1981-11-09 Six O'Clock Rock, BBC Radio Bristol, Bristol, UK
A few hours before the 1981-11-09 Locarno, Bristol concert, Dave, Andy, and Martin were invited into BBC Radio Bristol's studio, where host Al Read was accompanied by two young fans, named Jacqui Slade and Debbie. Jacqui has uploaded this interview 37 years later. Jacqui explains: "The "meet and greet" happened as a result of my phoning the station a few days before the concert to give a shout out to my then-boyfriend Steve and as an aside I said "Tell him I'll see him at the Depeche Mode gig on Monday". The radio show assistant who took my call then asked if I liked Depeche Mode, I of course proceeded to tell her how amazing I thought they were. Then she asked me "Would you like to come into the studio before the gig and interview them?" I nearly fell over, naturally I said YES! She told me another fan [Debbie] was also coming in so we could fangirl together! I was star-struck when I first saw the guys, and a bit daunted at the prospect of meeting them, but they were really friendly and I remember Andy being particularly witty and sweet. Dave and Martin were really chatty too. Vince watched the interview through the glass from the production room as he wouldn't be interviewed due to having been misquoted in the press. I also remember some if not all of their girlfriends of the time were also there watching with Vince. They all looked completely gorgeous! Back at home, my mum was ready to press record on my old Waltham cassette recorder to capture the interview for posterity. After 36 years of the cassette being "lost" it eventually showed up in my loft, where it had been subjected to extremes of temperature, dust, humidity and who knows what else - not the most ideal storage environment for an old audio cassette! The sound quality isn't great, there's some distortion in places. It played back in mono, so I had to create a pseudo-stereo version in [software programme] Audacity. All in all it's not terrible, but not fantastic either. I hope the fun content (I honestly cringe at some of the questions asked by my 17 year old self, though I stand by the fun/silly questions at the end as they made for some really fun interjections from Andy and Dave) help make up for the lack of good sound quality!"
A transcript of the interview was made by Angelinda and Jacqui Slade for DMLiveWiki (see below).
- Duration: 13:06 minutes
Al Read: All in no more than twelve months, I suppose, they have risen from small club dates to supporting artists to headlining gigs at UK's major dance halls, and that's quick. I mean, success has come quick, hasn't it? Were you prepared for it, Dave?
Dave: Was we prepared for it?
Al Read: The success?
Dave: Yeah, all the way, actually. [laughter] No, not really. We didn't really expect it to happen at all.
Interviewer: Jacqui and Debbie are with us this evening, and I am sure they've got some questions. Okay, Jacqui, straight away.
Jacqui: Yeah, right, Dave, how do you actually pronounce the name?
Dave: Depech-ay. The real pronunciation is Depeche, but we call it Depech-ay.
Al Read: So I have been getting it wrong for the last... twelve months.
Dave: So does everyone else, I know.
Debbie: What does it actually mean?
Dave: "Hurried fashion". But it all depends on where the accent is. It can mean a lot of things.
Al Read: How much do you actually feel you control the fashion in music, or does it control you?
Dave: What, clothes-wise, you mean?
Al Read: I mean, the music you play is high fashion, as well as sort of clothes-wise.
Dave: I think it's just 1981 pop music, really. It's not... Fashion doesn't come into it in a big way. I mean, we like to look nice on stage. It doesn't come into it as big as, like, the music is more important than the fashion. So yeah.
Al Read: Fair enough.
Debbie: Did you go to the same school and did you enjoy it?
Andy: Two of us went to the same school, me and Martin. I knew Vince from an early age, and Dave went to a rival school on the other side of town.
Al Read: Did you start playing music at school?
Andy: No, not really, not as a band, because me and Martin left school at eighteen, Vince left at sixteen. Martin left... we formed the band after we was eighteen.
Al Read: Because a lot of bands do start off at school, don't they? They'll be starting with a school band. You got together after that.
Al Read: Okay Jacqui?
Jacqui: Yeah, who designs all your clothes, and have you ever tried designing them yourselves?
Dave: At the moment, me and Andy, and Martin's bought a few as well, from a guy who works in Kensington Market. He's got a small place in Kensington. And we’re buying stuff in there at the moment.
Jacqui: Have you ever tried designing any of your own, though?
Dave: I used to. I used to at college. But I don't do it anymore. I don't have time, really. I'd like to, but I don't have time.
Debbie: What college did you used to go to?
Dave: Southend Tech[nical College].
Debbie: What clothes are you into at the moment?
Dave: '20s sort of clothes, that sort of style.
Debbie: What colour?
Dave: What colour? Eh, I don't know, really.
Dave: I got black, I got another suit, I just bought a creamy coloured suit, and I got a black suit. I don't know, just nice colours. I don't like nothing too loud at the moment.
Andy: Unlike Martin.
Dave: Martin likes loud things.
Andy: He’s a big poof ya see.
Debbie: In his bright white jumper.
Andy: He loves bright poofy clothes.
Dave: Bright white hair.
Andy: The poofier, the better, for Martin.
Jacqui: What groups did you listen to when you were younger and do you think they influenced you at all?
