OVERKILL bassist D.D. Verni recently spoke to Sweden's Metalshrine.se webzine about the group's new album, "ReliXIV", and the current metal scene. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:
Metalshrine.se: After all these years, is it still as much fun as it was when you started out?
D.D. Verni: "Yeah! I hate to tell people that, because we always feel like we're still getting away with it. Don't tell people we still don't have a real job, we're still just doing this! It is in different kinds of ways. For a long time, the most fun of being in a band, the most joy was to play live. While that's still fun, we really, in the last couple of years, started to enjoy songwriting! Much more so. Early on we would write new songs because our manager would call us off the road and say 'You can't keep playing shows unless you've got another record!' That felt like the work part of things. Now, we really enjoy being in the studio and we're really comfortable there. I own my own recording studio and that's where we did this record and that's where we did our last record too, actually. It's in New Jersey, it's nice and comfortable and we can go on hours that we please and work the way we want and take as much time as we want. We still have fun, like that song ['Old School']! You know what? We thought about just getting drunk and say 'Let's start drinking now and around midnight tonight we'll do that thing!' The problem is we've kind of done that in the past and when you say 'It's just a punky kind of song and it's not supposed to be tight!' And when you listen back when you make it not tight, it sounds like shit! So we just tried to make it loose, so we didn't continue to drink. (laughs)"
Metalshrine.se: There's obviously a big difference between the '80s and today when it comes to record deals and doing videos and stuff. And you get the feeling that no one is showing heavy metal videos anymore.
D.D. Verni: "Yeah! It´s not like it was for sure, but I'm not as sure about it here in Europe, but in the States there are more and more avenues now for videos. There's MTV2 channel, there's 'Headbanger's Ball' that´s coming back and VH1 has got some stuff going on. More and more clubs around the country have screens and video thing, so you can use it as a tool to promote the record and the promotion show, so even if you do a video and you can't get it on to a TV station, at least it goes out to all the clubs in the country. So before you come into town they hear a new song, they see a new video, so you get to your base, the people that matter! I think there was a time when videos didn't matter at all and a lot of bands just stopped making them, but it seems like in the last couple of years I've been seeing that bands have started thinking about it again and the avenues are opening up again. We probably wanna do a video, we just talked about it this weekend, so we'll see."
Metalshrine.se: Is it easier these days or more difficult than in the '80s when it comes to record deals and so on? A lot more work to get across to people these days. Was it easier back then?
D.D. Verni: "Actually the opposite! There are so many bands now compared to when we started in the mid-Eighties. There wasn't that many labels...there was a lot of bands, but not like it is now. It seems like there is so many bands and you can make a pretty good sounding record now with the technology that you put in your basement. It wasn't like that! You needed the label to give you money to get you inte the studio and have anything that was presentable. So you have smaller labels now that put out products that sounds pretty good and...In the mid-Eighties, I would say most of the bands never got signed and barely ever did any recordings. Maybe a demo! Now, bands in high school are making full records, CDs. Pressing them themselves, making them. We didn't have access to any of that kind of stuff! It has changed a lot but mostly more competition and more labels and more bands. It's changed a lot too as far as back in the States and Europe used to be pretty similar. Now we have like a different set that we play in America than we play in Europe. The songs they like and the songs they pick up on, we can tell that when we do a record now, that that's a Europe song, that's an American song! The American audience seem to lean more towards the groovy stuff, the stuff that swings a little bit and the Europeans still love...if it has a hint of '80s in it... 'That's the one I like! I know a lot of people over here hate nu metal, but I like it a lot. Not all of it, but a lot! MACHINE HEAD, STATIC-X etc. I love that shit, but we come from BLACK SABBATH, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST and all that. So we're a blend of that and that's why we keep an audience in America and over here, because some bands are huge over here and they can't get arrested in America. We've been able to keep going on both shores!"
Read D.D. Verni's entire interview with Metalshrine.se at this location.