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Author Topic: 1984: Some Great Reward  (Read 63396 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #180 on: 25 September 2013 - 01:06:44 »
1985-02-02 - Okej (Sweden) - Nu vill de erövre USA-publiken!

[Thanks to Rome for sending a photo of this article!]

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #181 on: 03 October 2013 - 02:46:11 »
1985-02-02 - Hitkrant (Netherlands) - Zenuwen Gieren Depeche Mode Door De Keel

[Scanned by me, and converted into text using OCR. Unless some of you stop editing out our watermarks or replacing them with the watermarks of your fansites, I see no other choice than to put watermarks in each of the article's photos, unfortunately. This article was also published in Belgian magazine Joepie the next day.]



IJsberen, scheldpartijen, en liters koffie
ZENUWEN GIEREN DEPECHE MODE DOOR DE KEEL
“Vóór een optreden weten we vaak met onze zenuwen geen blijf”, vertelt Depeche Mode’s Andy Fletcher. “We ijsberen heen en weer in de kleedkamer, schelden elkaar en de jongens van de technische ploeg de huid vol en drinken liters koffie. Toch loopt het wat het konsert betreft meestal van een leien dakje.” Engeland’s populairste elektropopviertal onthult hoe zij de spanningen te lijf gaan.
Rots in de branding
“We kunnen het niet helpen dat we zo zenuwachtig zijn”, vertelt Andy Fletcher. “In het schooltje in Basildon waren Martin en ik ook al de meest onrustige leerlingen. We konden gewoon niet stil zitten. De leraren rukten zich voortdurend de haren uit het hoofd, maar ze zijn er nooit in geslaagd om ons klein te krijgen.”
Toen Martin, Andy en het later Yazoo- en The Assembly-brein Vince Clarke zanger Dave Gahan in de groep opnamen dachten ze eindelijk een rustgevende figuur gevonden te hebben “Dave was een schuchtere kerel” herinnert Martin zich. “Aanvankelijk maakten we inderdaad minder ruzie, maar toen het voor Depeche Mode echt menens werd bleken ook zijn zenuwen nauwelijks tegen de stress van het showbizleven bestand te zijn.”
Het werd pas rustiger binnen de groep toen Vince Clarke in 1982 vervangen werd door Alan Wilder. “Londenaars zijn veel flegmatieker dan de andere Britten”, legt Depeche Mode’s oudste groepslid zelf uit. “In een drukke stad moet je jezelf voortdurend in de hand hebben. Anders ga je er langzaam aan kapot. Dat verklaart waarschijnlijk waarom ik kort na mijn komst al beschouwd werd als de rots in de branding.”
Heksenketel
Vóór ieder konsert is het ondanks Alan’s inbreng’ nog altijd een regelrechte heksenketel in de Depeche Mode-kleedkamer. “Ik begrijp niet hoe ze zich zo kunnen opwinden”, lacht Alan. “Toch ben ik er trots op dat ik erin geslaagd ben om mijn groepsgenoten enigszins rustig naar een optreden te laten toeleven.” “Vroeger waren we al uren vóór het konsert in de zaal aanwezig”, gaat Alan verder. “Dat was iedere keer weer een zenuwslopende bedoening. Nu blijven we zo lang mogelijk in het hotel. Ook in de bus die ons naar de hal overbrengt trachten we zo weinig mogelijk aan het optreden te denken. Een spelletje scrabble is bijvoorbeeld ideaal. “
Ook tussen de geluidstest en het optreden in doen de Depeche Mode-boys tegenwoordig alles om aan de spanning te ontsnappen. “Met vier walkie-talkies staan we voortdurend in verbinding met de roadies op het podium”, zegt Alan. “Op die manier hoeven we ons geen zorgen te maken of onze synthesizers het niet op het allerlaatste moment laten afweten.”
“Andy en Martin brengen de laatste ogenblikken vóór de show meestal op hun home-trainers door”, vertelt Alan tot slot. “Als ze enkele minuten op die fietsen tekeer gaan zijn ze op slag alle zenuwen kwijt. Dave heeft ook eindelijk begrepen dat al dat koffie drinken het alleen maar erger maakt. Hij houdt het tegenwoordig bij limonade. Als nu ook nog de anderen zijn voorbeeld volgen zijn we die vervelende stress binnenkort helemaal kwijt.”

