OVERKILL Frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - "You Don’t Stay Around For 30 Plus Years By Just Selling To Your Parents And Your Cousins"
February 9, 2013, 4 years ago
Legendary Rock Interviews recently caught up with OVERKILL frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. An excerpt from the discussion is avaialable below:
LRI: We interviewed your former drummer Rat Skates who was fun to talk to but seemed to think that Overkill was just going through the motions at this point. Clearly, these last couple of albums prove otherwise…
Bobby: "I don’t like to give Rat credibility as far as his statements about our band, that’s his opinion and that’s fine but he doesn’t live in our world or walk in our shoes. He did, for a short period of time but if you actually look at the timeline, as compared to D.D and myself, Rat has actually had more opinion than practical experience in things like this. This is kind of a specialty business and obviously there’s a love of this music before it’s a business. There’s always been a fold, a group of people who love this band. You don’t stay around for 30 plus years by just selling to your parents and your cousins (laughs). There’s people out there who have stood by us through thick and thin regardless of whether the scene or the band was popular. I think that kind of belief and support can get you through all sorts of things as a band. I’ve never looked at this as a re-branding or a re-building these last few albums, it just so happens that the chemistry is just correct right now. It’s as simple as that. There’s never been any calculated plan in 2010, 2011 or 2012 like “Ok now we have to get down to this type of presentation or delivery”. We have always tried to win. We’re in this to win it, regardless of popularity. It just so happens that we have the right chemistry and a healthier scene and more people are being exposed to the music, which is great."
LRI: Nuclear Blast released the album in Europe and E1 music here in the states, are things a little easier these days as opposed to the old days where it might have been a little too chaotic or impersonal at Atlantic?
Bobby: "Oh yeah. The E1 guys here in the States, their metal department, is filled with real metalheads, to us that’s huge. When you’re at Atlantic and you’re working on promotion and doing it with some guy with a suit and tie a lot of times, who actually has no fucking idea as far as how to do this (laughs). I mean they only know how to promote an album one way which is by the book and that wasn’t always suited for underground thrash bands. Plus, you have to remember their ways of doing things was pre- Al Gore’s internet (laughs). The way back then was print ads and a radio guy trying to break a thrash band on AOR and a few college stations! These days it is a whole different ballgame, it’s metalheads promoting metal music through viable means in the U.S. and through Nuclear Blast in the rest of the world. These guys are not wearing suits and ties they’re wearing Death Angel and Exodus T-shirts, it’s a comfortable place to be (laughs)."
Go to this location for the complete interview.
Overkill's latest album The Electric Age took the number one spot in WJCU's "Metal On Metal" Top 25 year-end album countdown show, which aired live on January 11th. ACCEPT's Stalingrad, KREATOR's Phantom Antichrist and TESTAMENT's Dark Roots Of Earth finished very close runner-ups. This is the first time Overkill has won top honors, despite being a longtime Cleveland fan favorite.
"Through our long journey together, Overkill and Cleveland have accomplished a lot of headbanging mayhem. Back to the 80s and into 2013. Two live records, countless shows, a number one with Bill Peters! Let's enjoy the moment and look forward to more Overkill/Cleveland together in the future. Thanks Mosh Team! See you on the road!"
"Overkill are our adopted sons," says Metal On Metal host Bill Peters. "We consider them one of our own. They have a large and dedicated following here in Cleveland. I've been a fan going back to their early demos and first EP. Their albums have always placed high on our chart but never finished at the top spot for whatever reason. They were up against some very tough competition this year."
"We need to get the band back here ASAP. They've passed us by on the last couple of tours. Cleveland fans are growing restless. We need our Overkill fix!"
This was the 29th year of the poll, which is an annual tradition with metal fans in Cleveland and one of "Metal On Metal"'s most popular programs. Listeners were asked to nominate their top three albums of 2012. 1,116 votes were received."This is my listeners night to program the show", adds Peters. "They really look forward to it. There were some real surprises this year."
The show has garnished the attention of not only fans but musicians as well. Wolf Hoffmann (ACCEPT), Dave Mustaine (MEGADETH), Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT), Steve "Lips" Kudow (ANVIL) and Robb Reiner (ANVIL) have all have acknowledged recent past album victories by publicly thanking their fans from Cleveland.
WJCU's Metal On Metal can be heard every Friday night from 6:30 p.m to 9:30 p.m. EST on 88.7 FM in the Cleveland, Ohio area or streamed worldwide at www.wjcu.org.
Metal On Metal's top albums of 2012:
1. OVERKILL - The Electric Age (eOne)
2. ACCEPT - Stalingrad (Nuclear Blast)
3. KREATOR - Phantom Antichrist (Nuclear Blast)
4. TESTAMENT - Dark Roots Of Earth (Nuclear Blast)
5. VAN HALEN - A Different Kind Of Truth (Interscope)
6. 3 INCHES OF BLOOD - Long Live Heavy Metal (Century Media)
7. AXEL RUDI PELL - Circle Of The Oath (SPV/Steamhammer)
8. THE SWORD - Apocryphon (Razor & Tie)
9. BULLET - Full Pull (Nuclear Blast)
10. CANDLEMASS - Psalms For The Dead (Napalm)
11. SOUNDGARDEN - King Animal (Universal)
12. MANOWAR - The Lord Of Steel (Magic Circle)
13. SABATON - Carolus Rex (Nuclear Blast)
14. KAMELOT - Silverthorn (SPV/Steamhammer)
15. EARTHEN GRAVE - Earthen Grave (Claude + Elmo Music)
16. RUSH - Clockwork Angels (Roadrunner)
17. CELLBOUND - Monstrum (Cellbound)
18. PRIMAL FEAR - Unbreakable (Frontiers)
19. GRAND MAGUS - The Hunt (Nuclear Blast)
20. PARGAGON - Force Of Destruction (Napalm)
21. LAMB OF GOD - Resolution (Epic)
22. GYPSYHAWK - Revelry & Resilience (Metal Blade)
23. THE CULT - Choice Of Weapon (Cooking Vinyl)
24. ENSLAVED - Riitiir (Nuclear Blast)
25. STRIKER - Armed To The Teeth (Napalm)