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Author Topic: 1982: A Broken Frame  (Read 51609 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #45 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:37:21 »
1982-05-21 - WDR (Germany) - WWF Club

Meaning Of Love:

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #46 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:37:40 »

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Look In, 22nd May 1982. Words: Phil Parsons. Pictures: Jill Furmanovsky / Uncredited.]
[Words: Phil Parsons. Pictures: Uncredited / Jill Furmanovsky.]
" I have to lock myself away. The thing is a lot of ideas I come up with are embarrassing so you have to be on your own when you come up with them! "

Summary: The band (excepting Alan, who is mentioned but wasn't present) chat amiably about the departure of Vince, and the adjustments they've had to make in his wake, especially with regard to songwriting. Predictably light on information, but the sort of delightful interview that you don't find in later years. [1086 words]

    It’s difficult to know what to expect from Depeche Mode. Last year they were a four-piece band of serious young men making happy pop records. Now they’re three happy people making more serious records!
    If you’ve seen them on TV you will probably have noticed a change in the line-up. Vince Clarke, the very quiet member of the band who wrote their first three hits, left earlier this year. So that’s why Depeche Mode are now a three-piece band. However if you’ve seen them you will have still counted four. That’s because they’ve drafted in Alan Wilder for live and TV appearances. But in the studio, and therefore on record, Depeche Mode are Dave Gahan, Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore.
    It all seems a bit confusing, so in their studio, a converted church near London Bridge would you believe, we asked the full-time Depeches to clear things up a little.

Where’s Vince?

    First of all, what about Vince’s departure? Dave explained what had happened. “When we did our European tour he just sat in the front of the van and didn’t talk. He only spoke when he was spoken to.
    “We knew he wanted to leave a while before that. Then when we came back, he came round all of our houses and just said he wanted to leave. He didn’t like touring or the  way Depeche Mode were becoming public property.
    “He just wanted to do things on his own, but he could have done that anyway, that’s what I don’t understand. He could have done something and still been in Depeche Mode.”
    “But when would he have had the time?” chipped in Mart (as the others call him). “He wouldn’t have had any time this year to do anything.” So it looks as though he probably wouldn’t have had any time to give to his current group Yazoo.
    Vince wrote most of Depeche’s songs so his departure could have meant the end of the road for the band. “It put us out on a limb really, but luckily we thought he was going to leave a few months before he did so we’d been planning, sort of thing. He’d been getting more distant from the group,” said Andy.
    Martin Gore had written two tracks for their debut album Speak And Spell so he took over and wrote the smash hit See You and their latest single The Meaning Of Love. [1]
    “We weren’t worried about Mart’s song writing capabilities,” said Dave. “In a way it was less poppy,” said Mart. “There was quite a long gap between Just Can’t Get Enough and See You, and we didn’t release a single with the album,” commented Andy. “We were just generally worried!” joked Dave.

Smart Mart!
    No one could deny that Mart is now a successful songwriter, but he’s very modest about it. He told us how he sets about it. “My style of writing has changed since I started writing more seriously. I’ve always written songs, but I don’t really keep to the format. Sometimes I write the words first, sometimes the music, sometimes both together.
    “I have to lock myself away. The thing is a lot of ideas I come up with are embarrassing so you have to be on your own when you come up with them!”
    It could seem unfair that the responsibility for writing hit material should lie solely with Mart. What about Dave and Andy?
    “Sometimes I think of a tune in my head. But I can never remember it the next day,” said Dave. “I always try,” said Andy defensively. “It’s hard for me, I’ve never really written before and I’d have to come up with a song that’s possibly going to go in the English top ten or something. It might take me years to get up to that writing ability.
    “I can’t write any lyrics at all. They just sound stupid: I couldn’t imagine anyone singing them. My opening line to every song is ‘I was walking down the road the other day.’ Imagine that as the opening line to a musical, it would really set people alight!”

The New Boy
    Apart from songwriting, Vince’s departure left another hole in the band: it is filled by Alan Wilder. “At the moment he’s a live session man. He just plays live for us, not in the studio, but that might change,” said Andy.
    “I don’t think it’s right really, not yet, it’s just like someone jumping in after you’ve been together for two years. And if he came in the studio now it would be hard for him to fit in,” added Dave. “Especially when we’re doing things like finishing off tracks,” confirmed Andy.
    But there will be plenty of work for Alan. Depeche Mode are off to promote their first single in America with a tour and there are numerous appearances to be made on TV in this country to promote The Meaning Of Love.

No Big-Heads!
    Despite all the weird and wonderful things that have happened to them, Depeche Mode aren’t letting success go to their heads. In fact, some fans stop them getting too big headed. Andy explained: “A lot of people might like us, but a lot of other people really dislike us. They think we’re vile.”
    “Vile? That’s a bit strong! I’ve never heard that one!” chortled Dave. “A girl came up to us once and said, ‘Some people think you’re cute, but some people think you’re slightly vile,” said Andy.
    And while we’re on the subject of critics, let’s not forget the Depeche Mums.
    “Oh yes, my mum still listens to our work,” said Dave. “We recorded a slow track, more like See You. I played it to my mum and she said, ‘I like it, love, but I don’t think you should have it as the next single. It’s a bit too slow.”
    “Andy’s mum’s description was the best,” said Mart. “What was it? She said she liked it but that it was like an Egyptian death march!”
    “Mart’s mum is a heavy critic,” Andy retorted. “She doesn’t like any of it, she likes Motorhead!” Mart joked.
    They all fell about laughing at the thought of Mart’s mum as a rocker.  So you can see there’s no need to worry about these Basildon boys. Maybe they did lose their songwriter, get called vile by their fans and their mums don’t like some of their work. But despite all that they’re a happy bunch. And successful too: The Meaning Of Love proves it!
[1] - Martin wrote See You in about 1977 during his Norman And The Worms days, and dusted it off as an emergency measure. I'm not certain about The Meaning Of Love - I believe this was written in 1982.

1982-05-27 - Musiker Music News (Germany) - Interview mit Depeche Mode

[Thanks to Barclay for scanning this for this forum! Transcribed ans translated by me.]

»Wer weiß, vielleicht machen wir ja tatsächlich die Musik zum Tanz auf dem Vulkan.«
Trotz dunkler Wolken nicht nur am Pophimmel sehen die Jungs von Depeche Mode die Welt nicht zu grau.
Interview mit Depeche Mode
von Jürgen Steinhoff

Mit den sogenannten »neuen Romantikern« möchten sie nicht gern in einen Topf geworfen werden. »Wir sind einfach eine Popband«, meint Dave Gahan, 19jähriger Sänger der Gruppe. Und eine ziemliche erfolgreiche dazu, muß gesagt werden, denn nicht nur mit etlichen Singles, sondern auch mit ihrer Debüt-LP »Speak & Spell« schlug der Synthesizer-Pop von Depeche Mode inzwischen auch bei uns sehr gut ein. Vor ihrem Hamburger Konzert trafen wir uns kürzlich mit dem in punkto Musik orginellen Trio (das konzerten um einen Gastmusiker erweitert wird.)

MMN: Früher hieß es immer, Synthesizer-Musik sei "tote" Musik. Wodurch habt ihr's geschafft, trotz der von euch ausschließlich benutzten Synthesizer genau das Gegenteil zu erreichen?
DEPECHE MODE: Einmal dadurch, daß wir von vornherein mit einer ganz anderen Einstellung an die Umsetzung unserer Ideen herangegangen sind. Zwar stimmt es, daß wir mit Synthesizern anstelle von herkömmlichen Musikinstrumenten arbeiten, andererseits ist zum Beispiel unser Gesang als Gegenstück dazu immer noch sehr "menschlich". Außerdem erzeugen wir mit den von uns benutzten Synthesizern ja auch keine Geräuschkulisse oder so, sondern wir setzen die Maschinen wie Musikinstrumente ein. Hinzu kommt auch noch, daß wir ja Popmusik machen und keinen Wert darauf legen, musikalisch gesehen nun als Rockgruppe eingestuft zu werden. Wären wir das, würden die Synthesizer bei uns möglicherweise auch "tote" Musik erzeugen. Entscheidend dafür, wie "tot" oder "lebendig" Synthesizer klingen, sind also allein die innere Einstellung zur und die Art der Musik, die man damit macht.
MMN: Synthesizer-Bands wie ihr dürften oft gefragt werden, ob sie von Kraftwerk oder andern deutschen Elektronikern beeinflußt wurden. Ist das bei euch der Fall?
DEPECHE MODE: Wenn überhaupt sind wir tatsächlich ausschließlich von Kraftwerk beeinflußt worden. Mit anderen deutschen Elektronik-Bands haben wir uns nie befaßt, bzw. sie nicht einmal gehört. Was uns an Kraftwerk am meisten fasziniert, ist die Tatsache, daß sie es geschafft haben, auch imagemäßig so ungeheuer mit der Zeit zu gehen. Immerhin sind sie ja im Grunde genommen schon eine ziemlich alte Band. Wenn sie es trotzdem geschafft haben, heute als New Wave-Band gehandelt zu werden, ist das schon eine beachtliche Leistung. Wahrscheinlich waren sie der Zeit schon immer irgendwie voraus - auch was ihre Musik anbelangt. Außerdem haben sie sich eben auch optisch immer sehr gut in Szene zu setzen vermocht.
MMN: Wie ihr wissen werdet, gibt es bei uns inzwischen auch eine ganze Menge neue Musik, die aber nicht nur wegen der Sprache anders klingt als die, die aus England kommt. Worin seht ihr die größten Unterschiede?
DEPECHE MODE: Wir haben anläßlich eines deutschen Fernsehauftritts kürzlich gerade einige Bands dieser Richtung kennengelernt. Verschiedene gefielen uns ausgesprochen gut. Nichts zum Beispiel. Mit ihnen haben wir uns auch sehr angeregt unterhalten. Andere deutsche Neue Welle-Künstler, die in der gleichen Sendung mitwirkten, fanden wir dagegen etwas merkwürdig. Namen wollen wir hier lieber keine nennen, weil das vielleicht nicht fair wäre. Die größten Unterschiede zwischen neuer deutscher Welle und New Wave, dem englischsprachigen Quasi-Gegenstück dazu? Nach unserem Dafürhalten gibt's außer der Sprache so gut wie keine, denn irgendwie klingt vieles davon für uns so, als ob die entsprechenden Gruppen auch etliche Elemente der neuen englischen Popmusik übernommen hätten. Die wiederum haben sie dann mit eigenen Ideen angereichert. Daß sie in ihrer eigenen Sprache singen, ist in Ordnung. Das können wir ja schließlich auch.
MMN: Wann, glaubt ihr, wird neue Musik nicht mehr als neue Musik bezeichnet werden? Inzwischen hat sie sich im Grunde genommen doch schon seit längerem als Musik von heute etabliert, so daß es ja vielleicht an der Zeit wäre, sich mal einen anderen Namen als New Wave dafür auszudenken!?
DEPECHE MODE: Völlig richtig. Die Frage ist nur, welchen! Vielleicht sollte man sie Popmusik der Achtziger nennen, aber das ist eigentlich auch nicht übermäßig originell. Nennen wir's doch einfach progressive Popmusik oder was auch immer. Irgend jemand wird schon noch mal 'nen neuen Namen dafür erfinden, der sich einbürgert. Bei euch sagt ihr ja sogar schon wieder Schlager zu neudeutscher Musik, wie wir gehört haben. Vielleicht sollten wir das auch einfach übernehmen!
MMN: Seht ihr irgendwelche Zusammenhänge zwischen eurem Erfolg in England und der Tatsache, daß es dem Land momentan alles andere als gut geht? Angeblich flüchten sich die Menschen in schlechten Zeiten ja gern in eine nicht der Wirklichkeit entsprechende Traumwelt, zu der ihr ihnen ja vielleicht die richtigen Zutaten liefert!?
DEPECHE MODE: Wer weiß. Wir haben das bis jetzt zwar noch nicht unter diesem Aspekt gesehen, aber vielleicht machen wir ja tatsächlich die Musik zum Tanz auf dem Vulkan. Aber nur vielleicht, denn wir sind auf jeden Fall noch nicht auf dem Weltuntergangs-Trip, der langsam schon zu 'ner richtigen "Mode" geworden ist. Das bedeutet nicht, daß wir die Augen vor den Realitäten verschließen, die besonders auch bei uns in England ja alles andere als beglückend sind. Aber was sollen wir tun, damit es wieder besser wird? Wir sind nur eine Popgruppe und keine Politiker.
MMN: Welche Musik wollt ihr machen, falls es der Welt noch einmal wieder besser gehen bzw. auch, falls eure jetzige Musik vielleicht mal irgendwann nicht mehr so angesagt sein sollte?
DEPECHE MODE: Kommt ganz drauf an, welche Art von Musik dann angesagt ist! Sollte sie uns liegen, wären wir sicher bereit, gleichzuziehen. Aber irgendwie muß die ganze Geschichte dann natürlich auf unserer Linie liegen. Sonst würden wir es vermutlich doch vorziehen, lieber etwas anderes zu machen.
MMN: Welche weiteren Aktivitäten habt ihr für die nächste Zeit geplant, und gehört vielleicht auch mal wieder 'ne neue LP dazu?
DEPECHE MODE: Klar kommt 'ne neue LP. Voraussichtlich im September. Erstmal gehen wir demnächst auf eine mehrwöchige USA-Tournee, wo unsere aktuelle LP inzwischen auch erschienen ist. Danach fegen wir dann mit den Arbeiten zur neuen LP an, und irgendwann zwischendurch wollen wir, wenn es sich irgendwie einrichten läßt, natürlich auch mal Urlaub machen. Und wenn's nur 'n paar Tage sind. Das Pop-Business schlaucht nämlich auch ganz schön. Wer's nicht glaubt, kann ja zum Beispiel mal mit uns auf Tournee kommen. Irgendwann wird er dann nämlich feststellen, daß wir unser Geld im Gegensatz zu Ölscheichs nicht im Schlaf verdienen.


"Who knows, maybe we will indeed make the music about living on the edge."
Despite dark clouds hanging not just on the sky of pop, the boys of Depeche Mode don't view the world too darkly.
Interview with Depeche Mode
By Jürgwn Steinhoff

They don't really like to be thrown into the "New Romantics" heap. "We're just a popband", says Dave Gahan, 19-year-old singer of the group. And a very successful one at that, so it has to be said, because not only several singles but also Depeche Mode's synthesizer pop in their debut LP "Speak & Spell" struck us very well. Before their concert in Hamburg, we briefly met with essentially musically a threesome (that gets expanded by a guest musician at concerts).

