1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am Johnny Volume I do Etc Promotions, I book shows, DJ, buy too many records, hang out with my wife and kid.
2. How did you get your start?
For DJing, I started at my college radio station in CT. When I moved here I started out at KY’s Place on their punk nights with Natedogg (May Cause Dizziness Records), Cro-Mag, & Lantzer. Those were really fun, drunken messes, with Nate falling asleep behind that DJ booth. From there I stated doing BANNED In Tempe at Stray Cat at the invitation of Tyler King. Once that eventually moved to Jugheads and later died a painful death I moved on to Valley Fever country music night at Yucca Tap Room with the talented DJ Dana. I had filled in and done special events in the past with VF, but once I was doing regular events I felt so fortunate to be taken in as part of that family. But once I started my own family, I have had to step away from regular gigs, and it has pained me to do so. I still come back into the fold when needed and for special events. Now I just DJ when I can, where I want, typically after shows at Crescent Ballroom.
As far as booking shows, that also I started doing in CT and picked up again when I moved to Arizona. My story is the same as many others who book small shows, I did the bands I wanted to see. When I was doing the most shows, I found I was doing bands I didn’t even like or care about. Since having a kid, I’ve really slowed it to down to either bands whose music I love, or the people in the band I love. Fortunately in most cases it’s both.
3. What inspires you?
My wife used to laugh at me in the Banned in Tempe days, because I would be dancing behind the turntable at the records I was playing. I played the records I wanted to hear, and I hoped other people did too, or the very least, didn’t hate. I love it when someone asks about the record I just played, and they end up buying it. My motivation has always been the same, when it’s DJing, doing a zine, or booking a show, it’s to get people to hear bands I love. When I was in 5th grade I started making tapes for my friends of stuff I was digging that wasn’t on the radio or MTV. In a way, ever since then I have been still doing that, either figuratively or literally. I may still have some of favs of ’13 tapes, if you want one, email me. My shows these days are the bands I want to see, same as the very first show I ever did, about 20 years ago. If you see a show I am doing, you can make the safe bet that I love that band.
4. What do you like about AZ?
Short of the sheriffs, politicians and insane policies, nearly everything! When I was younger all I ever wanted to do was travel. When those travels brought me to live in Arizona, I knew I had found my home. I moved back to CT once for a few months, and felt tortured. I literally cried driving away. I spent the next few months saving up to move back. Whenever I have gone on tour, I have always been so excited about coming home. So many of my favorite bands are AZ bands, the geography offers so much diversity, Mexican food, the weather, so many of my favorite people reside here, I could go on and on. So I guess my answer is everything, home is where the heart is, and mine resides here. DJ Dana is born and raised here, and loves Arizona like no one I have ever met, and truth be told I am jealous of her. I am not native to AZ, but I love it like I am. SB1070 & SB 1062 be damned, we are greater than our shitty laws and elected officials, but isn’t every state?
5. Where can we see you(r) work?
I am nowhere regularly, but I have some shows coming up at Yucca Tap Room, 51west, & Double Nickels Collective. And I’ll be playing records at a few events at Crescent in the lounge. Check the social media links for specific events: Etc Promotions Facebook, DJ Johnny Volume Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?
Personally I’d like to help my daughter reach all of her potential to be an incredible person who cares about the world around her and makes a difference. As far as with music, shows etc, I guess to continue to do the same and have people really like it. My goals have always been simplistic as far booking, have fun, and hope others do the same all the while helping the band make it to their next city with gas in their tank.
7. What is your mantra?
The Etc Promotions MySpace page had in the “About” section something that said, “It has to be about the fun, cause it sure as fuck ain’t the money” or something along those lines. That still holds up, I can still get behind that.