VOLBEAT Drummer On Opening For SLIPKNOT: 'Some People In The Audience Were Flipping The Bird'
October 20, 2019
Rock Rebel Magazine conducted an interview with drummer Jon Larsen of Danish/American rockers VOLBEAT prior to the band's October 14 concert at Fabrique in Milan, Italy. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether the various guests who appear on VOLBEAT's latest album, "Rewind, Replay, Rebound", bring "special ingredients":
Jon: "Yeah, of course, they do. That's why they're there, so to speak. Some of the guests that we have on all the albums, actually, always brought their 'thing' to the song. In this case, let's say, Neil Fallon from CLUTCH, when Michael [Paulson, guitar/vocals] wrote the song, he said 'I can hear Neil's voice on it. He has that gravelly, rough, whiskey type of voice.' We thought it would suit the song really good, so we got in contact with Neil, and this and that. He said, 'Sure, send me the track.' He laid down his vocals and it turned out amazing. It was just what Michael was looking for. And for [SLAYER/EXODUS guitarist] Gary Holt, basically it became we were a couple of songs short, so Michael wrote those last songs very quickly, actually, then we recorded the basic tracks, but we needed a guitar solo, but Rob [Caggiano, guitar] had already left the studio and went home to New York because he had some stuff to finish in New York, so we didn't want to bother him to add more stuff to what he was doing. Michael said, 'Oh, I'm going to text Gary and see if he's up for it.' Because SLAYER was off the road at that point. He texted him and said, 'Hey, we got this song. Would you maybe participate? He was like, 'Sure, send me the track.' He built a little studio close to where he lives and sent some different stuff. Michael said 'Yeah, I want this and I want that.' That's how Gary came about. He was, like, 'Yeah, I'll do it! No sweat.' Again, yeah, the saxophone and the piano for 'Die To Live', because it had that rocking, '50s type of sound to it, and we always wanted a song with some saxophone and some really '50s type piano on it, so JD McPherson is definitely straight out of that area, so, again, we got in contact with those guys and said, 'Hey, we got this. Would you mind doing it?' They were like, 'Oh yeah, send us a track.' They did different stuff through e-mails and what else you got in these modern times; they found the right cocktail for that song. Mia Maja, who also appeared on the last album, did a lot of backup vocals, those high-pitched vocals; it's her again. It worked out perfectly the last time, so it was a no-brainer to bring her back and do some vocal stuff."
On touring with SLIPKNOT, GOJIRA and BEHEMOTH in North America this past summer:
Jon: "We were when we got the offer, we were like, 'Oh, is this going to work?' You have SLIPKNOT, obviously, the headliner, then you had GOJIRA, which is another extreme metal band, then BEHEMOTH, which is even more extreme, and here we are, playing our more rock 'n' roll-type of songs. We were like 'Uh, is this going to work?' But our management said, 'Yeah, it's going to totally work. You got two really extreme bands, then you guys come in completely different, then SLIPKNOT will tear everything apart.' We were, like, 'Alright, sure. It might work.' Actually, it did. There's no doubt people were there to see SLIPKNOT, which is fair. That's how it is when you're headlining, but overall, we actually did pretty well. The heat was a completely different matter. It's so hot when we played some of those shows; we were struggling with that. Apart from that, it did turn out pretty well. Every night you will see some people in the audience flipping the bird and shaking their heads, like, 'What is this?' That's how it is when you're supporting. I'm pretty sure the bands who are supporting us, there are people as well shaking their heads and flipping the bird, and that's how it is. I think, overall, it actually went pretty well. I think we gained, hopefully, a bunch of new fans during that tour."
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 Poulsen. This marks the first studio album with Kaspar Boye Larsen on bass.