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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Rob Caggiano Volbeat - Interview
The Rockpit interviews

ROB CAGGIANO

VOLBEAT


Volbeat

Danish rock n' rollers Volbeat have just released their latest album "Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie" which has charted successfully worldwide. With the impending further success of that, we talked to guitarist and co-producer of the album Rob Caggiano about the new songs and how it felt working with the band on his second record with them as well as a discussion on his side project with comedian Jim Breur.

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Andrew: Obviously you have the new album that just came out, which by the way I love the title "Seal The Deal And Let's Boogie".

Rob: [laughs].

Andrew: So it's just come out so how has the response from the fans and the critics been so far?

Rob: It's been great! Everyone seems to be loving the new record and the new songs and we've been playing 5 or 6 live at every show and they have been going over really well. So far the response has been great.

Andrew: How was it working on the record with the band this time around? Because this is your second record and you are now a fully fledged member so how was it compared to the last album?

Rob: Well the one thing that we did on this record was we spent a lot of time in the rehearsal room prior to going into the studio so we were very prepared and very ready. All the parts were worked out in advance and I definitely had a creative influence as well this time around. The cool thing is I've been in the band now for a little while so we all know each other very well and it was just a really good vibe. We didn't have a bass player though in the process so that made it a little interesting.

Andrew: Oh Ok and it must be very busy on your end because you also co-produced the album so things must be pretty hectic for you.

Rob: Yeah definitely but we banged it out really quick.

Andrew: Well the last album that you did with Volbeat where you came in as just a producer, what made the band and you decide that it would be a good fit for you guys to work together?

Rob: It all boils down to the music. I love the music, I love the sound of the band and I'm really good friends with the rest of the guys as well so everything was just working basically. But it all started with the music.

Andrew: So you were familiar with a lot of their music before you started working with them?

Rob: Yeah basically we did a band called The Damned Things, it was myself, Scott Ian from Anthrax and Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley from Fall Out Boy. We put a band together called The Damned Things and put out a record on Island called "Ironiclast" and then we went on tour - this was 2010, 2011 - but we took this on the road and that's how I met the guys back then. So I had known them for a few years prior to all this happening.

Andrew: How does working with Volbeat and being a member of Volbeat compare to maybe your time with Anthrax? Is it drastically different or is it maybe similar in some ways?

Rob: I wouldn't say it's drastically different...but it's an interesting question. Well for one thing, there's chicks and...I don't know [laughs], which that's a good thing [laughs].

Andrew: [laughs].




Rob: But I don't know, it feels really good. What we're doing feels really good. The thing with Volbeat is it feels like it's growing worldwide, the show is really big, we're headlining a lot of festivals. It just feels really good.

Andrew: That's good to hear and I see that you have a show in August playing with Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. That show is an opening for some big stadium out in Minneapolis somewhere right?

Rob: Yes right.

Andrew: I know you have done shows with Metallica before and Volbeat has done shows with Metallica before, so how is it doing a show with a band like Metallica?

Rob: It's great, we love Metallica. We grew up on that stuff and they've been a huge influence on all of us, everybody in Volbeat, and they are great guys. When we did the big 4 tour, I was really impressed with how they treated the rest of the bands and just the respect that they gave everyone. It was really cool and really good to see, I can't say enough good stuff about them.

Andrew: Yeah absolutely. Now I don't remember if Volbeat has been to Australia so correct me if I'm wrong but are you guys planning on coming down here to do some shows maybe?

Rob: Yeah we did the last Soundwave Festival (2014) but we had to cancel the last 2 shows.

Andrew: Oh right!

Rob: We came down there and did some headline side wave shows as well, we did one in Sydney and I think we did one in Melbourne maybe. I can't remember but yeah Australia is great, I've been touring Australia for a lot of years now with Anthrax and also with The Damned Things and the Australian fans love rock n' roll and love guitar bands so it's always a great show. We're very much looking forward to coming back.

Andrew: Yeah obviously the new album has done really well worldwide and pretty well in Australia so you guys must be super happy with how this album has been met by all the fans.

Rob: Yeah and it feels really good. It's kind of beyond our expectations really [laughs].




Andrew: Volbeat is a little different to your traditional rock n' roll bands, there's a lot of different influences in there. I'm sure the other guys have their own influences but for yourself, what are your main influences? What drove you to playing guitar in the first place?

Rob: AC/DC - Back In Black. That's like the first record that really put me on this path as a kid, Angus Young's guitar playing is still one of my biggest influences. And also Van Halen but the first record I ever got as a kid when I was 8 or 9 years old was AC/DC's Back In Black and still to this day I think it's the best rock record. Song to song, top to bottom it's an amazing record. And the crazy thing actually is I just had the opportunity to work with Brian Johnson, he sang on a record that I just produced. His name is Jim Breuer and the Loud and Rowdy, he's a really amazing comedian from America but he's also a killer singer and we did a rock record and I wrote pretty much all of the music and played all the guitars. But there's a song called "Mr Rock N' Roll" and Brian Johnson sings on that song with us and it was amazing! Such a surreal experience for me because like I said, that was the first band that got me into wanting to be a professional musician and professional guitar player and Brian has been my favorite rock singer since that day so it was pretty amazing for me. That's a killer record, it's called "Songs From The Garage" and it's something that I'm really proud of as well. It's a great rock record, great songs and Jim is an amazingly funny guy and he's also a great singer.

Andrew: Yeah I am actually very aware of that album and I love Jim Breur's comedy style. I didn't realize that you were part of that record!

Rob: [laughs] Yeah I produced it, wrote all the music and played all the guitars.

Andrew: Oh yeah very cool!

Rob: Yeah Jim and I put that record together, it was basically just me and him.

Andrew: Yeah I know Brian Johnson was on it but Jim Breur is not really well known in Australia but I remember him from his goatboy days on SNL years ago.

Rob: Oh yeah he's incredibly funny and such a good guy, absolutely. Have you heard the album?

Andrew: Yeah I have actually! Not the whole album but maybe 3 or 4 tracks, some of the thrashier ones.

Rob: OK cool. Yeah really cool record.

Andrew: Yeah definitely! Anyway it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you and I really hope you guys can make it to Australia for another tour. Congratulations on the new album, sounds fantastic so thanks again!

Rob: Thanks man! And we will definitely be down there for sure.


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VOLBEAT U.S. TOUR DATES 2016:

Aug. 6th - Bangor, ME
Aug. 7th - Montreal, QC (Heavy Montreal)
Aug. 20 - Minneapolis, MN (w/ Metallica)
Sep. 12 - Bonner Springs, KS (w/ Avenged Sevenfold)
Sep. 14 - Grand Rapids, MI (w/ Avenged Sevenfold)
Sep. 15 - Toledo, OH (w/ Avenged Sevenfold)
Sep. 20 - Fort Wayne, IN (w/ Avenged Sevenfold)
Sep. 21 - Nashville, TN (w/ Avenged Sevenfold)

Tickets and tour details can be found at Volbeat.dk.


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Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on June 24th 2016