Major Influences #1 : Jean-Paul Gaster

Since this is a personal blog, its kinda obligatory to talk about influences. That’s why I’m starting the “Major Influences” series. Now, let me first explain that by “Major” I mean literally big influences. Drummers that I’ve spent days listening from a small age until now and have kinda ripped off in a good way.

Post no.1 is about the groove-machine behind Clutch, Jean-Paul Gaster. It all starts eight or nine years ago when I firstly discovered the application. Back then you could just type a name of a band and it would stream a whole playlist of music that was genre-relevant to it. I cant remember what I had put in at that time but around the third or fourth song of the playlist I just stop and listen closely to this:

I was blown away. Drumming-wise its still my favourite Clutch song and perhaps one of my favourite songs ever. Now that I think of it, Big Fat Pig has opened a whole new world about rock drumming for me. The new world was more “pocket-oriented”, it had funk and soul elements. Starting from there I started to search intel about Jean-Paul Gaster.

As it turned out he was a beast allover. His style is a mix of Go-go funk along with a Bad Brains’ punk rock attitude with some really deep jazz knowledge on the instrument as a topping.

Lucky as I could be, Clutch eventually became pretty popular amongst the Greek audience especially after the rise of the local stoner and heavy rock bands here. As a result, I got to see Jean-Paul Gaster play in my city for four times now. First time I saw him, he played about two or three drum solos during the show. And NOBODY.GOT.BORED. Needless to say he also changed my point of view on soloing back then.

Clutch is a very productive band so luckily you can delve into their vast discography and be amazed by Jean-Paul’s talent a whole lot. He has played in various side projects as well, notably: The Bakerton Group and King Hobo.