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Author Topic: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects  (Read 8012 times)

Offline Angelinda

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1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« on: 23 April 2012 - 00:20:46 »
This thread contains all info regarding the bands that Alan Wilder (or Alan Normal as he used to call himself at the time) was involved in. The info is drawn from interviews many years later: Alan's name did drop in some articles around the time, but there was no substantial info. Only many years later did Alan speak about the bands, and there's an extensive history page on Shunt which has become the main source for authors who summarise Alan's earliest work.

There's also a great fansite called Recoil19.net which also offers a long summary of Alan's earliest work, based on the info that's available on Shunt but with additional info and many more photos: http://www.recoil19.net/RECOIL/Sec02/ARecoilHistory_01.htm
As for Alan's history with The Flatbackers, Recoil19.net has this exclusive info from Lyn Monk:
Quote
THE FLATBACKERS (consisting of Julie Usher, Lucy Dray and Lynn Monk) were signed to Red Shadow Records, a small independent label, around the same time as REAL TO REAL.

SERENADE OF LOVE was their third single. It did eventually turn out to be their last as the 4th single they recorded, which was destined for the Deram label in a sub-contract between them and Red Shadow, never got released. Red Shadow did try to regain full ownership of the recording so that they could release it themselves but they lost their court case.
THE FLATBACKERS then left their contract on mutual agreement. Shortly after this, the band split.

Lynn recalls "Alan Wilder was employed by the record company to do the session with us. We had no contact with him other than one rehearsal and the recording which was done as an all-night session at Jam Studios in London. The previous two singles also had a session player on keyboards, but I can't remember who they were. The reason for this was that when Red Shadow signed us, we had a keyboard player called Jeannie Hay. She left band at the time we signed as she didn't want the commitment of a record deal. We tried to find a replacement, but couldn't find anyone suitable, so, with a release imminent, we decided to continue as a 3-piece band and played all our live concerts as a 3-piece. It took us until the B-side of the 3rd single to persuade the record company that our sound had changed and we didn't actually need keyboards. But such is the Chauvenism in the rock industry! So Alan only played on the A-side of the record. The B-side is just the three of us."
http://www.recoil19.net/RECOIL/Sec02/ARecoilHistory_07.htm

Treasure_DMode has also made a basic list of the singles/albums that Alan was involved in:
1976 (?) - The Rubettes - Uncredited B-side - Alan plays the organ - (Title?)
1977 - Dragons - Misbehavin' (Single)
1979 - Daphne And The Tenderspots - Disco Hell / I'm A Natural  (Single) - Alan took part to the actual songwriting of both the A-side and the B-side.
1979 - The Korgis - If I Had You (Single)
1980 - Real To Real - White Man Reggae (Single)
1980 - Real To Real - The Blue (Single)
1980 - Real To Real - Tightrope Walkers (Album)
1981 - Real To Real - Mr And Mrs (Single)
1981 - The Flatbackers - Serenade Of Love (Single) - Synth by Alan W.
1981 - The Hitmen - Ouija (Single)

And as for a summary of Alan Wilder's early years, Jonathan Miller's biography is also recommendable: http://books.google.com/books?id=QS4EoUhB7DkC&pg=PT180&lpg=PT180

According to Wikipedia's entry for Alan Wilder, "He was influenced musically at school by Ted Ing, a percussionist. Alan and Ted formed Cloaca, (which also had Stefan Heller on bass guitar, Simon Thomas on vocals and guitar and eventually were joined by Mike Christer on guitar), a band which played many gigs in the west London area supporting the likes of Gary Numan's 'Tubeway army' and 'Henry Strand and the Westway Band' featuring The Clash's Mick Jones and Joe Strummer."
I don't know where the author(s) got this information from, but other sources seem to indicate that Alan was indeed in this band.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #1 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:23:07 »
1983-xx-xx - Joepie (Belgium) - Privé

http://www.tuug.utu.fi/~jaakko/dm/prive.txt

[Translated and typed by Stefan Moernaut.]

