Volbeat Interview @ Sonisphere 2011


We had the chance to talk with Michael (singer) and Andres (bassist) after their performance at the Sonisphere Festival 2011.

Summer Festival Guide (SFG): So, How are you guys?

Michael (M): ok… I think.. we've never played that early before. It's been a challenge. (laughing)
Andres (A): yeah (laughing)
M: I didn't expect people to be there at all, but it was good.
SFG: I was there taking photos and I could see the reaction and it was indeed very good. I had the chance to see you live last year, at Download and it was good as today.
M: Thank you!
A: Thanks
SFG: Let's talk about the tour, you are going to start in the next few weeks. Are preparing anything special?
M: Na.. we are preparing to go home tonight! (laughing)
A: We have 12 days of absolute rest!
M: 12 days in which no one will speak about Volbeat!
A: We need some peace and quiet for a change
SFG: I can imagine!
SFG: Have you got any plans for a new album?
M: No
SFG: Nothing at all…
M: We are gonna release a DVD later in October it will be a live performance and it will be in Blu-Ray as well. That's pretty much the only thing we are going to do for now. We have lots of ideas for a new album but the previous one is still pretty new so for now we are ok with it.
SFG: Nice, a live DVD sounds great. Are you going to stay for the entire festival today or are you leaving straight away after finish with the press?
A: right away! (laughing)
SFG: So you definitely burnt my question about who you'd like to see performing! (laughing)
A: Sorry!
M: Well we would love to see Mötorhead, but hopefully they will be alive for another couple of years! We will have another chance!
SFG: Fair enough! Ok, do you remember your first concert?
M: no idea..
A: for me… I think it was Public Enemy
SFG: that's nice!
A: it was nice
SFG: what's the first album you have ever bought? And then I'll leave you alone!
M: oh no don't worry!
A: first album…uhm… I think mine was Twisted Sister!
SFG: nice one! I like them
A: they were awesome
M: I think mine was Cat Stevens
SFG: he is great!
A: mine was better!
M: let's have a mix between the two, Cat Stevens/Twisted Sister
SFG: sounds like a pretty awesome project! (laughing)

M: the best one! (laughing)

SFG: Well, that's it guys. Thank you for the chit-chat, good luck for the tour and I'll see you around.
M/A: Thank you for spending your time with us!

Black Tide Interview @ Sonisphere Knebworth 2011

We had the chance to have a little chit-chat with Gabriel (Gabe), singer of the band after their performance at the Sonisphere Festival 2011.

Summer Festival Guide (SFG): Hi, nice to meet you.

Gabriel (G): Hi nice to meet you too

SFG: I’d like to compliment you over your performance earlier on the Saturn Stage. It’s been great. I remember the first time I saw you live almost 4 years ago. You were all so young that at first I thought there was a mistake for having you on stage, then you started to play and you guys blew my mind away! Such a powerful heavy metal coming from you. It was crazy.

G: Thank you so much for this. It means a lot you have no idea. It really does. Thank you.
SFG: You’re welcome, I know your new CD will be out soon. Can you tell me something about Post Mortem?
G: Sure! Well, this album tells a story. The story of what happened to us after “light from above” (first album of the band released last 2008). We’ve been through a lot, it wasn’t easy and it’s basically the recollection of our struggles to keep the band together. There’s so much of us in this album, more than in the previous one.
SFG: sounds great! I can’t wait to hear it. What do you think about the performance today?
G: It was amazing, even though it was very early in the morning lots of people showed up and they were singing our songs! It was awesome. We didn’t expect such a reaction.
SFG: it was indeed a great reaction, I was photographing you and from the photopit I could hear the people behind me singing along.
G: yeah, it was pretty cool!
SFG: Have you got any plans for tour here in UK?
G: we are certainly coming back in the UK, we have nothing set in stone but most likely in October.
SFG: fantastic! Are you staying for the entire day today or leaving sooner after the interviews? If you’re staying, what is the band you are looking forward to see tonight?
G: We are staying for the whole show today. We are going back home tomorrow. I can’t wait to see Slipknot. They are awesome and we are all curious to see them live again.
SFG: I can’t wait to see them too. Last question and I leave you alone, promise!
G: Na! It’s ok.
SFG: Do you remember your first concert? The very first. Which artist/band was?
G: Uhm… my first concert… that’s tough. Let me think about it… Yes, now I remember. It was Judas Priest! My very first concert. Now that you asked, I remember it so vividly. I went with my father. The best show i’ve ever seen.
SFG: I am so ashamed to tell you mine now…
G: go on then! I wanna know!
SFG: na better keep it a secret
G: come on!
SFG: ok, Take That… but I am older than you and they were huge back in the days!
G:well it’s ok, you’re a girl so it’s ok.
SFG: well, thank you for not taking the piss out of me!
G: you’re welcome! (laughing)
SFG: ok, that’s it. Thank you for the chit-chat it’s been great. I wish you all the best for the album and I might see you around when you’re coming back in the UK! Is there a last message you wanna pass on to everyone?
G: Thank you! Well, my message is simple. August 23rd, our album Post Mortem will be available, it will be awesome if you can go and check it out! It’s worth it!


