Where Are They Now? Bobby Gustafson of Overkill
Although they aren't considered one of the "Big 4," Overkill are still one of the most influential thrash metal bands in history. In the 1980s, the New Jersey combo's four studio albums were instrumental in helping shape the sound and direction metal would take in the next decade. One of the most vital ingredients of Overkill's success was guitarist Bobby Gustafson.
In terms of right hand technique, Gustafson was up there with rhythm guitar aces like Scott Ian and James Hetfield. The guitarist also knew how to pull off a completely dazzling solo. On the songwriting side, Gustafson's contributions to albums like 1988's 'Under the Influence' and 1989's 'The Years of Decay' helped to make them standards in the thrash genre.
Growing tension within the group forced Gustafson to leave Overkill in 1990. Noisecreep recently tracked Gustafson down in Florida, and after a few back-and-forth email exchanges, we finally got an interview with the former Overkill axeman.
Let's talk about Overkill first. It's been over 20 years since you parted ways with the band. What brought on the split?
It's hard to make a long story short, but I'll try. D.D. [Verni, bassist] wanted to do a show at [legendary rock club] L'amour's in Brooklyn just to have Christmas money. I was against it. He quit the band on me and Blitz [Ellsworth, vocalist], but then he wanted to come back. So we let him back in, and then I find out that for two weeks he's trying to get me kicked out of the group through our management.
He said that he wanted two guitar players. This was after we had already done four albums with one. Not to mention that our latest and best-selling album had been written all by me. I still believe it was