Undoubtedly, one of life’s biggest joys is discovering new music and playing it for friends. The joy of playing Danish rockabilly, metal, country and western punkers Volbeat for folks over the last five years is that they sound totally unlike anyone else in rock music today.
Yet you can hear the legacies of Glenn Danzig, Johnny Cash, Green Day and Metallica all over them.
That this unique mob of renegades have become one of the most popular European bands of the last decade despite having nothing to do with anything that is trendy or contemporary and without having to resort to regurgitating the ideas of the past is a beautiful thing that should be heralded as a victory for the underdog.
“I don’t think we’ll ever feel like we fit in and I totally see that as a positive thing,” says the band’s mastermind and frontman, Michael Poulsen. “When this band started, it was all about being our own brotherhood. We are proud to be part of metal’s brotherhood too, but we’ve almost created our own brotherhood within that.”
In the band’s dressing room before they go on stage, the walls are adorned with nothing but textile flags featuring everyone from Queen and the Sex Pistols to AC/DC, Death and Ozzy.
We like to reference this not only because it reminds us all of what our bedroom was like once upon a time, but also because you get the sense that Volbeat are hell-bent on creating a legacy that can mix it with the legends of our world.
Indeed, it’s probably only Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot that have had a bigger rise than Volbeat in the past decade within the pages of this magazine, yet in the UK, Volbeat remain something of a cult band; a curiosity more than a household name. The number of people being moved by Volbeat is growing by the day – “We’ve headlined arenas that Metallica have played,” reveals Michael with a grin – but the fact remains that the UK is an unconquered territory for the Danes.
“It’s weird, because you people in the UK are definitely not slow,” Michael says to us with the devil in his eye and his tongue buried so far in his cheek that it’s in danger of bursting out of the side of his face. “It’s fun to be able to play shows in the UK and show what we can do and feel like we are stepping up to the plate.”
With the band’s November UK tour looking set to sell out, it feels like only a matter of time until , to quote the title of the current Volbeat album, we are a nation of Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies.
OUTLAW GENTLEMEN & SHADY LADIES IS OUT NOW VIA SPINEFARM. VOLBEAT HIT THE UK LATER THIS MONTH