2001-02-20 KROQ, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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Dave Gahan was interviewed in the studio by Kevin & Bean on February the 19th, to promote the forthcoming album Exciter. In addition to world premiering the first single 'Dream On' (not included in the audio file), Gahan spoke of the new video, different musical techniques that the band took in the studio, and future plans of the band, among other things.

The file was taken from depechemode.com; recording, uploading and info by Daniel "BRAT" Barassi.

A transcript of this interview used to be on depeche-mode.com, see below.

  • Duration: 21:25

Dave then also recorded a message for Kevin & Bean's Christmas CD, which was released in December that year. KROQ uploaded that message on SoundCloud in 2010.


Audio transcript

Kevin and Bean: It's the world famous KROQ, 106.7, K. R. O. Q. and the Kevin and Bean show at 8:44. hmm... Well not wait... who ... that sounded like Depeche Mode.. but WAIT! we don't have that... that doesn't come out for like 2 months. That would be a brand new song called "Dream On" from Exciter. It's the Kevin and Bean show, it's KROQ and its Dave Gahan. How ya doing Dave? Daaaaaaaaaave (claps) good morning!

Dave: Good Morning.

Kevin and Bean: Welcome, glad to have you here.

Dave: Glad to be here.

Kevin and Bean: How's it feel to play the new song already?

Dave: Um, Well you would be the first, sounded pretty good...yeah.

Kevin and Bean: Yeah! I guess that's better than "oh my god that sucks, I hate that, I didn't realize it was going to sound like that, we to go back to the studio!" Well now, it's been... What has it been four years since Ultra, right?

Dave: Yeah, let me just put these on... I can't hear you Mr. Bean.

Kevin and Bean: OK, if that's what you need... headphones, headphones. There you go. There's Dave.

Dave: There we are.

Kevin and Bean: Four years since Ultra, give me a... uh... the short version of where four years goes in your life.

Dave: Uhhh...let me see... what did we do.. yeah, it seems like we...

Kevin and Bean: You slept for like a year after your last tour...

Dave: Well not really, no... Actually, I felt very, you know, excited after the last tour to be honest and um to get back into doing work. It was great, it was really good being out there and uh...and it felt really different to me and.. and...you know see all the fans and everything...

Kevin and Bean: That kind of just whetted your appetite to do a little bit more?

Dave: Yeah.. I feel like that a lot now, you know. I'm enjoying making music, again, um.. um.. I'm trying to do much better work with my.. with my voice, and stuff like that, stretching me self and.. uh.. just wanna keep working, you know?

Kevin and Bean: How do you fill up four years though, doing stuff.. what...uh

Dave: It doesn't seem that long, to be honest, uhhhm, since I was here before, like last time. But, uh, I feel a lot different now, to what I did then, and I feel a lot more confident about who I am and what I wanna do... and what I wanna do with my life.

Kevin and Bean: Is making the music difficult? Is it hard to make the album? Cause some band it comes, they do it in 5-6 days and some bands it takes years.

Dave: Well, it 's a bit of a process with us, yeah... But the actual recording time is not that long really. And um.. we worked with producer Mark Bell this time, famous for stuff he's done a lot with Bjork. It was great, you know, and he was very, very instrumental and very, very hands on. You know a lot of the music with stuff that's going on now is very Mark Bell.

Kevin and Bean: Does the producer of a project make that big a difference or... I mean some producers you don't really notice, some producers make a big difference?

Dave: Uh.....I think it depends on the band and what you do. Yeah. When Alan left us, he was kind of our musical director he would help to take Martin's songs and uh...develop them and push them to an another place. When he left, we kind of had a hole there, you know, we didn't have anybody to do that. so, we've had to...with the last album it as Tim Simenon and a crew of people working as well. And this one was just basically Mark Bell. And Martin seemed to be a lot more open to Mark, like, giving his influence, and um he was a lot more open with me, as well, like experimenting with my voice more. On this album I kind of like do some different things with my voice that you wouldn't expect from me. And, you know, try to challenge myself a lot more, uh.. with songs like "Goodnight Lovers" and another song called "When the Body Speaks." It's not typical of what I might sing on a Depeche Mode album. And then you also get Dave Gahan doing Dave Gahan in his gothicness (KandB laugh) on songs like uh "Dead of Night" which is you know I get to play out all my favourite sort of roles.