Sonisphere 2011 Review

Sonisphere Festival is probably the most important Metal/Rock Festival in Europe despite only being in its third year.

When I was asked to review the event I thought it was going to be a piece of cake, I love almost all the bands on the bill so my work was easy. I have to say though, that as I am writing right now, I find it more difficult than expected. I will just make it simple and direct, but I think it is extremely important to thank all the people at the Noise Cartel for being always there and helpful to all of us, reviewers and photographers.
Friday 8th July 2011

When arriving at the Festival’s site you soon understand the shear enormity of the place. In front of you stands the entrance and on both sides are what seems to be an endless sea of tents. To reach the top of the hill, where the stages are located, you have to walk through them along a path. In every corner you see band flags, t-shirts, people singing and drinking. Everyone is in the right mode despite the threatening weather.

Once inside the main area, you can’t help wondering ‘how it will be this evening when Metallica will perform?’. The main stage, called Apollo, is majestically facing the whole area. On the opposite side there is the second stage, called Saturn. There are other 3 stages, on site, Bohemia, Jagermeister and RedBull.

The first band to play, what it is going to be three days of Rock, is ‘The Japanese Voyeurs’ on the Bohemia Stage. 15Mins later on the opposite side ‘Diamond Head’ are officially opening the main stage. Finally there is a break in the rain which is a welcome relief and everyone is gearing up for the Big Four; Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. These bands are all legends and is a 60,000 strong crowd who have come here for that exact reason. People are singing along, head banging and moshing not caring about anything except having a rocking good time. James Hetfiled and co. made it through a long setlist, finishing with Enter Sandman and a spectacular fireworks display lighting the skies above Knebworth.

During the encore Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax and Diamond Head join Metallica on stage to perform Am I Evil (Diamond Head’s song).  These bands are the living proof of what heavy metal is all about, they are the godfathers of the genre but know how to keep it fresh and new.
Saturday 9th July 2011
Saturday is a slightly different story. The bands playing are more mainstream and less Metal but still much appreciated by the crowd.
Sylosis are the first band on the Apollo at around 11a.m., despite being very early in the morning their performance is the right wake up call. On the Saturn stage, Richard Cheese is entertaining everyone with his swing. On the notes of his remake of “People=S**t!” from Slipknot, he shows everyone how a classic Metal song can be transform in a lounge/swing piece.
The sun is still shining, ‘Architects’ are delivering an amazing set while on the opposite stage ‘Gallows’ perform for what is said to be their last time together. Frank Carter, singer of the band has confirmed his intention to leave the band earlier in the morning.
Half way through the set of Kids in Glass Houses, a powerful downpour hammers the arena. Ponchos and umbrellas are out again during what it was meant to be a partially sunny Saturday.
All afternoon the weather changes as regularly as the weather. The highlight of the afternoon is provided by ‘The Mars Volta’. Their music is well received by the audience and despite the “weird” antics of the singer, who threw a metal barrier off stage, their music has definitely hit the right spot.
Biffy Clyro
The headliner for today is the Scottish trio, ‘Biffy Clyro’. It is definitely not easy for them, being in the middle of this 3 days Festival: following Metallica and the Big Four on Friday night and preluding Slipknot on Sunday. It’s a tough competition, if you look at it this way. I have to admit that I doubted their presence at the Festival at first; however after the amazing 2 hour show they put together I have to stand corrected. They start with “The Captain” and an explosion of confetti covering the first 4 rows of the audience. The whole show is exceptional and it is evident now that Biffy Clyro really know how to rock any kind of crowd.
Sunday 10th July 2011
Sunday will be remembered as Slipknot day. After the loss of Paul Gray, the future of the band was uncertain for everyone. Fans were prepared to accept the end of the band, however, surprisingly, they decided to join the Sonisphere bill and to make it a tribute to Paul.
Fans for all over the world gathered today to pay their tribute to the band and to Paul. The day starts with a very shy sun, definitely better than the rain of last night.
You can feel the tension and anticipation for the show tonight and possibly even more so for the 2 minutes silence that the entire Festival will share at 2p.m.
Without a doubt, one of the best bands to grace the Saturn Stage it is ‘Black Tide’.  This 4 piece band is quiet young but the heavy metal coming out from their instruments is truly powerful.
2p.m. creeps into a very sunny Knebworth afternoon and the entire arena falls into a deep silence. The deafening silence of 60,000 people only disturbed by the gentle hum of the generators. The respect and the love from all the participants feels thick and tangible. At the end of the 2 minutes a roar slowly rises coming from the crowd and stirs you into uncontrollable excitement. It confirms that today is a celebration of Paul’s life and achievements.  This is probably the highlight of the day.
Fred Durst
Limp Bizkit also victims of the rain, nonetheless their show brings everyone in the arena to jump up and to move frantically to their rhymes.  When Fred Durst asks the crowd, what kind of “stuff” they want them to play, it is clear that the old tunes wins over the new ones.
We are now approaching the end of these 3 days Festival at Knebworth and the excitement from the crowd is stronger than the rain.  Slipknot take to the stage at around 9:00p.m.
On Corey Taylor’s words “This is not a night for negativity, it’s a night for positivity. It’s a celebration”, the band delivers an amazing performance. The raw energy and that maniac powerful anger that is the basis of their music ripples through the crowd and all that’s left to do is jump, scream and mosh.
A very touching moment is when Gray’s suit and bass took centre stage for some band photos.
For now Sonisphere is officially over, or better yet, it is only over till next year!

