1983-04-06 CR2, China
This is an interview from the bootleg interview disc "Depeche Mode 83-85 Interviews" released by Wax Records several times since 1989. No information on any of the interviews was provided on the disc, but by listening to the interview it can be deduced that the interview took place in Hong Kong on the 6th of April '83. The interview was conducted by Angel Leung for CR2. This was their first time ever in China. The second and last time they'd visit China would be 11 years later.
- Duration: 06:40 minutes
Martin and Dave also did an ID greeting for CR2's 100% Rock show which was uploaded on YouTube but is no longer there:
Angel Leung: Martin, I would like to ask you, what is the French word of the magazine called Depeché Mode"? And you called yourselves "Depeché Mode", does it mean the songs and music on stage are fashionable?
Martin: Eh, not really no. But, we used to have a really bad name when we first started, it got embarrassing after a while so we had to change it. At the time, when we were looking for a name, Dave was at college, and he often used to use the magazine, used to use it, because it was art college, so we just thought we just might as well steal the name.
Angel Leung: What was it, that name, that you were using when you first started?
Martin: We never told anybody, it's too bad (laughs).
Angel Leung: David, how did you boys get sculpted together?
Dave: We got together as a three-piece and I came along, one guitar, bass guitar and drum machine, and Martin playing synthesiser. Gradually, I joined them.
Angel Leung: Is there something you could tell about the leaving of Vince? Under what circumstances did he quit the group?
Martin: We're not really sure of the reason why he left, but we suppose it was mainly because he wanted to do something on his own, and partly because he didn't like being the centre of attention all the time, being famous, and doing interviews all the time, and he didn't get enough free time to write songs and things, and so he left so that he could concentrate on his songwriting. Then he formed Yazoo and now he's basically the same position again, really, because he's even more successful.
Angel Leung: Do you have any comment on Yazoo's music?
Martin: I think it's really good.
Angel Leung: Vince Clarke has used to be the frontman of the group. After he quit, you Martin, took the stand as only writer. What is the biggest difference between your compositions and Vince's?
Martin: It's difficult to say what the differences between the two sorts of songs are. I write in a totally different way than Vince. Vince used to concentrate on melody and he didn't really worry about words. He used to like words that rhymed, and didn't worry about their meaning. Whereas, I tend to worry more about the meaning, and then work on the melodies afterwards.
Angel Leung: Well how do you categorise your music?
Dave: Ehm, I don't think it's very romantic, really. Some of the songs are love songs, like "See You", that type of love songs. But I wouldn't say that on the whole we're New Romantics music, like the whole name that is made up in England. A lot of groups are just sort of put down in that category. And that was a name that came up, and Futurists, things like that, but I don't really name anything, you know, those sorts of names are forgotten now in England. You're just sort of all out on your own, as bands which can pull through that thing, can now establish something on their own, like us.
Angel Leung: The electronic sound is very popular, the metal pipes, hitting objects and such, such as in Hong Kong. Martin, do you think this trend will last?
Martin: I think so, yeah. Because electronic music is just another form of music and alternative, because our music, is just a way of making music, it's not a particular style, so I think it will last because of that.
Angel Leung: Some British bands like Duran Duran, Kajagoogoo and Thompson Twins are really doing well in the American top 100. Any plans of breaking into the American charts?
Dave: Well all those bands that you've mentioned have spent a lot of time in America, touring, but we haven't really spent a lot of time. I think if we probably went over there to the States and just toured for four months, we'd probably be in the top 100, but we haven't got any... We've got ambitions of being big in other countries, but America is not one of our biggest ambitions at the moment, we don't mind being just getting bigger in Europe and other countries.
Angel Leung: Martin, keyboards and synthesisers are very important to British new music and electronic sound. Guitars seem to be forgotten for a while. Is there any special reason that guitars are not so important to new music?
Martin: I think mainly, people have just got a bit bored with them. There's new, less expensive ones now in the past 20 years or so, and now there's a new way of making music. I think people are just more open to it and just go for that instead of using guitars. But, we've got nothing against guitars, I mean, we do actually use them sometimes. We've used them a couple of times.
Angel Leung: Dave, so people think that electronic dance music and diso sound are similar, are they or not?
Dave: Well only the the way that people dance to them. I think disco music, okay, the beat in electronic, electro music is very disco but I don't think it's the same as disco. Disco is very bland, it's not very exciting, you can listen to ten songs from ten different acts and the all sound the same. Whereas electronic music, all songs are different.
Angel Leung: And what are, or what is the band's favourite?
Martin: Our personal favourite?
Angel Leung: Yeah.
Martin: My personal favourite is 'Ice Machine'.
Angel Leung: How about you Dave?
Dave: Probably 'See You', I like the tune, it's a really good single, and 'Leave in Silence'. Quite a lot of the tracks, they're probably my favourite songs.
Angel Leung: How about your views on 'Get The Balance Right'?
Dave: Yeah, well it's not one of my favourites, so... I don't like it as much as I would like to...
Angel Leung: After Hong Kong where will be your next stop?
Dave: Bangkok. It's gonna be two shows, and we're going back to England to complete our third album.
Angel Leung: Any title for the third album?
Dave: Well we've got a sort of working title, it's gonna be something like 'Construction Time Again', something like that.
Angel Leung: If you can listen to your 'Speak and Spell' album and 'A Broken Frame' album, which do you like more?
Martin: I HAVE to say, really, the second album, I shouldn't. If I was to lie, I'd say the first one.
Angel Leung: And do you come back?
Dave: Oh yeah, sure, yeah. We're going back to America in November, so maybe we'll be visiting you again at the end of it, I don't really know. But, we'll be back, definitely.