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Author Topic: 1983: Construction Time Again  (Read 54171 times)

Offline Angelinda

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1983: Construction Time Again
« on: 25 June 2012 - 02:23:04 »
As I had with the last couple of threads, I have trouble separating the items that go with the Construction Time Again era and those that go with the A Broken Frame era. DM played Get the Balance Right way before they started working on Construction Time Again, and toured the USA and Asia in April 1984 as a continuation of the A Broken Frame tour, while also promoting Get the Balance Right. So I'm posting the last leg of that tour in this thread, but if you want to get a really extensive grip on the A Broken Frame era, I suggest you check out this thread too.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #1 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:28:01 »
1983-01-xx - Depeche Mode - Information Sheet 1

                                           INFORMATION SHEET NO. 1/83

                   10 HAWKSWAY BASILDON ESSEX SS16 5JQ

I have enclosed the requested items/information which I hope are satisfactory. Please do not hesitate to write back to me if there is anything about DEPECHE MODE that you would like to know and I will do my best to answer your questions. Please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the above address quoting the No. 2/83 at the end of January for Information Sheet No. 2/83.

Due to a great demand we are now able to launch our DEPECHE MODE PEN-PAL SERVICE. Anyone wishing for a pen-pal should complete the coupon at the bottom of the page and return it to me. A sheet will then be printed with the names and addresses of prospective pen-friends on and will be up-dated whenever necessary. You will be sent a copy of the list with your monthly Information Sheet which you should continue to apply for in the usual way.

DEPECHE MODE NEWS: Depeche Mode and Jo and myself would like to say a great big 'thank you' to everyone who sent in Christmas cards, the response was overwhelming and we all hope you had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Thanks also supporting DEPECHE MODE in 1982 we hope you will continue to do so in the coming year.

Sorry, but still no news on the plans for a video but we'll keep you posted.

RECORD NEWS: Hopefully, on the 31st January the new DEPECHE MODE single will be released entitled "Get the Balance Right" c/w "The Great Outdoors". It will be accompanied by a 12" version with additional live track recorded at Hammersmith Odeon.

TOUR NEWS: We'd like to once again confirm that there will be no further UK dates until after the release of the next album in the Autumn. There are plans for a tour of USA, Hong Kong and Japan in March.

INTERVIEWS: NME - Smash Hits - Patches - Record Mirror

TELEVISION: The concert recorded at The Ace in London in December by Channel 4 will be featured on 'Whatever You Want' this month.

MERCHANDISE: A new T-Shirt will be on sale soon incorporating the cover of 'A Broken Frame' and the wheatsheaf design on the front.

CUT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

                        DEPECHE MODE PEN-PAL SERVICE
        Please complete in BLOCK CAPITALS and return to:

        ADDRESS:                                DATE OF BIRTH
        TOWN:                                     HOBBIES:
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #2 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:29:47 »
1983-02-10 - BBC (UK) - Top of the Pops

Get The Balance Right:

1983-02-10 - Depeche Mode - Get The Balance Right

Get The Balance Right
Video Released: 1983
Video Director: info not available

Note that Alan lip-syncs the first lines of the song in the video, even though Dave should be singing it. The band were too afraid to tell the director that Dave was the lead singer.
Appears on the album:
People Are People (U.S.)
The Singles 81>85 (U.K.)
Appears on the home video(s):
Promotional only music video - not commercially available
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #3 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:30:19 »
1983-02-19 - BBC (UK) - Jim'll Fix It

Get The Balance Right and interview:

[I made a transcript:]

[Jimmy Savile, reading letter:] "Dear Jim, Please could you make my dream come true to meet Depeche Mode, especially my favourite lead singer David Gahan. I'd be very grateful if you would do this. Yours faithful, Cathy Davids". Actually, it's a lucky dip situation, because we've got thousands and thousands and thousands of some "meet Depeche Mode", so what we have to do, we have to dip down, and out came Cathy, and here is that very lucky young lady.
[DM perform 'Get The Balance Right' with Cathy]
Jimmy Savile: Listen, Mrs. Super Swansea, eh? Before we go any farther: she's been driving me up all afternoon. She dare not ask you. She'd like - it's alright, grip in my arm like that, you had asked me. You've got it now. she said, "Do you think he'd might give me a kiss before the end of the day?" and I said "I don't know, ask him yourself", but I think if I asked you to, you might. If I turn my back, you might... [Dave kisses Cathy on the cheek]
Jimmy Saville: What happened behind my back, what happened behind my back? Was she terrific?
Dave: She was terrific.
Jimmy Savile: I mean singing, I don't mean, giving a kiss like that.
Dave: She was very terrific.
Jimmy Saville: Do you think this special beef of a Jim'll Fix It badge will suit this particular record of yours, is your record gonna be number one?
Dave: I hope so, yeah.
Jimmy Saville: What do you mean, "hope so"? It's gotta be number one. We can't have losers on Jim'll Fix it, it's gonna be number one, okay? Right, if you would like to work the badge over this beautiful Swansea lady.
Dave: That's quite heavy, innit? [Dave kisses Cathy]
Jimmy Saville: what again, again? [Alan walks up] What is this?
Alan: This is something a little extra, and that song which is played, is actually programmed, yeah? Because we used this machine to write this song and you can hear it there, and this is for you, because you did it so well.
Jimmy Saville: Do you mean, everytime -don't kiss him yet!- do you mean that, you mentioned that -switch it off. Now, does that mean, everytime she wants to hear a tune, all she can do is press something and that's your tune? And that's how you write popsongs?
Alan: Well, this is how we did this one, yeah.
Jimmy Saville: Really? You get it into there and then they can take it from there until you stop?
Alan: Yeah, because then you the little melodies and store them in there, and it will memorise them for you.
Jimmy Saville: You can kiss him now. [Alan kisses Cathy]
Oh my goodness gracious. [applause] Interesting, that. They programme the tune into the keyboard, and what a present that is, that's really something.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #4 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:31:48 »
1983-02-xx - Depeche Mode - Information Sheet 2

                                       INFORMATION SHEET NO. 2/83

                   10 HAWKSWAY BASILDON ESSEX SS16 5JQ

I have enclosed the requested items/information which I hope are satisfactory. Please do not hesitate to write back to me if there is anything about DEPECHE MODE that you would like to know and I will do my best to answer your questions. Please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the above address quoting the No. 3/83 at the end of February for Information Sheet No. 3/83.

PEN-PAL SERVICE Unfortunately, we are going to have to make a small charge for Pen-Pal Service Sheets of 5p each. At present there are two sheets: A1 and J1 but as more coupons are returned to us we will be adding to this. The sheets can be ordered on the official merchandise order form or simply by writing to me enclosed a 5p coin for each sheet you want.

VIDEO NEWS: The compilation video recorded at Hammersmith Odeon in October last year should be on general release pretty soon. Although we don't yet have a definite release date it will cost in the region of œ25 and will be available through DEPECHE MODE Information.

RECORD NEWS: "Get the Balance Right" c/w "The Great Outdoors" the new DEPECHE MODE single is also available on 12" with and additional live track - "Tora, Tora, Tora" recorded at Hammersmith Odeon last October - which is a highly recommedable buy!

TOUR NEWS: Bangkok in Thailand has been added to the list of Far East Countries DEPECHE MODE will be touring after their American/Canadian concerts in March.

Their most extensive tour of Great Britain and Ireland is at present being planned for September.

INTERVIEWS: Woman's Own(!)   NME

TELEVISION: DEPECHE MODE will be appearing on 'Jim'll Fix It' on Saturday February 19th.

MERCHANDISE: TS5 T-Shirts which were sold on the October Tour are now on sale as well as a T-Shirt incorporating the cover or 'A Broken Frame' TS6.

"Get the Balance Right" promotional posters are available, and a complete set of 1982 Information Sheets.

