1997-02-18 KROQ, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Daniel Barassi and Dave Gahan

Notes

Dave was at KROQ-FM in Los Angeles to conduct an on-air interview. Besides premiering tracks from the album, he also picks a winner for the Star In The It's No Good Video contest. Although Dave is in his confessional mode here and does keep returning to introspective themes, the chemistry between the three men is awesome and the DJs deftly and gently steer him towards more cheerful subjects. David said there was no plan for a tour, but there was a possibility of a few selected "launch parties", where the band would play a few songs off the new album, in some major cities like Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, etc. David also mentioned that Alan had a new baby, and that he was pretty sure that Alan was working on a new Recoil project.

This file was recorded and uploaded by Daniel "BRAT" Barassi on Depechemode.com. This interview is also available on an unofficial CD called "The Interview Sessions".

A transcript was provided on Sacreddm.net (now-defunct).

  • Duration: 51:38


Daniel Barassi had also attended the interview, and wrote some extra info on his personal site at the time:

  • David has moved from Los Angeles to New York.
  • Depeche Mode are working on their own web page.
  • When I questioned David about the remixes for "Barrel Of A Gun", he said that of the two Underworld mixes, he liked the Soft Mix, saying that he liked the way the vocals were presented in the mix. I won't say what he thought of the hard mix though. ;)
  • Also, he confirmed that one of the remixers for the upcoming "It's No Good" single would be Dom T (Dom T previously has done remixes for Massive Attack, among others).

Audio

Audio transcript

BEAN: So how' ya been?

DAVE: Errm -

BEAN: You look great!

DAVE: Thank you very much.

BEAN: You look fantastic!

DAVE: Thank you!

BEAN: No, I'm just saying...you know, you hear Dave Gahan, all you see is the fuzzy surveillance videos anymore on the TV, and now - all I ever see is, I see him on "Cops", that's the only place I ever see Dave Gahan anymore, and I walk in, and he's clear-eyed, and strong, you're smiling and happy and you just look terrific, man, it's great.

DAVE: Thanks very much.

BEAN: How ya feeling?

DAVE: I feel very...new to this world.

BEAN: Really? Man, and after what you've been through, that's something. How long have you been clean now?

DAVE: Errm, I got clean, first thing like, last June.

BEAN: That's very impressive. That's a long time.

DAVE: And you know, the truth of it is it's a one-day thing. I have today, and I make a decision every morning, and get up and I hit my knees, and I make a decision and I basically ask God to help me through the day, help me to keep clean, keep it real simple - you know, I'm praying to the ceiling...

BEAN: ...But what the heck?

(Dave laughs)

He didn't say it, but we'll pretend.

DAVE: Sorry. But anyway, basically it's a choice I have to make every day.

BEAN: Right.

DAVE: And it's something that is going to be ongoing for the rest of my life - but being part of life is something that I really want. There's nowhere I can run anymore. I can't run away from myself, and that's what it's all about.

KEVIN: Let's go back to the big tours that you guys were on for so long, because a common theme in a lot of the articles about you guys and a lot of things that you guys have said is that those are just - they just kill you, those tours just...wipe you out.

DAVE: Well, you know, to be honest, what happened in the last tour was in the making for quite a few tours, and quite a few albums. It was-- We were off and running with the whole-- Depeche Mode was our whole lives. It was priority.

BEAN: For fifteen years or something.

DAVE: Yeah, and errm--

BEAN: Because you guys in the Eighties were coming out with an album a year pretty much, and over here you just--

DAVE: Yeah, and we toured and, the thing is what happened was, I think, we just like let it run, and before we realised it, we didn't know where we were. We didn't know who we were anymore, just as people. And it wasn't just myself on the last tour that kind of had a lot of problems. Everybody in the band did. Very different problems, but basically the same kind of...

BEAN: ...Kind of stuff, right...

DAVE: I have really got verbal diarrhoea - I'm sorry! (laughs)

BEAN: No problem! (laughs)

DAVE: I apologise! But...you know what, I take that back!

BEAN: The reason we have the delay is for guys like you, Dave. It's OK man, you can catch it... So - yeah, so you're out there, and--

DAVE: I'm told I've got to get honest, and I've got to be myself.

BEAN: You're being yourself alright!

KEVIN: So what does it do to you, those tours, when you say you lose yourself, what does that--?

DAVE: OK, what I mean by that is you give...For myself, it had to be everything, you know? I wanted to give everything, I felt like...Those two hours that I was up there on stage, that's when I felt like I had a purpose. That's when I felt alive. That's when I could immediately get a fix from the audience, from the whole atmosphere of a Depeche Mode gig. It would... I could stand there behind my microphone, and I could stand my feet on the floor, I could show off for two hours, and I'd get applauded for it. And it's-- you know, I'm a big kid, in this adult body. You know, the classic story.