Kevin and Bean: I laugh, by the way, when I hear some of those gothic Depeche Mode songs when I pull them out from time to time or when I hear them on the radio. I always think, cause.. cause...now having spent a little bit of time with you over the years, I picture you are the opposite of a gothic guy to me. I mean, you're, the time that we've known you, you're mostly been upbeat and happy and friendly and just delightful... you're just like the last person I expect to be doing moppy rock.

Dave: well... I only do that.. I only do that for you (KB laugh). Most of the time I'm back in my hotel room laying in my coffin...

Kevin and Bean: I understand, right. We talked to uh.. Dave Grohl a moment ago and he said he met you one time and was surprised how happy you were and upbeat. I mean are.. are you still surprised by that, that view of you?

Dave: (laughs) You know what, I think I have all those sides to me, like we all do. and um...you know, if I want to go to the darkness its very easy.. It's a lot easier to do that for me than just kinda be so optimistic about life in general. um...but these days, to be honest, I'm just like.. damn grateful to be here and to be having the opportunity to do all this stuff. and...you know and I just came here this morning and there's like, you know, 30 fans or something, down there in the parking lot, you know, 8 o'clock in the morning. you know that's... I mean.. come-on we've like around for 20 years and there still like, they're for us?

Kevin and Bean: Yeah that's pretty amazing.. After 20 years 30 people like your band.. I mean that's pretty impressive!

Dave: Yeah yeah, we're doing well you know.. we're looking at some places on the Strip for the tour. They said they WILL be there...

Kevin and Bean: The last time we had you on our show, Dave, is when you called in for the Richard Blade Farewell show, which has been what? its gotta been a year and a half ago or something like that. Am I remembering this correctly, at this time, had you just had a baby back then?

Dave: Yes, I have a little baby daughter now called Stella Rose...she's 18 months and she's...

Kevin and Bean: Well that explains where a lot of your time has gone...

Dave: She is like the apple in my....I mean, I am in love, big time. This little girl is like a gift, big time.

Kevin and Bean: Has it changed your life more than you ever expected it would?

Dave: Uhmm... yea...I think... yeah...I think I was just I'm more ready, I'm more ready to be dad and learn how to be a father and stuff like that, and you know, your kids teach you that, you don't get any training before.

Kevin and Bean: No you don't, and you don't have any choice. You're it or not!

Dave: Yeah.. (laughs) that's it. and it's a.. it's a joy.. it really is.

Kevin and Bean: Now she's gonna have to be something that you'll have to think as you start planning how much you wanna do for the tour on the new record, too. I mean, is this the type of thing where you'll take her with you, or what?

Dave: Um.. she'll, they'll come out and visit me. Uh, you know uh, my son, in England's gonna come and visit as well, and spend some time.. . he's 13 now.. so...he's gonna come over to...uh...the states and spend some time on the road. And um, my wife and my step son, Jimmy and Stella Rose as well. They'll come out a little bit, but you know, its hard to.. like, to be honest, to travel like that all the time you know. and.. its not gonna be so bad, the whole tour will probably be over and done with in sort of like 7, 8 months, or something like that.

Kevin and Bean: Which for most bands is a big tour, but for you it's pretty small, isn't it?

Dave: Yeah.. yeah.. it's.. you know.. it's.. enough.

Kevin and Bean: It's enough but not too much.

Dave: Yeah you don't want to over do it, you know.

Kevin and Bean: Dave Gahan is in the studio, we need to take a quit break. You gonna stick around?

