Volbeat is out touring behind their fifth studio album, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies.
On Wednesday, they played a show in Sterling Heights at Freedom Hill.
Before the show, Volbeat drummer, Jon Larsen, sat down for a quick round of questions.
Q: You guys had an off day yesterday so you must be well rested. How are you doing today?
Jon: Yeah it was nice. I actually just ate so I'm fine.
Q: The tour started last week. How is it going?
Jon: Well we've only done four shows so it's still a bit early to say but it has definitely been going good. The crowd reaction has been amazing as always and they seem to really be digging into the new stuff that we are playing so that's perfect. We can't complain.
Q: You have four very different bands on the bill this time from different parts of the world. Are you seeing that same difference in the crowds that are coming out?
Jon: Yeah I think so but fortunately for us a lot of people are staying and out there when we get onstage so that's good.
Q: Is there a song that the crowd is responding to most?
Jon: That's kind of hard to say but definitely some of the old favorites like "Still Counting" always get a huge reaction. From the new songs I would say probably "Lola Montez" gets a very good reaction from the audience and "Dead But Rising" as well. People are asking for different songs all the time.
Q: Are you changing the set list up?
Jon: Well so far we have pretty much stuck to the same set list. We really want to change songs every night but Rob [Caggiano, new guitarist, formerly of Anthrax] doesn't know the entire catalog yet but we're working on that!
Q: Can you describe your current set visually and musically?
Jon: They can expect a bit of everything. There's something new, something old, something ancient; a bit of everything basically.
Q: What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear you are playing the Detroit area?
Q: You've been doing meet and greets. Have you done one yet today?
Jon: No but we are. We're getting ready to do sound check and then we have some meet and greet stuff. Apart from that we just sit around getting bored and waiting to go onstage.
Q: What's the strangest thing you've been asked to sign so far?
Jon: Hmm, hmm, let's see...probably, well I don't know how strange it was but we met a guy on Thursday who wanted us to sign his motorcycle. That was kind of weird because it was the windshield and it was like, okay but it's not gonna last! He said, "Oh, I don't care, just sign it!".
Q: What's the one thing you can't do without while out on tour?
Jon: Probably my computer.
Q: So thinking about the album, are you happy with the reaction you've gotten to it?
Jon: Yeah I think if you look at how the whole music industry is sales-wise right now then it's actually going pretty good. I've seen a lot of people showing up with the vinyl edition to have us sign actually. I think the sales are actually quite a bit and as far as I know the album is doing pretty good. We can't complain about that!
Q: So what do you think Rob has added to your sound?
Jon: [laughs] Yeah what has he added? First of all, I mean Rob is a fabulous musician. There is no denying that; he really is. I think, without saying anything bad about our former guitar players, that we have become more of a tighter band when we play live because we've started actually paying a bit more attention to the smaller details than we did before Rob. I think he added that element that definitely live we have been more tight and of course in the studio Michael [Poulsen, vocalist] has always done basically all the guitar work prior to Rob's arrival. When Rob came in, he really adapted to Michael's playing style pretty quickly and he ended up playing a lot more guitar on the album than he was supposed to. That's a good thing as well.
Q: So are you guys even thinking about new music yet or is that a long way off?
Jon: Nooo!!! Probably not at the moment anyways because we're pretty booked for the year touring-wise. Next year they've already started planning tours for us too. I mean as for new music I guess Michael probably has some ideas in his head already but I haven't heard him come up with any yet. You never know but I highly doubt we'll see a new album until 2015.
Q: Will you be doing anymore U.S. touring this year?
Jon: No, not for the rest of this year. This is the last tour for the U.S. but this is our third run here so I think that's more than enough. We need to go back to Europe and tour there as well. Being out in the U.S. things have been going well but we need to go back and tour there because we've stayed away from Europe for almost a year so it's time to go home. That's the truth!
Q: Are there any goals for the band that you still haven't reached?
Jon: Yeah to become filthy rich beyond belief so we can retire! It's not maybe realistic but hey, I'm praying for it.
Q: Well if this was all to end tomorrow what would you want the band to be remembered for?
Jon: Well I would love if people would remember us just for being a little good band that had some great tunes and was fun to watch live. I guess that would probably be the biggest thing or that somebody would say that they started playing music because they heard us or saw us live. That would probably be the biggest thing ever.
Q: Is there one moment in the band's history that you'd like to go back and relive?
Jon: That's hard to say. I don't know really. Maybe the day when the first album was released because it was something special because no one basically wanted to touch us with a ten foot pole. They said they didn't know what to do with us or what this was so to have the album released was special. Yeah that day but also maybe when we opened the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in March 2007. It would be nice to go back and watch that one.
Q: What is your biggest passion outside of music?
Jon: Collecting horror memorabilia.
Q: What's the biggest prize in your collection?
Jon: Well probably a six sheet of Jaws. I haven't seen that many of those so yeah that's probably the one.
Q: If you could cover one song outside of your genre what would it be?
Jon: Oh, jesus! Oh man there's so many songs! I don't know. Maybe an old Rolling Stones song. Yeah, why not!
Q: Last time I interviewed you out at Saint Andrews we talked about how you'd been traveling with sharks on your drum kit but that you'd forgotten to bring them to the U.S. with you. What's up on your drum kit these days?
Jon: Well we've switched a bit around so we are trying to make the drums I've had in the U.S. into some type of horror kit so basically I have a few horror icon bobbleheads up there. I've got The Fly, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Freddy and Jason and stuff like that.
Q: Is there something shocking that your fans don't know about you?
Jon: Probably but I won't ever tell!
Q: Obviously music is a huge part of your life but what does it really mean to you?
Jon: Well what it's like for any musician really. I mean how much better can you get than actually making a career out of your music! When you want to play music as your main dream and your main goal and you actually get to do it, it's amazing. Fortunately for us we've been lucky enough to be able to do that. We worked hard for many, many years so that's the biggest thing; to be able to live off of your hobby.
Q: Can we have one last word for tonight's show?
Q: Do you have any final words for your fans?
Jon: Yeah come out and see the shows and buy the album or we'll come after you!