Basic Background Info

Birth: 1971
Location: Germantown, Maryland
Band: Clutch
Genres: Rock, Alternative
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Jean-Paul Gaster learned to play drums by taking lessons from jazz musicians and listening to heavy rock bands like Black Sabbath, Cream, and Jimi Hendrix. Despite Jean-Paul Gaster’s current hard rocking style, his influences still include jazz drummers Elvin Jones and Buddy Rich.

Jean-Paul created Clutch in the early 1990s. The band’s sound evolved throughout the years and includes elements of hardcore punk, hard rock, funk, and blues. Today the band includes vocalist Neil Fallon, guitarist Tim Sult, bassist Dan Maines, organist Mick Schauer, and, of course, drummer Jean-Paul.

In the early years, Clutch performed constantly in order to attract a niche fan base. They signed with a major record label, Columbia, for their 1998 album Elephant Rider, but still didn’t find mainstream success. Nonetheless, their strong fan base supported their music. They recorded their next album, Pure Rock Fury, with Atlantic Records, and the single Pure Rock Fury was a hit. That single and several others received significant play on rock radio stations across the country. Blast Tyrant was similarly well-received and played. Clutch added an organist before recording Robot Hive/Exodus. Clutch has rewarded their tight-knit group of followers with a rigorous touring schedule, often putting on 100 shows in a year.

Clutch members Maines, Sult, Gaster, and Schauer, and their instrumental side project The Bakerton Group, started a record label, River Road Records. The label has only released music from The Bakerton Group—the three-track Space Guitars and The Bakerton Group full-length album.

Jean-Paul Gaster appeared on Five Horse Johnson’s blues-rock album, The Mystery Spot, in 2006. The following year he collaborated with keyboardist Per Wiberg (Opeth) and guitarist Thomas Anderson (Kamchatka).


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1991 Pitchfork Clutch
1993 Transnational Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes & Undeniable Truths Clutch
1995 Clutch Clutch
1998 Elephant Riders Clutch
2000 Inhale 420: The Stoner Rock Compilation Various Artists
2001 Frezno Smooth Original Soundtrack
2001 Pure Rock Fury Clutch
2002 Sucking the 70's Various Artists
2003 Live at the Googolplex Clutch
2003 Slow Hole to China Clutch
2004 American Rickshaw Sugar Daddie
2004 Blast Tyrant Clutch
2004 Doom Capital: Maryland DC Heavy Rock Underground Various Artists
2004 Jam Room Clutch
2005 Pitchfork & Lost Needles Clutch
2007 From Beale Street to Oblivion Clutch
2009 Strange Cousins from the West Clutch
2009 El Rojo Bakerton Group
2013 Earth Rocker Clutch
2013 Taking of Black Heart Five Horse Johnson


  • Jean-Paul on music and the internet: “The reality is that an artist has to have a record go gold before they are even going to see a dime. Bands put out three or four records on a label and never see a dime from record sales. So, it is not like people who are downloading would be putting a dollar in my pocket if they would have bought the record. The industry is set up so that the record company will immediately get paid from record sales. all you want!!!”

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Various 
Cymbals: Meinl
Hardware: Sonor/Various
Heads: Evans
Sticks: Vater

Pics & Clips