Continuing our celebration of 19 years of music entertainment... From Issue 158, June 2013 we revisit

VolbeatVolBeat – Outlaw Gentlemen
By Dave Schwartz

Danish rock band VolBeat, fresh off the success of 2010's "Beyond Hell/Above Heaven," which featured three No. 1 rock radio hits, "A Warrior's Call", "Still Counting" and "Heaven Nor Hell," has just released "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies."  The album is an evolution of rock melodies contained in a pseudo western motif.  Bold and Imaginative, “Outlaw Gentlemen” is currently running up the charts powered by singles, “Cape of Our Hero" and "The Hangman's Body Count.” 

For Volbeat, with success has come change.  In November 2011, guitarist Thomas Bredahl parted company with the band.  But it didn’t take long for Volbeat to find a replacement in the guise of former Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano who was coincidently hired to help produce “Outlaw Gentlemen.”  Upon entering the studio, the chemistry between Caggiano and the rest of the band was inspiring and obvious.  VolBeat soon offered him the job. 

Recently DaBelly spoke to Rob Caggiano about this somewhat unusual combination of Danish rock and American metal. 

DB:  Congratulations on the new album, "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies."  Let’s take a moment and talk about it.  I read that you were originally brought in as the producer on the project. 

RC:  Well basically VolBeat approached me about producing the new record after I left Anthrax.  Of course I was excited with the opportunity and I thought that we could make a great record.  So when I agreed to come out to Copenhagen, the first session I sat down with Michael (Poulsen) to go over new material.  So he showed me the new ideas and the new tunes and all his stuff was really great.  There were a few songs that weren’t totally finished and Michael asked if I had any ideas for the song or what I would put here.  Of course I had tons of ideas and we started collaborating – going back and forth.  It was just fun.  There was some really cool creative chemistry.  And I think that was the catalyst for later when the guys asked me to join the band.  Just our chemistry during that session and the fact that we clicked so well. 

DB:  That’s fascinating given that your musical background is so different than what VolBeat had been doing.  So you ended up in the studio and tracked the entire album with them. 

RC:  Yeah, the whole thing.  Actually two weeks into the recording the guys asked me to join the band.  That really changed the whole my whole approach.  I went from being solely just the producer to becoming the guitar player and it opened up a whole new world as far as what we were able to try and do as far as my contribution.

DB:  I’m sure it gave you a completely different mindset as far as the record itself.  Mentally you went from offering ideas to the songs being something that you were going to play on stage. 

RC:  It ended up being my guitar in the left speaker, Michael’s in the right speaker, Anders (Kjølholm) in the middle and Jon (Larsen) everywhere.  What you have is the sound of a band. 

DB:  You’re right, the album does sound very live. 

RC:  And I was also able to add a whole bunch of other stuff like different guitar sounds and some acoustic stuff.  It’s a lot of things that people have never heard VolBeat do.  It was fun for me because I was never allowed to do that with Anthrax. 

B:  Yes, I understand.  Every band has their signature sound, but it’s always fun to hear them step out of their comfort zones at least for a minute.  My first listen to “Outlaw Gentlemen” surprised me a bit in that I could clearly hear the Anthrax influence that your guitar playing brought to the band.  Some of the guitar parts are in the back, but they add an interesting texture to the music.  My surprise was how well, how perfectly your guitar style fit into the songs.  And as bold as you’re playing is, it didn’t overwhelm the songs at all. 

RC:  Well cool man, thank you.  I’m glad you dig it. 

Volbeat"Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies" as released on April 9 via Universal Republic.  It sold 39,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 9 on The Billboard 200 chart.

DB:  So the album is out and you’re out on tour.  How is it going? 

RC:  The tour is going great.  The shows have been phenomenal.  Every night has been a crazy crowd with great energy.  There’s a great vibe to the new songs from the fans.  It’s just awesome.  We’re having a blast right now. 

DB:  I suspect that it’s a completely different vibe from the Anthrax shows! 

RC:  A totally different vibe!

DB:  I’m curious about the western motif on the album.  That’s very unexpected from a Danish band.  How did that come about? 

RC:  I think that Michael was just getting into the old western stories.  The characters, the gunslingers from way back when.  He decided to make the album about that stuff.  It appears on some of the song storylines, on the album cover and so on.  As far as look, it’s great for me not to have to wear a band shirt on stage which is what we had to do in Anthrax.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I was just bored.  It’s cool that I can wear anything that I want on stage now. 

DB:  Obviously VolBeat hail from Denmark and you’re an American.  Do you plan to remain here in America, just to live that split? 

RC:  Yes.  Bands live on tour buses.  It doesn’t matter where my house is. 

DB:  I reviewed your schedule and noted that you’re finishing up these last few dates in America before heading over to Europe.  It looks like you’ll be in Europe for the remainder of the year.  Are you looking forward to playing the big summer festivals? 

RC:  Yeah, it’s going to be great, very exciting.  I’m looking forward to seeing the fans. 

I want to thank Rob Caggiano for sharing a moment with DaBelly.  VolBeat is currently in Europe and may return to the states in late 2013.  Watch for tour announcements.  For more information on VolBeat go to…

No. Title Length
1. "Let's Shake Some Dust" 1:28
2. "Pearl Hart" 3:27
3. "The Nameless One" 3:53
4. "Dead but Rising" 3:35
5. "Cape of Our Hero" 3:49
6. "Room 24" 5:07
7. "The Hangman's Body Count" 5:15
8. "My Body" 3:42
9. "Lola Montez" 4:28
10. "Black Bart" 4:48
11. "Lonesome Rider" 4:45
12. "The Sinner Is You" 4:15
13. "Doc Holliday" 5:46
14. "Our Loved Ones" 4:51

  • April 5, 2013

    Vertigo Records / Universal Republic


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


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