by Amy Harris
Danish metallers play U.S. Bank Arena this Sunday
Volbeat has been headlining huge shows in Europe for
nearly a decade and now they are bringing their Metal sound to the
States. In the position of up-and-comer again, they bring their high
level energy to American, which has translated into sold out shows
across the country. Currently Volbeat is touring on its new album, Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies.
CityBeat was able to catch up with new band member
and former Anthrax lead guitarist Rob Caggiano in preparation for the
band's upcoming show in Cincinnati to discuss the transition into a new
band and his broad musical influences that have helped him evolve since
childhood. He definitely has brings a strong, veteran presence to a band
that was already rising to new heights. Check out Volbeat headlining
the Rock Allegiance Tour at US Bank Arena this Sunday with HIM, All That
Remains and Airbourne.
CityBeat: Could you tell me about the
moment in the studio working with Volbeat on their new album that you
realized you really could be in the band or it would be a good fit?
Rob Caggiano: They had asked me to be a part of it
two weeks into the process of recording. So it was pretty early on into
the whole thing. I think it really stemmed from the first meeting we had
when they called me initially when I left Anthrax and put the press
release out there. A couple days later I flew to Denmark and sat down
with Michael and went over the tunes and then ideas for the new record.
We ended up collaborating and making music together. It was such a fun
vibe and such a great chemistry. I think that was kind of a catalyst for
CB: I saw you guys at Rock on the Range
for the first time playing together. It was really amazing. What was
your favorite Rock on the Range moment this year?
RC: We definitely had a really good time during our
show. It was a lot of fun. Rock on the Range, to me, is one of the
coolest festivals here in the States. It seems like America is catching
up finally with what is going on in Europe with these outdoor festivals.
Rock on the Range is very well put together, very organized, just very
pro and well done. It’s always a good time. I did get a chance to see
Lamb of God play, about half their set and that was killer. It was great
to see Randy back up on stage.
CB: Has there been any hazing or initiation since you joined the band?
RC: Not really, I was doing all the hazing. It has
been pretty cool, pretty seamless, the whole transition. The way it went
down, it was very organic and felt very comfortable from the beginning.
It has been cool. We are having a blast.
CB: I know it must have been a difficult
decision to leave Anthrax which had been your job for the last 12 years.
What were the factors for moving on?
RC: I just had this feeling of being stuck. I just
felt like I was on a conveyor belt, doing that for so long. I still love
those guys dearly and they are like my family. I just wasn’t happy. It
got to the point where I just wasn’t happy and I was questioning myself
and what I am doing here. What are we doing? What’s going to happen in
the future? I just came to the conclusion I needed a change.
I think the main part of the problem was that Anthrax was
never a creative outlet for me. By no choice of my own, that was just
the way it had been. I think after all those years my heart wasn’t in it
anymore and I needed something different. It was definitely an
emotional, difficult decision to make but it was something that needed
to be done.
CB: What is your favorite guitar solo to play on the new Volbeat record and out on tour?
RC: I have two favorites. I enjoy playing the “Lola Montez” solo and the “Doc Holliday” solo.
CB: I know you have been producing for
several years helping out bands and doing Anthrax and Volbeat records.
Do you ever see yourself stepping out of Rock or Metal and producing
other genres? There are a lot of collaborations happening right now with
different genres of music.
RC: Absolutely. I never saw myself as a solely a
Metal producer. To be honest, when I am at home, I don’t really listen
to Metal. It’s probably because it is what I do all the time. My
influences are really varied and I listen to so many different albums
and genres of music. I just consider myself a musician. I put 100% of my
heart into whatever I am working on. With all these different
influences, I can definitely do a lot of different things and have done a
lot of different things in the past.
CB: What are you listening to right now? What is influencing you?
RC: My favorite record right now, if we are talking
about new bands and newer records, is this band called The National. I
think (they're) phenomenal.
CB: They are actually from Cincinnati.
