It's been a long journey for Overkill, a punk influenced heavy metal band from New Jersey. "I still get excited at every performance," said vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. "I get butterflies. My stomach still keeps turning upside down."
Besides Ellsworth, Overkill's lineup consists of co-writer and bassist D.D. Verni and guitarist Dave Linsk; drummer Tim Mallere and guitarist Derek Tailer. Overkill was first discovered and signed in 1985, but the current lineup have been performing together since 2000.
Originally a cover band, the heavy metal artists are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their first record deal. After 14 albums, they are still touring and Springfield is just one of their many destinations. Overkill performs at Jaxx on Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m.
The five members of Overkill are influenced by such bands Black Sabbath and the Sex Pistols, but their music has its own style.
"I write music with D.D. And we do the primarily writing, but everyone contributes," said Ellsworth. "When we are totally satisfied with a recording, it's a done deal"
Connection: How did you get your name Overkill?
Ellsworth: The name comes from a Motorhead song. Since we originally started out as a cover band, we chose a song [title] that we could relate to.
What type of venues do you prefer?
We perform a lot in clubsize [venues]. But there are some bigger ones and some smaller ones. We have performed at Roskilde in Denmark with a big audience and at places like Jaxx. It's what we know so it doesn't really matter. It's fantastic to do both.
What can people expect at the April 8 performance?
It's 90 minutes of everything. The idea is to take 90 minutes and make it feel as it went by too quick. Energy, high energy and making the audience feel that.
When you make your music what message do you want to give?
It's not a message but more a mood and also the principles we have. 'A Pound of Flesh' [from Overkill's latest album, ReliXIV] is about not selling oneself to the music industry. But it's about getting into separate moods.
Which songs do you prefer to perform?
The newer songs always get me exited. But also songs that get me into different moods. I don't have a specific song, more a specific mood.
Tickets for the Overkill show on Friday, April 8 , are $20, and are available at Jaxx. For more information, call 703-569-5940 or visit www.jaxxroxx.com. Jaxx is located at 6355 Rolling Road, Springfield.