Part One : ALAN WILDER
Depeche Mode Privé

"When I joined Depeche Mode, I didn't like their music at all", says Alan Wilder surprisingly.  "Martin, Dave and Andy were really nice fellows, so I decided to stick with them for a few months, I've never had any regrets."
Depeche Mode's most recent gain tells about himself...

(...)

Q: Did you ever have any other jobs?
A: No, after school I was unemployed all the time.  My parents advised me to apply to recordingstudios.  I think I got rejected about 40 times. In the DJM-studio's I finally got a job as a thee-guy.  Not very exciting, but I did get the chance to meet my idols of that time, The Rubettes (laughs).
Q: Did you play in any groups at that time?
A: Yes, I played in a little soft-rock-band wich was called The Dragons. I moved to Bristol to get the chance to rehearse more.  After that I played in several jazz- and blues bands.  Until I read an ad in the paper back in 1982.  A famous group were looking for a keyboardplayer who was younger than 21. They were Martin, Dave and Andy who just lost Vince Clark.  I was 22 but after a white lie, they took me.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #2 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:25:21 »
1985-05-25 - No.1 (UK) - Alan Wilder: The Band Boy

http://www.tuug.org/~jaakko/dm/dmtekstit/privateaw.html

(...)

I left school during the sixth form and went on the dole until my parents pushed me into writing off to recording studios, the only thing I’d expressed any interest in.

After being turned down 40 times I got a job at DJM studios in New Oxford Street. I was a tea boy really, an over-worked gofer, but I did meet the rubettes once. Wow!

The only good thing about DJM was that when band finished studio sessions they’d often leave their instruments behind so I could muck about on a keyboard or bash some drums.

It was an ambition to be a musician but not one I thought would come true until a band called The Dragons came in. We became friendly, I ended up joining them and moved to Bristol.

That was a pre-punk, soft rock group, nothing special, but I did gigs and we made a single. I can’t even remember what it was called.

After two years in Bristol, life got too lethargic so I was glad when a friend dragged me home to join a band called Daphne And The Tenderspots. My god, this is raking up some history. That was a restaurant type group playing jazz blues until it was decided that New Wave was happening.

We had all these terrible clothes made and wore skinny ties. We were awful but again we had a deal and made a single, ’Disco Hell’. I should’t be telling you this!

MAKING IT
After various other bands like The Hit Men, I was in my customary state – broke, bored and leafing through the classifieds in the Maker. I saw an ad which said "Known Band seeks synth player. Must be under 21". I applied for the audition but I had to lie because I was 22.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #3 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:28:20 »
1986-10-16 - Bravo (Germany) - Stars unter vier Augen: Alan Wilder

[Many thanks to little81 for offering to scan the first page for this forum, and Milik for the second page. In this interview, Alan mentions working with a band called "Drunkeness". I've tried finding more info on Alan and this band, but all I can find on the web are German biographies on Alan which mention this bandname in passing. I'm starting to think that the interviewer of BRAVO might have heard Alan incorrectly, and that Alan might have said "The Dragons" instead. This would comply with the fact that The Dragons were from Bristol and Alan's quote below that verifies that they played in Bristol. German journalists must have copied the name "The Drunkeness" from this interview into online biographies...:]



(...)

Wie bist du überhaupt zur Musik gekommen?
Schuld daran sind, wie so oft, meine Eltern gewesen, die mich schon mit acht Jahren mehr oder weniger ans Klavier geprugelt haben. In der Schule habe ich ziemlich lustlos auf dem Piano rumgeklimpert, bis ich die Synthesizer entdeckte und feststellte, daß man mit diesen Dingern ja richtig zuberrn kann. Nach der Schule, mit 17, habe ich in einem Tonstudio angeheuert, wo damals Gruppen wie "The Rubettes" aufnahmen. Mir war es einfach nur wichtig, einen Einlbick in diese faszinierende Technik zu bekommen. Geld spielte keine Rolle. Ein Jahr schlug ich in die Formation "Drunkeness" ein. Ich erinnere mich noch mit Grausen an unseren ersten Gig in Bristol, wo ganze 20 Zuschauer da waren und ich am liebsten alles hingeschmissen hätte.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #4 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:34:19 »
1991-01-xx - BONG Magazine - TEN YEARS ON ...

