Wrecking Everything!! - Bobby Blitz speaks out.
Over Kill are 1 of the the godfathers of Thrash Metal since beginning of Thrash started back in the early 1980's. With the likes of Metallica, Slayer been at the top, Over Kill are the under dogs that have proved to be 1 of the most successful Thrash bands of all time and still they manage to carry the flag of true pure Thrash. Many bands such as Testament, Exodus, Forbidden, Anthrax and so on... have managed to either stand the test of time or re-form to show the kids of today just what Thrash Metal is all about. Over Kill however, are one of the finest if not the finest Thrash Metal band of all time. OK, so Slayer might have the best Thrash drummer, but Over Kill are what Thrash is all about. With Blitz powerful vocals and screams making Over Kill what they are today and with D.D. Verni's devastating Bass guitar assault there is no wonder why so many metal heads love their music. I myself are 1 of them. I just the sound of D.D.s bass and Blitz vocals. With Over Kill releasing 15 studio albums and 2 live albums and 1 DVD, the future for Over Kill has never been so bright. The band have released their latest album titled 'Immortalis' through Bodog Music and I tell you this is 1 awesome album. For me my favourite albums have to be 'Taking Over' and 'Horroscope'. I managed to chat with Bobby at this years Bloodstock festival to catch up on a few questions since the last interview I did back as a Fanzine. Here is what Bobby had to say to the following questions. In the meantime check out their music, it's fucking brutal!!
OK Bobby, great to see you again my friend. Lets starts by asking you a little bit about the 'Kill Box' album, just how much of a success was that for the band? Also how do you see that album as a reflecting of the previous albums? What also happened with the label you were signed to at that time, Spitfire Records?
"I think that album did very well, obviously with regards to Thrash resurgence there is a new interest within the band. With Over Kill, we are one of the bands that never went away and we love playing music. I think that that album was a really good really estate for us, which was produced by Colin Richardson (Machine Head....) and he is a friend of the band and he also understands the band. I think a good producer comes in and brings the best of what exists with a band. We have had Colin mix albums prior to the 'Kill Box' album which was his first full length album recording with us. We worked with him since 97 onwards, and it was good having him around for 6 weeks. He had a few beers together and had some food together. With regards to Spitfire Records, they are no longer together, the only thing that is part of that label is Eagle Rock Records."
What songs from the 'Kill Box' album stand out for you and why? Did you have any songs that you thought could of been better?
"God that is a long time ago Jase, I would have to say that I like the songs 'Damned' which contains the 3 elements of Over Kill, thus been Heavy Metal, Rock & Roll and Punk. I think those 3 elements make Over Kill slightly different from other bands, because of the Heavy Metal, Punk & Rock & Roll styles that we sometime carry within our music. I also like Devil By The Tail', I also like 'Unholy', which we are opening with on this tour right now. I think it was a solid and great album, and I think it says what the band is all about!! I think that some of the previous albums weren't as good as that, mainly because they didn't have the 3 elements I just told you about."
Moving on, do you think that releasing the 'Wrecking Everything' DVD was the perfect time for the band in their career to release that DVD? It must of also took you months to find all the achieve stuff from the past to ad to the DVD as bonus material.
"Yeah I do think it was a good time to release it. The thing with that DVD was the fact that D.D. and myself were co-producers for the show. We took half the risk with the promoter and everything you see was done by D.D. and myself without any director. We brought that much amount of lights for the show, and sound and cameras. So it is something that I am almost so proud of since 2000 because it was fully hours to do with regards to the production in only 1 night. It was cool getting all the old material together, because there was guy who had done 1 for a friend of mine in which I play in called 'The Cursed', it was Dan who told me about this guy who had done this behind the scenes stuff for Non Fiction & Hades. SO we throw everything we had at him and he put it together for us. We had all that done before we filmed the show, we wanted to have it as a bonus for our fans. It was also to show the fans how much we have progressed over the years. I am not sure if we have progressed that much in terms of leaps and bounds, but we are still the same band that started in 85, but with new line-up changes. Of course the age thing does come into it as we have become older now, but it gives the fans an insight to what Over Kill is all about. We had about 1500 people at the show, we removed the seats that's why it looks not a s full as it should of been."
The thing I like about Over Kill is, the fact that you're voice and D.D.s bass is like 2 head colliding to make such fucking awesome music, why is that?
