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Author Topic: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour  (Read 96266 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour
« Reply #210 on: 05 July 2012 - 00:57:00 »
1991-09-xx - Popcorn (Germany) - Depeche Geleimt!

[Thanks to ScannedPress of Scannedpress.blogspot.com for scanning this!]





1991-10-24 - Bravo (Germany) - Fans machten ihre eigene Show

[Thanks to ScannedPress of Scannedpress.blogspot.com for scanning this!]





1991-11-17 - Depeche Mode - Bong Convention Greetings

[In this video, Alan talks about how they'd won the Brits Award.]

http://www.depechemode.com/video/exclusives/1991conventionvideo.html

Bong Convention Greetings (1991)
Video Recorded: 1991
Video Director: n/a
Video Source: PAL VHS

This video was originally shown only one time, during the Third Annual Bong Convention. The greetings of the band were shown to those fans attending the official convention. This video has not been seen since.
 
The clip is made up of four parts:
 
- Alan, in the studio, working on "Death's Door".
- Martin, in front of a pool table.
- Andy, at his new truck driving job.
- David, at his home, walking through his house with the camcorder.
 
An extra special thanks to JD Fanger for finding this tape (and to Lynn and Michaela of Bong as well).

Bong Convention Greetings (1991)
(running time: 7:33)



1991-xx-xx - Atlanta Press (UK) - Depeche Mode Posterbook

[Thanks to depechemodelover for taking photos of this book for this forum!]













1991-xx-xx - Bravo (Germany) - Frage über Strangetoo

[Thanks to ScannedPress of Scannedpress.blogspot.com for scanning this!]





1991-xx-xx - Sire Records (US) - Depeche Mode's Precious Metal Harvest

http://lansuresmusicparaphernalia.blogspot.com/2015/02/depeche-mode-dave-gahan-martin-l-gore.html
 




2006-04-03 - Mute - Violator remaster

Documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea33gyTtrIk

Sleeve notes [scanned by me]:


Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour
« Reply #211 on: 19 January 2015 - 08:27:40 »
2014-11-20 - Music Tech (UK) - Landmark Productions: Depeche Mode Violator

http://93.114.44.238/viewtopic.php?f=123&t=942953&start=0





http://www.musictech.net/2015/01/landmark-productions-depeche-mode-violator/

Landmark Productions: Depeche Mode – Violator

Violator marked a new approach for Depeche Mode, and paved the way for both the band’s future and that of electronic music production. Andy Price will make you a believer…

The Tracks
1. World in My Eyes
2. Sweetest Perfection
3. Personal Jesus
4. Halo
5. Waiting for the Night
6. Enjoy the Silence
7. Policy of Truth
8. Blue Dress
9. Clean

Recorded at Logic Studios, Puk Studios, Master Rock Studios and Axis Studios
Produced by Depeche Mode and Mark ‘Flood’ Ellis
Mixed by Depeche Mode and François Kevorkian Engineered by François Kevorkian, Alan Gregorie, Goh Hotoda, Peter Iversen, Phil Legg

Throughout the 80s, Depeche Mode had established themselves as kings of the electro-pop landscape, albums such as Some Great Reward, Black Celebration and Music for the Masses had defined a sound and style that was both alluringly original and at the cutting edge of technological innovation, winning them a sizeable, dedicated fan base.

During the course of this decade, Messrs. Gahan, Gore, Wilder and Fletcher had developed a working relationship and routine that was, as far as the band were concerned, beginning to stifle rather than fuel their musical ambitions…

At this point Depeche Mode were used to spending a lot of time before the recording of their LPs discussing at length the style, tone and compositional approach that they would use. However, for their seventh (then untitled) record they resolved to try something new. “We decided that as our first record of the 90s, it ought to be different,” Martin Gore told the NME in 1990.

Gore had previously come under fire within the group for going away, writing pretty much complete songs, demo-ing them and almost instructing the rest of the band what to play and how to play it. For this record, Gore intentionally kept his demo ideas as simple as possible, with much of the layering and arranging duties left to bandmate Alan Wilder.

Enlisting the help of the increasingly respected producer Flood (real name, Mark Ellis) the band began the Violator sessions at Logic Studios in Milan. The first fruit of their labours being the instantly addictive Personal Jesus.

Unusually for Depeche Mode the dominant instrument is the electric guitar – a fairly significant deviation for a band that were primarily associated with electronic sounds.

The driving, repetitive rhythm was actually the sampled sound of feet stomping on flight cases and then looped, treated and mixed with electric snare and tom sounds. The mantra-like vocal melody (and brooding croon from Gahan) would cement this track in ears and minds on both sides of the pond following its swift release as a single.

After the resulting success of the single, Gore’s twangy, insistent guitar sound would become a key component in subsequent songs by the band, and Personal Jesus would become many a newcomer’s introduction to the Depeche Mode sound, and go on to inspire a tone and sonic mood that, eventually, would become known as ‘industrial’.

Although Gore’s songwriting and craftsmanship were massively important to the resulting album, much of its sonic depth can be credited to Alan Wilder’s arrangements, utilising an arsenal of vintage synthesizers and sound-generating tools. Wilder used much of the same go-to gear he had been using heavily throughout the preceding decade: an EMS VCS3, Moog Minimoog and Oberheim OB-8 synths, as well as the ever-popular Roland Space Echo and Manley amplifiers.

Reach Out and Touch Faith…
After recording Personal Jesus in Milan, the band relocated to Puk Studios in Denmark to record the rest of the album. Both Flood and Alan Wilder were heavily influenced by the then-burgeoning sound of hip-hop coming out of America and had begun to utilise sampling a great deal during the Violator sessions, building up whole sampled kits and rhythmic loops.

Nowhere on the record is this more apparent than on Halo – a track that uses a drum loop from Led Zeppelin’s When the Levee Breaks that was sampled on an unnamed rap record before being taken off and re-used by Depeche Mode. Flood utilised his ARP 2600 on this track as well, combined with a variety of other modular synths and sampled string sections.

