1991-05-09 KROQ, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Dave Gahan is being interviewed over the phone on his birthday by Blade in order to catch up on everything that happened in the past year, both personally and work-related. A transcript of this interview was published in BONG magazine issue 14, which you can read below. The next day, Kevin and Bean from KROQ interviewed Dave's mother over the phone, asking her questions about Dave. You can listen to & read a transcript of that interview here.

  • Duration: 07:19



Richard Blade: And then, we have a huge list for birthday boy Dave Gahan, who's 29 today - or was it 21? - amongst the names, we've got so many of them, I'm just gonna read you a few of them: Shane O'Dell, Tamara Slack, Paul Russo, Sharon Meyers, Kelly from Riverside, who is throwing a huge party for Dave Gahan tonight, she sent us flyers for parties she's having. Now, as a special surprise to all of you, standing by on the hotline right now, is someone I wanna wish a very happy birthday to: Happy birthday to you, Dave Gahan!

Dave Gahan: Thanks, Richard.

RB: So, let me ask you... How does the lead singer of Depeche Mode spend his birthday?

DG: Well, being 21 again (laughter), we went out last night to a Mexican restaurant and drank a lot of strawberry margaritas.

RB: Very, very nice. You’re actually spending quite a lot of time in Los Angeles now.

DG: Yes.

RB: How are you finding L.A.?

DG: It’s great! I’m really enjoying it here. I’m just kind of living here for the moment, and I’m actually still keeping my place in London, and I’m just… To tell the truth, I just recently got divorced from my wife, and I’m just trying to set up a new life.

RB: But that’s not going to affect your relationship with Depeche Mode, is it? You being in Los Angeles and them being in London.

DG: I mean, we’re on the phone all the time, and to be quite honest, we call each other a lot more than we used to when we lived next door to each other. But as I said, I’m keeping my second home. I’m spending my time between both places. I’m lucky enough to do that. I just needed to get away and get some space, and think about what I wanted to do. We’re all kind of taking some time now to live a bit. We’ve worked really hard for the last 11 years or something. It’s like the last two years have been just fantastic. Playing here in Los Angeles, two nights at the Dodgers, what more could you ask for? ...Al’s in the studio at the moment with Nitzer Ebb. He’s producing their new album. Mart’s living in London now, and just kind of enjoying himself. I think he’s going to be working on another “Martin Gore solo thing”. I don’t know what Fletch is doing at the moment. I think he’s just kind of hanging out. I think he’s thinking of opening a bar or something. I don’t know what it’s going to be called, but he’s definitely thinking of that. And I’m setting up some studio equipment, and just playing around with some songs and stuff I’ve been working on. We plan to get together again towards the end of the year. Everybody’s writing and stuff, so, there’s no immediate plans as of yet to go back into the studio, but we’ve tentatively said, OK, the beginning of the year.

RB: Well, we’ve heard you were doing a movie soundtrack, or at least a song for one. Is that correct?

DG: Yeah, that’s true. That’s been done. It’s really good. I don’t know if it’s going to be used or anything, but we’ve done a song for a Wim Wender film, which is coming out, I think at the end of the year. That’s as much as we know really.

RB: That’s the movie, ‘Until the End of the World’ with William Hurt?

DG: I think you know more about it than I do, Richard.

RB: Yeah, I hear it’s quite a movie. Now you were seen – not in a long black wig like she was – but going to the Madonna premiere the other night.

DG: Yes.

RB: How was that?

DG: I thought it was really good. I thought it was really truthful. I saw a lot of things in that film that we experience ourselves on the road. In some ways it made me feel a little sick. I know it’s been a while since we finished our last show, which was just before Christmas last year, but even so it was like we were on the road for a long while, and you still get those feelings. When I saw her going on stage, and all the things in her hotel room on her own. There’s loads of stuff there that you see and think, God, you know, that’s what it’s really like, and it was very truthful. I think she really opened up. I think it was brave of her to make a film like that.

RB: You know, there was one line I saw which was kind of hard to relate to not being a travelling artist, and that was her sitting down going, “God, I want some fun in my life.” When you look at someone like Madonna or Dave Gahan, you think, they must have fun all the time. Are there periods when you’re not having fun?

DG: Well, the thing is, it’s fun to be working and doing stuff, and to be in the studio and creating music, and to be on tour and going out there and playing to people, but there are times when it’s incredibly lonely. I mean, I’m not moaning about it. I love it. I wouldn’t do anything else. It’s the most exciting thing you could possibly be doing. I wouldn’t change it for the world, but there are times when you lose contact with your friends, and it can be incredibly lonely and you go, yeah, I want to have some fun. You have to get it together every day to do a show for nearly a year. It’s hard to keep it together and go out there and give 110% performance every night.

RB: Two last questions and we’ll let you get back to your birthday celebrations. The first one is roughly when can we expect a new album from Depeche Mode?

DG: To be honest, I think it will be towards the end of next year. We intend to go into the studio – as I said before – in the beginning of January ’92, so I would say, probably towards the end of ’92 there should be new Depeche Mode material.

RB: And the other one is, spending so much time in Los Angeles, what’s the weirdest time you’ve been recognized? I mean, it must be strange when people bump into you and go, “OH MY GOD, IT IS YOU!”.

DG: It’s nice, you know. To be honest with you I haven’t been bothered that much, and people that have come up to me have been really nice and said “Hi”. It’s nice when people come up and do that and they respect the fact that, OK, you’re from Depeche Mode and they want to get your autograph, but they’re nice about it. I flip out a bit and go crazy when people come up and they’re just screaming about it and stuff. I just kind of run away. I can handle it when I’m on stage in front of 50,000 people, but when it’s just me in front of one person, and they’re staring me in the face, I kind of crumble.

RB: OK now, we’ve got a stack of letters and birthday cards wishing you a happy birthday. I’m going to deliver them over to Warner’s so you’ll get them. It’s Listener’s Rock Block time, and we’re going to play some Depeche Mode. Can you choose two songs that you want to hear from Depeche?

DG: From the last album I’d like to hear “Clean” and… I think I’d like to hear “World In My Eyes”.

RB: You got it. We’ll play them both for you, and Happy Birthday, Dave.

DG: I’d like to thank all the KROQ listeners for wishing me a happy birthday and thanks to everyone for sending me cards, and you know, we’ll be back again soon, so just hang on.

RB: Thanks a lot, Dave Gahan.

DG: Thanks, Richard.

Footnotes by BONG magazine:

[1] Final note: At Dave’s request, we would like to mention that he is living part time in both London and Los Angeles, and has not left London permanently.

[2] This interview was originally broadcast on KROQ radio in Los Angeles, California on May 9, 1991. Transcripts reprinted by permission.


Transferred from non-first generation tape by Sebastian onto Box.com as a 192 kbps MP3 file.