1985-07-21 Radio 21, Belgium

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Martin Gore is interviewed in the third week of July, 1985, around the time when DM went to Reading to record It's Called A Heart and Fly On The Windscreen.

  • Duration: 11:35

N.B. My French listening skills are not so great, so I'm sure I made some grammatical/spelling/orthographic mistakes in transcribing the questions in French, but I hope I got the gist of it. Native speakers shouldn't hesitate to send us any correction(s).



Interviewer: Martin Gore, ma premiere question sera un question globale sur l'existence d'un groupe comme Depeche Mode en 1985. Aujourd'hui tous les groupes utilisent electronique dans leur musique. Alors, n'est pas difficile de se trouver un identité dans un groupe typical electroniquement en 1985?

Interviewer (translation): Martin Gore, my first question will be a global question about the existence of a group like Depeche Mode in 1985. Nowadays every group uses electronic in their music. So isn't it difficult to find an identity within a typical electronic group in 1985?

Martin Gore: I think the difference between Depeche Mode and most of the bands, especially Duran Duran and Thompson Twins and a lot of bands in that ilk, is that we are virtually a 100% electronic band, whereas the bands such as the Thompson Twins and Duran Duran and many other bands are basically rock bands that maybe have one synthesizer or something in their line-up. And our whole way of making music is totally different. We make music electronically: hardly anything is actually hand-played, we use a lot of computers, and we have been known to use a guitar here and there when the sound will fit, but basically that is all we use. I think, although we sample a lot of sounds, you do come to a stage where it becomes difficult to think of new ideas, but I don't think it's very difficult to find your own identity because you find yourself creating a lot of interesting sounds, far more than any conventional band would have, that you can use again. Like, there's one sound for instance, which we call a "hank", which is actually a guitar string plucked with a coin, and it's a very interesting sound. We've used that on about, I would say, 4 different tracks, because we really liked the sound, and we find it interesting. And that, in a way, gives us an identity, because they're sounds that people relate to us.

Interviewer: Dans Depeche Mode, tous les membres du group sont claviéristes, mais en studio chaquelles utiles un rôle particulier? Je pense par example à la programmation des boites à rique, ou la programmation de Fairlight?

Interviewer (translation): In Depeche Mode, all members are keyboardists, but in the studio, who has a particular role? I'm talking about programming the digital instruments or the programming of the Fairlight...?

Martin Gore: Although there are 3 keyboard players in the band, we all have got different roles, really. Mine and Alan's overlap a bit, because we're the more musical [ones]. We handle the musical side more, whereas Andy doesn't really play a musical role in the studio. He more of, like, an 'ideas' man, he might come up with a few ideas. But when it actually comes to programming or playing any parts, he would leave it to us. And Alan is more of a keyboard player than I am, and I probably do slightly more programming than Alan does. But yeah, sometimes the roles do overlap slightly.

Interviewer: Pour reparler de l'identité du group electronique, vous ne reimagez utilisé l'ultime cliché eletronique, le vocoder. C'est un parti pri que vous avez utopie d'ils ou pas?

Interviewer (translation): Talking again about the identity of an electronic group, you never thought about using the ultimate electronic cliche, the vocoder. Is it a primary advantage to have over other groups, or not?

Martin Gore: Not really. I think we might have used it once, I think it was once on Speak And Spell, but not in a conventional sense. It's just, usually, it sounds funny. Most of our music, especially these days, isn't really that funny. And whenever you use a vocoder it just makes people laugh, really.

[Interview cut]

Interviewer: ... le cinquième membre du Depeche Mode, votre producteur, le parton du Mute, Daniel Miller?

Interviewer (translation): ... the fifth member of Depeche Mode, your producer, the patron of Mute, Daniel Miller?

Martin Gore: Daniel Miller isn't very musical at all. Although in the past he has made his own records, I think if you were to ask him if he was a musician he would say "no". He virtually knows nothing about music, really. He's just got a lot of very good ideas, and he knows how to work synthesizers very well. And he really helps us out there because we knows far more than we do about, sort of, the equipment.

Interviewer: Daniel Miller s'occupe maintenant dans un groupe très interessant et sinistre et grand longtemps beaucoup sur Radio 21, c'est "I Start Counting". Tu peux me dire plus à leur sujet?

Interviewer (translation): Daniel Miller has currently been taking hold of Radio 21 with a very interesting and sinister group for a long time, they're called "I Start Counting". Can you tell me more about them?

Martin Gore: I think they're from London, and... really, I don't know that much.

Interviewer: You don't know them?

