Tag Archives: bobby blitz

PiercingMetal Goes Inside The Eddie Trunk Book Release Event (4/1/2011)

eddie trunk book signing, eddie trunk's essential hard rock and heavy metal book event, eddie trunk
Eddie Trunk’s “Essential Hard Rock & Heavy Metal”

PiercingMetal.com had the honor of being one of the many guests of Eddie Trunk and the fine folks from Abrams Books at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square in order to celebrate the release of the radio/television personality’s first ever book –  “Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal”.   For many years the general public has known Eddie from his radio shows both satellite and terrestrial and then as the main man on the VH1 Classic hit program “That Metal Show”.  Now he can add author to his listing of accomplishments.   The affair was not open to the general public but some of the shows fans were given the opportunity to win a spot in the room and also to receive a copy of the book to take home with them after it was all done.  Pretty cool eh?

eddie trunk book signing, eddie trunk's essential hard rock and heavy metal book event, eddie trunk
The Banner For The Book

Considering that the site was a guest of Eddie and the publishing house my presence was more about raising a glass in honor of the book and to enjoy myself but that would not stop me from snapping some photos and bringing the readership into the room with me in some fashion after it had finished.  Here’s a shot of Eddie holding the book and its principle photographer Ron Akiyama.

eddie trunk book signing, eddie trunk's essential hard rock and heavy metal book event, eddie trunk
Eddie Trunk & Ron Akiyama

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HAIL! @ B.B. King Blues Club (1/26/2010)

Logo - Hail

Artist: HAIL!
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: Age Of Evil
Date: 1/262009
Label: Independent Artist

When it comes to cover bands you either love them or hate them and that makes perfect sense because for every good one there are about twenty five that are bad. In some cases the cover band chooses to focus on a particular band or theme and only do material related to the artist and hence become a tribute act. The good versus bad in the tribute act realm is exponentially higher and I have to say that for every good tribute that I have been able to see that I can count ten times that many that make a mockery of the material that they are supposed to be paying homage to. Despite this the Metal Tribute bands have certainly come a long way and over the years we have enjoyed those that present us with full sets of material featuring Rush, KISS, Van Halen, Judas Priest, Slayer and Black Sabbath – the list goes on and one and would take too long to outline in this narrative so we’ll leave it at that. The act of Metal tribute makes one wonder what would happen if legends in their own right banded together and formed a tribute act of their own and with that in mind, ladies and gentlemen I give you “HAIL!”. The powerful name just makes you want to push your fist up into the air or raise the horns for the glory of the Metal and how could you resist when facing a lineup like Tim “Ripper” Owens (vocals), Dave Ellefson (bass), Andreas Kisser (guitar) and Mike Portnoy (drums). Together the guys would honor the giants of the Metal scene and most important of all – have a blast doing it. The show this evening would be at B.B. King Blues Club and find some new blood getting us all into gear. We’ll talk about them first and then get down to covering the cover band.
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“Gigantour 2″ (DVD) by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Gigantour 2”
Label: Image Entertainment
Release Date: 4/22/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Having attended both of the Gigantour events to date I have to admit that I enjoyed the overall Metal consistency of Gigantour 2 much more than I did with the first event. Of course I mean no disrespect to the fine and talented bands that made up the events initial run for I am a huge fan of Dream Theater, Nevermore and Symphony X who joined the mighty Megadeth. Yet there was something about the booking of bands like Lamb Of God, Arch Enemy, Opeth and Overkill to be on one stage that gave it a much more intense feeling for me. Released as a companion to the CD bearing the same name comes the “Gigantour 2” DVD, and like its counterpart it is a single disk presentation and right off the bat I felt that Image Entertainment dropped the ball a little bit with this one. The first criticism is in their choosing to go with only one DVD for the product when we live in a time where almost every such release is a double disk endeavor and the second is that with this being a single disk item it should have been packaged together with the audio CD as opposed having them released individually. Having this as a single DVD makes this only a minute teaser taste and with it running just over an hour is hardly representative of the whole festival event. I know budgets and expenses are probably high on releases like this but as my concern was with the CD, it is better to deliver two disks. Make the first one the newer bands or earlier set bands and make the second the headliner and immediate support acts like Arch Enemy, Lamb Of God and Opeth. Perhaps the view is that each of these artists already have such a release and there is no need for duplicating the process at this point in time.
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“Gigantour 2” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Gigantour 2”
Label: Image Entertainment
Release Date: 4/22/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Dave Mustaine and his merry men in Megadeth successfully led the first Gigantour event into the hearts of Heavy Metal fans everywhere and that outing brought us Dream Theater, Symphony X, Nevermore, Life Of Agony and many more all on the same stage. It was the subject of a well-received CD and DVD release that while it didn’t bring you the entire event, certainly did its job in giving you a sample to make you kick yourself should you have passed on it. The initial success led to a second festival and when they announced the lineup for that go round of the event I felt that they had once again captured some of the most relevant artists in Metal music today. Gigantour 2 was much more of a shredding guitar festival and it had the likes of Arch Enemy, Lamb Of God, Opeth, Overkill and Into Eternity joined by two newer bands Sanctity and The Smashup. Having attended my area’s performance of Gigantour 2 I could agree with many who maintained that this event had one-upped the previous year in terms of musical consistency. While the bands on the first were all rather interesting, some of them lost some people, while others gained them. G2 had no such issue as crowds assembled early and remained inside as opposed to wandering while a band they didn’t love or find a tad curious performed. The second Gigantour would also make its way to CD and DVD and while it is only a single disc release they managed to fit fourteen tracks on it. I had missed The Smash-Up at my show and found their Metalcore to be a good kick off to the CD but I cant judge much more on them since I have little background on them.
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PiercingMetal Talks To Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth from Overkill (1/18/2008)

