Legendary New Jersey thrashers, OVERKILL, will unleash their upcoming studio album, “The Grinding Wheel”, on February 10th, 2017 via Nuclear Blast. Today, the band reveals their fifth trailer on YouTube. Bobby talks about his heavy metal charity organisation “Rock Against Dystrophy” ( http://www.rockagainstdystrophy.org )
Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voicerecently spoke to front man Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth from OVERKILL whose new album The Grinding Wheel will be released on Feb 10 2017 on Nuclear Blast.
When asked about how he goes about writing the lyrics
“First and foremost I like to speak about things I know and probably the thing I know most about is Overkill, I’ve been here for over three decades and most of my principles and good things I have in life have been given to me through Overkill. And I think there are a lot of principles in anybody in a band in that amount of time, in a business or a relationship, it what makes me me. So I speak about our principles whether they be commitment, whether they be unity, friendship or betrayal, I trying to use broad strokes with regard to how I live my life. In my lyrics I would speak like I am having a conversation and that apply that to content.”
When asked about his opinion on politics
“It’s a great personnel interest but I don’t think I am qualified to tell people what my views are, what my stances are and not that I have great influence. I’m the same asshole who was part of the writing of ‘Feel The Fire’. the point being in politics it should be personnel and not swaying that by an entertainer. I think when people get a record deal and they are relatively successful and get more and More successful after three more records, that person thinks that they are suddenly smarter then they were on the first record, it’s just not true, sure there is growth but you are the same guy. “
When asked about his opinion on how the Thrash genre keeps growing
“There is something really pure about thrash and the reason it is pure, first and foremost is it’s value, it transcended through generations, there has been an influx of new. new bands and new younger people into the music and they are hungry for stuff that happened in the 80’s. It is pure. the reason it is pure because it stays in the underground and is not touched by the finger of commercial music and it is therefore not disposable and it’s value will transcend generations and I think that was truly the message of Heavy Metal not necessarily rebellion but the honest way everyone feels about something even if that pisses you off.”
Legendary New Jersey thrashers, OVERKILL, will unleash their upcoming studio album, “The Grinding Wheel”, on February 10th, 2017 via Nuclear Blast. Today, the band reveals their fourth trailer on YouTube. Bobby talks about his relationship with Music.
Watch the video here:
Bobby comments: “I remember my mothers voice musically and I think that was my introduction to melody, harmony, to music in general. She’s always been supportive of it and still sings to this day.”
The release of a new album by legendary New Jersey thrashers, OVERKILL, was a good reason to have a chat with the band’s frontman Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth to speak about “The Grinding Wheel” plus more news from the band. Several excerpts of this interview can be read below:
It’s always cool to start the chat about “Chaly” if you are talking with an OVERKILL member or a die hard fan. So after asking how Chaly was today, we started to have a chat about the idea: “When Overkill started we were obviously a cover band, playing stuff we like – everything from Motorhead to NWOBHM to some punk rock. And one of the newcomers on the scene back then that was making the biggest splash, was Iron Maiden and they had Eddie.
We were an unsigned cover band, we said that ‘they have Eddie, we need something like Eddie’. I remember D.D. drawing on a cocktail napkin, it looked like Popeye’s head with two wings on it. It was an awful rendition that actually made it to a few tshirts at the beginning, then we finally had an artist do it… Eddie came first, so I would think Eddie would be the father.”
If “The Grinding Wheel” is not their best album then it is definitely one of the band’s top three. It is one of those albums which I am not getting tired of listening to. OVERKILL‘s thrash style of music mixed with some elements of old school heavy metal, made this album stunning! So I asked Bobby where this came from?
“I think the idea first and foremost that should be understood is that Overkill never forget where we come from. Just even having that talk of Chaly versus Eddie, we understand that we came from a certain era and that era was a combination of things. That era was rock ‘n’ roll, NWOBHM, traditional heavy metal and punk rock. And it became other things over the years – it became groove, it became hardcore, so all these elements were added to it. And I think that what we do, we use the elements where we come from, knowing what we want and putting it through a kind of Overkill machine. So then at the end of the experience or process, it comes out with the Overkill brand.
