Steve Newton of Straight.com recently conducted an interview with vocalist/guitarist Michael Poulsen of Danish metal rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On growing up in a family that adored the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash:
"Their songs were always played in my home, and at a time I could sing all those songs. Later on, as a teenager, my big sister got a boyfriend who was really into the heavy-metal stuff like DIO and BLACK SABBATH, and later on METALLICA and IRON MAIDEN, and suddenly there was a whole new scene in the world to explore."
On his pre-VOLBEAT death-metal band DOMINUS, which released four albums before he grew somewhat tired of the death-metal scene and his old love of classic '50s music started to reassert itself:
"It was very obvious to me that all the melodies I was trying to sing at that point were inspired from the '50s. Those were songs where I was blending sometimes six different styles together in one song, and I was asking myself, 'Who the hell's gonna listen to that?' It was all about taking all of the influences and the styles that I liked — like rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, country music, gospel, death metal, punk music, whatever — and blending it all together because it really felt natural to me. And it became VOLBEAT."
On the VOLBEAT track "Evelyn", which features a guest appearance on growling demonic vocals by Mark "Barney" Greenway of British grindcore pioneers NAPALM DEATH:
"Writing a song like 'Evelyn' was my way of showing people that it was not only the '50s elements we were inspired by, but we were actually growing up with a lot of great metal bands. And NAPALM DEATH was one of the first extreme metal bands I was listening to — I was listening to them when I bought my first guitar. So being able to have a singer like Barney from NAPALM DEATH on my record was a real accomplishment. It's great to see that it's actually possible for dreams to come true, in a way."
Read more from Straight.com.