Dave: Yeah..

Kevin and Bean: Got the new Depeche Mode CD with a bunch of little snippets which I believe you can find at depechemode.com, is that correct?

Dave: That's right.. www depeche mode.com

Kevin and Bean: You can get it there, or you can hear it here. We're gonna talk more with Dave when we come back on KROQ.

Kevin and Bean: It is uh, the Kevin and Bean Show, it's 8:56 and Dave Gahan is in the studio from Depeche Mode. Speaking of, uh, Grammy week, you guys ever won a Grammy, Dave?

Dave: No. We've never won anything.

Kevin and Bean: Really, you never won a Grammy? What do you mean you've never won ANYTHING?

Dave: We.. We came close.. uh.. we came close with um.. stuff uh.. I think on.. during the Songs of Faith and Devotion period. There was a couple of like those award type things in.. in Europe. Um, let's see.. we were nominated for I think a film of something, a Grammy once. I think. Maybe 101, actually? I'm not sure, one of those things.

Kevin and Bean: Right. We've got a bunch of losers in our studio today! Geez!

Dave: Yeah.. yeah.

Kevin and Bean: How can you be so successful and never have…

Dave: David.. David GROoohl... he didn't.. he...

Kevin and Bean: He hasn't won anything, either!

Dave: He hasn't won, either? Ahh... you know...

Kevin and Bean: The new CD is gonna be called Exciter it comes out on May 15 if I have my information here correct. What's Exciter mean, Dave?

Dave: Well, um.. we wanted to, again, to get a title that was, um.. we liked Ultra and Violator we like to kind of .. like have some kind of theme throughout the years of Depeche Mode. Um, Martin actually came up with the...with the title. And what we did is we had a couple of other titles going on and we...we stuck them up on the wall in the studio and kind of lived with them during the recording. And uh.. yeah, it just stuck.

Kevin and Bean: It's a word that sounds good.

Dave: Yeah, it sounds good and.. you know, all the songs on the album basically all.. all...deal with they're all.. aspects of love. Whether.. lust.. and.. and...and..all this stuff that goes on inside ..in...when you're in love with someone.. or not.

Kevin and Bean: Would you say that's the theme to the album?

Dave: Pain, you know, pain.. what is it, what's the other stuff. Let's go thru all the negative things.. come-on see if you can throw some in for me.

Kevin and Bean: A rash. (all laugh loudly) You get a rash sometimes, depending on who it is...

Dave: Yeah! (laughing) there's a song particularly about that!

Kevin and Bean: You have a rash song? Salve...is required, a visit to the doctor...

Dave: Infectionnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnns. (Realise?)...Guilt!. Shame!

Kevin and Bean: Do you like that people listen to your album as a whole, a theme, or do you mind if people pick out a song they like and listen to it over and over, again? Cause some people would prefer that you kinda take it as a whole.

Dave: Yeah. Um.. I, I think of it like that.

Kevin and Bean: You do?

Dave: I do think of it like that. I mean we try to put the songs together on the album to.. to sort of take you on a little journey, um and we've placed a song at the end... The last song on the album is called "Goodnight Lovers," which is kind of like a... feels like a lullaby, feels like a sort of doo-wop lullaby. Um, and we've got all the Depeche Mode electronicness to it and stuff. There's a lot of songs on here that got influences like bluesy, sort of doo-woppy, like 50's sort of influences to them as well, um.. um...but in a very Depeche Mode sort of way, um...

Kevin and Bean: You know were were playing "Dream On", we world premiered the new depeche Mode song "Dream On" a couple of minutes ago here.

Dave: yes...

Kevin and Bean: And you made reference to being out in the desert... working on the video?

Dave: yes...

Kevin and Bean: What is your concept.. what are you trying to do for the video of that song?

