Volcano X – Hordes X 2022 interviews

Volcano X - Hordes X

Forked Tongues: Volcano X – Hordes X 2022 interviews

Our final Hordes X 2022 interview goes out to another local legend, Volcano X!

We’ve chosen to do something a little different for this one, though. Instead of our regular line of questioning, we’ve asked them for a creative breakdown of a choice handful of their tracks. We all know This Is Heavy Metal, but we wanted to dig into a few of their other anthems…


Johnny Steel (vocals): “This was one of the first few songs written for the band back in 2014.

“I was new to the heavy metal genre as a lyricist, and wanted to create a song that was archetypal of that, at least in my mind. To me, the obvious heavy metal theme was dungeons and dragons. Hence, a tale of kings, dragons, and axes was born. I sat with one of the OG guitarists Paul, gave him a beat and got him to jam some riffs for a few hours. Once we had a collection of several, I started piecing them together in Ableton.”

At the point of one verse and chorus, inspiration struck me like swift axe blow to face! I wrote the lyrics in about 20 minutes, and had the melody very soon after. It was just obvious what the song was going to be in my mind. It was one of those songs where it all came together so quickly and seamlessly. I think when a song comes together so naturally like that, it’s a lot of fun, and can easily become a fan favourite live. Our audience has gravitated to it a lot over the years at gigs, as they get straight into the vibes of it.


JP (guitar): “Of This Earth was actually the first of a run of song writing challenges I did.”

The idea was to write and record an entire song in under an hour. I managed to get the instrumental arrangement written in that time, and only just slipped over the time limit trying to get it recorded. After sitting on the song for a few months, I figured I may as well have a go at writing vocals for it, and thus Of This Earth was born.

The original lyrics were wordy, and a bit of a tongue twister in places, so Mr Steel reworked the verses into a more concise and flowing format. But the chorus, and overall message of the song remained largely identical to the original. The song is all about growth, overcoming challenges, and recognising the hard work it took to do so. In a way, this represents our journey, both as people, and musicians, as we’ve all grown a great deal since the band began (and not just around our waists).” 


Johnny Steel: “In 2019 JP wrote a Christmas song, this wasn’t originally intended for Volcano X, but then Covid happened, and we spent most of 2020 in lockdown.”

By the time Christmas came around,  we hadn’t been able to practice or perform as band for 9 months. Sad fookin times! So, JP decided to lift our spirits, and came to me one day early in December, and said that he had written and recorded this entire song. Lyrics, melody, the lot. All I had to do was re-record the vocals with some Johnny Steel Christmas spirit in them, and we’d have ourselves a Christmas single.

So, I grabbed my north pole, clamped my balls, channeled my inner choir boy, thought intensely about ‘The Snowman’, while sniffing a Santa hat, and the magic was created! The music video for this is special to us because we got the fans involved, including yourself (*Paul – Slow Dragon). We asked them to record footage of themselves along to the song, and we pieced together a lovely, festive patchwork video. And for the first time in a long time, we were all together! Ho! Ho! Ho!


JP: “Soul Eater was the first piece of music I wrote for the band after I joined.”

The aim was to create something a little darker, and more technical than the likes of which the band had previously written. With a wee bit of thrash sprinkled in for good measure, it was more Megadeth than Maiden, shall we say. It was the 1st of 3 songs I wrote for what would become part of ‘The Sacrifice’ EP. Each track would pull the band in very different directions. ‘Dead Behind The Eyes’ was verging on skatepunk (with a cheeky bit of ska in there), with ‘Truth is a Convincing Lie’ leaning towards modern metal. Once Monsieur Steel had written vocals for it, Soul Eater felt far more old school, dramatic and over the top, borderline theatrical in places. A thrilling, ritualistic tale of raising and making a deal with Devil burst into life. A song that at its peaks has an absolutely menacing presence.


Johnny Steel: “This song was written by me and former guitarist Danny.”

Coming in the second wave of our EP ‘The Sacrifice’, we had moved into somewhat darker and serious tones, by our standards. Musically the song was built to showcase the wizardry of Danny on guitar. Some of those riffs are so tasty! Lyrically, Danny wanted to create a story of ‘the powers that be’. ‘The new world order’ if you will.

So, we sat together, and constructed the dark tale. A corporate, capitalist war machine, and the oppression that details the suffering, but powerful uprising of the 99% against the 1%. I always imagine myself performing this at a festival on a big stage from a pulpit with a military uniform on. To me the song conjures images of fascist war speeches. Puppet masters. Corporate fat cats. Too much money. And then it all explodes in a ball of fire, as we sit and delightfully watch it burn. HAIL!



Forked Tongues: Volcano X – Hordes X 2022 interviews