                                                Thank You
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #5 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:33:59 »
1983-03-03 - Smash Hits (UK) - DEPECHE MODE NEARLY THERE

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Smash Hits, 3rd - 16th March 1983. Words: Peter Martin. Pictures: Mark Rusher.]
Summary: Unremarkable interview of the band discussing their forthcoming new material and change of direction towards more "general" subjects, and what they hope to achieve in the coming year. Still some discussion on the loss of Vince, and the writer can't gloss over the terrible image problems they were having. [1158 words]

    “God! It’s like Iceland without the snow! Now I know how the Bunnymen must have felt.”
    Frostbitten singer Dave Gahan is referring to the Arctic conditions Depeche Mode are braving for today’s photo session in a garden round the back of Mute Records’ North London office. But they’ve come prepared, in full Bunnymen battledress complete with smiles that could crack ice.
    Martin Gore is looking especially mean in his rugged motorcycle boots. Just like the ones Phil Oakey used to wear.
    “No they’re not. His had little red bits on them.”
    That’s as maybe, but it does seem a little unusual to see them all so strikingly dressed. You can hardly accuse Depeche Mode of being, visually, at the very forefront of fashion.
    “It’s always been one of our major problems,” Martin says, “that we have no definite image. We come across as pretentious when we try to do something that isn’t ourselves, but when we act naturally we come across as pretty anonymous.”
    This may explain their apparent absence from the glamorous world of pop magazines over the last year, but chartwise they’ve achieved consistent success. The last three singles – “See You”, “Meaning Of Love” and “Leave In Silence” – all reached the Top 20 with ease. In fact, “See You” is their must successful single to date and was their first release after the departure of Vince Clarke. [1]
    The boys admit to a hint of bitterness towards the people who wrote the band off after the split in January ’82, but they also find difficulty concealing their envy of Yazoo’s staggering popularity.
    “We all think Yazoo are really good, honest,” Dave claims. “We went to see them at the Dominion in London and were really impressed, especially with the slideshow. We occasionally bump into Vince in the corridors of Mute but we never see him socially. Then again,” he adds in mock-jealous tones, “he never stops working long enough to go out.”
    In fact Vince did take some time out to catch his old chums’ gig at the Hammersmith Odeon last year. He said that it was a “weird” experience for him as it was the first time he had ever heard what Depeche Mode really sounded like. Nevertheless, he was suitably impressed by their performance.
    At this point, it seems appropriate to introduce the person who replaced him, Alan Wilder. He first cut his teeth with The Hitmen before being plucked from Hampstead to join the boys from Basildon. The demure Depeche has just started working with Martin on some joint compositions for the next LP, to be released in August, which will be preceded by a single in April. [2]
    “The new material,” Alan explains, “will be easier to understand because it’s more about general topics.”
    Hardly surprising, this, as the four of them give very little away about themselves – even when pushed – and seem happiest when on the subject of the group itself.
    “The new songs are less personal,” Martin continues, “so people will be able to relate to them more easily.” He adds, sarcastically, “they’ll deal with the problems of the world and things like that. That’s what you get from listening to The Clash, I suppose.”
    Feeling left out, Andy joins in the general bitchiness.
    “At least we know what Mart’s lyrics are about. I don’t even think Vince knew what his meant. But we won’t play it safe, though, like Duran Duran. ‘Save A Prayer’ was good but ‘Rio’ was a real disappointment. It was just like ‘Planet Earth’.”
    The band seem to have come a long way since their early dabblings with lightweight futurist pop. They’re now reaching for greater heights. Mophead Martin explains their masterplan for ’83.
    “We want to get more into the album-orientated market but it’s still important for us to have hits. Bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and Simple Minds do well in both charts. We just want to produce a really fine album that will hopefully establish us as a major act. Another year like the last two should seal our success and enable us to stick around for quite a while.” [3]
    With an average age of 21, they still have a long way to go. I can just picture them in 20 years’ time – the Status Quo of the synthesizer age with their immaculately receding fringes gently bobbing over their pocket Emulators.
    Well, perhaps not. Andy takes up the story.
    “We could be a conventional band if we wanted to. Mart is an excellent guitarist, Alan can play the drums and I can play the bass. David has even been known to sing. But, really, we’re not interested in the instruments, just the sounds they make. We still think synthesizers produce far more interesting sounds than traditional instruments, so we’ll carry on using them. For instance, Mart plays a guitar on “Get The Balance Right”, but to make it sound more interesting we generated it through a synth and phased it out of time.”
    What’s the single about, incidentally?
    “It’s about telling people to go their own way,” Dave says. “It also takes a dig at people who like to be different just for the sake of it. You’ve just got to reach the right balance between normality and insanity.”
    And talking of madness, the band reveal an intense dislike for the nation’s current faves, Kajagoogoo.
    “That single reminds me of slime,” is the most complimentary thing Mr. Gahan can say for them. “Bands like that will come and go, but our material is strong enough to see us through.”
    Bands like China Crisis and Tears For Fears receive a far more favourable reaction, as do The Psychedelic Furs and the Bunnymen. Do they see themselves as being taken over by newer bands like Tears For Fears?
    “Obviously we’ll lose some of our fans,” Dave admits, “but they’ll be replaced by an even newer audience.”
    “We’ll probably get people who’ve decided they don’t like Genesis any more,” adds Martin. His laugh has been known to cause temporary deafness at a hundred paces. Partially recovered, I ask him if he likes playing huge tours as his new audience will expect that sort of thing, won’t they?
    “I hope not. I don’t really enjoy playing live. It’s alright for Dave as he can move around but we’re stuck behind the keyboards like robots.”
    What does he think of Dave’s gimpy dancing?
    “It’s not gimpy. I like it. I certainly couldn’t do it,” says Alan.
    You’ll have to wait ’til September to witness these cavortings, which is when the next tour’s pencilled in. The last I expect to see of them is four figures wandering back into the afternoon mist – Dave off for another driving lesson, Alan and Martin thinking of going to see Danse Society playing in a club and Andy deciding whether or not to head straight back home to Basildon.
    Then again, there’s bound to be the odd appearance on Top Of The Pops.
[1] - Hmmmm. Fair enough that to go Top 20 required more sales then than it does now, but while "See You" was indeed their biggest single at that time, "The Meaning Of Love" reached 12 and the nosedive continued with the downbeat "Leave In Silence" only hitting 18. It's hardly effortless soaring through the charts.
[2] - Alan wrote some songs for the album, but the only song ever to be co-written by him and Martin was the B-side of "Get The Balance Right", "The Great Outdoors".
[3] - Martin says "another year like the last two", but they spent most of 1982 getting critically panned. Either Martin has already forgotten this aspect of the previous year, or was still too close to the event to realise how dire their image problems were.

1983-03-03 - Fachblatt Music Magazin (Germany) - Zu Schade für Stofftiere

[Thanks to Barclay for scanning this for this forum! Transcribed ans translated by me. Please note that the very last answer can't have been by Dave since he doesn't play a synth on stage.]

Depeche Mode - zu schade für Stofftiere
Andreas Hub

Computerzeitalter - so ist das also: Wie ein Computerbaustein dem anderen äußerlich gleicht, so austauschbar scheinen auch die Computerpop-Fans. Spätestens ab „See you" sondern sich die Tanz-Marionetten vom Rest des Publikums zu zeigen, was sie können. Niemand tanzt aus der Reihe, weder im Aussehen, noch in den Bewegungen. Wen wundert's, daß zur Zeit offenbar eine Art von Portiersuniformen zum modischen Outfit gehört. Die einzigen, die das uniformistische Einerlei nicht mitmachen, das sind vier Jungs, die nicht weiter auffallen würden - wenn sie nicht ausgerechnet auf der Bühne stünden und Depeche Mode hießen.
Andy Fletcher wagt es gar, sich in diesen gräßlich weiten Hochwasserhosen mit Fallschirmspringerstiefeln zu zeigen, und - man wagt es kaum auszusprechen - Martin Gore versucht gerade, sich einen Bart wachsen zu lassen. Richtig lieb wirken sie und weit weniger erwachsen als die herausgeputzten 14jährigen vor der Bühne. Das weckt wohl den verfrühten Mutterinstinkt bei all den dicken Mädchen, die entzückten Blickes vor sich hin schwitzen. Mein Gott, so viele dicke Mädchen auf einen Haufen... Ist das heute immer so? Ich seh' schon, ich bin wieder eine Generation zu alt. Und dann erst der Zoo Stofftierchen, der von den Roadies wieselflink aus dem Blickfeld gebracht wird. Man merkt den vieren die Mischung aus Berührtsein und Peinlich-Berührtsein so richtig an. Da hat ihre Plattenfirma ein paar Journalisten aus dem Urwald gelockt, denen Depeche Mode gerade ihr Leid geklagt hat, daß keiner sie so richtig ernst nimmt und daß sie hofften, in Deutschland auf ein älteres und verständigeres Publikum zu stoßen - und jetzt? Dicke Mädchen mit Stofftieren...
Daß einem sowas mit der Zeit zum Trauma wird, kann ich gut verstehen, denn Parallelen zu einstigen Teenie-Boppern wie Bay City Rollers und Konsorten wird man - außer im Fanverhalten - gar nicht finden. Depeche Mode sind keine von Marketingstrategen planmäßig auf eine Marktlücke angesetzte Band, sondern ein paar Leute, die vor drei Jahren eine Band aufgemacht haben, dann zu einem Independent Label gegangen sind, mit dem sie nach wie vor zusammenarbeiten, und etwas außerplanmäßig plötzlich goldene Schallplatten im Wohnzimmer aufhängen können. Dementsprechend unprätentiös und freundlich geben sich David Gahan, der Sänger und Alan Wilder, Neuzugang und dritter Mann, an den Keyboards, bei unserer Plauderei vor der Show. Man kommt sich geradezu schäbig vor, ihnen mal auf den Zahn zu fühlen. Aber es muß ja sein, der Leser erwartet doch rückhaltlosen Aufschluß...

