D.D. Verni (born Carlos Verni) is an American bassist, songwriter, and producer, best known as the founding member, bassist and songwriter of the thrash metal band Overkill. In addition to his work with Overkill, Verni has recorded four albums with his side project The Bronx Casket Co. He is also the composer for The Bronx Casket Co....A New Musical.
In 1976, Verni met Lee "Rat Skates" Kundrat in high school, who had been learning to play drums since age 15. They shared the same musical interests in hard rock bands like Kiss, Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, Starz, Black Sabbath, and Rainbow, and were then introduced to punk music such as The Damned, The Ramones, The Vibrators, and Generation X through another classmate, Fred Hensley (who became known as vocalist Billy Vector). The three formed a punk group known as The Lubricunts in 1979 with another classmate Ken Sibley on guitar, who became known as Nick Fuse. The group disbanded in 1980, and Verni, along with bandmate Skates, posted an advertisement for a vocalist and guitarist to join the band. Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth answered the ad, and brought guitarist Rob Pisarek.
After rejecting several names, including "Virgin Killer", the band finally settled on "Overkill", after the Motörheadalbum of the same name. Early covers, especially those done under the "Virgin Killers" name, were punk songs by The Ramones, The Dead Boys and others. By late 1980, the band had recruited dual guitarists, and the setlist was made up of songs by bands such as Motörhead ("Overkill", half of the Ace Of Spades album), Judas Priest ("Tyrant" was their closer), and Riot. Along with the new influx of heavy metal covers, the band still played a smattering of punk covers, with extra distortion, intensity, and speed, marking Overkill as one of the first thrash bands.
At this point, the band started writing original songs, including "Grave Robbers" (later renamed "Raise The Dead"), "Overkill", and "Unleash The Beast (Within)". More songs would follow, including "Death Rider" (1981) and "Rotten To The Core" (1982). In 1983 Rich[clarification needed] left and Bobby Gustafson remained as the sole guitarist. The band became a staple at New York and New Jersey clubs, such as L'Amours, and Verni gave Ellsworth the nickname "Blitz" due to his over-the-top lifestyle. Verni has been the sole songwriter for the music of Overkill since Horrorscope.