VOLBEAT Drummer On Group's New Album: 'We Expanded The Overall Sound Of The Band'

September 8, 2019

VOLBEAT drummer Jon Larsen recently spoke with France's United Rock Nations. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

On the group's new album, "Rewind, Replay, Rebound":

Jon: "The feeling is good. I think, of course, it's a good album that we've made, and I hope everybody else thinks that too. I'm kind of excited to see people's reactions to it, because there's a few changes here and there. We expanded the overall sound of the band, and I'm pretty sure people are going to get a few surprises when they get the album."

On how the writing and recording process differed from previous VOLBEAT albums:

Jon: "Not really that much. Michael [Poulsen, vocals/guitar] still brings up most of the stuff. Rob [Caggiano, guitars] brought some riffs and ideas this time as well, and Kaspar [Boye Larsen, bass] and I added our two cents to the whole thing. It's basically how it always has been. Of course, if everybody else comes up with a great idea for a riff or a melody or something like that, and it's usable, then we'll use it. But mostly, Michael comes up with 95 percent of everything."

On the album's two most prominent guest stars — CLUTCH vocalist Neil Fallon and EXODUS and SLAYER guitarist Gary Holt:

Jon: "The song where Neil appears, Michael just heard his voice. He said, 'Oh, I think it could be really cool to have Neil sing on it.' He reached out to him and said, 'Hey, we've got this song. Would you maybe take a listen to it and see if it's something that you would do?' He replied back that he would love to do it. The track was sent to Neil, and he did his vocals back home and came back to us, and it sounded pretty amazing. It was just like what we wanted — a voice like Neil's voice, because he has such a great voice. We have a slight history with those guys — we toured with them, I don't know... it seems like it was 30 years ago. It probably wasn't, but we did a tour with them a long time ago and got to know them. They're all great guys. As for Gary Holt, it was kind of like, 'Wouldn't it be fun if...?' We've talked to Gary many times. He had seen us play live a couple of times... Michael reached out to him, and he said, 'Sure, I'd love to.' That's basically how that came about."

On the album's lyrical themes:

Jon: "Some of the lyrics, I think this time, are pretty personal to [Michael], so I can't really say too much about that. There is definitely a song for his daughter and his girlfriend. The song 'Last Day Under The Sun' I know was inspired by something he read about Johnny Cash — that Johnny Cash apparently, at some point in his life, was so down-and-out on everything and drugs and booze and basically went out into the woods to die. He found this cave where he went in and wanted to die in there, but of course, he didn't. He kind of came out as maybe not a different person, but he came out alive and fortunately was still around for many years. Apart from that, it's not really up my alley about the lyrics. That's mostly Michael's thing."

On the album's title:

Jon: "It's something that he came up with. I don't know where he gets all these titles from. Maybe he has a book somewhere. Honestly, I don't really know."

On the group's recent single, "Last Day Under The Sun":

Jon: "I think it has all the elements that we are about. It still has the big hook lines [and] the huge melodies, but it also has the lift part to it. I think it was chosen [as a single] mainly to show where the band is now. It's hopefully one of those songs that people will love and sing along to. It might be a bit more commercial, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that."

On "Parasite":

Jon: "It actually started out I wouldn't say as a joke, but the idea came when we were in South America last year... It was so hot — unbearable [sic] hot down there. There were a lot of mosquitoes and stuff like that, so it kind of started out as a fun little thing with the lyrics. It just turned into this 30-second song. It was like, 'This is fun.' That's how it came about. I know a lot of people think, 'Oh, where's the rest of the song?' But that's all there is — it's a little melodic punk-rock song. It doesn't need to be any longer than that. There's a lot of great songs that [are] only, like, 25, 30 seconds long anyway. It's short; it's fast; it's fun."

"Rewind, Replay, Rebound" was released on August 2 via Republic. The group, which is currently on the road in North America as part of SLIPKNOT's "Knotfest Roadshow", will kick off an extensive tour of Europe — a trek that also features BARONESS and DANKO JONES — on September 23.

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