Mark Kadzielawa of 69 Faces Of Rock recently conducted an interview with drummer Bobby Jarzombek (FATES WARNING, SEBASTIAN BACH, HALFORD, RIOT). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
69 Faces Of Rock: Each of [the] bands [you have played with] is very different, and requires a different way of drumming. How did you adjust to FATES WARNING’s style?
Bobby: Well, I mean, I’m a rock drummer. Progressive and heavy metal are my specialties, but I also do a lot of different styles of music. I even play country. When I was growing up, there was a lot of progressive bands that I was very influenced by, and progressive drumming. So, it was Neil Peart with RUSH, and UK with Terry Bozzio, and Simon Phillips, and a lot of the guys that were doing unusual things. Things that stood out, and were different. And then I also liked bands like KISS and UFO, SCORPIONS, and other bands like that. There was always that blend of rock and progressive rock, and metal. Metal eventually started getting heavier and heavier with JUDAS PRIEST, and even heavier bands. I did a little bit of everything. It’s weird because I don’t approach a Sebastian [Bach] gig and FATES WARNING the same. On the technical level, with FATES WARNING, I don’t play as hard because it‘s not a straight-forward rock gig. And there are a lot more double strokes involved there. It’s little bit more finesse. It’s more fingers and wrist as opposed to arms and wrist. I have to think a lot more when I’m playing with FATES WARNING than when I’m playing with Sebastian Bach. Sebastian Bach’s gig is different too because I have to watch him a lot. There are a lot of singer-drummer cues. The gigs are different in a way that my focus is different and my approach to drumming is different.
69 Faces Of Rock: Do you get to contribute to the songwriting process in FATES WARNING?
Bobby: I helped write one song with Jim [Matheos, guitar] called “I Am”. On that song, I recorded a bunch of beats at a certain tempo, or just random patterns at a certain tempo. I sent it to him, it was maybe ten different ideas, and he messed around with it and came up with some riffs. He sent it back to me, and it went back and forth between the two of us. We have a new CD that we’re gonna start tracking very soon. I did that with two of the songs, so I will have a writing credit on two songs on the upcoming album. One of them consists of a bunch of parts. I’m surprised Jim got them all in there because it’s pretty crazy to listen to. It makes things easier for me too. When I submit my ideas to him, then they’re already there. I don’t have to change anything. Usually when Jim writes, he’ll program a drum machine. And if I don’t like the drum machine parts, I can change them to my liking. We go back and forth a lot, change things, until both of us are happy with the outcome. The process takes a little bit more time as opposed to me being there and co-writing with him.
69 Faces Of Rock: FATES WARNING took a long break between the albums. What was causing that delay?
Bobby: I don’t think there was that long of a break. I think just because there was a longer break between recordings, it made it seem like the band was not active. The “FWX” album came out in 2004, and Mark [Zonder] did a few dates and then Nick D’Virgilio played with the band for about a year, or maybe even longer. I started with the band in 2007, but we didn’t get to record “Darkness In A New Light” until 2013. I was touring with the band for about six years before we even recorded the record, and it was mainly overseas. We’d go over to Germany, Holland, and Greece, and do the entire European touring circuit. We did that about twice a year, but we didn’t do the States until two years ago. Sometimes when a band does not have a product out, and isn’t out there promoting it, it seems like a lot of time can pass. But it was too long between the last two records, and it surely will not be this long again. And we are working on the new record right now.
69 Faces Of Rock: FATES WARNING is doing few shows with their original singer, John Arch. How will that work out without stepping on anybody else’s feelings? I know that you may not be the best person to ask this, but what’s your opinion?
Bobby: I think if we wanted to have it said like it’s said, of course, we, the current members of the band, we would like it to be FATES WARNING, the “Awaken The Guardian” lineup, at all times on that marquee. Sometimes I see it listed as FATES WARNING, and there is no mention as to what it is, and how different it is from the current band. I think it is a little confusing for people, because it should be mentioned because that’s what they are playing, that’s what they are doing for those two shows. And if people want to see that, I think it’s great. But it isn’t the current lineup that we were trying to build ever since Ray [Alder, vocals] joined the band, and ever since Joey [Vera, bass] joined the band and me. It might be a little bit confusing. The one thing that everybody realizes is that there are people who want to see that lineup. People want to see reunions. I did a reunion with RIOT a couple of years ago, which was the “Thundersteel”/“The Privilege Of Power” lineup. I think anytime you do that sort of thing, unless people really look into it, it’s hard to not get confused. The other thing I wanted to say is that we all play in different bands. I play with Bach, Ray does REDEMPTION, Joey has ARMORED SAINT. I think Jim taking this step and saying, “Hey, there’s people who want to see this and we’ve got some offers for it, so I’m gonna take this out and do a couple of shows,” I think we’re all fine with that. There’s none of “Why are you doing this?” Who am I, or any of us, to question anything like that? This hasn’t really been discussed yet, but I wished it would be advertised as exactly what it is, so people know exactly what they’re about to see.
Read the entire interview at 69 Faces Of Rock.