Dave: Um, basically the.. it's uh... I'm doing a lot of driving, driving around in the desert, but it's actually driving around like, anywhere. And...I'm going somewhere and as I'm driving around I'm thinking about this thing that maybe happened to me, like a flashback that I keep getting. And..and, um, the director was Stephane Sednaoui, I think I said his name right, if didn't I'm sorry Stephane.

Kevin and Bean: Gesundheit!

Dave: He's a crazy Frenchman. And.. um, it was a lot of fun actually. I really enjoyed it. I mean, it was a big deal for us. We've.. we.. kind of went over the top with this one a bit, and um.. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. But he kind of really got the song. It was..you know, the vocal is really close, as though I'm singing in your ear and um.. um.. a bit dark.. umm... and uh.. the melody, the melody and the rhythm guitar is quite.. you feel like driving. I don't know, I do anyway.

Kevin and Bean: When I was listening to it, it reminded me most of your songs.. of Personal Jesus.. it has that same kind of DURDURDURDURDURDUR!

Dave: Right.. Right

Kevin and Bean: I'm sorry, what does it have? DURDURDURDURDURDUR! Which is a great driving around song...

Dave: You know, we're looking for a drummer, actually.

Kevin and Bean: Haha! You can see that he's got that... I DO have the rhythm, that's what I got! Alright, all I know, we got to take another break. Can you stick around for one more?

Dave: Sure.

Kevin and Bean: Talk some more with Dave Gahan. We got some clips from the new CD, give you a little taste of what its gonna be like when we come back on the world famous KROQ.

Kevin and Bean: This is the world famous KROQ, 106.7, K. R. O. Q. and it's the Kevin and Bean Show at 9:08. This is uh, Grammy week at the Kevin and Bean Show. We had Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters last hour, Dave Gahan is in the studio right now. Whatya bonus for us, by the way, because the album's not even coming out to May, but Dave is here. It's going to be called Exciter, and we already heard "Dream On" a few minutes ago. Now, we're not allowed to play anything else from the record, I understand? Is that right, Dave?

Dave: Yeah, we..all we have is like little snippets that we've, uh...

Kevin and Bean: Snippets, is what we got right? Is that because of Napster? Has that ruined your ability to sort of sneak songs slowly?

Dave: Um, I think so, yeah, I mean.. um. Yeah, basically. Yeah.

Kevin and Bean: Because people steal it and they download it?

Dave: Well, it.. it happens anyway, you know, it happens anyway,um...

Kevin and Bean: Do you hate that? What do you think about Napster?

Dave: What I think about it is, in the words of Keith Richards (assumes Keith Richards voice) "um...yeah...if it ain't bootlegging it man.. than you ain't having it." (KB laugh)

Kevin and Bean: Yeah, Dave, we uh, we went to Napster yesterday and we downloaded a song that's off your new CD Exciter called "Breathe."

Dave: (Holding back laughter) Yeah...

Kevin and Bean: And we just played it for you, and it's not the new song, "Breathe."

Dave: (Laughing) No!

Kevin and Bean: And you can't even identify it!

Dave: (Deadpan) I haven't got a clue what it is. I...

Kevin and Bean: OK, this is Dave Gahan singing. I'm gonna play it. What we got off Napster as "Breathe," but it's not "Breathe." I'm gonna play it for the audience and he's hoping some of you Depeche Mode fans will be able to call us and tell us what this song is, cause it's not "Breathe." He can't identify it.

["Surrender" played from lyric "shackled like an animal, chained to my desires"]

Kevin and Bean: But it really is you Dave?

Dave: Yeah.

Kevin and Bean: It's not a (honourable?) impersonation?

Dave: No... (holding back laughter) that is me. Yes...

Kevin and Bean: You should see the look on his face. He's like "I can't figure out what this is"

Dave: I... you know...

Kevin and Bean: Is it from an ill-fated recording session you did with Master P, maybe? Something you laid down and then threw out?

Dave: No..! It...this.. definitely went out and stuff....I'm just...

