OVERKILL's BOBBY 'BLITZ' ELLSWORTH On Post-Pandemic Touring: 'The Logistics Are Different Financially'

April 22, 2023

In a new interview with Jorge Botas of Portugal's Metal Global, OVERKILL frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth spoke about the realities of post-pandemic touring, including increased travel expenses — gas, tour buses, hotels and flight costs. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Things have changed, obviously. From a personal perspective, you have to be ready for anything. But on a daily perspective of getting ready for the tour, I try to push that as much out of my head as I can, that it's been handled prior. We know that we're taking a risk when it comes to this. The logistics are different financially. It could be a tough situation, just based on regular costs, just the fact that transportation is that much more expensive at this point. And people don't wanna go into their pocket and pay for your transportation; they wanna pay for the concert ticket. So I get it. But I'm not gonna let those logistics be something that have us overthink something as simple as fucking touring."

He continued: "It's becoming complicated behind the scenes; it's not complicated on the stage. The stage is what the stage is. So I think if I use that as my motivation, all the other stuff just — I'm not gonna say 'falls into place', but for sure you figure out ways to work it out. You put good people around you. I have a great tour manager, I have a great booking agent, and she is all over this insurance and taxes and increased costs and making everything happen. 'Cause we still wanna present ourselves as OVERKILL. This is something that for years we've not just shown up with an amplifier and everybody with one guitar. We've shown up with drum risers and huge backdrops and big backlines and light shows. And this is still important to us. So we wanna present ourselves at the highest level. And the only way to do that is to go for it but also surround yourself with good people."

Asked if he thinks three-month tours are a thing of the past and bands like OVERKILL will concentrate on shorter runs covering smaller geographical regions, Blitz said: "We've been doing that for a long time anyway, because it is more cost effective. We've been doing three-week-to-month blocks now for at least a decade. And it works for us that way. Because, to some degree, there's less risk if it falls apart. If it falls apart on a three-month tour, there's expenses that go all the way through that three-month period. But if you're doing three weeks to a month, if you're doing it in a consolidated area, you can maximize, for instance, your revenue, but you can minimize your loss if something happens that's unforeseen, something that you don't know. It's easier to survive 10 shows when somebody gets sick at the tenth show and there's only 10 more than surviving 40 shows after that, where tickets have to be given back and buses have been paid for down the road and you sign contracts for three-month periods."

Last October, SHINEDOWN canceled its previously announced fall 2022 dates in continental Europe due to "economic and logistical side of touring". ANTHRAX also canceled shows in continental Europe as part of its fall 2022 touring activities, citing "ongoing logistical issues" and "costs that are out of our control."

OVERKILL's twentieth studio album, "Scorched", was released on April 14 via Nuclear Blast Records.

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