1986-02-08 - Record mirror (uk) - I love the idea of wearing leather (...)
[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net
"I LOVE THE IDEA OF WEARING LEATHER AND I LOVE THE IDEA OF BEING TIED UP, BECAUSE I LOVE THE FEELING OF HELPLESSNESS..."
[Record Mirror, 8th February 1986. Words: Nancy Culp. Pictures: Joe Shutter.]
" “I’ve not got great ambitions to be a stripper, but I quite like stripping.” How about here? “It’s not a question of not being an exhibitionist. The reason I wouldn’t strip in front of Woolworth’s in Berlin is it’s just not the right place to do it…” "
Summary: This article is from the same issue of Record Mirror that was giving away a record featuring a version of "Dressed In Black". It's also the interview that Martin gave while lying down in the road and, while interesting, it's somewhat disappointing. The author doesn't set her sights very high, and although doing it in the best of spirits is evidently only really interested in scooping a naughty quote from Dave or Martin. Dave talks in some detail about his marriage. [2260 words]
Heavens, what does Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore get up to in Berlin? Smelly trousers… a little automobile reconstruction… and a Nancy Culp interview. Photography by Joe Shutter.
It was the sort of drunken scenario every PR dreads. There, flat on his back in the middle of Berlin’s Wienerstrasse, was Martin Gore, his black motorcycle boots akimbo and blond curly locks gracefully sweeping up the muck from the pavement.
An equally betrunken journalist stands over him holding a tape machine under his nose. “I’m going to do this interview lying down in the street,” he’d announced earlier, inside the very trendy Jungle Club. You could dance naked on the table there and the ultra-cool Berliners would only comment on your colour scheme.
A rather merry crew of Fletch, Martin, Joe, me and our wonderful hostess, Nanni, bounced outside into the biting cold. Ho-ho, I thought. This is going to make one hell of a story. “Get down on the floor, Martin!” I shrieked.
Passers-by ignored all these high jinks as if they happened every day. “OK,” I slurred into the tape recorder. “Here we are. We’re in Berlin and we’re outside Woolworth’s. Martin, I’d like to know about your ambitions to be a male stripper!” Fletch hovered in the distance, shaking his head: “If he carries on drinking he could strip!” 
Martin speaks from the pavement: “It’s something I never really wanted to do when I was younger, but as I’ve… This is the sort of thing that’s dangerous because it’s the sort of thing that comes out wrong every time.” Well, give it a go, Martin.
“I’ve not got great ambitions to be a stripper, but I quite like stripping.” How about here? “It’s not a question of not being an exhibitionist. The reason I wouldn’t strip in front of Woolworth’s in Berlin is it’s just not the right place to do it…”
Depeche Mode are recording their sixth album, from which a single, “Stripped”, is about to annihilate the airwaves. It’s what we in the trade would call “a radical departure” (great rock cliché) and features (Gott in Himmel) A GUITAR! 
The band is in the famous Hansa Studios, where Bowie recorded his unforgettable “Heroes” album and where the Birthday Party did a fair old job of practically demolishing Studio 2 while recording a live album. The day before our impromptu street drama, Dave Gahan had taken us through its hallowed portals.
“The acoustics are so good down here, I usually come in and do me vocals either in the studio or outside on the landing.” As soon as I put one foot inside the door, I froze. The atmosphere inside this huge, cavernous and older part of the building felt strange and oppressive. The air was so charged my hair practically stood on end.
“Oh, yeah. It is a bit weird, innit?” grins Dave. “I was down here doing the vocals for “Shake The Disease” in the dark, last time we were here, and I was terrified. I had all noises in me headphones like whispers, and apparently sometimes you can see the shadow of a projectionist up there.” He pointed to a rather eerie-looking projectionist’s box. “It’s a bit haunted, this studio.” I was out of that door quicker than a flash.
Upstairs, in more modern surroundings, the rest of Depeche were getting stuck into recording. They’d been there for two weeks and it looked like taking another month to finish the LP.
After that it’s off round the world for a tour that’ll take up the best part of the next five months. They’ve also been filming the video, with Peter Care, for “Stripped”.
Our first introduction to the band was on that shoot.