RC: Yeah, it seems like they are doing pretty well
all over the world. Their new record is phenomenal. I think it is just
great, the production is amazing, the songs are great. I have never met
the band. I had heard the name but I had never heard the music. We were
doing a record signing in Copenhagen and I asked one of the girls at the
store what was her favorite record, what should I check out, what came
in that is the new hot record. She said to get the new National record. I
said “Ok, I’ll give it a shot.” She was right. I dig it. I like Lana
Del Rey too.
CB: Do you ever plan to sit down and write your Rock biography?
RC: Maybe one day down the road. I don’t know if I’m ready yet.
CB: I’m sure you have plenty of stories. What is your craziest tour story with Volbeat right now?
RC: It really isn’t that crazy on the road with
these guys. It’s pretty mellow. It is a very focused thing. We do our
show … the thing about being on tour, especially with Volbeat, we are
headlining a lot of these festivals in Europe so we are going on late.
We get there early at these festival sites and have a whole day of
nothing. It is kind of boring just waiting to go on stage. Nothing
really crazy has happened yet but I will keep you posted.
CB: I am shocked you haven’t seen crazy things at the European festivals with fans.
RC: I guess it depends what you call crazy.
CB: Yeah, your idea of crazy may be different than mine. You may be like, “That’s totally normal.”
CB: What was the name of your first band?
RC: My first band ever was when I was 14 years old. We were called “Wild Heart.”
CB: Do you keep in touch with those guys?
RC: Kind of. I saw the other guitar player recently in
Florida. He has been a friend of mine forever. The rest of the guys I
have not spoken to in a long time.
CB: Do you play any other instruments?
RC: Yeah, I play drums. I play keys. I do our
programming when I need to. I just make noise basically. I can pretty
much get anything to sound decent. As a kid, I started out playing drums
so that has always been in my heart. I went to the guitar from that.
CB: Your parents were supportive of the drums in the house?
RC: Well they bought them. Yeah, my parents were
huge supporters of my music. My Dad is really into the music thing. It
was definitely a very healthy atmosphere growing up for creativity and
inspiration. There was always music around which was cool.
CB: I started hearing about Volbeat and
listening to Volbeat about two years ago when they were just coming to
the U.S. Obviously they are huge in Europe, beyond headlining. What do
you think is the biggest difference so far in the U.S. shows and the
RC: In the U.S. it is very much on the rise, the
shows over here are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. With them, we
did two legs, two U.S. legs and every show was killer. Back in 2010,
that is when I first met these guys with my other band, The Damned
Things, they took us on tour. That’s when I first heard the music and
met the guys and became friends. Even that tour was sold out every
night. It was an awesome tour. Volbeat is definitely on the rise in
America. In Europe obviously it is crazy. It is just a really good
feeling all around. There is a lot of excitement about this band and the
new record, just good vibes.
April 7 • Bogart's
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 2, 2013
With creator and undeniable foundation of the group,
rhythm guitarist Scott Ian, Anthrax is reminiscent of well-run sports
team, a team who has persevered through trades, losses to free agents
and retirement to continually be an elite staple within the league.
by Amy Harris
Anthrax has shaped the heavy metal movement in America. The band recently released its 10th studio album, Worship Music,
which brings back the band’s early sound with the re-emergence of lead
vocalist Joey Belladonna. I love heavy metal guitars, so it was a
privilege to speak to one of the all time metal guitar greats, Scott
Ian, to preview their performance at Mayhem Fest Tuesday at Riverbend
CityBeat caught up with Ian to discuss the
highlights of Mayhem so far and how being a father has changed his
perspective on life and music.
CityBeat: What has been the highlight of Mayhem Fest so far for you?
Scott Ian: For me personally it is just the overall vibe.
This is the first time we have done a U.S. festival traveling tour in
the summer. We kind of knew what to expect since we are friends with
Slayer, Slipknot and Motorhead, but it has been so much fun to hang with
our friends. The crew and everyone who works with Mayhem have been
great and it really is a big family vibe out here. It is a really great
place to show up for work.
CB: What has it been like having Joey back the past few tours with the band?