Fachblatt: Euer Landsmann Steve Lake hat vor ein paar Monaten im Musikexpress einen Artikel über Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark geschrieben und dabei auch die folgenden Zeilen vom Stapel gelassen: 95% der jungen Männer, die heutzutage Synthesizer spielen, tun das, weil sie keins der konventionellen Rock-Instrumente beherrschen - billige Effekthascherei.
David: So ein Blödsinn! Meint der denn, man muß beim Fairlight nur auf einen Knopf drücken, und der Rest passiert dann von allein? Gerade wenn du mit modernen Keyboards und Synthies arbeitest, mußt du verdammt gut Bescheid wissen. Gerade die Synthies erlauben es dir doch erst, deine Kreativität voll zu entfalten, weil du keinerlei soundmäßigen Beschränkungen mehr unterliegst.
Alan: Da ist natürlich insofern was Wahres dran, als du nicht unbedingt ein virtuoser Musiker sein mußt, um solche Musik zu spielen. Aber du mußt gute Ideen haben, darauf kommt es an.
David: Genau, das ist nämlich der Punkt. Du kannst ein phantastischer Musiker sein, aber wenn dir keine guten Songs einfallen, nützen dir deine technischen Fähigkeiten verdammt wenig. Klar, du kannst als Session-Musiker arbeiten, aber wir wollen ja unsere eigene Musik machen. Leute, die besser spielen als wir, die gibt es natürlich.
Fachblatt: Ich könnte mir vorstellen, daß ihr gerade an diesem Punkt mit Journalisten immer wieder aneinandergeratet.
David: Ich würde sagen, in England sind die meisten Journalisten ausgemachte Arschlöcher, die nur ihren Frust darüber ablassen, daß sie viel lieber selbst die Stars wären. Darüber vergessen sie dann oft genug, zwischen Musik und Musikern zu unterscheiden. Sie greifen dich persönlich an, wenn sie die Musik nicht abkönnen.
Fachblatt: Und in Deutschland?
David: Dazu kann ich dir noch nicht viel sagen. Wir haben hier zwar schon einige Interviews gemacht, aber die meisten sind noch nicht erschienen (Die Tour hatte erst am Vortag begonnen). Aber ich habe den Eindruck, daß die deutsche Musikpresse etwas beständiger in ihren Meinungen über bestimmte Gruppen ist. In England bist du diesen Monat absolut hip, und als „flavour of the month" kannst du dir wirklich allen Scheiß erlauben - alles ist in Ordnung, und einen Monat später fallen sie über dich her.
Fachblatt: Wechseln die Trends denn wirklich so schnell, wie man von hier oft den Eindruck hat?
David: Nicht direkt die Trends. Bewegungen wie Teddyboys, Skinheads usw. halten sich über Jahre, es sind mehr Gruppen innerhalb dieser Richtungen, die ein Hoch haben.
Fachblatt: Seid ihr denn trendy?
David: Kommt drauf an. In der Presse sind wir schon wieder auf dem absteigenden Ast. Das erste Album wurde hochgelobt, aber für „A broken frame" gab's eine Menge Verrisse. Man muß das allerdings nicht allzu ernst nehmen. Sowas hat Methode, und jede Band kriegt das zu spüren. Wir haben uns mal die Mühe gemacht, all die Journalisten einzuladen, die schlecht über uns geschrieben haben. Wir wollten die Leute einfach mal kennenlernen und erfahren, warum ihnen nichts Besseres einfällt, als unsere Arbeit schlecht zu machen, bei der wir uns - das wird man uns ja wohl abnehmen - alle nur erdenkliche Mühe gegeben haben, das Optimum rauszuholen.
Und siehe da, auf einmal waren die alle ganz freundlich, Mißverständnisse wurden ausgeräumt, und seitdem ist das Verhältnis zu den Medien wieder besser. Auf der anderen Seite steht das Publikum, und da liegen wir offenbar richtig. Beide LP's wurden in kürzester Zeit vergoldet, alle unsere Singles wurden Hits, die Verkaufszahlen haben sogar steigende Tendenz. Bei unserer England-Tour, die gerade zu Ende gegangen ist, haben wir vor gut 60000 Leuten gespielt. Wir spielen in 4000-5000 Leute fassenden Hallen, das sind die größten Hallen, die es bei uns gibt. Der nächste Sprung wären die Fußballstadien. Wir hätten jetzt auch die Chance, dort zu spielen, aber eigentlich treten wir lieber dreimal im Hammersmith Odeon als einmal im Wembley-Stadion auf. Das paßt besser zu unserer Musik.
Fachblatt: Das kann ich gut verstehen. Gerade das neue Album mit seinen vielen ruhigen Nummern verlangt ja geradezu nach einem etwas intimeren Rahmen, obwohl der bei 5000 Leuten ja auch schon aus allen Nähten platzt.
David: Das Problem hatten wir auf der England-Tour bereits: Die Fans machten vor der Bühne mit ihrem Schreien und Klatschen solchen Krach, daß wir Schwierigkeiten hatten, uns auf der Bühne zu verstehen. Wir arbeiten ja viel mit mehrstimmigem Gesang, da taucht das Problem besonders stark auf. Aber was soll's, für die Leute ist es ja okay so, wenn sie ihren Spaß haben.
Fachblatt: Apropos Gesang - da fällt mir bevor allem der Song „Shouldn't have done that" ein, der mich stark an mittelalterliche Chorgesänge erinnert. Beschäftigt ihr euch mit solchen Musikformen?
David: Nein, das ist zumindest nicht beabsichtigt, es paßt allerdings zum gesamten Charakter, auch zum Textinhalt des Stükkes, das ja vom Arrangement sehr experimentell angelegt ist.
Fachblatt: Was mir zum Gesang noch einfällt, ist, daß Textdichter und Sänger bei euch zwei verschiedene Leute sind: Martin Gore schreibt die lyrics, und du singst. Bringt das nicht Schwierigkeiten mit sich, wenn du dich vielleicht nicht 100%ig mit dem Inhalt identifizierst?
David: Das passierte häufiger, als Vince (Clarke, heute Yazoo) noch bei Depeche Mode war. Der hat so abgefahrene Sachen geschrieben, daß man manchmal zweifeln konnte, ob die Texte überhaupt einen Sinn ergaben. Bei ihm kam es mehr darauf an, daß die lyrics gut klangen, daß die Worte ein harmonisches Verhältnis zueinander hatten, als auf einen konkreten Textinhalt. Bei Martins Texten fällt es mir wesentlich leichter, mich in sie hineinzuversetzen. Bevor wir ins Studio gehen, nehme ich mir die Texte mit nach Hause und beschäftige mich in Ruhe damit, um für mich herauszubekommen, wie man das, was er meint, am besten im Gesang rüberbringen kann.
Fachblatt: Als Vince Clarke Anfang 1982 die Band verlassen hatte, habt ihr zunächst als Trio weitergemacht. Jetzt ist aber wieder ein vierter Mann dabei, und das bist du, Alan.
Alan: Ja, aber so ganz neu bin ich nicht. Ich habe schon auf der Frühjahrstournee mitgespielt, war damals aber quasi auf Zeit angestellt, bin aber jetzt ein vollwertiges und Vollzeit-Mitglied von Depeche Mode. Bei der LP-Aufnahme war ich z. B. noch nicht dabei.
Fachblatt: Ich könnte mir vorstellen, daß ihr Alan dabei aus dem Spiel gelassen habt, um zu beweisen, daß ihr sehr wohl auch zu dritt etwas auf die Beine stellen könnt.
David: Das ist genau der Punkt. Als Vince weg war, stand ja in allen Zeitungen: Jetzt ist Depeche Mode eine „kopflose" Band, da kann man nichts mehr erwarten... Daß das aber blanker Unsinn war, haben wir ja zu dritt sofort mit der ersten Single bewiesen, die nach der Trennung von Vince erschien: „See you" war bis dahin unser größter Single-Hit und zugleich unser erster Hit in Deutschland. Von da an und spätestens nach dem neuen Album glaubten uns dann die Kritiker, daß Martin ebensogut Songs schreiben kann.
Fachblatt: Ist er für die Kompositionen auch allein verantwortlich?
David: Da ist die Rollenverteilung etwas anders. An den Songs ist die Band wesentlich mehr beteiligt. Zwar kommt er mit konkreten Ideen ins Studio, aber die Ausarbeitung, das Arrangement usw. machen wir immer zusammen.
Fachblatt: Eine ziemlich wichtige Rolle spielt in diesem Zusammenhang sicher auch Daniel Miller, Chef eurer Plattenfirma und Produzent von Depeche Mode.
David: Das stimmt. Einerseits haben wir ihm in technischer Hinsicht sehr viel zu verdanken. Er ist ja ein ausgesprochener Spezialist bei allen Fragen, die die Elektronik betreffen, und als wir zum ersten Mal im Studio waren, kannten wir solche Dinge höchstens vom Hörensagen. Die andere Seite betrifft das Geschäftliche. Musik war vor zwei, drei Jahren bei uns nichts als ein Hobby. Ich war auf dem College, Martin arbeitete in einer Bank und Andy bei einer Versicherung. Da waren wir gerade mal 17, 18 Jahre alt. Unsere beruflichen Perspektiven waren also ziemlich klar abgesteckt - bis nach unseren ersten Konzerten immer wieder Leute kamen und sagten, wir sollten doch mal eine Platte machen. Daß wir dann an Mute und Daniel Miller geraten sind, war unser glück, denn vom Musikbusiness hatten wir wirklich keinen blassen Schimmer. Man hätte uns genausogut unheimlich über den Tisch ziehen können mit Verträgen usw. Wir haben tatsächlich bis heute keinerlei Vertrag mit Daniel. Der ist für uns viel mehr als nur ein Freund, und wir haben untereinander wirklich absolutes Vertrauen in das, was der ändere macht. Und das ist ja wohl mehr wert als ein unterschriebenes Stück Papier.
Fachblatt: Mute ist ja ein unabhängiges Label. Wäre es nicht verlockend gewesen, zur Industrie zu gehen, als ihr plötzlich eine erfolgreiche Band wart.
David: Kein Gedanke! Wir haben z. B. absolute Freiheit und Kontrolle über das, was wir tun. Daniel würde nie kommen und sagen: Ach, das Stück gefällt mir nicht, macht doch mal was anderes. Und wie das bei einer Industriefirma aussähe, kannst du dir ja wohl vorstellen. Da könnten wir wahrscheinlich noch nicht mal mitentscheiden, welche Singles von der LP ausgekoppelt werden.
Alan: Vor allem mußt du bei einem Independent-Label nicht immer mit untergeordneten Leuten reden, sondern du hast den Chef immer selbst vor dir. So geht nichts verloren, du hast immer die Kontrolle, was passiert.
Fachblatt: Habt ihr die wirklich? Wie könnt ihr denn sehen, was in Japan oder den USA mit euren Produkten geschieht? Das ist doch viel zu unübersichtlich.
David: Ich glaube schon, daß wir den Überblick haben, zumindest was grundsätzliche Dinge angeht. Da machen wir natürlich Verträge, in denen sehr detailliert festgehalten ist, was unsere Partner — und im Ausland sind das Industriefirmen, in den USA Warner Brothers, hier bei euch Intercord — dürfen und was sie nicht dürfen.
Fachblatt: Habt ihr schon in Ländern wie in den USA und Japan gespielt?
David: Nach Japan werden wir im Frühjahr 1983 fahren, und in den USA ist auch eine Tour geplant. Die wird dann natürlich nicht solche Ausmaße wie bei uns zu Hause haben. Ich glaube, wir haben in Amerika von beiden LP's etwa 40000 verkauft. Das ist für einen so großen Plattenmarkt zwar nicht umwerfend viel, aber immerhin ein guter Achtungserfolg. Da haben wir vor allem Schwierigkeiten mit den Radiostationen. Die wollen nach Möglichkeit immer das spielen, was garantiert läuft — bloß keine Experimente, bloß nichts, was die Leute vielleicht noch nicht kennen. Und bei unserer neuen LP ist das ja etwas schwierig, weil es keine normale Tanz- oder Discomusik ist.
Fachblatt: Im Moment ist ja Funk das Zauberwort in der Popmusik, aber bei „A broken frame" ist von Funk nichts zu hören. Mögt ihr das nicht oder wollt ihr euch bewußt von anderen Produkten absetzen?
Alan: Das kann man so nicht sagen. Auf der nächsten Single wirst du den Funk-Einschlag sehr deutlich hören. Unsere Musik ist stärker von unserer eigenen Stimmung als von modischen Tendenzen abhängig. Darum hörst du von uns auch keine Tanzplatten, wenn gerade Tanzplatten vom Publikum verlangt werden.
Fachblatt: Das ist ja eine ehrbare Einstellung, aber macht ihr euch damit nicht das Leben schwer? Ich kann mir vorstellen, daß die Überlebenssituation selbst für äußerst erfolgreiche Bands wie euch in Großbritanien zur Zeit nicht gerade rosig ist.
David: Das ist bestimmt richtig. Man bekommt für 100000 LP's Gold in England. Das haben wir jetzt zweimal geschafft. Aber das heißt bestimmt nicht, daß man damit heute noch reich wird. Das sind Vorurteile aus einer Zeit, als ein Nr. 1-Hit auch noch wirklich etwas bedeutete. Wenn früher z. B. eine neue Bowie-LP rauskam, dann wußtest du automatisch: Aha, das wird Platin... Heute mußt du dich ein ganzes Stück bescheidener geben, und selbst wenn du bekannt bist, heißt das noch lange nicht, daß du viele Platten verkaufst. Fad Gadget z. B., der ja auch bei Mute ist, verkauft trotz seiner Bekanntheit vielleicht 12000 LP's, und damit kann er schon ganz zufrieden sein. Aber gerade weil man weiß, daß die geschäftliche Situation nicht immer die beste ist, ist es besonders wichtig, etwas zu haben, an dem man sich festhalten kann, also die eigene Musik, die man so macht, wie man es gern möchte und nicht so, wie ein anonymes Publikum sie haben will.
Fachblatt: Trotzdem gibt es Gruppen, auch aus eurer Ecke, die ihre Platten millionenfach verkaufen...
David: Hör bloß auf mit Phil Oakey! Ich gestehe hiermit öffentlich, daß ich mir früher sogar Human-League-LP's gekauft habe und zwar bis Travelogue. Früher war das auch alles ganz locker. Ich kann mich noch gut daran erinnern, wie Phil Oakey eines Tages bei einem unserer Konzerte auftauchte und hinterher mit uns noch einen gebechert hat. Aber das ist jetzt vorbei. Er hat einen Nr. 1-Hit in den USA gehabt, und so benimmt er sich auch, ein Star halt. Er hat neulich allen Ernstes in einem Interview gesagt: „Lieber 1000 Tode sterben als so klingen wie Depeche Mode!"
Fachblatt: Und ich hatte richtig Angst bevor ich hierher kam, daß ihr auch so aufgeblasene Säcke wärt, die vor lauter Arroganz nur noch dummes Zeug erzählen. Aber ihr seid ja richtig nett! Wenn ihr schon mit Human League nichts zu tun haben wollt, wie steht es dann mit Kontakten zu anderen Bands oder auch stilistischen Beeinflussungen durch andere?
Alan: Mit den Kontakten hält sich das in Grenzen. Wir haben eigentlich nie Zeit, uns mit anderen Gruppen zu treffen. Wenn wir mal nicht auf Tour oder im Studio sind, sind wir froh, wenn man uns in Ruhe läßt.
David: Musiker, die für uns richtungsweisend waren, gibt es durchaus. Da ist uns gestern bei dem Konzert in Bochum was unheimlich Peinliches passiert. Wir hatten immer gehofft, daß wir mal Kraftwerk treffen könnten; die könnte man durchaus als Großväter unserer Musik bezeichnen. Und nun waren sie bei dem Bochumer Konzert auch da, und wir hatten das übelste Konzert aller Zeiten. Sowohl meiner als auch Martins Synthie spielten total verrückt, waren dauernd verstimmt, und der Abend ging wirklich total in die Hose. Und die Sympathien bei Kraftwerk haben wir uns damit bestimmt gründlich verspielt...


