Cygnus of Sonic Shocks recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Michael Poulsen of Danish metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.Sonic Shocks: What do you feel about the very good reception that the [new VOLBEAT] album ["Beyond Hell/Above Heaven"] has received? Michael: Of course everyone is hoping for a good response, good album sales and stuff like that. It's been very interesting to see how the reaction was and so far it looks really crazy; it's really something that we are proud of. Every time you bring out a new album, it's getting more difficult and complicated because the listeners today they still want the band to sound totally the same but they also need the band to progress and do stuff they haven't heard before and I do believe that is something we have accomplished on the album.We've stretched everything on the previous albums and this record shows what VOLBEAT are really capable of doing. Sonic Shocks: So you feel it's not a direct continuation from the last album but more a step up? Michael: I'm so proud of each album. I just think it's important that you don't get stuck but somehow you're able to keep in line and that's what I believe we're doing. But my plan for the new album was to do an album that was the most style-wise random VOLBEAT record where we could actually take what we've done on our old material and stretch it even further plus do things that we haven't done before. It's definitely a record where we tried the most different styles out and it seems to have worked out pretty well and we're pretty satisfied by it. Sonic Shocks: On the album itself you have members of KREATOR along with Barney from NAPALM DEATH doing guest appearances. How did it feel to work with them during the recording process? Michael: It was definitely very inspirational because I've been listening to those guys since I was in school, those guys were some of the first extreme metal bands I was listening to. It's so weird that after so many years they're still around and I have my own band and they're listening to my records then being able to work with them is something that I'm proud of. Those guys did an amazing job on the album, it's my way of showing them respect but also showing them who I was inspired by as it's not only those elements but also old-school metal. Sonic Shocks: How was the experience of touring with METALLICA in America? Michael: Of course it's a dream come true to be able to do something like that, it's great to know that METALLICA chose VOLBEAT themselves because we played with them back in 2007 when they came to Denmark and Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] was asking what was the big fuss as everybody was talking about VOLBEAT and we were main support then he became a fan of VOLBEAT. After the show I had Lars in my house eating dinner. We hung out for a few days and he was really into our music; he knew some of our songtitles. Then we got offered this American tour of fifteen shows that was amazing to see. We talked to those guys every day and every night when you went to bed on tour you were thinking this was a dream come true. This proved to keep chasing your dream and that there's good people out there. METALLICA take good care of their support bands. It was not something I believed in when I was young and I was looking up at my METALLICA posters but now it's happened all the struggling to get to where VOLBEAT are paid off. Read the entire interview from Sonic Shocks.