OVERKILL frontman Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth was recently interviewed by the "Talking Metal" podcast. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On certain rock and metal bands using backing tracks during their live performances:
Bobby: "I understand the presentation of it — that's perfection — but my feeling about live is that it's been the drug or the high I've been chasing since before we were signed. You get on that stage, but the whole point is that there's a risk. And I love the risk. The risk is what throws it over the top. This many years into my career, my stomach still turns upside down, and it doesn't turn upside down because I'm wondering if the backing tracks are gonna be correct. It turns upside down because I still feel like I'm taking that risk or I'm that close to that high again that I first achieved in 1983, for instance. I come from that school of 'live is the purity.' If we do a record, the point is it was created in a live circumstance, with guys sweating and sharing a pizza and cracking a few Blue Moons or Heinekens and saying, 'We're almost there.' We try to recreate that on the record. Sure, we want it sonically perfect, but we're trying to recreate the feeling we had when we knew it was done.
"I come from the school or risk. That's the exciting factor or element for me being in a band this long. To stand on that stage and know that there's a possibility of failure is why I continue to do it — because it feels great when you succeed."
On whether it's okay for bands to continue touring with one or sometimes no original members left in the lineup:
Bobby: "Well, that opinion is private, I think — I think that's for them to decide. I think what we do, and sure, there's only two of us at this point, but the factor for us, why it continues, is that chemistry thing — we always wanna embrace that chemistry. You listen to [OVERKILL's latest album] 'The Wings Of War' one time and you know we didn't mail it in — you can tell that we still have the fever and the hunger. And that becomes the deciding factor for me. It's not about what we were, it's about being relevant to what we are. 2019 is as important as 1990 or 1989 — or more so, because it's the current day. My feeling is that OVERKILL always stands behind what they do in the current day. So that means we embrace the chemistry. Therefore, if our relevance continues, then we can continue wholeheartedly and with clear conscience, because then it's pure. And that's our philosophy as opposed to somebody else's. But listen, entertainment's entertainment. If they wanna go out and play with one member and play cover songs, it's their own choice to do so. My relevance stays with the release of 'The Wings Of War'."
"The Wings Of War" was released in February via Nuclear Blast. The album was recorded at Gear Recording Studio in New Jersey, SKH Studio in Florida and Jrod Productions with engineering handled by bassist D.D. Verni and lead guitarist Dave Linsk. The album was produced by the band while Chris "Zeuss" Harris took care of the mixing and mastering. Travis Smith (NEVERMORE, OPETH, SOILWORK, DEATH) was again enlisted to create the artwork for the album.
"The Wings Of War" marks OVERKILL's recording debut with drummer Jason Bittner (SHADOWS FALL, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM), who joined the band in 2017.