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Rock and roll with a tougher edge: a Q&A with OVERDOSE
NYC band headlines jam-packed Sentient Bean rock show

OVERDOSE, Big Spill, Vacant Flesh @Sentient Bean

Mon., Jan. 27, 8 P.M., $5

When you first listen to OVERDOSE, you’ll hear some influence by one of your favorite heavy metal or hard rock bands. But you’ll also notice that what they take from their influences is used as a foundation to create something that effortlessly fuses several facets of rock and metal.

They’re certainly as equal parts punk rock in spirit as they are heavy metal, as is evidenced by their two releases so far this year. The band is led by Reed Bruemmer, perhaps best known for his speed metal band Speedwolf, and it was born out of a desire by Bruemmer to do something different than he’d done before.

We chatted about all that and more when we caught up with Bruemmer ahead of the band’s Sentient Bean show on Jan. 27, alongside Big Spill and Vacant Flesh.

This is something of a supergroup, seeing as you all came from different bands. How did OVERDOSE start?

I’m from Colorado, and I left there a couple years ago to move to NYC. I was interested in starting a band when I got there, and was mainly talking to my buddy Mike who was in Mutilation Rites. He knew some guys who wanted to play, and the guitarist and singer of Mutilation Rights, George, was learning to play drums.

He was interested in playing something other than black metal [laughs]. I was like, “Hey, do you guys want to start a rock and roll band?”

It certainly seems like it’s focused more around hard rock riffs and melodies than your previous projects. What were some of the overarching influences?

It’s funny that you’re asking about influences, because it’s obviously Motorhead [laughs].

Oh, for sure!

I’ve been in other bands that have had a similar style, but I definitely wanted to do more mid-paced songs and blusier riffs. It’s not like we’re trying to be a carbon copy of Motorhead, but we just wanted to live in that classic metal style. I like songs that are more memorable. I feel like a lot of bands nowadays are just going for one theme, and it’s like a different spin on Satanism and murder plots [laughs].

I just wanted to start an old school metal band. It’s something I wanted to do for a long time, and for the other guys in the band it’s kind of a breath of fresh air.

It must also provide something of a blank slate musically, considering it’s not necessarily what y’all have typically done in your primary bands previously.

Yeah, definitely. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we just want to pay homage to our favorite bands. I could listen to death metal for 20 years, but still my favorite band is Judas Priest. Motorhead, for example, is a fucking rock and roll band. Yes, they started double bass drumming and had all of this influence on punk and heavy metal, but they weren’t down tuning and writing breakdowns.

What are you attracted to lyrically with this band?

I’m into songs that I can relate to. We’re all metalheads, and a lot of those songs are these fantasies and stuff like that. Which is great, and it’s people using their artistic license. But at the end of the day, I still have to go to work, you know? That’s all cool for what it is, but songs about living on the road—I’m a biker, too, so there are songs about motorcycles. There’s a little fantasy in everything, but it’s all shit that I can relate to and that people can connect with.