MMN: In the old days, it was always said that synthesizer music was "dead" music. How did you manage to prove the opposite of that by using just your synthesizers?
DEPECHE MODE: Simply by the fact that right from the start we handled the transformation of our ideas with a very different attitude. It is true that instead of traditional instruments we work with synthesizers, but on the other hand our singing next to that makes it nevertheless still very "human". Moreover, it's not like we use our synthesizers to make sound effects, but we use the machines like music instruments. Add to that the fact that we make pop music and don't make a case out of wanting to be regarded as a rock group. If we were one, our synthesizers would maybe also produce "dead music" for us. Critical to whether synthesizers sound "dead" or "alive" are therefore just the attitude towards music and the kind of music that you make with it.
MMN: Synthesizer bands may often be asked of you are influenced by Kraftwerk or other German electronic bands. Is that the case with you?
DEPECHE MODE: If that were the case, then we would only be influenced by Kraftwerk. We never occupied ourselves with other German electronic bands or even listened to them. What we like most about Kraftwerk is mainly the fact that they also managed to move with the times so greatly regarding their image. After all, essentially they're already quite an old band. The fact that they nevertheless managed to be seen as New Wave band nowadays is a pretty admirable achievement. They have probably always been ahead of their time - also as for their music. Moreover they have also always succeeded in optically putting themselves on stage very well.
MMN: As you will know, there is a whole mix of new music over here, which sounds different from the music in England not only because of the different language. Where do you see the biggest differences?
DEPECHE MODE: We had the occasion to meet such bands on a German TV performance recently. We liked several of them quite a lot. "Nichts" for example. We had a lively conversation with them. We found other German New Wave artists who were working on the same show, however, a bit odd. We don't want to drop any names here, because that probably wouldn't be fair. The biggest difference between German New Wave and New Wave, counting the quasi-English singing ones? In our opinion, besides the language there is practically no difference, because somehow many of it sounds to us as if these groups have also taken several elements of the new English pop music. Which subsequently have been enriched with their own ideas. The fact that they are singing in their own language is alright. So do we, after all.
MMN: When, do you think, will new music no longer be regarded as new music? By now, you have basically established yourself as today's music for a long time, so long in fact that it may be time to think of a name different from New Wave?!
DEPECHE MODE: Completely right. The only question is, which one! Maybe people should call it '80s pop music, but that is also actually not very original. So we could simply call it progressive pop music or whatever. Somebody will find a new name for it, which will become natural. Over here, you guys also say "Schlager" to new German music, as we've heard. Maybe we should simply do the same!
MMN: Do you see any connections between your success in England and the fact that everything is going anything but well in that country? It is said that, in bad times, people take refuge in a dream world not corresponding to reality, for which you perhaps provide the right ingredients!?
DEPECHE MODE: Who knows. We have never even looked at it this way, but maybe we indeed make music about living on the edge. But maybe barely, because we are definitely not on a doomsday trip, which is slowly already becoming the mainstream "fashion". That does not mean that we close our eyes to the realities that are anything but gratifying, especially those in England. But what should we do to make it better? We're just a pop group, not politicians.
MMN: Which music would you like to make, when the world is becoming better again or when your current music will no longer be so popular anymore?
DEPECHE MODE: That depends on what kind of music is popular then! If we like it, we might be willing to steer towards it. But somehow, the overall music genre will have to be on our course, of course. Otherwise we will probably still prefer to make something else nevertheless.
MMN: Which activities have you got planned for the next period, and does that perhaps include yet another LP?
DEPECHE MODE: Of course there will be a new LP. Expected in September. First we start on a USA-tour for several weeks, where our current LP has appeared by now. After that we will start with working on a new LP, and somewhere in between will want to, when it's possible, go on a holiday. Even if it's just for a few days. The pop business can be also be quite tough, namely. If you don't believe you, you can for instance join us on tour for some time. Somewhere along the line you will conclude that, unlike oil sheikhs, we don't earn our money in our sleep.

1982-05-29 - BBC1 (UK) - Pop Quiz: with Dave Gahan

[We really need a recording of this episode.]

1982-05-29 - Tops nr.34 (UK) - A Sally James Almost Legendary Interview With Depeche Mode

[Thanks to Barclay for scanning this for this forum! Transcribed using OCR.]

DEPECHE MODE (pronounced Depechay, if you please) have achieved enormous success in the three years since they left school. When I spoke to lead singer Dave recently, I asked him to tell me about his schooldays. "I should have done a lot better than I did! When you're in your last year, you know how it is, you can't wait to leave, and I didn't do a lot of the exams that I was entered for." But, Dave didn't do too badly in the exam stakes. "I got '0' level Technical Drawing, Engineering Drawing, Geography and English and then I got CSE's for Maths and Metalwork. "Then I was offered a labouring job and, as it was my first chance to earn some money, I took it!" Dave wouldn't recommend anyone else to do the same as him, though. So, what were his ambitions at school? "I thought about going to college to do display and fashion. A lot of people thought I should do Technical Drawing, but I thought that would be very boring.

"I think when you're a kid it's always a dream to be a singer in a band. I used to sing along to all the 'Slade' records in front of my mirror, but I never thought that my dream would come true! "I was with another band at the time, rehearsing at this school, and it just happened that Depeche Mode were rehearsing there too. Vince phoned me up a few weeks later to ask if I'd like to sing with them. We did a demo, and it just sort of went from there."

Depeche Mode haven't looked back since — they've conquered Britain and most of Europe — and now have their sights on The States. In fact, they're spending three weeks there this month. "We went to The States in January and did a few gigs which went down really well," Dave told me. "Maybe we've got a chance to make it there, but the radio stations are a bit frightened of synthesizer music." Did the band like America? "Yeah, except we didn't see much of it. We were only in some places half a day and then we were off somewhere else. It was freezing in January so we're hoping it'll be a bit warmer this time."

Will there be time for a holiday? "Well, we're hoping to have a holiday after the American tour, we'd like to go off to Hawaii and just laze around in the sun." Finally, I asked Dave about his famous pierced nose. How did it come about? "Well, it was two years ago. I was going out with a girl who had hers done and I just liked it. So, I went out and had mine done, but it hurt so much I nearly cried. "A lot of the kids who come to our gigs have copied me and had it done — but I wouldn't recommend it as the pain is considerable."
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #47 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:38:48 »
1982-05-xx - Rockerilla n° 24 (Italy) - Depeche Mode

Talking a la mode ...
di Alessandro Calovolo

Un po' di sole rischiara questo pomeriggio di primo maggio; Seymour Place è quasi deserta. Mentre cerco la sede della Mute Records, penso insistentemente al motivo che mi ha spinto ad ottenere questa intervista. I Depeche Mode hanno fatto dei brani molto graziosi, ma il 33 giri non mi convinceva completamente. E' vero che si trovano tra le poche bands di successo (zona alta delle charts) tra le nuove leve inglesi, ma dalle interviste e dalle foto che mi sono capitate sott'occhio non sembra no dei personaggi pirotecnici.
Quale errore! Non fidarsi mai delle fotografie linde e pulitine: è una cosa da imparare.
Arrivo al 102 e trovo Hildy, l'avvenente addetta stampa dei D.M.. che mi guida su per una rampa di scale e mi precede entro una porta di legno verniciata di bianco. Paff, è come entrare in un bosco da fiaba, quando la luce filtra in lamine sottili dalla sommità della volta verdeggiante (un po' aulico ma penso che possa rendere). Andy Fletcher, David Gahan & Martin Gore, questi tre improbabili folletti dall'aspetto very nice e amichevole, se ne stanno seduti su una panca, mentre Daniel Miller li intrattiene sui prossimi impegni, che prevedono la partecipazione a Top of the Pops e il successivo volo per un concerto a Parigi.

"Hallo!" - mi dice Andy sorridendo sornione; risolto un equivoco del tutto trascurabile (Andy e David pensava no che volessi parlare soltanto con Martin, dal momento che tutto il materiale è suo), cominciamo a conversare.

Che cosa ne pensate della scena odierna del rock inglese ?
David : Beh... (chiede una pausa per riflettere).. credo che mai come in questi momenti ci siano stati tanti e così diversi tipi di musica. Tutto quello che ti posso dire è che noi siamo una tra le bands del giro.

Ok, ma cosa ne pensate di tutte queste bands di funky, salsa e nuova psichedelia? E' solo una questione di moda?
David: Non mi piace il salsa e non mi piacciono bands come i Modern Romance,. invece, mi piace moltissimo il funky e specialmente il nuovo funk bianco. Credo che ci sarà un grande futuro per questo genere, anche se in effetti si tratta di una rivisitazione di quello che c'era alle origini, e anche di certe forme di jazz. Prendi il caso degli Haircut 100: non si possono definire una funk band nel senso classico del termine, ma in effetti fanno del funk di classe. ln ogni caso noi siamo una band pop, ed escludo che noi potremo mai decidere di far del funky.

Potreste spiegarmi che sensazioni si prova a far parte di una band di successo, formata da elementi molto giovani?
Andy: (Si è tagliato i capelli e non è molto loquace, ma mi ha l'aria di essere il classico pezzo di pane). Siamo stati fortunati, veramente fortunati. Abbiamo avuto un'ascesa davvero velocissima. soprattutto tenendo conto del fatto che siamo COSI’ giovani, ed è una cosa che ci ha assorbito completamente. Tu dici giovani e pieni di successo. ma è difficile spiegare cosa si prova. se uno non vive determinate situazioni dall'interno e dall'inizio. Ti posso dire che occorre considerare ogni più piccola cosa con molta energia e molta forza, e poi finisci per sentirti tu stesso molto forte ...

E' cambiato qualcosa, per la vostra mentalità e le vostre abitudini, dagli inizi al momento attuale ?
Andy. Sì. molte cose. Soprattutto per quanto riguarda l'impostazione delle nostre giornate. Prima, all'inizio, passavamo un mucchio di tempo sui furgoni, avanti e indietro per suonare, e non avevamo direzioni molto precise. Diciamo che c'è stato un salto qualitativo di organizzazione, ogni cosa che facciamo, diciamo e suoniamo è predisposta con largo anticipo, in modo che tutto risulti più efficiente. Una volta vivevamo quasi alla giornata, adesso viviamo programmando mese per mese tutte le nostre attività e i nostri impegni...
David: Macche' mese per mese: minuto per minuto!
Andy: No, mese per mese, ad esempio adesso sappiamo già cosa faremo tra sei mesi... (cosa potranno mai fare? n.d.a.).

Siete in qualche modo coinvolti nella corrente ossessione dello 'style'?
David. Ti riferisci al nostro look ?(Sì, voglio dire che cosa ne pensate di gente come gli Spandau Ballet?).
Beh, gli Spands, secondo me, non dicono molto dal punto di vista del look, per il semplice fatto che devono per forza cambiare aspetto una volta ogni due mesi. Queste sono cose importanti per loro, non per noi, e poi. con tutto quello che si mettono addosso, finiscono per legarsi troppo al concetto di moda, in modo troppo fatuo e transitorio.

Ritenete di avere qualcosa in comune con bands quali OMITD, Human League, Heaven 17, Soft Cell?
David: Naturalmente. Intanto il modo di usare i sintetizzatori, abbastanza simile per tutti, e poi il fatto che scriviamo tutti pop songs. Sì, scriviamo pop songs...

E per quanto riguarda le eventuali influenze dei Kraftwerk?
David: Direi che sono inevitabili, ma non solo per noi. I Kraftwerk (The Model n. 1 in classifica, n.d.a.) hanno praticamente inventano un certo modo di usare i Synths, anticipando tutti di alcuni anni. In particolare Martin è solito ascoltare i dischi dei Kraftwerk, perchè è affascinato dalle loro sonorità e tutti noi apprezziamo sia i primissimi lavori che l'ultimo "Computer-world".

Mi pare che il vostro ultimo 45 ('See you') sia diverso dai precedenti: cosa ne dite?
David: Sì è vero, tanto per incominciare...
Andy: E' la prima canzone tutta composta da Martin...
David: E poi ha un'atmosfera differente. Si tratta sempre di una mia canzone d'amore, ed è naturalmente pop, ma qualcosa è cambiato rispetto agli altri singoli.Più che altro è una questione di stati d'animo... direi che è più intimista, più introspettiva delle altre canzoni...

E' stata una bella esperienza registrare per il "Some bizzarre album" di Steve?
David: Si. è cominciato tutto di lì.' ( Risata generale... vabbè!!).

E come mai Vince (Clarke) se ne è andato?
David: Perche ha deciso che non gli interessa più fare tournée, suonare dal vivo e concedere interviste. Questo stato d'animo fiaccava tutte le iniziative della band, e perciò è meglio che se ne sia andato. Comunque si tratta di una decisione pacifica e amichevole, e continueremo a collaborare.

Avete suonato l'ultima volta a Londra prima di Natale, adesso i concerti del 13 e del 18 maggio sono sold-out. Vi piace stare sul palco e fare tours?
David: Mi piace moltissimo stare sul palco e il pubblico mi dà una carica ed una eccitazione formidabili, ma davvero non posso dire di amare le tournée, con tutti quegli spostamenti e i viaggi stressanti. Se ti può interessare, ci piacerebbe molto venire in Italia, sia per suonare che per fare i turisti. E probabilmente verremo, non appena la nostra casa discografica avrà preso i necessari accordi (le guance levigate gli s'imporporano di incredula soddisfazione quando gli faccio presente che da noi hanno un certo seguito...)

Avete molti amici tra le altre bands? Parlatemi un po' delle vostre abitudini mondane...
Martin: (Ma allora parla!) Che cosa intendi per amici?
David: Sì... (britannica non chalance, n.d.a.) abbiamo degli amici... Human League, e poi OMITD. Haircut 100, Ultravox. Però ci tengo a sottolineare che non facciamo parte della schiera nottambuli londinese, non ci piace tirar tardi nei locali e poi non ne avremmo il tempo. Stiamo fuori Londra, a Basildon, e non possiamo certo star fuori fino alle due (solo!) se poi la mattina dopo dobbiamo alzarci alle 6. Non abbiamo tempo da sprecare.

Ed ora un po' di relax: uno per uno, datemi le vostre preferenze in fatto di films, musica e cibo (cibo ?!).
David: lo ascolto molti LP's, mi piace sentire i Simple Minds, i Roxy Music, per i singoli è più difficile, ce ne sono davvero troppi,. comunque mi piacciono molte cose che sono in classifica adesso. Per il cibo, direi Kentucky Fried Chicken (nocomment, n.d.a). Come films dire 'Midnight Express', 'Close Enounters', 'Apocalypse Now".
Andy. Come dischi, i D.A.F: sono cosi energetici ! Per il cibo, direi senz'altro la roba di un buon Chinese Take-away.
Martin: I films di Walt Disney e gli hamburgers (e i Kraftwerk}.

Ed ora una specie di test: io vi leggo dei nomi e voi mi dite ciò che pensate di queste persone.
David: Penso che, nel suo genere, faccia delle cose buone. Però e roba da ragazzini, fatta per quelli delle gang e simili. Si possono davvero divertire (e qui si lancia in un'appassionata esecuzione di 'Ant-music'..}
Andy: Tieni conto di una cosa: adesso lui stra-vende e questi ragazzini fanno a botte per un suo autografo. Ma quando saranno cresciuti che cosa credi che potrà fare Adam? (Forse rifugiarsi alle Seychelles, in una casa di riposo per pirati miliardari? n.d.a.). In compenso mi paiono buoni i Wide Boy Awake, li ho visti una volta alla tele ed erano mica male.

David: Credo che sia un tipo molto tranquillo e solitario. Apprezzo molto alcune cose dei Japan e li trovo formidabili dal vivo, ma non abbiamo mai incontrato Sylvain. Ci piacerebbe.
Andy: Secondo me e un tipo estremamente intelligente (coro consenziente di Martin & Dave).
KIRK BRANDON (Theatre of Hate)
Andy: Se intendi solo lui senza la band alle spalle, ti posso dire che l'ho visto 4 anni fa in un pub, e non era molto divertente: faceva un gran casino e urlava tutto il tempo. Comunque credo che in questo periodo le cose gli vadano bene. Non conosciamo ne lui ne la band (il tono presupporrebbe il classico..- 'e non ce ne frega niente...!)
David: E' un ragazzo molto timido, ma e’ veramente una persona in gamba, e non bisogna associare quella che e la sua vera personalità con tutte le pose e i looks che assume per avere successo. Quella è solo scena e serve a fare quattrini. Lui, in realtà, è molto buono e non farebbe male a una mosca. Ci vediamo ogni tanto e ci divertiamo parecchio insieme.

