July 15, 1965 |
Staten Island, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Heavy metal, thrash metal|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, record producer|
|Gibson Flying V, Gibson Explorer, Fender Stratocaster|
Robert Wayne "Bobby" Gustafson (born July 15, 1965 in Staten Island, New York City) is an American guitarist, best known as a member of the New York based thrash metal band Overkill from 1982 to his split with the band in 1990.
Bobby Gustafson joined Overkill at 17 years old after an audition, when the band was still playing only covers, coming from the garage band The Dropouts. He stimulated the other members to produce original music and was a key member in the Overkill quartet, having been a composer from the band's debut album Feel the Fire in 1985 to their most commercially successful album, The Years of Decay, in 1989.
Gustafson's split from Overkill in 1990 has been seen through two viewpoints – that he was fired by the other band members Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and D. D. Verni (Overkill version) or that he left following Verni trying to remove him from the band through management (Gustafson version). Whatever version is true, his leaving has shown how much Gustafson helped to create the Overkill sound. Instead of Gustafson's guitar work, later Overkill albums featured both a rhythm and a lead guitarist, with Verni taking over the music writing duties.
Following the release of the second Overkill album Taking Over (1987), Gustafson was approached by Megadeth co-founder and band-leader Dave Mustaine to join his band, following trouble with their lineup at the time. However, Gustafson rejected the proposal, feeling that Overkill was turning big.
Immediately after the split with Overkill, Gustafson went on tour with Cycle Sluts from Hell in Europe. Gustafson later tried to form a side-project with Exodus drummer Tom Hunting called I4NI. He was also a member of Grip Inc., but did not record anything with them.
He played in the industrial metal band Skrew album Shadow of Doubt in 1996, replacing their guitarist for the recording of the album. He then relocated in Florida and left the music business for a while.
In 2003, Gustafson returned to music with the Florida-based band Response Negative. He currently works for his family plumbing business in Florida.
- Ramirez, Carlos (May 26, 2011). "Life After the Pit: Former Overkill Guitarist Bobby Gustafson". Noisecreep. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- "Overkill Blood Metal Donors – Band Members". Blood-Metal Donors.de. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- "Ex-Overkill Axeman Bobby Gustafson Returns To Metal With New Band RESPONSE NEGATIVE". Metal Rules. 2003. Retrieved 2011-10-27.
- "METALLIAN - Grip Inc.". metallian.com. Retrieved 2017-06-22.