DEVIL'S ISLAND featuring Ghostbound
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 find Ghostbound sat on the beach. The island is far from their home, so how did they end up here and how did they 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?
Alec: 'tis a cruel and unusual fate that awaits the man that can only choose one album. I suppose if I had to choose any one record, it would have to be what I have long-deemed to be my all-time-favorite record, and that record is none other than Faith No More's Angel Dust. It is, frankly, one of the most bewildering albums to ever be released on a major label. No two songs sound alike, the production has this wonderfully compressed, squished, cinematic quality to it that allows all of the non-rock-instrumentation (namely the keyboards) to really act as a true sense of atmosphere to the music. Then, of course, there is Mike Patton's peerless vocal performance that never ceases to inspire me. It has been an all-time favourite record of mine going on nearly 25 years.
Talha: I think it's pretty well recognized that this is a masterpiece of an album, but The Cure's Disintegration has been my favourite album for a very long time and is my desert island disc. Not the most uplifting of records but it's The Cure at their finest. Gloomy as always but more expansive and atmospheric than ever.
Noah: Definitely couldn’t live with just one, but I will answer with at least some degree of confidence: REM’s ‘Automatic For the People’. I’m not even that familiar with REM’s other releases, but this record in particular conjures up fond memories of being with my family during the summer. Lyrically, it’s a mostly dark record, but I tend to get more absorbed in the actual music than the words. Provided that I can always skip ‘Sweetness Follows’ and I can blast ‘Everybody Hurts’ on repeat as I comfort my depressed bandmates who are shipwrecked with me, this will be the perfect record in this situation. Rest assured, this will not cause any discomfort or awkwardness, whatsoever.
Dave: Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2. If we’re stranded here we don’t need to mark the time with lyrics, vocals, verses, choruses, or any of that. We’re just going to turn this environment into an atmospheric soundscape. I will be wrestling the CD player/MP3 player/whatever from my bandmates/fellow maroons and insisting SAW2 play in a loop, indefinitely; we’re not listening to anything else, OK? (I actually did this in an office once, for like ten days. Just SAW2 in a loop. Eventually a coworker came in, threw a Thrones CD onto my desk and said, exasperated, “HERE’S ANOTHER CD; PLAY IT!”)
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?
Alec: Do we each get a shack, or is this one shack for all four of us and we each only get a wall? I have no favorite cover art, specifically. Perhaps The Waterboys' This is the Sea, as a cruel, ironic joke to remind me that all around will be water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. But in all seriousness, I would probably choose Killing Joke's first self-titled record from 1980 OR perhaps Discharge's Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing. I love the stark, over-exposed, black-and-white austerity of both of those covers. I may throw Rudimentary Peni's Cacophony or Death Church on there, as well, just to be cheeky.
Talha: For me it would have to be one of the classic prog album covers of the 70s. I've always loved their use of vivid colours and fantastical imagery, and the artwork is actually part of the reason I got drawn into the genre in the first place. I think the prize would have to go to either King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King or Pink Floyd's Animals.
Noah: Primus, ‘Sailing The Seas Of Cheese’. Getting shipwrecked will surely eat away at my sanity. If we prove incapable of sailing the ocean blue, perhaps we can, someday, sail the Seas of Cheese.
Dave: Badfinger, No Dice. I hope it’s a poster of the full gatefold album cover. This would be the exotic rock equivalent of a pin-up girl.
There's also a bar on this here island. But alas each of you only get to choose one drink for the entirety of your stay. What's your tipple of choice?
Alec: WITHOUT QUESTION, I would choose a glass of Red Breast Irish whiskey with two rocks and perhaps a trace amount of water to dilute it just a touch. If that proves to be unavailable, then I will take some Rochefort 12 trappist ale, which is perhaps the best beer I have ever tasted in all my days.
Talha: A nice gin and tonic will do the trick for me. Cooling and refreshing.
Noah: Some form of Cruzan Rum infused punch. Unapologetically leaning in heavily with the island theme here. If not that, then I’d chose the Nitro Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing.
Dave: Any pissy lager, cold. Thanks.
Your suitcases were lost when your ship sank, but you each managed to salvage one item of band merch. What’s the merch and for what band?
Alec: Definitely my Fields of the Nephilim t-shirt, as this pale Brooklyn-denizen needs to be properly bedizened in a black band t-shirt in an effort to ward off the harsh island sun.