A technique that Wilder had used previously and applied to the Violator sessions would be to stretch a string sample, vary the sound or pitch, and then add in his own strings over the top to concoct new, dramatic sounding orchestral phrases.

A clear example of how being limited in terms of music-making resources (compared to today’s world of endless plug-ins and sample packs) forced Wilder to think outside the box.

Flood’s ARP 2600 synth was essential to creating the meat of Waiting for the Night. Wilder told The Electricity Club in 2011 how the track’s main musical hook was reached: “The ARP 2600 has many flaws when setting up your 16-note sequence, such as tuning and gate length.

We would have fiddled around, tweaking the filters and envelopes within the ARP until we arrived at that particularly hypnotic end result.” Wilder and Flood then used this shape as the sample for each held note on a keyboard or synth, so each chord would trigger this shape, being generated again and again as the chords were played.

The album’s arguable high point, Enjoy the Silence, has subsequently, along with Personal Jesus, become one of Depeche Mode’s most recognisable songs, being their highest climber in the US charts and a ‘jumping-on’ song for intrigued ears to start delving into their back catalogue. The writing of the song began in a much more traditional vein than you’d expect.

Initially a piano-based ballad written by Martin Gore, the song was then (at the suggestion of Alan Wilder) sped up significantly, transforming an otherwise sanguine piano ballad into a pulsing, danceable chart smash.

Perhaps the most ‘mainstream’ single in the Depeche Mode canon, Enjoy the Silence immediately preceded the release of the LP and became the band’s biggest hit. The album version segues into a moody interlude (unlisted on the record sleeve) with a Gore guitar lick that builds and builds before fading out into a distant saw-like synth noise.

Third single Policy of Truth also prioritises pop-friendly melodies and tight rhythm over progressive composition. Yet the mix is fascinating, kicking off with a single note recorded on guitar, then fed into a sampler, looped and fed into a keyboard, adding a bendy, vibrato effect.

The rest of the song features duelling synthesized noises and layered vocals. The band would later state that it took them a great deal of time to isolate a lead riff sound that worked, even attempting to record it on a flute.

Violator’s opening track World in My Eyes was conceived by Martin Gore, recording an as-requested stripped-down demo in isolation. Initially an unremarkable piece, much studio-based enhancing (including the addition of Minimoog mixed together with the ARP 2600 and Gahan’s powerful vocal line) morphed the composition into something much more interesting and the perfect opening to the album.

High-register, almost feminine electronic synth sounds kickstart Blue Dress before the landscape lapses into a moving, phasing texture, along with Gore’s shimmering, washy guitar chords. Gore would describe Blue Dress as a “pervy love song”, the theme of the lyrics being that of a boy witnessing a woman undressing for the first time. The song gives way to the second interlude on the record: a slightly more unhinged little piece that serves to enhance the flow of Violator.

Closing Time
Final track Clean owes much to Kraftwerk and, as the band openly admit, Pink Floyd. It features a bass riff pilfered from Floyd’s One of These Days, with an unusual aural landscape peppered with fragmented electronic melodies and a chugging, mechanical electric bass.

Yet the real highlight of the mix is the sweeping, theatrical vocal melody soaring above the Krautrockian backing by Gahan, singing of becoming “clean” and “an end to the tears, the in-between years” gives a lyrical sense of resolution and exorcism to the closing moments of the album.

The LP’s final mix was led by François Kevorkian with heavy creative input from the band. Although several alternate mixes of the album’s tracks exist (and have been subsequently released) Kevorkian added his own stamp; for example, Sweetest Perfection was overloaded with tape loops, bizarre phased sounds and discordant mania well after recording with the band had been completed.

Upon release, Violator was instantly hailed as a milestone in the band’s history. Referred to as a “perfectly formed void” by Tom Nicholson of Record Mirror, most critics were enthralled by the album’s textured, dark and edgy sonic landscape as well as its pop sensibilities.

It was massively successful commercially, too, and became Depeche Mode’s breakthrough record in the US and their first LP to sell over a million copies in the land of the free. It also generated four top 20 singles in the UK.

Now regarded almost universally as Depeche Mode’s high point, Violator is a fine example of a band pushing their creative and musical limits and, rather unexpectedly, being richly rewarded in both sales and near-universal acclaim.

The Players

Dave Gahan
Gahan’s dark vocal power was a key ingredient to the mainstream success that the release of Violator would propel the band to.

Martin Gore
As Depeche Mode’s principal songwriter, Gore pushed the sonic boundaries on Violator with a new, rockier approach.

Alan Wilder
Wilder worked closely with Gore to arrange the material on Violator. He was also responsible for many of the textured synth sounds.

Mark ‘Flood’ Ellis
Producer Flood provided valuable technical expertise and served a vital creative role in the genesis and recording process of the album.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour
« Reply #212 on: 19 March 2015 - 17:20:26 »
2015-03-19 - Rolling Stone (US) - Black Celebration: Depeche Mode Look Back on 'Violator' 25 Years Later

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/black-celebration-depeche-mode-look-back-on-violator-25-years-later-20150319

Black Celebration: Depeche Mode Look Back on 'Violator' 25 Years Later
The album was "the pinnacle of us having fun," says guitarist and songwriter Martin Gore
By Kory Grow

When synth-pop trailblazers Depeche Mode put out their darkly hued seventh album, Violator, a quarter of a century ago, it was an event. The Beatles may have had Beatlemania, but the group had their own bloodthirsty zombie horde willing to crush anything standing between them and their favorite band. Two days after the record came out, a mob of more than 10,000 fans shut down a small section of Los Angeles surrounding a record store where the group was doing a signing. The Depeche Mode faithful pushed on the shop's windows so forcefully that the glass wobbled and ultimately cost the city some $25,000 to disperse 130 policemen in riot gear to subdue the band's unruly disciples.

