Mike Gitter of AOL‘s Noisecreep recently conducted an interview with former ANTHRAX and current VOLBEAT guitarist Rob Caggiano. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Noisecreep: How did you end up joining VOLBEAT so soon after leaving ANTHRAX?
Caggiano: When I left ANTHRAX, Michael [Poulsen; VOLBEAT frontman] caught wind of things and called me up to see if I was interested in flying over to Copenhagen to produce their new record. When THE DAMNED THINGS were opening for VOLBEAT a few years ago, those guys really liked the way THE DAMNED THINGS record sounded, and we flirted around with the idea of us working together back then, but my schedule being what it was, it just never seemed likely to happen. But now it was perfect timing. I’m a huge fan of the band. Michael also asked me if I would jam a couple solos on the record and, of course, I said yes. When I finally got to Copenhagen, though, and we finally started going over the songs for the new record, a bunch of stuff was already finished but there were also a few songs that weren’t. Michael would ask me. “What do you hear in this section, Rob? What would you do here?” We started collaborating. Of course, I had tons of ideas and everything we tried really seemed to work great for the songs. We were having fun. The vibe and chemistry was just killer and I was being creative again, which is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time. Shortly after this, we started the actual tracking and as the record starting to take shape, I ended up playing more and more guitar on the songs. One thing led to another and a little more than two weeks into the process, Michael and the guys asked me, “Would you consider being in the band?” I didn’t expect that at all and I basically told them I was flattered but I wanted to sleep on it and continue that conversation in the morning. [laughs] When I went back to my room that night, I seriously thought about things and it definitely didn’t take me long to realize this was the perfect situation for me. I came in the next morning and told everyone, “I’m in!” That’s basically how it went down. From there, my role changed dramatically. I went from being the producer on the album to now being the new guitar player in the band as well. My guitar playing duties were greatly multiplied and rightfully so but it also opened up a lot of musical doors for me, so to speak. We were able to try lots of different things in the studio, even down to the guitar arrangement throughout the album. As it turns out, my guitar is on the left, Michael is on right, Anders is in the middle and Jon is everywhere… it’s the full sound of a band in high gear. This also goes along with what I wanted to accomplish as a producer on this record and what I wanted to capture on tape. Anyway, that’s basically how it all went down.
Noisecreep: The obvious question: why did you leave ANTHRAX?
Caggiano: I felt like I was spinning my wheels, to be honest. My heart wasn’t into it anymore. I think the main reason is that ANTHRAX was never a creative outlet and it just got to a point where I realized there was no emotional attachment to the music for me at all. It wasn’t by any choice of my own. It’s just simply the way those guys roll and that’s how they do their thing. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at the same time, I needed to make a change for myself. I just wasn’t happy. I’m a musician and I’m a creative person. At the end of the day, I think they really understand why I left. I’m extremely proud of everything we accomplished together over the years. I love everything I did with them. We made two great records together. We played tons of killer shows all over the world but the fact that there was no emotional investment in it for me became more and more obvious.
Noisecreep: It’s funny, it seems more people know your name now since you’ve left ANTHRAX and joined VOLBEAT, than every before. Does that surprise you?
Caggiano: Really?! I never thought about that. It’s so crazy the way this whole thing rolled out. I feel like my life has been a tornado over the past few months. For me, it was a very emotional and scary step leaving ANTHRAX and then not knowing what I was going to do next. I feel extremely lucky and blessed by the way things panned out. I haven’t really stopped to think about what people are saying out there. I’m just following my heart. If what you say is true, then that’s cool. At least they’re talking.
Read the entire interview from Noisecreep.