On the first day of Download Festival in the UK, we had the opportunity to chat with Volbeat bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen. The revered Danish metallers put on one hell of a performance at this year’s edition of the annual festival and it was great to Larsen’s take on the festivities. How has he enjoyed the festival? How’s the new album coming along? Does he enjoy bad jokes? All is revealed herein!
So, this is Damian with PureGrainAudio and I’m speaking to Kaspar from Volbeat. How are you today, sir?
Kasper Boye Larsen: Well, I’m fine thanks, I’m a little hungover, but I’m good.
Party hard last night?
Larsen: Yeah, a little bit, it wasn’t supposed to be, but yeah.
It happens. Now, I wanted to start off first about the tour, this is the last day of it, have you had any great experiences or memorable moments from this tour?
Larsen: Well, it’s been small most of it and that’s great being in small clubs where the audience is right up in your face, we love that. London was at the House of Vans and that was great, it was a great fucking venue and the audience was great.
Watch the band’s video for the single “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” here.
I did actually want to ask you about the House of Vans, it was a free show you guys out on. I’m not going to lie, I was gutted I missed it, I was asked to go, and I was in Liverpool at the time. So, what was it actually like in there? I know you said it was great, but can you expand on that?
Larsen: It was very small, it was very hot, exactly what a rock show should be. We had to fight a little bit on stage as it wasn’t that big, so we fought about where to stand, but it was fun, lots of fun.
Now you’ve got a new album coming up, due for 2019, can you tell me anything about that?
Larsen: Well we’re writing at the moment and we’re pretty busy in the rehearsing room, but it’s going fine. It’s going to be a lot of well-known Volbeat stuff, some fast stuff and some slow stuff, but we’re not really far in the songwriting. We have some, but I’m not sure we’re going to play tonight though, but on this tour, we have played a new song, “The Everlasting”, that’s actually one of the songs that’s all done, but we still need a lot of work even though it was scheduled for June.
So how has the audience responded to the new track?
Larsen: They, well we have some followers that go to every show on the UK tour and they are kinda singing along to it now, so there must be some catchiness about it.
That’s cool. So, I guess it’s not available for anyone just to hear then?
Larsen: I don’t know if someone recorded it and put it up on YouTube but it’s not out anywhere.
Check out footage of Volbeat performing a brand new song called “The Everlasting”.
So, we’re not going to hear it today then?
Larsen: Well, we haven’t really put the setlist together, but I don’t know as we only have an hour.
Fair enough. Well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed as I would love to hear something new. Now, playing Download, this is a big thing for any band despite their popularity or size, how do you feel about playing Download? What’s the experience like for you?
Larsen: I know the band has been playing here for some time, I think 2 or 3 times for me it’s the first time as I’ve only been in the band for 2 – 3 years so of course it’s legendary and it’s a big deal for me.
So, once you’ve done all your press, played your set, are you gonna be watching any bands or is there anyone you really want to see?
Larsen: Unfortunately, we have to go to the hotel quite early because we have a flight at 5 in the morning and we’re going to Switzerland, but I would love to see Napalm Death.
Do you have any festival experiences or memories from other festivals as Download, not so much?
Larsen: In Denmark we have Roskilde Festival and I started going there in 1992 almost every year, but not for the last 2 – 3 years as I’ve been touring, but it’s just a great festival and I’ve loved going there.
When I was checking out your website, I see you have a rum available now, why rum rather than whiskey or vodka?
Larsen: Well, it’s Michel that’s really into rum and is passionate about it, so we thought about doing one ourselves and Michel was putting it together. We’ve also got a beer, actually.
Volbeat’s sixth album Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie was released on June 3, 2016.
Really!? I didn’t see that on the website, I’ll have to hunt that down and order some.
Larsen: You should do that, I’m more of a beer man myself.
So, favourite brand of beer?
Larsen: Well there’s so many new brands coming out, but I’ve always just been drinking Carlsberg.
Apart from writing, is there anything else on the cards for Volbeat?
Larsen: Yeah, we have a live album coming out. It’s from the big venue in Denmark where we played last year, and it was a big thing for us and it’s coming out now on all kinds of media.
Now, I’ve been asked to ask a question by Rob himself, what is this story about Burger King?
Larsen: Well, I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years, but yesterday we were a little bit drunk and it wasn’t supposed to be, then suddenly he force-fed me a half whopper thing and now it’s the talk of the town, everyone is joking me about it and I’m not proud of it.
Well, don’t feel ashamed as everyone does things they’re not proud of when they’re drunk.
Larsen: Yeah, but I’m really ashamed about it.
“Seal The Deal” by watching this music video right now…
To be fair, my alter ego of drunk Damian will be coming out later, so don’t feel bad if you eat a burger, I might eat a vegetable at some point. Now, to close off, I want to ask a little question to lighten the mood, have you ever heard of dad jokes? Have you got a dad joke you would like to tell?
Larsen: No, I cannot come up with anything right now.
Fair enough, well in that case I’m going to gauge your response to one of my favourites I’ve recently heard, some people have laughed, and some people have walked away in disgust, so let’s see your reaction. Did you know, shoes have an afterlife?
Larsen: They have an afterlife?
Larsen: I did not know that.
Well they’ve got soles!
Larsen: [laughs] That’s bad!
It is bad, but I still got a good reaction. Well, I want to thank you so much for talking to me and PureGrainAudio today, I’m looking forward to the set later and best of luck.