Hard Rock Calling 2011 Review

The first day of the Hard Rock Calling is welcomed by heavy rain. The place looks like a smaller version of Glastonbury, the difference being half of the people here in London aren’t ready for it.
Despite the rain, the crowd is overwhelmed and between a beer and waffle they are all ready to party.
The arena is lined with stands offering all kinds of catering from Chinese to Mexican through to Fish and Chips and Ice-creams. The Arena is furnished with 3 stages. The main stage clearly the more popular, a second stage named Pepsi Max, is covered by and big tent and a  third smaller stage positioned next to the Tuborg stand were few unsigned bands will be performing throughout the weekend.
The highlight of the Pepsi stage on Friday is definitely Indy rock stars ‘The Kills’.  The duo formed by American singer  Alison Mosshart and British guitarist Jamie Hince have been  in the music business since 2000 and are currently promoting their fourth studio album ‘Blood Pressures’. Their unique style really warms all the rain drenched revellers and gets them ready for the main act.
Thousands brave the rain and give their best support to The KillersBrandon Flowers & co. play almost all their hits during the set and also give the crowd the opportunity to listen to what is possibly the first single from the still un-named new album; the song is called "The Rising Tide".
on the notes of 'Bling (Confessions Of A King)' fireworks are triggered providing a little bit of light to the dark sky.
It is definitely an outstanding performance from The Killers.
Hard Rock Calling
On the second date of the festival, the sun is shining high in a cloudless sky. The temperature is finally close to the season’s average. Everyone in Hyde Park is enjoying the weather and the good music. The Pepsi  Max Stage is obviously less crowed than the day before but with the same good quality music on offer. The Italian Gianna Nannini at her first appearance in such occasion looks thrilled to be part of it and give’s her best in her 40mins set.
Another highlight of the Pepsi  Max Stage ‘Imelda May”. Her rockabilly music along with her Irish accent seduces the crowd and soon everyone under the tent is dancing and singing along.
Meanwhile on the main stage the band Black Cards performs for the very first time in front of such a huge audience. The band is a side project of the ex Fall Out BoyPete Wentz. Their electro-pop tunes are highly appreciated from the Hyde Park crowd.
On the notes of “Raise your hands” at around 7:15 p.m. Bon Jovi takes control of the main stage.
The roar coming from the fans is so impressive that even if you are at the very end of the venue you feel it. The ground seems to shake under your feet.
The band thumps out a phenomenal 27 song set  spanning their entire musical career lit with obvious hits “Living on a Prayer”, “Always” and “it’s my life”. Sadly the classic “Bed of Roses” was left out.
Again the night ends with an amazing fireworks display and a seemingly endless queue to the exits.
Hard Rock Calling
The third day of the event will always be remembered as the hottest day of the year. Temperatures way about the average forcing everyone to drink a ridiculous amount of water trying to cool down. Every single shadow packed with people looking for some reprieve from the sun. Surviving the hot weather has been a challenge for everyone and the first Aid tent has greeted many visitors. 

Earlier in the afternoon American band Train took the main stage, fighting the burning air. Their set is probably one of the highlights of the afternoon along with Adam Ant and his post punk melodies. 
Meanwhile on Pepsi Max Stage after a brilliant set from Mike & The Mechanics at around 7:40p.m. Lighthouse Family begin their set in front of a full house. Their easy listening music lit up the spirits of all the attendees. On the notes of probably their most popular song “High” the crowd chorus  fills the tent with a good mood, typical reaction to this amazing band. 

Back on the main stage it’s time for Rod Stewart to start his performance. He appears on stage looking like the Rockstar he is. The cheers coming from the crowd are testifying to what everybody knows already. It is going to be huge!  The whole set is highly concentrated on his last covers album of popular American rock/soul songs. While Rod performs a rendition of the song “Downtown Train” by Tom Waits. Fans are left with nothing else to do than dance and sing their hearts out.

The perfect celebration for the 40th Anniversary of this big event ends with another set of fireworks. Rod Stewart is the perfect host for the crowd during this amazing night.
The crowd leaving the arena seems not to mind the endless queue to the bus/tube stops. All they know is that these 3 days have been amazing, well organized and full of fun.  Like us, they can’t wait till next year replicates the experience, hopefully without the rain!