Prima dicevi che siete una pop band, e di fatto siete anche una band elettronica: in che modo pensi che il pop elettronico possa aiutare la scena inglese a uscire dalla crisi attuale? Pensi che avrà vita lunga?
David: In linea generale ti posso rispondere con un dato di fatto: oggi ci sono molte più bands di pop elettronico di quante non ce ne fossero un anno fa. E' chiaro che il nostro discorso e diverso da quello di tutti gli altri, ma in ogni caso credo che la strada percorribile sia ancora lunga e abbastanza ampia. La cosa più importante (ovviamente!) e che, se questo stato di cose si protrarrà nel tempo. Noi possiamo (e lo possiamo! ) essere tra i principali rappresentanti.

E qui termina questo bizzarro incontro, con i nostri tre che mi porgono allegri e indaffarati le mani ben curate. Nonostante l'aria da putto (o puffo) di David che tra le altre cose indossa un completo di cuoio marrone da svenimento giaccone e pantaloni in cuoio rustico modello RAF, il bon-ton che spopola tra i nouveaux-riches..) il muso simpatico di Andy e l'aria angelica di Martin (sereno variabile tendente al beota), il sottoscritto ha avuta la nettissima impressione di avere a che fare con 3 squali. Però simpatici e, assurdamente, genuini. Il fascino discreto degli omogeneizzati?
See you!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #48 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:39:43 »
1982-05-xx - Musikexpress (Germany) - Neue Gesichter

[Many thanks to Sabu for sending in this scan!]

[I typed out the text. Also available here:]

Depeche Mode
Neue Gesichter 1
Unbeschwerter Synthi-Pop für's tanzende Volk. Aber irgendwann werden auch die Tanzbeine müde.

Auf den britischen Inseln sind sie Stars. Stars für unzählige Fußpaare auf dem Post-Travolta-Tanz-Boden, Stars für die schminkfreudigen New-Romantic-Pfaue, Stars für die Freunde der Pop-Musik aus den Oszillatoren und Filtern des elektronischen Instrumente — Parks, der mit jedem Tag größer, besser und - billiger wird.
Depeche Modes Debüt-Album SPEAK AND SPELL wurde bereits eine Woche vor Veröffentlichung vergoldet. Drei Singles hatte die Band bis dahin gemacht, „Dreaming Of Me“, „New Life“ und „Just Can‘t Get Enough“, Qualität und Chart-Position in gleicher Reihenfolge ansteigend. Wunderbare kleine PopPralinen aus dem Baukasten, so flockig und herzig vorgetragen, daß sie trotz aller Widerstände kleben bleiben.
In Deutschland hingegen fristen Depeche Mode ein unscheinbares Dasein im New-Wave-Fach der örtlichen Schallplattenläden. Also machten sich Martin Gore (20, früher Bankangestellter), David Gahan (19, vom College), Andy Fletcher (20, Versicherungskaufmann) und der neue Mann Alan Wilder (22, ewiger Musiker) auf den Weg zum Festland. Drei Konzerte standen an, Hamburg, Berlin und Hannover. David Gahan schätzt das insgesamt auf etwa 3000 Besucher: „Das wird der Platte also nicht viel nützen, aber Fernsehen ist natürlich wichtig, und lnterviews. “Nun denn.
Die Geschichte von Depeche Mode ist schnell erzählt: Eine kleine Stadt irgendwo in Sussex, Martin und Andy sind Schulfreunde, treffen den etwas älteren Vince Clarke, freunden sich an und beschließen, es mit Musik zu versuchen. Nachdem mit dem selbstbewußten David Gahan auch noch ein passender Sänger gefunden ist, steht die erste Version von Depeche Mode: Vince ist Gitarrist, Andy übernimmt den Bass und Martin die Electronics.
Aber schon bald verändert sich Depeche Mode zur reinen Keyboard-Band: „Andy und Vince fühlten sich limitiert. Bass oder Gitarre haben halt nur diesen typischen Klang. Ihnen wurde klar, daß sie ihre Rollen genauso gut am Synthi einnehmen konnten, wo sie noch weitaus bessere Sounds zur Verfügung hatten.“
Vince Clarke schrieb den Löwenanteil ihres Repertoires, viele Songs von SPEAK AND SPELL wurden damals noch auf Gitarren eingeübt. Die wunderbar organisierten Pop-Harmonien der Platte schrieb man ebenfalls Vince Clarke zu — und als dieser dann Anfang dieses Jahres Depeche Mode verließ, sah die Zukunft der Band plötzlich gar nicht mehr rosig aus. Doch darin kam „See You“, die erste Single aus der Feder von Martin Gore, ebenso gut (wenn nicht besser) wie der ansteckende Gassenhauer ‚Just Can‘t Get Enough“.
Musikalische Differenzen waren ja wohl nicht der Grund, daß Vince sich von euch getrennt hat. Depeche Mode klingt heute nicht viel anders, und auch Vince will ähnlich weitermachen.
David: „Wahrscheinlich hatte er Angst, zu sehr von der Öffentlichkeit eingenommen zu werden. Die Leute achten oft mehr auf unsere Gesichter und Kleidung als auf die Musik. Das hat ihm keinen Spaß mehr gemacht ... Er hat gerade eine Single aufgenommen, ein Mädchen singt und er macht die Electronics.
Martin: „Er hat’s auch gemacht, weil er alleine arbeiten wollte. Er wollte eine Solo-Karriere.“
War das ein schwerer Schlag für die Band?
Martin: „Wir waren besorgt.“ (Gelächter).
David: „Nicht wegen Martins neuer Rolle als Songwriter, das hat mich nicht gesorgt. Aber die Presse verzerrt die Dinge gerne. Die könnten einfach schreiben:
„Ja, ganz nett, aber wo sind die Vince-Clarke-Songs?“ Für das Radio ist das nicht so wichtig; die wissen wahrscheinlich sowieso nicht, wer was schreibt. Aber die Presse... sie kann das Image der Band verderben.“
Meint ihr, daß Depeche Mode heute besser sind als früher?
Martin: Oh ja sicher, wir sind viel mehr Gruppe als früher, als wir vieles einfach Vince überlassen haben. Er war der Typ, der Sachen anpackt, wenn wir nicht weiter wußten. Insofern hat uns sein Ausstieg mehr Gutes als Schlechtes gebracht. Im Studio kennen wir uns jetzt besser aus, die Songs können wir optimaler umsetzen, wir sind einfach erfahrener geworden.“
Könnt ihr euch einen Punkt vorstellen, an dem die Maschinen nichts Neues mehr bringen?
Martin: „Ach, es gibt doch jede Woche neue Instrumente, neue Techniken, man hat immer was zu lernen. Nur übernehmen sollte man sich nicht, dann hat man nicht mehr die Zeit und Konzentration, um gute Songs zu schreiben. Da gehen die meisten Bands dran zugrunde.
In England spielt die Mode auch eine große Rolle. Die Kids springen auf irgendeinen Trend, kaufen sich die ganzen Klamotten, dann kommt plötzlich was Neues — und alles ist über Nacht ganz anders. Aber wir haben uns gehalten. Wenn wir so sehr von der Mode abhingen, dann hätten wir höchstens ein oder zwei Singles gehabt.“
Ich meine das auch eher auf künstlerischem Gebiet. Ihr habt nun mal einen sehr typischen Sound, eben Synthis und dazu Gesangsharmonien, die an die Beach Boys erinnern. Und die sind ihrer Surf-Welle auch überdrüssig geworden und haben sich der Psychedelia zugewandt.
David: „Jede Band verändert sich mit der Zeit. Vielleicht haben sie ja nur etwas Neues versucht, ohne das Alte satt zu haben. Die alten Beatles-Platten laufen auch heute noch sehr gut. So ist eben Pop.“
Gibt es irgendetwas, wofür ihr steht? Fühlt ihr euch als Teil einer Bewegung?
Martin: „Man nannte uns letztens „Happy New Wave“. Das gefiel mir gut.“
Habt ihr denn so was wie eine Botschaft? Wollt ihr die Leute glücklich machen?
Martin: „Das ist keine Botschaft. Wenn überhaupt, dann kommt es von allein. Außerdem sind wir sowieso keine glücklichen Typen, oder?“(Gelächter).
David: „Ich möchte unbedingt, laß man bei unserer Musik dahin schmilzt und seufzt „Oh, ist das toll!“
Noch eine abschließende Botschaft an unsere Leser?
„We're just a fun band!“
Die simple Aussage „We're just a fun band“ weckt in mir allerdings das Gefühl, es hier mit tendenziell resignierten Jugendlichen zu tun zuhaben, deren Bemühungen um Fun kaum mehr sind als eine hoffnungslose Geste persönlicher Richtungslosigkeit. Natürlich hat jeder das Recht auf seine kleinen Pop-Gefühle, doch wer sich so unangreifbar macht wie Depeche Mode, der wird uns auf die Dauer nicht allzu-viel zu sagen haben. Und auch die Tanzbeine werden irgendwann einmal müde.


Depeche Mode
New Faces 1
Carefree's synth-pop for the dancing people. But eventually the dancing legs will get tired.

In the British Isles they are stars. Stars for countless pairs of feet on the post-Travolta dance floor, stars for the happily cosmeticised New Romantic-peacocks, stars for fans of pop music from the oscillators and filters of electronic instruments - parks, which become larger with each passing day and - cheaper.
Depeche Mode's debut album SPEAK AND SPELL turned gold a week before publication. Three singles have the band made so far, "Dreaming Of Me", "New Life" and "Just Can't Get Enough", quality and chart position increasing which each release. Wonderful little pop chocolates from a kit, so flaky and sweetly performed that they stick despite all obstacles.
In Germany, however, hardly existence in the new wave-area of local specialist record shops. So Martin Gore (20, formerly a bank clerk), Dave Gahan (19 from College), Andy Fletcher (20, insurance salesman) and the new man Alan Wilder (22, eternal musician) made their way to the mainland. Three concerts were at Hamburg, Berlin and Hannover. David Gahan estimates the total to be about 3,000 visitors, "This won't benefit the record very much, but television is of course important and interviews." Well, then.
The history of Depeche Mode is quite simple: A small town somewhere in Sussex, Martin and Andy are schoolfriends, meet the slightly older Vince Clarke, befriend him and decide to try music. After the self-conscious David Gahan is found to be a suitable singer, it becomes the first version of Depeche Mode: Vince is a guitarist, Andy takes over the bass and the Martin the electronics.
But soon changed to a pure Depeche Mode keyboard band: "Andy and Vince felt limited. Bass and guitar have only just this typical sound. They realized that their roles could be just as well on a synth, where they had much better sounds."
Vince Clarke wrote the lion's share of their repertoire, many songs from SPEAK AND SPELL were then still practiced on guitar. The wonderfully organized pop harmonies of the album were also written by Vince Clarke - and then earlier this year when he left Depeche Mode, the band's future suddenly looked no longer rosy. But then came "See You", the first single written by Martin Gore, just as good (if not better) than the contagious popular song, "Just Can't Get Enough".
Musical differences were probably not the reason that Vince broke up with you. Depeche Mode sound today not much different, and Vince wants to make similar music.
David: "He was probably afraid of being taken too much to the public. The people pay much more attention on our faces and clothes than on the music. He didn't enjoy that at all... He just created a single, a girl is singing and he makes the electronics.
Martin: "He's also done it because he wanted to work alone. He wanted to pursue a solo career. "
Was a major blow for the band?
Martin: "We were worried." (Laughter).
David: "Not because of Martin's new role as a songwriter, that has not worried me. But the press likes to distort things. They could write: "Yes, very nice, but where are Vince Clarke's songs?" For the radio it is not so important, they probably do not know who wrote what anyway. But the press... they can ruin the image of the band."
Do you think that Depeche Mode are better now than before?
Martin: Oh yeah sure, we are a lot more of a group than in the past, since we have left it a lot to Vince. He was the type to tackle things when we did not continue. In this respect his leaving has brought us more good than bad. In the studio, we know better now, we can implement the songs optimally, we have become just more experienced."
Can you imagine a point at which the machines do not bring anything new?
Martin: "Oh, there are every week new tools, new techniques, one has to always learn something. You shouldn't just copy, then you no longer have the time and concentration to write good songs. Most bands fail that way.
In England, fashion also plays a major role. The kids jump on any trend, buy all the clothes, then suddenly there comes something new - and it becomes quite different overnight. But we have kept base. If we depended so much on fashion, then we would have had at most one or two singles."
I mean it more in the artistic field. You have simply a very distinctive sound, just synths and two vocal harmonies, reminiscent of the Beach Boys. And they also became tired of their surfwaves and turned to psychedelia.
David: "Every band changes with time. Maybe they have tried something new, without becoming tired of the old. The old Beatles records are still doing very well. Now is it just pop that's happening. "
Is there anything, that you represent? Do you feel part of a movement?
Martin: "We were recently called" Happy New Wave". I liked that."
Do not you have something like a message? Do you want to make people happy?
Martin: "This is not a message. If anything, it comes naturally. Besides, we are no happy types anyway, are we? "(Laughter).
David: "I really would like to melt people away and make them sigh and say "Oh, that's great! "
One final message to our readers?
"We're just a fun band!"
The simple statement "We're just a fun band" makes me feel, however, that we're dealing here with generally reserved youngsters whose efforts to have are little more than a hopeless gesture of personal disorientation. Of course everyone has the right to his little pop-feelings, but who makes themselves so unassailable as Depeche Mode, they will have in the long run not much to say. And the dancing legs will eventually get tired.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #49 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:40:00 »
1982-05-xx - M.A.C. Magazin (Germany) - Interview Andy Fletcher (conducted in Berlin)

[I made a transcript:]

Narrator: Und nun: tanz sich tot mit Depeche Mode. [And now: dance yourself to death with Depeche Mode.]
Interviewer: What impression do you have of the German audience in comparison to the English audience, the English fans?
Fletch: It's very good, very good, yeah, because they know the songs and, you know. The English audience is a bit younger. Over here it's a wider range of people, sort of about 12 till 25, sort of thing.
Interviewer: Well, I have a question: Vince Clarke left the group, I think he was the songwriter of your group and wrote the hits like New Life. What was the reason for his leaving?
Fletch: He didn't like what the band was becoming, he thought the band was becoming a kind of poppy teen band, and they don't care about what the music was or what the music was like, they just wanted to touch you and kiss you, and get your tie or mess with your hair or something. After a concert, they wouldn't come up and say, "Oh the concert, the music, was excellent, you really played well." We could have played a concert and have just made a noise and could have done that was well and they would have said we sounded perfectly.
Interviewer: But did you have any problems to replace him?
Fletch: No. We knew he was gonna leave before he said he was gonna leave. We hadn't had any songs planned, so when we left, we wasn't too bothered.
Interviewer: Critics also call you one of the members of the New Romantics, but I don't think you are.
Fletch: When we saw the posters, on all the German posters, there was a thing saying "New Romantics on tour", and it was very annoying, because in England we spent a year and a half trying to tell everyone that we weren't anything like New Romantic, there's no such thing like New Romantic or anything. We spent a year and a half trying to tell everyone, and then suddenly you come over to Germany and there's these big posters going around, "New Romantics on tour". And it's really embarrassing, because English bands, English people, will come over and they will see that on the the posters, and the posters will go on for a long time, and it will reflect back on us. It's really bad, no one ever told us or anything. It was also on tickets in Hamburg, it had "Kings of the New Romantic" on them.
Interviewer: Did you sell any records until now in America?
Fletch: We only sold about 20 to 25.000 albums. But they started to play the Human League albums in a 52 week row and Soft Cell is right behind them, so we're also climbing. The thing is, in American radio stations, the white stations, only play rock music and it's only the black stations that play music like Kraftwerk or stuff they think that sounds a bit darker or black. Because, the record company marketed Kraftwerk as a black group.
Interviewer: Huh?
Fletch: Yeah. So the black stations could play it, and they think we're black as well.
Narrator: Dieses Interview gab uns Andy Fletcher von Depeche Mode. [This interview was with Andy Fletcher from Depeche Mode.]

