1984-09-xx BBC Radio 1, London, UK
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- Duration: 06:50
Host: ...The first album you're really proud of, I read in a music paper...?
Andy and Dave: Noooo!
Dave: Well, that was probably slightly misquoted. I mean, we're very excited about this album, we feel that it IS our best album, and the best collection of songs that we've written together, in that way. But obviously we're proud of all our albums. That's part of Depeche Mode history, you know, it's building the albums.
Host: Sure. I mean, you may go back and do things differently now, but they are a fact that they're there, and why not. So what's special about this LP then, Andy, what is it that makes it all maybe just a bit better, from your point of view?
Andy: Quite a few reasons, really. I think that there's nine very good quality songs. I think it's the best collection of songs we've ever put together, and it's got a great variety of things on it, as well, and we've spent a long time over it, writing the songs, recording, really took a lot of care over it, and that's why I think it's the best.
Dave: So buy it! [laughter]
Host: That's the end of the commercial, alright? The thing is, you took a long time there recording it, how long did it take to record?
Dave: All in all, well, writing was probably, what, three, four months.
Host: That bit doesn't cost much money.
Dave: Well, no, but the studio [was] three to four months, actual studio time,-
Host: -Goodness gracious-
Dave: -Actually, for us it's double of what we've ever done before. It's mainly because we too so much care over each sound, and over the production as well, because we're doing the production with Daniel, as a joint thing, and Gareth is now coming with us as well, Gareth Jones-
Host: -Who was engineer on the last album as well, yeah? Dave: -That's right, yeah. Now he has sort of taken over a role with the sounds, with the actual having a say about the sounds and things as well. And the team that we've got now strong and I think the production is so much better than the last album. It's an improvement, and that's what's Depeche Mode about. It's sort of moving on all the time, trying to create a new sound-
Host: Working with Daniel, not only on the prodcution, but he is also sort of in charge in the record company as well, has he given you a lot of time to mature in your way, with no pressure?
Dave: Well, that's one thing that we had been allowed. With Mute, I think we didn't probably realise it in the beginning, but now I really realise it more than anything, that we've actually had room to develop. And if you didn't listen to the four albums in a row, the difference in sounds and song quality and the maturity as well, the maturity has sort of gone through the albums as we've been growing up. No one has pushed us in any direction, it's just something that we've done, and we're all very proud of that.
Andy: Quite perversly, Andy, I think that the fact that Vince quit when he did was probably the best thing that could have happened for Depeche Mode. Does it make you think again? Doesn't it?
Andy: Oh, yeah. I mean, we had to really just start again. And we had to really - because, before, you see, me and Martin were quite lazy people because we let Vince do a lot of the work, and all of the running about, and as soon as-
Dave: -Nothing's changed. [laughs]
Andy: -As soon as Vince left, basically we was in position, we had to keep on the name, because there was no way the group was gonna end at that time, because we had just started.
Host: And you were sort of forced to try to write, and things like that?
Dave: Well, Martin was put in a-
Andy: Martin has been writing for a long time, he has been writing for a long time, and we thought his songs wouldn't be developed into what we were doing at the time, but now, he's... he's great.
Host: Leaping ahead, yes. Now, it's not all electro stuff either, isn't it? Because there's a track called "Somebody" on the LP, which is sort of back to basics, in a way. Alan on piano.
Dave: Well, basically, Martin's theory on that is the "back to basics" theory, which was actually a Jonathan Richman theory. It was going completely back to basics, with just acoustics or whatever. And it was actually recorded within three takes or something, which is Martin singing.
Host: Very live.
Dave: And in just huge room in Hansa, in Germany, in a big studio, we used a big old studio.
Host: What's the theory that nudity entered into this recording as well?
Dave: Well, that was, actually, you see, Martin wanted to get the feeling of, just feeling totally free, actually. So the best way of doing that was to take all his clothes off, so he did.
Host: Oh dear. I thought I read somewhere that there was a girl engineer over there?
Dave: That's right, yeah. We sent Steffi down there, who's the girl taper in Germany, to check out some wires, and Martin, not knowing she was coming down and us knowing that Martin has stripped off, and then we heard a little shriek when she got down there, and Martin going "Eh, eh, sorry, eh..."
Host: Well, you can tell he's got no clothes on, this is the track, this is called "Somebody", and it sort of fades in quietly...
Dave: There's another balled on the album as well that Martin sings, and right from the beginning I felt that it would be better if Martin could sing them, because they're very personal songs. And they're feelings that I didn't have at that time, I don't know, I just felt I couldn't really relate to it as well as I could sing some of the other songs. But not only that, I think it's good to be able to sort of have that thing in the band, we've always been like that with the musical part, there's no one that plays any musical-
Host: -That's true, I've noticed you were kind of swapping around on different keyboards and things-
Dave: -So, why should we do the vocals [that way]? Let's sort of expand with the vocals and things. It's more interesting live and everything.
Host: An extra dimension.
Host: For the light show as well. We're talking to Dave Gahan and Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode and playing tracks from their album "Some Great Reward". As well as the album coming out, you have a tour in the very near future, don't you, Andy?
Andy: That's right, we start on the 27th in St. Austell-
Host: -And I see it kind of runs up to four nights at the Hammersmith Odeon, in November.
Andy: That's right, it's probably the biggest tour we've done in this country, and it's about 30 days.
Dave: And the sampled sounds into those, like we do in the studio-
Host: -So it will sound like you got a piano in the room?
Dave: -a sampled clarinet, and stuff like that. And Al's got his pedals and things. [laughter]
Andy: On the last tour we did use a guitar on a few songs, but, now-
Dave: -Actually, live, using them, well Martin felt a bit sort of suspect about it, he sort of felt... You see, a lot of the electronic bands, or [the ones that] started off electronic, gradually they start using, bringing in guitars and things, and when they do TV shows, they think, "Oh we have to use guitars, because that's what's "in" at the moment." So we sort of felt "Why do that? This is the way we are", so let's be like that.
Host: And you're gonna stick with the tapes that you use, as well, you're not gonna have an actual drummer?
Dave: No, we haven't found anyone tight enough actually [laughs] to play with us-
Host: Haha, oh really? Hahaha, okay. Well let's talk a bit about the tour, because it's a very long tour in Britain and then it goes into Europe, well most of Europe. How do you survive and keep the enthusiasm going for what, nearly two, three months?
Dave: Well, that's, one of the biggest problems, really, is actually keeping up the enthusiasm and sort of be able to go out every night. And what you're doing is giving people hundred percent.
Host: You must be kind of thinking about what you're gonna eat for dinner, aren't you?
Dave: Well I do, sometimes, personally, myself, I drift off quite a lot and I forget what-
Andy: -You know, bad, and they sort of like, have good criticisms. But sometimes they just criticise us as people, and that really hurts because-
Dave: -Or the type of clothes you wear, which actually-
Host: It doesn't have a lot to do with it, it's got nothing to do with it.
Andy: We've put a lot of work into this album, and that's just disheartening, it's not so bad with a single, because they're just a laugh, the reviews.
Dave: I think journalists have like, become totally predictable, basically, to us. We, I'm sorry, but a lot of the time we can predict what they're gonna do.
Andy: Or what you can do: just go to the name at the end-
Dave: Yeah, you give them the tune, you give them the album, you give them the tape and so on, and you could write it yourself, it's all the same.
Host: Write the review yourself. Alright, well I enjoyed listening the LP today, I must tell ya. And good luck with the album and the tour in the near future.
Dave and Andy: Alright, thanks.
Host: That's Dave and Andy from Depeche Mode.