1985-05-10 Unknown, Switzerland
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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 Switzerland. The timestamp is uncertain because although the references to magazine articles and songs suggest that the interview took place in 1984, the fact that they had already played in Switzerland would suggest that this interview took place in May 1985, when they performed at the Montreux TV Rock Festival in Switzerland. The file has been transcribed for your convenience, but the interviewer was very hard to hear and so it may contain some mistakes.
- Duration: 06:41 minutes
Interviewer: Welcome to Switzerland. For the first time here?
Andy: Thank you.
Interviewer: Is it your first time here, are you playing your first gig in Switzerland? Do you count your gigs, do you know, is it the first?
Andy: Well we've done one in Switzerland, one in Switzerland.
Interviewer: And all together, the gigs in total?
Andy: In Switzerland?
Interviewer: No, not in Switzerland.
Andy: I don't, a good few hundreds.
Interviewer: You don't have counted. [sic]
Martin: Hundreds and hundreds.
Dave: Yeah, literally hundreds.
Interviewer: Yeah you've toured in Germany, Italy...
Andy: Yeah, we've been everywhere, yeah.
Interviewer: Yeah, and Japan, and that's what I wanted to know. About the audience, Japanese or Chinese, or the audience in Germany and everything. Are there any difference? Which one do you prefer, or...?
Andy: They're all good. They're all good audiences. The Japanese react differently, for instance, at the end of a song they clap like this [claps], you know. They don't make any noise during the song, and they just go wild at the end.
Interviewer: Because I heard on-
Andy: -The Italians like to shout a lot.
Interviewer: Yeah, that's pretty normal.
Andy: You know, just general chanting.
Alan: Actually, they're the best singers, aren't they?
Andy: Yeah, the Italians are the best singers. The English is the worst. The worst thing is Ber-
Martin: The Germans tend to put their lighters in the air, more than anybody else.
Andy: Oh, yeah.
Martin: During the slow songs. If a song is sort of slow for 10 seconds, they'll get their lighters out.
Andy: Yeah, it's marvellous. And they throw them at us.
Interviewer: And Germany is more younger people, more kids, than in England, or...?
Andy: Oh, no.
Alan: Not really.
Andy: The audiences are roughly the same. In fact, quite a lot more blokes, I think, in Germany, not more men. And I would say it's an older audience.
Interviewer: Because, I recognised in the German papers that the interfaces are much more, you know, for kids-
Andy: There isn't really many serious German music papers. They're all really aimed at young kids.
Alan: The thing is, in Germany especially, we don't have much control over the teenage magazines. If they want to put us in there, they put us in there. And we don't want our audiences-
Andy: -lots of stories-
Alan: -And it's hard knock, it's tough, you know.
Andy: They'll make up lots of stories, really, really bad stories about us.
Interviewer: You had no idea, but...?
Andy: No. If we say-
Dave: - The things that certain people lie, you know. They just print lies or do a feature that was in Bravo magazine last week. There was a whole feature that was just like a complete farce. And really, there's nothing that you can do about that. They'll do it even... And that was when the person who had done the feature actually came to the concert and actually saw what went on, and then went away and wrote complete lies. But there's nothing you can do about it. You could sue them if you like, but it would obviously take a lot of trouble.
Alan: Sometimes they write good articles, you know.
Dave: Not very often.
Alan: And sometimes it's lies, but the point is that we have no control over it.
Andy: In Britain, for instance, we decide what magazines we want to be in and when we want to do them.
Interviewer: And they'll go and pay them?
Interviewer: So you can do something and you can read it and they'll pay for an article?
Andy: No, no, no, no. Once you decide to do an article, you just got more control who you do it with, and-
Interviewer: -Well I think it's a dangerous thing, in a way, for example, this Bravo magazine. The kids, they believe in everything, and they put you in a kind of box...
Andy: Yeah. Well there's one particular article where they said that we didn't sign autographs and things like that, and we only played the music for over twenties. And that was really harmful for us, and we got-
Martin: -We got some bad letters after that.
Andy: -We got bad letters after that, which is total lies.
Interviewer: When you started with the band, you played guitar? Bass?
Interviewer: And now you don't find them anymore useful, or...?
Andy: We haven't played them for three or four years now. It was only very early on when we played them, we're not very good.
Interviewer: And for yourself?
Andy: Martin, for instance, he could play a couple of bits of guitar and-
Alan: -He still writes the songs with guitars, often.
Martin: When I first start writing a song I sort of work the chords and the beat with the guitar-
Interviewer: -with a guitar, and then-
Martin: -yeah, I transfer it to keyboards.
Martin: It's funny, because we've been asked about song this more than any other. It's sort of that religion seems to be a very touchy subject. You can sing about sex and sort of nearly get away with it, but religion seems to sort of stir people more. It wasn't really intended to have that sort of effect. It was just something that everyone feels at some point or another. And you always-
Dave: -You don't want to promote that.
Martin: I think everybody [who] sort of goes through a bad hatch, they get this sort of feeling, and that God is just, like, some kind of big joke, and he'll laugh at us all.
Interviewer: And it got banned on TV, or...?
Alan: Not officially, but we've suffered because of the lyrics, we have suffered that we don't get as much airplay. And also, when we did Top Of The Pops with the song, the next day there was loads of letters complaining, and they said that they wouldn't have us back on doing that song again. Unfortunately, we didn't go up high enough to get on there anyway, so we don't know if they would have carried on their threat. But it's not like an official ban, they haven't said "This record is bad". But I think we did suffer a bit because of the lyrics.
Interviewer: Do you think that it's in England more important, or more contradicting?
Andy: Well, there, everyone understands the lyrics, and that's the problem. Abroad, say Europe for instance, the major problem that we are having a bit, in fact, is that it's too long for a single. But they don't really understand the lyrics, I mean, a few people like yourself actually understand what the lyrics are saying. Interviewer: Well it's the title of the song that expects the meaning of the song.
Andy: A lot of people can't even say that.
Interviewer: Yeah! Exactly! [laughter] But, don't you think your German fans, who don't understand, could use a title like See You or New Life?
Martin: We'll take that into consideration next time. [laughter]
Interviewer: Thank you.
- A quick count using this very site tells us that they played 302 gigs up until this point.