Watch The Trailer For A New Documentary About George Martin’s Famed Montserrat Studio
Next week, a new documentary about George Martin’s famed Montserrat studio is coming out. It’s called Under The Volcano, a reference to the Soufrière Hills volcano that has caused a lot of destruction on Montserrat. Using archival footage and new interviews with artists who recorded there, the doc aims to trace the 10 years that Martin’s studio existed, and all the music that was made in those rooms.
Around the time Martin was finding success with the Beatles, he was also getting screwed by the powers that be at EMI. Eventually he left and started Associated Independent Recording. Then, in 1979, he opened an AIR studio on Montserrat — his idea being that he could create a focused Caribbean escape for artists to come and work within. Part of the trailer talks about island paradise, artists being able to get away for a bit. They try to drum up some drama later in the preview, talking about how the isolation could fuel already-combustible bands like the Police, or the sad conclusion of Martin’s studio. After damage from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 — and what he identified as changing music industry strictures — he had to close it.
Through those years, though, some major, major artists recorded at Martin’s Montserrat outpost. Paul McCartney, Elton John, and Jimmy Buffet were all there. Duran Duran recorded Rio there, while Dire Straits recorded Brothers In Arms there. The Rolling Stones completed Steel Wheels there soon before the hurricane ended it all. Under The Volcano promises to give a glimpse of all that. You’ll be able to see for yourself on July 26th, but for now check out the trailer below.