Thanks to a string of hypnotizing, sexually charged singles – the cheekily gothic "Personal Jesus," sensually serene "Enjoy the Silence," otherworldly and bluesy "Policy of Truth" – the record quickly became the band's best-selling LP, reaching Number Seven on Billboard and going triple platinum. But aside from its commercial success, the LP signaled a new era for the band: In less than a decade, they'd gone from swiveling their butts to their new-wave gem "Just Can't Get Enough" to creating the brooding, cinematic and mysterious post-goth masterpieces of Violator. Why does singer Dave Gahan sound so fragile yet hopeful on "Waiting for Tonight"? How can "Blue Dress" come off so beautiful yet creepy? What is the underlying message to their Pink Floyd riffing on "Clean"? The record's enduring mysteries echo today in the number of times artists ranging from Marilyn Manson to Susan Boyle have covered Violator's songs.

The band's Martin Gore, who wrote every song on the album and played its minimalistic and snaky guitar lines, fondly remembers the fun surrounding the making of the record. "During that time in our career, we were quite experimental in our choices of recording locations, and we loved the idea of going off and making each album an adventure," he tells Rolling Stone, looking back at the record after discussing his upcoming MG solo LP for an upcoming article. "We recorded the majority of Violator in Milan, which was really good fun. How we got anything done, I don't know because we were out partying most nights."

When the band wasn't in Milan, they recorded in New York, London and Gjerlev, Denmark, with co-producer Flood. "When we were in Denmark, it was kind of in the middle of nowhere," Gore says. "The nearest town was, like, a 20-minute ride away and it was a really tiny town. We finished and mixed the record there."

Overall, he recalls Violator with great affection, if only for the place it holds in the band's personal history. "When the four members of the band were still together, Violator was the pinnacle of us having fun, I think," he says, referring to Alan Wilder's departure from the band in 1995. "By the time we got to [1993's] Songs of Faith and Devotion, things had gotten derailed and people had changed. It was much more of a struggle to make. Even though I think it's a great album, up there with all of our favorites, it was just a different vibe."

Reflecting on the many different cover versions of Violator songs that have come out over the past quarter century, Gore settles on Johnny Cash's stark, acoustic take on "Personal Jesus" as his favorite. "It's the most different," he says. "It's just got that Johnny Cash spiritual quality to it, that magic. And for it to be on his last album before he passed was something very special."

"Personal Jesus" – a song that's obliquely about the Man in Black's friend Elvis Presley, inspired by Priscilla Presley's deity-like depiction of the King in her book Elvis & Me – is the song musicians ask to cover most often. In addition to Cash, artists from Sammy Hagar to industro-rockers Gravity Kills have put their own spin on it. "The majority of them, I have to say, I don't particularly like," Gore says. "But I usually approve them, because they're my fans. Nobody's going to want to cover that unless they're actually a fan. And to say, 'No, you can't release that because I don't like it,' is a bit unfair. I get tons of stuff coming in from, like, Germany and Eastern Europe, people singing in really bad accents but I always approve them." He laughs.

"The thing I'm most proud of is the fact that we seem to have influenced people right across the board in all different genres of music," he says. "Metal bands and Susan Boyle." He laughs again.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour
« Reply #213 on: 19 March 2015 - 17:39:09 »
2015-03-19 - Depeche-mode.com - Exclusive Interview: François Kevorkian on 25 years of Violator

http://www.depeche-mode.com/2015/03/19/exlusive-interview-francois-kevorkian/

Exclusive Interview: François Kevorkian on 25 years of Violator
March 19th, 2015 by Glen

The 19th of March is always a very special day for Depeche Mode fans. To anybody else it’s just a regular day, but for us, The Devotees, it’s the day we honor the release date of Depeche Mode’s landmark album, Violator. This March 19th, however, is a little more special than the others. Today we all come together to celebrate the monumental 25th anniversary of Violator. To honor the occasion we are thrilled to bring you a HOME exclusive interview with the legendary François Kevorkian!
What can I say about François Kevorkian that hasn’t already been said? I’m struggling to find the words to do him justice. DJ/producer/engineer… all great titles, but they just don’t seem nearly proper enough descriptions to explain the impact of François Kevorkian. Let’s put it this way, the list of people he hasn’t worked with is probably shorter than the list of people he has. Whether it was DJing with Larry Levan, working with Kraftwerk, or remixing bands like The Cure, Smiths, and U2… not to mention being as relevant in dance music culture today as ever. It’s the kind of talent and longevity that any artist strives for and very rarely achieves.
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating 25 years of Violator by reading  thoughts from the person the band entrusted to mix this very special album.

When your name was suggested to mix Violator, Alan Wilder said he was really impressed that you had worked with Kraftwerk. Can you tell us about how you connected to the project and were the band welcoming?
The band had previously contacted me asking me to do a remix of “Behind The Wheel”, which I wasn’t able to honor because of scheduling conflicts. So I knew that they were interested in what I was doing; then some time in the Summer of 1988 they contacted me again to have a meeting. This happened in London with everyone in the group present, very informal and relaxed. They presented me with the idea that they would like for me to mix a first single, and if this went well that I would be asked to work on the rest of the album. This was of course a thrill for me, and because this time there was ample opportunity to schedule things in advance there were no issues with other commitments. I immediately felt very comfortable and welcome with all of them, as they were very down-to-earth about what they wanted to accomplish together. I could really feel their enthusiasm for the album they were in the middle of planning, and there was a creative connection right away. This was quite inspiring because of it being so simple and direct, rather than having to deal with heavy layers of management.

While pleased with the outcome, your work on Violator has been described as “extremely meticulous.” Do you recall feeling any tension from people involved while you were mixing the album?
So we went to work on the first single at a studio in Milano, Italy around June 1989; the whole band was there, at times this included the album’s producer Flood as well as Daniel Miller. There was a good amount of time spent on learning my way around the track as well as getting the mix to sound the way it should. This was for a single, but also included having to create 12” remixes, for which the band took the time to record some new parts, and all of this gave us an opportunity to really get to know each other. It took quite a while, and I think that this gave band members a good look at how I was working, obviously I went all-out to make this single as memorable as I thought it deserved to be. They could see that, and were very supportive, as well as giving me whatever headspace to focus on what I was doing during what ended up being a very intense work schedule. This sort of atmosphere yielded very successful results, and everyone was well pleased with the mixes, so it just continued on the same kind of vibe for the rest of the album later that year. Unquestionably I felt that the album material deserved a great degree of attention to detail, and went out of my way to leverage and use whatever I knew that I felt could help give it more flavor and character without being pompous. While I have mostly been known for doing things that have a raw, very soulful and organic sort of vibes when it comes to the work I would do for club records, this didn’t quite feel like what I should be delivering at all. I was consciously trying to help make it something with a lot of details, which would stand well to repeated listening and scrutiny, but also sound catchy and simple as popular music should.