Kevin and Bean: Some kind of a B-Side?

Dave: I'm shocked how fried I am. [KB laugh]

[Song reaches lyrics "I'm a man of flesh..." and David joins in live on "and booone"]

Kevin and Bean: He's singing it. We do have a guest on the phone, we do have somebody who thinks they may know what it is.

Dave: (loudly) It's probably Martin. [All Laugh]

Kevin and Bean: Um. Connie? What do you think it is?

Connie: It's Surrender.

Dave: Surrendeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr! That was it! I knew that! I knew that...

Kevin and Bean: You SHOULD know that. You sang it!

Dave: I was getting there.

Connie: Yeah. What a beautiful song it is. It's so beautiful, I always listen to it.

Dave: Which.. which album.. or.. was it like a b-side or? Connie: Right.. It comes out on "Only When I Lose Myself."

Dave: There you go. It was the b-side. Oooooooooo yeah.

Kevin and Bean: Isn't it great to have an audience that actually knows more about your band than you do?

Dave: Yes, thank god.

Kevin and Bean: I mean really, there's a lot of them that follow you so closely they could probably beat you at a trivia contest.

Connie: I could.

Dave: Well they..they.. help me.. with the..on tour a lot of the time and they help me with remembering the words.

Kevin and Bean: Is that right?

Dave: You know, I can look out and they're mouthing everything and if I can just stay a little beat behind, I'm alright. [KB laugh]

Kevin and Bean: Connie, what did you think of "Dream On" you heard it for the first time this morning?

Connie: Ooooooo, my god. I was so excited to hear it. It was so beautiful. I loved it.

Dave: Thank you.

Kevin and Bean: We were told not to give any advance warning, because we don't want it necessarily be up on Napster. But yeah as soon as it came on you could tell it was Depeche Mode, couldn't you?

Connie: Of couuuuurse.

Kevin and Bean: Alright Connie, thank you.

Connie: Thank you. Ok, can I say something really quick to Dave?

Kevin and Bean: Sure. Sure.

Connie: I love you sooooooooooooooooo much, Dave. I admire you and Depeche Mode so much .

Dave: Thank you.

Connie: and I've been a very big fan ever since I was younger and I just wanted to say that I admire you so much.

Dave: Thank a lot and thanks for your support.

Kevin and Bean: Thanks, Connie.

Connie: Thanks.

Kevin and Bean: Bye, now.

Connie: Bye.

Kevin and Bean: She came up with it, right there. One mystery solved, right there.

Dave: I knew that. I was just testing. [All laugh]

Kevin and Bean: Do we want to play some clips, maybe, from Exciter? Do we have time to do that? Yeah.. yeah..Do you mind? Let's go down.. I think there are 13 tracks is that right?

Dave: Uh. probably...Is there 13 tracks? Is it... 11 songs. OK. Oh yeah, this a couple of the, a couple of the, uh I gotta say this 'cause a couple of the pieces of music on there they're like, they're small pieces. They're like interludes.. like from.. you know they're not full songs or anything. They're just instrumental interludes.

Kevin and Bean: Alright.. this is uh... "Dream On" a little piece of what we already played about a little bit, a half hour ago.

["Dream On" Snippet]

Kevin and Bean: Dave, uh, do you worry at all about getting your songs played on the radio as.. especially when you take four years between records? A lot of things change with what's popular and what's not.

Dave: Oh yeah, yeah. I mean that's happened throughout our career to be honest. And.. and throughout the time we're making music. There's..there's always new stuff happening and um, you know... I, yeah, I don't worry about it, but you know, I want people to hear our music on the rad.. I want music to go and buy our music and I want people to come and see us play. Otherwi.. , you know its like...

Kevin and Bean: There are a few bands, who um, who kind of stand outside of what's going on, and you're one of them. Like, U2 for example, seems like we've played them since the beginning, regardless of what music has.. what has happened to music and what's happening to music at the time. And you're one of those bands that you just do your thing and there are plenty of people that are into it that you don't need to figure out what's going on in music.

