Rock Allegiance Tour boasts international flair
For an international music experience, get a ticket to Tuesday's Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Tour at the Maverik Center.
"If you're playing rock and roll, you're only playing [the same] 12 notes," said Rob Caggiano, lead guitarist for Volbeat.
"We speak more or less the same language, just [with] different accents," added HIM's singer Ville Valo.
Volbeat • The hard-edged group formed in Copenhagen in 2001, with Michael Poulsen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Anders KjÃ¸lholm (bass) and Jon Larsen (drums). Fame came in 2009, when it performed on the North American leg of Metallica's World Magnetic Tour.
Caggiano, who was born in the Bronx, joined the three Danish members for a fifth album, "Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies," which debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard chart in April.
Caggiano had recently left Anthrax and was initially enlisted to help produce Volbeat's album.
"Michael called me to produce the album, because my schedule was wide open," he said.
A connection was forged immediately. "Two weeks in, they asked me to join," Caggiano said. "I had to change my perspective from being a producer to band member."
The album revolves around mythic gunslingers; Caggiano, who "loved old stories" of the Wild West, helped with the concept. Poulsen was obsessed with reading all about hangmen, lonesome riders and even Doc Holliday, so he wanted an album about that legendary time in America, Caggiano said.
Caggiano identified with the stories, too. "I am a New York City outlaw," he said.
When it released "Dark Light" in 2006, it became the first Finnish band to have a gold album in the United States.
Today, keyboardist Janne "Emerson Burton" Puurtinen and drummer Mika Karppinen round out the lineup.
In April, the five-member group released "Tears on Tape," which debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard chart. The album's cover features HIM's "heartogram" logo, a pentagram with two of the triangles shaped as hearts.
The logo symbolizes Valo's lyrical focus on love and death; the latter is largely responsible for the softer (but not soft) rock sound of the band when compared with Volbeat.
"It's not a death metal tour," said Valo. "Love rules the world. I come from a family that is not religious or political."
The band left Sire Records right before recording "Tears on Tape," its eighth album, and retained its longtime producer, Kai "Hiili" Hiilesmaa. "We knew he wouldn't turn us into a reggae band."
Valo, who learned English by watching subtitled episodes of "Knight Rider" and "MacGyver" as a child, said American audiences are different from those elsewhere in the world.
"They expect a lot and consider their shows a party," he said. "In Scandinavia or Japan, it can be a bit stiff."
Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Tour
When • Tuesday, Sept. 3, at 6:45 p.m.
Where • Maverik Center, 3200 S. Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City
Tickets • $51.50 and $37 at Ticketmaster
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