Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen on the secretive new album - Reverb

Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen talks new album, inspiration from being paralyzed in a hotel room

Reverb caught up with Volbeat's Michael Poulsen to talk about the mysterious new concept album and some interesting additions to the band. Photo courtesy of the band's website.

Reverb caught up with Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen to talk about the mysterious new concept album and some interesting additions to the band. Photo courtesy of the band’s website.

There is only one metal band on the planet to utter the words “more banjo” in a recording studio. That band is Volbeat. And yes—they rock the crap out of a banjo.

Since the release of 2010’s “Beyond Hell/Above Heaven,” the Danish outfit has had the hard rock world obsessing over their unique hybrid of rockabilly and metal, which is why the new album “Outlaw Gentleman and Shady Ladies” (out April 9) is one of the most anticipated albums of the year.

Fresh from a flight across the pond, Reverb caught up with Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen to talk about the mysterious new concept album and some interesting additions to the band.

Volbeat will headline the Ogden Theater Tuesday, March 12th.

Reverb: Nobody has had a chance to even preview this album so knowing that people haven’t heard it, how would you describe it?

Michael Poulsen: It’s the best [laughs].

Good answer.

It’s the best record until we make a new one. It’s a new set up and another studio, another producer, we have a new axe man on the record, which we are really proud of. We can’t wait for this monster to get out.

When you were writing this record, was it your intention to make a concept album?

When I started writing the new songs I definitely had some inspiration from old Western movies. I’ve been watching those movies since I was a little kid with my father and ya know, I always liked [them]—I just didn’t know when I was supposed to do anything about it. It came naturally at this time when we were writing our fifth album. I made sure to put those characters, legendary gunslingers and outlaws blended together with pictures of persons I created in my own universe.

You added Rob Caggiano (Anthrax) to the lineup. Did you have to change anything in the recordings to make room for his guitar or was he on it from the beginning?

We only changed to a better thing. When we had the opportunity to work with Rob I opened up certain songs and gave him space for putting in some of his input and that gave the songs the edge that I was searching for. I think that’s also the reason why Rob decided the incorporation with the band and that his ideas were actually working.

I saw that this album is going to incorporate banjo and even some harmonica. Were there any ideas that were even a little too strange for you guys?

Not really. And you know if there was I already forgot. If its not working, it’s not working—I’m just moving forward.

Can you say what the first single is going to be?

I actually have no idea.

What’s the story behind “Room 24”?

I have King Diamond with me on that song. It’s about an experience I had in a hotel, waking up in the middle of the night and I can’t move my arms or legs. I’m awake but I feel paralyzed and I’m trying to reach out for my wife—I can’t even say anything. I’m feeling this sort of pressure on my chest and the room starts to get really, really dark. I was actually thinking I was about to have a heart attack. Somehow I blacked out or fell asleep but a few minutes after the same thing happened. King sent me some links about being paralyzed like this. It’s actually where your mind wakes up before the body and your brain is not communicating with your body.

What’s your goal with this album?

It’s not about record sales. It’s always been about loving music. Listening to music, playing music, being inspired, you know. We’ve done a lot of roadwork and been playing small clubs for nothing—it just became bigger. The crowds became bigger and the venues became halls and halls became arenas. We were always being honest to ourselves and writing straight from the heart and never really caring what style it was. I think people can sense that in what we’re doing—we’re just going to continue doing what we feel is right.

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Paige Montgomery is a Denver-based freelance writer. Check out more of her work on Facebook and Twitter.

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