Overkill Planning To Release New Album In April 2021

During a recent interview with A&P-REACTS, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth offered an update on the new Overkill album. According to him, the band currently have 10 songs for the effort and they are hoping to release it in April 2021.

Ellsworth said the following:

“There’s 10 songs right now. I’m messing around with them, Dave Linsk [guitar] is messing around with them. Listen, there’s no better time to have the old norm for us during a time when the new normal is obviously right around the corner for all of us in the world.

So I think that we’re gonna have more time to write it, and I think this also gives us the opportunity to scrutinize it a little bit more, which we didn’t do on the last record, and I’m happy to have that extra time.”

He went on to discuss the album’s sound:

“I see it as a natural progression from ‘The Grinding Wheel‘ and ‘The Wings Of War‘. It think when we had done the ‘Ironbound‘ record, it almost became like a trilogy in there — it was kind of like ‘Ironbound‘, ‘The Electric Age‘ and ‘White Devil Armory‘, and they seemed to be the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost kind of a thing.

I think we kind of broke the mold a little bit with ‘The Grinding Wheel‘, and then I think a little bit more with ‘The Wings Of War‘. And on this one, I see it way more. And what I mean by that is that we’ve used other tools from our toolshed in the past, and that’s the slow grind that is coupled with that fast gallop. So it feels like a natural progression, but maybe two records ahead of what ‘The Wings Of War‘ is. And that’s probably as objective as I can be.”

He also added the following about release plans:

“April 2021 is what we’re targeting. We’re looking to start mixing it mid-December, so it should be done somewhere around the holidays or delivered in the first week of January type of thing. We’ve also gone so far as to tentatively search out [tour] dates on the release — 2021 in the U.S., or in North America for that matter.

And then Europe would be October of 2021. But we have the whole festival season that’s been canceled from this summer, is gonna be shifted to summer of 2021, so we’re gonna slide over into that Wacken and the Wacken cruise and a bunch of other things that we have on the plate.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Watch Testament, Overkill, Etc. Members Perform Death’s “Overactive Imagination” In Quarantine

Jason Bittner (Overkill, Shadows Fall) has joined forces with Felipe Roa (ex-Shadows Fall), Bobby Koeble (ex-Death), and Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, ex-Death) for a quarantine performance of Death’s “Overactive Imagination.” You can check that out below:

Bittner commented:

“Well there’s a bunch of explaining that goes along with this video and a history of sorts…

After the whole pandemic started, I contacted my longtime friend and former bandmate Felipe Roa (SHADOWS FALL touring guitarist after Jon joined ANTHRAX) to see if he wanted to do some ‘quarantine covers’ and I proposed ‘Wake Up Dead’ by Megadeth, and by now you have seen that one. At the time of discussion Felipe asked if I wanted to do a DEATH tune, knowing that they are one of my all-time fave bands as well as his, and we used to jam DEATH in soundchecks all the time. Initially my first reaction ‘ummmm, I don’t know if I want to do that much WORK, hahaha,’ but as soon as he said ‘Overactive Imagination’ I was in – I used to jam this song all the time in my formative years but I did wonder if I could still pull it off. After a couple days of shedding and trying to be 25 again, we had a completed drum track, which I even sent to my pals (former Death drummers) Richard Christy and Gene Hoglan for ‘approval’. Sean [Reinert] already gave me the green light from Heaven.

At first we were just going to do it the two of us, but I had a plan. Here’s some crazy trivia – while I attended Berklee College of Music in the 80’s, I played in a band with Bobby Koeble and we actually recorded a few original songs wayyyyyy back in the late 80’s. Bobby later went on to join Death for the Symbolic album and still plays in DEATH TO ALL. After not speaking for over 30 years I hit up Bobby, reconnected (which I’d been meaning to do for years) and asked him if he wanted to do this tune with us and he said yes right away. He asked who was playing bass and I told him Felipe probably would do that too… unless… ‘Unless what?’ Unless I can get Steve to do it… So the next point was to contact my friend, and one of the greatest bass players out there, Mr. Steve DiGiorgio to see if this could be possible.

At first Steve wasn’t sure if he could commit due to his many projects, so we actually asked our friend Bill Bodily (Ex- Toxik, Flotsam And Jetsam touring bassist) to do the bass since Steve wasn’t available. In the meantime, I had sent Steve the track after we put Bobby on it just to ‘make sure’ he couldn’t do it. I had a feeling if Bobby committed, Steve would follow. A week later he did send his tracks, so first off THANK YOU to Steve for going above and beyond in such a quick and timely manner, and also to Bill for being our ‘backup’, sorry it didn’t work out – next time!

