As I sat on one of the red leather sofas on the balcony of the O2 Ritz in Manchester, a familiar individual with a long ponytail and a signature hat comes walking out onto the balcony. He then greeted me and we sat down to catch up on what Rob Caggiano had been up since we last met. In short, quite a bit…
Since we last spoke in 2016, what you guys been up to?
Touring, playing, Michael had a baby which meant we had a load of time off recently. Normally, we are off for 2 weeks and then straight back on the road but it was nice to take a break for a bit. So yeah, we’ve been writing the new record, rehearsing some stuff and this is the third show on the tour, which has been good so far.
How’s the writing process been for yourselves?
It’s been very collaborative this time. But you know, it’s weird as every single song comes together in a different way. I actually wrote and demoed a few tracks top to bottom and gave those to the guys to have a look at. Obviously Michael writes a lot of stuff too and we’ll come in and jam them and put ‘our stamp’ on them.
I heard recently that it was AC/DC’s Back in Black and Van Halen 1 that started you down the path. Is that correct?
That is indeed correct. I got them from a flea market in Yonkers from a metal kind of stall. My folks are close to Yonkers and I’m always that way seeing them. That flea market hasn’t actually run for years now!
Did you ever think when you first picked up those records that you’d end up being a full time musician?
I never had any doubt that I would not be a professional musician. I never wanted to do anything else and I always wanted to do this. I consider myself to be an all-round musician as I play a lot of instruments and I’m always making music. Or noise as some might say!
On the production process for the new album, do you think it will be similar to the last one?
I think it will be. I co-produced it and Joe Barresi was the one that mixed it. I can’t remember who mastered the last one off the top of my head but he did a good job. Joe did a really good job and I think we might well use him again.
On the topic of Slayer retiring, what are you thoughts on that? You’ve obviously toured with them a few times…
Yeah, that’s right and they’re friends of mine. I just saw one of the shows in California right before I came out on this tour. I don’t know, it’s weird. A world without Slayer is going to be strange as for me they’ve always been there and consistently killer from day one. But we’ll see, it might be a thing where they take a break for a while but who knows? Obviously I respect whatever they do.
If there was one artist who you could collaborate with, dead or alive, who would you pick and why?
Oh wow, that’s really hard. I’d say there’s two. One would be Jimmy Page as he’s one of my all-time favourite musicians. Obviously, he was a great guitarist but his production and vision was way ahead of his time so I’d love to pick his brain on that. I actually met Robert Plant recently which was really cool. The other one, believe it or not, would be Robert Smith from The Cure. I’m a huge Cure fan and I love his style. The way he captures moods is just brilliant.
Have you been doing anything outside of Volbeat recently?
I just co-wrote a couple of tracks on the new Bullet for My Valentine record and I’m always busy. Any chance I get I will always be making music. All my ideas are underneath my hat!