2006-03-26 Toazted, Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Dave Clarke interviews Martin Gore prior to Depeche Mode's concert in Ahoy, Rotterdam. Notably, Gore had recently given up drinking at the time of the interview. The file was uploaded on Toazted's website for a long time. Someone named 'DM Lover' has made a transcript of it on the depechemode.su forum (corrected by Angelinda).
- Duration: 9:20 minutes
Dave Clarke: - Dave Clarke interviewing Depeche Mode, please, introduce yourself.
Martin Gore: - Hello! I am Martin Gore from Depeche Mode.
DC: - There you go. OK! Um, A Pain That I'm Used To, was that always gonna be the opening track, was that intentional to have such a sonic barrage, as a statement for the opening of the album?
MG: - Yeah, I think that... erm... we've done that in the past to quite a good effect with Barrel Of A Gun on the Ultra album. And umm... yeah, you know, it was trying to be a statement that we're back.
DC: - ...Welcome back! Um, I notice that you seem to draw influence from earlier albums like Construction Time Again, with some metallisation sounds and heavy pounding of rhythmic sounds, was that a conscious decision?
MG: - I don't think that we ever sit down and plan things out. Umm... Maybe, Ben Hillier, the producer, had more of a concept in his head when he came into the studio. On the first day that we arrive there he turned up with the whole array of the old analogue synthesizers. So, I think that really helped to shape the sound of the album.
DC: - Um... What was the lowest point in Depeche Mode's career and why? And did you feel like stopping ever?
MG: - Erm... I don't think that we ever felt like stopping, but at one point, I think, we felt that we possibly couldn't carry on, that was during the recording of Ultra, when, you know, Dave was trying to get off drugs and not succeeding very well for a while, and we didn't really know what was going on in his life, y'know. It was very difficult, complicated, cos he was telling us he wasn't doing it, but... he was acting very strange, and he couldn't sing particularly at the time. So, you know... when the singer can't sing, then it gets to the point when you think that maybe we can't carry on.
DC: - Strange in that point, he was going off doing a solo project, so obviously he thought he still could sing, right?
MG: - No, he only did his first solo project in...er...2003, I think. Y'know, Ultra was around 1997.
DC: - Um, do you still like life on the road, and how did it change with the advent of new and more portable technology?
MG: - Erm... Yeah, we've been on tour now for... I think, about 6 months, and I can honestly say that I've actually enjoyed every show that we've played. I think we must've played about... it's definitely over 60 now. Erm... And the stage show itself I think is very exciting and interesting. You know, there's a lot of... We've got like 6 screens behind us, and there's a guy called Blue who films live footage every night. And it's different, you know, it's different every night. It's very scratchy, and it's not like sort of normal live footage of a band on stage, it's much more artistic than that. Sometimes you'll have dangle and stuff in front of the cameras, so that, you know, it just looks...odd.
DC: - Do you ever catch yourself watching it when you're playing live?
MG: - Oh yeah, definitely. (laughs) But there are still bits of the show that I obviously haven't seen. When you sing to the audience it's very difficult to turn around and watch the screens! Ha ha!
DC: - Are you fans of plug-ins or modules, and what works best on the road?
MG: - Erm... Yeah! We're fans of the... we use plug-ins on the road. We did have a few problems, teeding problems, at first, but ummm... they seem to...they don't seem to be happening again, we don't seem to have any more problems, it was like on the first month of the tour. And it was just like ironing those things out.
DC: - Uummm... Who- Are you all involved in the recording process, how does that work?
MG: - Yeah, I mean, it's like a... I always say it's like a blender. Y'know, the demos, we always have the demos ready before we go into the studio. And then, sometimes the song turn out fairly similar to the demo, and sometimes it'll turn out totally different. And that- and that is the process of it, y'know, going through the erm... Depeche Mode machine, which is not just the three of us, but the producer, and then there's usually like at least one programmer that we use. On the last record there was a couple of programmers as well.
