Amy Sciarretto of The Aquarian Weekly recently conducted an interview with vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth of New Jersey thrash metal veterans OVERKILL. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Aquarian Weekly: Let’s talk chocolate first…
Blitz: My wife and I own a chocolate retail outlet in Nyack, New York, just outside of the Aquarian‘s reach. It’s close to the Bergen County line. It’s primarily imports. My wife is Dutch. I was about to open a studio and I thought, “She is not going to want to sit in a studio.” She had done her legwork on this and had always been in service industry with her parents. We went that route. I’ve bailed [out] the LAMB OF GOD guys a few times on Valentine’s Day when they need some chocolates. It’s cool. Music and life changes. This is viable too. People who like the band also come get the high-end Belgian chocolates. We opened the store in 2004. We had one in Jersey for a while and one in Nyack. They were great niche businesses that had nothing to do with the recession. The business model is recession-proof. You are not jockeying for position by saving people 10 cents. If people want Belgian chocolate, they get it. We closed the Jersey one. Nyack is a great walking town and like a Greenwich Village. Chocolaterie [web site] is the name and quite simply, it means “chocolate shop.”
The Aquarian Weekly: So you’ve been thrashing since the ’80s. What keeps you in the metal game after all these years, especially with your successful side business?
Blitz: We’ve worked on a schedule, since 1985. You do it this long, you obviously love it. It’s brought me, my wife, chocolate [and] getting to go on tour to all sorts of places. I find it funny. We’re releasing our 15th record, we’re going on [our] 15th world tour and there were still places I have not been. There are still some uncharted territories. There are still places to go. It’s the same electric vibe with “The Electric Age”. It’s not overexposed and it’s not polluted. It’s pure. It still gives back what we put into it.
The Aquarian Weekly: Seems like a good enough reason since making music is still fresh for you and you still have territories to hit.
Blitz: I’ve got a great partner, D.D. [Verni, bass] — we’re both Jersey guys. We have the same background. No matter how much I travel, the most comfortable place is Jersey, since I feel like I am understood. I can wink or nod, people know what I mean. But as for me and D.D., we have this 30-year relationship, business and professional. Every aspect of the band goes across our desks; tour posters, t-shirt designs, the deals, contracts. We are a self-managed band, so we have a larger stake. It’s not just the love of the music, even though that is the ultimate motivation. But we have this business, with the same model, the same background. It grew and it’s growing.
Read the entire interview from The Aquarian Weekly.