Talha: For a metalhead I don't really own too much band merch, but I have a Carcass shirt that I really like and would certainly wear on the island. How else would I let my potential rescuers know that I'm hip? Plus Carcass are awesome.
Noah: I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that Kiss has some sort of solar-powered, long distance distress beacon that fits perfectly in my suitcase. That bad has made merch of every conceivable medium, so this has to be it. Nope…not going to Google it. Just going to blindly believe that this is a thing.
Dave: My Leviathan logo shirt, just because it fits really well. Unfortunately, though, it’s black, like all the merch shirts I have. Not good for being out in the sun. Is this a tropical island? Maybe I’ll cut the sleeves off.
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?
Alec: My wife along with all of our pets.
Talha: My lovely girlfriend.
Noah: No hesitation: my significant other. Would much rather be with her than these bozos.
Dave: My kids…NOT!! Frank, the dog. Man’s best friend.
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?
Alec: Attending a live show is remarkably different from listening to one, to be clear. It would be any one of the shows from which Fields of the Nephilim's Earth Inferno live album was culled and/or the tour that comprised Ministry's In Case You Didn't Feel Like Showing Up.
Talha: Mogwai, one of my favorite bands of all time, did a live performance on the BBC's Quay Sessions while supporting their album Every Country's Sun in 2017. I re-watch the entire performance on YouTube about once a month so I'd have that on my walkman. Perfect setlist, perfect performance, perfect sound engineering.
Noah: It’s a Gwar show from 2006. It has to be. End of answer.
Dave: Pixies, the Rat, Boston MA 1988. Favourite band (at the time), in their true prime, classic venue, the best night ever. Would be nice to remember.
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 most suitable for a rescue attempt. Who is it?
Alec: Didn't Simon LeBon from Duran Duran once rescue an entire crew after the yacht they were on capsized? Actually, scratch that. Bruce Dickinson, because the man is an actual pilot who flew a rescue mission during a particularly hairy, war-torn period in Lebanon's history, as I recall. The man can literally fly you to safety. If any of my bandmates say "Jimmy Buffett" we will have to have a very serious talk.
Talha: Sting. He'd probably be able to buy the island. At the very least he has a helicopter. Maybe he'd serenade us with Fields of Gold as we fly off into the sunset.
Noah: If Aqua Teen Hunger Force has taught me anything, it’s that Geddy Lee has his own jet in the shape of a bass. I would not want to be rescued any other way (okay fine, maybe Bruce Dickinson too…).
Dave: Thor Harris, from Swans. He’s super handy and could probably build and deploy a rescue craft with his own two hands in short order. (I once received a big sweaty man-hug from Thor Harris, and I can attest that he truly does give a good hug, so he'd be good for overall comfort when morale runs low, as well. - Alec)
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?
Alec: Definitely Noah, because he is by far the most agreeable of us and also because he is the bassist.
Talha: It's an unwritten rule among bands that the bass player would be sacrificed in these sorts of situations. Sorry Noah.
Noah: Alec. I think at this point, the over-exposure to ‘Everybody Hurts’ has driven him mad, and he’s made several attempts to end my life. It’s me or him at this point.
Dave: Horrible question. Are we offing the guy and eating him, or just reducing the competition for sustenance? I think we’re just going to let everyone live and subsist on the beer.
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?
Alec: This took some thinking. I am going with Scott Walker. The man did whatever the fuck he wanted and continued to challenge himself AND his listeners throughout his his entire career, specifically in his twilight years. The fact that his voice remained in top-shape seemingly until his dying day is just incredible, to boot. There was no one like him.
Talha: Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth. Hearing Opeth for the first time as a teenager was a revelation. I actually got scared the first time I heard Mikael's voice - I had never heard someone go from such beautiful cleans to harsh, low gutturals before. His songwriting has played an enormous part in shaping my views on music, specifically what one can actually fit into a "metal" song from a composition standpoint. I actually met him once and took the most awkward photo I've ever taken with anyone with him. Hopefully he still remembers me.
Noah: I’m still holding on to the possibility that this is Geddy, and his super bass jet is involved in some way.
Dave: Ryosuke Kiyasu. One man, one instrument. All you really need.
Thanks for your time. We hope you get back to dry land before you're next due out on tour!
Alec: Thank you so much! Ghostbound is, thankfully, quite at home with being at sea. Our new E.P. is about little else, in fact.