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Review Zoo talk Beer and Gear, with Casey Hicks of Overpower!

Hi Casey, welcome to Review Zoo.

Hey Lee, appreciate you involving me with Review Zoo!

Please can you tell us a bit about the band you play Guitar in?

Yeah so OVERPOWER, a Thrash Crossover band started as a bit of fun and a side project in 2019 with a couple of mates from other bands. Me and Matt from Strike Back and Jimmy from Bar Fight. Both of Hardcore influence. Multiple line up changes and help from great friends in other bands eventually led us to where we are. With Lewis joining (Heaven Asunder) Seb (Back Down) and Josh onto Bass. Throughout COVID we wrote a 5 Track release, self titled, that we felt brought high energy, ripping solos, heavy drops and full on groove. Bringing Thrash into a more modern, slightly heavier approach.

What got you into playing Guitar?

I got into guitar through my Uncle. An incredible musician and he introduced to me the Metal/Rock side of music when I was about 12 or so. During school, the music class wanted us to perform a piece. I spoke to my Uncle about guitar and after him teaching me Seven Nation Army for it, here I am, 20 years later forever thankful for his introduction to the music that has led me here and teaching me how to riff.

Do you play any other instruments?

I don't play any other instruments, however I'd love to get more into drumming and learning piano as well. There's a nice crossover between guitar and piano for obvious reasons that id like to explore some time in the future.

Which Guitars do you play?

I started out with a Strat, a bundle package with a marshall amp. Soon after my Uncle sorted me out a Vintage SG in Platinum finish, loved it, played beautifully. But after some time I found myself wanting a different shape. Les Paul is where I ended up. Had a really great Ibanez as my first, I forget the model but again played great. My mate had an ESP LTD and it blew me away. So over the next few years I ended up with 3 LTD EC models and finally ended up with an ESP Eclipse 2. Wow. It played like nothing I'd had before. Absolutely stunning guitar, lightweight, fast, thin neck and twinned with the EMGs it RIPPED. My 'final form' however, is with the Explorer. I'm looking to save and get a real beast of an Explorer, but the Epiphone '1984' with EMGs axe I have now is more than enough. It is WICKED.

Which amps do you use?

I have only really used a Marshall practice amp up until I began gigging in 2014. When I realised I need some punch. Went to store along the south coast somewhere. Blackstar amplification were everywhere. I tried a couple out and just didn't get the excitement out of them. I look next to them, a pre owned amp, looked a beast, metal grille. It was an ENGL Powerball II. I asked to give it a go and within seconds, it out shone everything. Pure power, incredible control. Since then, I haven't had anything else. It just continues to impress. Excited however, to look into some of the newer models that we've spoken about on messenger. Same lunch, smaller package.

Strings and gauge?

I've been all over the shop with previous brands, Not Even slinky's were my go to for a while, but with the Eb/D# standard tuning for Overpower. I moved to Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom 10-52 and they seem to compliment everything perfectly. Why Ernie Balls? Because I bought them from day 1 ahaha!

Pick and gauge?

Picks, I eventually ended up on Dunlop Tortex Blue 1.0mm. Largely chugging riffs I found these fit perfectly for my heavy, aggressive down picking and fast tremolos!

I understand there’s an Overpower beer made by Moor Brewery, please can you tell us more about that?

When we dropped the 5 Track release we got a message from Moor Brewery about playing some shows. Killer, so we got to planning. One evening we were all chatting in the group chat and saying how cool it would be to have our own beer, coming up with names from our tracks, band name etc. What felt like a cool fantasy, we didn't think it was possible so kinda left it. One evening, Josh, with a can of moor beer in hand, started chatting to them about us having our own beer and doing the shows. Moor thought it was a wicked idea and from then on, couldn't be more accommodating. It's been an absolute joy working with them on it and look forward to Moor plans soon ... Shocking joke.

Your biggest inspirations and influences?

Inspirations and Influences, I will try to narrow down as much as possible but it's alot. My Uncle for sure inspires me to keep learning, improving and trying different things out. Bands, ranging from the very obvious Metallica to Bury Tomorrow, Municipal Waste to Thy Art is Murder, Parkway Drive, Hatebreed. Hard, heavy, fast, killer!

What are you currently listening to?

I'm spinning a lot of Havok at the moment, just riffs everywhere there. Malevolences entire back catalog of shred. Bury Tomorrow. Enter Shikari. Grove Street. Testament. Desolated. Lots of metal... Ahaha. I do dabble in plenty of other stuff, but nothing excites me the same as much as metal can.

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?

Other hobbies (music and bands take a lot of time up) I enjoy gaming, I've got a nice spec PC that allows some serious gaming and sometimes streaming too. YouTube etc. I like trying to make gaming content overall. Otherwise it's a nice chilled evening in or out with my girlfriend or seeing family and friends. Can't beat a pint of cider and a bit of TV after a busy day of work.

Any funny gig stories you can share?

From Strike Back days, I've got to share a story of being in Europe. Our bassist, I'm so sorry Collier. 5 days out there, day 3 we are in North East Germany, crash at the promoters, on our way to the 4th, no problems, 5th, no problems. 5 mins from security check to come back to the UK. What's missing? His passport, nowhere to be seen in his bag etc. Holy Shit. We are mostly laughing to suppress the absolute unknowns of where we go from here and what we do.

Ringing around, checking with promoters every night we stayed, anywhere we slept. This point, we are being, well, maybe cruel. But we are winding up poor Collier. Getting Aggy and my favourite comment comes out after Matt says something.. "I'll Fucking Fight You". Well there we are all struggling for air from laughing so hard and so long, absolutely losing it. Finally a message from the promoter at the 3rd show. A passport in his hand. Takes some photos, sends them to us and after some hoop jumping, we are on the ferry and on the way home. I'll have to find the video we edited and give it to you. Stunning piece of cinema I must say.

Thanks for taking part Casey, it’s really appreciated.

Thanks for speaking with me, getting in contact and being such a true gent. Has been a pleasure and I'm looking forward to catching you another time at another show no doubt!


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