5 Questions With Slayer Drummer Paul Bostaph: ‘Repentless,’ Jeff Hanneman + More
Slayer unleashed their new album Repentless in September, their first disc following the death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013. While on this year’s Motorhead’s Motorboat, we caught up with Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph, who discussed Slayer’s new release and spoke very fondly about Hanneman. He also made it clear that he’s not going anywhere and he intends to continue with Slayer for the long haul. Check out our interview with Paul Bostaph below.
Repentless -- what does the title mean to you personally?
It means to live your life the way you want to live it and feel good about the way you do it. Actually, it reminds me of being free, that’s what it means to me and not having to ask forgiveness of anybody.
It's your first album with Slayer since 2001’s God Hates Us All. How was the overall creative and recording process for you on this album?
I was very focused for a number of reasons, obviously being away from Slayer and the situation under which I came back to the band a lot of changes happened at once. It was a tremendous amount of pressure and I knew that, I knew along with that pressure that this was a very important record for us. It was something where I felt like some bands would just pack it in and give up and I felt that Jeff [Hanneman] wouldn’t want us to do that. I felt like we had to do this, for me it was no question this record had to happen at any sacrifice I had to make.
Did the passing of Jeff Hanneman put even more pressure on you and the band when recording Repentless?
I think it was more pressure for the band, not for me, but for all of us. Knowing that pressure did exist made me bear down harder.
Can you talk about your relationship with Jeff and some things you will remember most about him?
I love Jeff. He was a guy who always wanted to laugh whether he was bored or if something wasn’t happening – some people look for moments of solitude and the road offers you too much of that and Jeff just always wanted to laugh. I think my biggest memory of him was the fact that when we were traveling I think he had an appreciation for certain things that I didn’t have an appreciation for, like knowing you were in a city where a historical event happened, some people don’t think about that. We did a ferry crossing a long time ago and we were actually making the same crossing that the allies made in World War II. I remember being on the back of the boat, it was Jeff and I, and we both appreciated that moment.
This is your third stint with Slayer. Do you see yourself playing with Slayer for the long haul this time around?
Yes. When I was asked to come back -- I left the band twice, let’s get real, you know and when you get asked to come back to a band, I’m not going to come back only to leave a third time. I’m here for the long haul.
Our thanks to Paul Bostaph for the interview. Order Slayer’s 'Repentless' album via iTunes here.
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