DEVIL'S ISLAND featuring Blind River.
Welcome to this weeks edition of Devil's Island! Every week we maroon a band or artist on the island and see what they get up to, how they cope with being all alone on a small island in the middle of the ocean. It's not your average desert island and we'll see just how each person copes with the extreme conditions.
This week when we arrived at Devil's Island we found Guildford based rock outfit Blind River sat on the beach. Whilst we'd not seen them in the flesh for a while, despite having a new album out, we assumed this was due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Turn's out they were actually stranded on our island.
How did the band cope with life on Devil's Island? Find out now...
Welcome to The Razors'e Edge and our somewhat lovely, warm desert island. Don't worry about it's name I'm sure it's not as bad as that would suggest.
So you're marooned here on this island, but before you ended up shipwrecked you chose one album that you couldn't live without. Which album did you each chose and why?
Chris: Kyuss - Blues For The Red Sun. I absolutely LOVE that album, I first heard it at the beginning of a summer when I was about 14 and just spent that summer getting high in the woods and listening to it. It always reminds me of sunshine, nature, and massive riffs. plus, the guitar tone on that album is HEAVY. Imagine chilling out on a sun lounger (i’ll be making them once I’ve settled in), on a beach, listening to Kyuss every day. Sounds awesome.
Dan: The Black Crowes - Amorica as I never get bored of listening to that album or that band. They’d been touring and writing with that line up for a while by this album, and to me it shows, it consistently delivers. There’s almost collective consciousness in the songs. Also, the album cover’s a bit cheeky, I could rent it out by the hour to the other guys for a small fee!
Andrew: Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation by. Far from their best but the title track has steel drums.
Harry: I literally cannot decide! In the hope that I didn't receive a concussive knock on the head during the ship wreck, I'm gonna assume my internal dukebox is fully functional and I can dial up most of my favourite albums at will and just leave them rattling around in my head all day. With that in mind I'd take something I'm less familiar with so I could delve into it further. Preferably sung by Mavis Staples. So yeah, some random album by her that I haven't heard yet!
Will: I guess I would have to pick the mind blowing Love from the Planet Gong box set that’s just been released - it’s saturated with humour, grooves, atmosphere and intensity. Oh also because it’s got 13 CDs, but hey, it all comes in one pack so we can just pretend it qualifies right?
Just behind that palm tree is a shack for each of you to stay in, with enough space for you to put up a poster on the wall of one album cover. What album cover do you each chose?
Chris: Axis Bold As Love, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Its a cool album cover to look at and as I’ve grabbed Kyuss, at least I can look at Jimi and imagine him playing right? In fact, maybe I should take that album instead. Cant we take 5 albums like Desert Islands Discs let you?
Dan: The “Ace of Spades,” album cover. If you squinted, it would almost be like Motorhead were standing on the sandy beach with you. They could be the “Wilson” of our desert island stay. Another angle would be that it would remind you of home, because they’re actually standing in an quarry in Essex (I believe), so it would be a reminder of England !
Andrew: Anything by the Scorpions. They always had such tasteful covers.
Harry: Can I go with the inside cover of Hendrix's Electric Ladyland? Gotta have something better to look at than all these hairy dudes kicking about the island. If not then Hans Edlers' "Dirty Sally" album.
Will: Phil Collins - No Jacket Required. A floating head that stares at you unblinking and follows you wherever you go. Who wouldn’t want that?
There's also a bar on this here island. But alas each of you only get to chose one drink for the entirety of your stay. What's your tipple of choice?
Chris: Tough choice, as its a Desert Island I’m imagining some awesome sunshine and lots of chilling out on the beach trying to work out which member would suit a hula skirt and coconuts best. So I’d go in for Tequila and hope the bar has lime.
Dan: Primarily water, but if water’s a given then I’d go for freshly ground coffee. It might give me that extra buzz on for when I have to fight the rest of the band for the last coconut…
Andrew: Rum. Welcome to the Carribean!
Harry: Guinness. If we run out of food, I can live off that. Pretty much do anyway! All basic nutrients covered!
Will: Henry Weston’s Vintage Reserve. I love it. I dedicated a poem to it called Ode to Weston... I’ll tell you one day when there’s more time. Nectar of the Gods it is.
Your suitcases were lost when your ship sank, but you each managed to salvage one item of band merch. Whats the merch and for what band?
Chris: I have a Dio Holy Diver shirt that I’ve had for years, somehow I keep losing it and it just reappears out of nowhere. I’m sure I left it at Hellfest once and then again in my friends bands van but it just turned up in my house a year later. So really, it has to be that magical shirt.
Dan: My “The Fiascos” Trucker hat, because Ritchie Hudson is a cool cat, it would be nice to promote his band to the indigenous creatures on the island, also it would protect me from getting sunburnt and I could use the mesh part to filter salt water for small fish that I could eat.
Andrew: A Skid Row top the band gave me when I toured with them. A great tour and genuinely nice guys.
Harry: My Voivod "Dimension Hatröss - Live at Roadburn Festival" t-shirt. There's enough memories from that weekend to last a lifetime. At least that's what I'm told. I don't actually remember much of it. But there are photos that place me there and it looks like I grinned at everything.
Will: Hmm.. desert island... I suppose KISS have their own line of speedos?.. Peter Criss’s face on the front. That seems entirely appropriate.
