“Every album is more evolved and more potent…” - hmv.com talks to Volbeat
Danish metallers Volbeat return with their new album Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie today (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and we spoke to Rob Caggiano to find out about all about how it came together…
This is your first album as a bona fide member of Volbeat. You joined during the recording of the band’s last album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies after leaving Anthrax, how did you recording the album this time round?
“Sort of. I came in towards the end of the writing process, but one of the first things that happened last time, when I was just the producer, was going through everything in detail with Michael (Poulsen - Singer) and working on the songs. I’ve known the guys in the band for a long time and I’ve been in the band properly for a couple of years, we’ve toured together hard and it really helped getting down some great ideas. All of our musical instincts were really aligned.”
How did you want the album to move on from Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies?
“Volbeat is a band that’s constantly evolving. Every Volbeat album is more evolved and more potent. I’m always striving to improve, whether it’s my playing or we capture the band’s vibe. I think we definitely surpassed the last record with this new one. We can’t wait to get out on the road.”
You’ve got a guest spot from Danko Jones on there too...
“We love Danko, he’s a good dude. We’ve known him for a while, we took him on tour and he’s a big fan of ours. We were working on this song ‘Black Rose’ and it just sounded like a Danko Jones part, we could hear it in our heads and he agreed and absolutely nailed it.”
How did making a record with Volbeat compare to the other bands you’ve been involved in? Is it a profoundly different experience with every band?
“Every band is different, but not profoundly different, it’s all rock and roll. I have my own approach and the Volbeat guys have their own way of doing things, so we did have to combine approaches. We had the same team last time, I flew out my engineer from New York and we worked hard. We didn’t see eye to eye on everything, but I think that adds to the end result. We all pushed ourselves to the next level.”
How much time do you spend in Copenhagen? And have you grown to love it?
“I’m there a lot, because we’re always touring in Europe and it’s the home base. I’m a New Yorker, I’m used to a certain speed and I do need that. It’s a little too slow for me, but it’s a beautiful city with a lot of charm.”
What involvement in the lyrics did you have? What kind of album is it lyrically?
“I didn’t have any involvement, but I know there’s a lot of voodoo, a lot of the songs are inspired by the voodoo scene in New Orleans. There’s a song about Mary Jane Kelly, who was Jack The Ripper’s last victim, but it’s more about her life then her death.”
Does anyone work with Michael on the words? Obviously English isn’t his first language...
“He puts the lyrics together and then he sends them to Melissa Cross, who is a vocal coach in New York, she’ll proof them and tweak them and make sure they scan properly.”
How’s your live set coming along?
“We’re going to vary it up from night to night, we’re always experimenting, you need a set that’s dynamic and exciting, not too many songs with the same tempo, there’s a lot to think about.There’ll be plenty of new songs though.”
How long do you think you’ll tour?
“I think we’ll be on the road for three, three and a half years, that’s what we did last time, we’re going to go to as many places as we can. We can’t wait to get back to the UK.”
What songs are you most looking forward to playing live?
“‘The Devil’s Bleeding Crown’, we’ve been playing it for a while and the reaction just keeps getting bigger. ‘Gates Of Babylon’ and ‘Black Rose’ too, I think they’ll go down really well.”
Any festivals you’re particularly excited to play?
“We’re headlining Rock Am Ring this weekend alongside Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Black Sabbath, so that’s pretty exciting. It’s quite surreal to have grown up listening to Sabbath and now we’re headlining alongside them.”