Justin R. Beckner of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Michael Poulsen of Danish/American metal rock ‘n’ rollers VOLBEAT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: So, you went in to record [“Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies”] as a three-piece and came out of the studio as a four-piece. How did that happen?
Michael: When we set up in the studio, we were working with another guitar player who is one of my close friends and it just didn’t turn out the way that we wanted. Sometimes it’s not good to mix good friendship with business. So I thought we’d just go back to recording like we usually do, I can do all of the guitar tracking and do it that way. But I had I had made space for some solos on the album and I’m not a lead guitar player. I can do some solos here or there but we asked [former ANTHRAX guitarist] Rob (Caggiano, who was co-producing the album) to come in and do some solos. He came up with some ideas on a couple songs and his ideas were really good so we decided to keep it. He ended up putting several more solos on the record. It got to the point where we told him that he should join the band and be on the road with us. He thought that we were kidding, actually. So the next day he came in and asked if we were serious when we asked him to join the band and said he’d love to. He’s a good guy and such a talented guitar player and we’re very proud to have him in VOLBEAT.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: So Rob is a permanent member of VOLBEAT now?
Michael: Yes, Thomas [Bredahl] was our former guitar player and there were many reasons why it didn’t work out and we went our separate ways right before a tour with MOTÖRHEAD and MEGADETH in 2011 so we needed someone who would sing and play lead guitar. We’ve tried many times to carry on as a three-piece band, but with the new material at the time (“Beyond Hell/Above Heaven”) and the harmonies, we just needed another member in the band. So we had Hank Shermann [MERCYFUL FATE] with us but he was a hired gun. He helped us out for a few tours which were great, but he had his own things going on, too. I just turned out to be that Rob was the perfect guy when we were in the studio but the had been talking for a long time that when he left ANTHRAX that he wanted to put his energy into producing. So he had some offers in producing that he was looking at so we weren’t sure that he would want the job when we offered it to him. I think because he’s so much into music and he sees that we welcome his ideas into the music, I think that was tempting for him and great for us because he’s in the band now.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Group dynamics often change when a new member is added or subtracted from a band. What has Rob added to VOLBEAT other than just some great solos?
Michael: For the first time now, the second guitar player, which is Rob now, has put down their own rhythm tracks on the album. On the other albums, it was always me putting down all the rhythm guitars so there was no contrast between the tracks. On the new record, you can definitely hear two distinct guitar players with two different sounds and it fits. Rob has his style and I have mine but somehow it mixes very well and creates an interesting dynamic and it sounds solid. He has his own rhythmic style but it really suits the VOLBEAT sound. Some of the old songs that we play live now have solos where there were none before.
Read the entire interview at Ultimate-Guitar.com.