SI: It’s been like two and a half years already. Hopefully
that answers the question. It is obviously been going great. We
couldn’t be happier with the record we made. We couldn’t be happier with
the way shows have been going. I think this is by far the best version
of Anthrax that we have ever had.
CB: You became a father last year for the first time. Has this changed your perspective on writing music or life in general?
SI: I haven’t really written yet since he was born because
we have been in touring mode. One way that my perspective overall has
changed is now having this person in my life that I love beyond anything
I can comprehend. It makes me hate the human race even more because of
all the pressure that comes with raising a child and wanting to protect
him. People ask what do you have to be angry about and there is plenty
to be pissed off about now. Look at what happened in Colorado last night
with the guy shooting people in a movie theater. It sickens me to the
pit of my stomach for a million reasons. What if that was my child in
the movie theater?
CB: It is terrible and it is beyond my comprehension how that can happen.
SI: Up until he was born, I had my wife and close family
but they are adults and are responsible for themselves. Now we have this
person that is 100 percent helpless and relies on us to take care of
him, so there is this protective instinct that showed up as soon as he
was born. I think that will have a big impact on my writing in the
future when the time comes.
CB: Do they come visit you on the road?
SI: Yes they are here right now and have been with me for 10 days.
CB: What is the longest you have gone without playing guitar?
SI: Probably way back in 1977 when I broke my wrist at a
skateboard park and I couldn’t play guitar for two months because I had a
cast on. I was so bummed that I couldn’t play guitar that I pretty much
gave up any type of fancy skateboarding on ramps or pools. The guitar
was definitely more of a priority.
CB: What is the biggest difference for you touring versus in the 1980s?
SI: Sometimes we sit around and talk about how did we ever
get anything done before we had cell phones and laptops? In the ’80s no
one even knew what a cell phone was. I remember the first time a tour
manager had that big briefcase thing with a phone in it and it was
something like $18 a minute to use it. The idea that we were able to do
stuff back then and everything got done is amazing. I try to think about
how it got done and I have no idea how we made it through one day let
alone a whole tour without the technology.
CB: What habit would you like to break?
SI: I don’t know. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink
excessively. My wife is saying talking with my mouth full so I guess I
will go with that as a born and bred New Yorker.
CB: What adjectives do you hope describe you at 75?
SI: I hope when I am 75 no one has anything to say about
me. I hope the only thing they say is “What ever happened to that guy?”
because I am so far off the grid by that point.
CB: I doubt that will happen.
SI: No, we will probably still be playing music and people will say “I can’t believe he is still banging his head.”
CB: What has been your craziest fan story over the past few years?
SI: The craziest audiences in the world are in South
America in Chile with the craziest fans overall. We do a signing every
day at the Rockstar Energy Drink tent and we get to meet a lot of fans
every day on this tour. Anyone who would get anything Anthrax related
tattooed on their body is amazing to me. I can’t really call it too
crazy because I have Gene Simmons and Angus from AC/DC tattooed on me. I
understand that point of view of being such a fan that you would be
willing to make that commitment but being the guy in Anthrax and seeing
an Anthrax-related tattoo makes you feel great because I know the
commitment and I know how much Anthrax must mean to them.
CB: What is the best guitar solo of all time?
SI: Eddie Van Halen “Eruption.”Anthrax performs July 24 at Mayhem Fest at Riverbend Music Center. More information: rockstarmayhemfest.com.
by Amy Harris
Anthrax are innovators of the sound of today’s Hard Rock and Metal landscape. The band recently released its 10th studio album, Worship Music, a return to the band’s early sound thanks to the re-emergence of lead vocalist Joey Belladonna. CityBeat caught up with Belladonna and guitarist Rob Caggiano before their show earlier this week in Louisville at Expo 5 to talk about the direction of the band and what got them to where they are today. Anthrax performs in Cincinnati this Saturday at Bogart's.
0 Comments · Thursday, January 26, 2012
For many bands, an eight-year wait might cost
them a lot of fans. Then there is Anthrax, for which each album is thrust out
to their fans like another piece of their pulverized hearts. For Metalheads,
that's the kind of music that is worth the wait.