So there you have it folks, we put a lot of work into this one because we absolutely love this band in every incarnation, and I am proud to say that I am friends with a lot of the people who have played in their ranks so… so this one goes out to… Terry Butler, James Murphy, Richard Christy, and Gene Hoglan. Lastly, a moment to remember past members Scott Clendenin, my former bandmate and friend Ralph Santolla, my longtime friend and mentor Sean Reinert, and lastly the one and only Chuck Schuldiner for being one of the greatest songwriters to ever grace the Metal world!! Enjoy and share!!”

Watch Exodus, Overkill, Etc. Members Cover Megadeth’s “Wake Up Dead”

Jason Bittner (Overkill, Shadows Fall), Steve “Zetro” Souza (Exodus), Jack Gibson (Exodus), and Felipe Roa (Angor, ex-Shadows Fall) recently joined forces for a quarantine cover of Megadeth’s “Wake Up Dead.” You can check that out below:

BPMD (Overkill, Vio-lence, Etc.) Share Video For Cover Of Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic”

BPMD, the band featuring Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.), and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), have premiered a new video for their cover of Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic.” This track is from the band’s new covers album “American Made,“ which is set to be released on June 12.

Bobby Blitz commented:

“I remember waaaaaaaaaaay back when Overkill formed, we were cutting our teeth on covers as I was finding my way around the mic. The Aerosmith covers were right in my wheelhouse, so when Mike [Portnoy] picked ‘Toys’ to cover, I was like… ‘Hell Yea’!”

Phil Demmel added:

“It was tricky because Aerosmith have two guitarists, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, playing different things. So, as one guitar player, I had to pick a medium place between the two that sounded good. I thrashed it up a little by adding a lot of down picking and some gallops and triplets.”

“American Made” Track Listing:

01. “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” (Ted Nugent cover)
02. “Toys In The Attic” (Aerosmith cover)
03. “Evil” (Cactus/Willie Dixon cover)
04. “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” (ZZ Top cover)
05. “Saturday Night Special” (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
06. “Tattoo Vampire” (Blue Öyster Cult cover) (feat. Buck Dharma)
07. “D.O.A.” (Van Halen cover)
08. “Walk Away” (James Gang cover)
09. “Never in My Life” (Mountain cover)
10. “We’re An American Band” (Grand Funk Railroad cover)

BPMD (Overkill, Vio-lence, Etc.) Sign With Napalm Records

BPMD, the band featuring Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.), and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), have signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records. As previously reported, the group’s debut album, which is tentatively titled “American Made,” will feature covers of tracks from the 1970s.

Menghi commented:

“We’re super excited about our first BPMD record. Last summer, I was inspired and came up with this crazy idea and here we are, not even a year later, and it’ll see the light of day in these very trying times. The planet needs something to feel good about, and I 100% whole-heartedly believe these tunes will do the trick. Buckle up and make way for BPMD…”

Ellsworth added:

“The BPMD sessions were very fun. They took us all back to our roots and even pre-roots. As it developed, we all realized it was something special, as did Napalm Records, with one listen!”

BPMD are currently scheduled to make their live debut at the Old Bridge Elks Lodge in New Jersey on May 30 as part of “Bulldozer Bash 5.” That event will benefit the Old Bridge Militia Foundation.

Paul Bostaph (Slayer) Working On New Project

Paul Bostaph (Slayer) has revealed that he is working on a new project with a “friend” who is “very familiar.” He didn’t provide too many details, but a comment from Jason Bittner (Overkill, etc.) seemed to suggest that Bostaph and two other members of Slayer’s final lineup, Kerry King and Gary Holt (Exodus), are working on something with Phil Anselmo (Pantera, etc.). However, this is just an unconfirmed rumor and Holt previously said that he was planning to focus on Exodus after Slayer’s final tour, so his inclusion seems a bit unlikely.

[via Blabbermouth]

Mike Portnoy, Phil Demmel, Bobby Blitz, & Mark Menghi To Release “American Made” Covers Album Under The Name BPMD

During an appearance on “The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show,” Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head) revealed that his new project with Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.), Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) will be called BPMD. The group plan to release a new covers album titled “American Made” later this year.

Demmel said the following:

“It’s called BPMD. So it’s Bobby Blitz, Mike Portnoy, Mark Menghi and Phil Demmel — BPMD. It’s all cover tunes from American bands of the ’70s. It’s called ‘American Made‘, [and it’s got songs from] ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Gang, Aerosmith, Grand Funk Railroad — all these cover tunes that we modernized them and not really thrashed them up, but we made kind of metal versions of them.

And we think we found maybe a label home, and we’re looking to put the record out here probably at the end of the first quarter, maybe beginning of second quarter. It’s all up in the air right now.”

