"This is big. Very big. And yet another indication that Danish music is on to something – also internationally – these years,” observed Erik Jensen, Politiken’s rock reviewer, about Volbeat’s achievement in early February when they topped the US Active Rock chart.
The song, ‘A Warrior’s Call’ – which is boxer Mikkel Kessler’s preferred track to enter the ring to – is from an equally successful album, ‘Beyond Hell/Above Heaven’ (2010), which has sold 500,000 copies worldwide and gone platinum in Denmark, Germany and Finland, and gold in Sweden and Austria.
Meanwhile, Volbeat continues to rock in a very big way. They have just completed their Gigantour tour, in the US and Canada, with Lacuna Coil and the legendary bands Megadeth and Motörhead. This included a chance for singer Michael Poulsen to perform with the rockicon and Motörhead frontman, Lemmy – a feat many rock musicians dream of but very few achieve.
Volbeat finished touring on March 3 in Texas after 26 concerts. But they will soon be on the road again. On April 28 the band will achieve yet another landmark, when they perform for the first time in a South American country: namely Santiago in Chile.
The Copenhagen Post caught up with Michael Poulsen ahead of the band finishing their US tour and found that no matter how big Volbeat makes it, this frontman is never too far from his Danish roots.
Coming from the Danish scene, how is it playing for American fans?
The American fans are great and seem very dedicated. They seem to enjoy that we don’t sound like any other bands or any American bands. We are having a great time here in the US with the fans, and we love to hang out with them. And I think they find it interesting that we’re not from the US, because lots of our music sounds like it is from the US. So we are very thankful for their support and dedication.
Do you keep in touch with (or keep track of) the Danish metal scene? And do you think Volbeat’s success will help pave the way for other Danish bands in the US or even in Denmark?
I started playing deathmetal back in 1990 and released some demos and four albums with my first band called Dominus, and there are still some good bands from that time, like Konkhra, Invocator, Illdisposed and new bands like Hatesphere, Raunchy, the Candidate, Dawn of Demise – they are great too. I think lots of new bands are good enough to pave their own way to success – they don’t need Volbeat for that, but if we can help somehow, it’s cool.
Volbeat’s music takes inspiration from a wide variety of genres. Does the band plan to tour with bands of other genres or do they prefer to tour with fellow metal-heads?
We are open to lots of different types of bands, as long as it makes sense for everybody. And during the time we have been on the road, we have played with lots of different bands of different genres. So it can be everything: metal, rock, rockabilly, country, punk, pop rock, electronic music.
You told Metroxpress that Mikkel Kessler said he would get a tattoo of Volbeat’s logo if the song ‘A Warrior’s Call’ reached number one. Has he got it yet?
Yes, that’s a fact, but he hasn’t got it yet. Maybe he’s getting it this very minute!