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.
From Bong 12. Words: Jo Bailey.
Summary: Recollections of the dawn of Depeche Mode's career from Dave and Daryl Bamonte.]

Alan doesn’t really remember much about the release of ‘Dreaming Of Me’ as, obviously he wasn’t a member of DM at that time. However, there is a (very tenuous) link between DM and ‘The Hitmen’, the band that Alan was in at the time, who were on a UK tour in January of 1981, and played at the Islington Hope & Anchor on January 22nd (admission £1:00) and Depeche Mode played there on the following night with a band called ‘Naked Lunch’ (admission £1:50). Some of the many other bands that Alan has been in are ‘Daphne & The Tenderspots’ who brought out a single called ‘Disco Hell’ in 1978, and ‘Real To Real’ (an LP entitled ‘Tightrope Walkers’). ‘The Hitmen’ released a single called ‘Bates Motel’ in 1980. Alan also played on the single ‘If I Had You’ by ‘The Korgis’.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #5 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:36:51 »
1997-09-23 - Henrik Wittgren interviewing Alan Wilder

http://www.tuug.org/~jaakko/dm/dmtekstit/incubus.html

(...)

H: I've heard about a band called Daphne and the Tenderspots. Can you tell me about it?
A: Well. That's an unfair question....ah...no...it was a group I was in last 70's...we were some sort of new wave...and Daphne was the singer...and we did have a recorddeal and released a few records and then we didn't do anything.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #6 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:39:01 »
1997-11-xx - Release Magazine (Sweden) - Interview

http://www.recoil.co.uk/press_promo/um/features/release/release.html

(...)

Before Depeche Mode, Wilder was in many bands, among them Dafne & The Tenderspots, Real To Real and The Hitmen.
   
The dedicated Wilder fan might want to look up the Real To Real LP 'Tightrope Walkers' from 1979 or The Hitmen single 'Bates Motel' from 1980. Or maybe The Korgi's single 'If I Had You', where Wilder is present, but not listed as a member.   
 
"The Hitmen was a group I joined pretty late in their existence and I wasn't with them especially long either. I was in and out of many different groups during my time before Depeche Mode. I started my career working in a studio when I was 17. It gave me experience which was useful when I played with all these bands and it finally led to my membership in Depeche Mode. 
     
Even if these other bands weren't successful, being in them was a good experience. This was a period in my life when I learned a lot of things."

Were any records released by your old bands?

"Oh yes, but there wasn't much more than one record per group."

Alan Wilder did not join Depeche Mode until the 'See You' tour 1982.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #7 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:41:38 »
2000-02-03 - Missing Piece (Poland) - Interview

http://www.missing_piece.republika.pl/wywiady/missing_piece.htm

(...)

Missing Piece: Czy posiadasz jakiś kontakt z członkami Twoich ex-bandów - The Hitmen, Daphne And The Tenderspots itd? Jak się im wiedzie?
Alan Wilder: Mój kontakt z nimi jest znikomy... W ostatnie święta spotkałem jednak Joe Butra - baistę The Dragons. Ben Watkins - wokalista The Hitmen - założył swego czasu grupę Juno Reactor. Natomiast gitarzysta tej grupy - Pete Gleinster - udzielał się w grupach Alison Moyet i Terence Trent D'Arby'iego.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #8 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:45:10 »
2000-11-xx - Recoil - Fan of the Month