"Well the fact we have such as success is the fact this is something we have managed to retain and it has always been our signature and I think we are lucky to of done this for 20yrs now to sound like Over Kill as a pose to having such a different change and sounding like somebody else in 20yrs time.
Moving on..., why did it take such a long time to release your new album 'Immortalis'. what was the reason for such a long delay besides not having a record label?
"Well there was a couple of reasons to be honest, the first 1 was the fact that we manage the band ourselves and 1 of them was a management thing to take our time and score a better deal if we took our time, so what we did was to look for better tours in the U.S. and our old buddy Dave Mustain came along out of hiding and told us we were such a pain in the ass that we wanted us to come on the Gigantour tour, so we did that and the idea to do that was to national visibility at a great height through the U.S. and it worked. So when Spitfire went away was to hang in there till we had the right touring opportunity to show that we were still viable and energetic band that could make noise in 2006 etc.... I think it was more of a business decision and it did good things for us. We hooked up with the 'Lamb Of God' guys who are old school Thrasher's and randy came up and did some vocal tracks with the band on 'Immortalis' and we went to Richmond were we filmed a video for one of the songs."
Do you feel it is hard for you to manage the band with D.D.?
"No not at all, we do things our own way and we are not managers of a up an coming band and we try to grab the better opportunity with seems like a very simple management thing to do. We know what we are and we are not a new band so were looking for great opportunities and we surround ourselves with good lawyers, booking agents record labels and P.R. people. We are making the best decisions for the band and the best decision for ourselves at that time. We are a band that has been around for 2 decades now so we know what we want and how to go about it."
Do you license your albums to record labels just like some other bands do?
"No we are not doing that, we try to self contain it into 1 thing and we sign a deal for all the major territories like the U.S., Europe, Japan and then we try to license the product through our label but still trying to get loyalties and the money up front."
As I have never heard of Bodog Records, they don't sound like a metal label, who else did you approach for the new album 'Immortalis'?
"We signed to Bodog Records because Jon Zazula, who owned Megaforce Records back in the day, known for working with Anthrax, Testament etc... as us back in the day. They also brought the best money to the table too. After we had finished the Gigantour festival, we were approached by all the major independent Metal labels. I think we spoke with 6 labels and 2-3 were great but we just felt better to go with Bodog because of Jon Zazula."
I really can't see anybody fucking Over Kill over now as you have been around for so long, right Bobby?
"Yeah for sure Jason, I think when it comes to business, the business takes care of itself. It's about continuing to do what you want to do and to be at a place like Bloodstock which makes it special. If we continue to do this everything else just falls into place."
OK Bobby, so tell me why you decided to call the new album 'Immortalis'? Did you have any other tiles in mind for the album?
"Well the title really has a lot more to do with the scene and then people more than it has to do with the band. The immortality is only granted and not taken by the band, its granted to us and to the people we sign records for, who also buy our records ad the ones who come to the shows. It's about the 6th member of the band who is the audience. We did however have other working titles for this album, we were looking for Latin names on the internet and we just thought it seemed to fit the band at the present moment. We were doing a Over Kill song called 'Over Kill V... The Brand' which has some Latin based stuff on it and so it kind of felt the right thing to do. We wanted to be slightly different for a change."
So who writes the music within the band, is it still D.D. and yourself?
"Yeah pretty much, and the other guys do contribute too. Dave is really instrumental to how the band works and he is a real player. Her will play anything from Fusion to extreme Thrash, Grindcore and Death Metal."
So what style of music do you listen too these days Bobby? Have you branched out with your music?
"Well I kind of listen to stuff like Shadowfall, In Flames, Lamb Of God, and I still listen too The Who, The Rolling Stones, etc..."
What's your favourite songs on the new album and why? Any songs that you don't like on the record?
"I really like the song 'Skull & Bones', which was the first time I had done a duet with another guy who is outside of the band. It took 2 days to cut the song together, and it worked out really well. I think Nu school and old school can really m ix well. I also like 'Overkill V.. The Brand', because it was step back in time. I also like 'Hellish Pride', as it really comes across as a thumpy rock & roll song, I also like 'Head On'. As for songs I don't like, well I would have to say that there is not any songs I don't like on the record mainly because we spent such a long time making this record. It was properly one of the longest recording periods to record a album. The Relix Record was recorded in such a very short period of time and released very quickly after 'Kill Box'. 'Immortalis' took over 2 yrs to record and prepare."
What about previous album, is there any albums you wish could of been better?
