Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth Reflects On Overkill’s Retirement Decision

Overkill’s Bobby Ellsworth shared his thoughts on the proper time for a musician to retire in his interview with Metal Remains. Blitz explained what he takes into consideration about continuing to perform, and how pride and ego take part in this:

“My meter is to be able to present myself at a high level. If I can’t do that, I won’t do that. But that’s pride too. But I think pride is necessary in this. I’m not a firm believer in the fact that I’m driven by ego, but you have to have a certain amount of ego in the makeup to be able to do this and to be able to wanna succeed at it.”

Then he told his opinion about the proper time for him to retire:

“So I think somewhere between pride and ego is retirement for me when they both wane or they both become less. I think I have both in balance in my life that I only use them when I’m standing on that stage.”

Bobby added that he doesn’t overthink the idea of retirement:

“So it’s not a disappointing kind of a thought to me. It’s just the next phase — it’s just whatever the next phase is.”

When the frontman was asked about musicians’ persistence to perform even when they aren’t physically compatible, he mentioned the ‘adaptability’ aspect:

“I tend to agree with you. But there’s adaptability along the way too. The Bobby Blitz, D.D. Verni of the Overkill of 1990 for sure is much different than the Overkill in 2023. We still have the same principles but we have adapted to that change of approximately 33 years.”

He later continued by giving examples about his own experiences while performing:

“I can’t walk on those monitors like I did and tiptoe on them and jump into the audience upside down like I used to without expecting to break my back. But, that being said, I still can release records with Dave Linsk, Derek Tailer, Jason Bittner and D.D. Verni that have the power of ‘Scorched’.

Ellsworth then said how ‘adaptability’ has an effect on ‘retirement’:

“So if that’s the adaptability to what the current day is, it’s still about what we are, not what we were. So I think that gives retirement a little pushback away from the present-day conversation.”

Overkill was first formed in 1980 and since then, they released twenty studio albums, an album of cover songs, two EPs, one demo tape and three live albums. Their latest album ‘Scorched’ came out in April, and marked the 20th album of the thrash metal band.

You can watch the whole interview here.