Former HALFORD and current ICED EARTH drummer Bobby Jarzombek recently spoke to Ferrante's Power Equipment about how he landed the ICED EARTH gig and his gear and technique. Several excerpts from the interview follow:
Ferrante's Power Equipment: How did you get the Iced Earth gig? Did you have to audition?
Bobby Jarzombek: "I got the ICED EARTH gig by recommendation from their drummer Richard Christy. (Richard decided to leave the band to pursue his comedic dream of working for 'The Howard Stern Show') Richard and I became friends about a year ago when he ordered my VHS drum video 'Performance & Technique' through my website. When I received his check in the mail I immediately called him and asked him why didn't he just contact me through my website to say 'Hello' and inquire about my video. I knew of Richard's incredible playing on the ICED EARTH and DEATH CDs so I was taken back a bit by him ordering my video, but that's how Richard is. Great guy, taking nothing for granted! Anyway, a couple of the other ICED EARTH members were already familiar with my drumming in the bands RIOT and HALFORD. In fact, Tim Owens (ICED EARTH's new vocalist and ex-JUDAS PRIEST frontman) came out to a couple of shows when I was touring with (Rob) Halford. Before rehearsals started I had a few conversations with Jon Schaffer (ICED EARTH guitarist) about the songs, click track tempos, arrangements, etc....and he just put his faith in me. I had about a week of rehearsals with the band before I played my first show with them."
Ferrante's Power Equipment: How do you warm up before a show?
Bobby Jarzombek: "As I've gotten older (and the music that I've been performing has gotten more difficult) I've become more conscious about getting my hands and feet warmed up before a show. Lately, I've been carrying around a practice pad kit (in a suitcase) which includes a mounted pad for the hands and a double pedal and pad for the feet. For the hands I have a bunch of exercises that I use which isolate the wrists, arms, and fingers. For the feet I make sure to play some control and speed exercises 1) with my heel up using the ball of my foot on the pedal, 2) with the heel down using the front part of the foot to create the stroke, and 3) with the ball of the foot stationary on the pedal and the heel coming down to create the stroke."
Ferrante's Power Equipment: What advice would you give to kids who want to play drums for a living?
Bobby Jarzombek: "Go to college or music school and learn the most you can about this profession that you're choosing. After I graduated high school I jumped right into clubs, bars, theaters, whatever.....I've had to go back to learn the things that I should have taken care of years ago. The kids of today want to get out there and play their music, and I understand that, but there is plenty of time to do that. You'll be doing that for the rest of your lives. The education that you'll be getting at school will prepare you now for a variety of musical situations that you'll encounter along the way."
Read Bobby Jarzombek's entire interview with Ferrante's Power Equipment at this location.