On June 18, Mike Bax of Lithium Magazine conducted an interview with vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulsen of Danish metal rock ‘n’ rollers VOLBEAT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Lithium Magazine: [You have a] nice touring lineup [this time with HELLYEAH and ICED EARTH] — diversified.
Poulsen: Totally. This lineup, I’m really digging it. I’m very proud of it, because when we decided to do this run, our touring management sent out e-mails to different booking agencies saying that this VOLBEAT run was going to happen, and that [we] were looking for support bands. There were some really great names on that list. I was surprised because many of the names on the list that came back could easily do their own run, you know? That was a huge compliment. When I saw ICED EARTH and HELLYEAH were on the list, I went, “What!?” I’m a huge ICED EARTH fan. I’m really good friends with Jon Schaffer. For some time now we’ve been talking about doing something together, but I wanted to bring ICED EARTH to Europe. We play arenas in Europe and it would be cool to have ICED EARTH with us there. ICED EARTH can headline themselves in America, and do well… do really well. So I was feeling, “You guys don’t have to support us.” The same thing goes for HELLYEAH. They’ve got something cooking now, and they, of course, have Vinnie Paul. They’re our good friends as well and they do good albums. The whole thing was that we’re friends with those guys. I think they all felt like, “We didn’t care if it was a supporting show. We just want to play with you guys. It’s a great package.” We’d been talking about doing this, but every time I brought it up I was talking about Europe. Now that they want to do it in the USA, it’s a compliment to us that they want to do it together. We’re very, very thankful for that. It’s going to be great — great to be among bands that you like and that you like personally. It’s friends, and it’s really nice.
Lithium Magazine: Like many people in North America, I was introduced to VOLBEAT at a METALLICA show.
Poulsen: Oh yeah, that’s where it actually started because not many people knew who we were at that certain time. There was some underground buzz going on, but after those shows with METALLICA, that’s when people starting talking like, “Wow, that opening band was actually pretty good.” So they started coming to the VOLBEAT shows when we started headlining and they’d say, “The first time I saw you was at METALLICA.” That’s the biggest promotional tour and band that you can go out with; the biggest heavy rock band in the world. They’re great guys. We still are very inspired by those guys. For us, it was good to be part of that package. A lot of guys came back to us and said that they first saw us at a METALLICA show.
Lithium Magazine: What I wanted to know was whether Hank [Shermann of MERCYFUL FATE] was going to play with you on this tour or not?
Poulsen: Oh, yes, Hank is with us. He’s been playing with us since Gigantour. We’d just gotten home and we had only been home for a few weeks. There was not time to find a new guitar player. We have only been hiring Hank as a stand-in guitar player because he’s busy with his own thing.
Lithium Magazine: Are you working on some new stuff?
Poulsen: Yeah, yeah. That’s actually why I have this amp over there (indicates towards an amp, recorder and guitar to our left). Because when I’m not doing the interviews or whatever, I’m actually composing and writing. So there is some stuff stored in that amp there, so there is a lot of writing backstage. When I come home I’ll put it all together. Now and then we jam a little bit during sound checks. We definitely have a lot of new material that we’re working on. When this tour is over we have a festival show in Germany. When that is over we will use a half year to write the songs, finish the songs and then get into the studio and hopefully early next year there will be a new album.
Read the entire interview from Lithium Magazine. Source: Blabbermouth.net