1982-05-xx - Rock Espezial nº9 (Spain) - Orgullo Moderno

[Thanks to Pacodemode for scanning this for this forum!]

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #50 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:40:18 »
1982-05-xx - Trouser Press (UK) - Keys to the Future

[Thanks to Barclay for scanning this for this forum!]

''Not a day goes by when you don't press a button, whether it's for a cup of coffee or to turn on the stereo or video. People are so surrounded now by electronics, of course there's electronic music. "
-David Ball of Soft Cell

When Devo first sputtered onto the scene in 1978 they were fond of announcing in interviews that eventually they would give up guitars and switch over to synthesizers exclusively. Devo's provocative, revolutionary idea, however, was already accepted in England: the Human League, Gary Numan, Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark and other daring souls had begun mounting projects that would disregard the guitar's long dominance in rock in favor of a box of wires that made strange sounds.
    Of course, the synthesizer wasn't invented in 1978 to amuse Gary Numan. Throughout the '70s the instrument slowly infiltrated pop music as knowledge of its unique qualities spread. Such major creative forces as Todd Rundgren, Stevie Wonder and Brian Eno (with and without Roxy Music) successfully integrated synth into their songs and encouraged others to do the same-and Krafrwerk's whimsical robotics and Tangerine Dream's ethereal oozings were available long before the emergence of Britain's latest chart sensations.
   But today everyone from Abba to Public Image Ltd. uses synthesizers as a matter of course. So what actually did change?
   One very significant thing. Pure, unadulterated synthesizer sound now appears on (more or less) conventional pop tunes. The instrument doesn't call attention to itself, as it had with Kraftwerk and their ilk; machine and song now meet on equal terms. In Britain, at least, the public has signaled its approval. Current UK charts are studded with synthesizer bands like Soft Cell, Human League and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, as well as groups heavily dependent on the instrument, such as Ultravox (the link between Roxy Music and Gary Numan).
   What is a synthesizer, anyway? Guitars, drums and so forth are easy to comprehend, but these newfangled contraptions seem forbiddingly alien. Never fear, Scott Simon of Our Daughter's Wedding, a New York City trio that is one of the American alternatives to UK synth bands, offers a layman's explanation of how the thing works.
   "The sound of a synth comes from a noise generator, which is an oscillator that puts out a signal with a wave shape. That's sent via circuit boards through fillers that change the wave shape and pitch of the initial signal. That goes into a triggering system-the keyboard. A few different things happen to the signal as it goes through the process. What makes a synth complicated is what happens between the oscillator and keyboard."
   Those options, Simon goes on to explain, include being able to store exact sounds in the synth's memory bank (a dead giveaway that computers are involved), the ability to change the shape or pitch of a note, and flexibility in setting the decay, or rate at which a note drops off. The sequencer, beloved to Who fans after Who's Next, "stores notes and puts them out the same way they're put in. You can alter their shape and speed at which they're sent back out, but the notes will always be in the order you put them in."
   OK? Technology buffs will find more sophisticated insights into the workings of this modern electronic wonder in next month's TP.

Daniel Miller is regarded as an elder statesman of the British synth-pop scene. In 1978 he inaugurated his Mute Records with a single by the Normal ("TVOD''/"Warm Leatherette''), which was actually Miller working alone. He went on to release an album of novelty synthesizer tunes as the Silicon Teens, and in 1981 signed and produced Depeche Mode, now a major UK chart success. He spoke to TP while in New York to mix sound on Depeche Mode's US tour.
   Miller's involvement with the instrument is typical of current synthesizer musicians. "I was a fan of German bands [Can, Faust, Neu, Tangerine Dream] in the early '70s and I thought a lot about the possibilities of electronic music for someone like me, who's not a very good musician but likes playing music. I used to play guitar in really bad groups when I was at school. It was frustrating- I knew what I wanted to play but I practiced and still couldn't." Instead Miller saved up his money and purchased a synthesizer and tape recorder around the time the punk movement exploded.
   Others experienced similar dissatisfaction. Scott Ryser San Francisco's Units recalls, "I'd played in rock bands before and I got really sick of the people, of the whole scene." Vocalist Keith Silva of Our Daughter's Wedding was bored with stereotypic new wave bands when he took up the synth. Andy McCluskey of Orchestral Manoeuvres remembers that he and Paul Humphreys simply tired of writing parts for guitars and drums in their Liverpool band: "We wanted to do our songs exactly how we wanted to do them-just myself, Paul and a tape recorder. ''
   Punk galvanized these malcontents. Anyone who suffered through the long reign of flashy progressive bands like Yes or Emerson, Lake and Palmer may find the connection between oft-overused synthesizers and punk's refreshing simplicity hard to grasp. However, David Ball of Soft Cell feels that "synthesizer bands now have got a lot to thank the punk bands of '77 for. The punk thing gave anybody a chance to get up and do it. It didn't matter how well you played as long as it was fast and energetic and exciting.''
   "I was very interested in punk as it was nonelitist,'' Daniel Miller says. "It started me doing my own things. I heard a link between the Ramones and Kraftwerk. If you analyze the music they're quite similar. ''
   OMD's Andy McCluskey makes the connection more explicit. "In some ways it's quite strange that synthesizers were so hated in the punk era. They're the ideal punk instrument if you believe in the ethic of 'anybody can do it.' Someone who's been playing synth for l0 minutes can easily sound as good as someone who's been playing for years, provided the ideas are there.
   "I think a lot of English bands would say one reason they use synths is because the 're easy to play.''
   You'll get no argument on that count from the overly modest youths in Depeche Mode. Andy Fletcher looks back on their early days two years ago and remarks, "We couldn't play hardly at all then; we can't play very well now." Not that they under- value their work. Singer Dave Gahan notes, "In pop music nowadays you don't need technical ability, you need ideas and the ability to write songs. That's the main thing."
   Easy access to synthesizers has given them a bad image as a stale, monotonous instrument. Since practically anybody con play one, a lot of dullards have gotten involved. Andy Fletcher observes that "because you can get such good sounds on the synth you can get away with murder. You can have an awful song and make it sound quite good. Quite a lot of bands do that."
   Some "sophisticated'' musicians also don't understand how their own equipment works. "We're not Kraftwerk, '' Andy Fletcher says, acknowledging the obvious. "Kraftwerk built their own computers and keyboards." Dave Gahan adds, "If someone gave us a computer and said, 'Use that,' we wouldn't know what to do with it.''
   Andy McCluskey laughs at the situation. "We and a lot of other bands who use synths have this technological image that few bands actually deseve. For Kraft- werk, it's a total ideology; it's the way they work. The fact that they use synths is important to them. But as for a lot of new English bands-we don't understand how the hell the things work! Paul [Humphreys] did study electronics, so he knew the principles behind it, but I had to learn by hit and miss."

Those not deterred (or bothered) by electronic complexity and other attractions in addition to the synthesizer's pleasing sound and ready availability. Small, cheap synthesizers used by a beginning band are invariably more mobile than the guitars and cumbersome amplifiers necessary for even the most rudimentary rock bands. (A synthesizer can be plugged directly into the house p.a.) Our Daughter's Wedding boasts that at first their synths were carry-on luggage on airplanes.
   Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan says the logistics of getting to London gigs from their home town of Basildon 25 miles away was a determining factor in their switch from guitars to synths. Andy Fletcher adds "Until about six months ago we used to go to and from gigs by train. The audience would see us play and they'd see us on the train afterward with our instruments!'' 
   The band also raves about how easy it is to conduct a pre-show soundcheck. Once Depeche Mode's three players tune their instruments to a synthetic drum tape it's all systems go. Andy Fletcher says the precess usually lakes no more than an hour. By comparison, he notes, ''When we supported Ultravox at the Rainbow, they were soundchecking for about five hours."
   "I couldn't stand being in that sort of group." Soft Cell's David Ball cringes at the thought of playing in a "traditional" rock band. The instrumental half of Soft Cell (Mark Almond furnishes vocals) usually needs no more than an hour to get ready for a show.
   Both Depeche Mode and Our Daughters Wedding held early practice sessions in small suburban bedrooms. Since they didn't need amps, it was a simple matter to plug headphones directly into the synth and commence creating. (And no nasty noises to annoy Mom!) By the same token, Depeche Mode doesn't even use the big room in a recording studio; the band just plugs directly into the control room con- sole. How's that for simple?

All well and good, you say, but what about the sound of synthesizers? Anyone who's been exposed to Gary Numan's whiny drone [Singing or playing? -Ed.] for more than three minutes may well conclude the synthesizer is an evil menace to rock, designed to eviscerate all feeling.
   Rachel Webber, who shares the Units' synthesizer duties with Scott Ryser, probably speaks for the wary American public when she voices reservations about the cur- rent crop of British synth bands. "In general-'cause I like Orchestral Manoeuvres -those bands can get pretty similar. I don't like the Gary Numan type of scene."
   Scott Ryser adds, "It doesn't seem like there's much depth to it. I like it for dancing, but it's hard to take very seriously. ''
   Webber feels a lot of groups "just get a basic sound they know will work. Those cute little squiggles do work, as far as what people like, but it's not very challenging."
   Don't blame the poor old inanimate synthesizer for appearing on a lot of boring records. Blame the musicians. Layne Rico of Our Daughter's Wedding obsesses, "A lot of people are against synthesizers and say, 'All you have to do is press a button'- which in a way is quite true. It's all down to how each individual plays the instrument.''
   Bandmate Keith Silva adds, "Some people use only what's easy to get out of it, but if you search there's a lot you can do."
   The "new romantic" movement, with its watery dress-up ideology and simplistic dance motifs, has probably done a lot recently to give synths a bad name. Tedious stuff is being ground out with the aid of synthesizers-but what else is new? There are plenty of mediocre guitarists too.
   Andy McCluskey recognizes the dangers. "Over the last 20 years or so kids who've wanted to be musicians have decided, 'I've gotta be a guitar player. I wanna be an axe hero.' They'd adopted what were new ways of playing at the time, but because they were copying they'd just start adopting cliches.
   "In the last 10 years it seems like there have been very few new methods of playing guitar. Everybody's just trotting out the same old cliches, pulling the same faces, striking the same old rock 'n' roll poses.
   "The synthesizer now has a history and there are already cliched ways of playing it. You can sound like Gary Numan on a Polymoog. You can do lead solos like Billy Currie on an ARP Odyssey-that wailing, no-melody type of riffing. There are popular guidelines for playing synthesizer laid down by people who were around before.
   "Recently I talked to a young guy from Liverpool who played us a demo. I asked him why it was so unmelodic and discord- ant; he refused to play melodies. He said, 'The trouble is, every time you play a melody on synthesizer you sound like Orchestral Manoeuvres!'''
   McCluskey laughs, no doubt thankful he got there first.

Despite his reservations, McCluskey does not share Rachel Webber's skepticism about the current wave of English synth-pop groups. He sees great diversity among the bands, and frowns on efforts to lump them all together because of their choice of weapon.
   ''People from outside Britain see all bands that play synthesizer as part and parcel of the same movement or ideology, which is far from the truth. The music we and other bands make, and the reasons behind the making of the music, are actually quite different from each other.
   ''A few examples: That Human League plays synthesizers is almost unimportant. It's pop music for the '80s. The lyrical content is very traditional: 'I love you and you love me' or 'I love you and you don't love me.' When we write a love song it lends to be more offbeat. Depeche Mode is a very young thing, the sound of young boys. The lyrical content of Heaven l7 is fairly radical."
   Some synth bands try to minimize the mechanical aspect of their electronic instruments. Keith Silva says that Our Daughter's Wedding avoids sequencers whenever possible. "To me it makes the music a little too sterile. I prefer the actual physical attack of playing a note yourself. I think the feeling actually changes when you use sequencers."
   The rhythm section in a synth group tends to be its weakest component. Those tinny, ticking rhythm boxes used to sound pretty feeble coming out of Lowery organs; their descendants don't fare much better trying to drive a loud battalion of synths. Depeche Mode deals with the problem by taping all their percussion one element at a time. The sight of a big Teac reel-to-reel machine onstage where a drummer should be comes as a shock, but the output is, Dave Gahan says, " really clear and punchy.'' The band's tape consists of a bass drum sound from Daniel Millers old ARP, the snare drum sound of a rhythm machine, and various sequencer bits.
   On their five-song EP, Digital Cowboy, Our daughter's Wedding used ace drummer Simon Phillips instead of a rhythm box. Onstage Layne Rico augments the mechanical beat with a Synare synth, which can produce either percussive or melodic tones. The Units recently enlisted a percussionist and a drummer. On Architecture & Morality Orchestral Manœuvres combine acoustic and synthetic drums for a hybrid sound.
   Soft Cell and producer Mike Thorne concocted an intriguing approach for Non- Stop Erotic Cabaret. As David Ball reveals, "We took the output of an electronic snare and put it through a little speaker, which we laid face down on top of a snare drum; then we miked that up. So we were getting a real snare sound, but it was triggered by a drum machine. I think it gives a slightly richer sound."
   There's no reason for any two synthesizer bands to sound alike if they've got talent and aren't too rigid in their outlook. Paul Humphreys believes synths are "the most versatile instrument-but there are things you can't do on a synthesizer, like get the power and rawness of strumming a guitar.' That's why Architecture & Morality features OMD'S first use of guilar, as well as horns, piano and saxes.
   "Very often the mainstay of a song is not synthesizers but sound ideas in general,' Andy McCluskey observes. OMD'S recent single "Joan of Arc'' employs a glockenspiel which gives it springiness, and I did two different vocal lakes. One has all these little voices- I'm trying to follow a synthesizer I'd set on D. On the other one I sing high-pitched, almost falsetto harmonies.''
   "Souvenir'' resulted from equally ingenious procedures. Humphreys took tapes of an eight-member church choir singing scales and made up the tape loops that give the song its wobbly, shifting quality.
   In other words, smile when you call Orchestral Manoeuvres a synth band. "They're not our number one priority," McCluskey states. "We're not on some electronic crusade; we're not interested in the synthesizer as an image. We have a load of them onstage because that's what we play. We just use them as a means to an end. ''

A close look reveals that, in one sense, most of these bands aren't all that different from traditional rock groups. Our Daughter's Wedding, the Units and Depeche Mode all dole out responsibilities for melody, bass and percussion to different members, just like the good old days. In most cases the material could be rearranged to accomodate implements of yore like guitars and drums. Our Daughter's Wedding recalls Sparks. Orchestral Manoeuvres sometimes suggests a smarter Beach Boys. Soft Cell'smassive UK smash "Tainted Love'' was originally an obscure '60s soul recording by Gloria Jones.
   "We've just worked up a James Brown tune ['It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World'] so I guess a guitar band could work one of ours up," the Units' Ryser says. (He originally wanted the Units to be "real brash and hard, the Iggy Pop of synthesizers.'') David Ball would like to hear an orchestra tackle one of Soft Cell's songs.
   Keith Silva even get so far as to label Our Daughter's Wedding a rock band: "We're all keyboards but we still feel we're a rock band. It lakes people a while to figure out, 'Hey, these guys just play good music and it rocks.' '' Layne Rico adds that "'Lawnchairs' or 'Target for Life' could be done by Van Halen or any other band. "It's just music."
   If you were looking forward to a bloody shoot-out in the charts between guitars and synths forget it. "There's room for everything," David Ball remarks. "synthesizers are just another option. If people want to play guitars, that's great. You should be able to play any instrument you like."
   Rachel Webber says, "There's supposed to be this big rivalry between synthesizers and guitars, which I think is pretty weird. I don't think people are sick of guitars, I just think they're looking for something different. If anything, guitars have gotten stronger."
   The search for alternative means of expression may eventually lure synth bands into trying out guitars. Depeche Mode has already considered such a move.
   "I think the guitar is a beautiful instrument," Layne Rico of Our Daughter's Wedding says. "When everybody thinks we're going to electronic, we might do a big circle and come onstage with guitars."