DC: - OK... Um, are you fans of Avalon albums, because I've heard you say you had Emily Lazar actually master your album, I dunno if you're fans of Avalon, or?
MG: - That was just suggested to us really, but, y'know, I think she did a really good job.
DC: - Umm, and how's the writing process, is that similar, where there's the whole team of you, or is it like the core three members, and you just stand to seclude everyone mentioned, throw it out to everyone?
MG: - No, we write individually. Erm, you know, over the years I've written nearly all of the songs. It's only since Dave put out his solo record in 2003, that when he started writing for the first time, that he, um, wanted to contribute to the writing process for Depeche Mode. So, this last album, Playing The Angel, is the first album, that he actually had any songs written by him on.
DC: - Is it important to rhyme everything?
MG: - To rhyme everything?
DC: - Yeah!
MG: - Errm... No, I don't think so. I think there are certain melodies that work without a rhyme, you know. But sometimes it sounds really stupid if a word doesn't rhyme. But sometimes it works, if the melody is right.
DC: - OK. Um, Playing The Angel is a very dark album, both lyrically and sonically. Um, are we all "damaged people", that manage to hide our insecurities? Is life really so dark in all your minds?
MG: - (chuckles) I don't think everybody is a damaged person, but I think... I think there are quite a lot... there are quite a lot of us out there.
DC: - Is that because those people are damaged on tour? Or...?
MG: - (laughs) No, I think that, heh, er, he he... No, I think that generally, y'know, there are a lot of screwed up people in the world.
DC: - OK... What's your favourite cover of a Depeche Mode song?
MG: - Erm... There's the... I mean, I- I think it's an honour that Johnny Cash covered Personal Jesus, but um, I don't think that's my absolute favourite. I really like the Smashing Pumpkins' version of Never Let Me Down Again.
DC: - I haven't heard that, I'll look out for that. Um, what's the most embarrassing lyrical moment, looking back?
MG: - Most embarrassing lyrical moment? Ooh, I dunno... Probably, the umm... Probably, People Are People is one of my least favourite songs.
DC: - "In Korea, being insincere"? Is that a cracker for you?
MG: - Yeah, it's- (background laughter) No, no, it's not great! But er... (all laugh)
DC: - Had you any... (chuckles) Had you-
MG: - ...You're not supposed to be here! (laughs)
DC: - Had you, erm, any idea 20 years ago that you were succeeding making a living and will impact in 2006, and what separates you from, say, people like Human League?
MG: - Obviously, we didn't have any idea, and I joke about it and I say that, y'know, if anyone who were taking bets in 1981 whether we'd be around in 2006, I don't think there would be many takers. (laughs) You know, heh! Erm... But, I don't know what the, um, the difference is, y'know, why we'd managed to stay around when other people haven't. I think we've always toured, which I think helped to built up a big fan base.
DC: - OK... Tea or coffee?
MG: - Coffee.
DC: - Wodka or bourbon?
MG: - Wodka.
DC: - Jaffa cakes or digestives?
MG: - Neither.
DC: - Relationships or on-the-road liaisons?
MG: - Relationships.
DC: - OK, politically correct.
MG: - Ha ha ha ha!
DC: - 96 kHz or MP3?
MG: - Errm...I- MP3, it really doesn't bug me.
DC: - Plane or tour bus?
MG: - Plane.
DC: - Books or DVD?
MG: - Erm... Books!
DC: - I'm really happy I have you here for this question, because, I think you were notorious for this in the early 80's, most embarrassing fashion faux pas?
MG: - There was a picture that we had taken...ah, it must've been around 1985, where I'm not wearing a leather skirt, but more like a full leather dress with a cowboy hat, like, a pearl necklace, and big black lipstick.
DC: - Was that good for you?
MG: - I thought I was- that I looked really good at the time! Ha ha ha ha!
DC: - That was an Adam Ant moment for you. (laughs)
MG: - I looked far worse than Adam Ant! (all laugh)
DC: - Well, listen, thanks very much, that's been enjoyable.
MG: - OK, thank you!