Photo byMorten ThunFynsgade 24, st. tv.DK-8000 Århus Ctelefon: +45 29722465www.mortenthun.dkmortenthun@hotmail.comMichael Poulsen has become popular on Danish metal scene as a leader of the band Domunis that from 1994 to 2000 released four albums and left the deep trace on the scene.
In the last 13 years Michael Poulsen is leading Volbeat, the band of whose success we could write a lot and for which is certain that this year will take one of top positions in the world of rock/metal names.
Volbeat has released a new album “Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies” (Vertigo/Universal) 10 days ago and Venia-Mag in collaboration with Universal Music Croatia bring you Michael Poulsen’ review of each track on the album.

“We weren’t sure if wanted to have an intro to the album originally, and this came out of nowhere. We’d asked Paul Lamb, who is a great blues harp player if he’d do something with us, and we were waiting for him to show up in the studio. We were checking some of his stuff out on YouTube, and I got so inspired that I said, ‘We should write an intro for the song Dead But Rising and let him play harp on that.’ We had 20 minutes to do it, so we sat in the kitchen in the studio with two acoustic guitars, jamming and switching ideas back and forth. Twenty minutes later Paul turned up and we said, ‘We just wrote an intro you have to play it on.’ It sounded huge, so we decided to use it as an intro for the whole record.”

“She’s a real character who was born in the 18th century. She got a telegram saying that her mother was dying, and that she had no money to buy medicine. So Lady Pearl, together with her husband, dresses in men’s clothes, jumps on a horses and stop a stagecoach. There’s an Englishman, an American and a Japanese guy on the stagecoach, and Pearl takes their money – but she leaves them one dollar each so they can at least buy something to eat. The money she gets should get medicine for her mother, but Pearl and her husband get caught by the local sheriff and she ends up in jail. It’s a beautiful story. Of course, it’s wrong to rob a stagecoach, but she’s desperate and the money is for her mother. Somehow, you can see that it’s not all wrong.”

“This is a fictitious story about a young couple who are flirting with spiritual cards and ouija boards to get in contact with spirits or demons or something from another dimensions. Somehow they make contact with some ghouls through some tombstones from 18th, and they end up selling their souls to The Nameless One. Suddenly they wake up in the 1800s, inside a casket, and an outlaw ghoul is crashing their casket with his cane. He pulls the couple up and says, ‘You’re on your way to The Nameless One, you have a deal…’, and he takes them along with his riders. On the next album you’ll find out who The Nameless One is.”

“The opening riff is very old school metal – it could be a Slayer riff. The lyrics are about the first time I was travelling through the US, to visit Graceland and Elvis’s grave, and Tupelo, Mississippi, which was Elvis’ birthplace. My father had passed, and he was a huge Elvis fan. He had always wanted to visit Graceland with my mother, but had unfortunately never made it. I had rented a car and was driving towards Tupelo when the navigation just went out. This was the first time I had driven in the US, so I wasn’t comfortable. Then I noticed an eagle that had been following the car for a while. I said, ‘What is it with that eagle? Is my father trying to tell me something?’ I got emotional about it and I decided to follow the eagle. It went one way then the other, and the next thing I knew I was in Tupelo, Mississippi, and the eagle just took off. That was some strong shit. And that’s what Dead But Rising is all about – it’s about me, today, trying to reach out for that eagle.”

“Every young kid wants to be a hero – whether it’s a cowboy, an outlaw, a policeman or a superhero. Superman or Spiderman or whoever. We all had those action figures we’d play with.
“This song is about a little kid who loses his dad. He played with action figures with his dad, and he looked up to his dad as a hero. When he loses his dad, he starts losing his belief in his superheroes too. He’s trying to figure out how to get in contact with his superheroes – he’s thinking if angels exist, maybe he could fly away with them, and they could show him where those superheroes are – or at least where his dad is out there.”