You're sat on the island thinking "I'm stuck here on this island with my bandmates for eternity"... who would you rather have been shipwrecked with?
Chris: Andrew WK
Andrew: More than my bandmates? Myra Hindley? Ted Bundy? Pol Pot?
Harry: A plumber and an electrician would be a good start, but maybe we could figure that shit out between us! There's a book I'm reading right now by Yuval Noah Harari that ends with him discussing his ideas with Natalie Portman. Being part of that conversation would be a touch more insightful. Plus, Natalie Portman.
Will: Katherine Ryan. She’s really funny so I’d never get bored.
There's a walkman in your pocket, on the tape inside is the recording of the one live show that stands out for you. It could be any show, from any band, anywhere in the world. What show is on that walkman?
Chris: Robin Trower Live at Rockpalast 2005. Its a great live performance and his playing is brilliant as always, really emotive and expressive.
Dan: Guns N’ Roses Live at the Ritz from 1988 because it’s full of energy, attitude and hunger. You can hear that they really mean it, it’s intense and aggressive as fuck. It’s not note perfect, and that’s the point. I’d rather listen to a band meaning what they play and feed off of that energy as opposed to it being musically perfect but lifeless. Ultimately music is there to evoke an emotional response isn’t it? To move you in some way? I feel that factor is sometimes sucked out by modern attitudes and recording technique: playing to click-tracks, overlaying drum samples, walls of guitars, heavily processed vocals…It’s not Rock n Roll!
Andrew: Black Sabbath, Aylesbury Civic Centre, 2005. It was a secret warm up show they did to a tiny crowd. I've seen Sabbath a bunch of times but that night they were incredible. It was like a window in time to seeing them in their prime in the 70's.
Harry: Any one of the Tom Waits shows from his "Glitter and Doom" tour. It would be good company when I start losing my mind!
Will: Ah there’s not one defining show... too tough to call... but I’ll go with Radiohead at Glastonbury festival 2017. It was a brilliant gig - nice long set packed with all my favourites. That’ll do.
You're getting desperate, you decide the only course of action is to put a message in a bottle and hope someone finds it. Your message could be to any member of any band, but should be the one musician most suitable for a rescue attempt. Who is it?
Chris: Andrew WK
Dan: Duff McKagen, because he tries to rescue Axl by rowing out to him in a boat in the video for “Estranged.” So, at least we know that he has a boat and that he can use it and he has some experience of rescue attempts. Unfortunately in the video he fails and Axl rescues himself by finding a pod of Dolphin’s, grabbing a dorsal fin and then riding out to safety… Which makes a lot of sense and I assume is based on actual events.
Andrew: David Lee Roth. A guy that intentionally got lost in the Amazon. Whatever happened, it would be a rescue you would never forget. Or believe actually happened.
Harry: Someone who owns a chopper. Mr. T must have one stashed away somewhere. His "Commandments" album means he qualifies. Plus we could quote Rocky 3 lines the whole way home.
Will: Jack Black. After watching the Pick of Destiny I have no doubt that he’d successfully manage it.
You've been stuck here for a while and food supplies are running low. There's only one thing for it... which fellow band member gets sacrificed to help the others survive?
Chris: I had to think about this one, but after some deliberation, I’d go for Dan first. Although I think Will might be tender due to his vegan diet, Dan would be fresher because he doesn’t drink. We’d have to catch him first as he does a lot running, he’d be quite fast. I’d probably throw something shiny like a shell to distract him from his gruesome fate.
Dan: Andrew, our drummer, he is very tall with lots of muscle, so I think with the correct storage conditions, he could sustain us for some time… Down side, we’d be down a super hero style protector.
Andrew: It would all go 'Lord of the Flies' pretty quickly and I reckon I'd be first choice so after beating them to death with coconuts and my dick I would eat Will first. If you read about cannibalism apparently vegans taste better.
Harry: I'd sacrifice myself for the cause. Rather that than be plucking hair from my teeth for months. Did I mention these motherfuckers are hairy?
Will: Andrew would be the obvious choice, but eating meat doesn’t really work for me - well, I say that now... Maybe I would compost him down and then use that to grow some corn or something. That would be less weird.
Finally, when the ship sank you each managed to save one person from the wreckage. That person is the one musician that has influenced your career the most, shaped your way of thinking and your outlook on life. Who did you save?
Chris: Andrew WK
Andrew: Impossible to choice. Ian Paice from Deep Purple? Steven or Matt from GnR? The Abbott brothers from Pantera?
Harry: Dee Snider. Greatest frontman of all time. And an awesome motivator when shit gets tough!
Will: Pushed for an answer I’d have to say Peter Gabriel. Also I think not only would he be well up for building a functioning studio with me [out of coconuts and bamboo etc] but I reckon he’d actually be able to pull it off too.
Sadly there is no room on our boat, so we have to sail away from Devil's Island leaving the band on the beach, we got worried when Dan didn't appear to answer the last question. Have the boys already sacrificed him for the good fo the group? I'm sure we'll find out in the tell all story that comes out if they ever get rescued.
ICYMI - Check out our full review of Blind River's new album here. And look out next week for an in-depth interview with Harry (recorded before he got ship wrecked)!