VOLBEAT's MICHAEL POULSEN On 'Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie': 'It's Our Strongest Record So Far'

June 1, 2016

Finland's Kaaos TV recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Michael Poulsen of Danish/American rock 'n' rollers VOLBEAT. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether the making of VOLBEAT's sixth full-length album, "Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie", was a "smooth" process:

Michael: "You know, I would never really call a writing process, a recording process smooth, because there's always a big challenge; there's a lot of work, a lot of frustration, a lot of emotions. It takes time; it really takes time. We do like to work with the head producer, Jacob Hansen; we feel very comfortable working with him. He's been working with us since Day One. So that's very nice. It takes time to get to the right songs. I pretty much isolated myself in my house for a half year, to finish up the songs, to be able to write the lyrics and write the music and go to the rehearsal room and show it to the other guys, see what songs needed to be on the record. I think we skipped around twenty-five songs to get to those which ended up on the record. That's basically how it works every time. Me and Jon [Larsen, drums] really don't like to be in the studio that long, because we're always pretty much well prepared; we know what we're gonna record, we know how it's gonna sound like. So we're not guys who wanna take sixty takes of a guitar sound or fifty takes of a vocal line. We pretty just much wanna get the job done and get the hell out of the studio… For me, it's not about having the perfect take. It's about having the take that has the most spirit and soul in it."

On whether it was hard for VOLBEAT to top its previous albums with "Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie":

Michael: "I use the pressure for something positive, because the pressure is there for constant success, but we're not the kind of band who chases success… We're very… We concentrate on what we are doing. And I use a lot of time writing new songs. I would never enter the studio if I didn't think that we had the best record that we could possibly write. So the pressure will always be a good thing. It's just like a sportsman; he knows what kind of shape he needs to be in to get the right result. And I look at music as the same thing: you need to be concentrated and dedicated and inspired to write the possible best record that you can do so. You can go back and say, 'You know what? I did everything I possibly could to make the best thing out of it.' And I really think that we did, because I think it's our strongest record so far."

On saying that "Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie" is the "most complete" VOLBEAT album so far:

Michael: "I'm not taking anything away from the past records, because I'm so proud of every record we've done so far, and they're all a huge inspiration for the new stuff that we are doing. But what I mean with that is if you go back and listen to the older VOLBEAT records, there's a lot of mixture of different styles, like rockabilly and country and punk rock and pop rock and metal. And on this record, it's more like an album; it's a solid rock album. There's not so many different mixture of styles. And this time it's pretty much underneath, so some of the songs, instead of being right in your face, this is more of a rock album with huge melodies, huge hook lines. So I guess that's how I'm trying to explain it."

On whether he had a clear vision of what he wanted "Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie" to sound like before he started composing the material for the new record:

Michael: "It just happened, because I don't like the idea of fabricating stuff. It's not, like, 'Okay, today let's do this. And then we do that on the next record. It has to be something that comes very honest from you; it has to come straight from the heart. What I didn't wanna do was to make a part two of the 'Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies' record and go into that Western theme again, because it was really a great success that album, and I think it stands out for itself and it needs to do that for a long time before we might go back and do something like that again. And it's more inspiring and it's more of a challenge to write a new album with new elements and new inspirations, and that's basically what we did."

"Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie" will be released on June 3 via Republic Records.


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