Martin Gore: I've met them a couple of times, and I like their records, I like the last two singles, but I don't really know that much about them. I know they played a few concerts, I went to see them play them live once, and they had a bit of a disaster. Most of their keyboards broke down. But apart from that... I think they're possibly recording an album later on this year, but I don't know any definite plans.

Interviewer: À l'epoque du Speak And Spell, le premier album de Depeche Mode, tu avais un look plutôt sage. Maintenant tu portes des colliers du chien. C'est un ambience qui vous trouvez à Berlin?

Interviewer (translation): During the era of Speak And Spell, the first album of Depeche Mode, you had a rather wise look. Now you're wearing dog collars. Is this a style you've found in Berlin?

Martin Gore: No, not really. Over the past 4 years, our image has changed drastically, and when we look back and we see, like, some of the things that we wore earlier, we're slightly embarrassed by it. It's just something that has happened. The music has changed drastically, as well, and the clothes that we wear now sort of fit the music more.

Interviewer: Tu collectes comme toujours les discs du label Allemand, Ata Tak?

Interviewer (translation): Are you still collecting every record from the German label Ata Tak?

Martin Gore: I think I've got virtually all the Ata Tak catalogue. I haven't got every record, but nearly all of them.

Interviewer: Quelle est ton groupe favourite sur label Allemand?

Interviewer (translation): What is your favourite group on a German label?

Martin Gore: Der Plan.

[Interview cut]

Interviewer: ...tournée votre premier hit aux États-Unis avec People Are People. C'est votre chose que vous avez l'attendez le plus l'attend?

Interviewer (translation): ... tour, you had your first hit in the United States with People Are People. Is it something you had expected to be waiting for even longer?

Martin Gore: It's been something that's been gradually building over the last 4 or 5 years, and we never expected it to happen. It was a total surprise to us. When we planned the last tour over there, we expected it to be same sort of tour as the previous two: quite small halls, you know, sort of quite packed but not totally full, and go down quite well, and then we come away and it would be same sort of sales, record sales... But, the tour was the first thing that surprised us, because we found we were playing sort of massive places. Especially on the West Coast, some of the places were, like, 15.000, most of them were at least 6.000, and we started to see that things were actually happening over there. And now, it's just like, every week, the news is better. So, the album is still going up the charts, the single is going up the charts. And although it's still a surprise to us, the tour was the main surprise. It was just totally out of the blue. We thought someone was joking with us when they said, 'You're playing in front of 15.000 people tomorrow.'

Interviewer: C'est là un chance d'un nouveau projet dans le moins à venir?

Interviewer (translation): Is there a chance of there being a new project in the next few months?

Martin Gore: No. I think that's a real danger. If were to go back to America and tour again, then your material starts suffering. We did consider it; it was put to us to go back to America now and it would be really beneficial for us over there. But the trouble is, it just takes too much time. And then you'll find that the next single, the next album, starts suffering because of it. So we're not actually planning to go back over there until next spring '86.

[People Are People is being played]

Interviewer: C'est était, je pense, que on le mettre en boîte votre album. Ils seront registré dans un studio à l'Ouest-Berlin?

Interviewer (translation): That was, I guess something that will be put on the next album. Will you start recording again in the studio in West Berlin?

Martin: I don't think so, no. We've just been recording a new single, and we recorded that at a place called Genetic, which is in England. It's Martin Rushin's studio. That was sort of in the countryside near Reading. And I think for the next album we'll go somewhere totally different again. Berlin, Hansa, is a really nice studio, it's just that, after a while, you start getting bored with the place. It's nice to go somewhere different, just to find a new place.

Interviewer: Pour le savoir, quoi sera le titre prochain du single?

Interviewer (translation): Out of curiosity, what will be the new title of the next single?

Martin Gore: I can only tell you a working title at the moment. The working title is 'It's Called A Heart'.

Interviewer: Pourquoi n'y avait vous jamais utilisé un studio évident comme le Kling Klang Studio de Kraftwerk?

Interviewer (translation): Why have you never used an obvious studio like the Kling Klang Studio of Kraftwerk?

Martin Gore: We found Hansa by accident, really. We had always worked in England until that point. And then we met Gareth Jones, our engineer, who had worked in Hansa a lot. And he just said, 'This is the best studio I ever worked in, you should try it'. And so we went over and tried it out, and it we thought it was really a nice studio, and we used it for a couple of years. Now it's time to look for something else again, so now, maybe we would go to somewhere like that, there's all sorts of possibility, could be Paris, could be Denmark, could be anywhere, really.


This file has been transferred from tape into MP3 format by Stéphane Devillers.