OVERKILL singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth recently spoke to RockConfidential.com about the group's new album, "ReliXIV", and his opinion of the current metal scene, among other topics. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
RockConfidential.com: How different is it in the studio knowing that not only are you responsible for the music but that you have to produce it, too?
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth: "It is different. We've always taken production credit and we're always involved at a very high level on each release. Having someone produce it and mix it takes a lot of heat off of us. When somebody's producing it from the first note on, I'm coming in and doing tracks. In this case you're twisting knobs and saying if the stuff's up to snuff or not. In our case, D.D. [Verni, bass] and I have worked together for 20 years. I don't think there's a thing I can't say to him and vice versa, ya know? To have him say 'You can do that better,' or come right out and say 'Woah, that sucked'...there's very few people I trust in this industry but D.D. Verni is certainly one of them. The idea is that if you can put aside ego, this works. I think the proof is in the pudding. We obtained what we wanted to out of this. It's written well, it's produced well and it's a valuable release in 2005 — it's not a relic."
RockConfidential.com: Did you ever meet any of the bands you grew up listening to since being in OVERKILL? Did they live up to the idea you had created in your mind for them?
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth: "I never met anybody from THE WHO. I did tour with HALFORD in 2000 and he [Rob Halford ] was one of the more down-to-earth characters I'd ever met. A really solid cat. Nice band, too. We toured with MOTÖRHEAD in '88. I was going into it saying, 'I was doing covers of these guys four or five years prior! Do I wanna meet 'em or is it going to ruin the whole thing?' It was by no means a disappointment. They were as you'd expect them to be. I wouldn't say they're the most normal people in the world, but they were 'stop by the dressing room and have a drink' kinda guys. It was actually an awesome experience for me."
RockConfidential.com: What do you think about the "metal" that's out today?
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth: "I think change is necessary. Without change we're all making thrash records, we're all making STONES records. I'll always go the originator of something new that captures my ear. For instance, IN FLAMES. When they came out I immediately knew they were a good band. I like SHADOWS FALL. There's a lot of the newer metal that's really interchangeable. I think Phil Anselmo [ex-PANTERA] set the standard for vocal delivery and approach years ago. He was top of the line when it came to angst. He really could get it across. People have been flattering him for a 15-fucking-year period! They're all going to the Phil's School Of Delivery! It's to the point where some of these motherfuckers are interchangeable."
RockConfidential.com: A lot of the new bands coming out will cover up the front of their CD with a big ass sticker that says, "If you're a fan of PANTERA, HATEBREED and SLAYER, you'll love this CD."
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth: "That's fuckin' awful to me. I really love originators. If somebody could deliver them correctly like Phil did, it's the pinnacle of nervous tension and anger all together. Bands that say they were influenced by bands so obviously were in their bedrooms when they were 16 years old holding a goddamn broomstick singing along to Cowboys, ya know! You are what you are, and that includes a fuckin' liar! In any case, I like some. I don't like all. I probably like less than more."
Read Ellsworth's entire interview with RockConfidential.com at this location.