Depeche Mode - too good for stuffed animals
Andreas Hub

The Computer era - so that's how it is: Like the way all computer modules look alike, so do the computerpop fans. To the latest "See you", the dance-puppets show their moves for the rest of the audience. Nobody steps out of line, neither in appearance nor in the movements. It's no surprise that some kind of porter uniform is the current trend. The only people who do not join the uniform monotony, are four guys who would not stand out - if they did not happen to be standing on stage and were Depeche Mode.
Andy Fletcher even dares to show up in some ghastly wide flood pants with paratrooper boots, and - one barely is able to utter it - Martin Gore is now trying to grow a beard. They perform really cutely and are far less mature than the dolled-up 14 year olds on stage. This starts the premature maternal instincts of all the fat girls, who sweat out mesmerised gazes. My God, so many fat girl onto one pile... Will this now always be the case? Oh I see how it is, I'm once again one generation too old. And then there are the stuffed animals, which the roadies remove from sight ASAP. You can really notice a mixture of affection and embarrassment on the foursome's faces. Because their record company had lured a few journalists out of the jungle, to whom Depeche Mode had just complained that no one takes them really seriously and that they hoped to encounter an older and more mature audience in Germany - and now? Fat girls with stuffed animals...
That something like this becomes a trauma over time is something I can understand, because parallels to former teenybopper like Bay City Rollers and the likes - except in fan behaviour - cannot be found. Depeche Mode are not a band used by marketing strategists for a market niche, they are just a few guys who created a band three years ago and then went to an independent label with which they still cooperate the same as always, and then suddenly they could hang gold records in their living rooms. Subsequently, David Gahan, the singer, and Alan Wilder, new entry and third man on the keyboards, present themselves unpretentiously and friendly in our conversation pre-show. It feels downright shabby to grill them. But so it must be, since the reader expects unreserved investigation...

