OVERKILL drummer Jason Bittner has confirmed to BODS Mayhem Hour in a new interview that the band is “hard at work” on a new studio album. “Technically, we were supposed to already be done with it by now, if the world hadn’t changed back in March,” he said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe. “But now, due to the fact that we’re not pushing for a release that quickly, it’s given us a little bit of time to hone the songs a little better and spend some more time and whatnot.
“I’m at about the song-seven mark right now out of 11 demos that we have,” he continued. “So I have about seven of them wrapped up so far. I’ll be working a little bit more on a couple of more new ones later this weekend and next week.
“I think right now, the last time I talked to D.D. [Verni, bass], our idea is to try to start getting drums done, like, September-ish, depending on what happens. The problem is that we really can’t do our regular pre-production right now, because we all don’t live in the same state. I mean, D.D. is in New Jersey, and I’m only three hours away. Blitz [singer Bobby Ellsworth] is two hours away from where D.D. and Derek [Tailer, guitar] are, but Dave [Linsk, guitar] lives in Florida. So the problem is even if he comes up for pre-production, we can’t even do any of that for two weeks, because he’d have to quarantine first.
“The way we normally do records is we work on everything ourselves, and then we take a week where we go down to New Jersey and everybody gets together,” Jason explained. “And we’ll work on, like, two songs a day and just bust it out for five or six days and then get everything together. But this one may be a little bit more of us getting it together from our homes and doing a lot more online discussion and stuff about things rather than us actually playing it. So, we’ll see.”
Asked if the 11 tracks are pretty much the ones that will make up the next OVERKILL album or if there will be more material written for the LP, Jason said: “My guess would be that what we have right now is what’s gonna be on the record. We’re generally not a band that writes extra songs. It’s kind of like you write what you need for the album and you write another one for Japan, [which] always needs an extra B-side. And that’s pretty much it. We don’t do that METALLICA thing of, ‘Let’s write 30 songs and pick 10 of the best ones.’ I think it’s definitely a better idea to just concentrate on doing 10 great songs rather than having six throwaways or whatever.”
This past June, Ellsworth told A&P Reacts about the musical direction of the new OVERKILL songs: “I see it as a natural progression from ‘The Grinding Wheel’  and ‘The Wings Of War’ . It think when we had done the ‘Ironbound’ record , it almost became like a trilogy in there — it was kind of like ‘Ironbound’, ‘The Electric Age’  and ‘White Devil Armory’ , and they seemed to be the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost kind of a thing. I think we kind of broke the mold a little bit with ‘The Grinding Wheel’, and then I think a little bit more with ‘The Wings Of War’. And on this one, I see it way more. And what I mean by that is that we’ve used other tools from our toolshed in the past, and that’s the slow grind that is coupled with that fast gallop. So it feels like a natural progression, but maybe two records ahead of what ‘The Wings Of War’ is. And that’s probably as objective as I can be.”
The next OVERKILL album is tentatively due in April 2021 via Nuclear Blast.
OVERKILL has spent most of the last year touring in support of its 19th studio LP, “The Wings Of War”, which was released in February 2019.