Fotobeschrijvingen:
“Vroeger waren we uren vóór het optreden al in de zaal aanwezig”, vertelt Alan. “Nu blijven we zo lang mogelijk in het hotel. ”
Met walkie-talkies staan de Depeche Mode-boys in verbinding met de technische ploeg op het podium.
Dave heeft het koffie drinken afgezworen. Nu houdt hij het bij limonade.
Martin en Andy op hun home-trainers. “Zo raken we de zenuwen kwijt”, lachen ze.
In de toerbus. Een spelletje scrabble om de stress te vergeten.

Translation, by me:

Pacing back and forth, arguments , and tons of coffee
NERVES CAPTURE DEPECHE MODE BY THE THROAT
“Right before a performance we don’t know what to do with our nerves,” says Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher. “We’re pacing back and forth in the dressing room, curse on each other and the boys of the technical crew, and drink gallons of coffee. And yet, the actual concert goes smoothly.” England's most popular electro pop foursome reveals how to beat any stress.
Tower of strength
“We can’t help being nervous,” says Andy Fletcher . “Even during primary school in Basildon, Martin and I were the most troubled pupils. We just could not sit still. The teachers were constantly pulling their hair out, but they never managed to break us.”
When Martin, Andy and future Yazoo and The Assembly-brain Vince Clarke embraced singer Dave Gahan into the group, they thought they finally had found a soothing figure. “Dave was a timid guy” recalls Martin. “Initially there was indeed less of a struggle, but when it became really serious for Depeche Mode, he was also struggling to keep his nerves restrained because of the life in showbiz.”
It became calmer in the group when Vince Clarke was replaced by Alan Wilder in 1982. “Londoners are much more phlegmatic than the other Brits," explains Depeche Mode’s oldest group member. “In a busy city you have to keep yourself constantly in control. Otherwise it will slowly bring you down. That probably explains why already shortly after my arrival I was considered to be the pillar of strength.”
Rat’s Nest
The hours in Depeche Mode’s dressing room before each concert are, despite Alan’s presence, still an outright pandemonium. “I do not understand how they can make such a fuss,” laughs Alan. “But I am proud to say that I’ve succeeded in making my colleagues somewhat more calmy as the show approaches.” “Before, we were already present at the venue hours before the concert”, Alan continues. “That was always a nerve-racking affair. Now we stay for as long as possible at the hotel. Also, on the bus that takes us to the venue, we try to think as less as possible about the concert. A game of Scrabble is an perfect solution for that.”
Also between the soundcheck and the show, the Depeche Mode boys will now do anything to escape from stress. “With four walkie-talkies, we are in constant contact with the roadies on stage,” Alan says. “That way, we do not have to worry whether our synthesizers won’t let us fail at the last minute.”
“Andy and Martin usually spend the last moments before the show on their home trainers,” concludes Alan. “When they’re on those bicycles for a few minutes, they instantly lose all nerves. Dave has also finally understood that drinking all that coffee makes it worse. He now sticks to lemonade. If only the others were to follow his example, then we’d soon get rid of that annoying stress.”

Photo descriptions:
“Before, we were already present at the venue hours before the concert,” says Alan. "Now we stay for as long as possible at the hotel.”
With walkie-talkies, the Depeche Mode boys are connected to the technical crew on stage.
Dave has quit drinking coffee. Now he sticks with drinking lemonade.
Martin and Andy on their home trainers. “This is how we lose any nerves,” they laugh.
On the tour bus. A game of scrabble to forget any stress.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #182 on: 21 November 2013 - 05:50:23 »
1985-02-16 - Okej #7 (Sweden) - Indochine vs. Depeche Mode

[Thanks to Rome for sending a photo of this article!]


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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #183 on: 05 December 2013 - 07:33:23 »
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #184 on: 05 December 2013 - 07:33:44 »
1985-02-25 - Hey (Turkey) - Martin Gore

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


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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #185 on: 17 January 2014 - 07:47:16 »
1985-02-xx - The face (uk) - coming up smiling

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net.]





