Overkill’s Bobby Blitz on Big 4 Exclusion: ‘He Who Sells the Most Gets the Pole Positions’
New Jersey thrashers Overkill are readying the release of The Grinding Wheel, their 18th studio album since debuting with Feel the Fire in 1985. Known as one of the genre's most consistent acts, frontman Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth recently offered his thoughts on the makeup of the "Big 4" -- Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax -- and why Overkill are not mentioned with them.
"First and foremost, I think it's necessary to be concerned with your own house as opposed to what other people do," Blitz began telling Metal Shock Finland. Noting how its a "great complement to the metal community" and how it demonstrates the power of those bands, the singer added, "Obviously, Metallica is worth the majority of those tickets, because they reinvented music on a heavy level by showing that a band out of San Francisco could make this happen at this large of a scale. And even the new record, the Hardwired record, is, to me, back to, let's say, that angry, aggressive approach that was [present] on …And Justice For All."
Returning to the focus of the question, which asked how Blitz felt about not being included as one of the "Big 4," he chalked it up to sales figures. "But when it comes to being selected and not selected, that's a simple accounting issue," said the frontman. "When you talk numbers, numbers make the world go around, numbers put food on your table, and numbers put the 'Big 4' in arenas. And they sell enough records to do that."
Nonplussed by Overkill's exclusion from the thrash club, Blitz continued, "For me, it's not a concern. To even be asked the question from you is quite a compliment with regard to, let's say, our longevity or tenacity doing what we like doing. But this is quite simply an accounting issue. He who sells the most gets the pole positions."
On Thanksgiving last year, Megadeth's Dave Mustaine tweeted his desire to reunite the "Big 4" for more exclusive shows. When we spoke with Metallica's Robert Trujillo, he acknowledged Mustaine's comments, stating, “Maybe after we get [the 'WorldWired' tour] sort of out of our system, we can dive into 'Big 4' mode and try and do that … I can see doing it again. It was definitely a lot of fun. It makes me feel good that Dave wants to take that journey again.”
Overkill's The Grinding Wheel will be out Feb. 10 on Nuclear Blast and can be pre-ordered here. Catch them on tour with Egyptian-themed death metal vets Nile starting Feb. 14 with a list of dates found at our 2017 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.
See Overkill in the 10 Best Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4
See Where Overkill Rank Among the Top 50 Metal Bands of All Time