We’d been watching poor old Martin and Alan charging up and down an observation platform right by the Wall, carrying a very large screen, while smoke bombs went off all around us. No wonder the guards in the look-out towers were getting ruffled!
I managed to collar Dave for an hour and ask why they were recording at Hansa.
“Mainly because we’re too lazy to find another studio! And we know when we come here that it’s going to be good. It’s probably one of the best studios in the world. When we first came here, no-one was using the place.
“Working in London, it’s difficult to get into it because we just have so many people coming to see us. We don’t go through a manager or anything. The four of us. We are the managers. So we all have our own little areas where we do our bit, and we tend to be doing that all the time rather than working.”
What’s yours, Dave, apart from bad haircuts? He’s back to a glossy shade of black after his rather unsuccessful experiment with peroxide.
“Well, I liaise with merchandising, with our plugger and with the accountants, stuff like that.” Do you like doing that, then? “No, not particularly.” Does that side of things grind you down? I mean, you’re trying to do an album, make a video, do interviews…
“It does a bit, ‘cos it’s a lot of pressure. We’re trying to fix up TVs and things through Neil in London , and just basically trying to keep our heads together. ‘Cos you start to go a bit mad, you know.
“At the moment, we’re at a stage where our success is just getting bigger and bigger everywhere, and it’s not, like, stopped. So, of course, there’s a lot of people trying to rip you off. You’ve just got to try and get on top of things.”
It also means being away for rather long stretches from his wife, Joanne. Dave broke a million hearts last year when he got married suddenly and surreptitiously. Why the secrecy?
“Well, I mean, the way we got married was just, like, so casual. We’d been living together for six years or more and we just started talking about it one night – about marriage in general – and that was on me mind. Then one morning, I got up and said to her, ‘Do you want to get married?’ I virtually said it like that.
“I told Chris, our PR, not to tell anyone about it. Obviously, we could have played on it. It doesn’t bother me to be in the daily papers but so what? Who cares? Thousands of people get married every day.”
Did you feel differently afterwards? A lot of people say it makes a difference to have that bit of paper.
“No, I had a terrible hangover! Again, it’s very clichéd to say that you don’t feel different, but I don’t. We just get on so well. Jo does a lot for me and she’s always there when I need her. I miss her more and more and I always thought that was a good sign.”
So you won’t be taking her out on the road with you? “Well, she can come, but it doesn’t work. It’s very difficult. I’m a totally different person on tour. I can be really horrible ‘cos I’m so locked into what I do. When Jo’s there, I like it, but if she’s there every day and if I’m feeling in a bad mood, I just take it out on her. We’ve had screaming fights like that…
“I think on this whole tour the band have got to all really pull together. We’ve talked about it, and we know that we’re going to have real bad times. That’s something we’re good at doing, otherwise we wouldn’t still be together. We’ve gone through a lot of bad periods.
“We’ve not really had musical differences, but just as people. It’s usually between me and Fletch. We tend to argue sometimes, but, obviously, we both really love each other” (laughs) “but definitely not in a soppy way!”
In their black leather trousers and jackets, the band look every inch the leather boys they first played to. And so to round 57 of the great leather trouser debate…
“This is another one of those myths. We’ve always worn leather – you can ask me mum.” It’s a bit rock and roll though, isn’t it? “I suppose so, but leather feels nice, don’t it? There’s something about dirty leather trousers that I love! There’s something naughty and there’s something dirty and, basically, the business that we’re in is dirty and naughty and it goes with the image!”
This brings us back to Martin; good old quiet and shy Martin, the still waters which run deep. In the past he has always been distinctly coy on the subject of leather, his lyrics which hint at the odd taboo of S and M, and his own part in the whole shebang.
In the Wienerstrasse I decide it’s high time to confront him, taking advantage of his receptive state. Back in the Intercontinental I button-hole him in the foyer. It’s 2:30am and we’re both so tired that we’re past caring. OK, what about the leather then, Martin?
“Yeah.” Are you really into it? “Yeah.” In a sexual way? Silence. He smiles charmingly and begins: “I love black… I love the colour black and I love leather in general…”
But you’ve become noticeably more into it in the last couple of years. “We always wore it as a band, very, very early on, and then we strayed from the path.” But the way you dress is very fetishistic. He smiles again, carefully. Come on! Spill the beans!
