Volbeat achieved a major milestone in 2017, when they became the first Danish band to headline and sell out their famed hometown venue, Denmark’s Telia Parken. In doing so, the group set the record for the biggest show by a domestic artist in Denmark to date, with more than 48,250 people headbanging along.
To celebrate the special gig, Volbeat recently unleashed a new live album and concert film, Let’s Boogie! Live From Telia Parken, via Republic Records. The release captures the landmark show, including performances with special guests such as Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Danko Jones, Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway, and boxer Mikkel Kessler.
While guitarist Rob Caggiano is the lone American in the Danish outfit, he still marveled at the significance of the Telia Parken gig, and he recently caught up with Heavy Consequence to discuss the live release, as well as the state of heavy music and Volbeat’s next studio album. Read the full interview below.
On why Volbeat wanted to commemorate the Telia Parken performance with a live album and concert film
We knew it would be a very special night and a big deal, so we were ready for that. We worked hard to make sure everything was captured the right way. It was a celebration — that’s really what that show was all about. We wanted to capture that for a lifetime.
On what he most remembers about the Telia Parken performance
Just thinking back on that night, it was an amazing night, and the energy and adrenaline buildup before the show was intense. It was actually a bit nerve-wracking for all of us, especially [my bandmates], because it’s a hometown show for them. Between all the family and friends, it was crazy! It was a phenomenal night. We’ve played a ton of big shows — all of us have — but that was a really special show, especially for Denmark. That’s why we really wanted to capture it. And I think just the fact it came out so well is also a reason why we wanted to release it.
On jamming with Metallica’s Lars Ulrich at the show
I think I can speak for everyone in saying that was definitely a major highlight of the set for all of us. Metallica is and always will be a huge influence on all of us, musically, so that was killer. It was so cool to get up on the stage with him. It was surreal, actually, just being onstage and jamming with him.
On how Volbeat brought Lars Ulrich on for the Telia Parken show
I think we just asked him if he wanted to be a part of it! We were on tour with Metallica in the States last year, and it was around that time when we asked him. It doesn’t hurt that we have the same management, too. (Laughs) I’ve actually played with him before, when I was with Anthrax on the Big 4 tour, and at the end of thenight, usually everybody got up on the stage and played a song together, and that was great,. But it was really cool to do that again with Volbeat.
On the importance of the live show, in general, to Volbeat
That’s why we do this. We love playing live. We love touring. We love playing in front of people. That exchange of energy when you’re onstage as a performer and musician, for me, I’ll never get tired of it. I’ll never get sick of it. It’s what I live for. The live show for Volbeat is a huge thing. It’s very important, and at the same time, we’re the type of band that we do what we do no matter how many people are there. You’ve going to get a great Volbeat show, whether there are 50,000 or 50 people there. But very rarely these days are there just a few people there! (Laughs)
On his favorite Volbeat song to play live
They’re all a ton of fun to play. For us, usually the newer songs are the most fun, because they’re fresh. Especially coming off of working on a record in the studio and with the excitement of a brand-new album getting released, everybody is excited to play the new material. I think all the songs are a lot of fun, though. Actually, for the last song of the set, we usually do “Still Counting,” and a lot of times, we have kids come up on the stage during that song, and that’s a ton of fun. That’s usually the favorite part of the show.
On the progress of Volbeat’s upcoming studio album
We’re in the middle of it right now. Right now, I’m kind of stressed, because I only have only one more day before I have to fly back to States, so I’m trying to get as much recorded as possible. We’re picking it back up in January and will be doing the last bits at that time. We’re pretty far along, actually. We’re way more than halfway done.
On how Volbeat’s next album will differ from what they have done in the past
It’s definitely not going to be the same vibe as the last album or the previous album before that. The band is progressing and evolving, and I think the music is following along. Right now, it definitely feels like a rock record. Obviously, there are still all of those influences that the band has always had, but I think the songwriting is evolving and the structures are different. It might be a little premature and too early to say, but that’s what it feels like to me right now.
On the current state of hard rock and metal music
It’s absolutely alive and well. It’s probably more alive and well than it’s ever been. But, things go in cycles, and the bottom line is that the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll is rebellion, and the world is so screwed up right now that I don’t think heavy metal or rock ‘n’ roll or whatever you want to call it is ever going to go away. There are always going to be people expressing that. Whether or not something is fashionable is a whole different thing. Who knows? I feel like a lot of people today get caught up in Spotify charts and playlists, but at end of the day, rock bands are still doing a huge business.
On Volbeat’s 2019 plans
We’re releasing a record, although there is no release date yet. But, the plan is to release the album and tour as much as possible and go to as many places as possible. That what we love to do.
On his holiday and New Year’s Eve plans
I always spend Christmas with my mom and dad, which is usually pretty low key, but cool. As for New Year’s Eve, I have no idea. That‘s my most hated holiday! (Laughs) Usually, when I make a plan for New Year’s Eve, it’s terrible, so I find that when I don’t make a plan and fly by seat of my pants, it’s a way better night, and I have more fun.
Our thanks to Volbeat’s Rob Caggiano for taking the time to speak with us. Pick up Volbeat’s live release, Let’s Boogie! Live From Telia Parken, in various formats at this location.