OVERKILL frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth says that he won't cover political topics in his lyrics because he doesn't want to "invade" people's personal beliefs.
Asked by Canada's The Metal Voice if he ever injects any of his political views into the subject matters that he writes about in his lyrics, Ellsworth said (hear audio below): "I love politics. I mean, it's something I've followed since before college, when I was in high school; it's just something I've always liked. I think it's because I like history, and I think if you like history, you equate it to the politic of the time. So, for me, it's of great personal interest, but I don't think I'm qualified to tell people what my views are or what my stance is on something. And not that I have great influence."
He continued: "Listen, I'm the same asshole who wrote… was part of the writing of [OVERKILL's debut album] 'Feel The Fire'. So, the point being is that politics should be personal and not swayed by that of an entertainer.
"You know, I think that people, when they get a record deal and they write a record and it's relatively successful, and then three and four records [later], it gets more and more successful, that person thinks that they are suddenly smarter than they were on the first record. It's just not true. [Laughs] It's just not true; you're the same guy. I mean, sure, there's growth, but you're not instantaneously politically smarter, and to invade people's political beliefs, I think, is… I personally think it's a sin, because I think it's an individual right. So I won't put politics in any of my lyrics."
In regards to how he goes about writing his lyrics, Ellsworth said: "First and foremost, I like to speak about things I know, and probably the thing I know the most about is OVERKILL.
"I've been here [as the OVERKILL singer] for over three decades, and most of my principles and the good things I have in life have been given to me through OVERKILL, were earned through OVERKILL," he continued. "And I think there's a lot of principles [that are instilled] in anybody in a band for that amount of time, or even a business or a relationship for thirty-plus years. So it's what makes me me. So I speak about our principles, whether they be commitment, whether they be unity, whether they be friendship or even betrayal. I speak about blacks and whites with regard to, you know, friendship maybe the white and betrayal maybe the black. So I'm trying to use broad strokes with regard to how I live my life."
Ellsworth went on to say: "With regard to adding wit [to some of the songs], I just kind of speak in my own vernacular in lyrics. I mean, I would speak like I'm having a conversation and then apply that to lyrical content. So it's a phrase, or it's a word, or something common to our expressionism down here. So, again, it's a vernacular and things I know."
In a 2010 interview with Canada's "The Red Switch" show, Ellsworth revealed that he wasn't a fan of Barack Obama, calling the then-president a "liar." The singer explained at the time: "He [Obama] wasn't in office for more than two months 'till he raised taxes on the middle class, which is what got him elected. He is now in office for over a year and had every environmental group backing him because he would never do offshore drilling, and he's just planned a map as of last week. This health-care situation has put another nail in the coffin, so, as far as I'm concerned, to the middle class and to the guy who works for himself, he [Obama] could care less."
He continued: "In my opinion, Democrats are elitists — they're just out of touch with what the regular American guy who works for himself does and think that they know better because we're a little bit less educated than they are, so they align themselves with [actor] Leonardo DiCaprio, who's telling us to stop wiping our ass with so much toilet paper when he owns nine fucking houses. [cracks up laughing] And they align themselves with [former Vice President] Al Gore, who says, 'Everybody's gotta have to have a carbon footprint.' And when you look a little bit deeper, he owns the only company that does that. [cracks up laughing]"
Ellsworth added: "So, really, that whole Democratic party, as far as I'm concerned, really stabs the guy who works for himself. I mean, it's an awful thing.
"People can hate what happened prior with the Republicans. We didn't really have the biggest, let's say, profile with regards to the world and what they thought of us, but the reality is that if you work for yourself, under the Republicans, you get to keep more of it and not give it away. The Democrats make bigger government and they say, 'We have to guide you, sheep.' [cracks up laughing]
"So, I'm not a big fan. [cracks up laughing]"
OVERKILL's eighteenth album, "The Grinding Wheel", will be released on February 10 via Nuclear Blast. The disc was produced by OVERKILL and mixed by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, ACCEPT). The artwork was created again by Travis Smith (NEVERMORE, OPETH, SOILWORK, DEATH).
Photo credit: Mark Weiss