Bobby "Blitz" Interview

It will be a first for Overkill and Syracuse. Overkill will be kicking off their world tour here in Syracuse.
Touring behind their latest album "Horrorscope" (Megaforce/Atlantic Records), lead singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth talked with us about his band.

Q. -Bobby, of all the cities, in the world, why did you choose Syracuse as the starting place for your world tour?
A. -Because of the warmth of the city, (laughs). We wanted to do some shows, being that we have a new line-up in areas that the band is fairly strong in. Besides, one of our new guitar players (Rob Cannavino) is about on hour and a half south of you in Elmira. It's kind of one of the places that would be on a regular run for a band, but at the same time close enough where he can have the whole family up and we can just start tearing it up in a very comfortable atmosphere. We've always liked playing the city. There's a want for the bands by the people who do come out to the shows. It's just a natural choice. Sure it could have been Cleveland or Buffalo, but at the same time we thought why not get everything, start this off on the right foot kind of thing.

Q. -So, this is a big deal for the band?
A. -Oh, most definitely. To kick it off is the biggest deal right there. It gives it a very endearing quality to the cities you always start in, for the band and the city. This is it. You're seeing the first one. And actually that will be the first show you'll see with these new guys. So, it's actually a lot of firsts.

Q. -For someone who's thinking of going to your show — give them a reason why. What is so special, unique, or different about Overkill?
A. -I kind of like to think of us as an honest explosion of emotion. What you see is what you get. It's a very pure representation of what we're all about, the way we think, a constant, constant energy. If you want a place to feel like the weight of the world is lifted off your shoulders, the best place to do it is at one of our shows. The reason being is it's a place to vent your anger, yet feel good about yourself while doing it.

Q. -How long has this band been together?
A. -With this one only for a year. I met D.D. Verni the only other existing original member in 1982. So, we're pushing our ten year anniversary, very soon. We've only been recording since 1985, and in the interim have done 5 records.

Q. -When musicians are replaced in a band, we always hear how energized the band becomes. But, what's the downside to having guys with you for years, up and leave the band?
A. -I suppose there is a downside because originally by losing someone like that, it's almost like going through a divorce, or I assume the closest thing I can imagine. The downside is down played now because it's overshadowed by the excitement of new people. To add that hunger overshadows anything negative in the past.

Q. -What's the key to breaking a group like Overkill, is it constant touring?
A. -Most definitely. You have to fight it out in the trenches, by either playing the clubs or, in many areas we're large enough to do theatres on our own. So, we're worth 1,000 to 3,500 tickets, depending on the area. We have to constantly be playing. That personal contact is what gives the music its credibility. It's something to be experienced, not just listened to. It's not really a product of MTV. It's more of a product one on one contact with audiences. So, that really is what breaks the band. Without that, it would be a C and C Music Factory kind of thing. I know they sell lots of records, but how many tickets are they worth?

Q. -Bobby, where do you want to take this band? What do you want to accomplish?
A. -To bring it to as many people as possible, but on our own terms. If we brought it to that, I'm happy.

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