2005-10-14 Chum FM, Toronto, Canada
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A phone interview with Andrew Fletcher before the release of Playing The Angel. The file was likely taken from the radio station's website at the time. A fan had tried to transcribe the interview in English on the depechemodeitalia forum at the time, but it does contain some errors and gaps.
- Duration: 12:46 minutes
FLETCH: Well, because, you know, it’s one of the big problems around at the moment,..you know, linkages, things like that, so..(?) but I never saw these things very strange as they seems to be, wanting to do, you know..
Q: But I thought it was very interesting that the absolute darkest song, the most harmonious track on the CD, which is called The Darkest Star, also is where you lifted the Playing The Angel title, from which seems to.., I guess, maybe set the tone for what we could expect from the rest of the album in a sense.
F: Yeah, I mean, we had this struggle to find the title, and in the end we took a lyric from the darkest star…and an “angel”’s the word I enjoy in quite few the songs..is pretty good, you know, we had very pleased with the album and we did it in a different mood than the previous two albums, and had great forces for us, so we are very happy.
Q: yeah, it’s a terrific record, also as far as sonicly I thought interesting that there’s a lot of ..(?).. but there’s not (?)
F: No, we used…I was interested in the producer Ben Hillier, and he wasn’t particularly a big fan of depeche, he did not have the back to look…..and he came back to a lot of analogs, synthetizers, the old synthetizers we used to use, so they sounds retrospect to the record as well, but I think it sounds definitively two-thousands-and-five.
Q:It does, but it’s interesting the track that sounds the more retro to me, towards back a lot depeche mode, interestingly enough is..
Q: No, I disagree, I think Suffer Well !!
F:yeah, that’s based on a Dave’s thought..
Q:It’s interesting because Dave was finding, I know, to be a branch more involved with writing songs, so I thought: when he comes as a writer, he’s probably gonna bring in a really different stuff, and here’s the song that to me is the most effective as a back analog of DM
F:Yeah, the fact is that has worked at it very long, he’s very happy, I think he feels a lot more involved now writing some of the lyrics and I think, the atmosphere generally during the recording of this album-is probably the(?) album we’ve ever made-and the atmosphere is fantastic, it’s still carrying on this work, it’s a good time to be in Depeche Mode!
Q:I..?….you here, ‘cause I know there’s some (past?) that wasn’t so good..
F:That’s true ah ah..
And we got through that a bit!
Q:Yeah, it sounds like it! With the single Precious, you write it as the reflection-obviously-the signature of DM sound,..is that… you know when you decided you want it as a single, is that what goes on the process of … what time have you decided Precious as a single?
F:We just thought it was a really good song, it has good the lyrics, it has a good tune, and sounds like it was in Violator, it is not necessary the sound of the whole album, but it’s just a great song
Q:Which, you know, guys, there’s a lot of depeche music that I love, but over all, Violator is one of my favs
F:Well, it’s probably the best album we’ve ever made….it’s almost magical, specially relating to Personal Jesus, a few months before the album is released, and then Enjoy the Silence, it was just a phenomenon album
Q:yeah, when I listen to a song of…?..A Pain that I’m Used To, it actually makes me think right the way how much people like Nine Inch Nails ought to DM..
F:yeah, I mean, it makes us feel very proud that people do site as improved. You know, when we started we were kids, it was 1979 when we started as a band, we’ve been influenced by certain people, and now, to have influenced other people is a real honour..
Q: Do you imagine that John The Revelator couldn’t have been a single as well?
F:Well, it could, what do you think?
Q:I think so, I think it’s interesting too because, you know, I know you guys have always explored themes…you know there’s a darkness inside of the themes of your songs: redemption, sin, you know, pain, forgiveness..
F:”Pain and Suffering”!!
Q:Yeah, pain and suffering, very good!
Q:But, you know, when you think what’s going on globally these days,…it has been a high number of years…, I mean, this is pretty much your first release since, you know, major events like 9/11, the war in Iraq, do you think that maybe the lyrics now are a bit more timing for example?
F:I think,.. John the Revelator is my favourite track, you know, we had been just wondering a song about revelations, but the general thing is there isn’t only one God, if there was one God people could unite them, and solve a lot of the world’s problems!!
Q:Yeah, there’s actually a very…?...tune, especially in the gospel chorus, too..
