UNDER THE VOLCANO
DIRECTED BY: Gracie Otto
Back in the ’80s, AIR Studios Montserrat was the birthplace of hits including Dire Straits’‘Money For Nothing’ and The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’. The studio, which also hosted Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones, was a hit factory. It also saw its fair share of bad behaviour from the stars who tried to catch musical magic in its remote Caribbean location.
This revealing documentary, directed by Australian filmmaker Gracie Otto (below left), charts the rise and fall of AIR Studios, which lay in the shadow of an active volcano. So what inspired Otto to make the film? “I’d never heard about AIR growing up, but my producer Cody Greenwood’s mum lived on the island for some time in the ’70s,” Otto, 34, tells WHO. “She was kind of an original local and then told us about how it became this incredible A-list place.”
Custom-built by Beatles’ producer Sir George Martin in 1979, AIR Studios Montserrat boasted state-of-the-art recording facilities. However, at the peak of its popularity, the studio was destroyed when the island was hit by a series of devastating natural disasters. “It was magic for a time and then it was gone,” says Otto. “I really enjoyed speaking to Sting and the other members of The Police who made two massive albums there, and shared some incredible memories, before all was lost.” Capturing an amazing, if brief, moment in music, Under the Volcano is a must for fans of those hits.
(Available for digital download now)