Bobby Jarzombek

Bobby Jarzombek (born September 4, 1963 in San Antonio, TX) is an American musician of Polish and German ancestry who is currently the drummer for progressive metal band Fates Warning and former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach.

Robert Jarzombek
Also known asBobby Jarzombek
Born (1963-09-04) September 4, 1963 (age 56)
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
Genresprogressive metal, heavy metal, power metal, hard rock, country
Years active1986–present
Associated actsRiot, Sebastian Bach, Halford, Spastic Ink, Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos, Demons and Wizards, Iced Earth, Rob Rock, John West, Juggernaut, Crush 40, Jun Senoue

He has also recorded and touring extensively with the bands Halford and Riot and worked with Fates Warning offshoot Arch/Matheos, Iced Earth, Rob Rock,[1] John West,[2] Spastic Ink,[3] and Juggernaut, among others.[4]

He is noted for, somewhat uniquely, positioning cymbals behind him, usually over his left and right shoulders.


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. As a member of Riot, Bobby toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan and recorded a total of six 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, he 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 U.K. 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. 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 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, Jarzombek 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. The following year, Bobby recorded Touched by the Crimson King with Iced Earth offshoot Demons and Wizards, and was also approached by former Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach who was in need of a touring drummer. 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, he 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. 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.

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, 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.[5] 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 that he turned down the opportunity because he felt it was "not his gig", and that Portnoy would eventually come back in the future.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] Bobby also joined Transatlantic progressive metal group Zierler, featuring members of Beyond Twilight, Scar Symmetry, Firewind, and Circus Maximus, whose debut album, ESC, was released in October 2015.[9]

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,[10] and Fates' latest studio offering, Theories of Flight, released on July 1, 2016 [11] as well as the band's 2018 live album, Live Over Europe. He was also one of several current and former Fates Warning members to take part in the recording of the second Arch/Matheos release, Winter Ethereal, which surfaced in the spring of 2019.[12]

Jarzombek has also become involved with the South Texas Legion, an all-star live formation featuring players from notable Texas metal bands such as WatchTower, Helstar, S.A.Slayer, Juggernaut, Militia and Karion, put together for the purpose of celebrating the Texas metal heritage.[13][14]

Drum Instructional DVDEdit

In 2003, Bobby released 'Performance & Technique', his first ever drum instructional VHS/DVD.[15] 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.



  1. ^ "ROB ROCK: U.S. Release Date Set For 'Holy Hell'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 21 June 2005. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  2. ^ "ROYAL HUNT Frontman Sets Release Date For "Earth Maker"". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 9 June 2002. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  3. ^ "SPASTIC INK To Release Sophomore Album In April". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 11 February 2004. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Record Reviews, Streaming Songs, Genres & Bands". AllMusic. 16 December 2016. Archived from the original on 2012-03-01. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  5. ^ "RIOT/HALFORD Drummer BOBBY JARZOMBEK Checks In". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 6 May 2009. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  6. ^ "BOBBY JARZOMBEK: Why I Turned Down DREAM THEATER Drummer Audition". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 16 November 2013. Archived from the original on 2016-11-16. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  7. ^ "BOBBY JARZOMBEK's 'Multi-Format Metal MIDI Groove Library' Available". Retrieved December 20, 2010.
  8. ^ "FATES WARNING To Release 'Darkness In A Different Light' In September". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  9. ^ "ZIERLER Featuring BEYOND TWILIGHT, FATES WARNING, SCAR SYMMETRY Members To Release Debut Album In October". 3 September 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-08-12. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  10. ^ "SEBASTIAN BACH: 'Give 'Em Hell' Cover Artwork, Track Listing Unveiled; 'Temptation' Song Available For Streaming". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 18 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  11. ^ Childers, Chad (24 April 2016). "Fates Warning Reveal 'Theories of Flight' Album Details". Loudwire. Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  12. ^ "JOHN ARCH Says Involving Multiple FATES WARNING Members On Debut ARCH/MATHEOS Album Created 'A Little Bit Of Static'". Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Metal Supergroup South Texas Legion Lines Up Pre-Thanksgiving Date in San Antonio". Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  14. ^ "South Texas Legion's All-Star Cast Shines Brightly, Adds To Legacy". Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  15. ^ "HALFORD's Bobby Jarzombek Releases First Technique Video!". Retrieved February 10, 2003.

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