Former OVERKILL and VIO-LENCE guitarist Bobby Gustafson has launched a new band called PAINWARD. Joining the 58-year-old musician, who is based in Florida, in the new outfit are his SATAN'S TAINT bandmate Jim McCourt on drums and MASSACRE bassist Mike Borders. A singer for the project has not yet been announced.
According to PAINWARD's Facebook page, the band's music will be "hard-hitting thrash" as well as "fast and to the point."
Gustafson joined OVERKILL in 1982 and played on the band first four albums — "Feel The Fire" (1985),"Taking Over" (1987),"Under The Influence" (1988) and "The Years Of Decay" (1989) — before being shown the door in 1990 amid growing tension between him and OVERKILL bassist D.D. Verni.
Bobby told Metal Rules a few years ago that he was never officially asked to leave OVERKILL. "It wasn't something where they came out and said, 'Hey, you're fired!' It was more of a verbal fight between me and D.D. about doing a show where they wanted to do it strictly for money and I didn't want to do it because we had just sold out Studio 54 in New York, our biggest show, and they wanted to do a Halloween show that was kind of goofy," he claimed.
In a 2016 interview with Rock & Metal In My Blood, Gustafson said that he would "never play with [OVERKILL] again. They stole from me back then and continue to steal from me till this day," he explained. "They haven't paid me for the use of my songs for the past 30 years and now they are even re-recording 'Feel The Fire' live. I've never seen a band claim so adamantly that they don't live in the past, yet most of their set list is from the first four albums I was on. They have had so many albums after me and never play songs from them. I just can't play happily with backstabbers and liars."
Regarding the fact that OVERKILL replaced him with two guitarists, Gustafson told Noisecreep in a 2011 interview: "Some might say it was like a compliment. I would tend to agree. Plus every album after me, when they had two guitar players in the lineup, never topped what I did. 'The Years Of Decay' is still our best-selling album and I had a really short time to write it. I did it short breaks within a six-month period. D.D. had years to put together their next album ['Horrorscope']. So his opinion that two guitarists would make them heavier failed."
Gustafson joined VIO-LENCE in January 2020 as the replacement for Ray Vegas.
When Gustafson's departure from VIO-LENCE was first announced in October 2020, the band cited "logistical difficulties that weigh too heavy to function in a productive manner" as the reason for the split. He later told Into The Pit about his exit: "[The split happened] for the same reason all these bands are canceling tours. It's just gotten so expensive to do. Even within that three-short-year span, the price of plane tickets really shot up after the pandemic. They're not playing all the time — they're doing sporadic shows here and there — and to spend that much money to bring me out there, it's understandable."
Gustafson went on to say: "I thought it was pretty much a solid band when I had started. But I know Phil [Demmel, VIO-LENCE's founding guitarist] has his eyes on something bigger. So if other projects come along, he wanted to really be with something at the level he was used to, which is understandable. You get used to that level, and it's hard to go back. I wish them well. Whatever happens, happens."