Dave: Yeah... Right...Well, we're very... we're blessed to have that, you know, I think, and it's a very unique place to be in this industry, that were everybody kind of pocket in little areas and its kind of pushed and that's it. And when it's over, it's over. We've managed to sort of survive through that. Yeah, there's a handful of bands, basically.

Kevin and Bean: You ever think about how long Depeche Mode is gonna last? Cause not many groups have stayed together as long as you have, already.

Dave: Um, yep we go.. we still..you know, who knows. It's like we go from album to album, tour to tour and after and it's like afterwards, after everyone, I'm like "Alright that's [Word edited out]

Kevin and Bean: You can't use the F* word, sorry. Do it again. He's never gonna do that again is what he's saying! Right, emphatically!

Dave: Read my shirt!

Kevin and Bean: Yeah your shirt says it all!

Dave: Yeah...

Kevin and Bean: Let's play a couple more clips. This is a song called "Sweetest Condition." This is about 30 seconds of that one. Potty mouth. Hehe.

[Snippet of "Sweetest Condition"]

Kevin and Bean: Little taste.

Dave: Um hm.

Kevin and Bean: Little tiny taste for you of what's coming out. And these clips, by the way, again are up at www.depechemode.com, if you want to get a chance, uh, hear them more later. Give me a couple of other one's here, Dave, we don't have time to play them all, but what are your favourites from the LP.

Dave: Um...

Kevin and Bean: Like Dave remembers the titles.

Dave: Yeah... No, I do on this one. Um, when it's that close. At.. at the moment, I think "Goodnight Lovers," the last song. Which is, I kind of sang it in a way that it was like a little lullaby to my daughter. I....

Kevin and Bean: Let me find.. This is uh.. a little clip of that one, "Goodnight Lovers."

[Snippet of "Goodnight Lovers"]

Kevin and Bean: I see what you mean by the little doo-wop in it.

Dave: Yeah.

Kevin and Bean: Check that out.. It's cool. It's different.

Dave: Yeah.. its.. Yeah it's...Yeah it is. It's very.. It feels very different. It was.. It felt very different when we were recording it and stuff. Um... Um.. and you know, there's.. there's a couple of songs on there, that.. that are special to me. There's another one as well called "When the Body Speaks," which, um, you know is basically Martin and myself... Martin playing guitar, We, I recorded the vocal and he recorded guitar, and we.. together. It was a real special little moment in the studio and um...we to keep it like that, as much as we could. And we added strings and like this throbbing sort of bass thing underneath.

[Snippet of "When the Body Speaks"]

Kevin and Bean: So, we're gonna have to wait 'til May 15 for that?

Dave: (Very matter-of fact) Yeah. [KB laugh] Yeah.

Kevin and Bean: This, uh, this tour you're talking about, you'll be out on the road for 7-8 months or so, what size venues do you think you're gonna play this time around?

Dave: Um.. We're gonna play... We're doing some... Gonna... in the, in the State's here, we're gonna do some like outdoor, like, sheds and stuff and some indoor arenas. Like, 15-20,000 capacity type. And maybe in there we try and throw a couple of little things in there that are a bit smaller and intimate.

Kevin and Bean: And might you do one of those in Los Angeles?

Dave: Oh, I hope so.

Kevin and Bean: Might they have the words "Weenie" or "Roast" in it? [KB laugh]

Dave: Uh.. that depends on how much you play our music.

Kevin and Bean: Well, if there's one station you can count on to play your music it's KROQ.

Dave: That's right.

Kevin and Bean: Dave Gahan...

Dave: Thank you.

Kevin and Bean: ...thanks very much, we appreciate it..

Dave: Thanks a lot, guys.

Kevin and Bean: Great to see you and congratulations on the.. on the baby, too.

Dave: Thank you very much.

Kevin and Bean: Alright.