BEAN: So it's the problem that the other 22 hours of the day you're looking for something that replaces that high.

DAVE: It's just...the other 22 hours of the day, it's just like, "What am I?"

BEAN: You're coming down.

DAVE: "What am I?" And you know what, you ain't gonna get higher than that.

BEAN: Yeah, no kidding. Hey, Kevin and I were talking before you came in, we saw you at...I saw you at the Rosebowl, when you did the 101 tour--

DAVE: Cor...yeah.

BEAN: Kevin and I saw you at Dodger's Stadium, and we can't even imagine what that's like when you're playing a venue like that, with that kind of crowd. And the crowds were fanatics, too. Fanatics.

DAVE: You know, I don't know why I've been given this gift, to be able to experience that, I really don't. And I think the big thing about it is not to question it too much. What was happening was, I played the rock star, I played the rock star with all the cliches and all the trappings, because I thought that's what I was supposed to do if I really meant it. And now I realise that I could have done both. But what I need today in my life is, if I really want to give, like from my heart, I have to be able to give to myself first. Because otherwise I've got nothing, you know, I have nothing. It doesn't matter if you sell like ten million albums, it's all very wonderful and everything but you know, if you go back and sit on the couch and switch on the weather channel every night, you know there's not much going on!

KEVIN: Hey, that's what Bean does, oddly enough!

BEAN: I read an interview with you that was on the internet last night, it might have been from one of the British magazines but you talked about watching the weather channel for twelve hours at a time.

DAVE: Yeah...

BEAN: Was that an exaggeration or were you just veggin'?

DAVE: Well, you know, no it wasn't an exaggeration, it was just that it was very...there wasn't too much information going on there, it was like sslllloooowwww...And...

BEAN: You could keep up, you could follow it.

DAVE: It didn't have to get too A.D.D. ...

BEAN: Not much plot.

DAVE: I knew what was going to come, because basically living in Los Angeles it was gonna be sun...

KEVIN: We've got Dave Gahan in the studio, the new CD is called "Ultra".

BEAN: What is the date that's coming out? You know off the top of your head, Dave?

DAVE: Ooofff...

BEAN: April is what I heard, does that sound right?

DAVE: April 14th? Help me out, somebody?

BEAN: And it's been five years since the last album?

DAVE: It'll be four years, pretty much to the day, I think, when it comes out.

BEAN: Wow. That's a lifetime these days, isn't it, to go between records.

DAVE: It sure feels like it.

KEVIN: Tell us..."Sister Of Night", tell us about this song that we're about to play.

DAVE: This song was the first, like, completed vocal that I did...We recorded part of the album, this was, I guess, like last spring or something, in New York - coming up to May, yeah, and just before my birthday. We went there for eight weeks, pretty much, to do vocals, and this is all I did.

KEVIN: What's it about, what's the song about?

DAVE: The song is, for me, it kinda takes me through what was wonderful about being in love, everything about it, and then, by your own actions, how you can destroy it.

(intermission)

BEAN: We were talking during the song, Dave, as you were telling us how this album was recorded - it took a long time to record, this one did?

DAVE: Yes, all in all about 15 months.

BEAN: And in the middle of that somewhere is when you lost one of the founding members of the Depeche Mode, right? Alan left the band. [1]

DAVE: We actually lost Alan before we even started recording that.

BEAN: Oh, did you?

DAVE: Six months after the "Songs Of Faith And Devotion" tour he decided that he'd had enough.

BEAN: What's up with that?

DAVE: Errm...You know, I think it was happening way before - I think it was happening around when we were making "Songs Of Faith And Devotion". Alan put in a lot of work. He put in a lot of work, and the thing is, if you're going to put in all that work, fine, do it. But afterwards, don't kind of turn around and say, "Hey, I did all this and what do I get back for it?" There's a lot of ego stuff goes on, as we know, in these bands.

KEVIN: So he was bitter that he did a lot and didn't get recognition.

DAVE: It just got to the stage where it was like, "I do all this, and I don't think I'm respected." And that's really sad, but I think Alan had to do what he had to do.

KEVIN: Do you stay in touch? You guys have obviously been friends for a long time.

DAVE: The last time I saw him was just before we started recording the album. I know since then he's had a baby, and I think he's in the process of making his own record again, the Recoil project, and I've got nothing but...You know, I love Alan. I mean he was in the band with us for like, fifteen years or something. I mean, it's a family. This is the most dysfunctional family in the whole world. But we are a family, and all the stuff that's gone on, throughout, these are my brothers, and it is a brotherly thing. Sometimes you hate your brother, and it's like, "Get out of my face", but there's something there that's really special.

  1. Alan wasn't a founding member: he joined the band for touring only in 1982 and became a 'full-time' member at the end of that year.