Interview: Rob Caggiano of Volbeat

Just over a week ago, I had the chance to chat with Rob Caggiano – former Anthrax riffmeister and now guitarist with Danish metallers Volbeat. After a warm welcome from Rob and a brief chat whilst we waited for the recorder to startup, we got down to business…

How’s the tour been so far?

So far it’s been great. Playing the UK in general is always great and it feels really great for us to be back here. I think the line-up is really good as well, Gojira have been killing it every night and Alter Bridge have been awesome. All the bands are so totally different so there’s something for everyone, really.

How do you feel the response has been to the latest album?

I think the response has been great. Going by the fan reactions from when we play the songs live and worldwide sales. It’s been selling really well which has been great to see.

How do you feel the year has been for the band?

It’s been amazing. We put the record out and we were really proud of how it came out. It feels great to be touring as well and we’re just doing our thing!

You’ve got Barney from Napalm Death with you on this tour as well, what’s it been like playing with him?

Yeah, he’s about to bring me coffee round about now! He’s an amazing musician. Napalm Death are a big influence for us in the band and we love them. He’s so fucking loud when he’s ‘singing’ on stage!

You’ve probably been asked this far too many times, but what’s the main difference between Anthrax and Volbeat?

There’s chicks in the crowd now!!

*At this point, the legend that is Barney from Napalm Death appears with a hot mug of coffee*

Barney: Hello Gents! Rob, here’s your Coffee.

Rob: Thank you sir. Perfect thanks!

Barney: No Problem.

*Barney then disappears into one of the side rooms, not doing his ‘covered with bees’ dance whilst leaving sadly*

Rob: Where was I…. No, I mean in Volbeat there’s a lot more room for ‘guitar’ playing per se. There’s still a lot of fast stuff in there but there’s more sort of… layers of guitar. There’s acoustic guitars, lead guitars, rhythm guitars and all sorts of other things.

You also do a bit of studio production as well…

Yes, that’s right. I still do that and as well as the Volbeat record, I did a record with Jim Breuer. That was kind of a rock record which he sang his ass off on. That came out around the same time the Volbeat album did and I’ve been on tour since then.

We’ve a couple of months off after this tour so we’ll see if I end up working on something else. I’ll probably end up doing something!

What sort of gear are you using at the moment?

I’ve got my signature ESP guitar with the glow-in the dark fret markers. We’re actually about to re-release my signature with some small tweaks to it. I’ve been with ESP for a long time and I think their guitars are phenomenal.

In terms of amps, I use a Fryette Sig:X. I started using that back on the ‘Big 4’ tour and I loved it and as a result I’ve ended up carrying it over to my work with Volbeat.

Are there any new bands that you’ve discovered in the past 12 to 18 months?

Gojira. Haha! I know they’ve been around for a while however, I only discovered them recently though. I think they’re great and a really phenomenal band.

What advice would you give to a new band?

Keep writing music I’d say. Keep writing, keep playing and really make sure that this is what you want to do with your life.

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