VOLBEAT's MICHAEL POULSEN: How I Ended Up Writing Liner Notes To Reissue Of DEATH's 'Spiritual Healing'

July 19, 2018

In a recent interview with Ireland's Overdrive, VOLBEAT frontman Michael Poulsen was asked how he ended up writing the liner notes to the Relapse Records reissue of "Spiritual Healing", the legendary third album from death metal pioneers DEATH.

"I've got to tell you, that's something that I'm just so proud of," Michael said. "I'm a huge DEATH fan and Chuck Schuldiner was 'the man' and DEATH was 'the band.' 'Spiritual Healing' is one of my all-time favorite albums, no question!

"The story of how this happened is kind of strange, to say the least," he continued. "Many years ago, I was with my ex-girlfriend were out shopping and we went into an antique store and there was this fake skeleton sitting on a chair just inside the door and I ended up buying it, as I wanted it for my house. We put the skeleton in the back of the car and it stayed there for a long time as I was in the process of moving house and was getting new furniture, etc. That fucking thing was in the backseat of my car for months. [Laughs] So, one day in Copenhagen when we left home, with a DEATH t-shirt on and blasting DEATH from the car, this guy came up to me and was, like, 'Hey, man, awesome t-shirt. I'm actually the manager of the band!' I totally recognized him [Eric Greif] and actually, we found out that back in the day he was judging some death metal event which [Poulsen's pre-VOLBEAT death metal band] DOMINUS was playing and he was voting for us. So, we talked a little about that and he just thought it was great to see everything that was happening with VOLBEAT. He always comes to our shows when we're in Canada, and now I'm lucky enough to call Eric one of my very good friends.

"I have spent a lot on DEATH merchandise over the years with the vinyl reissues, etc., and he saw how much I truly loved that band and also how VOLBEAT was growing, and said to me that Chuck would have loved to have loved to have worked with us, had he still been alive," Michael added. "Eric actually asked me if I would have been interested in stepping in to do vocals on DTA [DEATH TO ALL, the Chuck Schuldiner tribute touring project], but I was too busy on the road with VOLBEAT to commit to it. He knew that I was totally able to do it, thanks to my background in DOMINUS, but the timing was not right, so I recommended some other vocalists that would be perfect for the position. So, he then asked me if I would be interested in doing the liner notes for the reissue of 'Spiritual Healing', and it was a no-brainer for me.

"[Eric is] still one of my very good friends and I'm just still blown away that I got to do something so cool for one of my all-time favorite albums."

Poulsen, who played extreme metal with his first band, DOMINUS, back in the early '90s, recently said that he wouldn't rule out a return to death metal in future. "I do have things at home — I can pick up some few death metal riffs here and there," he told Heavy TV. "I've got so many good friends in the death metal scene, and I've been talking to some of them to one day, when the time is right, sit down and write some old-school death metal. When that's going to happen, I don't know. It will happen; it's just timing is everything."

VOLBEAT plans to enter the studio before the end of the year to begin recording its seventh album for a tentative 2019 release. The follow-up to 2016's "Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie" will mark the band's first full-length effort to feature bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen, who joined VOLBEAT too late to appear on the last CD.

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