If you’ve turned on the radio late last year, you’ve probably heard Volbeat finally break out in mainstream American rock music with their super catchy single ‘Heaven Nor Hell.’ Even ‘playing it safe’ hits-oriented stations were playing Volbeat, and that’s alright by me even though it took two years since the single’s initial release to do it. This Danish group of rockabilly ne’er-do-wells have a firm footing in the realm of metal. Throughout their discography, you’re sure to find plenty of thrash-worthy riffs and songs that pack a punch. Their claim to legitimacy doesn’t stop there, either; Barney Greenway of Napalm Death did guest vocals on ‘Evelyn‘ from their last album Beyond Hell/Above Heaven.
Things are only getting better for them from there. While working on their new album Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies with producer Rob Caggio, who recently left his long-time position as guitarist for Anthrax, the two parties apparently hit it off quite well as Caggio now finds himself as a full-time guitarist for Volbeat.
Singer and guitarist Michael Poulsen shared, “The band is very proud and happy to announce that he will also be the new guitar player in Volbeat. The collaboration with Rob in the studio was so inspiring and in good spirit that we the decided to keep him. Basically we went into the studio as a three piece and came out as a whole band!”
Caggiano offers a detailed explanation of the chain of events that transpired in adding, “Wow! I have to say I’m completely blown away by the turn of events over the last few weeks here in Denmark and at this point an update is definitely in order. To start with, I came to Denmark about a month ago to produce the new Volbeat record which in and of itself has been an incredibly exciting adventure from a producer’s perspective thus far. However, I’m extremely happy to say my relationship with these guys will not end there as it turns out……it’s just beginning!
Michael had asked me on the phone before I got out here if I would play some guest solos on the new album in addition to my other duties and of course I was thrilled about that and agreed to do so. When I actually got to Denmark and started going through the material, this turned out to be so much more than that. After weeks of collaboration between Michael and I it became quite clear that we had an amazing creative chemistry together and a huge mutual respect for one another. It’s so refreshing and inspiring to be creative again on a songwriting level that words can’t even describe it and the vibe between Anders, Jon, Michael and I is just awesome. I’d say an artistic relationship like this one is very rare and it’s also something I don’t take for granted.
When the guys asked me if I was interested in joining Volbeat the other day, my jaw just about hit the floor! It actually didn’t even register in my brain properly until the next morning but I gotta say, it also didn’t take me long to decide. It really isn’t the way I envisioned the rest of my year to play out but at the same time, THIS feels more “right” to me than anything I could have possibly imagined and I’m going for it! To all my fans, family, friends and overall supporters that have reached out to me over this last month wondering if I’m ever gonna play guitar again or what I’m up to in general etc……..See you all soon my friends and get ready for a wild ride!!!”
The two seemed incredibly excited to be joining forces, and it’s no mystery to see why. Volbeat capitalizing on their new foothold with American audiences after their hit single by having a recognizable legend such as Caggiano join their ranks is a smart and noteworthy move. Caggiano also previously claimed that Anthrax was never really a creative outlet, so I’m sure joining an up-and-coming yet established band that actively want to work with him on a creative level must be refreshing. Good on the both of them!
Speaking further on the new album, frontman Michael Poulson adds:
“Half of the album tracks will take you into the world of outlaw gunslinger stories sometime in the 1800s. Some of the characters are true legends, while others are fiction. The listener will hear inspiration from classic spaghetti western movies which gives you a clue to the album title and cover artwork.
“We are still ‘rocking out’ in the studio, and working on the last details. We are very excited about this album. We feel that we’ve achieved the goals we set out. The heavy stuff on the album is perhaps more old school heavy riffs than earlier, and the rock songs rock out with tons of melodies and take us into unchartered territory. All that without losing the Volbeat sound that is the cornerstone of our band.”
Hopefully the chemistry of this new lineup will be reflected in the new effort Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, which will be out April 9th on Universal Music. The artwork for the record can be seen below.