Volbeat Frontman Michael Poulsen Talks Upcoming Album + More
Volbeat frontman Michael Poulsen recently met up with Full Metal Jackie during the 'Loudwire Nights' host's trip to Rock on the Range. The Danish rocker spoke about writing new music, becoming popular in the U.S., how he likes to spend his downtime and more!
Tell us what Volbeat have going on now. Working on new music? Writing? I know you guys have been talking for a while about writing but you tour so much.
Yeah, that's the thing. We were supposed to stay at home, actually, and finish up the new songs, but we just couldn't, really. When you get an offer to go out with Anthrax… we're such good friends with those guys, that's what we do. But we're writing on the road and we're playing at sound checks, we've been rehearsing five new songs.
Are you playing any of them on the shows?
Yeah, we play half of a new song. It's always fun to try out.
What's the name of the new song?
It's gonna be called "The Devil's Bleeding Crown."
So your new stuff is going to continue the Volbeat stories and vibe?
Yeah, I haven't written the second half yet, so who knows what's going to happen? We have an album title, we're working on the front cover. Right now I can only say that it has stuff that goes way back to the first Volbeat record, style-wise and lyrically. Then we're going to continue were we left off. Not that we're going to continue the concept of the Outlaw theme, but style-wise with melodic rock songs; it's going to be there. But it's also going back to some of the more heavy stuff. It is like a mixture of everything. Right now, it's working.
Volbeat have been categorized in so many different ways. What category are you comfortable with being described as?
I'm actually not comfortable with categories. [Laughs]
But if someone said they never heard your band and asked what it sounded like. What would you say?
Sometimes it's cool, if you have that certain style, is to just say "thrash metal." There ya go. It's a mix of a lot of different styles. I guess it's kind of heavy rock music. Honestly, I don't know. I'm not trying to say we're special or anything. I'm just pretty much aware that we have so many different styles combined in Volbeat. I just don't know what to call it. At the end of the day, isn't it all just rock 'n' roll?
I love Volbeat live, I always have, and you're very energetic onstage. What do you do to come down from that high energy from playing a show?
After the show? [Laughs] Yeah, you know it takes a couple of hours to settle down. Just reflecting on the show, talking to the guys in the band and the crew too. They've seen so many shows and it's always great to hear what they thought about the show. It's a good question, it takes at least two or three hours to get down to the ground again. But that's good, it means you had a good time and you were energetic, as you said.
When I talk to people about Volbeat over the years, because obviously you guys were building in Europe long before the U.S. was introduced to your music, and you were playing arenas for a long time. When you were coming up here, playing clubs, you were playing this big explosive arena show in these small venues and you could feel that energy.
I have nothing to complain about. I can only thank the people out there. They keep on showing up, some of them are traveling long distances to get to the shows. That's very true dedication, it just means that we're all in the same boat because we dedicate our lives to the road and the music and the fans. To see them keep on coming back; it's beautiful.
I remember the very first time I got to see Volbeat live. It was years ago when I went to see you guys in Louisville or Saginaw and it was on another band's metal tour and it was the first time Volbeat had played here in the U.S. Your album hadn't even been released here and what was amazing to me was that kids were singing the words to your songs. That must have been a really incredible feeling for you.
It is, especially when I don't remember the lyrics. [Laughs]
Hey what was that line again? [Laughs] You've been writing songs for the next album. What gets you in the mood to write music? Or are you always on?
I think I'm always on, not that I really want to be because it can be a pain in the ass. Back in the day, I would always put records on my stereo at home or listen to music in the car or go to shows. I don't do that that much anymore, I just moved away from Copenhagen out to the countryside. Right now I only have a few cows and goats, so that's the only sound I hear now.
So you'll be writing a country record then?
Who knows. So I like peace and quietness when I'm home, but there's always this recurring thing going on in my head. I'm always inspired. We have been home for five months where I wasn't trying to do anything to do with Volbeat, just to get inspiration from somewhere else. It's good to be home with family, friends and your girlfriend and everything, but we also come to a time where you miss the road and you miss writing, so it comes to me very naturally. I only pick up the guitar if I have to write or if I'm onstage, or else I will not touch it. I'm not going to do this forever, but it's definitely going to be the last thing I do.
Is there anything you can tell us about a timeline for anything with the new album or touring?
We're halfway done with songwriting.
Is it going to come out this year?
No. We've got to go into the studio in November, so it's gonna have a release next year.
Many thanks to Michael Poulsen for the interview. Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie & Tony LaBrie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go here.
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