6/ ROOM 24
“I’m a huge fan of King Diamond, so having him on this track is a huge privilege – it’s not normally something he does. It’s based on something that happened to me when we touring the US. I woke up in the middle of the night in a hotel room and I couldn’t move – I felt paralysed. I thought I was going to have a heart attack – it felt like something was sitting on my chest, pushing me down on the bed. I felt that was something in the room. I told King Diamond and he said, ‘Have you heard of sleep paralysis?’ So I looked into it, and every person who has had it has the same story – they feel that some kind of hag is sitting on top of them, some dark force. I asked King if there was any way he could tie that Dark Force to my experience. So he did his thing, and it worked out great. And of course the room it all happened in was Room 24…”

“A lot of people had heard those ghost stories about the Hangman from the Old West, and I wanted to do my own. The blind Hangman with a raven on his shoulders as his eyes is out there, walking through the valley, judging who is good and who is bad. You’d never know he was there – you could only hear his boots. He picks out the sinners, and they’re told while they’re in bed that that raven will come and knock on the door, and the should follow the raven to the Hangman…”

“This is a cover of a song by a band called Young The Giant. When we were in the US, we were driving around in a taxi and this song came on the radio. I was, like, ‘Who is that? That’s an amazing song?’ My tour manager found out that it was Young The Giant, so I checked them out on YouTube, and I thought, ‘Why haven’t I heard of this band?’ I could hear Volbeat playing this song. I thought it would be an interesting song to do, so I let’s put our own twist on it. I hope these guys take it as a compliment when they hear it.”

“I’m very inspired by Mike Ness of Social Distortion and Bruce Springsteen, though Lola Montez is definitely not their kind of woman. She’s another real character – she was always on the run, working for herself to earn money. She worked in a small circus, where she made up her own show, where she would dance with spiders. She’d show her legs… and a little bit more, which was outrageous back then. Men were totally paralysed by her, they’d throw gold in front of her feet when she was dancing, and she’d lift up her skirt so they could see more, and there’d be more gold. She was a dangerous woman…”

“We call it our “country Motörhead” song. Black Bart is a true character, an outlaw in the 1800s who robbed Wells Fargo coaches. He’d ask the driver to throw down the Wells Fargo box, and he spoke like a gentleman: “Please, sir, throw down your box.’ The women in the coach would throw their pearls at his feet, but he always said, ‘I don’t want your pearls and your money, ladies, please take them back.’ He wore a sack over his head so no one knew who he was, and he always left poems for the stagecoach driver. He was an outlaw gentleman.”

“This is a country-rockabilly song. When we started rehearsing it, I thought that that it needs something else – a female voice. I had ideas for the lyric where it would have been cool to have a female singer. So I emailed Sarah Blackwood, who is a great Canadian rockabilly singer. I was a fan of her old band, The Creepshow, and her current band Walk Off The Earth are great too. The lyric is about a cowboy who goes to war, and when he finally comes home, he cannot find his wife. The house is empty. What he doesn’t know is that he’s dead – he thinks he’s survived but he’s dead. And the thing is, his wife has passed while he was at war too. So she makes a deal with The Reaper to find her husband and bring him over to the other side…”

“This has a little bit of a modern country feeling. It has a mood that we’ve never touched in Volbeat before. Sometimes we don’t understand why people die around us – it doesn’t make sense. I’m singing about a spiritual world, where there is some kind of reaper who punishes people for not treating themselves and the people around them well by taking a random soul. We’re left here, not knowing why that person has died. The reaper is saying, ‘I’ll take a random soul, and you are the sinner without knowing.”

“I don’t think I need to say too much about Doc Holliday – everybody should know who he is, and his relationship with Wyatt Earp. This is one of the first songs we flirted around with live, to give people a snippet of what they could expect. It’s a metal song, but then it suddenly come to the chorus and there’s banjos! People are, like, ‘Wow, can you do that?’ Of course you can do that!”

“We have slow songs, but this is the first time we have done something that’s close to a ballad. It’s about a feeling that we all know, when we feel vulnerable and we want to open up to certain people but we’re afraid to because we’re afraid of losing some of ourselves, like, what if the person you’re giving the information to is not ready to hear stuff like that. It’s about giving and receiving, and how to deal with that in good and bad ways.”

