Phil Demmel to join Overkill on their March US tour after guitarist Dave Linsk pulls out due to “personal reasons”

[L-R] Phil Demmel and Dave Linsk
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel will assume guitar duties for thrash metal giants Overkill on their forthcoming US tour, after electric guitar player Dave Linsk announced that he'll be sitting the trek out due to “personal reasons."

The announcement comes after Demmel covered for Linsk during Overkill's first show back since the start of the pandemic, on November 13, 2021 at the Wellmont Theater in New Jersey.

“We've used Phil in the past when we've had issues,” frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth recently told the Chicago Tribune. “We're prepared. We're ready. It's not about the strength of the individual but about the strength of the unit. We found that out with Phil when he stepped in.

“It's just nice to be able to do what you do whether you're the concertgoer or whether you're the concert performer. Let's get back to normal. Let's do what we do best. Let's have a little bit of fun.”

Overkill's upcoming 16-date US tour is set to kick off March 3 in Poughkeepsie, NY, and will make stops in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Fort Wayne and Chicago, before wrapping up in Stroudsburg, PA on March 19. The band will be supported by NYC metallers Prong.

When Demmel joined Overkill onstage in November last year, the reason for Linsk's absence was not disclosed. The show was the band's first in “609 f!!kin days," after the concert was originally planned for March 14, 2020.

Overkill's upcoming tour isn't the first occasion Phil Demmel and Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth have worked together. The pair also play together in the metal supergroup BPMD, alongside Mark Menghi and Mike Portnoy.

The band released their debut album, American Made, back in 2020, covering tracks by ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Gang, Aerosmith, Grand Funk Railroad, and others.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.