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Bobby Jarzombek

Bobby Jarzombek live with Sebastian Bach on July 11, 2008 at the Moondance Jam
Background information
Also known as Bobby Jarzomek
Born September 4, 1963 (1963-09-04) (age 46)
San Antonio, Texas, United States
Genres progressive metal, heavy metal, power metal, hard rock
Instruments Drums
Years active 1986 - Present
Associated acts Riot, Sebastian Bach, Halford, Spastic Ink, Fates Warning, PainMuseum, Demons & Wizards, Iced Earth, Juggernaut



Bobby "Wire" Jarzombek is a heavy metal/progressive metal drummer and best known for his work with Halford and Riot. He has also recorded and toured with Spastic Ink and Juggernaut.[1]


Bobby Jarzombek was born and raised in San Antonio, TX and grew up in a very musical family. Picking up the drums at age 10 after his mother bought him a 14 dollar 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. A second album followed but by then Bobby had already been tapped to join seminal New York metal band Riot for their CBS comeback release, Thundersteel, a power metal milestone that also yielded the MTV video 'Bloodstreets.'

As a member of Riot, Bobby toured throughout the US, Europe, and Japan and recorded a total of 5 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 1997's Inishmore.

In 1993, Bobby 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 UK and Rush. The band went on to release two highly acclaimed albums, Ink Complete (1997) and Ink Compatible (2004).

In the fall of 1999, Bobby 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. Halford was duly impressed by what he later described as "seeing a videotape of the sickest drum solo I've seen in my life. It takes a lot to impress me 'cause I've been around the block! I knew Bobby from Riot but had never seen him play live. He's like an illusionist on the drum kit. It's effortless and entertaining, and he's just brilliant."

Bobby became the drummer for Halford and was subsequently part of every recording - 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.

In 2004, Bobby 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 off-shoot Demons & 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.

Bobby also filled in with long running progressive metal outfit Fates Warning at their 2007 'Evolution Festival' appearance and was the drummer on the band's European tour later that same year. 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 which is currently slated for a late 2009 release.

In 2009, he 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.

Drum Instructional DVD

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


Bobby 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, and Evans Drumheads.


with RIOT:

  • (1999) Sons of Society
  • (1998) Shine On
  • (1997) Inishmore
  • (1997) Angel Eyes EP (Japan only)
  • (1995) The Brethren of the Long House
  • (1993) Nightbreaker
  • (1993) Greatest Hits '78 - '90, aka Star Box (Japan only)
  • (1992) Riot In Japan - Live!! (Japan) / (1999) Live In Japan!! (US)
  • (1990) The Privilege of Power
  • (1988) Thundersteel


with Sebastian Bach:

  • (2007) Angel Down


  • (2006) You Have The Right To Remain Violent EP
  • (2004) Metal For Life


  • (2004) Ink Compatible
  • (1997) Ink Complete


  • (1987) Trouble Within
  • (1986) Baptism Under Fire

Session Work & Guest Spots:

  • (2009) THOMSEN - Let's Get Ruthless
  • (2009) TIM 'RIPPER' OWENS' - Play My Game
  • (2009) Various - Sonic And The Black Knight - Tales of Knighthood OST
  • (2008) ROB ROCK - Garden of Chaos
  • (2005) DEMONS & WIZARDS - Touched By The Crimson King
  • (2005) ROB ROCK - Holy Hell
  • (2002) JOHN WEST - Earth Maker


External links



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