OVERKILL Singer On Lineup Changes: 'New Blood Is A Good Thing'

October 26, 2019

OVERKILL vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth spoke to SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" about the high turnover of his bandmates and how it has affected the group's sound over the years. "Not every member has brought something, let's say, groundbreaking to it, but new blood is a good thing," Bobby said. "But some members change the chemistry. Case in point [new OVERKILL drummer Jason Bittner].

"There's kind of two ways to look at chemistry — it's either, 'Hey, don't fuck with my chemistry,' or say, 'Hey, we can embrace it and see where this goes,'" he explained. "Now, obviously, we didn't lose the OVERKILL stamp when we did [2019's] 'The Wings Of War' [album] with Jason, but for sure it had a different slant to it. And that's because you can't take somebody of his ability and say, 'Hey, listen, this is the way we do it. If you don't like it, shut the fuck up or get out.' And you don't say that to somebody who you say, 'Hey, this guy would make our band better.' And that was one of the first things he said to me. He goes, 'I can make this band better.' That immediately put something in my head: 'Hey, this guy is gonna bring something better to the mix.' Now, all the through the years, I don't remember each and every instance where I thought that change happened, but for sure, there were guys that brought better stuff to this band. Sid Falck was a great drummer in this band. Rob Cannavino playing guitar — fantastic. Sebastian Marino was a great guitar player. And, again, Jason. I think that it gives you the opportunity to embrace it, which kind of supports some of that longevity as opposed to, let's say, the same old horse."

Asked how he approached his drumming in OVERKILL when he first joined the band two years ago as the replacement for Ron Lipnicki, Jason said: "When I [told Bobby], 'I can help make your band better,' [I didn't mean it] in an egotistical way, like, 'Dude, I'm gonna make your band better.' [It was more] 'I know I can help you guys be a better unit as a consistency back there on the drum set. That's the thing that I've always prided my playing on. I don't think I'm faster than someone else or have more flashier fills — it's the fact that I can play pretty close to drum-machine consistency night after night after night. 'Oh, is he gonna play it different tonight?' 'No, he's gonna play the same fills he played last night. It's gonna be the same tempo. It's not gonna be up and down. It's gonna be as solid as possible.' So when you ask the question how I approach the songs, this is literally now, since 2006, I've played in three of my favorite bands when I was a kid. First, all the fill-in work with ANTHRAX, and then being in FLOTSAM [AND JETSAM] for two years, and then coming to OVERKILL. So, the first thing is, all these songs that I've played in all these respective bands were the songs that made me the player that I am. I grew up learning 'Deny The Cross' when I was 16 years old. Learning the first FLOTSAM record, learning the early ANTHRAX stuff. So, it's what helped me become the player that I am. So, when I get in a situation where I have to play someone else's parts — for example, when I was filling in for Charlie [Benante] — I'm trying to play that stuff as note-for-note as possible, because at that point, I'm a fill-in drummer for a band, so I want the audience to think that the real drummer is still there; the fills are the same, the groove is the same. With FLOTSAM and OVERKILL, I was now the drummer in the band, so I wanna take all the elements of all the original drummers and play their songs as close to the record as possible, but then here and there maybe throw a little of my own spice on top of it."

"The Wings Of War" was released in February via Nuclear Blast.

Find more on
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).