Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth of Overkill Interview — ”Creep Show’
Overkill are kind of like the Motörhead of traditional thrash metal. You know they're going to put out a new record every couple years, and you know it's going to be solid, regardless of what label it appears on.
For their new record, 'Ironbound,' Overkill have shifted from the fledgling Bodog to the colossal E1 Entertainment (Hatebreed, Satyricon), and they've conjured a batch of songs that are not only solid, but that ignite with renewed energy and drive that puts them in the same school with other veteran thrash bands who have recently written some of their best albums in over a decade (Slayer, Metallica, Testament, Exodus).
For this week's ''Creep Show,' we sat down with Overkill frontman Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth to talk about the firepower of 'Ironbound,' Overkill's hands-on approach to booking, merch and promotion and the secret to their longevity.
"25 years ago it was just chaos for the sake of chaos," Ellsworth told ''Creep Show.' "But now I think it's controlled chaos, and there's something very powerful about controlled chaos, because you know when to strike, when to push the button, when to light the fuse and when to burn the church."
Ever the consummate professional (Blitz has clearly done this kind of thing dozens, if not hundreds of times over the past 25 years), the singer was articulate, amusing and charismatic whether talking about the background flames of our snazzy podcast set, the upcoming 25th anniversary of Overkill's debut, 'Feel the Fire,' or the differences between then and now. "I like to say when we started, I walked into a room with a beer in each hand and a hard one," Blitz joked. "Now I have coffee."
In addition to enduring our grueling interrogation, Ellsworth joined panelists Seth Werkheiser, Amy Sciarretto, Jon Wiederhorn and Chris Harris for the news and album segments. The top news story of the week was the lineup announcement for this year's Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, which will be headlined by Korn and will also feature Rob Zombie, Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch on the main stage. The Mayhem Festival stage will consist of Atreyu, Norma Jean, In This Moment and 3 Inches of Blood. And the Jagermeister stage will boast Hatebreed, Chimaira, Shadows Fall and Winds of Plague. We also learned what heavy bands will play this years Coachella Festival and when Nachtmystium will re-enter the studio to record 'Addicts: Black Meddle Pt. II,' the follow-up to the band's 2008 opus, 'Assassins: Black Meddle Part I.'
Unfortunately, this week's news wasn't all good and didn't end without reports of fatalities. We addressed Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows recent comments about the death of the band's drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan. We also talked about Broken Hope ex-vocalist Joe Ptacek, who died of a self-inflected gunshot wound to the head at the age of 37 and two members of After Death -- Timothy Kennelly and Leon Villalba -- who both drowned in Brazil.
After paying our respects, the ''Creep Show' discussed the latest albums to hit the streets. Our pick of the week went to Living Sacrifice's brutal 'The Infinite Order,' the Christian metal band's first disc since 2003. We also reviewed Alesana's trim and trendy 'The Emptiness,' ex-Emperor frontman Ihsahn's bleak, majestic 'After,' Mnemic's industrialized 'Sons of the System' and Taking Dawn's commercial 'Time to Burn.'
Watch, enjoy and burn it down.