Interview with D.D. Verni (Overkill, The Bronx Casket Co.)
Interview conducted by Cameron Edney
Date online: February 21, 2006
When it comes to metal giants D.D. Verni is right up there with the best of them. D.D. has been thrashing it up on stage now for more than twenty years to sold-out crowds worldwide. D.D. Verni has an amazing metal history, as a founding member of thrash metal icons Overkill D.D. has had the chance to see the world, sell-out stadiums and release such classics as: 'Taking Over', 'Horrorscope', 'Fuck You and Then Some' and more recently 'Relix IV'. Forming the Bronx Casket Co back in 1998, D.D. continued to write and tour with Overkill but wanted to explore other avenues. Along side D.D. the Bronx Casket Co also features Jack Frost [Seven Witches], Charlie Calv, Myke Hideous and Tim Mallare [M.O.D. / Overkill]. D.D. and gang recently released their third studio album 'Hellectric'. The first initial shipment of 'Hellectric' sold out within days which was fantastic news for the band and was praised by fans across the globe. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with D.D. in regards to the new Bronx Casket Co album, the longevity of his career, overkill and much more.
INSIDE_OUT666: D.D. hows things mate, thanks so much for taking the time out to answer the following questions for our readers. I'd like to start by talking to you about the latest BCC album 'Hellectric' congratulations on a job well done. How long did it take to record the new album?
D.D. VERNI: Thanks, well since I own the recording studio we had as much time as we needed so basically it happened or a period of a few months. We took it pretty easy.
INSIDE_OUT666: When it came time to record 'Hellectric' did you approach it in a different way to albums you have recorded in the past?
D.D. VERNI: No not really. I have a way that I like to approach recording, the only thing was since there was not a deadline for this, I went a lot slower than I usually do.
INSIDE_OUT666: After all these years of writing and recording how do you constantly come up with new fresh sounding material without falling into the trap a lot of other bands do by repeating themselves?
D.D. VERNI: Oh I don't know really, I am always inspired to try to do something a bit different, and I have heard of other guys who sometimes run out of ideas. That is never the case for me I always have ideas cooking for new songs etc,
INSIDE_OUT666: 'Hellectric' consists of twelve tracks, in a few words can you tell us the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the following tracks:
Little Dead Girl: Video. I love the one we did for it and it was such fun to do it.
Dream of Angels: Radio. I always heard this as a radio song, just seems to fit that groove.
Bleed with Me: We were originally going to open the record with this. This song kind of has all the elements of a Bronx Casket song all in one.
In My Skin: Heavy. I like this one a lot, good pounding groove a little more metal than some of the other tracks.
Mortician's Lullaby: Different, this is a strange song for me to write but I like it a lot, and I thought it gave the record as a whole a cool vibe.
INSIDE_OUT666: What equipment did you use while recording the new album?
D.D. VERNI: Oh way too much to list [laughs], but for the bass I used what I use most of the time, I just tried to back it down a notch so it would be as aggressive as my regular Overkill tone.
INSIDE_OUT666: D.D. I'd like to talk to you about touring. You will be playing a series of shows in the States with Overkill in coming months what can fans expect to see at the shows?
D.D. VERNI: I don't really know [laughs], that's a big part of the fun of it. We never did any before so it's a really new experience, but whatever it is, it will be gloomy and fun.
INSIDE_OUT666: As you are well aware; Overkill and BCC have never played here in Australia, are there any plans in the works for either band to tour here?
D.D. VERNI: Not right now, although Overkill has been getting closer to taking the trip at some point.
INSIDE_OUT666: Well hopefully we won't have to wait much longer! What do you recall from the first show BCC ever played?
D.D. VERNI: Mostly that it was more work that fun, and I won't do any more shows with BCC if that continued to be the case.
INSIDE_OUT666: How about Overkill?
D.D. VERNI: Who the hell can remember that long ago [laughs].
INSIDE_OUT666: [laughs] Good point! D.D. with a catalogue that spans over twenty years, how do you come up with the perfect set-list, you are always going to have fans that will want to hear early songs and the occasional obscure tracks + with every band at least two or three new songs are thrown into a set. How do you juggle the set to make everyone happy including yourselves?