http://recoil.co.uk/oldside/forum/fotm/fotmnov_00.htm

RECOIL FAN OF THE MONTH
The prestigious FOTM title for November 2000 goes to: Stephen Blotner
 
surgatt@hotmail.com
28
Screenwriter
Stone / The Sermon
 
Why? - you ask. Does he run a Recoil website? Did he assist in the promotion of 'Liquid'? Does he contribute to the Shunt chat list? Well no - but with an unhealthy appetite for complete trivia, Stephen simply sent in a question to Q+A which, in it's stunning obscurity, we think was enough to justify the title of true 'fan'. Certainly, the completists amongst you will value his dedication to the fine art of trainspotterism. Alan also thought that it would be an interesting question to answer and one which would definitely have made November's Q + A - if it were active.

"What are your thoughts on The Flatbackers record, 'Serenade Of Love', which credits you on synth? I actually liked the song, although it does seems rather New Wave."

Now some of you may be aware of Alan's enhancement of The Rubette's career circa 1978, or even his keyboard doodlings as guest for The Korgis around the same time, but how many of you would have credited his contribution to early eighties Girl Power via The Flatbackers? Ahhh... we thought not... and just how many more skeletons are their in his proverbial closet we hear you cry? The answer is that nobody knows for sure since the ravages of time have clearly taken their toll on Mr Wilder - so much so that he didn't even recall this episode from his dubious pre-Mode existence.
 

The Flatbackers 7" info:
'Serenade Of Love' / 'Try A Little Harder'

Thanks to Alan Wilder for Synth on 'Serenade'
Produced by Andy Arthurs
1981 - A Red Shadow Record /Deram DM440

The Flatbackers are:
Julie Usher - Guitar / Vocals
Lucy Day - Bass / Vocals
Lynn Monk - Drums / Percussion
 
Alan replies (in his best Michael Caine accent):

"Not a lot of people know this but it's true - I did actually tickle the ivories for the 1980's all-girl group.

I would like to personally thank Mr Blotner for so kindly reminding me of this particular performance which had obviously long been consigned to the bowels of my memory bank. Had the Q+A forum not given Stephen the opportunity to trigger it, 'Serenade Of Love' would no doubt have remained there for all time. I am now forced, yet again, to confront my past and contemplate just how many more long lost recordings there may be lurking in the wilderness."

Now that Alan's grey matter has been well and truly jogged, we can reveal that The Flatbackers were signed to Red Shadow Records, a small independent label which also included Real To Real, one of Alan's former bands. When The Flatbackers were due to record their first (and probably last) single, producer Andy Arthurs realised that they didn't have a keyboard player and so asked Alan to come along and 'lay down some licks'!

What does he think of it now? Well, he didn't actually say but you can judge for yourselves by selecting the link below: 'Serenade Of Love' excerpt
 
Recoil Fan Of The Month - an honour dripping with abundant pleasures...

Stephen, who is employed in the Healthcare industry and is also an aspiring screenwriter, hails from Louisiana, USA. He studied English Literature (and so should know better) having attended the master of all party colleges, Louisiana State University.

He says:
"I became a Recoil fan the day I purchased 'Hydrology'. 'Stone' and 'The Sermon' are, to my taste, brilliant compositions. A very architectural approach to music and possibly an homage to the experiments of Fripp and Eno. The work was known to exist but we didn't know the name Recoil; at the time, there was no fan base through an Online BBS nor the Internet . Still, it seems there is only a handful of music collectors/purveyors of music and film info who carefully research and compile essays (could I be one of said purveyors of information?)."
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #9 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:47:14 »
2000?-xx-xx - Recoil - History

http://recoil.co.uk/oldside/afiles/hist/area.htm

He continued to study the piano independently until his interest in Bach and Beethoven was being replaced by Bowie and Bolan, and his desire to play in the orchestra was tempered in favour of a yearning for less innocent pastimes. By 1975, at the age of 16 (following moderate 'O' level success), a return to St. Clement Danes to study for his 'A' Levels didn't appeal and after just one more term, he opted out, applied to every recording studio in London and eventually secured the position of Tape Op. (studio assistant) at DJM Studios in the West End.

