Johnny Steel – Volcano X & Hordes X (interview)

Continuing our series of interviews with bands performing at Hordes X 2019, we’ve dug up the frontman of Dundee locals, Volcano X. Despite being one of the newest bands on the bill, they probably represent the most old school of sounds. However, vocalist, Johnny Steel, doesn’t hang onto that as the main feature he wants listeners to take away:

Johnny Steel: Volcano X is a band that brings out the party atmosphere of heavy metal. Whether people listen at home or see us perform live, we want the vibrant energy we create to inject an unrelenting sense of joy and euphoria throughout the audiences core. We love to see people moshing away in pits, singing along with the vocals, and having the hair on the back of their neck stand up when face melting solo are unleashed.

It sounds like they are very keen on live performance. Indeed, they have been carving away at regular live appearances for the last year or so. But what have been the ultimate high points?

JS: Playing Metal 2 the Masses in 2018 was a great experience for the band. It really helped us gel, create a collective stage presence, and really tightened us up from a professional perspective. Playing at the student union in Dundee, March 2019, was a wonderful experience. The place was packed, people created pits to our songs, and when I asked to the audience to sing along and throw up their horns almost the whole room did, and from a personal perspective as the singer I was like ‘Whoa, fuck me, they did it!”.

Suddenly, I realised how into us that audience was, and it took my confidence in what we were doing to another level. It felt like a great achievement seeing so many people enjoy what we were doing. It sounds strange, but I’ve always said being on stage feels like being at home for me. I feel like 100% myself. I can only think of one other time, almost 13 years ago, where I’ve felt that ‘at home’ because of an audience response.

One of their most stand out tracks is This Is Heavy Metal; a bold statement indeed! One has to wonder how such a wide bracket is defined in their minds.

JS: For me, Heavy Metal is all about having fun, putting on a great show, and making that collective, en mass connection with the audience and your band mates. You live, breathe, and feel heavy metal in your soul. It’s euphoric, and you want to share that with your metal brothers and sisters.

I’m also gonna bring out a massive wedge of Wensleydale, and say the core of the answer lies in the lyrics I wrote for the song, because it’s a pretty damn astute way of describing what Heavy Metal means to me.

Feeling the metal deep down in the soul
   Shredding the axe like a king
   Set me on fire and bring me to life
   And your face is melting

   Down in the pit your exposing your soul
   Throwing the horns up to the king
   The fire is roaring the flame of all life
   As your minds injecting

As an iconic statement, the song goes hand in hand with the band’s catch phrase, “Because the world needs heavy fucking metal!” But why does it?

JS: Well, according to scientific tests that I, Johnny Fuckin’ Steel, personally conducted, and got signed off with Satan’s satanic seal, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the world would actually implode on itself, and cease to exist without heavy metal. So, I mean, your actually asking a really important question there, and I commend you on your impeccable journalistic instinct! So, really people, what this means this that every time you play a Volcano X, song you’re actually helping save the world from annihilation! Good job, you sexy muthfuckas!!!


It sounds like the world really does need heavy metal! Why, though, has it been decided that Hordes X needs Volcano X?

JS: Hordes is gonna be a special, and monumental occasion for us, because it is going to be Danny’s, (affectionately known to us as Delmonte), last gig. He is off to go and live back in Spain with his wonderful new wife. It will be the end of an amazing two and half year era for the band in this current line up, and we will all miss him greatly. So, we want to send him off in style, by seeing everyone down the front creating pits, chanting along, and sinking many beers when we come off stage, for our departing hombre, and guitar maestro . I’m predicting right now it will be our most energetic, and emotional set to date. We will play a few classics, and fill the set out with new material. So, come along to Hordes and get a taste of our epic new tracks.

I’d like to say thank you for having us back to Hordes, and inviting us to perform at the 10th anniversary. I think all the hard work in promoting and spreading local and unsigned metal is awesome. It’s fantastic to see something like Hordes grow and expand, to the point where it’s now a multi day event, across a number cities in Scotland. You help us, and so many other bands (to) thrive.

Kind words, indeed! We like to think of it as a stepping stone in bands’ paths to other things, so what comes next for Volcano X?

JS: Our new EP, The Sacrifice, will be out later this year. We will continue play gigs all across the UK, write new material, and look at different options moving forward with Danny departing. One thing is for sure, where ever we are, Skinz will punch a hole in you on drums, Robi’s thundering bass lines will touch your soul, JP will melt your face with guitar, and Johnny Fuckin Steel will hypnotize you with his charismatic vocals like a satanic metal siren.

Why? Unsurprisingly, the answer is…

JS: Because the world needs Heavy fucking Metal!!!

Venue: Beat Generator Live, North Lindsay St., Dundee
Artists: Krysthla, Bloodyard, Dog Tired, Ramage Inc., Threshold Sicks, Seed Of Sorrow, Dominicide, The Starry Wisdom Cult, Evil Blood, Catalysis,Volcano X, Darkness Divine, Melted Messiah
Promoter: Slow Dragon Music
Doors: 3:20pm
Entry: £10 (no booking fee)
Ages: 14+
Tickets available from wegottickets
Tee shirts by pre-order only! For pick up at event! Email 

See also the Hordes X Outreach programme:

Venue: Nice ‘N’ Sleazy, Sauchiehall St., Glasgow
Artists: Krysthla, Dominicide, Centrilia, Burning The Dream
Promoter: Goddamned Promotions
Doors: 7pm
Entry: £8 (STBF)
Ages: 18+
Tickets available from Tickets Scotland

Venue: Monty’s Bar, Guildhall St., Dunfermline
Artists: Bloodyard, Melted Messiah, Nadé
Promoter: Noise Night
Doors: 8pm
Entry: Free
Ages: 18+

Venue: The Market Bar, Church St., Inverness
Artists: Krysthla, Seed Of Sorrow
Promoter: N/A
Doors: 10pm
Entry: Free
Ages: 18+


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