OVERKILL's BOBBY 'BLITZ' ELLSWORTH: 'I've Had Black Bear Hibernate On My Property Now For 15 Years'

March 12, 2023

OVERKILL singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth spoke to the "Appetite For Distortion" podcast about his current residence in Vernon, New Jersey, saying (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'm approximately 60 miles west of the George Washington Bridge. So I live up in northwest Jersey. I'm closer to Pennsylvania than I am to New York City; I'm only about 20 miles from PA. But this is what they call the Skylands. It's kind of a resort area. It's the part of Jersey that many people from Brooklyn and Queens we try to keep the hell out of here. The point being it's a resort area — ski slopes, outdoor. I've had black bear hibernate on my property now for 15 years, so I've known all the moms, all the cubs, et cetera, et cetera. And also, simultaneously, I've raised German shepherds. So having black bear on the property and having German shepherds you think would be a big issue. But all it is it's a push and shove of 'stay back, go beyond the fence' — that kind of a thing. So it's actually cool. If you're into the nature and riding motorcycles and skiing, this is the place to be."

Asked if he has ever written a thrash song about a bear, Bobby said: "No, I haven't written it specifically about a bear, but there can be those frightening moments. I have an old chalet — it's kind of where you go when you're skiing, with a fireplace and the whole bit. And my office was in the basement that looked out to the back. And I was writing — I forget what record; it might have been the 'Ironbound' record [2010] — and sure enough, there's one at the window. I'm talking 400 pounds of black, standing up, peeking in through the side window. It must have smelt something cooking. And it scared the shit out of me enough to actually finish the song. So I didn't write it about the bear, but the inspiration was there."

OVERKILL's twentieth studio album, "Scorched", will be released on April 14 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP offered a new recording environment for OVERKILL as all members were able to record on their own during the pandemic. The mixing of the record was handled by Colin Richardson and his assistant engineer Chris Clancy. Johnny Rodd helped with producing vocals, and finally, Maor Appelbaum took over mastering and adding finishing touches. The band returned to artist Travis Smith to create the album cover art.

Richardson previously worked with OVERKILL on 1997's "From The Underground And Below", 2000's "Bloodletting" and 2013's "Killbox 13".

OVERKILL spent most of 2019 and early 2020 touring in support of its 19th studio LP, "The Wings Of War", which was released four years ago.

"The Wings Of War" marked OVERKILL's recording debut with drummer Jason Bittner (SHADOWS FALL, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM),who joined the band in 2017.

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