Overkill’s Bobby Blitz Talks ‘White Devil Armory’ Album, Competitive Spirit + More
Overkill frontman Bobby Blitz was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s weekend radio show. The vocalist spoke about the upcoming ‘White Devil Armory’ album, the band’s consistency and his competitive spirit. Check out Full Metal Jackie’s interview with Overkill’s Bobby Blitz below.
It’s Full Metal Jackie bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. On the show with us this evening, my favorite Jersey-ite, Bobby Blitz from Overkill. How are you?
Jersey-ite is a word now! From this moment on, it’s a word. Good to be with one of my favorite deejays in the world.
Aw, thank you so much. Happy to have you on the show, obviously excited about this upcoming record ‘White Devil Armory,’ new record from Overkill coming out July 22. Bobby, Overkill is one of few bands like Motorhead and AC/DC with remarkable musical consistency. How is that consistency shown most on ‘White Devil Armory’?
Well that is some good company that you are putting us in right there. I don’t know if I can even justify that with an answer. I do know that the Overkill philosophy is we are what we are. Like Popeye’s isn’t it? I am what I am. In any case, to know that we are the original identity crisis we were put here. This lineup gelled and that’s kind of what we continue to do. So that’s where I think the consistency and your longevity comes from. That workmanship blue-collar effort from record to record.
Bobby, what can we hear on this one that best reflects your ability as a master craftsman songwriter?
Oh I like that. You know what I hear on this record and I can only compare it to what’s been recently done by us. It seems to be a high acceptance of this type of metal right now. So I think we are kind of exploring and we’re going to take advantage of that kind opportunity. The difference between this and the last one is that we dusted off a few more of the tools that we’ve acquired over the years. Whether it be that half-speed pounding approach, whether it be the new wave of British heavy metal or traditional heavy metal, or whether it be the punk rock that DD [Verni] and I grew up on in the New York / New Jersey area when I was a kid. You put that all together and use the pecking order as thrash as that number one element in the pecking order. I think you’re going to have more of an eclectic record from it this time. You’ll get more of the influences and characteristics that make the band as opposed to just one or two.
Overkill music is forceful, unrelenting and it empowers listeners with an almost tangible sense of power. How similar is the adrenaline rush feeling you get roaring into a microphone?
I’ve been chasing this high since Tuttle was standing on a stage in New Jersey over 30 years ago. That is the highest high and I think that becomes the attraction to it. It’s almost like trying to relive it but never getting to that first one and that’s why you continuously chase that first high for this amount of time. So the largest motivation is being able to roar into that microphone, stand on the stage. That’s one of the things that I’m probably most proud of is that we present Overkill in 2014 much like we did in the beginning with as much energy as possible. Jam in the shortest amount of time and try to make that explosion happen. So it is what attracts me to it and it is me roaring into the mic.
Bobby, what’s the secret to staying vibrant and relevant in metal’s ongoing evolution and other musical trends?
I think you have to pay attention. Still following your own path but paying attention to what’s going on. So if you’re paying attention you’re learning, if you’re learning you’re relevant. I think if you stop learning, we’re really talking about what was opposed to what is and this may apply to metal but I think in reality this applies across the board to anything you do. Whether you’re a DJ, whether you’re a factory worker, an attorney, an accountant or bus driver. If you’re learning and trying to improve yourself, thats where your relevancy comes from. So it’s about keeping your eyes and ears open applying what you’ve learned, let’s say to your own path in life that’s where relevancy and our current day value comes from.
Full Metal Jackie with Bobby Blitz from Overkill on the show. Bobby, what do you hope up and coming bands take from Overkill’s long standing commitment to metal excellence?
I’d like them to say, “Geez, when we played with those guys they buried us [laughs].” It’s as simple as it is. I love the competitive nature. I never think in terms of, “Oh, you can learn this from me.” I go in saying, “Hey, you’re a great dude ah, I like the fact that you’re doing similar style of music that we’re doing but I’m here to win this.” I think somewhere with that attitude comes the relevance we talked about. If you’re there to win it, you’re probably going to get good results most of the time. Competition, the winners are the people that listen to this music. That’s one of the things I like very much about this, so I don’t know what they’re going to take from it. But I do hope they say, “God, those guys were hard to compete against.”
Bobby, tell us about the tour plans for the summer and beyond.
We’re doing Heavy Montreal, one of the best North American festivals I’ve ever been involved in. This is our third time there. They’re doing quite a lineup this year. It’s really a wet dream for a thrash person. There’s Slayer, Exodus, Anthrax, Overkill, Metallica. The list goes on. It’s a two day festival. We’ll be playing on the Metallica day on [Aug.] 9th. After this, we start the U.S. tour, we’ll be hitting ProgPower in Atlanta. We’ll be the token thrash band on a progressive metal festival. We’re picking up Prong, through the tour to finish some of the U.S. and then very soon there after Overkill and Prong head over to Europe for that one-two punch over on the other side of the Atlantic. This should bring us up into November, pushing Christmas, December. After that, Central and South America is going to happen. Then a second U.S. and European tour. We’re blocking out time all the way up to next April at this point.
Congrats on this new record, looking forward to hearing more. Thank you so much for being on the show.
Jackie, always a pleasure!
Thanks to Overkill’s Bobby Blitz. Be sure to pick up ‘White Devil Armory’ on July 22. It is available for pre-order at iTunes and Amazon. And look for them on tour at these locations. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.