Made possible by the onward march of science, synthesizers and synthesizer bands will continue to change with the technology. Layne Rico is anxiously awaiting a set of hexagonal electronic drums. "They're made of the same material as football players' helmets. Playing them is like hitting a drumstick against a barstool. These drums are only about two inches deep; they look like hexagonal pie pans. We'll finally be able to break away from the rhythm machines a bit."
   On a less sophisticated front, basic synthesizers have dropped in price so much that anyone with $200 can become at least a fledgling artiste.
   Soon a generation that grew up on Gary Numan and the Human League, rather than the Stones and Led Zeppelin, will be ready to enter the musical job market . Andy Fletcher knows seven- and eight- year-olds who can play melodic lines on the synth; tomorrow's musicians will test the instrument's capabilities without treating it as a futuristic aberration. Sooner or ater a bona fide synthesizer genius steeped in the early electronic bands may come along and revolutionize the field, just as Jimi Hendrix absorbed the blues and early rock guitar styles before emerging as staggeringly original.
   David Ball has no doubts that synthesizers have arrived. "When electric guitars were first used I'm sure people were saying, 'Do you really think this is gonna last?' Electric guitars have been with us for years now, and I think it will be the same with synths. People have accepted it as a conventional instrument rather than a freak of science.''
   "I think synthesizers are here to stay," Daniel Miller sums up, "regardless of what they're playing now. A lot of things I thought were gonna happen a few years ago have happened."
   England has a basis for synthesizer music. I don't think it's a fad, because it's lasted. Since Gary Numan there's always been synthesizer music in the English charts. It's gone through all the different fashions and it's still there.
   "The synthesizer's such a flexible instrument. You can play anything on it. It's not a kind of music; it's a way of making music."
   Synthesizers now have the potential to become the next classic rock 'n' roll instrument. Keep your ears open. Who knows-in a few years the sequel to this piece may even star you!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #51 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:40:51 »
1982-05-xx - Electric Sleeve Notes (UK) - Andy Fletcher interview

DEPECHE MODE - David Gahan onstage, Newcastle City Hall 1982
Early last summer, I went to see a then unknown band in a Manchester club not much bigger than Newcastle's Balmbras. The group were Depeche Mode. Within weeks their second single, 'New Life', charted. Later offerings, including the excellent debut album, 'Speak and Spell', the top ten hit, 'Just Can't Get Enough' and the recent smash, 'See You', have made Depeche Mode a household name. Subsequently, they've had to change from playing smaller venues to larger establishments like Newcastle City Hall. I asked Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher what difference it made:
AF: Well, the atmosphere's different… there's not much atmosphere at the larger gigs - it's harder to get across now.
ESN: So why not play more gigs at smaller venues?
AF: It's more work and we don't like touring anyway. It's a decision we made 'cos we ran out of places to play.
ESN: How has the audience changed in the last year?
AF: The audience is less and less trendy - more school kids, fourteen and fifteen year olds. People who used to come and see us don't really come any more.
ESN: Does that bother you?
AF: Yes. When you go for the teenage market, in a couple of years the teenagers will be grown up and they'll forget you.
ESN: Who is Vince's replacement?
AF: Alan Wilder. He's a much better musician than us - he learnt the set very quickly and he's got a good voice as well.
ESN: Why did Vince leave?
AF: Vince used to control the music and he didn't like the way the music was going. He didn't like the band becoming public property - I agree with him to a certain extent. They care more about the way you look… they never think about the music.
ESN: Is Vince still connected with Depeche Mode?
AF: Vince was going to do some writing, but he's writing for his own band, Yazoo, now so Martin (Gore) is doing all the writing. (Martin wrote 'Tora, Tora' and 'Big Muff' on Depeche Mode's album.) Martin's really good. He wrote 'See You' five years ago when he was sixteen… he's got a lot of old material as he used to write all the time. He's got twenty or thirty songs so if we get desperate we can just turn to one of them.
ESN: What about recent work?
AF: We've just done a reggae track - our answer to the critics. It's about the doldrums of Britain. Everyone said we should write about the dole and not about love and happiness… I can't see how it's going to change anything anyway.
ESN: How popular are you in Europe?
AF: We're selling quite well in France and Germany. And we're massive in Portugal where we're number one with 'Dreaming of Me' (which was their first single in the UK).
ESN: What about America?
AF: It's too difficult. We don't want to tour like some bands. Some tour for two years and don't get anywhere.
ESN: And so to current plans for Depeche Mode?
AF: Well, this tour is a bonus tour to show that despite Vince's departure, we're still together as a band. We're also going to tour in September to promote our new album. We've already recorded four tracks and we'll do the rest in June.
And then the interview was quickly terminated. When I met Depeche Mode last October, David Gahan made a comment about the Human League, which is quite relevant to his own group now: "They've changed… as people. They're stars now."
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #52 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:41:36 »
1982-05-xx - Musimax (Canada) - ? (Just Can't Get Enough + New Life)

New Life:
Just Can't Get Enough:

1982-05-xx - Much Music (Canada) - Interview Dave and Martin

1982-05-xx - POPULAR 1 nº107 (Spain) - Depeche Mode: Viva La Moda Del Pop

[Thanks to Pacodemode for scanning this for this forum!]

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #53 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:42:07 »
1982-05-xx - Depeche Mode - Information Sheet 5



At your request I have enclosed the DEPECHE MODE information/items. If there is anything else you would like to know about the band please write to me at the above address.  For information Sheet No. 6/82 send me a stamped, self addressed envelope towards the end of
May quoting the number 6/82.

DEPECHE MODE NEWS: Again DEPECHE MODE would like to thank everyone at the Jersey and Guernsey gigs.  We all had a great time and even managed to go swimming in the Beausejour Centre's Swimming Pool!

Now for some bad news; Andy and Martin have been advised to wear glasses because of their poor eyesight.  So those of you who thought they were    being rude and not smiling back at you at concerts know why - they couldn't see you!

RECORD NEWS: With the latest single having only just been released there isn't a lot to say except "MAKE IT A HIT"!!

AVAILABLE SOON: DEPECHE MODE have been interviewed by the Young Observer, Jacky, Look-In and Flexipop. + KIM

MERCHANDISE: As many of you may have noticed we have had to increase the prices of some of the items on our order form due to the higher costs of paer and printing.

Unfortunatly, our black & white badges (B1) have been deleted as well as the 'See You' posters (PO1). However, the February Tour Merchandise is available (see below) and we do have 'Meaning of Love' posters.

TOUR DATES: At the moment plans are being finalised for a UK Tour in October of apporx 15 gigs as well as a few concerts in Southern Ireland.  As soon as we know the dates we will announce them.  Meanwhile, here are the U.S.A. dates for May.

         May    7th   New York           The Ritz
             8th   Philadelphia   East Side Club
             9th   Toronto      Concert Hall
            10th   Chicago      Stages
            12th   Vancouver   Commedore Ballroom
            14th   San Francisco   Kabouki Theatre
            15th   Pasadena     Perkins Palace
            16th   Los Angeles   The Roxy

                  Thanks for you support


Poster/Programme 12" x 16"   £1.00      NAME:
Black/Gold Enamel Badge      £1.00      ADDRESS:
1982 Tour Scarf         £1.00      TOWN:
Please make cheques/P.O.s payable to:      POSTCODE:


1982-05-xx - Electronics & Music Maker (UK) - Depeche Mode

[Thanks to Marblehead Johnson for scanning this for this forum! Transcribed using OCR.]

Depeche Mode are part of the new breed of groups — the all electronic band. But where they differ from other synthesiser bands such as Tangerine Dream or Kraftwerk is that they are producing electronic music which is acceptable to the record buying public (although Kraftwerk are enjoying chart success at present). Because of this commerciality, though, Depeche Mode have been frowned upon by some 'stuffed shirt' purists who believe that synthesiser music begins and ends at 8 note sequences, sustained string synths and rambling solos. Both styles of music are equally valid but bands such as Depeche Mode and the Human League who are producing high quality, purely electronic music may well stimulate interest in other forms of synthesiser music later.
Depeche Mode have released an album, 'Speak and Spell', and two singles, all of which have enjoyed considerable success and their latest single seems destined for the top end of the charts as well. Entitled 'See You', it was written by Martin Gore who has taken over the songwriting since the departure of Vince Clark. It features a great melodic sequencer bass line (using a Roland MC4 Microcomposer) and some truly wonderful vocal and bell sounds courtesy of the newly acquired PPG Wave 2 digital/analogue synth. The band were at the end of a British tour when I spoke to Daniel Miller, their producer, about the band.
How long have the band been playing synthesisers?
"About 18 months now. When they started they always used a drum machine and they were playing more conventional instruments. Andy (Fletcher) was playing bass guitar and Vince was playing electric guitar. Only Martin had a synth but when the others saw the possibilities it offered they both got one as well. Then they started to like bands like Human League and Kraftwerk so they gradually changed their instrumentation."
What equipment did they originally have?
"Martin had a Yamaha CS5, Vince had a Kawai 100F and Andy had a Moog Prodigy."
What are they using now?
"Live, Martin uses the PPG, Andy uses a Moog Source and Alan (Wilder, who has joined the band recently) uses a Roland Promars. In the studio we use the PPG a lot and also an RSF expander module."
The RSF is a 19" rack mounted unit from France in which every parameter is voltage. controlled. Attack, decay, filter resonance. even the selection of waveforms are all voltage controllable so you could, for instance, sweep through the waveforms with, say, an LFO or you could apply the keyboard CV (via an inverter) to the release time so that low notes will have a long release whilst higher notes will have a shorter release time, thereby simulating acoustic instruments more closely. The VCOs and filter are really fruity and the envelope generators are the fastest I've ever heard.
"We're using a Roland TR808 rhythm unit now instead of the Korg KR55 because it is more compatible with the other stuff we have and it's more versatile. We're fairly happy with our set-up for the drum sounds; we still use the ARP 2600 for the bass drum and we use the TR808 for the snare sound."
You've just got a PPG Wave 2. What made you go for that instead of, say. a Prophet 5?
"It was Martin's decision. He tried one out and was really impressed with it, but one of the main reasons he bought it was that the sounds were so different and so clear, whereas the Prophet sounds like an analogue synth. Don't get me wrong, it's a really good sound but he thought it would be better to have something that provided unique sounds."
Do you use its sequencer at all?
"We haven't really used it that much yet. We're trying to get something designed to link it to the MC4."
Have you tried the interface made by PPG?
"No, we've not tried that. To be honest we've not had much time to experiment with it. We only got it just before we did the new single."
Are you using the MC4 much?
"Martin's using it a lot. We've done different things with it really. Again, we're only just getting into this. We've done one track where the MC4 controlled the three VCOs on the ARP 2600 for a chordal brass sound; that's worked really well. It interfaces with the ARP and the RSF module perfectly. The MC4 is a great compositional tool, though. There's a new song called 'The Meaning of Love' which. when Martin presented it, was very basic so we worked out a bass line on the MC4 but while they were playing along with it Martin did this little riff, so we just edited a space in the MC4's memory and inserted it. This means that you can work out the structure of a song and get it exactly right without having to put it down on to tape and then vou don't have to mess around with tape editing at a later date."
l know you've had problems interfacing sequencers with click tracks and drum machines. Can you explain how you've overcome these?
"When we were using the Korg drum machine with the ARP we had to invert the trigger pulse to make them compatible. The ARP 2600 has a lot of really useful voltage processors that help sort out problems like this. On the album we used the ARP sequencer to lay down the click on to tape and we spent some time getting that right but the more we did it the more reliable it became. It's still difficult to interface the Moog with anything because of the S-trigger system they use."
What plans do you have for the future?
"Martin's exploring a lot of different ideas on the PPG and MC4. We've just moved into an office and we've got some space that we might try to use as a studio. I still like working at Blackwing. where we recorded the album, but I'd like to be able to work 'at home', so to speak, where you have complete freedom to experiment."
Have you any advice for any would-be synthesists?
"When you buy a synth, try to buy something you can build around. I think that's very important. You can get quite inexpensive synths now which you can expand with sequencers, etc. Musically speaking, though, it's very easy, especially with electronics, to copy other people's style. I think that is a great danger so it's important to develop a style of one's own. It's good to listen to other people's music and be influenced but, at the same time, it can be dangerous to listen to other people too much."

In Concert
It was at this point that we had to finish our alcoholic refreshment and make our way to the coach and to the gig which was at Cardiff's Top Rank Suite. Although it is the capital city of Wales, Cardiff is despicably low on music venues so bands have only the Top Rank or Sophia Gardens Pavilion. The latter was recently wrecked by snow (its roof caved in) so now the choice is even more limited.
The Rank is not the best venue in the world but the band coped with it very well. The PA was by Showtec of Bristol and was superb — one of the best sounds I've heard fora longtime in fact. The prerecorded rhythm track was very tight and punchy: the bass drum really 'kicked you in the stomach'. David Gahan's voice sounded better than ever and any reservations I might have had about his vocal capabilities were dispelled. The rest of the band provided backing vocals and were, for the most part, spot on and pretty accurate.
Most of the songs from the album were featured as well as some new ones (including the new single 'See You'). The band played for about 1¼ hours and they played very well. I'm sure they won't object when I say that their keyboard virtuosity is not as flash as, say, Wakeman's or Emerson's. but then Depeche Mode's range of style is not as wide as those artists. Their arrangements are economical and effective. and instead of cramming as many notes into a bar as possible they use melodic and rhythmic motifs, which bounce around with the rhythm and sequencer bass backing tape to provide very hypnotic and solid rhythmic patterns. I thought that Alan, the new addition to the band, played particularly well and Martin's use of the PPG was also very impressive.
There were slight technical problems which no-one seemed able to explain which resulted in the programs on the PPG and the Source switching back and forth but the band coped with the hitches very well.
The gig was packed with all sorts of people of all ages. It was not, thankfully, an exclusively futurist occasion and, judging from the reaction the band got, everyone seemed to enjoy the gig as much as I did. The album had impressed me very much and I was curious to see how they would fare live. The last time I heard them live was on Radio 1 on a Peter Powell show outside broadcast and they were a bit shaky then. to say the least. But that was a while ago before they had released their album and obviously they have improved a lot since those days.
Depeche Mode enjoy their music and believe in what it has to offer. They are an unpretentious and modest group of people who, instead of donning silver capes, space suits, eyeliner or any of the other accoutrements that have now become synonymous with certain synth players, have concentrated on writing and performing good pop songs and using synths and electronics as intelligently as possible.
It seems to me that while we have the current rock and roll, heavy metal or Latin-American revivals (I always feel revivals come about because of a total lack of imagination), Depeche Mode are forging ahead and creating something original. As far as I'm concerned, they have breathed new life into a flagging pop music scene.
Steve Howell
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #54 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:44:22 »
1982-06-10 - Smash Hits (UK) - Bitz

And last, but surely not least (quietest maybe), Depeche Mode step out once more after completing warmly received mini-tour of the States. Again, check Nightsout for the full itinerary and details.

