SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph says that “people are cowards behind their computers,” explaining that social media has made it possible for everyone to speak with virtually no accountability because they can hide behind false names and identities.
Asked by AndrewHaug.com, Australia’s first-ever dedicated 24/7 rock and metal online radio station launched by Andrew Haug, the former host of Triple J Australia’s “The Racket” radio show (originally “Full Metal Racket”; 2001-2011), what he thinks about people like former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted opting out of social media and whether he feels that fans and artists are getting overwhelmed with information overload, Bostaph said: “Social media is interesting, because I’m just now trying to… I’ve been on and off social media, just because I’m kind of a private person. I see people posting pictures of what they eat for dinner, and I’m, like, that just doesn’t appeal to me. Unless I feel it’s something interesting, which… I look at my life as these are the things I do, and I can’t manufacture something I think is interesting in my life. So it’s kind of one of those things where I’ve just gotta get used to putting something out there that I feel comfortable with.”
He continued: “Say, for instance, if social media was around in the ’70s, which it wasn’t, I would have loved to have seen what Alex Van Halen was doing today, you know what I mean?! But I never had the opportunity. And maybe the opportunity to, maybe, [if] one person gets a response back from that individual [that he or she admires], [like] if I would have had one of my favorite drummers of all time reach out to me and say, ‘Hey, thanks for this compliment,’ just one thing, [I would have been, like,] ‘Oh, my God, this guy got back in touch with me.'”
“I think, to a certain degree, social media is… It’s gonna be one of those things where… I think it’s gonna go by the wayside, like everything else… I could be wrong. But I think people are just gonna get too much of it, or it’s gonna grow into something else. But right now, it’s one of those things…”
He went on to say: “I never thought of [social media] as a necessary evil. I think the way I’m looking at it is, now, for myself, if you’ve really got something you wanna share with people, then you do. I also think that there’s a lot of bad things out there in terms of, not just social media but the Internet, because people have no accountability.
“When I grew up, if certain people said things about me on the streets where I grew up, if you said it to my face, certain things, you would have gotten a knuckle sandwich. That’s how it was. You don’t talk trash about people. If you’ve got something to say to me, you come up to my face. That’s not the world we live in. People are cowards behind their computers. Or they’re ‘brave.’ I’d say they’re brave behind their computers, and that makes them a coward.
“Look, if you can’t say something [to a] person [if he or she] was in the room, don’t [go online and] say it. So I don’t blame certain individuals for opting out of [social media], because after a while, you’re, like, ‘Man, what is this? It’s just a bunch of crap anyway.’ Other people utilize it. They say you have to have thick skin. So, it depends on how thick your skin is. If you have thick skin, you can deal with it. For other people, it becomes social drama.
“It’s an interesting question. I don’t know if there’s one… There’s not a right answer to it. Shoot, there’s idiots driving cars out there, so I guess there can be idiots on the Internet.”
Bostaph rejoined SLAYER last year following the band’s latest split with its original drummer, Dave Lombardo.
Paul was SLAYER‘s drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band — the gold-certified “Divine Intervention” (1994), the 1996 punk covers album “Undisputed Attitude”, “Diabolus In Musica” (1998), “God Hates Us All” (2001) that received a Grammy nomination for “Best Metal Performance”, as well as the DVD “War At The Warfield” (2001), also certified gold. In addition to SLAYER, Bostaph has been a member of FORBIDDEN, EXODUS, SYSTEMATIC and TESTAMENT.