"Well I think because my taste changes I would have to say if it is a mistake or success it still becomes a necessary step forward. T am not a big fan of 'Under The Influence', because Jason you are wearing the shirt (Laughing)!!"
I would have to say for me Bobby it's the album 'I Hear Black. just because it didn't seem like a typical Over Kill album, more of a Sabbath feel to it. Do you agree?
"Well to some degree I think the 'I Hear Black' album was a head of it's time. I think it has some great song ideas and but I think we stepped out of character and started writing songs with Merrit and Rob, who we had never worked with before. So the idea was idea but I feel that the final result was not as good as we intended it to be. I think when D.D. and myself get together things really do work out good as we talk about what is good and not good for the band. I think there is a certain character that makes Over Kill what it is today. It's about making good Over Kill records. I think it works best when D.D. and myself do it together."
The new album features a Ltd live Wacken 2007 DVD, tell me why you wanted to put this out as a bonus DVD for the album?
"We did that DVD just for that album, we had a new record label that really was behind the band and we wanted to give back the fans something special. We were not suppose to be on that Wacken bill. We were on that bill because we wanted to be on that bill and we had to pay for that DVD footage , so it wasn't a freebee at all we paid for it to be included on the record. It's not a CD purchase or a download, it's a full package and well worth getting a hold of. I feel to give our fans the best is the right idea. I am very proud to of done that, and how can you go fucking wrong with Over Kill?"
Moving on..., do you have any new material wrote for the next album yet?
"No not at all, we are busy as fuck Jase, we have done more touring this year then we have for our previous albums. After we finish this tour we then go back to the U.S.A. and do yet another run of shows on the west coast and then some shows in Europe and also the UK in February 2009."
So why has it taken the band 6yrs to come back to the UK? Why doesn't a promoter here give the band a chance?
"Like I said earlier, it's about promoters getting us over here to the UK. It also has to take care of itself to a certain degree and after 20yrs we need cheque's to play. At the same time I won't get rich from it and on the other hand I won't get poor from this tour."
Do you ever see anything of the old band members? Are you still friends with them?
"Well I'm still in touch with Bobby by email from time to time, I also keep in touch with Ratz from time to time. I haven't heard from Tim, I don't have any idea where he is? He has not spoken to D.D. only Dave a couple of times."
How did you hook up with new drummer Ron Lipnicki formerly with Hades? Was it through Dan?
"Yeah it was through Dan. I knew that Tim was going to leave the band, he was getting married and he also had some problems we he started canceling tours and we said we could not do this. Dan called me and said he has the prefect guy and you don't need to audition anybody. So we gave Ron a try and it was so perfect, so he got the job."
Moving on Bobby, how important is it for you to be playing this Bloodstock Open Air festival? Also you're playing in London tomorrow, how excited are you to be playing London once again?
"It' really good Jase, it's good to be in the UK on a larger level and if we come back in February it will be great. Last time we played here was in London as you may remember and that was in 2002. It's been 6yrs since we last played here in the UK and for us it is ground breaking!! I think the beauty of Over Kill is the fact that that we play in front of 10.000 or 100 people it is still the same show for us. I think one of the things that people can never say about us is the fact that we ripped them off. I hear the buzz from people who get ripped off by other bands. We give 100% of nothing to our fans, it's all guns blazing!! When people know we are on the bill for a show, they know that they will certainly get their money's worth from the beginning to the end. I love to meet the kids and sign stuff for them I am not into the ripping the fans off with meet and greets for a lot of money, no way man!! I think we are the anti band at times (laughing). I think it is easier to not be a rock star and life a relaxing life, I really can't be bothered with that rock star attitude."
So where do you see yourselves in 10-20yrs time?
"To be realistic, I think I will retire to be honest as I'm on the backside of the mountain. I am not climbing up, I'm climbing down. The day I stop enjoying what I do is the day I call it a day."
How would you summon Over Kill in just a few words?
"That's a tough question!! I'd have to say, honest, aggressive, tension unloaded on the stage. (laughing).
Well Bobby I'd like to thank you for doing this interview, it's always a pleasure meeting and also interviewing you. Do you have anything to say to your fans reading this? I'd just like to thank you and say 'Fuck You' once again haha!!
(Laughing) "That's the high
point of your life Jason telling me to 'Fuck you', I like that haha!! Yeah
thanks to our fans for their loyal support and keep on supporting the band!!
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