|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 6 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 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 2003, Bobby began work on a project near and dear to his heart, 'Performance & Technique', his first ever drum video, put together over the span of several months in San Antonio and Los Angeles. 'P&T' spotlights Bobby's unique approach to drumming and features two free-form solos, footage of a Riot-era drum solo performed live in Japan, and full-length performances of the Latin-flavored 'So It Ain't!' as well as 'Peppered Cancer' and 'School', two songs co-written and recorded with brother Ron on guitar. An expanded DVD version with additional footage offering a behind-the-scenes look into other related areas, including 'Selecting Cymbals at Paiste', 'In the Studio', 'Soundchecking the Drumset', and a 'Photo Gallery', was released in early 2005 via Warner Bros. Publications and re-issued by Alfred Publishing the following year.
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 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. He is also featured on Bach's latest studio output, Kicking & Screaming, released in the fall of 2011.
In the summer of 2007, Bobby 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 off-shoot 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, 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 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.
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. 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.
Bobby is currently endorsed by by Drum Workshop (DW) / PDP (Pacific Drums and Percussion), Paiste Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, and Evans Drumheads.
Ink Complete, by Spastic Ink, is a collection of songs featuring an instrumental trio: guitarist (Ron Jarzombek), bassist (Pete Perez) and drummer (Bobby Jarzombek). A couple of songs are action feature stories, some are written with note patterns or a rhythmic / meter concept involved, and others are themes and musical ideas that worked together to create an identifiable piece of music. Scott Andrews at Sea Of Tranquility wrote, "The playing on Ink Complete is nothing short of brilliant. Jarzombek's guitar work is reminiscent of Steve Vai, with rising solos that wail slowly or rip a hundred miles an hour. Perez follows Jarzombek's lead, playing solid rhythm bass as well as fast licks high up on the neck. Bobby Jarzombek keeps excellent time behind all of this craziness. Spastic Ink is certainly no ordinary metal, but if you like intelligent instrumental music, well written and well played, with a sense of humor, check out Ink Complete." Instrumental Guitar (Electric (Heavy)/Progressive/Heavy Metal), total running time, 73:31
Demons & Wizards
....and many more