The 19th of March is always a very special day for Depeche Mode fans. To anybody else it’s just a regular day, but for us, The Devotees, it’s the day we honor the release date of Depeche Mode’s landmark album, Violator. This March 19th, however, is a little more special than the others. Today we all come together to celebrate the monumental 25th anniversary of Violator. To honor the occasion we are thrilled to bring you a HOME exclusive interview with the legendary François Kevorkian!
What can I say about François Kevorkian that hasn’t already been said? I’m struggling to find the words to do him justice. DJ/producer/engineer… all great titles, but they just don’t seem nearly proper enough descriptions to explain the impact of François Kevorkian. Let’s put it this way, the list of people he hasn’t worked with is probably shorter than the list of people he has. Whether it was DJing with Larry Levan, working with Kraftwerk, or remixing bands like The Cure, Smiths, and U2… not to mention being as relevant in dance music culture today as ever. It’s the kind of talent and longevity that any artist strives for and very rarely achieves.

When your name was suggested to mix Violator, Alan Wilder said he was really impressed that you had worked with Kraftwerk. Can you tell us about how you connected to the project and were the band welcoming?
The band had previously contacted me asking me to do a remix of “Behind The Wheel”, which I wasn’t able to honor because of scheduling conflicts. So I knew that they were interested in what I was doing; then some time in the Summer of 1988 they contacted me again to have a meeting. This happened in London with everyone in the group present, very informal and relaxed. They presented me with the idea that they would like for me to mix a first single, and if this went well that I would be asked to work on the rest of the album. This was of course a thrill for me, and because this time there was ample opportunity to schedule things in advance there were no issues with other commitments. I immediately felt very comfortable and welcome with all of them, as they were very down-to-earth about what they wanted to accomplish together. I could really feel their enthusiasm for the album they were in the middle of planning, and there was a creative connection right away. This was quite inspiring because of it being so simple and direct, rather than having to deal with heavy layers of management.

While pleased with the outcome, your work on Violator has been described as “extremely meticulous.” Do you recall feeling any tension from people involved while you were mixing the album?
So we went to work on the first single at a studio in Milano, Italy around June 1989; the whole band was there, at times this included the album’s producer Flood as well as Daniel Miller. There was a good amount of time spent on learning my way around the track as well as getting the mix to sound the way it should. This was for a single, but also included having to create 12” remixes, for which the band took the time to record some new parts, and all of this gave us an opportunity to really get to know each other. It took quite a while, and I think that this gave band members a good look at how I was working, obviously I went all-out to make this single as memorable as I thought it deserved to be. They could see that, and were very supportive, as well as giving me whatever headspace to focus on what I was doing during what ended up being a very intense work schedule. This sort of atmosphere yielded very successful results, and everyone was well pleased with the mixes, so it just continued on the same kind of vibe for the rest of the album later that year. Unquestionably I felt that the album material deserved a great degree of attention to detail, and went out of my way to leverage and use whatever I knew that I felt could help give it more flavor and character without being pompous. While I have mostly been known for doing things that have a raw, very soulful and organic sort of vibes when it comes to the work I would do for club records, this didn’t quite feel like what I should be delivering at all. I was consciously trying to help make it something with a lot of details, which would stand well to repeated listening and scrutiny, but also sound catchy and simple as popular music should.

When looking back, Dave Gahan said that you should be credited for adding another level of creativity to the album. Can you give us a few examples where your ideas helped shape the record?
I have been quoted in previous interviews as saying that I felt that no matter who might have worked on mixing this album, the songwriting, production as well as performances were so stellar that there was just no way for someone like myself to take much credit for anything. The rough demo mixes they gave me already sounded so awesome and pretty much like a finished product. That being said, and while I still stand by those earlier comments, I can imagine that somehow my contributions probably gave it a bit of a slightly different flavor to some of their other albums. When going into a project such as this one, I have always felt that my role would be to illustrate what the band was trying to express rather than changing things around too much to give it a very different vibe. So I applied myself to bring out the qualities I felt made the band so special. At that time they were just coming off “101” which really gave me the sense that (at least to US listeners) what the public primarily knew as a synth-pop band was becoming one of the big-time rock bands touring arena-sized venues. And to me “Violator” really felt like an extension of this. Most of the uptempo songs had very catchy, hummable hooks and memorable melodies. So in a conceptual sense I felt that between the band picking me because of my work with other electronic music artists like Kraftwerk and this new direction they seemed to be taking, my task would be to consciously bridge these two worlds. Most of the material felt very complete, and only very occasionally did I make minor suggestions, such as to add some slight staccato strings punches in some sections of “World In My Eyes”. Also there were definitely some parts where the extreme processing I used on some of the vocals arguably changed the atmosphere compared to what it originally was. I kept encouraging the mix engineers Goh Hotoda, Alan Gregorie as well as Dennis P. Mitchell (“Personal Jesus” only) to be as creative and bold as they could be;  sometimes we were doing things that weren’t quite the norm, such as doing a lot of effect automation by having a computer run alongside the tape and sequencing MIDI commands to control certain effect processors; this is pretty much the sort of stuff people do without giving it much thought nowadays, but 25 years ago this was fairly esoteric. This gave me a chance to fine-tune and get very precise in the treatment of certain tracks. Rather than having them stick out like a sore thumb, I was able to make these effects become what I felt was like an integral part of the songs. I can especially remember spending time giving “Waiting For The Night” an eerie, dream-like feel, and also quite a lot of attention was put into bringing out the right atmosphere for some of the darker moods like “Halo” or “Clean”… but also with “Policy Of Truth” (the only song I mixed at Axis, my studio in NYC) we managed to give it a definite funky edge, I also recall really wanting to bring those qualities out, as it felt like the natural direction this song begged for anyway. But overall, the aim was to really make it as natural-sounding as could be. To facilitate and help the listeners connect with the essence of those mesmerizing songs in a very natural manner.