At the end of the day when the mix is done, it says Overkill and I think that’s always our goal, to put our stamp on our performances.”
OVERKILL is mentioned as the Mötorhead of thrash metal, I agree with that. I asked Bobby how he feels about that and also what influences Mötorhead had on their band?
“You can just look at the name of the band and say that we were influenced greatly by Motorhead. This was a band that we were actually covering, when Chaly started taking shape for us in the early days.
So Motorhead has been there for us as an influence or a love from the beginning. And I can probably say to this day that I’m still a Motorheadbanger. It’s what it was all about for us with one of our favourite bands. So I think that the influence is the rock ‘n’ roll influence that Overkill has, I think thrash is heavy metal with energy, but rock ‘n’ roll is not far away from it. I think it’s one of the characteristics that we’ve carried for many years.”
I changed the subject and brought “The Big Four” into our conversation, asking Bobby how he feels about his band not being classed as one of them and what were the facts behind the forming of The Big Four?
“Who? (laughs) I’m sorry I just like doing that. That’s my answer! First and foremost I think it’s necessary to be concerned with your own house as opposed to what other people do. I think for sure they’re a great complement to the metal community and it shows the power of being able to play the size of venues that they do. They reinvented music on a heavy level by showing that a band out of San Francisco could make this happen at this large scale.
When you talk numbers, numbers make the world go around, numbers put food on your table and numbers put the Big 4 in arenas. For me, it’s not a concern. To even be asked the question from you is quite a compliment, but this is quite simply an accounting issue. He who sells the most gets to be in the Big 4.”
I asked “Blitz” about his favourite singles and albums but he preferred to speak about his favourite singers:
“These are guys that I like for different reasons. I was always a huge fan of Freddie Mercury and probably that record would be Sheer Heart Attack. I think he is the full package with regard to presentation, songwriting and singing talent.
Other singers, let me see, Iggy Pop – but that’s more of a pop approach to things.
I was a big fan of Dee Snider, the reason is that I always thought he did more with less.
Rob Halford – to this day, this many years into it, I have a note that I use, a real high pitched scream. I always think when I’m doing it, if only I could do it as clear as Halford. To some degree he still inspires me this many years later.”
Back to “The Grinding Wheel“, Andy Sneap who seems to be one of the busiest people in this industry, was part of the production personnel on this album. So I asked Bobby‘s opinion on working with him:
“One of the things about Andy – he’s got a state of the art feel to understanding this type of music. I think he works within a template of how he does things. What I like about him is that he thinks out of the bounds, for instance, what I mean is making each band sound like that band. He’s got to give them individuality within that template.”
You can listen to the whole of this interview on the audio player below:
Legendary New Jersey thrashers, OVERKILL, have recently announced their upcoming eighteenth album, “The Grinding Wheel”, which will be released on February 10th, 2017 via Nuclear Blast. Today, the band already reveals their second track-by-track trailer! Check this video to get informed about ‘The Long Road’, ‘Let’s All Go To Hades’ and ‘Come Heavy’:
“The Grinding Wheel” was produced by the band and mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, ACCEPT, EXODUS). The artwork was created again by Travis Smith (NEVERMORE, OPETH, SOILWORK, DEATH…).
Legendary New Jersey thrashers, OVERKILL, have recently announced their upcoming eighteenth album, “The Grinding Wheel”, which will be released on February 10th, 2017 via Nuclear Blast. Today, the band have revealed the first track-by-track trailer. The album was produced by the band and mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, ACCEPT, EXODUS…). The artwork was created again by Travis Smith (NEVERMORE, OPETH, SOILWORK, DEATH…).
The tracklisting for “The Grinding Wheel”:
01. Mean, Green, Killing Machine
02. Goddamn Trouble
03. Our Finest Hour
04. Shine On
05. The Long Road
06. Let’s All Go To Hades
07. Come Heavy
08. Red White And Blue
09. The Wheel
10. The Grinding Wheel