Depeche Mode: Dubin Stadium (October 6), Cork City Hall (7), Galway Leisureland (8), Southampton Gaumont (10), Leicester De Montfort Jall (11), Brighton Dome (12), Westcliffe Cliffs Pavillon (13), Bristol Colston Hall (15), Birmingham Odeon (16), Glasgow Tiffanyes (19), Edinbrugh Playhouse (20), Newcastle City Hall (21), Liverpool Empire (22), London Hammersmith Odeon (24,25), Manchester Apollo (27), Sheffield City Hall (28), Cornwall St. Austell Coliseum (29).
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #55 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:45:57 »
1982-06-24 - BRAVO (Germany) - Leserbrief

[I typed out the text:]

Depeche Mode sind echt 'ne Wucht

"Ich habe Depeche Mode auf ihrer Deutschland-Tour im Konzert in Hannover gesehen. Es was eine Superstimmung. Da ich ein großer Fan dieser Band bin, habe ich den Jungs ein großes Paket und einen 30 Seiten langen Brief persönlich überreicht. Die vier Musiker haben sich riesig gefreut. Bereits einen Monat später kam die Antwort: Ein sechs Seiten langer Brief von Martin Gore in 'Deutsch' und ein T-Shirt mit einem Schwan darauf. Vor Freude war ich ganz gerührt. Depeche Mode sind echt 'ne Wucht! Es wäre nett, wenn Ihr das veröffentlichen würdet!"
schreibt Maren B. aus Köln. -
Auch wir finden es prima, daß Deine Bemühungen so toll belohnt wurden. Und es beweist, daß sie ihre Fans mögen!


Depeche Mode
are a real hit!

"I saw Depeche Mode on their Germany tour in concert in Hannover. It was a super atmosphere. Since I am a big fan of this band, I presented to them a big package and a personal 30-page letter. All four musicians were super happy about it. A month later came a reply: a six pages long letter from Martin Gore in 'German' and a T-shirt with a swan on it. I was filled with joy. Depeche Mode are a real hit! It would be nice if you would publish this!"
writes Maren B. from Cologne. -
We also find it great that your efforts were so greatly rewarded. And it shows that they love their fans!

1982-06-xx - Patches (UK) - Star File

Star File
David Gahan

Who was your hero when you were young?
Gary Glitter

What was your ambition?
To be like Gary Glitter.

What film would you like to star in, and who would be your co-star?
Any film with Jack Nicholson in it.

What period of history would you have liked to live in?
The 1960's.

What are your five favourite records?
1. Promise You A Miracle - Simple Minds
2. Fireworks - Siouxsie And The Banshees
3. The Back Of Love - Echo And The Bunnymen
4. Avalon - Roxy Music
5. White Boy - Culture Club

What makes you angry?
I got angry when I can't find things when I need them!

Do you have a message for Patches readers?
Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday cards.
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: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #56 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:46:35 »
1982-06-xx - International Musician And Recording World (UK) - This Year's Mode

[Thanks to Barclay for scanning this for this forum! Transcribed using OCR.]

This Year's Mode
Depeche Mode's Martin Gore speaks and sells himself to Chas De Whalley

If 1982 doesn't go down in history as the year electronic music made all the running then it will probably be remembered instead as the year teenybop pop rose triumphantly from the grave to dominate the charts for the first time since T Rex, Kenny and the Bay City Rollers in the early Seventies.
Depeche Mode lead the field. As Spring turns to Summer, and the Great British public finally prove the Powerpop predictors right by tossing aside the ugliness of the New Wave in favour of sounds that are bright, optimistic and refreshingly tuneful, so Depeche Mode are joined by the likes of Altered Images, Haircut 100 and ABC and usher in a new Age of Innocence.
Where the Mode score over their rivals, of course, is that theirs is purely electronic music. Cynics have described them as merely 'Kraftwork with Beachboys harmonies' but the fact is that these four youngsters from Basildon in Essex have fused the technosounds of the computer world with a lyricism that is youthful and naive (in the best possible meaning of the word). Only a few months ago such a marriage between cold European intellect and the sweaty teenage palm would have been considered ridiculous in the extreme. But now, after big hits with Dreaming Of Me, New Life and All I Want To Do Is See You and a particularly impressive debut album in Speak and Sell Depeche Mode have gained not only the respect of a usually disdainful and distrustful media, but have won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of teenage girls all over Britain.
It doesn't seem to have gone to Martin Gore's head. He is the current creative force behind Depeche Mode. I say current because up until the end of the last year Gore played second fiddle to the Mode's leader Vince Clarke, who wrote seventy five per cent of the Speak and Sell collection as well as the group's first few singles. But since Clarke's decision to go solo, 20 year old Martin Gore has assumed the controls and is now responsible for the majority of Depeche Mode's material. If he was thrown in at the deep end he certainly floated to the surface with little trouble for it was his composition All I Want To Do Is See You which proved to be the group's biggest hit to date by reaching Number Six a couple of months ago.
"Actually See You was a song I'd had around for some time. I've been writing for years, ever since I got my first guitar when I was about 13 in fact. But apart from Tora Tora and Big Muff on the album I never really used my songs for anything. I'm not very prolific you see, which caused us a few problems when Vince left. I don't like working to a set time limit, and because we have to have a new album ready to release in September I had to come up with ten new songs very quickly. Finding a basic idea that works is what takes the time. After that I can work quickly and finish something off just like that. But the new songs are a little less Pop and a little more experimental than the last lot. I think a lot of people didn't realise how much we were parodying all that sugary tracks, then the bass lines and then all the counter melodies. When it's all finished we have to learn the finished record if we want to put it in the set. It's not usually that difficult because we always like to keep things as simple as possible, but on Meaning Of Love there are a couple more parts to play than the three of us can handle with ease."
The three instrumentalists, of course, are Gore, Andy Fletcher and Vince Clarke's replacement, Alan Wilder, formerly of the late-lamented Hitmen. The Depeche Mode line-up is completed by singer Dave Gahen with the heartbreaking looks and the voice to match. Martin remembers with some amusement the days when Depeche Mode were a more orthodox outfit and Clarke and Fletcher played guitar and bass respectively.
What made the Mode jump head first into the Twentyfirst Century and go all-electronic?
"We had terrible problems finding a van to transport the backline to gigs. It was fine for me because I was playing a Yamaha CS5 which I plugged straight into the PA. So all I had to do was pack it in its case and climb into a taxi. Plus, of course, the sounds you can get out of guitars are very limited. You can't do much with them other than phase them or flange them. So we were getting bored with them anyway. The funny thing is that we thought we were late and were missing out on a trend when we went electronic. It's very silly when you look back on it, but at the time the stuff. Things like What's Your Name and all that 'hey you're such a pretty boy' business grew out of an idea which made us all laugh so we played it over and over again because it was so funny. It was never meant to be serious."
We were talking in Black Wing Studios, an old converted church near London Bridge, which has been Depeche Mode's recording home from the beginning. The band were recording the drum tracks from their forthcoming single Meaning Of Love for use on a live session on Radio One's Peter Powell show. Depeche Mode's producer Daniel Miller and engineers Eric Radcliffe and John Fryer were hard at work while Gore took a break to talk to International Musician. The atmosphere was a little tense.
"We're a little worried about it being right because we'll be previewing it on the radio, but we won't actually have played it live before. In the old days, before Vince left, the whole band would get together in the rehearsal studio and we'd work on his basic idea and come up with a total arrangement. Then we'd go out and gig with it before we went anywhere near the studio. All the early songs were put together that way and we were playing them live in local clubs at home and in places like the Moonlight and the Bridge House for the best part of a year before Daniel offered us a deal on his Mute label. But nowadays almost everything is written in the studio as we record it. I come in with a tune and some lyrics and some chords and we start right in working out the drum clubs were all playing electronic records but it hadn't broken out yet. There was nobody really famous doing it. Other than Kraftwerk and The Yellow Magic Orchestra and the Human League. But they hadn't had hits."
So Martin Gore stuck with his Yamaha, Vince Clarke dug up an ancient and rare Kawai and Andy Fletcher bought the good old Yamaha Prodigy. But essentially they continued playing the old parts — bass, rhythm and lead — but on the new instruments. Now, though, the Depeche Mode flightcases contain altogether more sophisticated equipment. Like the Moog Source, the Roland ProMars and the latest acquisition, the German-designed PPG 102.
"I'm not at all technical so I can't really tell you everything it does except that it's a digital polyphonic synthesizer with 100 programmable sounds, an 8 layer sequencer and a 2000 note memory bank. I've only had it for about three months so I haven't really had the chance to experiment with it. I think Daniel has though, but then he's the one who really knows about synthesizers. It's a great instrument but it did prove a little unreliable on the road. Especially the sequencer. It tended to slip occasionally which could have
been disastrous if we'd been trying to play along with it live. But if we need to use a bass sequencer part we usually record it on the Teac with the drum tracks which eliminates that problem. It should be possible to split the keyboard on the PPG too, so that you can programme two totally different wavetables and get two different sounds out of it, but we haven't worked out how to do it yet. We rarely use the presets. It came with 100 stored sounds but you can modify them all yourself. That's the area you could say that Daniel Miller really is in control of Depeche Mode. He's very technically minded and he's been working with synthesizers for years. He can programme any sound you want within seconds which makes him tremendously useful. I daresay we could find the sounds ourselves but it would take us a lot longer."
Miller is apparently responsible for the drum tracks too. It used to be that Depeche Mode worked with a Dr Rhythm but now they build up a
complete drum track from a variety of different synthesized sources. The bass drum from an ARP 2600 Sequencer, the snare from a Roland TR808 or an old Korg KR55. Then it's the turn of the ubiquitous Roland Microcomposer for all the melodic lines.
"Every note has a number and you punch in the ones you want, let's say for a bass line. It'll then play it to you back but it won't be in any kind of real time. You have to programme in the correct step time between the notes and the gate time to control the length of the notes. Then it'll play it back to you as often as you like which gives you the chance to make alterations or change the measures. I know some people think it takes the human element out of music but I don't agree. It can help you come up with ideas you would never find in your own mind. (Isn't that a contradiction? - Ed) You can experiment with it and punch in random numbers which may in themselves be what you want, but they'll give you an idea about something else. Something new and exciting.
"But quite honestly the fact that we're an electronic band doesn't sink into us properly. We consider ourselves a Pop group more than any kind of trailblazers. All we do is write and record songs but we approach them in a new way of thinking."

1982-06-xx - Flexipop (UK) - Welcome to the Working Week

Welcome To The Working Week
7 Days In The Life of Dave 'Have A Banana' Gahan of Depeche Mode 
I got up at about none o'clock and had a shower. I have a shower every morning. Then I went downstairs and had a bowl of Special K and a banana followed by eggs and bacon which my mum cooked. I really like bananas. I must eat a dozen a day. After that I went out to meet my friend, Ivor Craig, who is designing some clothes for the group. He's making up some suits and some trousers. Martin is going in for a sort of peasant-look with a little Dutch cap. Everything that we're having made can be taken apart so that the trousers become shorts and the jackets become sleeveless tops.
In the evening I stayed in, watched telly and read my favourite magazines - Flexipop! (and another which shall remain nameless).

I had a bath for a change this morning. After I'd had a couple of cups of tea to try to wake me up I went into the living room to play a video game called The Munchman. I played that for about an hour. My highest score so far is 7,600, which is quite good and coincidentally the same number of bananas I've eaten this year so far. The rest of the day I spent eating bananas and playing records - mostly Simple Minds as well as Spandau Ballet's new album which I think is better than their first one.
Jo, my girlfriend, and I then went into town to buy lots of deodorants, hairspray and bananas. I have to stock up on them for when we go on tour. Later on I met Andy and Martin and we went to see the final version of the video for our single The Meaning of Love, which looks good - quite funny.

We got up very early in the morning because we had to check in at Heathrow Airport to fly to Paris where we were due to do a couple of TV shows. We arrived at the studios for the first one in the afternoon and were told that this programme was the most important TV show in the whole of France. In fact it was the pits. It was all made in a warehouse. The TV show itself was like a sort of French 'Top of the Pops'. But it was all dedicated to this big French star - I can't remember what her name was. We had to line up with bowler hats in front of our faces and at the beginning of the show, an announcer called out your name - "And tonight we present...", and you had to throw away your hat and show who you were. They went along the line and everybody got thunderous applause. Then it came to my turn and there was silence except for a few people we'd brought from England with us.
We arrived on time, at 12 o'clock, but there were no cameras or crew. We went to have a bite to eat then returned at three o'clock. They told us they wanted us to record six songs. They took about three hours to do the first song. The second song took slightly less and the third song took about an hour. By the time we came to the fifth song it was 11.30 pm and since the studio lights were due to be turned off at midnight they had to film it in next to no time. The camera man was jumping about all over the place trying to get us into shot. We didn't have time to do the sixth song because the caretaker turned the lights off. One of the most embarrassing things about working in France was that we had to keep arguing about how to pronounce the name of the group. We kept telling them, it's pronounced Depech-ey! Then all these French people kept saying, "No it isn't. It's pronounced Depesh!" I felt a bit stupid about that.

We had a more civilised TV show to do today. They told us it was the most important TV show in France. It seemed like I'd heard that before somewhere. But before going to the studio we had to do some interviews for French magazines. French Journalists tend to ask even more boring questions than they do in Britain -things like Where did you get your name? What's that stud in your nose for? and "Are you a New Romantic?"
After the show we went to dinner with the people from our record company in France. It was horrible. The soup was like water, then there were snails, and lots of garlic. I kept telling them I didn't like garlic but they kept putting loads of it on everything anyway, including the six bananas I had for sweet.

We flew direct to Manchester to rehearse for Peter Powell's show. I went around town first and bought the B52s album, 'Mesopotamia', and another Simple Minds record. Then I went to my hotel room to try to have a sleep, but I didn't sleep very well. We got to the studio to rehearse at 4 pm. It all seemed to go pretty well. Afterwards Jo and I went back to the hotel and had a meal. I had prawn cocktail, which is one of my favourites, then I had a fillet steak without garlic, and for dessert I had a fresh-fruit salad with loads of bananas. Jo ate a salad and nothing else because she's on a diet.