It has been said that you would disappear into the studio working on ideas. This always made me wonder when and where you were involved in the process of mixing the album. Did you start mixing when they would finish a track or did they just hand over the entire album?
The album was delivered to me pretty much totally completed. The band was extremely well-organized, and because Flood had an unbelievably tight schedule it was imperative that everything be finished within a certain amount of time as he would otherwise not be able to participate later due to his other recording projects. So besides the first single, to the best of my recollection everything was pretty much finished after they left PUK studios in Denmark. I can only recall one instance where they became unhappy with a certain vocal part and re-recorded it while we were mixing, otherwise it felt as if everything came more of less at the same time. So we could choose what order to mix songs in. I think that while we were mixing the first batch there were some last-minute things being done to a group of other songs, but for the most part I can’t recall ever having to wait for anything.

We know that “Enjoy The Silence” was a ballad reworked, “World In My Eyes” was scrapped and started over, and a few different versions of “Policy Of Truth” were recorded. Any stories come to mind of challenges in the studio or songs you saw really evolve from their original demos?
As I mentioned above, I was never really involved with any of this, the material was only handed to us when the band deemed it to be the proper version and ready to be mixed.

Can you give us a little background on why Daniel Miller mixed “Enjoy The Silence”?
Everyone agreed that this song  should be slated to be the second single, and there were some very tight deadlines for delivering a finished single mix as well as 12” remixes. When we started the album mix in London things took a bit longer than expected, and I knew that I would have to get back to the US for some other work I was obligated to do. So while we got to working on a mix of “Enjoy The Silence”, it wasn’t really in a satisfactory state when time came for me to leave. Mute Records couldn’t wait until my return several weeks later as this would delay the release. So they just decided to give it a go themselves to stay on schedule. I think that some of my work from these sessions ended up being used in the 12” remixes.

You, and others, have described Martin Gore as someone who seemed more concerned that the songs had the right feel to them rather than sitting in the studio for hours experimenting.  Do you think that was accomplished on that album?
Yes, pretty much in the sense that it was clear that Martin as well as the rest of the band didn’t want to sit through these agonizing and tedious mixing sessions listening to very small details for days on end. First of all I am sure they felt that they had already done this when recording, but also because in such a situation it felt imperative for them to keep a fresh perspective; it is so easy to lose focus if you sit there for hours listening to the same thing over and over. This also gave us the latitude to work at our own pace, no matter how strange the hours may have been. Alan Wilder was the one who would often give us direction when we would start on a new song, he was able to give us a lot of background information and pointers on what to look for, which parts to use, and how it was meant to sound.
Generally when band members were there, more often than not they would spend time in the lounge and only occasionally pop their heads into the studio room. I must say that I really appreciated this of them, and not the least their patience at what must have been frustrating waiting for stuff to get finished!

You’d be hard pressed to find a Depeche Mode fan who doesn’t worship the remixes you made for the singles from Violator. Aside from your remix of “Higher Love” in 1993, have you been approached again to remix or work with the band? If so, why didn’t it happen?
Not really sure but unquestionably my involvement with dance music and clubs started getting much stronger again around 1990, and after a seven year hiatus away from clubs (1983-1989) I started DJ’ing in front of crowds again. Which means that increasingly a lot of my time was spent touring around the globe, and this gradually caused me to become less and less available for studio work. I did participate in another mix project for Mute with the self-titled Erasure album in 1995, but not much of these sorts of big album projects after that. Regardless, could it be that the band felt that they wanted to keep moving to different sonic palettes from a changing cast of remix producers when bringing out their newer albums to the public?

You said you were pretty astounded at the worldwide reception of the album. When you look back on your body of work, from your current perspective, where does Violator fit on your list of accomplishments?
Unquestionably this would be one of the finest contributions I was able to make to anyone’s career, and it seems that 25 years on, this particular moment in time was a defining one in many ways…. Certainly from my perspective it was quite unique in terms of having been able to successfully bring my ideas and approach to a project of this magnitude and to this large of an audience. And I feel very proud and extremely honored to be able to include it at the top of the list of projects I have been asked to work on.

I recently saw you had Thomas Dolby and David J join you for sets at Deep Space. I loved seeing their names up there with equally legendary names like King Britt, Joe Claussell, and Dubtribe Sound System. Was that a little nod to alternative music’s club culture past and did you find the Deep Space fans embracing something different?
When it comes to Deep Space, (now in its 12th year as a weekly event) our philosophy has always been one of open-mindedness and rather than drawing artificial dividing lines between genres. I have always felt that an important part of our mission is to bring out as many facets of music as we can. So in this sense, having these uniquely talented people be able to participate was truly a delight, not the least because they each brought a refreshing, unique and sometimes unexpected approach to their musical selections.  We are however just as likely to bring out fresh dubstep artists, or dub legends like Mad Professor or Adrian Sherwood. All of these guests usually find our crowds very supportive when they come out to hear them at the party every Monday night.