Dave: No, I don't think Slade influenced us, and Sweet-
Andy: -I liked Sweet...
Jacqui: -Gary Glitter?
Dave: Yeah, Gary Glitter.
Andy: ...Sweet and T. Rex.
Dave: I don't think they influenced us in any way, it was just nice to listen to them at that time.
Debbie: What's your favourite group at the moment?
Dave: Simple Minds, mine is.
Debbie: Simple Minds?
Al Read: That's good, good stuff. You only had one synthesizer at the beginning, before you came, Dave. Did you come up with that to change it to a three-synthesizer [band]?
Dave: No, it just developed. Vince was thinking of buying a synth anyway, because he liked Martin's, and he bought one. And then Andy changed, because he was finding it hard on bass – bass guitar.
Andy: I wasn’t finding it THAT hard.
Dave: You was, And, let’s face it.
[sounds of Dave slapping Andy on the shoulder, and more laughter]
Al Read: It's a pretty difficult instrument to get any emotion into. I mean, can you? Or do you in fact not care whether-
Dave: -Emotion, physically, I mean physically with a guitar you can jump about and go wild on stage, but there's more emotion in a synthesizer, I think, because you can do more with it. You've got more sounds in a synth. Whereas if you are using a guitar, you got to use a flanger or some sort of effect pedal to get a-
Martin: What do you even mean?
Andy: -What do you even mean by "emotion"? I mean, how can you justify emotion out of an instrument?
Dave: Physically, I think you mean don’t you?
Andy: I can physically enjoy it; I just press the keys harder.
Dave: Nahahaha, I mean, he means like, running sort of, doing scissor-jumps, things like that. You can't really move about behind a synth much.
Al Read: You got it one way, I mean, you got the synth between you and the audience, is what I am saying.
Andy: Yeah, that's what I mean. I think you can get just as much emotion out of a synthesizer as out of a guitar. I mean, alright, you can bend the strings or something... You can use your cutoff frequency wheel on a Moog Source.
Al Read: They're the same thing. Sounds good to me. Can I just get a track in from the album here? Actually, well, tell me about some of the tracks. I mean, 'Sometimes I Wish I Were Dead'? Not a pleasant one for...
Debbie: Hahaha, I've never heard that!
Andy: That's a very grim number.
Dave: Have you heard it? Have you heard the number?
Al Read: Yes indeed, I have.
Dave: So, we used to do it a long while ago and it was different. It has changed a lot. It has changed quite a few times, innit? And this is sort of the final one-
Andy: -It's totally the opposite of what the song is, really. That's why.
Dave: It's totally the opposite, yeah.
Al Read: What about 'Any Second Now'? Because I'd like to play that one, I think it's a terrific song, that.
Dave: Yeah. Martin-
Andy: Nice little ditty.
Dave: Martin's sung that. It's a nice little ditty, yeah.
Al Read: Well let’s... I’ll tell you what.
Andy: He's got a very Frank Sinatra-type voice.
Al Read: Hahaha, we'll check that out, let's hear it now, okay.
['Any Second Now' plays]
Al Read: 'Any Second Now [Voices]'. With us this evening, Depeche Mode, and that's from the new album 'Speak & Spell'. Well you are down at Locarno tonight. Have you had to add anything to your show since moving up from the small clubs to the comparatively big stages now?
Dave: Umm, not really.
Andy: We got new stands for our synthesizers.
Dave: Not really, though. We haven't had time to, we'd like to... maybe thought about a light show. But really it has just been put together rather hurried, it’s just lanterns, you know.
Al Read: You got the music, and that's the most important. You have done exceptionally well in the Independent Charts with both the previous singles. There is a kind of a thing with the followers of the independent records, that once you make it nationally, they think, "Oh, sold out to the nationals", and all that. Do you care about that?
Dave: Not particularly, no. Not particularly. It's good, I mean...
Andy: Thing is, these days, all the top independent groups, UB40, uh, us, Toyah, they all do very well in the national charts anyway. And in fact, the top three records in the Indies [Charts] these days are generally in the top ten or top twenty [of the national Charts] anyway, really.
Al Read: Fair point. Okay then, Jacqui.
Jacqui: Yeah, right, where did you meet up with Daniel Miller, and how did he come sign you all up?
Andy: We met the legend at Bridgehouse in Canning Town, about a year ago. We were supporting Fad Gadget, another Mute band, who has got a new album out at the moment.
Dave: Give it a little plug there!
Andy: And he saw us and we played to the Bridgehouse the week after. He liked us and he offered us a one-off single deal, which we took.
Jacqui: Would you ever leave Mute Records for a larger record company?
Andy: No, not really.
Dave: Not at the moment.
Andy: Unless something happened if we had a mass... if we broke up with Daniel, if he started smelling or something. Ya know? I dunno.
Jacqui: What about making videos and things like that? Do you think that the record company you're with at the moment is sort of like...
Andy and Dave: We have done a video.
Jacqui: You have?
Andy: Only for abroad, though.
Dave: But it won't be shown in England, because when we made it, the single went down. But maybe you might see it.
Jacqui: What was the video for?
Dave: 'Just Can't Get Enough'.
