In a new interview with Germany's Rock Antenne, VOLBEAT guitarist/vocalist Michael Poulsen spoke about the writing sessions for the band's follow-up to 2019's "Rewind, Replay, Rebound" LP. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, when we heard it was not possible to tour [due to the coronavirus pandemic], and nobody knew when we could go back on the road, it was, like, 'Okay, then what do we do now?' And there was nothing else [for us to do but write].
"I've gotta be honest: I enjoyed my time at home with my kids and my fiancée, family. I love it; I hadn't been home for such a long time. So being able to do that has been a blessing. I'm very satisfied with my life at home, but I'm also looking forward to getting back to the road. So, basically, we just said, 'You know what? There's no reason for just sitting around doing absolutely nothing.' So I just started writing a new album. And I had so much energy, because that energy was supposed to be used on the road, on stage, and I used all that energy to stay in one bubble and write the new record. Normally I can be in 10 different bubbles when I write those albums. Sometimes it takes one and a half years to write an album, because then you're touring and you don't have so much breaks to go home and write. This time I stayed in one bubble, and it took me only three months to write the album and put down all the guitars and all the lyrics and everything. And I was just so inspired; I just never looked back. And every time we had a rehearsal — we were rehearsing two times a week — I had a new song. And it felt like that was how we did back in the day for some of the first records. That was pretty much how we did it. It felt like we were 17 [or] 18 years old again. And those songs just came [so quickly]."
Regarding the musical direction of the new VOLBEAT album and how it compares to the band's recently released songs "Wait A Minute My Girl" and "Dagen Før", Michael said: "It's the most heavy VOLBEAT record to date. The two singles that are out now — I'm very, very proud of them; they're pure rock songs — but they don't really represent the rest of the material. There's a good reason why we released those two songs now. It's summer. People need some light. They need some positive energy. They need good vibrations, good mood. And I think those two songs have all those kind of things."
Asked if the new VOLBEAT songs are as heavy as "Evelyn", which originally appeared on the band's 2010 album "Beyond Hell/Above Heaven", Michael said: "There's definitely stuff that's just as heavy as 'Evelyn' — no doubt about it. I wouldn't say much more than that. But there's definitely stuff that's just as heavy as 'Evelyn'. And there's stuff that'll bring you back to old BLACK SABBATH with Ronnie James Dio, early METALLICA, even some old DEATH inspiration, old BOLT THROWER inspiration. So some of those classic songs from old-school heavy bands. For sure, there's definitely stuff that sounds like early CANDLEMASS. So, there's gonna be a lot of thunder and lightning for the rest of the material."
"Wait A Minute My Girl" features saxophone player Doug Corcoran and piano player Raynier Jacob Jacildo, who both perform with JD McPherson's band and previously appeared with VOLBEAT on 2019's "Die To Live (feat. Neil Fallon)". Singer Mia Maja, who has worked with the band since "Seal The Deal & Let's Boogie", also appears on backing vocals. "Dagen Før" features guest vocals from Danish artist Stine Bramsen, who is known for her solo work as well as being a member of the band ALPHABEAT. The song, in the tradition of "The Garden's Tale", "Maybele I Hofteholder" and "For Evigt", features both English and Danish lyrics, and marks the first commercially released song that features Stine singing in her native Danish.
Earlier this week, VOLBEAT announced its first headlining shows in nearly two years. Punctuated by festival appearances at Rebel Rock (Orlando, Florida: September 23, 2021) and Aftershock festival (Sacramento, California: October 8, 2021), the eight-date headline run will see the band coming to cities including Atlanta, San Diego, and Los Angeles (full dates below). Special guests THE HU, TWIN TEMPLE and MUNICIPAL WASTE will be joining them for select dates. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, July 23 at 10 a.m. local time.