Aside from a busy DJ schedule, what else can we look forward to from François K?
Besides the relentless DJ touring schedule in question, I have slowly been developing a surround sound project;  I have already done it as a special event in a handful of venues around the planet including a couple of times during ‘Burning Man’ in the Nevada desert. This is not at all related to club music, more like setting up an environment where I can play a lot of very eclectic material specifically mixed in multi-channel formats. (Like the 5.1 version of Violator is!) But this has been extremely rewarding as it has allowed me to go into areas that few people currently dabble with, and I am hopeful that it will bear fruit in the coming year by allowing me to connect with audiences in other ways than just through dance floor-oriented music.
Also I am scheduled to start working on a book which will be an auto-biography of a 40-odd year career in and around all facets of the music industry.
As of late, there is no denying that there has been more demand for me to participate in speaking engagements, lectures and seminars such as the many editions of Red Bull Music Academy I have been asked to speak for. Obviously it is a very gratifying feeling to be able to communicate and share some of my experiences with people from a younger generation.
The last few years have been a bit more quiet on the studio front, but I am hopeful to be able to bring more music out in the near future, and to that effect currently working on some new material as well as completing some projects that were already started.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour
« Reply #214 on: 10 July 2015 - 16:17:55 »
2015-03-19 - Télépro (Belgium) - L'album à tubes de Depeche Mode

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


Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour
« Reply #215 on: 14 February 2016 - 18:42:09 »
2015-12-29 - Rockawa n°13 (France) - Le Feu Au Culte

[Thanks to KFDM for scanning this for Depeche-mode.be.]




Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1990: Violator and World Violation Tour
« Reply #216 on: 25 April 2017 - 04:25:05 »
2017-04-06 - Long Live Vinyl magazine (UK) - Classic Album Violator

[Downloaded as a PDF file from vk.com/stopthepress.]






Classic Album
Depeche Mode
Violator
by Andy Jones

In the late 1980s, Depeche Mode were huge Stateside. Appearances would cause riots and they could easily wow 70,000 people in a single sitting. But after six varied and successful albums in one decade, how could they possibly get any higher? Welcome to Violator…

Depeche Mode might well be judged by the (admittedly now often confused) old man of time as being as important as The Beatles. The  band is fast-approaching four decades in music making – yes, really – and in that time, has spread the word of the synth, married it to rock, sold a gazillion albums and singles and become the electronic Rolling Stones (wow, I literally ‘just can’t get enough’ of these classic-band comparisons).
Only whereas the Stones arguably stopped making great albums mere years into their history, the Mode made many well into theirs. And the best of all is Violator… This is was the band’s Revolver (alright, I’ll stop now), a peak of creativity that introduced their trademark synth tones to the world of rock music.
Previous albums had seen the Depeche output mature from its pop sound (on 1981 debut album Speak & Spell and largely on its follow up A Broken Frame), through the industrial sample-laden Construction Time Again to the darker, more thoughtful trio of Some Great Reward, Black Celebration and Music For The Masses. This is last album did what it said on the tin, introducing the band’s sound to America – which led to a US tour documented in the excellent 101 documentary, and closing with an epic concert at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena in front of 70,000 people.
So with six varied albums already released in the 1980s as the band marched to perfect their sound, with a bigger following than any other band in the world right then – what were Depeche to do as the 80s closed? Only go and record their best album to date…
Violator was recorded in Milan and Denmark and mixed in London by François Kevorkian, who had worked previously on Kraftwerk’s Electric Café. It might sound like a complicated process, but the band had every intention of making it as simple as possible – at least at the outset…
“We wanted to take a different direction with this album, for the songs to come across in a more direct way and not to be so fussy,” Gahan said in an interview shortly after the recording at Puk Studios in Denmark, where they completed Violator before it was mixed in London. “We didn’t want to be so critical about things and wanted to get more of an energy on to tape when we were recording, rather than play around with sounds for so long that by the time it came to recording, you’d have forgotten about the original direction of the song. So we wanted to work a lot faster but in fact, we’ve probably taken more time, as you end up experimenting more until you find the right direction for the song! But the songs sound a lot harder, not just in a rocky way, but they are a lot more edgy in terms of sound and feeling.
“We didn’t want it to be so cluttered, we wanted it to be more direct,” he reiterated to MTV later in 1990. “We worked with Flood [aka Mark Ellis] who helped us a lot. He steered us in a direction that we were trying to find but didn’t even know ourselves. He helped develop the songs into something that maybe we wouldn’t have done before.”
Indeed, Flood and long-time Depeche Mode band member Alan Wilder’s inputs cannot be understated. The two worked tirelessly during the album’s recordings to provide the atmospheric frameworks within which Martin Gore’s songs for Violator sat. Yet there was another factor that led to the success of the recording, that is perhaps less well known. Kevin May is the author of HALO, a forthcoming book about the making of Violator. “Martin Gore, who was still the sole songwriter in Depeche at that point, said years later Violator was the last time they had fun making a record. It shines a light on the mood of the band at the time and, in particular, the excitement that was being generated with what was then a new producer in Flood and how they were approaching the entire process.
He saw an opportunity to marry the band’s core synth sound with ‘traditional instruments and really pushed a new tactic for the band, urging Gore to strip his demos back to as basic a form as possible so that they would be more open to manipulation during the recording – essentially allowing Alan Wilder and Flood to add atmospheres, melody, percussion and other elements to each track.”
“I just thought it needed another perspective,” Mute Records owner and band mentor Daniel Miller told Electronic Beats on why he brought the producer in, “and Flood is technically very good, very musical, and very open. He’s not one of these, ‘This is is the way it has to be.’ It’s more like, ‘How can we do it differently?’ He was in sync with the band’s mentality – and my own.”
A fresh approach to the instrumentation also offered a new perspective to everyone, combining electronics and traditional sounds. And it seems Flood was the perfect producer to link these two elements. Martin Gore, the album’s songwriting architect, however, downplays his own talents as ever, and told a very bored MTV reporter in 1990 of the songs on Violator: “I don’t have a natural process, I just sit down and write a song. Words come, melodies come and that’s it.”

