Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Friday, November 27, 2020

Interview: Overcharge

Led by the parole: drink hard and play it loud, bizzarriti Marcio in front of Overcharge speaks for Abaddon Magazine. Enjoy in this interview as much as we did!

Hi! Welcome to Abaddon Magazine!
Hi Ivona! Thanks for the opportunity!

Overcharge is a young band, so let’s introduce our readers with your work. Tell me the basics, where and when the band was formed?
The band was born in 2012 in the province of Varese, far north of the metropolitan area of Milan. Yes, we are a young band but not at the first experiences, since each member already played in previous groups with live and studio recording activities. We played some very fast thrashcore, or old school death metal or even wild rock’n’roll … In short, there was already a good buzz and an important network of bands, friends, hotheads and vagabonds.

What was the band′s main goal back then?
The current one: playing, playing gigs, touring and blasting some amps.

The first album ″Accelerate″ was recorded at Studio Šopa (CZ) in January 2014. Back then you were not the part of the band. Did you know anything about the band before you joined Panzer and Josh?
Of course, I was involved in music projects with some of their friends and we frequented the same places.

You joined the band in 2015 and before that you were in Psychofagist. Tell me something more about previous engagements.
Ahah, you make me deal with the past! Let’s say that since 2001, the year in which I recorded the first home-made demos, I never gave up bass: Psychofagist went on for 11 years and in parallel I played with Horror Pilots (rocknroll), No Fun (garage), Piattö (noiserock), MxDxSx (industrial), Greyswan (goth-doom) … I definitely forget someone. I tried to live with live music, going from rockabilly to stoner to blues. Mission failed, with no remorse and no repent.

Second album ″Speedsick″ was released in 2016. After you joined the band did anything change in Overcharge work ethics?
You should ask my mates! I believe that the room for maneuver has expanded immediately, same thing for the experiments on sound and digressions; and this allowed, later, to align us all with what the Overcharge approach should have been in full. We skimmed and removed what was superfluous, we consolidated the issues and cemented our Wall of Sound.

How did you divide your ″jobs″? Who is in charged for music, lyrics..
In general I sketch the lyrics, then I redefine and adapt them to six hands. Most of the riffs come out of Josh’s dazed brain, but all strictly in the rehearsal room! But there is still a long way from the riff to composing a piece: Panzer is the guarantor of our sound! If something doesn’t convince him, he doesn’t even try to fix it or make it perfect, he doesn’t get the right charge to hammer on the drumheads: and I assure you, this way of doing has always proved him right, it’s the spirit of Rock’n’Roll that makes him boil the bowels.

Officially, release date for ″MetalPunx″ was in march 13th Phobia Records. Can you explain what happened in the meantime, since you actually officially promoted your album on November 10th. Also you changed the label. I am kind of lost here.
“Metalpunx” was officially released on LP on March 20, 2020, by Phobia Records, AngryVoice and Calimocho. That date corresponds to the outbreak of the global pandemic, the most critical lockdowns and stops. Everything has stopped, every tour, every gig, every activity in promotion for the record has been canceled. In the summer, then, together with Enrico of Planet K Records, we decided to make the CD edition including bonuses, demos, live shows, etc, in a limited edition and with a solid promotion. Let’s say that, as good standard bearers of do-it-yourself and the underground scene, we have involved a massive group of interlocutors to try to spread the word of Overcharge!

Due obvious reasons caused by pandemic, you choose to promote it online by having a live chat. How did it go?
Awesome. It was a healthy chat between friends, each at his home in front of his own beers.

Earlier this year, in February, you released the video for ″Black Diesel Breath″. Tell me something more about the script, who signed the video, where did you film it?
We knew we could fully rely on our dear friends from Memento Mori in Turin: Alina and Tuby. They are maniacs behind the cameras, they found the locations, shared the plot with us, collected some real Wasteland-Warriors and put together two days of set. Partly around a nuclear power plant near Turin, partly in an abandoned pre-industrial village.

The meaning wanted to be just that: gang of punks intoxicated by the smoke of engines and the most unhealthy vices, who face the end of the world with a braggart attitude, but who are basically revelers who believe in solidarity: united we stand, divided we fall.

Album covers are very interesting. I mentioned in a review I wrote that gradation is symbolic: three skulls losing color, very bright at the first album, and now it is black and white. Who stands behind art cover and does that graduation has any meaning or it is just coincidence?
The artist is Bustarinov a.k.a. Devilreject Art: we pushed him well to make it pigeonhole all the elements, including the skulls, the metal grafts, the most Crust-punk iconography, the Driller Killer drill, the snake and the vulture that make up the double-face of predator and prey. The gradation created a depth effect, but I understand your interpretation: subconsciously it’s a darker and sharper view than “Speedsick”‘s, you’re right.

