Some time ago we all heard the “bad news/good news” that guitarist Rob Caggiano would be leaving Anthrax and joining Volbeat. As a fan of Rob in Anthrax, I was a little disappointed until I heard he would be a fulltime member of one of my other all-time favorite bands. I’ve caught Rob and Volbeat a couple times on tour since he co-produced and performed on the amazing new “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” album and it definitely seems like both Rob and Volbeat are complete. We’ve had drummer Jon Larsen on LRI a couple times but were stoked to talk with Rob about the new album and how he’s enjoying the touring cycle, read on….
Legendary Rock Interviews: Thanks for talking to me Rob…how have the shows been going?
Rob Caggiano: The tour has been a blast so far…. the shows have been insane the crowds have been insane. I can’t wait to play every night on this tour. Anders, Jon and Michael and I seem to have a great working chemistry. I couldn’t be happier.
LRI: We saw you in Chicago and it was amazing as always, Anthrax was in town so it was a tough decision! There were people thing that there was bad blood between you and the Anthrax guys but that is proving to be bullshit…
Rob: Right… there is no bad blood we both played that same night and we hung out and everything was fun. It was really good to see everyone. Those guys are awesome.
LRI: Volbeat have always worked with Jacob Hansen producing and I was anxious to hear what your production would bring to the new album how did you wind up getting involved this time around?
Rob: When I left Anthrax I put a press release out and Michael called me right away to see if I’d be interested in working on the new Volbeat record. It took me all of about two seconds to say yeah (laughs) and that’s pretty much how it went down. I flew to Copenhagen a couple days later and we just got the ball rolling. He originally called me to see if I would produce, I said yes, then he asked me if I would contribute and play a couple solos on the record and I said yeah. It just totally grew from there and was an amazing experience in the studio.
LRI: What was it like working with Jacob in the studio?
Rob: It was totally great working with Jacob. It was definitely cool and we had a good thing going on there between all of us.
LRI: There are a lot more moods on this album then maybe on albums in the past from the band. The heavy stuff seems heavier and the more melodic stuff feels more melodic. Do you think that’s fair to say and did that just kind of come about naturally during the course of writing material?
Rob: Yeah I think that’s fair to say. It totally came about naturally but it’s probably something that happens naturally on every album with Volbeat although you can definitely hear it on this record… there’s probably something for everyone like you said.
LRI: For those who might not be aware, how far back do you go with Michael’s music and songwriting or with being a fan of the band?
Rob: Oh I’ve definitely been a fan of the band for a long time. It’s been a while but ever since they took my other band out on the road. Volbeat took the Damned Things out on tour a few years back which is where I met the guys originally and when I first heard their music. I’ve been a fan ever since
LRI: One of the songs on “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies” that immediately caught my attention was “Lonesome Rider”. It is catchy as hell and features a great duet with Sarah Blackwood but it would still be cool to see you guys attempt it live. How did that song come together?
Rob: That song in particular is one of the ones that I co wrote with Michael (Poulson, singer/guitarist) when I first got to Copenhagen. It was literally one of the first ones that came out when we sat down together in the studio. “Lonesome Rider” really turned things around in terms of what this album became and my role in all of this. With that song we kind of established a chemistry there and a vibe that continued. That was the first tune we worked on but it just grew from there. That is definitely a song I’m really proud of and thank you for saying that. It turned out really cool with Sarah’s contribution and there are a lot of different components of that song that I think work really well together.
LRI: You got to be a part of Michael’s writing circle. The guy is a phenomenal songwriter. How easily did the material come?
Rob: Once we got started, it was a lot of fun. We sat down and started playing the new material, he was playing me all the stuff, of course a lot of it was already finished and written but there were a few songs that weren’t totally done. Michael would say, “Rob, do you have any ideas for this part?” or “What would you do here?”. You know, just shooting back and forth and collaborating. I contributed on three songs, “Lonesome Rider”, “Cape Of Our Hero”, “Sinner Is You”. Also the album intro “Let’s Shake Some Dust” is something that I just kind of came up with on the spur of the moment just jamming in the kitchen on an acoustic. Michael is so creative yeah, it was just killer. I think that those collaborations led the guys to ask me to join.
LRI: “Room 24” is just spooky as shit. It’s definitely one of the heaviest songs and of course is made that much better by King Diamond making an appearance on vocals. What was it like having such an icon contribute to the album?
Rob: King wrote all of his own lyrics to all of the vocals he sang. We’re all huge King Diamond fans, he’s been an influence on all of us and it’s just amazing to us to have such a killer performance on the album. It’s pretty awesome and for me personally, it’s an honor to be involved in a project that he’s a part of. It’s something everyone in Volbeat was really excited about and then musically it sounds like something that could have been off of Abigail or something. It totally has that King Diamond vibe and that was the whole point.
LRI: It was cool seeing you guys do “My Body” live. That’s a real anthem but some people might not be aware that it’s a cover of the “Young The Giant” original. How did you approach that one?
Rob: I was definitely aware of the original. I’m a music junkie so I’m constantly listening to new shit and I heard about the band a long time ago. When I got to Copenhagen and we started jamming through some new stuff and I think Michael suggested jamming it…. so we did and kinda checked it out. The Volbeat version is definitely a more amped up version and definitely has the Volbeat stamp on it which is cool. Being a fan of the original, it was definitely cool to play that track in our style.
LRI: It sounds like a lot of guitar tracks went into making this whole album. I love the intro to “Doc Holliday” where it sounds like the riff is about to fall off the face of the earth.