“The first time I heard the word ‘ecotone’, I was, like, ‘Wow, that’s a cool word.’ It means the line that is between two things – it could be the line between water and solid ground, between wilderness and civilization. A flower might grow here but it might not over there – that’s an ecotone. And I thought, ‘What if the ecotone was a person?’ Sometimes you don’t think you belong anywhere, you think you’re somewhere in the middle. You feel alienated somehow. It’s something that lives inside every one of us.”


volbeat2013Volbeat, a Danish metal band begun by former Dominus leader Michael Poulsen in October of 2001, became a dominant force not only in Danish metal, but in Danish rock as a whole, charting albums and singles on a regular basis. Poulsen‘s earlier group, Dominus, was a giant in Danish metal, releasing four albums in ten years, and making a lasting impression on the scene. Poulsen felt it was time to start over, and his concept of giving straight-up heavy metal a more trad rock flourish (Poulsen was a big Elvis fan, if that is any indication) was at the heart of Volbeat. Bringing together members Franz Gottschalk on guitar (he would be replaced by Thomas Bredahl in 2006), Jon Larsen on drums, and Anders Kjølholm on bass, vocalist and guitarist Poulsen was able to release the band’s first demo, Volbeat, in 2002. Reception was lukewarm to the initial release, but the group’s second demo, Beat the Meat, was an instant success, getting airplay on European radio. Volbeat consolidated this early win with a semifinal appearance on the Danish talent show competition Live Contest. From then on, Volbeat began an almost constant work schedule, including performances with Europe and America’s biggest metal acts, as well as winning a number of genre and industry awards for their music.
The band soon landed a record deal with Rebel Monster, and released The Strength/The Sound/The Songs. That first “official” release was a relative monster in the band’s home nation, and beyond brisk sales, the album won a handful of awards, including Best Album in the Danish Metal Musik Awards in 2005. Volbeat had further reason to celebrate, as 2006 saw the group playing most of the Continent’s best-known rock festivals, including Roskilde and Summer Breeze. They followed up these appearances with a Danish tour. A follow-up to their best-selling debut finally appeared in shops in 2007. Titled Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil, the album debuted at number one in Denmark, and later that year, Volbeat made a repeat appearance at Roskilde, opened for Metallica and Megadeth, and once again toured Europe. They followed that chart-topper with Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood in 2008, which also hit the top spot in Denmark, and once more toured festivals worldwide, seeing their brand of metal, hard rock, and punk cross over into the pop market without a concession in their sound.  In 2010 Volbeat released Above Heaven/Beyond Hell with guest appearances from Mercyful Fate/King Diamond guitarist Michael DennerNapalm Death‘s Mark “Barney” GreenwayKreator‘s Mille Petrozza, and Jacob Øelund of rockabilly crew Taggy Tones. They toured relentlessly for the next year and a half on their own and played many festivals. In 2012 Volbeat re-entered the studio and emerged in April, 2013, with Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies; it was co-produced with the band, new member and guitarist Rob Caggiano (ex-Anthrax), and Jacob Hansen.

Current members:
Michael Poulsen – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Anders Kjølholm – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jon Larsen – drums, percussion
Rob Caggiano – lead guitar

Rob Caggiano and Jon Larsen gave us briefly view into their favorite pieces of music art, check it out.


Top 10 albums most listened to:

1. Master of Puppets by Metallica
2. Walk Among Us by The Misfits
3. Pretenders by The Pretenders
4. Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie
5. The Wall by Pink Floyd
6. 1984 by Van Halen
7. If You Want Blood… You Got It by AC/DC
8. Abigail by King Diamond
9. White Pony by Deftones
10. Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin

Favorite tracks of all time:

Kashmir by Led Zeppelin
Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden
Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Kid by The Pretenders
Angel of Death by Slayer


Favorite classic rock albums:

The Who – Who’s Next
The Beatles – With The Beatles
The Rolling Stones – “Aftermath”
The Kinks – “Something Else”
Slade – “Slade in Flame”
Alice Cooper – “School’s Out”

Top 10 inspirational albums:

Adam and the Ants : Wings of the Wild Frontier
Slayer : Reign in Blood
Metallica : Master of Puppets
Running Wild : Under Jolly Roger
KISS : Kiss Alive 2
The Beatles : Help
Iron Maiden : Piece of Mind
The Ramones : Rocket to Russia
The Sex Pistols : Nevermind the Bollocks
The Rolling Stones : Between the Buttons

Published with courtesy of Universal Music Croatia