Alan reflects "I was great at the more musical aspects of studio work such as tape editing, drop-ins etc, but useless when it came to the patch bay or routing the mic lines through to the tape sends."

As DJM housed it's own record label, Alan found himself engineering on in-house productions as well as working with outside artists and it wasn't long before his keyboard skills were being sought after for session work. Inevitably, this demand for his services and his desire for a more creative role would lead him away from his current position and he remained with DJM Studios for just one year before moving to Bristol to join one of their bands, The Dragons.
 
The Dragons released the single 'Misbehavin' through DJM Records but after a frustrating lack of success and, more importantly, money, the group folded when the record deal eventually ran its course.
 
Together with fellow Dragons bassist Jo Burt, Alan returned to London some 6 months later under his pseudonym 'Alan Normal' - a necessity in the anarchic days of punk - to join newly-formed group Dafne and the Tenderspots. Though originally playing the restaurant circuit, the band unscrupulously manipulated it's style from dinner lounge schlock to 'new wave', thus securing a deal with MAM Records.
 
 
"There are all sorts of influences at work in the music and lyrically they have the same cynical / satirical outlook on modern times as Joe Jackson or mid-period Kinks...'To Be A Star' featured an insistent keyboard riff from Zebra-crossing-jacketed Alan Normal - one of the nucleus of the band...Duffy is backed by an invisible drummer, a synthesizer twiddler, a smug guitarist and the bass player from Burlesque... "
Quoted from various sources
 
After releasing 'Disco Hell' in 1979 to a tepid response, the Tenderspots fell foul of a disinterested public and a lack of funds, leaving Alan to move on to his next group Real to Real. Signed to Red Shadow Records, they released several singles and an album entitled 'Tightrope Walker'.
 
REAL TO REAL: 'White Man Reggae' (Red Shadow)
"It's precisely what the title suggests and very effectively executed too. A band and record label to watch out for."
Sounds - March '80

REAL TO REAL: 'Mr and Mrs' (Red Shadow Records)
"This is tight, urgent, modern rock 'n' roll with lyrics that slam suburban sell-out. It comes from the LP 'Tightrope Walker' and while as a single it may not find a lot of success, it bodes well for the album and for the future of a very pro band."
Huddersfield Daily Examiner - March 14th '81

Despite moderate success, Real to Real eventually suffered a similar fate to Alan's previous bands and he moved on to pastures new, playing keyboards with established but somewhat staid CBS group The Hitmen (whose lead singer, Ben Watkins, later went on to form Juno Reactor, a one-time Mute act).

"In the search for a new disguise for dull and repetitive music, The Hitmen have hit on a look which brings together shabby, top hats, raggedy scarves and the demeanour of a jaunty starveling recently discharged from the debtor's prison.

Lead singer Ben Watkins devised what's known as his 'street urchin' look... Unfortunately there appears to have been a slight confusion over the new image, with the band's publicity proclaiming them 'nabobs of throb' and 'fakirs of funk' with a long tradition of 'dance macabre', jealousy and grave robbing which seems a strange mix of images."

THE HITMEN: 'Ouija' (CBS)
"Rubbish. I'm running out of patience with this sort of well-crafted, terribly professional pop. Pop? It's not worthy of the name. Only this job could ever induce me to listen to it. The winning thing about the Depeche Mode single (and their last, and Soft Cell's) is its simple enthusiasm, its complete lack of cynicism. The Hitmen are so calculating - even down to the clever, clever name - it's unbearable; the only remotely comforting thing about all this is that they haven't a dog's chance of ever getting a hit."
Quoted from unidentified source

Well, perhaps a minor hit with 'Bates Motel', but not enough for a band who were on the rocks, and so it wasn't long before Alan was again hunting for work. However, this all too familiar cycle was about to change......
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #10 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:50:19 »
2002-xx-xx - Recoil - Q&A: Pre-Depeche Mode

http://www.recoil.co.uk/qa_vault/ge_dm.html

Within the German Depeche Mode mailing list INSIGHT, the attached picture of The Dragons is very mysterious to some members. They are asking if you might by the guy in the middle of the picture? Please be so kind to solve the riddle.