The album is released on vinyl. I will not be rude and ask you about your age, but tell me when you were growing up, what was the main source of music vinyl, audio cassettes, CDs…
I started devouring music as a child with the tapes I found around: I remember Queen, The Who, The Doors, Springsteen, Litfiba. I got my first CD as a gift when I was 11, and I think it was Queen’s “Greatest Hits II”.

Over the years, I had no favorite format and, on the contrary, I was attracted to the vinyls of friends’ parents. When I started hanging out with down-and-out Metalhads older than me, they told me, “If you want to be Heavy Metal, you have to listen to vinyl.” They took me to Vinilmania, the most important fair in Italy, and there I stole from a stand “Coma of Souls” by Kreator and “The Years of Decay” by Overkill. However, of course, for many years to follow it was the CD that dominated.

What would you say about the path you choose? Different magazines marked you as metalpunk, I would say it is speed metal/punk…
I don’t care about labels. Metalpunk is more a way of being and of approaching music. You can have crests, pieces of steel stuck everywhere and flaunt a Dismember patch, like you can do the uncompromising Metal Defender and tease those who have never listened to Discharge or Bad Brains.

Fortunately, I now see a lot of cohesion within this “crossover”. Fanatics and Puritans may very well go and drink their own piss somewhere alone.

So far you shared the stage with Extreme Noise Terror, Brujeria, Necrodeath and many others. Do you like the life on the road?
It is tiring, but a lot of fun. And if you work well, if you are respectful of your message and if you respect the hustle and bustle of everyone around you and for you, on-the-road life can hold real satisfactions. I’m not talking about ephemeral fame. I speak of true humanity.

What is your fuel, what makes you to play fast and furious music?
Going out of the box to build something of your own, which someone else collects and shares. The fact that we feel like a piece within a self-managed system, thanks to the fact that we are part of a collective (Olona Wasteland Punx) that gathers bands and people, manages places for concerts and makes networks with national and international realities and groups. We never think about individual and subjective choices. We don’t go on tour because “it’s cool” and because “we get reimbursement, food, lodging, drugs, free drinks”. Goals are set and achieved together. Are the people around us furious and want strong emotions? Perfect: we are there, you will not be disappointed!

Looking at promo pics, you have to be blind or absolutely ignorant not to see similarity between you and Lemmy. That similarity is noticeable in sound as well. How much Motorhead influenced you and the band?
Haha… I don’t deserve the comparison. Let’s say that the photo on the back of “Metalpunx” was meant to be a tribute to the pose of Motörhead’s single “Leavin Here / White line Fever”. We go out of our way naturally over the parties, very arrogant and at the same time benevolent.

They are among the most unique and inimitable bands in history, along with Sabbath, Kiss or Stooges and a few others. We can only draw from the Motörhead. Lemmy’s biography surpasses any Hollywood imagination: the last of the hippies, born, raised and sacrificed for music, who at some point wants to build the fastest and most deafening band in the world.

Anyone who thinks they’re just a Rock’n’Roll band doesn’t understand much. Those who associate them with right-wing ideologies have understood even less.

Would you mention any other bands that influenced you the most?
Apart from the whole Swedish scene that really blows the brains out of all of us (Disfear, Entombed, Anti-Cimex, Avskum), I remember that when I joined Overcharge I was doing autogenic training with massive doses of Amebix, Carnivore, Zeke and Turbonegro.

What is your life philosophy?
Do not judge. Don’t do to others what you don’t want them to do to you. Always make the most of situations, even the most tragic. Never take anything for granted.

How do you see the future of Overcharge?
Grinding, constantly grinding, advancing one square at a time, while the tinnitus ogre is always around the corner. Constantly growing, always (as we say) “bizzarriti”… It’s a neologism coming from our crew, it sounds like a mix between Bizarre and Italian word “imbizzarrito”, which means “restless and wild”.

How are you spending these crazy days? How Corona virus did affect your life?
It is very sad, we were able to do our last rehearsal last Friday. We are now in the second lockdown. I work like a mule in my “regular” life, and so do my partners, especially Josh who is a handyman in an organic supermarket for 10 hours a day.

We tried to set up small things, small shows here and there, contingent meetings, we re-adapted the stage of our club to record video-sessions and do some promotion to the groups of the collective. We hold on, very hard. We try, at least.

Considering the situation all over the world caused by Corona virus, after we finally get back our lives, what is the first thing you would do related to music?
Go up on stage, set volume and gain to +10 and play Black Sabbath’s “Hand of Doom”!

The end of the year is coming near. Which bands and albums have you listened to the most in 2020?
I listen to a lot of very different and seamless stuff! At the level of “fraternal” groups of our underground circuit, I have listened a lot to recent works by Skulld, Motron, The Radsters and Terror Firmer.

Marcello, thank you so much for your time. Stay safe!
Lovely! I had a real good time answering your interview. Take care of yourself and each other, drink hard and play it loud!