Logo - Overkill

Overkill is one of the legends in the Thrash Metal annals of history and the band while going through a number of guitarist lineup changes has remained the core of D.D. Verni and Blitz for decades. Consistent touring and album releases prove that the band still has what it takes to entertain the fans. There are few bands like Overkill because not only are they able to say that they helped the genre form but they also never really swayed from the path since their inception in 1980. The band recently released their new album “Immortalis” on new label Bodog Music and they are seldom found off tour. Having just caught a smoldering gig at B.B. King Blues Club, we made plans to speak to the bands enigmatic front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth at his earliest convenience. We caught up with him on the telephone in the beginning weeks of 2008 and found him eager to talk about a wide number of topics that ranged from the bands beginnings all the way up until today. We talked about a little bit of everything that Overkill was up to and even covered some of the singers other adventures in life and music. The transcription of our entire conversation is presented for you below.

PiercingMetal: As Metal history has documented quite well – Overkill was one of the very first Thrash Metal bands around so I am curious as to what it was like performing this type of Metal back when the genre itself was still in its formative stages.

Blitz: Stop, I think I’m popular but I think that what made it sell was the commitment to it. Not just by ourselves but by those who were also within the genre, those who believed. Obviously that following grew into legions at one point and still to some degree to this day. There was a great value to it and it was influenced by what had come out of the United Kingdom with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and with us stuff like the Dead Boys and The Ramones to a certain degree, Motorhead. It was different, it was new, but I think there was a great belief in it and that’s what sold it in time.

PiercingMetal: When the group first began what would you say appealed to you most about the kind of music you chose to do and what events led to the formation of Overkill.

Blitz: My Father sat me down I remember and I was in college but we were doing gigs at night and it was Overkill, rather a version of it and I think it was right before Bobby Gustafson had joined the band, and he said “so what do you think about this music thing?” and I replied that I think we have a great chance to make some noise and maybe get a deal etc.etc. and he goes “are you sure it’s not just about free beer and girls” (laughs). Years later I confessed to him that in those early days I had lied to him and that it was mainly about free beer and girls. But there was something different about it obviously and it was aggressive, it was action versus reaction and I think that this was the first time barring Punk that there was action versus reaction music. Definitely for the first time in Metal. Pits formed, and there was natural movement in the crowds, stage-diving started up. The Hardcore scene grew out of it so in some sense it was the planting of the seed that became the mighty oak. So it was really cool to be there at the beginning.
Continue reading PiercingMetal Talks To Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth from Overkill (1/18/2008)