He then added the following after being asked who came up with the idea:

“Mark Menghi did. He said he was around his campfire listening to a Skynyrd song, and he’s all, ‘Hey, I wanna record this and get some guys.’ And he called us up. I flew out to Portnoy’s house, and we had the songs we picked. Each of us picked two, and then we had two songs that were kind of band picks that we needed to do. And we flew out to Portnoy’s house in Pennsylvania. I flew in one day, did tracks, flew out the next day, went home and recorded guitar tracks and solos in a day. And the guys did their other tracks. We got it done pretty fucking quick.”

Demmel also revealed his favorite track from the effort:

“I’m gonna have to say… There’s a sleeper track. It’s a Blue Öyster Cult song called ‘Tattoo Vampire’ that I picked. And Buck Dharma from Blue Öyster Cult actually played on the song. And it’s got kind of a punky feel. ‘Cause the original track is kind of rock and roll, but Menghi or Portnoy had this idea to make it kind of a Ramones feel. So we picked it up. So, ‘Tattoo Vampire’ is my favorite.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Vio-lence Part Ways With Ray Vegas, Recruit Ex-Overkill Guitarist For Upcoming Shows

Vio-lence have parted ways with guitarist Ray Vegas. With him gone, the band have recruited Bobby Gustafson (ex-Overkill) as a fill-in.

The group commented:

“Vio-lence would like to thank Ray Vegas for all his hard work and contributions to this band. It’s been an incredible year bringing Vio back to life and Ray was an integral part in our success. We wish him all the best. The band will be honoring all dates booked.”

They also added:

“Vio-lence is announcing former Overkill guitar player Bobby Gustafson as fill-in for upcoming shows. The band will perform in Puerto Rico this weekend as a 4 piece and Bobby will start later in February when the band goes to Japan/Australia/New Zealand. All shows will be honored as scheduled.”

Tour Dates:

02/01 Santurce, PR – La Respuesta
02/22-23 Osaka, JAP – True Thrash Fest
02/26 Canberra, AUS – The Basement
02/27 Brisbane, AUS – The Triffid
02/28 Sydney, AUS – Manning House
02/29 Melbourne, AUS – Max Watt’s
03/01 Adelaide, AUS – Enigma Bar
03/03 Wellington, NZ – Valhalla
03/04 Auckland, NZ – Whammy Bar
03/20 Raleigh, NC – The Pour House Music Hall
03/21 Chicago, IL – Reggies
04/18 Oakland, CA – Oakland Metro
05/22 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage (Maryland Death Fest)
06/05 Austin, TX – Oblivion Access
08/06 Swadlincote, UK – Bloodstock Open Air
09/19 Montreal, QC – Quebec Deathfest

Rock/Metal Musicians Pay Tribute To The Late Neil Peart (Rush)

As previously reported, Rush’s Neil Peart has sadly passed away following a battle with brain cancer. A number of rock/metal musicians have since taken to social media to pay tribute to the legendary drummer and some of the various posts can be found below:

Geddy Lee (Rush):

View this post on Instagram

Rest in peace, my brother. 💔

A post shared by Geddy Lee (@geddyimages) on

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett:

Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins:

Slash (Guns N’ Roses):

View this post on Instagram

RIP #NeiPeart

A post shared by Slash (@slash) on

Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath):

KISS’ Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons:

Gary Holt (Exodus):

David Ellefson (Megadeth):

Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, and Frank Bello:

Dave Lombardo (ex-Slayer, etc.):

View this post on Instagram

R.I.P. #nealpeart An extraordinary talent.

A post shared by Dave Lombardo (@davelombardo) on

King Diamond:

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine):

John Dolmayan (System Of A Down):

Steven Adler (ex-Guns N’ Roses):

Sebastian Bach (ex-Skid Row):

Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.):

Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour):

Overkill:

Mike Inez (Alice In Chains):

Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins):

Alex Bent (Trivium):

Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless):

Chris Jericho (Fozzy):

Matt Sorum (ex-Guns N’ Roses, etc.):

Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch):

Adam Gontier (Saint Asonia, ex-Three Days Grace):

View this post on Instagram

~ Shocked. The Legend. Rest In Peace Neil Peart. 🙏🏻

A post shared by Adam Gontier (@adamgontierofficial) on

Shawn Drover (ex-Megadeth, etc.):

Sacred Reich:

Matt Halpern (Periphery):

Zach Myers (Shinedown):

Chuck D (Public Enemy, Prophets of Rage):

Dan Briggs (Between The Buried And Me):

Peter Frampton:

Jack Black (Tenacious D):