Jean-Paul Gaster learned to play drums by playing along to ’60s and ’70s heavy rock bands like Jimi Hendrix, Cream, ZZ Top, and Black Sabbath. Washington D.C.’s go-go music and in particular drummers such as Ju Ju House, Brandon Finley, and Ricky Wellman were early influences as well.
Gaster is one of many students who studied with legendary Washington D.C. drummer and educator Walter Salb. Some favorite drummers of Gaster are jazz drummers Elvin Jones and Jack DeJohnette, Bad Brains’ drummer Earl Hudson, and New Orleans’ drummer Johnny Vidacovich.
In 1991, Gaster, Neil Fallon, Dan Maines, and Tim Sult formed Clutch. After releasing their debut album Pitchfork on 7″ vinyl, the band embarked on its first U.S. tour in the summer of ’92. Since then the band has released 11 studio albums and toured extensively throughout North America, Europe, the UK, and Australia. The band continues to be an important fixture on today’s hard rock scene. Clutch plays an average of 120 shows per year and its most recent release Psychic Warfare went number one on Billboard’s Rock Chart.
Gaster and the band is currently on tour supporting their latest album Book of Bad Decisions. Gaster also graced the cover of Modern Drummer’s November 2018 issue.