Overkill (VO)

C'est sous un magnifique soleil de plomb que je me dirige (le stress au ventre) vers le bus Gibson prés de la tente reservée aux rencontres press/artistes pour mon rendez-vous avec Bobby Blitz. Chanteur amblématique d'Overkill depuis ses débuts, c'est pour moi une des figures majeures du Thrash métal. Il m'accueille chaleureusement avec un immense sourire et par chance le beau temps étant au rendez-vous c'est tranquilement assis à une table que nous commençons à discuter. Je découvre alors quelqu'un d'une extrème gentillesse, une personne positive et pleine d'humour, dévorant chaque bonheur de la vie à 200%, une magnifique leçon de vie et une rencontre exceptionnelle... It's underneath a beautiful and warm sun that I head (stress in my stomach) to the Gibson Bus near the tent reserved for the press/artists meets for my appointment with Bobby Blitz. Emblematic singer of Overkill since their beginning, he's for me one of the major and greatest personnalities of Thrash Metal. He welcomes me warmly with a big smile and by chance the weather was so nice we simply sat at a table outside and started to talk. This is how I discovered an extremly kind person, a very positive and full of humour human being, fully devouring every single happy moment in life. An excessively beautiful life's lesson and an outstanding encounter...

interview Overkill (USA)1 - So here we are in Wacken, you played last night how did the show go?
It was good, you know the thing about Wacken it injects this kind of excitment not only into the people that come but into the band so they can perform in front of all these people. I played here four times in my career, the first time was in 1997 but each one seems more and more intense because it's not everyday you stand in front of 40, 50, 60 000 people, so the show went absolutely fine in my opinion.

2 - So this new album Immortalis, could you tell us a few words about it?
It comes out in October 15 in Europe, it's a self procued record with D.D. and myself. The idea behind what we do is to just do Overkill, I think we just try to let things happen. If things would fit with the idea of mine or surround idea and obviously be around for more than two decades we have an idea of what we want to do. And that's really stay where we are and expend a little, but never loose this sort of our world. And this sort of our world is we know we're a thrash band so it's really have an easy process for us. Immortalis regard to sound is contemporary with regarding the song writing is woodened in the past with some contemprorary type parts I have written for Lamb Of God since they wanted songs with me, we became very good friends on the Tour and learned a lot from each other with the art of singing and philosophies. The Lamb Of God guys grew up on the Overkill's stuff so it was a good meet and a good match for us.

3 - I heard that Jon Zazula produced it, is it right?
Jon Zazula signed Over Kill to Bodog Records 3 months ago, but he will surely be the executive producer but what regards to the studio production is D.D Verni and myself. We're back with Jonny from what was originally Megaforce Records but now Bodog Records.

4 - Will Immortalis be released on his own label?
It's Bodog, and Bodog is originally a gambling company online, if you do bodog.com you come to a gambling site. They got into diversifying into music a few years ago and we're the first metal signing now for Bodog so it's back home with the Zazulas so it's really nice.

5 - What are the main changes or evolution since the las album Relix?
I think obviously it's necessary to evolve, but not necessary loose your identity, I think our identity is totally intact, it comes across a little thrash year to me the year of the same sign with this contemporary vibe towards the songs were parts of married to the contemporary and through the old school. Well one of the biggest change we have on the record is our drummer who we highlight on the record and made sure that the mixing was heard at every hit, his name is Ron Lipnicki, he's been with the band during two years and we have recorded with him. You know when you have a new guy who brings new energy, new energy lifts the older members up to the level of the new person.

6 - Like a new breathe...
Absolutely! It's an injection of adrenaline and it's always obvious to us when we get a new member because we can hear it in the results and Ron is probably the best hands we never had in the band regarding to the playing. We've done so many records that we spent like four drummers in this band and Ron is definately one of the best. He is in the top 4 (laugh !!!)

CCCCCC">7 - The thrash metal scene went through a periode of time without a lot of activity during a few years, but now it's coming back with new bands and new tendences like thrash/core, what do you think about this new thrash scene?
You know I think that is necessary that all things evolve, one of the most outstanding quality with regard to thrash in the 80's its vibe is transcended a few decades and even generations of people, I mean I see fathers with sons who say ' Hey I saw you in '86 I want my son to see you in 2007' I mean that's really outstanding that really shows you the value of a concert, it not just produced something that's pleasurable for someone to listen to and get part of their life but actually becomes their life and the will to pass on to someone. So with regard to thrash/core and how they can mix together different channels I think it's a good thing, I don't think it's a bad thing, the more diversity you have the more really it becomes pure music.

8 - Looking back in the past years, what is your best memory with the band, but also your worst memory?
I met my wife in 1999 (laugh!!) you know it's funny and people say it's the road it's hard, I never ever felt this about the road, and everyday it's an opportunity you never know who you're gonna meet, do I meet two people who live outside of Paris or do I meet someone from New Jersey which is close to my home, I'm still 4 000 miles away from where I live, it blews me there is still a communauty which is fantastic. But to say that I have from 22 years of touring to be able to say that I have a very positive personnal life this something that I will never betray, I told my wife 'You know if it ends tomorrow if I get hit by a bus put on my gravestone ' It was all fun! ' ' (laughs!) And to be able to say that it would light my soul it's very positive regardless to whatever the low points are, low points are necessary to appreciate the high points. We were looking for a record deal, we were self managed band I made a contact with Zazula D.D and I negociated the deal it becomes stressful but at the same time it was successful, you can celebrate your own success and say 'It's another step in your life' It's beautiful, it's a beautiful thing, it's how life should be.

