the veterans head up a thrashfest this month
what’s the 2019 version of overkill like? Bobby ‘Blitz’ ellsworth (vocals):
“I live for relevance to the present day and we’ve always been able to achieve that, so we’ve all welcomed this new chemistry with Jason [Bittner] behind the drums. we became part of the change and we think it’s going to be something special for those who crave the aggressive, bombastic approach. we’ve broken the template of the last few records but still kept a metal integrity and an overkill stamp on the final product – the idea is we have a new stick bearer here, let’s embrace his change.”
what’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you on tour?
“Back in 2008, we were touring with motörhead through Germany and Lemmy wanted me to sing Overkill with him that night. I was over the moon but I had so much adrenaline in me, I was forgetting the words so I started writing the first word of each verse on my forearm. I was singing duet with Lemmy into the same mic and he looked down, so when it was his turn to sing, he yelled into the microphone to the audience in Berlin, ‘Cheat notes! this motherfucker has cheat notes!’ It embarrassed me to the point I was so red-faced, I dove into the audience because I’d been caught by the man who wrote the song. I was upside-down in the audience and I saw Lemmy mouthing at me, ‘Cheat notes, you motherfucker! Cheat notes!’”
what shenanigans happen on the overkill bus?
“If you can envision a middle-aged boys’ club, that’s what overkill does. there’s card games, dice rolling, betting, taking each other’s money and rent, smoking cigars and drinking imported beers. the sky’s the limit, it could be trouble, it could be a strict warning by the police – there’s nothing worse than a 50-year-old man’s mugshot. one of the ways we can still be relevant today is that we enjoy the fuck out of touring and enjoy each other’s company.”
any good tour pranks?
“there’s been full truck tyres jammed into bunks by three guys because one guy can’t do it by himself. we’ve removed the wood supports from the middle bunk so whoever gets in it lands on the bunk below. we’ve had full duct-taping people into bunks, hostage situations, it gets out of control. we’re the last cowboys!”