1982-04-xx - Christ's School's Black & Gold (UK) - Martin Gore Interview
[Thanks to Marblehead Johnson
for scanning this, and for Andrew Winter for having saved this gem all these years! This was the school paper of Christ School in Richmond, where DM have performed in 1981. Marblehead Johnson
discovered all the info about that gig, and placed that info here
(which is also where these scans are to be found).]
Quiet Force Behind Depeche Mode
As everyone knows, we were lucky to have Depeche Mode play in our school last October. Since then they had two more chart hits and a top-ten L.P.
However, prior to their visit nearly all Depeche Mode material was written by Vince Clarke who subsequently left to form Yazoo, and the writing responsibilities have since fallen upon the shy, angelic looking one of the remaining three - Martin Gore.
Our intrepid reporters, Joanne Briggs, Debra Hooper and Benedict Lee travelled to Basildon, in April, to meet Martin and find out what makes this quiet force behind the group, tick.
'I wanted to Stay at School'
Can you remember anything at all about playing at our school?
All I can remember seeing is lots of kids who looked really small, jumping up and down as if they couldn't dance properly.
By the way readers Martin has a pair of glasses on. Why do you wear them now?
Because I'm short-sighted. Andy is too. He can't even see the front row of the audience.
What do you think of your school days now, looking back?
I really enjoyed it. As a matter of I wanted to stay on because I really enjoyed the sixth form.
What was your favourite subject?
Did you ever get caned?
No, but I did a detention once and I had to write out a Welsh sentence as a form of 'lines'.
At what age did you begin to look at music as a possible career?
At about 19.
Were you in any other bands?
Yes, a sort of middle of the road band called 'Norman and the Worms'.
What were Depeche Mode orginally called?
We don't usually tell anyone because because it is so embarrassing you're the first people to know. We were called 'Composition of Sound'.
'Vince wanted to make a name for himself'
Why did Vince leave?
We don't really know. I think that he wanted to make a name for himself rather than with the band.
How did he tell you that he wanted to leave? Did he phone you?
No, he came round to all of our houses separately on the same day to tell us.
Was there a fear that when Vince left Depeche Mode would collapse?
We were a bit worried at first but we never thought it would come to us completely splitting.
What do you think of Yazoo's single?
It's alright, well....... It's quite good. No it's good. (He says looking away).
Is Alan Wilder a permanent replacement?
It's a bit of a touchy subject at the moment. We said that if we got on well we would take him on. We have already recorded 3 tracks for the next album with him, but we don't know yet.
How did you meet him?
We advertised for him in 'Melody Maker'.
Talking of recording - How do you think of names for singles etc.?
I don't know. We don't really have a formula. It's a thing that none of us likes doing but it has to be done. It's easy for singles as they usually have a meaning or theme, so you can make up a title connected with it. Like the latest single, the 'B' side is called 'Oberkorn - it's a small town'. We stayed at this place in Luxembourg in the middle of nowehere. The population was about 150, and everyime we asked for something simple, like half-a-dozen eggs, they didn't have it - saying that it was only a small town etc.
When you write a song do you write it to suit your personal taste or do you adapt it to what you think the public likes?
Well, I just sit down and try to write a song. I don't think of anything in particular.
How do you go about writing the song?
Sometimes I write the music first and the words afterwards.
What is your least favourite Depeche Mode single title?
What is your favourite?
When is your next album die?
About September we hope!
What will it be called?
I don't know yet.
Are the latest singles such as 'See You' going to be on it?
Have you any plans for the next single after 'The Meaning of Love'?
No, not yet we've only got one other track recorded at the moment.
Do you know how many records 'See You' sold?
About 350,000 copies.
'God what we have done!'
Do you ever listen to your music for pleasure?
No, but I listen to them for reassurance. I get home from recording, and think 'God what have we done!' Then I play and think 'Oh it's not that bad actually.'
Where would you class your music and image?
We are mainly a pop group, we haven't really got a set image.
By the time this interview appears, you will be in the States, touring. Have you any plans for Britain?
We've got one date in Oxford in July and another British tour in October.
Do you prefer touring or recording?
I prefer recording because it is more creative. Touring is the same thing every day - it's like working in an office after a while.
What do you mostly eat while on tour?
Anything that's going really - Obviously we get taken to restaurants by record companies and other promotors quite a lot.
What are the advantages of having girlfriends on tour?
They can do all our washing and ironing (giggle). It also means that I can stay in bed an extra half-hour while Anne does the chores.
Where do you get most of your clothes? Kensington Market tends to be a good place. I got the leather jacket I've got on there.
We thought we would ask Anne a question.
Do you get annoyed after concerts when the girls want to kiss and touch Martin?
At first it used to bother me, but I'm used to it now.
To Martin: I've heard thst you enjoy reading girls magazines. What do you see in them?
I don't read them as much now, but I used to read them a lot when we were touring because they were easy and amusing.
Has becoming a successful musician changed your character?
Yes I'm more confident now in every way. The hardest part I've had to learn is to say 'no' - Everybody wants a piece of you. In Hamburg recently, after a gig, 'they' wanted us to fo go to a reception for the band. I had some pals there, and we wanted to go to a local fair instead. They persisted but I put my foot down and said 'definitely not'. When we got to the fair, it was closed! (Much laughter from everone.)
Thank you very much, Martin, especially for the concert you played for us.
Martin: You're welcome.