NOIZZE Interviews 2015: Overkill’s Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth

The below interview was conducted over the phone through Noizze with the help of Nuclear Blast and was originally posted 11/10/15 and can be seen here. Thanks goes to Jac Holloway of Noizze, Nuclear Blast but most of all Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth.

Fan of Overkill? GREAT! We sat down for a chat with Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth from the band and talked past and future!

Noizze: Hi, I’m Gavin from Noizze and I want to thank you for this opportunity. Must apologize for the line.

Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth: Hi, no worries thanks for calling. It might be the signal or just my old ears ha!

Noizze: Do let me know if you don’t catch anything I say and hopefully we wont have too many problems.

‘Blitz’: Haha yeah let’s try.

Noizze: So 2015 seems to be an exciting year for the band; we’re all very excited for Historikill (which is eleven OVERKILL albums on 13 CDs and a bonus CD), this must be like half the bands career’s worth in one box. Curious why now?

‘Blitz’: Yeah it’s to cover the period from 1995 to about 2007 I think. That’s to refer to a period of thrash of good metal. A certainly for us it was a good time, we were lucky to be a part of. It’s a good collection of what we done. We’ve found some old demos, some good covers that we’ve managed to dig up. It’s a good representation of us. But this era of Thrash and Metal is a time that we’re finding a lot of the newer fans are coming back to. It’s coming back with newer interest. So looking back at some of what we did here we’ve managed to find something for the Fans that was far less visible back then.

Noizze: Why do you reckon there’s such an interest?

‘Blitz’: Metal, Metal is like clock. Somewhere from 2005/7 we’re back to midnight again. There are more bands and younger bands that are looking back to this particular blueprint. We’re getting more quality releases. So this point gives a healthy new life to Metal. They’re kind of acolytes. Good music always comes back.

Noizze: Were these the most significant years for Overkill, since 1995?

‘Blitz’: Back when Ron Lipnicki joined the band it really made an impact on us all. It was beautiful. He was like a wild horse. You know you couldn’t saddle him. You don’t saddle a wild horse. He really added some overtones to our music and we understood that quickly. We understood that dude it’s all about you.

Noizze: So this really helped to define the bands sound?

‘Blitz’: If you add a new guy he brings something tangible. It always makes a difference. The energy spreads itself throughout the band and you’re left thinking don’t get left behind. Don’t let the new guy let you feel like an old fart. I got to keep up with this guy. So it challenges you and makes you all stronger as musicians. It all brings you to the best workings of a group.

Noizze: How do you find it returning to the music from the era?

‘Blitz’: This marks a significant time for us. A dark time. We’re always going to remember the music for the time of our lives that it marks. But it was also an era of managing ourselves. It was a darker era but it was something we liked. We were in New York and had the opportunity to organise ourselves. We weren’t on a major label or Indie and that really gave us our rights back. It was a wonderful culture. It gave us a sense of relevance, we largely sounded the same in studio as live. We knew where we’d been and it was good to know where we’re going.

Now we’re on the Road with Nuclear and so moving from 2007 onwards and moving with thrash. There’s Newer fans that are into early days. We saw this as an opportunity to release something special to our new fans, everyone’s interested in this era and we’re glad to give it to them. The tenacity wasn’t easy in the garage. We always tried to pay attention to popular opinion but we got to do what we like and had that range to do something powerful. We had some healthy opportunities and a story tale.

So we’ve got this box set of 11 CDs (laughs) We’re named Overkill after all, it wouldn’t be right if it weren’t an over kill. There’s some good albums on there including my favourite album From the Underground and Below. I think we could listen to that album all the way through anytime. I think if you’re going to create something you should want to go near the whole thing. Listen to it all the way through and this marks one of the biggest success for the band.

Noizze: Well we’re all really excited for the new box set. I also believe that you’re soon to be touring alongside Symphony X, that’s pretty cool how’d that come about?

‘Blitz’: We’re co-headlining with them. We’ve always known them. We’ve recorded and been in rehearsals with them. Known them for like a ten year period and become close friends. We drink beer, talk sports. So it was easy tour to set up. Also we’re two different metal bands which makes it something unique to offer. We’re already getting bigger venues. If we were to tour with a band like Exodus, it’d make sense. There’s no grey area there. Nothing new. But we’re different bands, Symphony X and us, so it brings the Symphony X people to us. People seem to like it the tours are getting bigger and bigger. We’re in theatres not night clubs, like 3000 seat venues. It’s a good thing and just business as usual. It keeps things current.

Noizze: Are there any plans to tour the UK?

‘Blitz’: We’re always writing, it’s how we keep the assembly. We start writing and collecting stuff whilst touring. I’ve finished song demo stuff on the back of the tour bus! So, we’ve got these shows and a few more and we’ll see. Probably get something booked for april. I’m thinking something like ten shows around the UK, Scotland, Wales and yeah. 2016.

Noizze: A quick random question, what’s your favourite mythical being? Unicorn? Fairies? Centaurs? Dragons?

‘Blitz’: (Laughs) That is random, I’m not really into mysticism but if I had to make a decision I’d go with a dragon.

Noizze: That’s everything thank you very much and I hope it all goes well.

‘Blitz’: Thank you, Gavin, have a good one.

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