I was wondering why you are not mentioned on The Dragons 7" promo I have. There are four guys in the picture and four names on the cover: Huw Gower, George Smith, Nick Howell and Jo Burt. Where are you? Same with the 'Bates Motel' single by The Hitmen - no Alan Wilder on the cover. Why? I thought you were a full member of the band?!? BTW, it's the same with The Korgis' single 'If I had You'. I thought you joined The Korgis for this one - am I wrong?

In the case of The Dragons and The Hitmen, I joined both these groups just around the time that these singles were released. Much like my early DM days, I was considered too 'new' to be included in the artwork which, in The Dragons' case, was well under way. I was never a member of The Korgis but was acquainted with Andy Davies from the duo. He asked to contribute as a session player.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What kind of music did Dafne And The Tenderspots, The Dragons, Real To Real and The Hitmen play?

Dafne = jump-on-the-bandwagon New Wave.
Real To Real = White man reggae.
The Dragons = 70's soft-rock.
The Hitmen = 80's Bowiesque rock.

I do any style, me. Go to A-Files - history for more information and pictures.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Where can I find 'Disco Hell' by Dafne And The Tenderspots'? An MP3-File on your Website would be fine :)

You'll be lucky....
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not to humiliate you, but I just heard the Dafne and the Tenderspots tune 'Disco Hell' around the net and laughed my ass off. Was that YOU screaming "no soul..no rhythm"?

No I wasn't singing on that track, it was Graham the guitarist. Anyway, if you think that was bad, you should hear some of the other songs (and no, I'm not lending you my copy) ;-)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is it possible to get a copy of Real to Real's 'Tightrope Walkers' somewhere?

Well, you're not having my copy.....I suggest scouting some second-hand record shops, but don't hold your breath.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Is it Daphne or Dafne?

'Dafne Nancholas' to be precise.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #11 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:51:30 »
2010-04-22 - Froggy Delight (France) - Interview

http://www.froggydelight.com/article-8473-Alan_Wilder_Recoil

(...)

Mon premier groupe s'appelait The Dragons. The Dragons était un groupe qui était venu enregistrer dans le studio où je travaillais à l'époque comme assistant de studio. C'est la première fois qu'on m'a dit : "Mais pourquoi ne viendrais-tu pas jouer avec nous ?". J'étais tellement flatté, j'avais toujours voulu faire partie d'un groupe, que je me suis dit : "Allez ! Je me lance." Je ne voulais pas passer ma vie comme ingénieur du son, même si techniquement j'ai beaucoup appris. Mon souhait était d'être musicien, alors j'ai saisi cette opportunité. Ils étaient basés à Bristol, j'ai donc déménagé pour m'installer là-bas. J'avais alors dix-huit ans. Nous n'avions pas beaucoup d'argent, et je vivais dans une toute petite chambre. Mes premiers concerts, ça a été avec The Dragons.

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #12 on: 23 April 2012 - 00:58:34 »
2010-05-05 - Panorama (Italy) - Interview

http://blog.panorama.it/culturaesocieta/2010/05/05/alan-wilder-cari-depeche-mode-mi-e-venuta-la-nostalgia/

(...)

Era il 1982 e Wilder, nel suo curriculum, aveva qualche «tutto esaurito» nei pub della zona ovest di Londra. Li riempiva con una bizzarra band chiamata Cloaca:

«A dire il vero, non è che si guadagnasse tanto con i Cloaca. Per arrotondare facevo anche il cameriere in uno studio di registrazione.»