I had to get up at 5.30am to prepare for Peter Powell's TV show. When I got to the studio the first thing I had to do was to go and have my make-up put on. Can you imagine what it's like at 7.30 in the morning, when you're still half asleep, having this person slapping make-up all over you? Then we were on air live at 9.30 doing 'See You' at the beginning of the show. Around 12.30 pm we got a train to London, and from there we went home to Basildon, arriving there at about 5pm. The first thing I did was to go to sleep after eating a couple of bananas.

A day of leisure. I got up quite late - about 11 o'clock. Lazed about the house for the rest of the day playing records, eating Sunday dinner, teasing my two little brothers and stuffing bananas.
In the evening I went to the pictures with Jo to see "Mad Max 2", and we sat in the back row. It was quite good.

[On, the author noted:]
Trivia fact: OK, I admit it. The stuff about the bananas was all a lie. What really happened was that the photographer (Neil Matthews), thought that it would be boring to have a pic of Dave just sitting in a chair. So, in a flash of inspiration, he went to the nearest greengrocer and bought a bunch of bananas. This left us with the problem of explaining why Dave Gahan was pictured with a banana in his hand and another one poking up jauntily from the pages of his diary. Our solution was to reinvent Dave Gahan as a bananaholic - hence all the banana references in the text... apparently a lot of Depeche Mode fans thought Dave's banana obsession was genuine. They came to Depeche Mode shows armed with bunches of Fyffes' best - which they would shower upon the luckless Gahan at the end of the show!

1982-06-xx - Music Connection (US) - Reviews

[Thanks to Dennis Burmeister for supplying this article! Transcribed using OCR:]

Depeche Mode at Perkins Palace

Techno-bubble gum came to Perkins in the form of Depeche Mode, the most melodic of the new English synthesizer bands and the one most steeped in the tricks of the '60s. The heavily dance-oriented sound had the audience surging in the aisles from the first blips of the band's four-track reel recorder, which shared the spotlight with the four-man group. The band came off like the Monkees with modern equipment (not a criticism).
The lightweight bounce is a welcome antidote to the gloomy Joy Division ripple effect, Singer Dave Gahan proved himself a lithe, understated dancer with the kind of clear enunciation and tone necessary for such artfully constructed pop. "Boys Say Go!" involved building layers of effects, with the prime beat overlayed by further funky parts. The vocal melody and rhythmic thrust were positively synergistic. "Puppets," "What's Your Name?" and "Now, This Is Fun" were rolling and infectious, combining bits of "I'm a Believer" and "From Me To You" with coyness. The harmony vocals, especially on "See You." were shaky, and "Ice Machine" was positively boring as it chugged along, but overall the group was fun and unpretentious.
At one point the group left the stage, complaining of bouncer problems, but they soon came back and built to three encores, the last of which, Gerry & The Pacemakers' brilliantly one-dimensional "I Like It," only served to cement the feeling of the bubble gum era come around again. Some people may see this music as reactionary, but personally. I "Just Can't Get Enough."
Mark Leviton

1982-06-xx - Superpop's Big 3 (UK) - Today Basildon, Tomorrow...

[Superpop's Big 3, United Kingdom. Words: 464. Source:]


'Leave In Silence' is the sixth Depeche Mode single to be released in the group's brief but phenomenally successful history. It was written by Martin Gore, who has written the band's last few hits.
But there's more Depeche news on the horizon. The group will be releasing the follow up album to last year's 'Speak and Spell' sometime in late September. And in October the boys will be packing the synthesizers in cases and kissing Basildon goodbye. High ho High ho. It's off on tour Depeche are going to go.
all of the Depeches promise that this album will reveal a whole new side to their sound. Gone are last year's ruffles and frills. This year the boys have been snapped in denim trousers and jackets and t-shirts. But have no feat, they aren't planning to turn into the Status Quo of Basildon just yet.
'Musically, we're trying to get away from being known as a synthesizer dance band' said songwriter Martin. 'The Human League have made it big in the States. So the result is that our American record company wants us to stick to a proven formula and write more dance music. We did that already. We don't want to repeat ourselves. We want to surprise our fans without disappointing them. So we want to change. You'll be able to dance to this music, but it will be a bit more serious.'
Depeche have to be careful. They want to remain popular. But they don't want to be resigned to being a group with only a young following. It's important to them to also make music that appeals to people of their own age. One good sign is that the group are getting fan mail from boys as well as girls these days.'
They are looking forward to going out to do live shows to see who their audience is these days. They are the first to admit that it's hard to keep touch with what people are like when you spend a lot of your days locked up in a windowless rehearsal studio.
'Rehearsing is hard work and it tires you out' admits Dave Gahan. 'After a whole day of making music, I enjoy a nice meal at home and then to see a few mates. We don't see much of our old friends anymore. Our hours are different from theirs. But good mates are very understanding. They know that you can't just down tools at a certain hour. If the music isn't coming out right, you have to work at it 'til you get what sounds good.'
Today Basildon. Tomorrow the rest of the country. Depeche Mode may sing about leaving in silence. But when it comes to making music, they arrive with catchy style.
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: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #57 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:50:25 »
1982-06-xx - Keyboard magazine (US) - The New Synthesizer Rock

[Thanks to SomeKindOfSign for scanning this for this forum! For this feature, the author did not have a joint interview with all kinds of band members together in a room, but he did a series of phone interviews in which he asked the same questions to each band member. Thus, I have only typed out Martin Gore's answers and not the answers of the other artists. But it should be noted that the author later on skewed his questions as they appear in the feature in such a way that it flows nicely with the total feature, but therefore as a result some questions may not entirely fit Martin Gore's answer. So it was not like Martin Gore was misinterpreting/avoiding the question, it was just the author bending his question later on when typing the interview.]

by Bob Doerschuk

The new wave has crested. About five years ago it began surging across the then watery musical landscape, stinging audiences that had been lulled by MOR and disco with its sharp cold spray. Suddenly the established stars of rock looked a little older, prematurely graying in their late 20s before the onslaught of groups like Blondie, Devo, Talking Heads, and Elvis Costello.
Hard to believe it all happened half a decade back. For keyboard-playing fans of progressive rock, still scuffling for bits of news about Keith Emerson and reprogramming nostalgic orchestral synthesizer effects, the following news may be even more unsettling: New wave is dead. Already. Elvis Costello is singing duets with George Jones, Blondie is dabbling in conceptual albums, and in their footsteps new new younger players are experimenting, exploring, grabbing for a place at the cutting edge of modern rock.
In a way, it's all predictable. Rock is a constantly regenerating phenomenon. When one generation of artists gets a little too flabby, or starts straying a bit too far from the basics of the music, it gets elbowed aside by impatient newcomers, eager to get back to the sound, beat, and stance of rock at its simplest. A mellow Elvis Presley, tamed by the Army, led to the Beatles, whose successive cuteness and artiness stimulated the psychedelic movement, in whose burned-out ashes the anti-romantic seeds of punk and new wave were sewn.
But while styles change, while the cycle spins on, the tools stay roughly the same. Rock means guitars, drums, and, thankfully, keyboards of one sort or another. The current revival of essential rock involves, if anything, a greater use of keyboards than any similar return to rock roots. But in almost every other respect, a refugee from the '60s or even the mid-'70s would find huge differences between the rock of those days and what is happening now. This means, in turn, that the use and function of keyboards, especially synthesizers, has undergone some breathtaking changes in the journey from Tomita to Deutsch-Amerikanische Freundschaft.
What many post-new wave bands have in common with earlier stripped-down rock groups is an interest in playing more for dancers than for listeners. Where older acts as diverse as the Who and Styx tend to appear before sedentary, sometimes demurely seated, crowds in stadiums and vast concert halls, performances by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Depeche Mode, and their brethren usually work best in more tradional rock setting - hot sticky clubs jammed wall with bodies leaping about to an irresistible 4/4 rhythm.
These new bands pursue a familiar formula - heavy on the second and fourth beats, with compelling counter-rhythms from the bass and as little adornment as possible. In short, the tried-and-true rock and roll blueprint. In fact, the subservience to the beat is more complete than was the case Little Richard, Creedence Clearwater, and other oldies, because of the disco influence. Most disco records center around the drums, in some cases almost exclusively the bass drum, with orchestras, guitars, and everything else except vocals mixed down to nearly a subconscious level. Although the ideology of the music hasn't much relevance to the young synth rockers, they are children of a radio era that has saturated the airwaves, street corners, and brain cells with disco's merciless pulse.
Inevitably, this has has its impact; even the dreariest, most nihilistic lyrics shout out in post-new wave ensembles over a bedrock beat that should set the most dance-out feet tapping. But though the lyrical focus differs, with disco composers seldom searching beyond sex and neo-wavers often dipping into anger and alienation for inspiration, the impact on dancers is nearly identical. Both Donna Summer and Soft Cell's Marc Almond have an ability to project a kind of detached desparation through their vocals, but much of that projection is due to the hypnotic power of the unsyncopated repetitive electronic riffs over which they sing.
To further this effect, many new bands have turned from live drummers to rhythm machines, which allow for unvarying sequences of identical percussion sounds and eliminate any possibilities of trance-breaking irregularities in the less dependable hands of human drummers. Some groups, like Orchestral Manoeuvres, do use drummers onstage, though even then the impact of electronic rhythm units can be heard in the steady beat the drummers are assigned. But more frequently, in the work of Soft Cell, te Human League, Throbbing Gristle, Tuxedomoon, and the now defunct Suicide, digital boxes have replaced trap sets.
Sounds familiar? This is the approach pioneered by the German techno-rockers Kraftwerk. Their straightforward beat, minimalist textures, and use of pointy razor-edged synthesizer sounds awakened many young keyboardists to the fact that keyboard electronics did not necessarily have to follow the color-washed soft-focus footsteps of Tomita or Jean-Michel Jarre. Any consideration of the new style must acknowledge Kraftwerk, especially in their fusion of disco and techno, as the movement's musical godfathers.
Of course there are other branches in the music's family tree. Spiritually, the lineage stretches back to the early '50s. In its pure state, rock and roll has always been iconoclastic, with certain inseparable and generally anti-establishment connotations. Little Richard's manic antics were beyond the comprehension of the adult world in the Eisenhower era; the fact that white kids listened to black music, let alone music played by a black man wearing mascara and suggestively writhing all over a piano keyboard, caused perhaps more dinner table anxiety than the prospect of nuclear war.
As society loosened up in the liberal '60s, rock performers had to probe further into the dark corners of parental fear for equivalent effect. The faint hint of androgyny in the Beatles, the delinquent scruffiness of the Rolling Stones, the flamboyant communism of the Haight-Asbury bands, all measured this escalating assault on grown-up standards. But when the heavy artillery rolled out in groups in like the Doors, the Fugs, the Velvet Underground, the New York Dolls, and the MC5 - groups that cultivated vaguely occult, sleazy arrogant, anarchistic, and/or sexually bizarre facades - anti-establishment posturing began to become a fine art. The music had finally hit America's funny bone. Shock rock was born.
Image-wise, the ramifications are still being felt today. In traditional showbiz, performers smile, laugh, and dance for audiences. Because of the shock rock ethic, these entertainment techniques are frequently abandoned by bands who get their energy by mobilizing their audience's instincts for rebellion. The problem is that it can get difficult to draw the line between image and reality; no doubt many old-time vaudevillians were genuinely happy people, and as the Sid Vicious and Joy Division legacies demonstrate, many shock rockers seem to be genuinely strange as well.
But it would be a mistake to dismiss the new bands as pure shock rockers. A close listen to the best of their work reveals a growing musical sensibility, a feeling for orchestration and linear composition, and an overall discipline frequently absent in the best of some highly regarded progressive rock artists. The singers may appear to wrestle with the ideas of pitch and melody, but this is a stylistic issue; just as early jazz singers dismayed oldsters with their neo-African melisma, so might today's Barry Manilow fans be distressed by the emotional yowls of Jim Morrison's and Johnny Rotten's vocal progeny.
More to the point for us is the keyboard work. One characteristic of many new bands is how they build tension between the singing and the synthesis. Like Morrison in "The End", Soft Cell's Mark Almond conjures chilling images in a tortured wailing delivery, but where the Doors supported Morrison's excursions with their own improvisations, David Ball lays down meticulous patterns designed to highlight through contrast, rather than to complement, the singer. A similar approach underscores the more anarchic efforts of Throbbing Gristle and New Order; the distance between cathartic vocals and restrained, even rigid, electronic accompaniment can create a powerful effect.
It follows, then that technical virtuosity is not an especially relevant attribute in this style. Since much of the impact of neo wave synthesis stems from machine-like repetition - a technique also employed by the equivalent anti-romantics in classical music, the minimalists - the keyboard flourishes of the Keith Emerson school would be definitely out of place in this context. Solos in the traditional sense, improvisations realized on the keyboard, are a rarity; at most you might find occasional four-bar single-line passages, more fills than solos, such as the end of the Units' "Bugboy."
Instead, the focus shifts to the arrangement. The droning organ sounds and underplayed fills of Ray Manzarek in The Doors and John Cale in the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" are the real rock antecedents of the new synthesist. Like Manzarek and Cale - both technically adept keyboardists - they are more interested in integrating into the whole than in standing out front. This attitude is also reflected in the early work of Jimmie Destri with Blondie and Steve Naive with Elvis Costello's Attractions, the most prominent figures in the new wave revival of Farfisha and Vox organ sounds. But aside from a few adhererents here and there, among them Joe "King" Carrasco, the Insect Surfers, and Tex-Mex nostalgists like Augie Meyer of the Sir Douglas Quintet, most new keyboardists who want old-timey electric organ effects find it easier to store them into their synthesizers as one of an array of possible programs.
The fact is that the neo-wavers are just concerned as Tony Banks or Patrick Moraz with orchestrated sound, but they tend to work from the background. Even when Wakeman is only laying down synthesized strings, he does so with such panache that there is no mistaking his identity. His younger counterparts prefer sublimating themselves to the beat, inserting short riffs or patters of subtly contrasting colors. Case in point: the tiny tonal variations in the roff that constitutes DAF's "Liebe Auf Den Ersten Blick", from Gold Und Liebe. If you want to listen, you must listen carefully to appreciate synthesist Robert Görl's meticulous touch.
But if you want to dance instead, you can do that too. And so the cycle is once again completed. For listeners who are used to sitting back and letting orchestral synthesized chords or a string of lightning-bolt licks wash over them, neo wave synthesis may be an acquired taste. But once again something different is happening in rock, and as the first swing back to basics in the synthesizer era, there is as much in it for the head as there is for the feet.
Partly because of the relatively low-key roles they lean toward, there are no superstars, no Hendrixes or Emersons, among the young synthesists. Their bands have followings, but sometimes the most devoted fans have trouble remembering the names of the players whose records they consume. This is true especially in the States, since many pioneering neo wave groups are English, and some of the most important of these have never played any American engagements.
For this reason, Keyboard, indulged itself in a series of trans-Atlantic phone interviews with some of the leading lights in this still fresh movements. We also talked to the keyboardists in three American bands whose work ties in with that of the European pioneers. While no two of the artists in the following assembled interviews should be considered clones of one another or anyone else, they all share at least one thing in common: an interest in using the synthesizer in rock as it's never been used before, in part to get back to where the music in its essence belongs.
Some of the people we spoke with - Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, Layne Rico and Scott Simon of Our Daughters Wedding - are close to the mainstream of pop music, using rhythm machines and sequencers to pound out a disco-derived dance beat. Others - Scott Ryser and Rachel Webber of the Units, David Ball of Soft Cell - also adhere to a steady rhythm, but with darker overtones more clearly reminiscent of punk and new wave, while Richard Barbieri of the English group Japan, Chas Gray and Stan Ridgway of Wall Of Voodoo, and Peter Principle of Tuxedomoon all shy from the tyranny of the sequencer and pursue freer forms in their own ways.
What it goes to show is that even at this early stage of its development, the new rock synthesizer vanguard is branching beyond stereotypes and finding room to create in ways unforeseen by the rock trendsetters of a decade ago.