COMING UP SMILING
[The Face, February 1985. Words: Sheryl Garratt. Pictures: Steve Pyke.]
" When I remarked that I liked their last album, "Some Great Reward", many of my friends fell about laughing; when I said I was going to Italy to interview them, they thought I was being deliberately perverse. People, it seems, find it hard to take this group seriously. "
Summary: An outstanding and independently-minded article catching Depeche Mode on the knife-edge of being taken seriously. The author discusses the difficulties they have faced due to popular misconception and all but cries out for them to be given at least a second glance. I had to check the date on the magazine because both the writing and the photography seem to have come from four or five years later: this will restore your faith in the music press. [2507 words]



    Martin Gore is reading out a letter by a fan who somehow acquired a pair of his zipped leather undies and has now decided to send them back. She is anxious because she couldn't wash them first, and explains that her mother wouldn't let her hang them out on the line for fear of what the neighbours might think. "I enjoyed having them next to my bed," she writes. "It's probably the closest I'll ever get to you."
    Does it ever get embarrassing? I wonder.
    "Oooh no!" he grins. "I love it!"
    Or another story...
    In a hotel lobby in Bologna, Italy, a presenter sits between the Depeche boys, wearing a cap tilted at a rakish angle, a suitably thin 'New Wave' style tie, and the manic, false smile that seems to settle on anyone who sits in front of a TV camera regularly. "Right!" he exclaims breezily, pointing to a bored-looking Alan Wilder. "We'll start with you, Vince Clarke..."
    Old ghosts linger on, and Depeche Mode are also victims of an assumption that pretty equals vacant, a pop group who are underestimated because they have huge adam's apples, spotless skin, and look as if they've never seen a razor blade, let alone used one. Yet apart from a few odd underwear fetishists, their audiences are remarkably free of screamers, although the preconceptions remain.
    When I remarked that I liked their last album, "Some Great Reward", many of my friends fell about laughing; when I said I was going to Italy to interview them, they thought I was being deliberately perverse. People, it seems, find it hard to take this group seriously.
    "What's credibility anyway?" ponders singer Dave Gahan, pulling his scarf a little tighter round a swollen throat. "Credibility is usually lost when any band enters the Top Fifty, so for us that went out of the window five years ago. But there's a certain credibility you have to retain in yourself - you've got to know that what you're doing is valid. Not whether it makes people think or whether it changes things - this business is about entertainment, and it's whether you're just travelling along. I don't think we are, I think we're a very unconventional band."
    And that, I'd submit, is the case for Depeche Mode.
    In the late Seventies they were one of the first to reclaim the synthesizer from the Futurists, the Manic Depressives, Numanoids and Art School Boys, and to successfully use it instead as a pure pop instrument. The group have slipped in and out of the charts ever since with a series of inventive, intelligent, and unpretentious singles, although few will admit publicly to actually buying them.
    Part of the problem is that Depeche Mode are such inarticulate spokesmen for their own cause. Some would say they need a Morley to turn "Master And Servant" into a "Relax", but Depeche aren't as malleable as Frankie: they manage themselves, they release records on the independent Mute label (with whom they have never signed so much as a formal contract), and in spite of his inability to offer an advertising budget or any great hype, they seem quite happy to go on making money for label head Daniel Miller to finance his more esoteric projects, and for themselves.
    "This is the best job I've ever had," says Gahan, simply.