Fachblatt: Your countryman Steve Lake has written an article in Musikexpress about Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark a few months ago and left the following remark: 95% of the young men who nowadays play the synthesiser, do so because they don't master any of the conventional rock instruments - it's cheap showmanship.
David: What a crock! Does he mean that you only have to press a button on a Fairlight and the rest will happen on its own? Especially when you work with modern keyboards and synths, you have to know your stuff damn well. It's precisely the synths that allow you to fully develop your creativity, because you're no longer under any sound restrictions anymore.
Alan: Of course there is some truth to that, in so far as you do not necessarily have to be a virtuoso musician in order to play such music. But you have to have good ideas, that is what matters.
David: Exactly, that is in fact the point. You can be a fantastic musician, but if you can't think of any good songs, your technical skills will be of damn little use. Sure, you can work as a session musician, but we want to make our own music. Of course there are people who play better than we do.
Fachblatt: I would imagine that you will start an argument with journalists always precisely at this point.
David: I say that, in England, most journalists are downright assholes who only vent their frustration about the fact that they would very much prefer to be the stars. Furthermore they forget often enough the difference between music and musicians. They attack you personally, if they do not like your music.
Fachblatt: And in Germany?
David: I cannot say much about it yet. We have actually done some interviews here, but most are not published yet (the tour had begun the day before). But I have the impression that the German music press is somewhat more stable in their opinions about certain groups. In England you can be absolutely hip this month, and as "flavour of the month" you are allowed to put out truly all kinds of shit - everything is fine, and a month later they will beat you up.
Fachblatt: Do the trends really change as fast as people here often have the impression?
David: Not really all trends. Movements like Teddyboys, Skinheads, etc. last for years, and the groups within these genres have success more.
Fachblatt: So are you trendy?
David: It depends. In the press we are already on the descent. The first album was highly praised, but "A broken frame" there was a heap of bad reviews. They must not, however, be taken too seriously. Something like that takes effort, and every band gets that sense. We have even bothered to invite all journalists who have written bad things about us. We just wanted to get acquainted with them and find out why they can't think of anything better to do than to criticise our work, in whom we tried - this will please others - truly everything imaginable to get some optimism out of them.
Lo and behold, suddenly were all very friendly, misunderstandings had been resolved, and since then, the relationship with the media has improved. On the other side is the audience, and with them we are obviously on very good terms. Both LP's got gold in a very short time, all of our singles were hits, the sales even increased. On our UK tour, which has just come to an end, we played for about 60.000 people. We played in halls having a capacity for 4000-5000 people, which are the largest halls available there. The next leap would be the football stadiums. We now have the chance to play there, but we actually prefer to perform at Hammersmith Odeon three times than once at Wembley. This fits our music more.
Fachblatt: I can understand that very well. Especially the new album with its many quiet songs requires much more for a more intimate setting, although a setting of 5.000 people is also already bursting at the seams.
David: We had this problem on the England tour already: The fans at the front of the stage made so much racket with their screams and clapping that we had difficulty hearing ourselves on stage. We work a lot with polyphonic singing, and during that, this problem emerges particularly strongly. But whatever, for the people it's okay this way, when they are having fun.
Fachblatt: Speaking of singing - that reminds me particularly of the song "Should not have done that", which reminds me strongly of medieval choral songs. Do you occupy yourselves with such musical genres?
David: No, at least not intentionally, but it matches the whole character, also the lyrical content of the song, of which the arrangement is very experimental.
Fachblatt: What I recall regarding your singing is that your lyricist and singer are two different people: Martin Gore writes the lyrics, and you're singing. Doesn't that bring any difficulties when you probably don't identify with the content for 100%?
David: That happened more often when Vince (Clarke, today Yazoo) was still in Depeche Mode. He has written lyrics so freaky that you could sometimes doubt whether the lyrics even made any sense. To him it was more important that the lyrics sounded good and that the words had a harmonious relationship with each other, more than a specific lyrical content. In Martin's lyrics, I find it much easier to get inside them. Before we go into the studio, I take the lyrics home and will work alone in order to find out for myself how to best convey vocally what it is that he means.
Fachblatt: When Vince Clarke left the band in early 1982, you first carried on as a trio. But now a fourth man is present again, and that is you, Alan.
Alan: Yes, but I am not that new. I already played on the spring tour, but was then more or less added for a short period, but I am now a full-fledged and full-time member of Depeche Mode. For example I was not yet present during the recording process of the new album.
Fachblatt: I would imagine that you left Alan out of the game then to prove that you three could establish something on your own as well.
David: That's exactly the point. When Vince was gone, was indeed in all the papers: Depeche Mode is now a "headless" band, you cannot expect anything more out of them... That was just nonsense, the three of us proved that immediately with the first single that appeared after Vince's separation: "See you" was until then our biggest hit single and also our first hit in Germany. From then on, and at the latest after the new album, the critics believed our claim that Martin can write songs just as well.
Fachblatt: Is he also solely responsible for the compositions?
David: The roles are somewhat different there. The band is much more involved regarding the songs. He does come to the studio with concrete ideas, but the preparation, arrangement and so on, we always do that together.
Fachblatt: A fairly important role, in this regard, is certainly laid out on Daniel Miller, the boss of your record company and Depeche Mode's producer.
David: That's right. On the one hand, we owe him a lot, technically speaking. He is an outspoken specialist in all matters relating to electronics, and when we were in the studio for the first time, we knew those things mostly from hearsay. The other side concerns the business end. Music was for us nothing but a hobby two, three years ago. I was in college, Martin worked in a bank and Andy for an insurance company. Back then we were only 17, 18 years old. Our job prospects were therefore quite clearly defined - until people kept showing up to our first concerts and said that we should make a record some time. The fact that we then ended up with Mute and Daniel Miller was our luck, because we really had no clue about the music business. Any person could just as well have taken us to the cleaners with sneaky contracts, etc. We actually still don't have a contract with Daniel. He is much more than just a friend to us, and we completely trust one another in what the other is doing. And that is probably worth more than a signed piece of paper.
Fachblatt: Mute's an independent label. Wouldn't it have been tempting to go to the industry, when you suddenly became a successful band.
David: Not a chance! We have for instance absolute freedom and control over what we do. Daniel would never come out and say: Oh, I don't like this track, make something else. And you can imagine how that goes at an industrial company. With them we could probably not decide along about which singles are to be chosen from the LP.
Alan: Especially with an independent label you don't always have to talk to subordinate people, but can talk right to the boss. So nothing is lost, you always have control of whatever happens.
Fachblatt: Do you really? How can you then see what is happening to your products in Japan or the United States? That really cannot be monitored.
David: I do think that we have the overview, at least when it comes to fundamental things. Of course we make contracts in which is set out in great detail what our partners - and abroad those are the industry companies, in the US it's Warner Brothers, over here it's Intercord - can do and what they cannot do.
Fachblatt: Have you already played in countries such as the USA and Japan?
David: We will go to Japan in the spring of 1983, and we've also planned a tour for the USA. Those gigs will of course not have the proportions as they do at home. I think we sold in America about 40.000 of both LP's. That is not a lot for such a large market, but nevertheless a nice moderate success. Over there we have in particular some difficulties with the radio stations. They want to just play that what is a guaranteed success - so no experiments, not anything what people may not know about. And with our new LP that's a bit difficult, because it is not normal dance or disco music.
Fachblatt: Currently, "Funk" is the magic word in pop music, but "A broken frame" does not contain any "funk" sound. Do you not like funk or do you consciously separate yourselves from others?
Alan: It cannot be said like that. On the next single you will hear the funk impact very clearly. Our music depends more on our own moods than on fashionable trends. So you won't hear any dance tracks from us when dance records are being demanded by the audience.
Fachblatt: That's a respectable attitude, but doesn't that make your lives difficult? I can imagine that the current survival situation is not exactly rosy even for highly successful bands like you in Britain.
David: That is certainly correct. You get gold for 100.000 LP's in England. We have now done that twice. But that certainly does not mean that you nowadays will become rich from that. That is a prejudice from a time when a number 1 hit really meant something. For example, when in the past a new Bowie record came out, then you automatically knew: Aha, that will become platinum... Nowadays you have to give yourself a bit more modesty, and even if you are well-known, it won't mean that you sell a lot of records. Fad Gadget for example, who is also on Mute, sells despite his fame maybe 12.000 LP's, and he can very satisfied with that. But precisely because you know that the business situation is not always the best, it is particularly important for you to have something which you can hold onto, meaning your music, that you make as how you like and not as how an anonymous audience likes it.
Fachblatt: Nevertheless, there are groups, even from your area, that sell their records millions of times...
David: Just think about Phil Oakey! I hereby confess publicly that I even used to buy Human League LP's and up until Travelogue. In the past, everything was more easy. I can still clearly remember how Phil Oakey showed up one day at one of our concerts and chatted with us afterwards. But that's over now. He had a no. 1 hit in the US, and so now he behaves like a star. He seriously said in a recent interview: "I'd rather die a thousand deaths than sound like Depeche Mode!"
Fachblatt: And I was really scared before I came here to find out that you were also such bloated assholes, who utter out of sheer arrogance nothing but nonsense. But you are really nice! So if you don't want anything to do with Human League, then what about contacts with other bands or stylistic influences from others?
Alan: The contacts are kept within limits. We actually never have the time to meet up with other groups. When we are not on tour or in the studio, we are happy to be left alone.
David: There are plenty musicians who paved the way for us. Yesterday at the concert in Bochum, something incredibly embarrassing happened to us. We had always hoped that we would once meet Kraftwerk; they could be described as our grandfathers of music. And now they were at the Bochum concert there as well, and we had the worst concert ever. Both my and Martin's synth played totally awfully and were permanently out of tune, and the evening went down really totally miserably. And so as a result we ruined any chance of getting sympathy from Kraftwerk...
2017-06-30: Photobucket has disabled external image hosting, all scans will have to be re-uploaded on another site.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #6 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:34:42 »