Rob: (laughs) Yeah….It definitely has a lot of both my guitars and Michael’s. I know I played a shitton of tracks on this album, I don’t have them all right here in front of me so I can’t give you an exact number but it was a lot. Michael tends to play a lot of the like “theme” stuff like he does on “Cape Of Our Hero” and stuff like that.
LRI: You guys have toured here in the States, you’re doing Europe…are you coming back here to play a little before year’s end?
Rob: Oh yeah. We’ve got Europe, Japan, some shows in Denmark and then we will be back through North America this August and September. We’re just getting started, we’re going to be touring like crazy.
LRI: LRI: Before I let you go…I wanna ask, If you could go back in time before the sold out festivals and high profile album releases and give the aspiring young Rob Caggiano some advice or words of wisdom, what would you say to him?
Rob: You know, to be honest I feel like I’ve been blessed, ya know? I wouldn’t change anything that led me to this point. Every single thing that led me to where I’m at now, I wouldn’t change a thing. I just do what I do, I like to have fun, I like to be part of a creative process and I love playing music live so I’m really happy that it’s all worked out. That’s where my head’s at!
10 Jul 2013 France FR, Nimes Festival de Nimes
11 Jul 2013 Italy IT, Udine Villa Manin
12 Jul 2013 Italy IT, Bolzano Rock im Ring
18 Jul 2013 Switzerland CH, Bern Gurten Festival
10 Aug 2013 Japan JP, Tokyo Summer Sonic 2013
11 Aug 2013 Japan JP, Osaka Summer Sonic 2013
16-17 Aug 2013 Germany DE, Hockenheim Rock ‘n’ Heim
18 Aug 2013 Germany DE, Gelsenkirchen Rock im Pott
23 Aug 2013 United States US, St. Paul, MN The Myth
24 Aug 2013 United States US, Twin Lakes, WI Shadow Hill Ranch Festival
25 Aug 2013 United States US, Cincinnati, OH US Bank Arena
26 Aug 2013 Canada CA, Hamilton, ON Copps Coliseum
28 Aug 2013 United States US, Sterling Heights, MI Freedom Hill Amphitheatre
29 Aug 2013 United States US, Bloomington, IL US Cellular Coliseum
30 Aug 2013 United States US, Kansas City, MO Midland Theatre
31 Aug 2013 United States US, Tulsa, OK Convention Center Arena
02 Sep 2013 United States US, Englewood, CO KBPI´s Lo Cura Festival
03 Sep 2013 United States US, Salt Lake City, UT Maverick Center
04 Sep 2013 United States US, Las Vegas, NV The Joint
06 Sep 2013 United States US, Seattle, WA KISW Pain In The Grass Festival
08 Sep 2013 Canada CA, Abbotsford, BC Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre
09 Sep 2013 Canada CA, Calgary, AB Big 4 Building
10 Sep 2013 Canada CA, Edmonton, AB Rexall Place
13 Sep 2013 United States US, Phoenix, AZ KUPD Desert Uprising
15 Sep 2013 United States US, Sacramento, CA Aftershock Music Festival
16 Sep 2013 United States US, Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium
18 Sep 2013 United States US, Grand Prairie, TX Verizon Theater @ Grand Prairie
19 Sep 2013 United States US, Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
21 Sep 2013 United States US, Gulfport, MS Jones Park
22 Sep 2013 United States US, Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
23 Sep 2013 United States US, Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
25 Sep 2013 United States US, Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom c
26 Sep 2013 United States US, Philadelphia, PA Skyline Stage @ The Mann
27 Sep 2013 United States US, Lowell, MA Tsongas Arena
28 Sep 2013 United States US, Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Waterfront
11 Oct 2013 Italy IT, Milan Live Club
12 Oct 2013 France FR, Strasbourg Zenith
13 Oct 2013 Luxembourg LU, Luxembourg Rockhal
14 Oct 2013 France FR, Lille Aeronef c Tickets
16 Oct 2013 United Kingdom GB, Birmingham Academy
17 Oct 2013 United Kingdom GB, Glasgow ABC
18 Oct 2013 United Kingdom GB, Manchester Academy
19 Oct 2013 United Kingdom GB, London Brixton
21 Oct 2013 Spain ES, Bilbao Santana 27
22 Oct 2013 Spain ES, Barcelona Apollo
23 Oct 2013 Spain ES, Madrid La Rivieria
25 Oct 2013 France FR, Paris Bataclan
06 Nov 2013 Germany DE, Berlin O2 World
07 Nov 2013 Belgium BE, Brussels Forest National
09 Nov 2013 Germany DE, Leipzig Arena
11 Nov 2013 Germany DE, Hamburg O2 World
13 Nov 2013 Germany DE, Munich Olympiahalle
14 Nov 2013 Switzerland CH, Zurich Hallenstadio
16 Nov 2013 Austria AT, Hohenems Eventcenter
17 Nov 2013 Austria AT, Vienna Stadthalle
18 Nov 2013 Austria AT, Graz Stadthalle c
21 Nov 2013 Netherlands NL, Amsterdam Ziggo Dome
23 Nov 2013 Denmark DK, Herning Boxen c Sold Out!
24 Nov 2013 Denmark DK, Copenhagen Forum c Sold Out!
25 Nov 2013 Sweden SE, Gothenburg Scandinavium
26 Nov 2013 Sweden SE, Stockholm Tele2 Arena
28 Nov 2013 Finland FI, Helsinki Hartwall Arena
30 Nov 2013 Norway NO, Oslo Spektrum
01 Dec 2013 Denmark DK, Copenhagen Forum