s going to be great to see the fans once again. It’s been a couple f years since I’ve been there, but it’s always sort of a special place for me and of course for FATES WARNING, so I hope to see everyone at the shows and meet all of you and have some of that great Greek food, which is one of my favorite.
RockOverdose.gr: We are looking forward to see you in our country again.
Bobby: Alright! Very good!
For RockOverdose.gr: Zisis Petkanas
Transcript: Nick Yngv