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Volbeat, a Danish metal band begun by former Dominus leader Michael Poulsen in October of 2001, became a dominant force not only in Danish metal, but in Danish rock as a whole, charting albums and singles on a regular basis. Poulsen's earlier group, Dominus, was a giant in Danish metal, releasing four albums in ten years, and making a lasting impression on the scene. Poulsen felt it was time to start over, and his concept of giving straight-up heavy metal a more trad rock flourish (Poulsen was a big Elvis fan, if that is any indication) was at the heart of Volbeat.
Bringing together members Franz Gottschalk on guitar (he would be replaced by Thomas Bredahl in 2006), Jon Larsen on drums, and Anders Kjølholm on bass, vocalist and guitarist Poulsen was able to release the band's first demo, Volbeat, in 2002. Reception was lukewarm to the initial release, but the group's second demo, Beat the Meat, was an instant success, getting airplay on European radio. Volbeat consolidated this early win with a semifinal appearance on the Danish talent show competition Live Contest. From then on, Volbeat began an almost constant work schedule, including performances with Europe and America's biggest metal acts, as well as winning a number of genre and industry awards for their music.
The band soon landed a record deal with Rebel Monster, and released The Strength/The Sound/The Songs. That first "official" release was a relative monster in the band's home nation, and beyond brisk sales, the album won a handful of awards, including Best Album in the Danish Metal Musik Awards in 2005. Volbeat had further reason to celebrate, as 2006 saw the group playing most of the Continent's best-known rock festivals, including Roskilde and Summer Breeze. They followed up these appearances with a Danish tour. A follow-up to their best-selling debut finally appeared in shops in 2007. Titled Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil, the album debuted at number one in Denmark, and later that year Volbeat made a repeat appearance at Roskilde, opened for Metallica and Megadeth, and once again toured Europe.
They followed that chart-topper with Guitar Gangsters and Cadillac Blood in 2008, which also hit the top spot in Denmark, and once more toured festivals worldwide, seeing their brand of metal, hard rock, and punk cross over into the pop market without a concession in their sound. In 2010 Volbeat released Above Heaven/Beyond Hell with guest appearances from Mercyful Fate/King Diamond guitarist Michael Denner, Napalm Death's Mark "Barney" Greenway, Kreator's Mille Petrozza, and Jacob Øelund of rockabilly crew Taggy Tones. They toured relentlessly for the next year and a half on their own and played many festivals.
In 2012 Volbeat reentered the studio and emerged in April 2013 with their sixth proper album, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, which introduced a new member of the group, former Anthrax guitarist Robert Caggiano, who was brought in to co-produce and add guitar solos for the project and ended up joining the band. One of Volbeat's most stylistically diverse offerings to date, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies also became a major international success; it went to number one in Austria, Canada, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland, while making the Top Ten in the United States, Sweden, Holland, and Belgium.
Wikipedia:This article is about the Danish metal band. For the fictional creature, see Volbeat (Pokémon).
Volbeat are a Danish metal band which was formed in Copenhagen. They play a fusion of rock and roll, heavy metal and rockabilly. They are inspired by classic rock and roll artists such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, as well as modern hard rock, heavy metal, alternative rock and hardcore groups. Their current line-up consists of vocalist and guitarist Michael Poulsen, bassist Anders Kjølholm, guitarist Rob Caggiano, and drummer Jon Larsen. The band is signed to Dutch label Mascot Records and has released five studio albums and one DVD. All of their studio albums have been certified gold in Denmark. Their second album Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil received platinum status, and their 2010 release Beyond Hell/Above Heaven was subject to widespread international critical acclaim, receiving double platinum in Denmark, platinum in Finland and Germany, and gold in Sweden and Austria. Volbeat's fifth album entitled Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies was released worldwide on 9 April 2013.
ContentsHistory1.1 Early years (2000–2004)1.2 The Strength / The Sound / The Songs (2005–2006)1.3 Rock the Rebel / Metal the Devil (2007)1.4 Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood (2008–2009)1.5 Touring and Beyond Hell / Above Heaven (2010–2012)1.6 Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies (2013-present)
Early years (2000–2004)
Singer Michael Poulsen's first band was death metal act Dominus. In 2000, Poulsen became fed up with the death metal music scene, causing Dominus to break up. In 2001, Poulsen went on to form a new band with some friends and other former Dominus members. This was the beginning of Volbeat.
The band name "Volbeat" was derived from Dominus's third album name, which was called Vol.Beat (read as: Volume Beat). After selling 1,000 copies of their "Beat the Meat" demo tape, Volbeat was signed to a record deal by Rebel Monster Records, a sub-label of Mascot Records.
The Strength / The Sound / The Songs (2005–2006)
Volbeat released their first album, The Strength/The Sound/The Songs in 2005. The lineup for the album consisted of Michael Poulsen (vocals), Jon Larsen (drums), Franz Gottschalk (guitar) and Anders Kjølholm (bass). The album was a huge success in Denmark achieving a spot at No. 18 in the charts. Critics were generally positive towards The Strength / The Sound / The Songs. The German hard rock magazine RockHard gave it 10/10 in a review. The Strength / The Sound / The Songs also received a handful of awards, including Best Album in the Danish Metal Musik Awards in 2005. Volbeat was praised for its live performances. Their concert at Roskilde Festival 2006 received a 6/6 stars review in the Danish newspaper BT.
Rock the Rebel / Metal the Devil (2007)
In 2007, the band released their second album titled Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil. The band featured the same lineup as their first album. In week 8 of 2007, Rock the Rebel / Metal the Devil debuted as No. 1 in the Danish Top 40 for CD-sales.
Volbeat opened the Roskilde Festival in 2007. Volbeat also supported Metallica together with Mnemic at their concert in Denmark 13 July of that year. They were to support Megadeth in Finland and in their home town, Copenhagen, and to make a few festival appearances for the summer 2008. Volbeat hired Thomas Bredahl following the recording of Rock the Rebel / Metal the Devil as a replacement for Gottschalk on guitar.
Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood (2008–2009)
In 2008, Volbeat released their third album, Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood featuring guitarist Thomas Bredahl. Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood topped the Finnish Album Chart straight after its publication. In 2009, Volbeat supported the symphonic metal band Nightwish on their U.S tour in May. On 31 May 2009 they were on the main stage of the Pinkpop Festival. They also supported Metallica on the North American leg of Metallica's World Magnetic Tour from October to December 2009. In 2009 the band played at the biggest open-air festival in Europe (400,000–500,000 rock fans every year), Przystanek Woodstock in Poland.
Touring and Beyond Hell / Above Heaven (2010–2012)
Volbeat had announced they were working on a new album called Beyond Hell/Above Heaven. In regard to the album and its title in particular Poulsen said, “The album title refers to the overall theme of the album, and it continues the storyline from where "Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood" left off…”. Gramercy Theater. He then went on to say, "We have fast, slow and mid-tempo songs. We still blend different styles of punk, rock’n’roll, rockabilly, metal, heavy metal, thrash metal, country – we still keep it very open, it’s just music! I cannot say too much about it right now, but we’re really excited about it and it’s going to be very, very cool." In an interview with EspyRock, Poulsen explained the title of the album stating "…it’s a way telling people that we don’t belong or believe in neither heaven nor hell. So if we go beyond hell, we will make heaven look like hell, and if we go above heaven, we will make hell look like heaven. Heaven and hell is something we create in our minds and personal self-created demons come out of that."
On 25 January 2010, it was confirmed that Volbeat would be performing at Download Festival in June 2010. It was also confirmed that Volbeat were to join Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer and others in the "Big Four" show at Sonisphere Switzerland. On 28 January 2010, Volbeat signed with Primary Wave Talent Management. Primary Wave will represent the band in North America alluding to future U.S. tour plans, which have not yet been formally announced. On 30 March 2010, it was announced that Volbeat would again be joining Metallica on their European leg. The band also joined Metallica after they finished recording with their first date being 11 May in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was also announced that the new album, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven was to be released on 10 September 2010. The band also announced their "Beyond Hell/Above Heaven Live 2010" tour.
Guest musicians on the album include:Mark “Barney” Greenway – Napalm DeathMichael Denner – Mercyful Fate/King DiamondMiland “Mille” Petrozza – KreatorHenrik Hall – Love shop -HarmonicaJakob Oelund – Grumpynators / Taggy Tones (slap bass)
Volbeat announced that lead guitarist Thomas Bredahl would miss the first few shows on the US leg of the Beyond Hell/Above Heaven tour citing US Government visa issues. The band went on to say that the issues were a result of "an incident concerning theft of a barstool back in the day. He wasn’t exactly a juvenile delinquent or anything, but to Homeland security it’s all the same." On 19 August 2010 it was announced that Bredahl had received visa clearance and travelled to Chicago to play with the band. For the shows missed by Bredahl, the band's drum technician, Casper, filled in on rhythm guitar while Poulsen switched to lead guitar duties.
In 2011, Volbeat announced their Grand Summer Tour across North America. The tour began in Toronto, Ontario on 24 July at Heavy T.O., and concluded with a two-night stand on 3 & 4 September at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA. Volbeat co-headlined this tour with rock powerhouse Cold on all U.S. dates, but not in Canada. On 28 November 2011, Volbeat announced the departure of Bredahl via their website, stating "Volbeat has decided to part ways with Thomas Bredahl. Being in a band is in many ways similar to a marriage with ups and downs. At times you can work it out and sometimes you need to go separate ways... We want to thank him for the work he has put in for Volbeat and we wish him all the best in the future." Volbeat committed to playing all 2011-2012 as scheduled either as a trio, or with a replacement guitarist.
On 26 January 2012, Volbeat joined Megadeth, Motörhead, and Lacuna Coil on Gigantour. The tour started in Camden, New Jersey and culminated on 28 February 2012 in Denver, CO at The Fillmore Auditorium. On the tour, Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate) filled in as the guitarist for Volbeat.
On their North American Summer tour, which began in June 2012, Iced Earth and Hellyeah were the supporting acts. The tour included dates in Baltimore, Toronto, Detroit, Billings, Boston, Tempe, San Francisco, and Weyburn and Lazerfest in Boone, IA. In June 2012, Volbeat played at the Orion Music Festival, headlined by Metallica, at Bader Field in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Volbeat were confirmed to be playing Download festival June 2013. Volbeat announced in December that their new album would be released during 2013. A spring tour with Danko Jones and Spoken was announced in December.
Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies (2013-present)
In January 2013, Volbeat revealed the name of the new album, Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, and that was released in the spring of 2013.
On 4 February 2013, it was announced that Rob Caggiano, formerly of Anthrax, had officially joined the band as second guitarist. He had been producing and recording guest solos on the band's upcoming album, Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies, which the band also announced will be released on 8 April 2013 (GSA on 5 April and US on 9 April), before being asked to join as a full-time member. Singer and guitarist Michael Poulsen said of the chemistry between Caggiano and the rest of the band "The collaboration with Rob in the studio was so inspiring and in good spirit that we the decided to keep him. Basically we went into the studio as a three piece and came out as a whole band!"
In an interview on 11 February 2013, Poulsen told Metal Hammer magazine “One of the things I’m most happy about this time is the contrast in the material, the range of the music; on the one side, you have the western motifs, the rockabilly / country songs, and the real emotional melodies, and on the other, some of the heaviest – actually, THE heaviest – songs we have ever recorded. There was a record company guy in the studio the other day, and he was absolutely blown away by the ultra-heavy stuff. He said he wasn’t even sure he was listening to Volbeat!".
In another interview published in September 2014, Poulsen talked with Anne Erickson of the Lansing State Journal about the meaning behind the band's song "Dead But Rising" from Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies stating that it was about "reaching out for the spirit of [his] father". His GPS malfunctioned during his first a road trip in the U.S. and rather than following the road signs he instead followed an eagle, of which his father was an enthusiast, that he noticed flying overhead."Volbeat - Biography - Metal Storm". MetalStorm.ee. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "Rock Hard Online rockt das Web". RockHard.de. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "Volbeat: Information from Answers.com". Answers.com. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "Volbeat - Discover music, videos, concerts, & pictures at Last.fm". Last.fm. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "Suomen virallinen lista". yle.fi. "VOLBEAT To Support NIGHTWISH On Spring 2009 U.S. Tour - Metal from Finland". MetalFromFinland.com. 28 October 2008. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "Metallica.com - More Opening Act News". Metallica.com. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2010. http://www.en.wosp.org.pl/woodstock/ "Volbeat: Official Homepage - Volbeat Reveals Album Title!". Volbeat.dk. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "VOLBEAT's MySpace Blog". Myspace.com. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "Michael Poulsen Interview". EspyRock.com. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010. "VOLBEAT DEFINITIV BESTÄTIGT: Sonisphere 2010 Switzerland". SonisphereFestivals.com. 10 January 2010. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "VOLBEAT SIGNS WITH PRIMARY WAVE TALENT MANAGEMENT FOR NORTH AMERICAN REPRESENTATION". MVRemix.com. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010. "Volbeat Main Support for Metallica". Volbeat.dk. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010. "Volbeat: Official Homepage - Album release and fall dates confirmed!". Volbeat.dk. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2010. / "Volbeat: Official Homepage - First US Dates Without Thomas On Guitar". Volbeat.dk. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2010. / "Volbeat: Official Homepage Our Guitarist Will Join Us Tonight". Volbeat.dk. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2010. "Under Construction". Volbeat.dk. Retrieved 20 September 2013. "Orion Music + More 2013". Lineup.orionmusicandmore.com. Retrieved 20 September 2013. "Under Construction". Volbeat.dk. Retrieved 20 September 2013. "Volbeat Interview". Metalhammer.co.uk. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2013. "Volbeat's frontman tells story of 'Dead But Rising'". Gannett Co., Inc. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 28 September 2014.
AwardsFor a more comprehensive list, see List of awards and nominations received by Volbeat.The Strength / The Sound / The Songs won the award for the best debut album at the Danish Metal Music Awards 2005.Volbeat won the award Steppeulven for hope of the year 2006.Volbeat won the award for the best live band at the Danish Metal Music Awards 2006 voted by fans.Rock the Rebel / Metal the Devil won the award for best album at the Danish Metal Music Awards 2007.Volbeat won the Danish radio award for P3 listener hit at the P3 Guld-show voted by listeners of P3.Volbeat were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for "Room 24". "DMeA Historik". DMEA.dk. Retrieved 20 February 2010. "steppeulven". Steppeulv.dk. Retrieved 20 September 2013.  "56th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees".
MembersMain article: List of Volbeat members
Rock the Rebel/Metal the Devil was released during Bredahl's tenure, but was recorded with Gottschalk on guitar.