Mascot Records will release the 15th-anniversary limited-edition vinyl pressings of VOLBEAT's debut album, "The Strength / The Sound / The Songs", on March 26. A glow-in-the-dark pressing will be available in all shops and online, while a limited number of unique marble editions will be available through Volbeat.dk and EMP.
"The Strength / The Sound / The Songs" was first released by Mascot Records in 2005, launching the band on to the greater European music stage with bone-shaking performances at Roskilde, Download and Pinkpop. The album, which includes their first single, a cover of Dusty Springfield's "I Only Wanna Be With You" and fan favorites "Pool Of Booze, Booze, Booza" and "Soulweeper", crashed into the Danish charts and earned the band a slew of Danish Music Awards. The album has gone on to be certified double platinum in their home country, gold in Germany and has generated over 180 million streams and (still) counting. These new limited vinyl variants celebrate both the legacy of the album and the future that will bring countless more performances of these songs to the stage.
Last August, VOLBEAT guitarist Rob Caggiano told Matt Pinfield of "Raise Your Horns" that he and his bandmates have been writing new music during the coronavirus pandemic. "Michael's [Poulsen, VOLBEAT guitarist/vocalist] been writing a bunch of stuff," he said. "I've been super busy here [at home] in New York. It's really all we can do at this point — is just create and write music. There's not much else going on. So I've been super creative; they've been super creative… The past couple of months, I've just been writing music — just getting ideas out; just my own stuff. Where the stuff ends up, I'm not really sure yet. But yeah, it's been a lot of fun, just coming up with new ideas.
"Obviously, this whole coronavirus pandemic is a terrible thing, and at this point, it's gone on way too long," he added. "But I think we kind of needed a reset. I've been enjoying a lot of family time. It's nice to not be traveling all over the place for once. I haven't been idle like this in I don't even know how long — 25 years, 30 years. It's kind of crazy. But, yeah, it's a really great time to be creative and do stuff that we normally wouldn't have time to do, and things like that."
In June, Poulsen told "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, that he was "very much inspired" to write new VOLBEAT songs. "I can't wait to start working on these songs in the studio when the time is right, because there's a certain energy that really, really takes me back to the beginning," he said. "There's a lot of heavy stuff in some of the new songs that I've got."
Speaking about how the new VOLBEAT music compares to 2019's "Rewind, Replay, Rebound" album, Poulsen said: "I know for sure that what I'm writing right now is not really similar. That's gonna be another different VOLBEAT album, because if I was writing an album like that again, I would be old before I want to. So right now I'm doing a lot of spontaneous VOLBEAT songs that have really a lot of… [It's] uptempo, it's heavy, it's very riffy, there's even thrash songs, but again, there's also these really huge rock songs. Right now, I'm in a place where I'm kind of revisiting some of more uptempo and more heavy stuff. So I'm very excited about my whole situation when it comes to writing for VOLBEAT."
Michael went on to discuss his songwriting process in more detail, saying: "Writing is such an emotional thing — things have to come to you very naturally and then you just have to go with the flow. You can sit down and you can ask yourself, 'Where am I going with this?' And if you try to change it, it becomes another monster, and it's not necessarily a monster you wanna work with. So you just have to go with what your heart tells you. And that's what I'm doing also right now with the stuff that I'm writing right now, because I think everybody's kind of getting crazy being locked up in their own home. We have a lot of energy we wanna burn out. Even though I run every morning, I still have a ton of energy that I need to get rid of, and I get all that energy out in the new VOLBEAT music. That's why I'm saying that what I'm writing right now is more uptempo. I's very, very, very spontaneous writing, and there's a lot of energy in it."
Last May, VOLBEAT's U.S. tour with CLUTCH and THE PICTUREBOOKS was officially canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
"Rewind, Replay, Rebound" was released in August 2019 via Republic Records. The disc was produced by longtime collaborator Jacob Hansen and co-produced by Caggiano and Poulsen. It marked VOLBEAT's the first studio album with Kaspar Boye Larsen on bass.
Photo credit: Ross Halfin