“I love wearing leather. I love wearing black, but apart from that I love the idea of…” Martin, you can’t tell me you’re just playing with the imagery because the way you wear it, I don’t believe you! He takes a deep breath…
“I love the idea of wearing black and I love the idea of wearing leather and I love the idea of being tied up, because” (he pauses and laughs) “I love the feeling of helplessness, and that’s the only reason. I’m not really into pain.” Eureka!
“Well, it is about whips and chains, but it’s not… As in most of my songs, I hate writing about a certain subject. I like writing songs that are maybe about a certain subject, but, like, take in a greater spectrum. I hate having to describe songs because if you try and describe them in a few words, you never describe them fully.
“… ‘Cos sometimes I write a couple of lines and I’m not sure what they’re about. I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say, but the fit exactly the atmosphere of the song and the music, at that point.
“I hate interviews, actually, because I find it so difficult coming across natural. I hate reading them, too. That’s one reason why I don’t like doing them. During the last lot we did, we were asked pretty general questions, but when I read what came out, I thought to myself, ‘I’ve got to be really careful in the next batch’, and you never are careful.
“I don’t blame journalists, I blame myself for what I say. I know it’s really bad. It’s just a question of…” He stops and goes off at a tangent. “That’s one of my favourite sayings, by the way. In fact, there’s two tracks on the next album. One’s called ‘A Question Of Time’ and one’s called ‘A Question Of Lust’.
“I reckon if you interview us, a lot of the time you’re going to get a lot of stuff that’s real rubbish. I know when you interview me, you’re going to get a lot of stuff that you’re not going to be interested in at all and you’re going to want to make the most of the interview… so…”
So, you’ve given me some of the best quotes, Martin! 
It’s been a long, hard day. It’s now 3am and time for bed after an unforgettable time. Was it watching the lads demolish three cars in succession that made the trip so good? Or was it standing by the Wall, or where Bowie stood to do his ‘Heroes’ vocals? No, it was spending two days with four of the most likeable and talented lads on Earth – and them not being afraid to open up a bit.
No need to worry, lads. Your secrets are safe with me…
Depeche Mode, who are currently hard at work finishing off an album in Berlin, release their single "Stripped" on February 10th.
The 12 inch version features a "Highland Mix" of "Stripped" and four other songs - "But Not Tonight", "Breathing In Fumes", "Fly On The Windscreen" and "Black Day". Total running time is 25 minutes.
Depeche Mode have added three dates to their tour. They'll be playing Birmingham NEC April 9, Manchester Apollo 12, London Wembley Arena April 17.
Tickets for all the shows are £7 and £6 and they are available from the box office and usual agents. For the Wembley shows they are also available by mail order from Depeche Mode Box Office, PO Box 2, London W6 0LQ.
Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to MCP Ltd, add a 30p booking fee to the cost of each ticket and don't forget to enclose a sae. A credit card hotline has been set up on 01 741 8989.
Due to production difficulties, Depeche Mode's concert in Belfast on April 4 will now take place at the Belfast Maysfield Centre.
For further information send £1.50 to Depeche Mode Information Service, PO Box 326, London SW6 6RL. Make your cheques or postal orders payable to Bravado.
 - For some reason Martin has always had a thing about whipping his clothes off under the influence of a few drinks and while touring has managed to cause a scene in several hotel bars in this way. It's not a particularly pretty sight but Sacred DM does have one very small picture of Martin starkers. Failing that, those who haven't seen it already could try the very beginning of the "A Question Of Lust" video.
 - Oh give it a break. I've lost track of how many times the band (and I) have had to explain over the years that guitars have been used on every album since "Construction Time Again" in 1983.
 - Neil Ferris.
 - No, Martin has completely pulled the rug out from under her feet. A few moments ago the journalist was convinced she had worn Martin down into confiding some deep dark secret. Now, he has as good as told her that since a lot of what he has to say wouldn't interest her, and he realises she is after something juicy, he shrugs his shoulders and feeds her what she clearly wanted to hear. All of a sudden, we can't be sure if the earlier comments on leather and S & M were in earnest or just said to keep her off his back. Funniest of all is that she doesn't even seem to notice that this feint has knocked her investigations right back to square one. Vive le Gore!