VIOLATOR VERSUS SOFAD
It’s difficult to talk about Violator without talking about the tour that preceded it – with that Pasadena closing show – and the album that came aer it. Songs Of Faith And Devotion couldn’t have had a more different sound: gospel, soul, rock and electronics, and that’s just on the track Condemnation. Yet its inception was hell – the opposite to the apparent happiness permeating the Violator sessions. Ironically, though, it’s hailed as the other Mode masterpiece – although it nearly destroyed the band, as the egos spawned by success, drugs and rock ’n’ roll nearly swallowed their owners.
“During Violator, the band had still managed to keep their feet on the ground,” says May. “While they had an inkling early on that they were creating something important, unique, creative and what would eventually turn out to be an important album for fans and acclaimed by critics, they were, in the words of many in the camp at the time, extremely down to earth and often didn’t appear to understand how big they were becoming. This is is perhaps difficult to believe, given the success of the previous records and tours… Yet they were still young (Alan Wilder was the oldest, in his early 30s) and, at least outwardly, had largely avoided the trappings of fame.”
After the recording, François Kevorkian mixed the album – the most difficult part of the process. “He’s one of the most intense people I know,” Daniel Miller told Electronic Beats. “He would work for 18 hours a day and I think he got through at least three different engineers, because they couldn’t take it. He’s so obsessive and so brilliant, and made a great record in Violator.”
Miller made a very important contribution to the final recording, taking an early version of Enjoy The Silence that he wasn’t pleased with and remixing it with engineer Phil Legg. “I think they were so burned out by the end – it took a long time making that record – that they said, ‘Okay, whatever you say,’ and they used that version.” That version went on to be the single and contributed greatly to the overall success of Violator. And what a success that was. All four singles from Violator charted around the globe while the album even scored a No. 2 in the UK – the home country finally embracing its own band.

AFTERMATH
The Violation tour followed, one as crazy and excessive as anything that had gone before. Over 88 dates, the band played to 1.2 million people. The experience would wipe the Mode out for a while and it would be two years until they got their breath back to reform for Songs Of Faith And Devotion. “A lot of things happened to the individuals in the band during and after the Violator tour,” Miller told Electronic Beats. “They never changed as people, they were always very down to earth, but they’d been elevated into superstars and that does have an effect on people.”
Kevin May adds: “Gahan had moved to Los Angeles and found his life being consumed by a heroin habit, as well as falling in with the emerging grunge scene and sound; and there was a general feeling that Flood and Wilder wanted to push the musical style that they had generated on Violator even further, using full segments of live musical performance in the recording.” Where everything came together so well for Violator, it fell apart for SOFAD.
Even though that album was a huge commercial success, it couldn’t have happened without the experiences of Violator. The two are linked intrinsically because of this, even though the styles and the experiences recording them are so different… “Inevitably, Violator laid the foundations for when things started going wrong structurally,” May agrees, “but that is often what happens when important moments in the history of a band take place and things begin to unravel. Depeche’s legion of fans argue endlessly as to the merits or otherwise of everything that the band produces, yet none will begrudge Violator’s pivotal role in the evolution of the band and the impression that it left.”
Wilder would leave the band after SOFAD, but his reasons perhaps stem back from those earlier sessions working with Flood. “The simple answer is I’d just had enough of being in the group and felt I couldn’t really do much more,” he told this author in 1997. “There were diffculties and communication breakdowns. I think most of the detailed work was too boring for the other members of the group, so they tended to disappear and allow me and Flood to get on with it.”
Since then, of course, Gahan has once again become the cleanest he’s been, and Depeche Mode have released several further albums. However, none have matched Violator – it really was the sound of a band on fire and form, and one that worked as a unit in its most creative phase of the last four decades.

ENJOY THE SILENCE
The Mode’s most celebrated song was released as the second single from Violator, in January 1990. It won the 1991 Brit Award for Best Single and was also Depeche Mode’s biggest hit in the US
POLICY OF TRUTH
The third Violator single was the only Depeche Mode single ever to chart higher in the US than in the UK
PERSONAL JESUS
Violator’s lead single, released in August 1989, was a worldwide hit and the fi rst Depeche Mode song to foreground a guitar riff. It was also the fi rst Depeche Mode single to be released with remixes by artists other than the band. Voted one of the 100 Greatest Songs Ever by Q magazine, it was for a time the best-selling 12" single in Warner Bros. history
WORLD IN MY EYES
The final single from the album is keyboard player Andy Fletcher’s favourite Depeche Mode track

