DEVIL'S ISLAND featuring Star Circus
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 Star Circus 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.
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?
Sophie: That's an easy one, Operation Mindcrime by Queensryche. I could honestly listen to it on loop for hours- best album of all time!
Dave: There are a lot of albums that I’ve loved over the years, but I always go back to ‘III Sides To Every Story’ by Extreme. I bought it when I was about 12 years old and it was really a gateway to progressive rock, symphonic rock and all kinds of stuff. It’s such a great album for light and shade, there’s some great singles on there but also some huge emotional songs, particularly ‘The Truth - Everything Under The Sun’. If you mention Extreme, most people tend to go for Pornograffiti, with all the big singles. ‘III Sides..’ Is more of a Marmite album I think, you either hate it or love it. I think it’s one of the most under-rated albums of all time.
Jon: Oh, I’m gonna have to go with Ritchie Kotzen's album 'Into the Black'. The record struck a nerve with me in my late teens as I was going through some darker moments. Every time I put it on it sounds like I’m listening to it for the first time yet still feels so familiar at the same time.
Alex: A night at the opera by Queen! The arrangements, versatility of genres and stylistic choices are very smart and original!
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?
Sophie: Probably Ghost Reveries- Opeth. I love that image and it's a fantastic album.
Dave: I have Sophie’s original painting of our album artwork for ’Separate Sides’ on the wall in my studio, it’s next to me as I type this! But if I have to choose something by someone else it would be Boston’s debut album. The spaceship-guitar with the skyline on top, it’s just so crazy and epic! It also just reminds me of listening to ‘Peace of Mind’ and ‘More Than a Feeling’ on my parents record player when I was about 14.
Jon: For me I’m putting up Whitesnake's 1987 album! Great artwork and in my opinion the bands best line-up.
Alex: Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold
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?
Sophie: My drink of choice is a double vodka diet coke, I don't think I'd ever get bored of that, but I guess I'd be drunk the whole time in that case.
Dave: That’s really hard, I get bored of drinking the same thing over and over on a night out. I usually switch between bottled beers and various spirits, sometimes cider too! If it’s a desert island I’d have to go for Southern Comfort and lemonade, it’s my summer drink.
Jon: It has to be beer, an IPA of some sort. Nectar of the gods! I believe beer was often giving to sailors in vast amounts as part of their daily rations as water was so scarce. Therefore, I’d imagine having beer on tap could help subsidise any water intake on such a parched desert island. I know Sophie and Dave like their spirits which often leaves one with a hefty hang over and devilish thirst, I would be in a position to offer them my ration of h20 🙂
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?
Sophie: I mean, Dave is not only my bandmate but my partner and best friend, so this is not really sounding like too bad of a situation to be honest because there's no one I'd rather be stuck on a desert island with.
Dave: Yep, Sophie is my girlfriend and Jon and Alex are really good guys. If we were stuck there indefinitely it would be nice to have my family there too, particularly my awesome little nephew Kai. But otherwise it sounds pretty perfect. Were we travelling with our instruments on the way to some shows? We could jam all day!
Jon: I'm sure Alex would have mentioned some one like Motley Crue or Tommy Lee. Yeah sure it would be fun for 48 hours but for an eternity? That would be savage! We're all pretty good mates in the band and we all get along pretty well. Dave and myself go back relatively far and have been on the gigging rollercoaster for almost a decade and half, Dave may be add a few years to that number so yeah I couldn’t see myself hanging out with anyone else but the Circus crue \m/
Alex: Tommy Lee from Motley Crue.
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?
Sophie: Both Nirvana and Alice in Chains performed absolutely legendary MTV Unplugged shows (I get that it was a TV show, but I think it still counts as a live gig). I love how you can feel and hear the intimacy of those gigs, and they really captured an unrepeatable moment in time. I think I'd pick the Alice in Chains show if I had to choose.
Dave: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, Wembley 1992. I saw it on TV when I was 11 and it was the moment when I decided what I wanted to do with my life. Plus, there are so many of the most legendary rock, pop and metal bands of all time on one stage together, is that cheating?
Jon: Haha a walkman? They haven’t been around since the late 90’s! Unless you're counting the CD ones which you would have squeeze into your side jacket pocket as they wouldn’t fit into your typical jeans. Funnily enough, I found my dad's old walkman while rooting around in the basement. It had Iron Maiden's 'Piece of Mind' album wedged inside of it . With a couple new batteries and a quick dust down I spent the evening blasting it out through the cans! So yeah, I’m gonna have to with a show from the Somewhere Back in Time tour.
Alex: Avenged Sevenfold live in LBC 2007.
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?
Sophie: I'm trying to think of someone who seems like they'd have good survival skills... I think Bruce Dickinson has some military experience so that sounds like it might help.
Dave: I was gonna say Bruce, he can fly planes and nearly died playing a show in Sarajevo, he’s the guy! But as Sophie got there first, I reckon Henry Rollins would be my next choice, he’d be able to handle it.
Jon: The Police/Sting... motherfucker wrote a song about it!
Alex: Axl Rose?!
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?
Sophie: I'm a gatherer not a hunter haha! I would definitely rather die than resort to cannibalism, particularly as I don't eat animal products of any kind, so I guess if Jon and Alex really wanted to then they could feast on my corpse.
Dave: I think Sophie and I would go off foraging for nuts and berries and leave Jon and Alex to try and eat each other!
Jon: Initially I was gonna say Alex. He’s fresh meat and probably tasty as far as humans go, less toxins that come with age and years of debaucherous behaviour and all that…. But on the other hand Sophie and Dave are both vegans so I doubt they would be inclined to consume him, this island is pretty rock n roll and has a pub/bar which most probably serves dry roasted peanuts, they all do. That will keep them going for a while. Dave is a bit older than I am so he would probably be the worst tasting of the bunch, a bit leathery I could imagine 🙂 so for that reason I’m going for Sophie, Sorry Soph…. but at least 2 of us would survive.
Alex: Jonathan. Sorry man...
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?
Sophie: That's a tough one, my music career is only just beginning so I suppose I'm thinking more about someone I look up to. Robert Smith is definitely a musician who has influenced me in more than one way, and he seems like an overall awesome person with a really interesting outlook on life that I tend to agree with.
Dave: It would have to be Brian May. He’s one of the main reasons I started playing guitar in the first place, he’s a great songwriter and a really humble guy, having met him once. He turned vegan in his 70s! He stood up for the badgers! He built his first guitar out of wood from a fireplace! He’s also an astrophysicist with an IQ of 180! Every day I try to be a little bit more Brian May.
Alex: James Hetfield from Metallica!
Jon: Doug Aldrich. A great guitarist and a really nice man. I met him in Brighton and we had a chat and he gave me a hug and a bunch of picks.