Jacqui: Oh, right.
Al Read: Which we must hear in a moment. Deb, have you got any more, then?
Debbie: What would you like to have done if you hadn't become... in the group?
Dave: I probably would be working somewhere in London now, window-dressing or something.
Dave: Yeah, that's what I was doing as well. At college.
Debbie: What about Martin? ‘cos you haven’t spoken yet...
Martin: I would probably been still in the bank... working there. I worked in a bank before, before I joined the group.
Al Read: You’re probably making more money than they are.
Debbie: Would any of you liked to have ever become actors... have done acting?
Dave: Not at the moment, I’ve never thought about, but, maybe.
Andy: I don't think we're very good actors anyway.
Dave: We're not very photogenic or anything.
Andy: I know that Martin was in a few productions before.
Dave: So have you, And, haven’t you? You played in a rock band with your bass.
Andy: Oh yeah.
Dave: What was that called?
Andy: 'Mustard Seed'.
Dave: 'The Mustard Seed'. It was a school play.
Debbie: What do you do in your spare time?
Dave: Sleep, when I get the chance.
Andy: I do a lot of reading, and-
Dave: -No, you don't! You're down the pub every night. I listen to records.
Andy: No, I study.
Dave: He doesn’t!
Debbie: Like what?
Andy: I'll just read books and that. I'm reading the Adventures Of Robin Hood at the moment.
Jacqui: Who designed the cover of your debut album? And how long were you in the studio recording it?
Dave: Sorry? Who designed the cover?
Dave: A nutty man called Brian Griffin. He has done Ultravox and Simple Minds, stuff like their covers. And we was in the studio for about six weeks.
Jacqui: Was it hard work?
Dave: Just tiring, really. Just really tiring.
Andy: We have a video game in the computer, that was quite good. Playing Space Invaders.
Dave: It's just really tiring, really. It just makes you tired. I just wanted to get out.
Andy: Because you're in there from eleven o'clock till eleven at night, so that's twelve hours. I mean, we have to go home by train as well to Basildon, so it was about fourteen, fifteen hour days.
Dave: And it's sort of two rooms, two little rooms, smaller than this, you know what I mean, you're in there all day.
Andy: You can't get any social life, you can't go out, well, unless you go to a club Saturday nights, but apart from that there is nothing. You're just stuck away for four weeks.
Jacqui: What clubs do you go to when do you go out? Or don’t you go clubbing?
Dave: Crocs in Rayleigh. And there's a few places in London where we have been asked to go to but we haven't had the chance, really.
Debbie: Have you ever met Steve Strange?
Debbie: What's he like?
Dave: He's alright. Very shy. A nice bloke though.
Debbie: Have you met Duran Duran?
Debbie: What are they like?
Dave: Well, the band were alright. Simon is alright, really, just a bit full of himself.
Al Read: I say we've got Martin, Dave and Andy with us. Where's Vince from the band?
Dave: Eh, he's out there.
Andy: In the other room.
Al Read: And why isn't he here?
Dave: He doesn't do interviews anymore, because he was badly misquoted once by a daily newspaper.
Al Read: Yeah?
Dave: And so since then he has never done interviews, which is fair enough, really.
Al Read: Fair enough, yes indeed. Andy, Dave, Martin, thanks ever so much for coming in, and have a good gig tonight at the Locarno. I take it most of the tickets sold, well, all sold out so we hear?
Dave: Yeah, near enough, yeah.
Al Read: Ah, that's terrific. Oh, Jacqui wants to say one more thing.
Jacqui: Yeah, I just wanted to know, with bands around like Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet and all that, do you think there's any danger of becoming classed in the same sort of category?
Dave: Well I think at first we were, but now we sort of overcome it more, really. Everyone thought the bands at first [were the same]. At first, when the new breed of bands come out, they have to class them together, it just saves times in the papers, when you're writing them. Then gradually, the ones that sort of go anywhere, break away from that. And with a bit of luck, we can hold out.
Jacqui: What toothpaste do you use?
Jacqui: What toothpaste do you use?
Dave: Depends, really.
Andy: Crest, I use. Crest has been in the national press.
Andy: Colgate has been in the national press.
Al Read: It's one of those deep, deep [questions]. Thank you so much.
Debbie: What soap?
Dave: Valderma, I use Valderma actually.
Andy: I only use water.
Dave: I use a non-perfume soap, Valderma actually.
Debbie: What about you, Martin?
Andy: Pink soap for Martin.
Martin: It varies, usually.
Dave: Things like, pink and yellow colours, he loves.
Jacqui: Can I ask you one more? What do you wear in bed?
Dave: What do I wear in bed? Nothing.
Andy: I wear pyjamas.
Al Read: I think this is where we ought to leave it, it’s starting to get ever so personal [questions]. Absolutely terrific stuff. Andy, Dave, Martin, thanks ever so much. And Depeche Mode, d’you wanna hear more? 'Can't Get Enough', indeed we can't.
['Just Can't Get Enough' plays]
Al Read: You just heard Depeche Mode on Six O'Clock Rock, and of course you'll be able to see them down at the Locarno this evening.