Interview: Volcanova – Iceland’s Ice Hot Stoner Rock

Iceland is known for many many things but the most important are hot springs and beautiful, beautiful humans and music. What most didn’t know, including myself, is that it is a home to some stoner, psychedelic-metal that is Volcanova. In the capital city of Reykjavik, they help embolden a hidden gem of a genre scene, finding their voice and groove right on time. It may sound serious, but not too serious. 

We’re from Iceland,” shares drummer / vocalist Dagur Atlason. “We don’t just want to write about living in darkness and cold and mountains and elves and stuff.

Guitarist / vocalist Samuel Asgeirsson started the band in 2014 but it didn’t officially become the real Volcanova until 2017. At the time, it was Asgeirsson, a drummer and a bassist but the others had left the band, which led him to reaching out to Thorsteinn Arnason (guitars / vocals) and Atlason and the band was officially re-christened, focusing primarily on progressive metal. “Cosmic Bullshit,” the band’s second EP with The Sign is a 6-track journey that requires the utmost of attention on all tracks, especially short, snappy, up tempo No Wheels with not too serious lyrics and heavier and more serious Desolation.

Gold Coast found its home on “Cosmic Bullshit,” although, according to Asgeirsson, it would have been a great fit for “Radical Waves” because it is about a dude driving an endless road in a convertible and mentioned it is not something that happens a lot in Iceland. Sometimes, there is a central theme or idea that influences the writing of the album from the beginning or finds itself along the way. In this case, there wasn’t an overt theme, but more of a mysterious wonder about it. 

When we were writing the record, we didn’t have a concept in mind,” admits Atlason. “It really was because some of the songs [were] referencing space. Then, we were talking [about] how often for [a] stoner rock band to have at least one “space” album. This could be a space album and I just said, ‘let’s just call it Cosmic Bullshit, because it’s a space album but it’s just mainly nonsense.

The group went into recording “Cosmic Bullshit” with much more confidence than with “Radical Waves;” their voice finally started to come together and it couldn’t have come at a more important time when the world is so upside down. The group hosted a little release party at a local record shop recently, engaging with fans and sharing some of the new songs live and has a proper release show planned for the end of March.

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Photo courtesy of The Sign Records

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