    "It started in Basildon, Essex, a town built to house the spillover from London's East End. The synthesizers came first as a convenience - they were easy to carry to gigs on trains, and could be plugged directly into the PA, saving money on amps. It was, they claim, six months before Martin even changed the sound on his first keyboard, because he hadn't realised that you could.
    "We were that naïve."
    Yet when the big companies came down waving cheque books, they were unimpressed.
    "We were told all this stuff about how we were going to be Top Ten in a week and megastars within the month, and we just didn't believe it," explains Gahan.
    Then, Daniel came along and offered them, frankly, nothing. They took it. "At least he was honest."
    The first single on Mute went into the Top Fifty [1], favourable articles appeared in the music press and a debut album was recorded before the first bombshell hit: Vince Clarke, the main writer and generally considered the brain behind the group, announced that he wished to leave.
    "It was a shock," recalls Gahan, "Like losing a part, having something taken from you. At first, I couldn't understand why - we'd only been together a year, and things were just starting to happen. It took me a long while to see how he felt. He could have been trapped into something he didn't want to spend the rest of his life doing."
    Shy, retiring, and more interested in making music than all the work that goes with promoting it, Vince subsequently squirmed out of Yazoo for similar reasons, according to Alison Moyet. The Depeche split was fairly amicable: he continued working with them for some time after announcing his departure, and when the first single recorded without him was a success, the trio were optimistic. Then came their second shock.
    The follow up - "The Meaning Of Love", a catchy tune they had expected to do well - was a flop, and their second album was trashed in the press. Previously only a sporadic writer, Martin Gore was finding his new role a strain, and although "A Broken Frame" sold respectably to the loyal, Depeche Mode's credibility had, it seemed, disappeared along with the unkempt Clarke.
    "All that we need at the start is universal revolution (that's all)"
   "And Then"
    The group quickly dismiss any suggestion that the militant socialism of the next LP, "Construction Time Again", was a deliberate attempt to grow up.
    "The first album was very young and twee, and ever since then people have been saying we were trying to grow up," sighs Gore. "Even by the second album, we were sick of the phrase. It's nothing you attempt to do - it just happens."
    They credit their new awareness instead to a tour of the East that taught them there were worse places to live than even Basildon. But this in itself is not enough - The Police slummed it in India with no noticeable changes, so why did a short stay in Thailand affect the Depeche boys so?
    "I think it's the way we've all been brought up," explains Gahan. "I had a bad juvenile background, I got into trouble with the police and mixed with a lot of people who got into trouble - all petty things, silly little things you do all the time. Then at school, I decided I didn't like the way I was treated, so I hardly turned up at all in the last year. From the age of about ten, I can remember things quite vividly that just didn't seem right, and I think we've all had that sort of general working-class upbringing.
    "Then when you see things that are poorer than you've ever seen, when we saw people begging and little kids coming up to us with disgusting, dirty clothes hanging off them, showing themselves or holding their hands out for food... When you experience that, you begin to understand what a lucky position all of us here are in. We were in this really expensive hotel full of businessmen, but as soon as you went outside the gates, it was a totally different world.
[1] - Not quite: "Dreaming Of Me" peaked at No. 57. [continue]