The Songs
1 WORLD IN MY EYES
Described as one of Depeche Mode’s sexiest songs, World In My Eyes very much sums up the mood of the band at the point of recording Violator – all were involved and in perfect unity. It originated from a Gore demo, as most Mode songs do, of course, but its evolution in the studio was a dramatic one. Not only that, but all the band contributed vocals to it – a rare occurence but perhaps one that signified the unity and friendship that ran through the Depeche Mode camp at the time.
2 SWEETEST PERFECTION
Interestingly, Sweetest Perfection could well have been a Gahan-led song, according to the lead singer. “There are songs on the album where I might have sung, but Martin did instead,” Gahan told MTV in 1990. “Sweetest Perfection is a song that maybe I would have sung.” This swapping of traditional roles on Violator was intentional – partly because Flood bought a ‘no rule book’ approach to the recording of the album. In this case, Sweetest Perfection was originally more suited to Gahan, but Gore sang it – the opposite happened on the later track Waiting For The Night. Sweetest Perfection is not the best track on the album – but in the context, is still great. It builds to an almost psychedelic conclusion, complete with filtered beats and layers of atmosphere – “the kind of thing you resort to when you haven’t really got an ending,” Wilder recalls – and while not the strongest, is perhaps the most timeless track.
3 PERSONAL JESUS
Gore, Wilder, Flood synths and production “Obviously, it has religious overtones,” Gahan said in 1990, “but the idea for the song actually came from when we were touring America. When you are in America, there are all these TV channels where you switch on and there is someone trying to sell you some sort of religion and you usually have to pay like $20 or something and then they send you your own personal rainbow or whatever you want to call it. These sorts of people seem to be very hypocritical of their own religion. To be a Christian or whatever is supposed to be private and you find something that is important to you. It’s also when you are at your most vulnerable that you turn to religion, so these sorts of people who take money from people who ring up who just need someone to talk to, it just seems all twisted and wrong – that’s why Martin wanted to write the song, because he felt this was making a mockery of the Christian movement.” Martin was also apparently inspired by how Priscilla Presley had described her relationship with Elvis. Either way, the song caused enough controversy to help make it become one of Depeche Mode’s biggest hits around the world (13 in the UK, 28 in the States). It also notably featured a guitar riff, one of the first Mode tracks to feature one so prominently. The song was also famously covered by Marilyn Manson and Johnny Cash (separately, not together) and not so famously by Tori Amos and many others.
4 HALO
HALO is one of the unsung heroes of Violator, perhaps because it sits in the shadow of …Jesus (the song that is). Yet of the two, HALO has actually worn far better over the following 27 years. It’s Depeche Mode at their best, with a stomping electronic intro – the bass produced from two classic synths, an ARP and Minimoog – and searing string-laden chorus. Alan Wilder also states on his own Recoil website that it is one of his favourite tracks from the album. “I like the string arrangement and the fact that we used drum loops on it – something we had hardly done before that time.”
5 WAITING FOR THE NIGHT
The low-key Waiting For The Night is an astonishing Depeche Mode track for many reasons, not least because such a simple arrangement resulted in such a memorable track. It was also one of the few completely shared vocal tracks that Gahan and Gore have been credited with. “It was a song that Martin would possibly have sung,” said Gahan, “but is actually a duet between us. I just phoned him up and said ‘I really like the song, can I sing on it?’” With that stunning and simple arrangement, it’s Flood and Alan Wilder that once again steal the show. “Flood and I had been listening to Tangerine Dream and decided to try and create a similar atmosphere for this track,” Alan Wilder says on shunt3.0.recoil.co.uk. “The main sequence was put together using his ARP and the sequencer that accompanies the synth. The charm of the ARP sequencer stems from the slight tuning and timing variations that occur each time the part is played. This gives a sense of fluidity and continual change, which seems to suit the song.” He’s not wrong there – the results are still simply mesmerising.
6 ENJOY THE SILENCE/INTERLUDE CRUCIFIED
“It’s just about a feeling of not wanting anything else, feeling totally satisfied, when even words are an intrusion,” Martin told MTV in 1990 when asked about Enjoy The Silence. “You just don’t need anything else.” The track was the second single from Violator, and went Top 10 both in the UK and the States and even won the band a Brit in 1991. The final version of Enjoy The Silence was very different to the original demo, something that appears to have happened a lot with many of the songs on Violator but in this case it was the most dramatic change of all. “Strangely, the thing that immediately came to mind was that I could hear Neil Tennant singing it in my head,” Wilder says of his first listen of the original demo. “Something about the line ‘all I ever wanted’ sounded very Pet Shop Boys to me. Most Depeche Mode songs changed tempo to some degree from the original demo, although none I can think of have been that extreme.” The song was also backed by a video that has split the Mode community with some citing it as cheesy. The truth is even its star believed that shortly after fi lming it… “We did it in Portugal, in the Swiss Alps, Scotland and London,” Gahan told MTV in 1990. “It took about a week, mainly me walking around with a king’s outfit on which I hated, but was convinced by everyone it would be okay, and everyone after said it looks great, but I still think I look a prat in it… The only thing the band did were two hours in London looking moody.”
7 POLICY OF TRUTH
The third, and some would say best, single from Violator landed Depeche Mode another Top 20 hit in both the States and the UK. Again, it’s classic Mode with singalong verses and a chorus to get any 70,000 stadium going. The only thing that lets it down is the rather screeching sound that follows the ‘the time before’ lyric at around two minutes (and now we’ve pointed that out, we will ruin that part of the song for you). The video is slightly less memorable than that of Enjoy The Silence and indeed less controversial.
8 BLUE DRESS/INTERLUDE
Blue Dress is Gore at his stalking best, a song about him simply watching someone get dressed, but don’t get too caught up in thoughts of Martin doing this – you might miss the fact that Blue Dress is an exceptional song. It’s one that marries guitar riffs and electronics perfectly and builds through layers of strings and class, all the time underpinned and undermined by a cat-like sleazy synth and some rather terrifying, perverted cackling at its close before it drifts into a second Interlude on the album.
9 CLEAN
By God Clean is good – the fact that it closes the album shows the strength and depth of Violator. Clean opens like a great stomping track from any previous Mode album, but when those tearing strings come in at around three minutes, the hairs on your arms will stand such is the emotion they bring in. You can’t ignore the irony of the lyrics either. Gahan might have been the ‘cleanest I’ve been’ during the recording of this, but little did he know he would one day be so immersed in drug addiction that it would kill him – albeit for just two minutes…

Violator On Vinyl
With so many millions sold, and relatively recently, second-hand prices for Violator aren’t exactly sky high. Expect to pay anything between £10 and £20 depending on condition (although some people are asking for £50-plus for the original pressing, so don’t be tempted). There’s also a newer gatefold 180g version that retails for between £18 and £25 and several limited editions and picture discs that might be good investments. At the time of writing, a rare Mexican picture disc of Violator is up for £150, while a Violator 2000 remix album (with a white cover, but still the red flower) which was limited to 330 is up for what seems a quite reasonable £69.99. There are countless international versions available – expect to pay upwards of £30 for some of the Eastern European ones. The rarest version we found was a promo boxset containing the vinyl, cassette and CD of Violator selling for £572 back in 2008. This was one of just 100 ever made and sent out to DJs when the album came out in 1990. We’ve seen one of these that had been owned by popular Radio 1 DJ Mike Read that sold for £434. This was back in 2010, so expect to pay a lot more if you can track one down.

Anton - Just Do It
Unlike much classic album art, the creation of Violator’s cover was refreshingly conflict-free. Regular collaborator Anton Corbijn was responsible, but the band had little input. “We have complete confidence in Anton when it comes to things like that,” Andrew ‘Fletch’ Fletcher told xsnoize.com. “Basically, he can do what he likes, for the simple reason that we think that’s how it’ll turn out for the best.” And that is exactly what happened with Violator, as Anton revealed to interviewmagazine.com. “They [Depeche Mode] say, ‘Can you do the album?’ and I come up with an idea. With Violator, I just painted a flower red and nailed it to a board and wrote under it, ‘violator’.” Easy…

THANKS!
to author and journalist Kevin May for his input with this feature. His book Halo, the story behind Violator is due to be published soon. More from www.halotheviolatorbook.com