D.D. VERNI: Well, mostly we just try and please ourselves. So there are a bunch of regulars that are always in the set and then we just kind of pick what we think would be fun. Not really that scientific.
INSIDE_OUT666: What's the most ridiculous thing you have ever asked for on a tour rider?
D.D. VERNI: We don't play that game, we just ask for what we need to have.
INSIDE_OUT666: Over the years you have shared the stage with so many great bands. Who have you enjoyed touring with the most and could you share a funny road story with us from the tour?
D.D. VERNI: We have toured with a lot of great bands and they have all been fun in some way or another. There are way too many road stories to be able to single out just one.
INSIDE_OUT666: What was your first experience of playing outside the U.S.A. like?
D.D. VERNI: Really great, we toured together with Anthrax and it was their first time abroad to. That was the first time we really looked at each other and said wow we are really in a band [laughs].
INSIDE_OUT666: [laughs] D.D. you have been in this business for quite sometime, why do you think you have lasted so long in an industry that see so many artists come and go?
D.D. VERNI: Who knows? If I had to say one thing it would be my relationship with Blitz. We are on the same page almost all the time about everything the band is up to, so when you have the songwriters and the business guys that run the band agreeing on most everything, it's easier to keep things together.
INSIDE_OUT666: Going way back to when you recorded the first Overkill album, if someone had come up to you and told you that you would still be doing this all these years later would you have believed them?
D.D. VERNI: Sure...why not. What else was I gonna do, get a job? [laughs]
INSIDE_OUT666: Overkill has always been one of my musical influences. Do you feel you have played a large role in influencing a lot of the newer metal bands?
D.D. VERNI: No probably not. Some bands I am sure we have influenced but we were never as big as Metallica, so we did not reach that many kids.
INSIDE_OUT666: Oh I would disagree, you may not have shared the same commercial success as Metallica but I would imagine there are millions of people around the world who know who you are! After all these years and tremendous success what goals have you set for yourself these days?
D.D. VERNI: I still have a lot of goals. I have my hands in many different projects from Overkill to Bronx Casket. I am involved in a musical and a comic, so there are a ton of things still to pursue.
INSIDE_OUT666: Over the years you have witnessed many changes to the hard rock and metal scene. In your honest opinion what do you think about the direction that Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music has taken?
D.D. VERNI: Well, it seems decent! I like that fact that the songs on the radio are a hell of a lot heavier that when we started!!
INSIDE_OUT666: Are you currently listening to any of the newer bands? If so who?
D.D. VERNI: Not really. I love Machine Head, Static-X and Rob Zombie. They ain't really that new though.
INSIDE_OUT666: D.D. No, but all very good choices. There has been so many highlights in your career, what would you say have been your greatest achievements to date?
D.D. VERNI: Touring with Motorhead. It does not get any better than that.
INSIDE_OUT666: Which record/song would define D.D. Verni to a complete stranger?
D.D. VERNI: Almost any Overkill record.
INSIDE_OUT666: From all the albums you have appeared on what one would be your favourite to listen to and why? Is it even possible just to pick one album?
D.D. VERNI: No not really, I do like the newer records more than the older ones, but overall I really like them all.
INSIDE_OUT666: With so many albums under your belt, do you remember how to play each and every song?
D.D. VERNI: Yes, they are like your kids, you never forget.
INSIDE_OUT666: Over the years you have had the pleasure of working with many talented musicians, who have you learnt the most from?
D.D. VERNI: Probably Dave, he's really good with recording studio stuff and always has a good opinion on stuff.
INSIDE_OUT666: D.D. do you have any advice to up and coming rock/metal bands?
D.D. VERNI: Have fun while you can, not everyone can last as long as we have.
INSIDE_OUT666: Normally here I would ask you to make up an all-star band but BCC really is one of those so, what is the one band you would be happy to never hear again and why?
D.D. VERNI: Way too many to list!
INSIDE_OUT666: [Laughs] I agree, there are plenty of bands I never want to hear again. Well D.D thanks again for your time today, it's a true honour to be able to ask you these questions, all the best for 2006, hopefully we will see Overkill and BCC playing here in Australia soon. Do you have any last words for our readers?
D.D. VERNI: Thanks Cameron, hopefully we will get to play for all our Australian fans very soon.
© Cameron Edney Feb 2006
Not to be re-printed in any form without written permission.
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