(...)
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #13 on: 23 April 2012 - 01:00:20 »
2011-06-13 - Stef's Toons Productions - Facebook Status

[This is Stef Heller's (of the band Cloaca) Facebook page. On the 23rd of April 2012, Treasure_DMode contacted Stef Heller on this matter (see link) and Stef shared more info:]

http://en-gb.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=234580466557795&id=171648996184276

Stef's Toons & Productions:
Found a whole bunch of songs I did with Simon Thomas...and then a another whole lot of Cloaca demos, one which has all the piano overdubs on it that Alan Wilder added...hope to be adding this all soon.

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Yes, this was when Alan was around 17 and at school, (St Clement Danes) with my friends Simon Thoms and Ted Ing, (who became the singer/guitarist and drummer respectively, with me on bass guitar and Mike Christer on lead guitar). Alan had started working at a recording studio and took the very rough and badly recorded demos/jam sessions/songs we all kinda played at the time, recorded in my parents front room, and added on one channel (i.e. the original band onthe left, Alan's piano overdubs on the right!) himself playing piano. I have it all on one very old cassette tape that Alan gave to me. This is nothing like what Alan went on to play Some classic tunes, some blues, some rock n' roll songs ...but hey, we were all just kids at the time - lol!
"So, this would have to be a real-time dub into digital, cleaned up a bit and then I can upload it. At the moment, everything is packed away, due to having a complete basement overhaul at my house, so I cannot access anything. I am hoping that in the next 2 months I can at least get to it all and will update you accordingly.
"In fact - it was Alan who suggested I go and get a job in a recording studio, as he thought I would be quite good at it ...and I listened to his advice and DID get a job in a recording studio, which led to over 15 years in the record industry!
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1975-1981: Alan Wilder - Pre-Depeche Mode projects
« Reply #14 on: 23 April 2012 - 01:01:35 »
2011-07-27 - The Electricity club (UK) - Alan Wilder Interview

[The quotes from this interview are actually Alan's comments in the digital booklet about Alan's 2011 auction: http://auction.recoil.co.uk/Equipment.pdf]
http://www.electricity-club.co.uk/html/int_wilder.html

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Among the items for auction are several of your vintage synths. Are there any memories associated with particular ones that you can tell us a few anecdotes about, like for example the Minimoog, the ARP Odyssey or Oberheim OB8?
The Minimoog was my first synthesiser bought around 1977, pre-Mode, when I was a member of DAFNE & THE TENDERSPOTS. It was a big deal for us at the time as it was quite expensive and we couldn’t really afford it until we secured our record deal. It is still probably my all-time favourite synthesiser due to the famous fat 3-oscillator sound, and of course it’s an absolute classic. I continued to use it for many years on early Mode recordings such as Contruction Time Again  and Some Great Reward  and even had a MIDI update added during the 80s.
I bought the ARP in the late 70s privately in London and this also featured on quite a few of my pre-Mode recordings with various bands. I guess I always had a soft spot for the Minimoog but once you accepted that the ARP was never going to sound as ‘fat’ and realised that it could be used as a completely different kind of tool, then it came into its own. MIDI upgrades were added later when I used the ARP on some of the earlier RECOIL recordings such as Hydrology  and Bloodline . I can’t pretend I was ever a skilled operator (unlike Daniel Miller for example) but it is certainly a lot of fun to fiddle about with.
To my disappointment, when I powered the OB8 up recently, I couldn’t get an actual sound although I’m told that it is just the voices which need attention. I was surprised as it has been looked after well and, cosmetically, it’s in superb physical shape. I used this synth during my time with REAL TO REAL and THE HITMEN in the early 80s. It has a fat, warm sound and was my first polyphonic synth. I loved the fact that I could actually store patches for the first time and it introduced me to the Oberheim sound which has a unique quality. I have been a fan of Oberheim ever since.

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