Basic Background Info

Birth: March 6, 1964
Location: San Francisco, California
Band: Forbidden, Slayer, Systematic, Exodus, Testament
Genres: Metal
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Never interested in formal education, Paul Bostaph’s Newark Memorial High School curriculum took a backseat to sports, music, and his job. Paul Bostaph began playing drums when he was sixteen. For his first major gig, Paul Bostaph drummed for Forbidden from 1986 to 1991, laying tracks on their first two studio albums. Paul Bostaph also formed a band called Systematic with Tim Narducci and Adam Ruppel.

In 1992 the band Slayer invited Paul Bostaph to audition to fill their empty drum seat. Initially Slayer band members doubted that Bostaph would seamlessly replace former drummer Dave Lombardo’s over the top style. After several trials and very few mistakes, Paul Bostaph joined the band. Paul Bostaph worked hard to mimic Lombardo’s style, recording three albums with the band. During a Slayer tour break in 1992, Paul Bostaph gigged with Testament for two months in the U.S. Paul Bostaph resumed playing with Slayer until 1996, when he abandoned all band-work for a pet solo project, Truth About Seafood. The following year, Paul rejoined Slayer and continued recording with them until the completion of God Hates Us All. Paul left Slayer in 2001 after an elbow injury impaired his playing.

Two years later, Paul Bostaph rejoined Systematic when they needed a drummer. Bostaph toured with Systematic for several months before leaving the band, admitting, "It’s not for me." In 2005, Paul joined Exodus and they recorded Shovel Headed Kill Machine. He left Exodus in 2007 and again joined Testament. In early 2008, Paul and Testament completed recording an album and planned to promote it on tour.

Interestingly for a metal drummer, Paul Bostaph has worked hard to downsize his drum kits and reduce the depth of his toms in order to improve their playability and achieve better tone. He said, "I don’t feel the larger kit suits my style…Our music’s so fast, it’s nice to get a nice, tight sound, and I’ll usually get that out of a smaller drum."


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1988 Forbidden Evil Forbidden
1990 Twisted into Form Forbidden
1994 Divine Intervention Slayer
1995 Distortion Forbidden
1995 Serenity in Murder Slayer
1996 Undisputed Attitude Slayer
1998 Diabolus in Musica Slayer
2000 Nativity in Black, Vol. 2: A Tribute to Black Sabbath Various Artists
2001 God Hates Us All Slayer
2001 Very Best of Testament Testament
2002 God Hates Us All [DVD Bonus Tracks] Slayer
2003 Pleasure to Burn Systematic
2003 Soundtrack to the Apocalypse Slayer
2003 War at the Warfield Slayer
2005 Shovel Headed Kill Machine Exodus
2005 Soundtrack to the Apocalypse [3 Disc] Slayer
2007 Greatest Hits Testament


  • Forbidden’s name was originally Forbidden Evil.
  • Following a knee injury and his departure from Systematics in 2003, Paul didn’t play the drums for an entire year.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Sonor
Cymbals: Paiste
Hardware: Sonor
Heads: Remo
Percussion: Vater
Sticks: Vater

Pics & Clips