Volbeat’s Michael Poulsen Talks Songwriting, Signature Sound + More
Volbeat frontman Michael Poulsen was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show over the weekend. The vocalist discussed how the band creates their unique sound and the craft of songwriting. If you missed Full Metal Jackie’s show, check out her full interview with Michael Poulsen below:
Michael Poulsen from Volbeat is on the show with us once again, hello sir.
Great to have you back on the show again, the latest album ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies’ is out there in stores. Michael, your schedule is pretty strict on show days as we know. Rest, limited interview time, specific pre-show routine. Was it always like that? Or did that come about because you’re now touring more than ever.
We are definitely more busy than ever before and I should not complain because you know these tough days where there’s a lot of competition and there’s so many bands. I do not look at it as a competition but there are so many bands out there. We should not compete, we should help each other.
Being able to do what we do is now is something we cannot take for granted so being busy just means that you have something going everybody wants to have some kind of work and as now we work or days or hobby but now we do what we love the most is such a big part of our life that I have nothing to complain about. It is tough but you know I choose this life myself and I love it.
Michael, bands have a lot of influences but most bands don’t pull them together into one distinct style as well as Volbeat. What is the hardest thing about trying to make all those musical pieces fit together?
Sometimes you’re pretty much aware of where you got your inspiration, but a lot of times you have no idea. It’s not like baking a cake where you have everything in front of you got to do it straight from the heart and that’s how I write and sometimes I even ask myself how I came up with a certain idea because you are locked into your own little world, your own bubble. So, I’m just very happy and always inspired.
I can already imagine what would happen that day that I fall into this black hole where all the songwriters have been talking about where there’s nothing. It will probably happen one day, but so far I’ve got materials, ideas, inspiration that I definitely have something to work with so I guess I will have to be satisfied by that.
Volbeat clearly has a signature sound that is unmistakable. Regarding that, what is more important to you, your songwriting or your voice?
I think it’s all-important because they go hand and hand. You know you do have to concentrate and everything has to sound right. I have to be honest. It has to be straight from the heart. Sometimes I can definitely hear on the records that my singing style is getting better and better and you learn how to breathe normally. After getting Rob [Caggiano] into the band, I mean working with guitars I also think that I’ve definitely learned some more tricks here and there. That’s really inspiring.
You recently stated that a lot of Volbeat songs are love songs. What are some of the different inspirations for some of those songs with that emotion?
When you pick up the albums, you can see we have a lot of storytelling so it can be everything from this really cheesy love song to something that’s a little bit more dangerous like outlaws and gangster and stuff like that — even outlaws and gangsters are emotional fools that fall in love.
Full Metal Jackie with Michael Poulsen from Volbeat again, pick up the new record if you haven’t already done so. It’s called ‘Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies.’ Michael thank you so much for being on the show, I’m a big fan.
Thank you. I’m a fan of you.
This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Dave Mustaine of Megadeth to her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.