9 - I remember the very first time I heard Overkill a few years ago, it was in a friend's car, at that time he described me your music as a 'pissed off' version of Metallica. Would you agree with him?
(Laughs!!!) Well when you'll see him again tell him it's a nice compliment (laughs!!)

10 - I'm still in touch with him, I'll tell him he'll be pissed at me I did an interview with you (laughs)
(laughs) It's very original, I never heard that before and I think I have to process. You know what I've always thought of Overkill was the bestial child, he had a heavy metal father and a punk mother !! When we were kids we knew to pogo before we knew how to stage dive. Growing up in the New York area and walking on streets down the village, drinking a beer under the bank when you're 16 years ols makes you feel special and makes you feel really attached to the scene. When the NWOBHM came along we decided to all join different bands and came together after that as Overkill.We had really the same roots and it turned into a metal band and always has been, these 45 min this 1h30 on stage is ours and we're gonna rip your motherfucking face off !!!! (laughts!) And it doesn't matter who's befo
interview Overkill (USA)re us or after us and I think that kind of punk attitude surfaces and keeps us a little bit separated regards to what we are in the shadow...maybe a pissed off Metallica ! (laughts)

11 - Metallica and Overkill were born at the same time early 80's, both playing thrash, do you think you guys influenced each other?
I don't think we have any influence on Metallica or whatsoever, and I know there was time in the early days where Metallica had an influence on us, when we were in the 80's our guitar player used to hang out with James (Hetfield) all the time to the point where he looked like the fucking guy. They were shopping in the same stores and playing the same guitars and I said 'for god sake you're from New York what so the californian accent then' (laughts) I don't think that we influenced them at all and so the greater metal respect for the fact that they have done what they wanted to do and redefined what pop music is. They have become a pop band but obviously have redefined the definition of that, that pop can be taken with that sort of guitars and that sad and introverted lyrics as opposed to what we consider the standard pop formula. So I'm sure that they had some influence on us. It was the state of the art and everything they did set the table for those who were following including little brothers like ourselves.

12 - If you were asked to pick only one song amongst all musical styles that you would liked to have composed, which one would it be?
(Singing) 'When I was sventeen It was a very good year!' Expected Sinatra fan?! (laughts)

13 - In the early days of Overkill did you think you'd go that far with the band?
No, never, it was about the moment, it was an explosion you know. My father told me 'you're doing this for free beers and the girls!' I said 'No I'm not !' Holy shit I'm constantly have some (laughs!!) But it invloves other things I think when I look back into the 80's I could never forseen this and I said it honestly. I think the only thing happend during that time was people change, people mature and it could be actually a good thing because you look at your opportunities more seriously when you mature , and one of the things that personnally happened to me is each opportunity comes along and I try to seaze it if it's positive, if it's an interview for people in France, if it's a show at Wacken, if it's a show next week in Romania, it's important that they all have the same type of intensity, the same type of approach, it's all or nothing and if that happens from day to day, the days turn into months, and then the months turn into years but I can only do this if I'm looking back I never knew it back then, I know it now by looking back and say 'I've had a lot of opportuinites with D.D.' and we've taken every one that we could and squeezed it for everything that was worth. And this is giving us the opportunity to stay around and to have the longevity we have.

14 - And last question, what is for you the true Spirit of Metal ?
The true Spirit of Metal ? (thinking...) I try to sum it up in one word: it's really about unity. Underneath all it's really the same driving force, I just saw 'Get Thrashed' you know, it's a dvd about the beginning of Thrash Metal and there was a guy in there, I forget who it was, who said 'I like to think that every metalhead has a little bit of Paul Baloff in them' and I said 'That's Metal !' (laughts!!)

Interview done by Metzly

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Metzly - 13 Sierpień 2007: Oui c'est pas pure fénéantise et manque de temps que ya pas la traduc française. J'ai encore d'autres intés à retranscrire et ca prend une éternité à faire...Il y aura bien une petite âme charitable qui aura l'extrème gentillesse et générosité de la traduire en français non? :-D c'est toujours plus facile dans ce sens là...
sargeist - 13 Sierpień 2007: Excellente interview. Rhaaa la chance elle a rencontré Blitz une de mes idoles, un pilier inamovible du Thrash. Certaines questions sont osés lol. Ca change. J'ai jamais fait un rapprochement entre OverKill et Metallica moi. En tout cas, je prends le mot de Blitz sur Paul Baloff comme un hommage. R.I.P. et vivement Immortalis. OverKill is eternal, merci... ;-)
Metzly - 13 Sierpień 2007: Merci Sargeist ca fait plaisir de voir que tu as autant apprécié l'inté. J'avoue que j'ai eu beaucoup de chance de le rencontrer c'est un grand monsieur et vraiment adorable en plus. Et maintenant on l'a même dans la rubrique des t-shirts SOM que j'ai ramené du Wacken ;-)
Metzly - 14 Sierpień 2007: Oué j'avoue que j'étais assez étonnée aussi.
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