VOLBEAT Frontman: METALLICA ‘Are True Gentlemen And Such Nice People’

Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio recently conducted an interview with VOLBEAT singer, songwriter and guitarist Michael Poulsen. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Audio Ink: How did you discover metal?

Poulsen: As a teenager, I discovered the heavy metal scene. My big sister had a boyfriend — her husband now — and they both listened to DIO, METALLICA, BLACK SABBATH. So, I got hooked on that. At first, I loved the album sleeves. METALLICA and MOTÖRHEAD albums always looked really cool, and bands like them are why I got into heavy metal and now formed my own metal band. But, all my melodies come from the ’50s. Somehow, I wanted to keep the distorted sound from the guitars and the pounding drums and combine that with the ’50s melodies.

Audio Ink: VOLBEAT mixes so many genres, from metal to rockabilly to punk.

Poulsen: Yeah, we use a lot of different elements, because I was inspired by all these different artists and styles, so for me, it’s natural to write music like that. It comes from the inside. It’s straight from the heart, and when I sit down to write music, I don’t think about it too much, because then you fail. It has to come naturally.

Audio Ink: What was it like touring with METALLICA on 2009’s “World Magnetic Tour”?

Poulsen: It was so weird, because I remember when I was a young kid, laying in bed and looking at my posters of METALLICA. It’s amazing what you’re capable of achieving if you work hard and are dedicated. Dreams come true. METALLICA are true gentlemen and such nice people. We did 50 shows in the U.S. and Canada and also a European tour. We’re still in good contact with James [Hetfield, METALLICA guitarist/vocalist]. It’s an emotional thing, and I’m proud of it.

Audio Ink: What’s the writing process like for you?

Poulsen: I write all the material, the music and the lyrics. I always have words spinning in my head. Sometimes I wish I could turn off my mind, because there’s music in my head all the time. I believe that’s what you call inspiration. I sit down to write a song, and the magic thing about it is just like when you put on one of your favorite records and get goose bumps when it moves you, when I write a song, it has to move me. I have an interesting process of writing. It can happen anywhere. A lot of times, I’m writing when we’re touring. I sit backstage with an acoustic guitar and just write. All those pieces become songs, over time.

Audio Ink: Why do you call your fans “Rebels And Angels?”

Poulsen: The name is our way to tell our fans, “Hey, this is part of a family. Let’s do something together. Let’s be a family.” It’s a way to give people something they belong to and to know we’re one. “Rebels And Angels” is one part of that.

Read the entire interview from Audio Ink Radio.