Barbara Caserta of Italy's Linea Rock recently conducted an interview with guitarist Rob Caggiano of Danish/American rockers VOLBEAT. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether VOLBEAT wanted to tinker with their "formula" on their new album, "Rewind, Replay, Rebound":
Rob: "I'll take the last bit of that and just touch on the fact there is no formula with this band. Anything goes, and that's one of the things that makes it a lot of fun. The bottom line with what we try to do as a band, I think we all made a conscious decision to, just speaking about what we tried to accomplish with the record, we wanted to take all the elements of VOLBEAT's sound and push them further or try different stuff within that sound. I think we did that. I think we definitely ended up with an album we're all very proud of. For example, the 1950s, '60s rock and roll influence that has always been part of this band, I think is even more authentic on this record with songs like 'Die To Live' with the piano and the sax and all that stuff. I think we captured a really cool vibe with that track. Some of the stuff, like the melodic stuff, might be more melodic. And, of course, you got the heavy tracks as well. There's also the rockabilly influence with songs like 'Sorry Sack Of Bones', for example. I think we're pulling from a lot of different places. There's really something for everyone on this record. Even some of the songs that are really maybe a little further down the road as far as being melodic or whatever, lyrically, they might be heavy. 'Heavy' is a thing depending on how you look at it."
On walking the fine line between sticking to their core sound and bringing in new elements:
Rob: "I will say that the response to the new album has been overwhelmingly positive. But as with any band that's progressing and growing, we're the type of band that doesn't like to repeat ourselves. We didn't want to do the same record we did last time, or the same record we did ten years ago, even though it was before me. VOLBEAT is always progressing and we're just getting better at our craft and what we're doing. Of course, with the new album, maybe some people got confused or whatever, but the bottom line is if you listen to the record as a whole, it is VOLBEAT. The funny thing is some people wrote to me, 'Where are the heavy songs?' But, now having listened to the record for a few weeks or however long it's been out, the same people are writing me, 'This is our favorite VOLBEAT album!' Just give it a chance. Everything is there. It really is. I will say this, too, and I think anyone in this band will say the same thing: VOLBEAT was never really a metal band. It's a rock and roll band with metal influences, with country influences, with punk influences, rockabilly, whatever it is. All of that stuff comes out in the music. That's the bottom line."
On the first time he heard about VOLBEAT:
Rob: "The first time I heard VOLBEAT, we were doing a band called THE DAMNED THINGS [a side project featuring ANTHRAX, FALL OUT BOY and EVERY TIME I DIE members]. It was about 2009, 2010. We put out a record, and we went on tour and VOLBEAT was one of the bands who were nice enough to take us out on the road. That was the first time I heard their music. We just heard that 'Oh, this band from Denmark. There's a lot of hype on them, there's a lot of excitement about them,' but we never heard the music. When I heard them the first time, I connected with them instantly. I just heard all these influences in their sound that I personally love — MISFITS, Johnny Cash thing, METALLICA vibe, just a lot of different things in the sound. I connected with it right off the bat."
On whether it was an easy choice for him to join VOLBEAT after departing ANTHRAX in 2013:
Rob: "Yeah. We were already working on the record 'Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies', because that's originally what was going on. I was called in to help produce and record the record. Yeah, I'm sure you know the story, but I'll say it again: It just felt really natural and it happened in a really cool, organic way. It just made sense."
VOLBEAT is continuing to tour in support of "Rewind, Replay, Rebound", which was released on August 2 via Republic Records. The disc was produced by longtime collaborator Jacob Hansen and co-produced by Caggiano and frontman Michael Poulsen. This marks the first studio album with Kaspar Boye Larsen on bass.