Overkill’s 25 Years of Thrash Weren’t ‘About Girls and Free Beer’
Overkill started touring the U.S. back in the ’80s, when some Noisecreep readers weren’t even zygotic. The legendary Jersey thrashers are celebrating 25 years of making a glorious metal racket with ‘Ironbound,’ due out in February on E1. “We got signed in 1984 and it started with us on Halloween night when we opened for a band called Anvil,” frontman Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth told Noisecreep. “You’ve seen the movie, right? [Laughs] We’ve known them since. They gave us an opening slot and we got signed. They had a deal at the time, too, but Megaforce signed us. They were the label that had the most impact because of the Metallica factor. They were the first label in the independent scene to sign thrash bands and take them … major!”
Ellsworth is adamant that his bones aren’t creaking, and he’s ready for another two decades of thrash! “I live for the moment,” the singer said. “You have to. I acquired that in hindsight. What keeps Overkill’s heart beating is that we are about opportunity. If you live for the moment, you put the most into it. That gives you longevity. You have to plan, you have to tour, plan to record, set time aside. What brings Overkill to ‘Ironbound’? The successes and the mistakes. We learn more and more. From a love of the business and the music, that carries you through into Wednesday and Thursday.”
He recalled an ‘awwww’ exchange about Overkill’s history and his chosen career path, which has served him well, with his dad at a Mets game. When Ellsworth and Overkill were starting out, his pop had understandable parental reservations about his son’s choice of rock stardom as a livelihood.
“When our career began, my father said, ‘You are leaving college to pursue this Overkill thing? You sure it’s not about girls and free beer?’ And my response was, ‘Come on, it’s art man!’ 25 years later, Mike Piazza, who is an Overkill fan, gave me his box seats to a Mets game for my dad’s birthday! I told my dad, sitting in those seats, with my arm around him, “I knew Overkill would pay off one of these days. When I left Manhattan College, it was about girls and beer!”
Looks like it was about the Mets’ box seats, too.