DEVIL’S ISLAND featuring Toranaga

DEVIL'S ISLAND featuring Toranaga

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 recently reformed British thrashers Toranaga 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?

Mike: Oooooh....not sure if I'd grab Slammer's 'Nightmare Scenario' or Onslaught's 'In Search of Sanity'. Both of these are just pivotal metal albums to me, having 2 of my favourite singers (Paul Tunnicliffe and Steve Grimmett). Both of them are so heavy but show a depth in song creation and dynamics (especially 'Every Breath' by Slammer and 'Blood upon the ice' from Onslaught). Can I grab both and use them as water wings?

I think if I have to choose then it's going to be Sanity. That album's never dated; it's 35 years old but certainly doesn't sound it. I know that that album's the one that showed me that you can have brutal thrash metal music alongside the most incredible vocal melodies. I was genuinely devastated when Steve died, especially as I had gotten to know his son Russ.

OMG... and now I've just thought about Flotsam and Jetsam...

Mark: For me it's either 'Holy Diver' by Dio for rock and metal, and the 'Greatest Hits' of ABBA. They are so uplifting and good to dance to! Their songs also are well crafted and have great depth...

Mike: Yeah, I'm a huge fan of the song 'Knowing me, knowing you', A-haaaaa! and by default, Alan Partridge.

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?

Mike: I know it's not a cover, but I had a Judge Dredd Anthrax poster when I was a teen and I would have loved to have that again... it was massive. I think back in the day I loved Anthrax more because I read 2000AD, and I liked that their music really told stories, or summarised literature. Oh actually, I think the 'I am the law' cover was a part of it. Other than that my wall was covered in Megadeth, Slayer et al.

Mark: I didn't have any metal band posters when I was growing up, but I did have Debbie Harry on the wall. What an icon, and Blondie were pioneers!

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?

Mike: I think I'm torn between lager or a fruit cider like Kopparberg or Old Mout. I'm not a big alcohol drinker.

Mark: I mainly drink Lager, so you get the cider and I'll get the lager. Best of both worlds.


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?

Mark: I'd have one of the new Toranaga UK t-shirts to keep the sun ofF my back and shoulders. Very reasonably priced on our Bandcamp or message us... assuming we have internet on the island!

Mike: My Stone Sour wrist/sweat band. I love it and I figure if I'm gonna be on a desert island, it's gonna be hot, and I'm gonna sweat as much as I do when I'm putting on a show live.

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?

Mike: I'm more than happy to be stuck with Mark... he's a good lad, been through a lot and has some great stories. But it would have to be my wife Mel as there's no one else I would want to be stranded with. She's the best!


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?

Mike: Slammer in Durham Uni in 1991. What a moment to see one of my fave bands live. I was right at the front. Loved every minute of it and got my inner sleeve signed. I didn't even know they were playing that night and if it wasn't for me going to Durham to buy 'Nightmare Scenario' that very day, I'd have missed them. When I went to pay for the album the guy behind the counter said "Are you going to see them tonight at the Uni?"

Talk about right place and right time. I was so excited when they returned to the scene last year, and it's a shame that circumstances have taken them away just as quickly. I am loving Paul's band Chiang and Enzo and Izak's doom band Wolves In Winter

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?

Mark: Bruce Dickinson.... because he can come and fly us out of there on either Ed Force One or some other vehicle. Let's fly off the island in comfort and style! He can also bring some bottles of Trooper.

Mike: Also fuel consumption won't cost him because he's always singing about how it's 'Running free'.

Not strictly a musician, though he has sung in the episodes, I'm gonna have Michael Dorn from Star Trek (the Klingon 'Worf'), He's been a pilot since 1988 and can fly jet fighters. That's cool. Plus I reckon he could take Bruce in a duel.

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?

Mike: Me! I'm the most succulent, tasty morsel in the band. I'm also the biggest... more meat! Mind you, Liam can really eat, so he'd devour me in days. Might be best to sacrifice him, but oooh, the hair balls.

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?

Mike: Jason Newstead... that guy is amazing, undervalued in Metallica and a certified Bass God. Burton was unique, but Newstead for me just had more talent. I also remember that he did an interview and said that when he started playing, his amp was terrible and he learned to play heavy and loud and I had the same start, so I feel the most kinship to his style. He also went from starting one band, to being in one of the biggest bands in thrash and metal, and came out of it alive. He was under-appreciated by Metallica.

Thanks for your time. We hope you get back to dry land before you're next due out on tour!

Mike: Luckily the rescue team's here! "Hey Bruce!" and he's just in time to get Toranaga UK out on tour with Riot City in June and a few more dates beyond to ease in our return before we focus on the 35th anniversary of our album 'God's Gift' in 2025...

6th June London - Black Heart
7th June Newcastle - Little Buildings
8th June Bristol - Gryphon
28th June Stoke - Rigger
6th July Bridgwater - Cobblestones

See you at a show!!!

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