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Volbeat Were ‘Freaked Out’ When James Hetfield Watched Their Set

Bernd Mueller, Redferns

Metallica personally invited Danish band Volbeat – who are known for their speedy metal mixed with punk and rockabilly — to join them on tour last year. This thumbs up from one of the biggest bands in the world is certainly a bit mind-blowing, and Volbeat guitarist Thomas Bredahl recalled getting to know the members of Metallica on a more one-on-one level while on the road.

“We’re a bit younger than some of the guys, and in the ’80s and ’90s, we had the posters on the wall. So when you are invited to join your idols on tour, that is special,” Bredahl told Noisecreep. Given Metallica’s status, they don’t exactly rough it while on the road, often flying from show to show once they wrap their set for their night. However, Volbeat still had the chance to hang with the band here and there.

“Seeing them and meeting them, on the times they stayed in town after the shows, going out eating with them after the shows. When we had the chance to sit down, on a personal level, and talk to the guys. It was a huge experience for us, personally. It was also good to see how the big guys run their production. We got a look behind the curtain and we were pretty geeky about that. They are nice guys and they have been rock stars since they were teenagers, but they are still so down to earth. We were treated well.”

Volbeat were chosen to open for Metallica when fellow Dane Lars Ulrich cast out a net looking for the best and brightest new metal bands currently slaying his native land. It was James Hetfield, however, who approached the band backstage at a show in their home country.

“He seemed interested and said he heard we play some sort of ‘Elvis metal’ and said, ‘I think I like it,’” Bredahl said. “We talked with him, did some photos and he said he was going watch us, but you’re kind of like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ But there he was, sitting in a chair on the side of the stage, with his daughter on his lap, nodding his head. That was amazing. There were a lot of people, and it was one of the biggest show we had played, capacity-wise. Having James on the side of the stage freaked us out. Our style is James’ thing, and next thing we knew, we were joining them in America and Europe. It was no bulls—.”

Volbeat’s ‘Beyond Hell/Above Heaven’ is out Dec. 14.

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