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[NME, 26th March 1983. Words: Matt Snow. Pictures: Peter Anderson.]
" “Luckily we’re in the position where we know we’re going to get a certain amount of radio play just on the strength of reputation, which means that you can take slightly more of a risk than maybe a band putting out their first single.” "
Summary: All round band interview catching the band on tour, at a time when their sound was just beginning to change for the darker. The author picks up on how the band have been around long enough not to be a flash in the pan, and on the heavier feel to their most recent two singles, and wisely links the two.  [1707 words]

    “Depeche Mode are the fast way forward to the future,” concluded Lynn Hanna a year ago. [1]
    The tape has wound on 12 months and finds the band with their fourth consecutive hit single since Vince Clarke left, a second successful LP under their belts, and growing appreciation in Europe and America.
    But in 1982 Vince Clarke’s new project, Yazoo, had the higher profile, leading many people to dismiss Depeche Mode as the abandoned puppets of an eccentric electro-pop genius.
    “Our success last year was overshadowed by Yazoo’s success,” admits Andy Fletcher. “A lot of people really think we resent Yazoo. A lot of people in the general public still think he was the brains behind the group.”
    Andy is sipping milk in the restaurant of Frankfurt’s curiously named Hotel Splendid. Depeche Mode have just played a one-off concert at the Kongresshalle, neatly tying in with the musical instrument fair being held at Frankfurt’s massive exhibitions centre that week. Songsmith Martin Gore and Daniel Miller, supremo of their record label Mute, have been sampling the wares.
    In appearance Andy is part Shed boot-boy, part Okie farm-hand. Taller than the rest of the group, he is their semi-official voice. Martin, clad in Russian tank-driver black leather cap and jerkin, is notoriously shy and self-effacing, his air of fragile vulnerability enhanced by a halo of infant’s curls. By contrast singer Dave Gahan is a bit of a lad. Pushy, extrovert and exuberantly witty, Dave is Depeche Mode’s master of ceremonies, both on and off stage.
    At 23 the oldest in the band, Alan Wilder has only recently become a permanent member. A veteran of various North London combos, Al joined when Vince left.
    “They advertised in Melody Maker and I answered the advert,” he explains. “It said, Name band, synthesiser, must be under 21. So I lied, I was actually 22.”
    Al is still slightly aloof from the rest of the group, debarred from joining in wholeheartedly by his different background. But with all the zeal of the converted, he is their most trenchant champion.
    “Somebody in their position doesn’t get somebody new in the first week who might turn out to be a complete arsehole. So I was touring and doing TV but wasn’t actually recording with them until this new single now.”
    “Get The Balance Right” is the toughest 45 Depeche Mode have so far released. It deviates even further than its predecessor, “Leave In Silence”, from the sunny, sparkling Mode singles of public expectations. But, as stylistic innovators from the beginning, Depeche Mode are not about to cease challenging their audience now.
    Al elaborates: “Luckily we’re in the position where we know we’re going to get a certain amount of radio play just on the strength of reputation, which means that you can take slightly more of a risk than maybe a band putting out their first single.”
    “When we released ‘Leave In Silence’ it was a gamble,” Dave recalls. “It didn’t get nearly as much airplay as our past records had got. It didn’t go as well, but the fact was it wasn’t played as much. The radio didn’t see it as a single; they saw it as more of an album track.”
    How concerned are Depeche Mode with commercial success?
    Says Al: “We obviously want to become established enough, if we want, to go out on a limb and vary our approach.”
    “With the music industry being so fickle, you’ve got to keep up there all the time,” Andy stresses. “Or if not, you’re forgotten in a moment.”
    And success in America?
    “We’ve done all right, “ comments Dave. “’Just Can’t Get Enough’ was very big in the discos and clubs over there.”
    “You can have a fluke hit in America,” expounds Dave. “Our new single may become a hit in America but only through a fluke. All the English bands that are in the charts at the moment, none of them have followed it up with a second single. And that’s because none of them have gone over and toured for six months apart from A Flock Of Seagulls.”
    Andy: “To be honest though, America isn’t the end, isn’t our aim at all. I trust I speak for the whole band. Germany for us is definitely more important at the moment. Germany is the market to break.”
    “It’s an exciting market as well,” chimes in Dave. “We enjoy it over here, actually doing gigs over here. You can see something’s happening, that we’re building. We can see ourselves getting bigger every time we come over here and play.”
    The success of tonight’s gig justifies their confidence. Despite the unpromising atmosphere of the vast, overlit, functional Kongresshalle itself, a large audience of post-pubescents are drawn into delighted communion with Depeche Moe’s symphonies for kids (of any age).
    Their show is a careful mixture of spectacle and intimacy. Al and Martin appear first onstage, being gradually enveloped in smoke as they brew up a swirling instrumental overture. Then Andy walks on, as amiable and unstuffy as they come. Belying his backstage nerves, he casually switches on the backing tape-machines sitting centre-stage as he strolls over to his synthesisers.
    Just by that casual press of a button he sums up Depeche Mode’s appeal; the technology of their music-making is instantly demythologised. You don’t have to be a genius or rich or good-looking to stand a chance. Just like that other quartet of boys-next-door twenty years ago, Depeche Mode bridge the gap between performer and audience by showing the potential for magic in the most familiar, accessible things.
    Before he goes onstage, Dave makes final adjustments to his appearance in the dressing-room mirror:

    ”There’s gonna be a borstal breakout, there’s gonna be a borstal breakout!” he chants. “Those were the days of real music.”
    Dave doesn’t seem the milk and biscuit type.
    “He was quite a lively youngster, by all accounts,” insinuates Al.
    “Dave has a different background from us,” elaborates Andy. “Done everything before you’re 17. Like clubber, studio 21… We never went nightclubbing.”
    “When we were doing our homework,” laughs Martin.
    “When Dave was going up to London and that, I was going to church,” continues Andy. “I went to church seven nights a week. So did Vince. Vince was really bad, if you think I was. Vince was a real Bible-basher… There was all this rumour going around about churchgoing choirboys. I was never in the choir.”
    But the band’s early image was so sweet and angelic…
    “That’s the way we were though,” remonstrates Andy. “We never tried to portray ourselves. We bought loads of jumpers out of Marks And Sparks. That’s the way we are. We’re not wimps. The bands that said we’re wimps… Bow Wow Wow – I’d take them on any day!” he guffaws.
    With little free time, not enough money and even less inclination to leave Basildon, Martin, Andy and Dave still live at home. How do their parents feel?
    “To tell you the truth, they remain totally unaffected,” confides Andy. “It’s as if you were going to the office every day. I think they don’t really realise the extent. They see us coming home on a day we’ve been recording. They see us on telly, but they just accept it as normal. I don’t know why… everyone’s doing it!”
    And your old mates?
    “We never had any trouble. Obviously some people jeer and this. It’s maddening when they sing Yazoo songs at us. You just have to keep going, through the troubles, the trials.”
    Andy heaves with mock sobbing, appropriately accompanied by the lachrymose strains of ‘Moon River’ on the hotel’s muzak system. “All we wanted to do was make nice music!”
    Vince and Yazoo are never far from the surface.
    “A lot of the reasons we made it was because of Vince,” explains Andy. “He was on the dole. He was pushing and pushing. You’ve got to give him credit – he was very ambitious. And without him we wouldn’t have made it because we’re not ambitious people.”
    Vince’s quitting in the midst of band commitments caused a crisis.
    “He didn’t leave us totally in the lurch,” Martin explains. “He actually told us that he was leaving around the end of October (1981), but he carried on playing with us right up until Christmas. After that, all we had scheduled was an American tour, and that was quite tight because we had to get Al in and rehearse in about a week.”
    And Martin, who had hitherto penned only two numbers in the band’s live and recorded repertoire – ‘Big Muff’ and ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’ – found himself the principal songwriter.
    “Four or five months before Vince announced to us he was leaving, we sensed it, so we tried to build up a few songs as a sort of cushion. At that time anyway I was a bit wary about putting songs forward because we did feel it would be better to save them.”
    An admirer of Jonathan Richman and Ron Mael, Martin writes very different songs to Vince’s fiction romances. ‘A Broken Frame’ is a beautifully crafted compendium of sighs for lost innocence and observations of the worm in the bud of human affairs. ‘Get The Balance Right’ develops further in the same direction. Richly multilayered in texture and melody, its rhythm steamhammers home a bleak message of ironically intended realism. What’s up, Mart?
    “It’s difficult to pinpoint what it is. You get older and you see more at the same time. Whether it’s just actually seeing more or seeing it through different eyes… I tend personally to get disillusioned by a lot of things. Things that used to seem great don’t seem so great anymore. Perhaps I’m just a very pessimistic person.”
    We arrived back at Heathrow Airport on chart day, and everyone’s anxiety about the fate of ‘Balance’ with the fickle public was palpable. Whilst waiting for our baggage ‘Uncle’ Dan Miller made a quick call to Mute HQ… Number 32, the highest position Mode have ever entered the British chart!
    So, despite the predictions of downfall, Depeche Mode are still ahead of the game. Fast forward once more to the future and they won’t be just filling the dance floor but hearts and minds as well. See you there.
[1] - That's at the end of NME, 20th March 1982.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #7 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:35:51 »
1983-03-xx - Depeche Mode - Information Sheet 3

                                      INFORMATION SHEET NO. 3/83

                   10 HAWKSWAY BASILDON ESSEX SS16 5JQ

I have enclosed the requested items/information which I hope are satisfactory. Please do not hesitate to write back to me if there is anything about DEPECHE MODE that you would like to know and I will do my best to answer your questions. Please send a stamped, self addressed
envelope to the above address quoting the No. 4/83 at the end of March for Information Sheet No. 4/83.

DEPECHE MODE NEWS: As many of you already know Dave has had a tattoo on each of his forearms since he was 14. Recently he has become very self-concious about them and has now had one removed by lasar at a London clinic.

The Band pass on their many thanks for all the lovely Valentine Cards that were sent.

VIDEO NEWS: The live/compilation video still isn't ready for release but we hope to have set a date by the 4/83 Information Sheet.

RECORD NEWS: An extra 12" of "Get the Balance Right" is now available, the A-side is the same as previous 12" but the B-side, as well as having a live version of "Tora, Tora, Tora" also has "Oberkorn", "My Secret Garden", "See You", "Satellite" as bonus tracks live from Hammersmith Odeon last October. It comes in a blue/gold sleeve of which every one is individually numbered and is available from most record shops. Please do not write to us as this is a limited edition and we are not, unfortunately, able to supply them.

TOUR NEWS: The next DEPECHE MODE Tour of Great Britain will start at the beginning of September and take in 20 major cities including Belfast, Cardiff, Coventry and Aberdeen.....There will be approx. 26 concerts, many in places DEPECHE MODE visited in 1982. This is all we know at present but a full list of confirmed concerts will be announced in the next few months.

                        March 24th      New York        The Ritz
                              25th      Toronto         Music Hall
                              26th      Chigago         Concert Hall
                              28th      Vancouver       Commodore
                              29th      San Francisco   Kabouki Theatre
                              30th      Los Angeles     Beverly Theatre
                        April  2nd      Tokyo, JAPAN
                               3rd      Tokyo, JAPAN
                               6th      Hong Kong
                               9th      Bangkok, THAILAND

Due to tour dates the 4/83 Info. Sheet will not be distributed until 2nd week of April so please be patient.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #8 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:36:15 »
1983-03-xx - ITV (UK) - Freetime (Interview)

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #9 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:36:50 »
1983-03-xx - RAI (Italy) - Un Battello Sul Tamigi

Just Can't Get Enough + Get the Balance Right:

[Translation by Ludovica Iorio:]

INTERVIEWER: Oh I see a new face!
DAVE: Yes, there's a new one in the band. A nice guy was needed, at least one!
INTERVIEWER: Has the arrival of Al in the band changed something in your way of making music?
DAVE: Yes, it has! First of all he writes songs as well, so we've got two now to do that, and we can choose among different motives. On the new album there are some of his pieces. Then, I have to say that we're turning to a more futuristic kind of music. More electronic, but one that also considers the use of guitars, of real percussion, no more only computers.
INTERVIEWER: I notice that many bands here in England have got a movement of fashion, make up, clothing around them.
DAVE: Indeed. There are many bands in England that think about clothing, make up, etc. a lot, and people follow them. Well, what happens almost every time is that music finishes to be moved to the background in front of appearance. This is a thing that we try to avoid at most.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #10 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:37:07 »
1983-03-xx - Tops (UK) - Bullseye


If you've always wanted to see your favourite group shooting a video, you should've been watching FREETIME - because that's exactly what the offered as first prize in their Pop Video competition.
TOPS shows you how the winner was picked from over eight thousand correct entries and how even the losers were winners when Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode turned up for the occasion!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #11 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:37:25 »
1983-04-06 - CR2 (China) - Band Audio Interview

[DM did an audio interview in Hong Kong. They also did an ID greeting for CR2's 100% Rock show:
I made a transcript of the interview:]

Angel Leung: Martin, I would like to ask you, what is the French word of the magazine called Depeché Mode"? And you called yourselves "Depeché Mode", does it mean the songs and music on stage are fashionable?
Martin: Eh, not really no. But, we used to have a really bad name when we first started, it got embarrassing after a while so we had to change it. At the time, when we were looking for a name, Dave was at college, and he often used to use the magazine, used to use it, because it was art college, so we just thought we just might as well steal the name.
Angel Leung: What was it, that name, that you were using when you first started?
Martin: We never told anybody, it's too bad (laughs).
Angel Leung: David, how did you boys get sculpted together?
Dave: We got together as a three-piece and I came along, one guitar, bass guitar and drum machine, and Martin playing synthesiser. Gradually, I joined them.
Angel Leung: Is there something you could tell about the leaving of Vince? Under what circumstances did he quit the group?
Martin: We're not really sure of the reason why he left, but we suppose it was mainly because he wanted to do something on his own, and partly because he didn't like being the centre of attention all the time, being famous, and doing interviews all the time, and he didn't get enough free time to write songs and things, and so he left so that he could concentrate on his songwriting. Then he formed Yazoo and now he's basically the same position again, really, because he's even more successful.
Angel Leung: Do you have any comment on Yazoo's music?
Martin: I think it's really good.
Angel Leung: Vince Clarke has used to be the frontman of the group. After he quit, you Martin, took the stand as only writer. What is the biggest difference between your compositions and Vince's?
Martin: It's difficult to say what the differences between the two sorts of songs are. I write in a totally different way than Vince. Vince used to concentrate on melody and he didn't really worry about words. He used to like words that rhymed, and didn't worry about their meaning. Whereas, I tend to worry more about the meaning, and then work on the melodies afterwards.
Angel Leung: Well how do you categorise your music?
Dave: Ehm, I don't think it's very romantic, really. Some of the songs are love songs, like "See You", that type of love songs. But I wouldn't say that on the whole we're New Romantics music, like the whole name that is made up in England. A lot of groups are just sort of put down in that category. And that was a name that came up, and Futurists, things like that, but I don't really name anything, you know, those sorts of names are forgotten now in England. You're just sort of all out on your own, as bands which can pull through that thing, can now establish something on their own, like us.
Angel Leung: The electronic sound is very popular, the metal pipes, hitting objects and such, such as in Hong Kong. Martin, do you think this trend will last?
Martin: I think so, yeah. Because electronic music is just another form of music and alternative, because our music, is just a way of making music, it's not a particular style, so I think it will last because of that.
Angel Leung: Some British bands like Duran Duran, Kajagoogoo and Thompson Twins are really doing well in the American top 100. Any plans of breaking into the American charts?
Dave: Well all those bands that you've mentioned have spent a lot of time in America, touring, but we haven't really spent a lot of time. I think if we probably went over there to the States and just toured for four months, we'd probably be in the top 100, but we haven't got any... We've got ambitions of being big in other countries, but America is not one of our biggest ambitions at the moment, we don't mind being just getting bigger in Europe and other countries.
Angel Leung: Martin, keyboards and synthesisers are very important to British new music and electronic sound. Guitars seem to be forgotten for a while. Is there any special reason that guitars are not so important to new music?
Martin: I think mainly, people have just got a bit bored with them. There's new, less expensive ones now in the past 20 years or so, and now there's a new way of making music. I think people are just more open to it and just go for that instead of using guitars. But, we've got nothing against guitars, I mean, we do actually use them sometimes. We've used them a couple of times.
Angel Leung: Dave, so people think that electronic dance music and diso sound are similar, are they or not?
Dave: Well only the the way that people dance to them. I think disco music, okay, the beat in electronic, electro music is very disco but I don't think it's the same as disco. Disco is very bland, it's not very exciting, you can listen to ten songs from ten different acts and the all sound the same. Whereas electronic music, all songs are different.
Angel Leung: And what are, or what is the band's favourite?
Martin: Ou personal favourite?
Angela Leong: Yeah.
Martin: My personal favourite is 'Ice Machine'.
Angel Leung: How about you Dave?
Dave: Probably 'See You', I like the tune, it's a really good single, and 'Leave in Silence'. Quite a lot of the tracks, they're probably my favourite songs.
Angel Leung: How about your views on 'Get The Balance Right'?
Dave: Yeah, well it's not one of my favourites, so... I don't like it as much as I would like to...
Angel Leung: After Hong Kong where will be your next stop?
Dave: Bangkok. It's gonna be two shows, and we're going back to England to complete our third album.
Angel Leung: Any title for the third album?
Dave: Well we've got a sort of working title, it's gonna be something like 'Construction Time Again', something like that.
Angel Leung: If you can listen to your 'Speak and Spell' album and 'A Broken Frame' album, which do you like more?
Martin: I HAVE to say, really, the second album, I shouldn't. If I was to lie, I'd say the first one.
Angel Leung: And do you come back?
Dave: Oh yeah, sure, yeah. We're going back to America in November, so maybe we'll be visiting you again at the end of it, I don't really know. But, we'll be back, definitely.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #12 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:40:31 »
1983-04-06 - Hong Kong Radio (China) - Dave interview (15 min)

