Metal Wani’s Fernando Bonenfant conducted an interview with vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of New Jersey thrashers OVERKILL on April 13 at O2 Academy Islington in London, England. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about the progress of the songwriting sessions for OVERKILL’s follow-up to 2014’s “White Devil Armory” album, Blitz said: “Well, so far, there’s eleven songs demoed musically. I’m working on those eleven. Five are fully completed. I have stuff for three others. So we’re in the process of looking at scheduling drums for May. So it’s moving along as we normally do.”
He continued: “I think that we have a real blue-collar-type work ethic; when we say we’re gonna complete something, we do that. And this has been not just for this record, but through our history. So when it starts, it goes right to the finish. So we’re right one month from starting drums right now.”
Regarding how OVERKILL approaches the songwriting process nowadays, Blitz said: “What we do is we couple where came from and where we are. Where we came from is the days of rolling two-inch tape, being in a room together, feeling the music, feeling the walls, sweating… That’s the old-school way of doing. So that’s the way it’s gotta start. But then as it starts developing, we start using more technology. We start using Pro Tools. We go to different studios and we’ll work simultaneously. Dave [Linsk, guitar] will be in Florida doing some guitar leads. I might be in Jersey doing some vocals. D.D. [Verni, bass] might be dropping some bass down at his home studio. So it becomes this really cool process of being able to upload those files at the end of the day, have the other guy pull them down and go, ‘Oh, I see what he’s doing now.’ So we use both. We’re in the room together, and then later on it develops into a wonderful world of Pro Tools and file sharing over Dropbox.”
Blitz also talked about the general musical direction of OVERKILL’s new material and how it compares to some of the band’s previous efforts. He said: “I never can really tell until it’s done. I mean, that’s always the surprise for me. I know even before we start the record it’s gonna be an OVERKILL record. But when it’s taking shape, I can’t say it feels like this or it feels like that. It’s more the more current OVERKILL. And what I mean by that is that it’s got that ‘Ironbound’, ‘The Electric Age’, ‘White Devil Armory’ feel to it, with the way especially the drums have been written. And I think that’s probably the only characteristic that is solid right now in this opinion, because everything else has changed around, which is kind of cool at this point.”
OVERKILL played a special anniversary show this past Saturday night (April 16) at Turbinenhalle 2 in Oberhausen, Germany. The evening saw the band perform their classic records “Horrorscope” (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary) and “Feel The Fire” (30th anniversary) in their entirety. And if that wasn’t enough, the show was professionally filmed and recorded for an upcoming DVD and CD.
OVERKILL is utilizing a stand-in drummer — their soundman Eddy Garcia, who is also a member of the El Paso, Texas band PISSING RAZORS — for their current European tour because the band’s regular drummer, Ron Lipnicki, was forced to stay home due to undisclosed family issues.
Garcia previously played with OVERKILL for their appearance on the 2012 edition of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise.