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VOLBEAT Frontman Says The Music Business ‘Has Lost Its Soul’

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Saturday, 17 June 2017
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HardDrive Radio host Lou Brutus conducted an interview with frontman Michael Poulsen of Danish/American rock ‘n’ rollers VOLBEAT before the band’s May 12 concert at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the support act for METALLICA. You can watch the full interview below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On whether he can recall any memorable VOLBEAT shows at large venues:

Michael: “There’s been lots of them. We’ve been touring all around the world. One that always sticks out was Madison Square Garden with METALLICA. Not only because it was with METALLICA, but because of the history of Madison Square Garden. I’m a huge boxing fan, so knowing that all my heroes had been fighting there and also great entertainers like Elvis [Presley] and Johnny Cash, that was an emotional trip for me, I remember.”

On the passing of Chuck Berry:

Michael: “That’s a big loss, but he was an old guy. It’s kind of okay; he had a good, long life, I assume. He definitely made history and inspired a lot of people. I have lots of Chuck Berry records. I’ve seen him a couple of times. He inspired VOLBEAT and many bands in the future.”

On what he has learned by touring with METALLICA:

Michael: “Everything. It’s always great when you meet your idols and they’re down to earth and that’s exactly what METALLICA is. They’re very human. They’re good to the bands, they’re good people, so we had the opportunity to just sit down and talk with them and see how their crew is working and everything. Now, we actually signed a deal with Q Prime Management that also has been managing METALLICA for many years, which is a blessing, too. We truly appreciate that. Of course, you learn a lot when you meet your idols who are down to earth. It’s very inspiring.”

On whether he takes time to soak up the atmosphere of playing in front of such large crowds with METALLICA:

Michael: “We’ve just been home for a half year. We normally don’t rest that much. We pretty much live our life on the road, but this time, we took some time at home, a half year. And that’s where you kind of consume everything and just lay back and think about what you’ve been doing for all of these years. It’s amazing. It’s been a great trip. There’s still a lot of adventures out there for VOLBEAT, but yeah, at the end of the day, it’s work. This is what we do. We love what we’re doing. We’ll just keep on making records and being inspired, and just be very thankful to be able to do this with METALLICA and other great bands.”

On what he’d be doing if he wasn’t in VOLBEAT:

Michael: “As I said to one of my friends a couple of days ago, I said, ‘I’m not going to play in VOLBEAT forever, but it is the last thing I’m going to do.’ [Laughs] I don’t know. I had different kind of work before; I can make a living playing in VOLBEAT. I was a support teacher in a school. I also had been working with handicapped kids, which was good work. But the day I’m not going to do this anymore, I’m not sure if I’m going to have anything to do with the music business. I like the old days of how the music industry was like without the Internet and all that stuff. It kind of lost its soul, if you ask me. The day we decide this is enough, I’m probably going to retire from everything and anything that has to do with music and just figure out what I’m going to do.”

On the lack of “mystery” from today’s bands:

Michael: “I like the fact that we were still around when there was no Internet. I was still releasing records with my first band DOMINUS at the time. That was a different way of promoting yourself. There was a lot more mystery about the bands. You have to buy the magazine or actually show up very early at the venues and maybe get a small glimpse of the guys walking into the venue. There was a big mystery around bands at that certain time, which I really like. These days, there’s just too much with all the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and all the crap. It is a promotional tool, but honestly, I’m not into it. It kind of takes away from everything that has a soul. As you said, it moves away the mystery around the bands. We all need our heroes. I don’t need to see my heroes 24/7 on the net. I get bored by that. You’re not my hero anymore. It’s too much.”

VOLBEAT‘s latest single “Black Rose” recently landed at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart. It is the second track from last year’s “Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie” album to top the list. The disc’s first single, “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown”, reached No. 1 in May 2016, while the follow-up single, “Seal The Deal”, got as high as No. 3 last December.

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