Let's begin by finding out about your musical backgrounds. Did you take a lot of piano lessons, for example, or were you mainly self-taught? Had you any electroni music experienced befoe you got into synthesizers?
Martin Gore: When we got rid of our guitar players, it was mainly because we didn't have any transport at the time. We had to get one of our friends to take us everywhere in a van, and it was very difficult to get in touch with him all the time. It was far easier for us to just play synths, because they are very portable. Everywhere we played we just showed up with our synths in suitcases, then hired a PA and played through it.
But wasn't thewre also a musical reason for scrapping the guitars?
Martin Gore: The guitars were getting rather boring. They've got just one sound all the time and though you can flange it and do thins like that, it's still basically the same sound.
Is having technical skill in any way needed in your music?
Martin Gore: When you use a lot of sequencers and things like thst, you don't really need much technical ability. but you still need some sort of know-how, sort of musical knowledge to know what sounds right. When a note sounds wrong, you should know how to change it accordingly. When people talk about just leaving a sequencer running to finish a song, it's not that simple.
How much of a challenge is it to get past the electronic framework of your music, especially given the influence of Kraftwerk, and make it seem more emotional, if that's what you're trying to do?
Martin Gore: I don't think we've had that problem. There are a lot of bands around who do play synthesizers very coldly, but I think we've gotten away from that.
Is dancing an important element in your music? Do you feel the new synthesizer rock addresses the need to dance?
Martin Gore: Well, I'm a bit biased, but I think a bit more thought goes into our rhythm than just laying down a disco track. Most disco records sound very much the same to me. We do use a powerful bass drum and snare sound, and they are mixed up loud, but we don't start by saying, "Let's make this a dance record", although most of them are.
It sounds like the Depeche Mode bass drum sound is not even remotely an attempt at imitating the tone of a real bass drum.
Martin Gore: Since we've started making records we've always used an ARP 2600 for the bass drum because we've never found a drum machine with a powerful enough bass drum sound. we run it through the sequencer. We like the snare sound on our Roland TR-808. Our Korg KR-55 also has quite a good snare. We chose them both mainly to get a good snare drum.
What do you get in Depeche Mode from playing with a rhythm machine that you don't get from a live drummer?
Martin Gore: That's a difficult one for us answer, because we've never used a drummer. Even when we first started, with a guitarist and bass guitarist, we used a small drum machine. We've never felt limited by it, though.
Do you feel that different kinds of synthesized sounds are more popular these days than were popular in the progressive rock era?
Martin Gore: We don't make conscious attempts to imitate the sounds of real instruments, but a lot of times the sounds we're looking for come very close to conventional instruments. They might not be the perfect replicas, but they sound very much like the originals.

The New Synthesizer Rock: A Selected Discography
Tnough still a fairly recent development, post-new wave synthesizer rock has affected young electronic musicians around the world. Already many of them are carving out their own variations on this sound, defying those who would shove them all into one teeming pigeonhole, and the absence of a clear hierarchy of superstars further muddies the waters in any discussion of individual groups and their work. So rather than play Sisyphus and try to compile a thorough discography of the phenomenon, we've put together a list of albums and singles that shows who some of the more important figures are, and gives some idea of their particular styles. If we've left one of your favorites out, perhaps you'll find a new artist here with another, equally vital, angle on the neo wave.
Depeche Mode: Speak & Spell, Sire (dist. by Warner Bros.), SRK 3642. Dancable pop tunes, with vocal harmonies reminiscent of the post-Beatle English wave, over disco rhythm machine patterns and adorned with rich synthesizer tone combinations. Contains two hit singles: "New Life" and "Just Can't Get Enough".

The New Synthesizer Rock Equipment Breakdown
The spareness of the new approach to rock synthesis is also reflected in the post-new wave approach to equipment. Gone are the days when post-new wave keyboardists dreamed of surrounding themselves with walls of gear in the Emerson fashion; now they stockpile more modest collections of instruments, and not only for economic reasons. Peter Principle of Tuxedomoon spoke for many of these performers what he told us, "One reason why I joined this group was out of reaction to that hierarchy of multimillion dollar equipment guys. In a sense I'm arguing for another, more versatile kind of equipment. Things should be a lot simpler for people who want to experiment, with a lot more capacity for mistakes. The more sophisicated the equipment looks, the less it often does, because they've made it idiot-proof. Well, I don't want to live in an idiot-proof world. A lot of worthwhile things, major steps of mankind, were done from accident. When you make a machine that has no possibility to interface with the people's intelligence, then you are making a world full of idiots! This is political statement as well as statement about the manufacture of instruments. They also charge too much."
The following list covers keyboard and synthesizer gear used onstage by the bands in this article; occasionally different instruments are used in recording sessions, as when Soft Cell brought in a Synclavier for Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret.
Depeche Mode: ARP 2600, Moog Source, Roland Pro Mars, Roland SH-1, Rolanf MC-4 Micro Composer, Korg KR-55 and Roland TR-808 rhythm units.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #58 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:51:50 »
1982-07-22 - Smash Hits (UK) - Bitz


Portugal is currently crawling with pop stars. Well, Martin Gore and Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode are both soaking up the rays for a fortnight there (...).
Greece is popular with the rest of the Modes, Dave Gahan's having a fortnight in Salonika while Andy Fletcher gets to grips with sun, sand and kebabs in Corfu.

1982-07-xx - Rock Espezial nº11 (Spain) - Dossier Electropop: Tecnorama

[Thanks to Pacodemode for scanning this for this forum!]

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1982: A Broken Frame
« Reply #59 on: 26 June 2012 - 02:52:17 »
1982-07-xx - Record Collector (UK) - Depeche Mode

[Taken from the now-defunct website]

[Words: Richard Jackson. Pictures: Uncredited.]
" After only a few releases from Depeche Mode, it seems fairly safe to say that they are likely to be one of Britain's most consistently interesting pop acts in years to come. "

Summary: Remarkably savvy article combining the band's early history with a focus on the formats of their releases, and a discography (scanned but not transcribed here). A very readable account of their formation and early years, with plenty of spookily accurate predictions of the band's future. [1738 words]
Many thanks to Thomas Eckardt for generously providing scans of the article.

    Basildon has never really established itself as a centre of pop activity in the past; but in recent months this Essex town has provided more than its fair share of Top Twenty hits. Four young men from Basildon make up Depeche Mode, one of the most successful of the newest wave of pop synthesiser groups, while another Basildon duo, Yazoo, have just reached No.2 in the charts with their very first single. Both groups record for the small independent Mute Records label, run by Daniel Miller, who has masterminded their rise to the top. After only a few releases from Depeche Mode, it seems fairly safe to say that they are likely to be one of Britain's most consistently interesting pop acts in years to come; and if Yazoo's debut is anything to go by, then this Mode offshoot should enjoy similar long-lasting success.
   Depeche Mode are a rare example of a band who started their career on an independent label, had a minor hit - and then decided to stay with the same label, rather than try their luck with a major organisation. Most groups quickly sign with a major after their first hit even though it may only be for distribution, but the close personal contact between artist, producer and label manager (the last two, of course, being one and the same) has obviously paid dividends.
   Mode was originally the brainchild of three Basildon schoolboys, Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore from one local school, and Vince Clarke from another. Like most young musicians they formed a band, plumping for a synthesiser-based outfit rather than the more usual guitar / bass / drums line-up. Their original name has supposedly been forgotten, but it seems more likely that it is too embarrassing for Mode to want it remembered! [1] Although all three members found themselves to be adequate musicians, they really required a fourth member to handle lead vocals. They advertised locally, and were answered by Dave Gahan, another Basildon boy whom they knew vaguely anyway. [2] At the same time they found their new (and present) name while flicking through a fashion magazine. (Incidentally, just to end the controversy about how their name should be pronounced: 'depeche' is only two syllables in French, but three in this band's name!). [3] They played their first gig shortly afterwards at a middle school disco, the first of many informal concerts around their home town. Encouraged by the rise of other bands who were making records purely with synthesisers and voices, they decided to cut a demo tape and start sending it around the record companies.     
   Unfortunately, like most of the thousands of demo tapes sent to the country's record companies every year, the first Depeche Mode recordings did little to help their career. So they decided instead to try and build a reputation by playing live, in the hope of attracting record company interest that way. Soon Depeche Mode became regular contributors to the futurist, synthesiser band nights at the Bridge House in Canning Town, a venue more usually associated with punk and oi! music. They began to receive loyal support from a hard-core of fans, who have apparently not always appreciated the band's subsequent releases.
   The group's live reputation persuaded Stevo, who was putting together an album of 'futurist' music, to include their "Photographic". At the same time Mute Records boss Daniel Miller offered them a once-off deal to record a single. "Dreaming Of Me" / "Ice Machine" was recorded at the start of 1981, and was released in February. The A-side was an overtly commercial number, perhaps more simple than their recent releases, but containing the strong melody and catchy synth riffs of all their best songs. "Ice Machine", the flipside, is still one of their most popular live numbers. The single was an immediate success in the independent charts, but it wasn't until April that it made the 'official' BMRB chart, where it peaked at No. 57 during its four-week run.
   The encouraging success of their first single meant that Depeche Mode were offered a number of deals by other labels; but they decided to stay with Mute. In some ways this was a brave move. Mute obviously didn't (and still doesn't) have the financial resources to mastermind the kind of promotional campaigns often mounted by the bigger companies; but their personal attention to their artists was obviously a compensation for this in the group's eyes.
   The second single, "New Life", was issued in June 1981, with a 12" version appearing shortly afterwards. This time the single raced to the top of the indie charts, and success was also more immediate in the main charts, where "New Life" reached No. 11 in July. Like the debut single, "New Life" was originally issued in a picture sleeve, and the 12" release started another trend by having a different cover to the 7". The band were also not content to use the same cuts on 7" and 12" releases. All their 12" singles include different (usually longer) versions to their 7" counterparts, and usually carry some new description which distinguishes them from the 7" tracks. [4] For example, the flipside of "New Life", "Shout", is described as a 'Rio Mix' on the 12" release. "New Life" was even more commercial than "Dreaming Of Me", and was a highlight of both live shows and their first album.
    In August the band's third single was released. "Just Can't Get Enough" was their biggest hit to date (making No. 8 in the course of ten weeks in the charts), and showed Depeche Mode with a new air of sophistication (which apparently annoyed a few of their original fans) and another very catchy chorus and synth riff. Once again, the 12" version featured longer versions of the single cuts.
   The band's reputation was finally established in late October with the release of the band's only album to date, "Speak And Spell". It continued the tradition of the group's picture sleeves by not having any shots of the band on the cover [5], and within its eleven tracks it revealed several new sides to the outfit. Produced as usual by the band and Daniel Miller, the album contained a new version of "Photographic" from the "Some Bizarre" sampler, and the last two singles, "New Life" and "Just Can't Get Enough". There was also a version of "Any Second Now", the flipside of their third single. Of the new songs, the most interesting were probably "I Sometimes Wish I Was Dead", which belied its gloomy title, "Puppets", a bouncy pop number with good vocals, and "What's Your Name", which begins with a mock Phil Spector drum rhythm and ends with the same rising sequence as David Bowie's "Suffragette City". The album also confirmed that the band are far happier with pop material than with the slightly funkier sound of "Nodisco".
   The album, which is also available on cassette, went straight into the pop charts at No. 10, which is its highest position to date - although it has now remained in the charts for almost eight months, a great achievement for a release on an independent label. Not surprisingly it topped the independent album charts for several weeks, as have all the group's subsequent singles.
   The band's pleasure at their success was lightly tempered by Vince Clarke's decision to leave the group for a solo career. At the time this seemed likely to cause Depeche Mode major difficulties. Vince had been the band's chief songwriter, and although the original press release said that he would still contribute material to the band, it soon became apparent that his ties with the group were completely broken. [6] He apparently found the pressure of being in the band too much, and wished to write and record at his own speed.
   Depeche Mode responded by issuing their most commercial single of all. "See You" (written by Martin Gore, who had previously composed two songs for the album) was issued in January 1982, and made No. 6 the following month - complete with the usual pair of 7" and 12" releases and different picture sleeves. The single's success put paid to all rumours that without Vince Clarke the band's future was uncertain. Martin Gore also wrote the band's most recent single, "The Meaning Of Love", which while being another fine song (with definite Sixties beat influences), has sold rather disappointingly, only reaching No. 15 in the charts. Despite that, the continued presence of the album in the charts, the reaction the group have received on tour, and the consistent success of their singles, mean that Depeche Mode seem likely to overcome any short-term difficulties, as long as they continue to produce commercial, catchy material.
   While Depeche Mode have continued without him, Vince Clarke has formed a duo, Yazoo, with Genevieve Alison Moyet (alias "Alf"). Their first release, "Only You", appeared on Mute in March; but only over the last couple of months has it finally started to get airplay and enter the BMRB charts. Accompanied by a 12" release which features extended versions of the single cuts, "Only You" proves that Vince Clarke's songwriting is going from strength to strength, as he has succeeded in creating his own individual style away from the Depeche Mode sound. The No. 2 chart placing of "Only You" suggests that the public felt the same way! Future Yazoo singles will certainly be awaited with interest.
   All Depeche Mode releases are still on catalogue, though some of the 7" picture sleeves now seem to be hard to find. Collectors should also look out for the U.S. issue of their album, which has one extra track, "Dreaming Of Me". Besides their normal U.K. releases, with all the variations of sleeve design and 7" / 12" versions, Depeche Mode have also been featured on a flexi-disc issued free by "Flexipop" magazine several months ago - a record that may become very collectable in future. [7] There has also been interest in their first few overseas singles, which true to form carry different picture sleeves to their U.K. 45s. The interest in Depeche Mode releases among collectors (surely to be joined by similar interest in Yazoo) is the final confirmation that the band have definitely arrived and are here to stay. If 1981 was the year of the synthesiser groups, then Depeche Mode were one of the most promising new arrivals; and their 1982 performance so far suggests that 1981 was no fluke!
[1] - Composition Of Sound.
[2] - In fact, they headhunted Dave after hearing him belt out a David Bowie track with a few others. [continue]
[3] - No, you aren't seeing things. Steve Malins in his biography: "Clarke admits, "We just liked the sound of the words.' To make themselves appear even more artily exotic, the band initially insisted on pronouncing the name 'Depeshay'."
[4] - I can't quite follow why the author regards this as remarkable, it sounds as if it was normal in that era to have exactly the same tracks on both formats. As to why anyone would do this, all I can think is that you can get better sound quality and more bass (due to the extra thickness of the disc) on a 12".
[5] - This is something they have generally avoided to this day, partly because (as they say here) they feel pictures on covers can soon become frighteningly dated.
[6] - The press release wasn't entirely a whitewash. Vince offered "Only You" to Depeche Mode before recording it as Yazoo, but they turned it down.
[7] - Can anyone help with supplying a scan of the cover of and the article in this magazine, for inclusion on Sacred DM? If so, please contact me.
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