F: Yeah..gospel “glam”: Gary Glitter meets gospel music!
Q:You know, when I think about the number of times you guys have played in Toronto, I’ve got to tell you: how was your very first show, was just after the release of Just can’t get enough…
F:we had a jam a couple of days before, it was Macy Hall.
Q:And I remember too, at the Concert Hall, when you guys played there, and you had the big tape machine. This was..I guess..I can’t remember the year, 1980 or 1981…
F:81, yeah, definitively
Q:I still remember the response of the audience was so negative towards synthetizers and the tape machine, I remember people grumbling in the audience about that!! When you think back on that, you know, you certainly find it kinda funny now, especially when you think how music world has involved, now, technology has involved, but do you remember that response when you first came out?
F:I don’t actually particularly remember, you know, because we’ve only been in Toronto thinking it was great, but..we just thought that was the way we could make music, an interesting way to go forth with music, and it’s then when we arrived, and we did have a few problems from usual rock critics and things like that, who found that was a bit strange, but of course I think it was our appeal to a lot of people in Toronto,, which has always been one of the biggest places to play. The fact is that we looked, we sounded different from anyone else they had seen before.
Q:It definitively was a change at the time, I wonder, you know, it was funny to you...?..people who reminisced DM in their early days, you had to go: aha, aha…
F:For us, we feel in a great position, you know, 25 years on. I could say the mood in our concerts is very positive, we’re in a great position, it has been a wonderful journey for us and..we have fans all over the world..very (?)tours…it’s very good to (seeing?)
Q:You are in a unique position, there are a very few bands that can lay 20..?..you know, just so U2 made the other night as well. You not only have been together for 25 years, but were able to make great music for 25 years..
F:..that’s to be continued!!!
Q:And I know that.. I think it was Edge who was talking about Bono and his causes…,while the band is held together, they’re still happy and successful together: there’s definitively a change in the relationship that has been fractured in some cases. How important is it? All you …(qui non capisco, dice go barbecue together..) How important is it to be so cohesive as a unit?
F:It’s not important at all because being in a band is about four different personalities, and it’s about the electricity that is created when you get together in the studio, trying to produce music. People has sometimes this idea that the more we hold each hands the more we love each other, but is that electricity that there’s between the members that is the most important, sometimes tension is good
Q:Now you said that this seems to be a good time in the band. First of all, how are you guys geographically situated? Are you in the same continent..
F:No, we’re all the places, but, you know, with all…and messages we see each other everyday..I mean, Dave and Martin married American women, and went to live in the States, and I still live in London, but it would have been a problem in the early days, when all we had was DM. Now we hall have families, children, and it’s just a different life now.
Q:And do you think that actually makes the band perhaps at this point be able to work better together?
F:I think it doesn’t really have anything to do with the atmosphere, doesn’t matter where you live, especially for a band like us.
Q:So now let’s face that all you guys have families and kids: how comfortable are you with hitting the road for what’s gonna be the better part of the year?
F:As you grow older it takes longer to go, travelling is more? We’re really excited to the concerts, the audience is generally very very good, so I think it’s gonna be good.
Q:What can we expect, what can you tell us from the live show, as far as the stage…
F:It has been designed by Anton Corbijn again, we haven’t seen a drawing at the time, but I think it could be very different from the last tour, and I think it’s gonna be quite special, apart for us choosing what songs to play!!!
Q:Right, will you change those set from night to night or week yo week or anything…
F:You know, we don’t change songs around, but computer highlighting and some aspects can change too much.
Q:And you’re coming back to Toronto om December 1st, and I know you have been here and heard you said Toronto is a very welcoming city for DM..While you are on tour, you have chance to spend a little time here so what.(?)..Do you like it?
F:Yes I like Toronto.
Q:Any good memories?
F:I love Vancouver and Montreal as well
Q:Before you go, I imagine you have a good deal to do with Introspectre, is that a track of your creating?
F:it’s what we did in the studio, Martin wrote it, it’s a whole instrumental
Q:leaving to Damaged People
F:It’s a great song,
Q:Yeah, it’s a great song, the all thing that brought to mind me an angel (???) The video... (non capisco..freak show??)
Thanks so much for chatting with us.
F:See you in November.
Q.That will be great, thanks again, Fletch!