The fact they’ve announced UK shows next year is all the excuse we need

Although everybody seems to have a different account of who came first in the world of New York/New Jersey area thrash metal, it seems certain that New Jersey’s Overkill have stayed around the longest, and have never let their fans down by remaining musically consistent and true to their roots for an impressive 35 years with an unprecedented 18 studio albums under their belts.

The massive contribution to thrash by heavy metal partners in crime Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and bassist D.D. Verni (who cofounded Overkill the same year Ronald Reagan was elected President) is undeniable and remains unchallenged by those in the know. Overkill were formed about one year before Slayer and Anthrax and a couple of years ahead of Metallica, with all of the aforementioned bands pushing forward a new style of music drawing from NWOBHM, hard rock and punk.

Through much hard work and a slew of infamous live performances at New York area clubs like L’Amours, Overkill established a reputation as a blue-collar, working man’s metal band. After the band released a self-financed EP in 1984, Overkill broke onto the scene in 1985 with ‘Feel The Fire’, a crushing thrash assault. The self-proclaimed ‘Wrecking Crew’ – originally consisting of vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, bassist D.D. Verni, guitarist Bobby Gustafson, and drummer Rat Skates – were on a tear, borrowing heavily from punk rock roots while adding a venomous metal crunch that allowed them to compete favourably with peers like Testament,Anthrax, and Megadeth. The guys have been part of the Nuclear Blast family now since 2009 and are one of the most successful East Coast thrash bands in history.

“I think it was my niece who asked me recently ‘What do you really do for a living? Are you a Rockstar?’” Blitz remembers with a devilish chuckle. “I told her, ‘I have spent over 30 years of my life alienating the masses. That’s what I do. But I endear myself to a small minority. That small minority loves me and I love them. That’s how it works.” Blitz lets out a big laugh. “I think she’s still at home going, ‘Hmm, I don’t get it!’” Overkill Links: