Mari Under the Volcano, a new documentary about the state-of-the-art recording studio that late Beatles producer George Martin built on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, was released today via digital, streaming and video-on-demand platforms.
AIR Studios Montserrat opened in 1979 and was used by some of the world’s biggest music stars until the island was devastated by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Then, in 1995, a volcanic eruption made most of Montserrat uninhabitable.
The film features new interviews with many artists who recorded at the facility, including The Police‘s three members, Dire Straits‘ Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Buffett and Duran Duran‘s Nick Rhodes.
Police guitarist Andy Summers, whose band recorded 1981’s Ghost in the Machine and 1983’s Synchronicity on Montserrat, tells ABC Audio that he considers Under the Volcano “an ode to…Martin.”
“[H]e had this vision to go and build this place on…this very funky island,” Summers says. “That kind of interested me, how he first went there and fell in love with it.”
Andy also notes that The Police felt like they’d really made it when they got to work on Montserrat, noting that it was “the ultimate rock star dream to go to the Caribbean” to record.
Summers recalls an incident during the Synchronicity sessions where the notoriously contentious band members decided to ask Sir George if he’d produce them to help resolve conflicts they were having.
Summers says he visited Martin at his home across the island, and, over a spot of tea, George told him, “I think you’re gonna sort this out. I don’t think I need to come over there.”
Andy says that after Martin’s “calming” words, the band “went through the rest of the album without a hitch.”
Visit UndertheVolcanoMovie.com for more info about the film.
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