[We don't have this audio interview.]

1983-04-xx - KQED Channel 9 (US) - Videowest

[This is a syndicated interview, that was also broadcast on MTV at the time. You can listen to that same interview (as an audio file) here:]

[I made a transcript:]

[DM play 'My Secret Garden']
Narrator: British futurists Depeche mode recently brought their stylised brand of electropop to the United States. Unlike most rock bands, however, Depeche Mode features a drummer that starts performing at the press of a button. Their electronic backbeat comes from a Teac tape machine. Lead singer Dave Gahan asserts that having a mechanical drummer is really quite ordinary.
Dave: The reason why we use it for our drums, is, right from when we started, we've never had a drummer, and we used to use drum machines, which weren't very good when we first started out. And then when we got into the studio and started making records, we just took the drum track from the records and put it onto the tape. We've always had it and never even thought about getting a drummer. That's why it is, really. And, I mean, it's great to have a real drummer on stage, but, the Teac probably keeps better time.
[DM play 'My Secret Garden' further]
Narrator: Dave Gahan and the tape deck share the stage with synthesiser players Andy Fletcher, Alan Wilder, and Martin Gore. Gore is also the chief songwriter for the group. When composing, he relies on the guitar to work on the chords, but any other time, Martin prefers synthesisers.
Martin: I think I got a bit bored by the sound of a guitar, the electric guitar. There's not a lot that you can do with the sound of it. You can flange it, or put it through an echo or something but it's still basically the same sound. The synth offers a lot of varieties of sounds. You can almost get any sound on it, if you look for it.
Alan: You know, I've got percussive sounds, that kind of thing, and [plays different sounds]... I mean, that's the section of 'odd noises', you know.
Narrator: Depeche Mode's newest member, Al Wilder, had piano lessons from an early age, but in the last five years, he's graduated to technologically sophisticated, computerised keyboards.
Alan: Sometimes it can take a long time to find the sound that you want, but that's half the fun of it, you know. I mean, you can spend hours just fiddling about with the sound. When we're in the studio, we spend hours looking for sounds. And then, since we've got it, we store it, so that we can get it back at any time. Another nice feature is: you can split the keyboard in two and have two separate sounds, for example, in the lower half of the keyboard I can put a bass kind of sound, and in the other half a stringy sound or whatever. And there's one song called "Tora..." where I do that, I'm playing [plays sound] in one half.
Narrator: It's hard to believe that these young men, who started recording together when they were just teenagers, face any pressures.
Dave: We've been together for three years now. So that was quite a while ago. But since then, we've been around, we've seen a lot of the world, and we've got over that, really. When we first started out, I was 17, so we was pretty young. I mean, with my first TV appearance, I was 18, I think, just 18, but we've got over that, really, we've grown up really quick. You have to, really. If you wanna sort of stay in this sort of business then you've got to grow up quick. I mean, we still manage ourselves as well.
Narrator: The reflective heart-searching quality of Martin Gore's lyrics reveals this early maturity, but Gore is shy about interpreting the meaning of his songs.
Martin: We try and not talk about the songs too much. I think it's a bit of a general policy that we try to keep a bit of mystique with the songs. Because if, you can go into an interview and talk about your songs and explain it fully, but what's the point? You might as well and do that anyway, go on the television spots and tell everyone your views. But if you're gonna write songs, you might as well try and express them, and then leave it up to the imagination of the listener.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #13 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:40:55 »
1983-04-xx - Depeche Mode - Information Sheet 4 and 5

                        COMBINED INFORMATION SHEETS NOS. 4/83 & 5/83


I have enclosed the requested items/information which I hope are satisfactory. Please do not hesitate to write back to me if there is anything about DEPECHE MODE that you would like to know and I will do my best to answer your questions. Please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the above address quoting the number 6/83 at the end of May for Information Sheet No. 6/83.

DEPECHE MODE NEWS: At this moment in time DEPECHE MODE are recovering from the 38 hour journey home from South East Asia after a sell-out highly successful tour in USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and Bangkok. The audiences at every concert were very responsive and there are plans to return to America and Canada in November and to Asia again after Christmas.

VIDEO NEWS: We apologise for still not having any definite release date for the live/compilation video but the band hope to view all the clips of film prior to the final editing this month.

RECORD NEWS: The follow-up album to 'A Broken Frame' will be recorded in May/June/July, all of the songs have been written by both Martin and Alan and the provisional title for the LP is 'Construction Time Again'. A new single will be released in July from the album which is due for release in August.

MERCHANDISE: Hopefully some new photos and badges.

TELEVISION: Dave and Alan will be appearing on Pop Quiz soon.

TOUR DATES: The dates of the British Tour are still not confirmed but we are pleased to be able to print a list of the towns where DEPECHE MODE will be appearing in September and October.
                        September - Belfast Dubling Brighton Southampton
                                    Coventry Sheffield Aberdeen Edingburgh
                                    Glasgow Newcastle Liverpool
                                    Manchester Nottingham Bristol
                                    Hanley Birmingham Cardiff
                        October   - Oxford Portsmouth           London
                                    Hemel - Hempstead
PLEASE NOTE that there will now not be a new Information Sheet available at the end of April.

Depeche Mode have one concert this month May 28th Rheine|Schuttorf, Germany. Open Air Festival with Rod Stewart.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1983: Construction Time Again
« Reply #14 on: 25 June 2012 - 02:41:43 »
1983-05-07 - Record Mirror (UK) - NO MODE HEARTACHE

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Record Mirror, 7th May 1983. Words: Mark Cooper. Picture: Francesco Melling.]
Summary: Although presented as a review, this short item is actually a musing on Depeche Mode's chances of 'cracking' the US. [174 words]


Depeche Mode
Kabuki Nightclub, San Francisco
    Punk never penetrated the American charts, pure pop will (writes our former middle-aged correspondent). Punk stayed in the major cities, an urban cult. Powder puff pop is being beamed all over America by cable TV and radio stations that are playing dance music, calling it urban contemporary. Suddenly America has gone pop.
    Pop in the States means British and teenage. The bands are British, the audience is teenage. Adam now gets the same screams here he got in Britain last year, Duran Duran are enormous. The altogether more worthy Depeche Mode are still a cult despite the fact that they are as teenage and suburban as their audience. Are they too ordinary to be pin-ups or will they wind up giving teenage kicks to teenage kids?
    Ultimately the Mode offer only a bit of cheek and youth. Their pop is pretty and danceable and frequently intelligent. Like most pop, it’s too clean to be truly exciting live music. Whoever replaced rock and roll with pop forgot about that.
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