OVERKILL's BOBBY 'BLITZ' ELLSWORTH: 'I'm Obviously A Handshaker'

April 2, 2019

Vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth of veteran New Jersey thrashers OVERKILL was asked by Metal Insider in a new interview if there is anything that he misses from the way his band marketed itself in the pre-Internet days that he wishes he could add with today's promotion. "I don't, because I've taken it with me," he responded. "I'm obviously a handshaker. I come from that era. I still do not have a personal Facebook or Twitter account. I don't like it. I enjoy my privacy, but when I see people, I enjoy personal contact. Now, we're not so out of touch that we don't have Facebook and Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts for the band. We realize these are necessary to reach people.

"We're the last cowboys," he continued. "We grew up [when] the Internet didn't exist. And when we were 10 years into our career, it was infantile. But we still knew that it was gonna be the wave of the future, and now, the present, that we prepared ourselves for it. So I don't miss it, because I still shake hands. I just came from a release party, where I shook 250 hands and took 250 pictures, because that's kind of where I come from. I'm not gonna say it's a lost art, but it's a comfortable place for me to be, because it's what I knew growing up, and what I know even in the present day."

Two years ago, Ellsworth defended the culture of "V.I.P packages" and paid meet-and-greets with fans, telling Metal Wani: "You have to understand that in the modern era, businesses have to be reinvented, and that reinvention comes primarily from the technology we possess — that there are just less sales of records, and this is just a fact. But the idea of V.I.P. is that it gives a person a choice not to just get a handshake and an autograph and a 'How are you?', but to sit there and talk with somebody; it could be up to 20 minutes. And I think that if a person decides to do that, it actually doesn't help the band directly, because we would have done it anyway, but for sure it helps the promoter. And if the promoter can make that happen, the band can then continue to tour, because the guarantees become more solid based on the price of them. And you're not gonna see, at an OVERKILL show, there is not two hundred people on a V.I.P. I mean, there is 20 — max. I remember [when] OVERKILL [and] KREATOR [toured the U.S. together], I think the biggest V.I.P. we had was 40 people in New York, but that was over two thousand tickets. So if those 40 people choose to do so, and it solidifies the fact that touring can still happen based on sales being down, then I'm all for it. But it doesn't mean that I wouldn't shake hands in Newark Airport, or in Mumbai, or in London, or in Tokyo. It's just my nature to like people."

OVERKILL's latest album, "The Wings Of War", was released February 22 via Nuclear Blast.

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