    "None of us would have seen that if it wasn't for the band. I was 17 when we started, and obviously I've grown up a lot in that time anyway, but I've matured a lot quicker than if I'd been working in Sainsbury's for the last five years."
    Unlike many who wake up one morning with a social conscience, the group did not change overnight into urban commandos, nor were they seized with an uncontrollable urge to step out in Doc Martens and donkey jackets. They didn't change their tune, they just changed the words a little.
    Suddenly everyone was humming the annoyingly catchy chorus of "Everything Counts" (basic message: Capitalism Is Not Very Nice), and after the bluster of the Clash clones or the Spandau manifesto that a depression needs hedonism and politics into pleasure don't go, these earnest, almost painfully sincere and simple discoveries were welcome. I believed Depeche Mode in a way that I've never been convinced by a Heaven 17 or ABC: theirs is a cosmetic socialism for the leisured classes, a Daily Mirror and a video in every home. And though the Basildon boys may not be so self-consciously clever, in the end they write better tunes.
    Depeche Mode like sampling things, taping noises and converting them into rhythm tracks or notes, The last album featured amongst other things Martin coughing, a saucepan lid being thrown downstairs, and an air hostess making a mess of the customary safety announcement. They became, they say, a little obsessed with it all, working for days on single sounds, and have little patience with the idea that such techniques can verge on piracy. One of the most popular drum sounds on the Fairlight computer, for instance - the machine used by Trevor Horn to create many of Frankie's sounds - is that of Led Zeppelin...
    Alan Wilder: "We nicked..."
    Andy Fletcher: "Shhh!"
    "No, I don't mind admitting it. We nicked a beat off one of Frankie's records and stuck it on our 12-inch. But I mean the actual sound, not the idea. It's not a drum sound that sells a record anyway, it's the whole song and the musical ideas. We'd be quite happy for people to nick our sounds and sample them. I don't think you can stand in the way of technology - you've just got to have the ideas and the imagination to put it to original use.
    "We had this guy in while we were recording the album, and we wanted him just to play a beat on all these different percussion instruments. He'd got a big collection, and we were sampling them for later use. We said that we hoped he didn't feel raped by all this, and there's no doubt that he understood what we were doing. Then he sent us a bill for sampling fee, consultancy fee, God knows what else - he'd been talking to the MU who had obviously convinced him that what we were doing was totally immoral, and he'd charged us six times the amount we'd agreed."
    "The trouble was, he'd been studying for years and knew all these master strokes or whatever, but all we wanted was one slap on the drum, and any one of us could have done that," adds Gore mischievously. "We should have just borrowed his drums!"
    "I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours but I think God's got a sick sense of humour."
"Blasphemous Rumours"
    Parents buy their children Depeche Mode records for Christmas, and no-one would consider such fresh-faced, sweet-looking boys as unwholesome or subversive. They are under no illusions as to the effect lyrics will have, but they relish the fact that their image allows them a few more risks. [1] The explicit analogies between sex and society in "Master And Servant" crept by in the shadow of "Relax", but their appearance on TOTP with "Blasphemous Rumours", a melodramatic tale that suggested God may be a little sick in the head, caused - they claim - a barrage of complaints and a reprimand for producer Michael Hurll.
    "There was probably a war film or something on afterwards, or someone having their head blown off on the news before, but that's not the point," observes Gahan cynically.
    On the way back to the hotel late one evening, Andy Fletcher admits that he still prays every night "which is a bit hypocritical really, isn't it?" Andy enjoys confessions, mostly about naff pop songs. He will admit in conspiratorial tones that he loves the latest Limahl / Julian Lennon / Shakatak single, and will them spend the next twenty minutes singing or analysing it, presumably as a penance. I meant to ask him if he was brought up a Catholic, but we got into a long discussion on public schools instead...
    "My little girl won't you come with me... I'm going crazy with boredom... I'd put your leather boots on / I'd put your pretty dress on"
"Something To Do"
    Martin Gore has a theory that in a place as tedious as Basildon, there are only two ways to go: "You can become what we call a total spam, which is like a real beer boy, out every night drinking, Cockney accent develops, all that. Or basically you start wearing women's clothing - it's all you can turn to."
    Quite where this leaves the rest of the band is open to debate. Although they don't seem to drink much and they all share a peculiar aversion to Cockney, in public at least, they all wear trousers.
    Onstage, Martin's current outfit is usually an off-the-nipple black lace slip he found hanging on their tour bus one night, leather trousers adorned with handcuffs, and a leather mini-skirt, as seen on the cover of Smash Hits. Gore now lives in Berlin, he speaks fair French and German and seems to read continually, yet his lyrics read more like the diary of an angst-ridden adolescent.
    "I expect a lot of blokes in the audience think I'm a poof," he laughs.
    "But it's how I feel happy. I've always admired Boy George a bit, and anyone who takes that stance to an extreme. We are in a position where we can influence to a certain extent - not to get everyone wearing a skirt, but it does open people up to that sort of thing slightly, especially if their some of the macho types who like our music. But then, so much more is acceptable as far as image goes within a pop group."
    "A lot of the blokes in the audience won't even think about the fact that Martin's wearing a skirt or whatever," adds Wilder. "In a different situation, they'd kick the shit out of him, but when it's onstage they love it. It's not as scary, it's more acceptable on a stage."
    Fletcher weighs in with an example. "If Pat Nevin, for instance, walked into Chelsea with a leather skirt on, then he'd probably get a bad reception..."
    The man is a master of the understatement.
    During "Somebody", a wimpish and, the group insist, a more honest love song, the roadies at the side of the stage mime screaming guitar solos while Martin sings.
    I'm fond of men who provoke such insecurity in the terminally macho, and in the end perhaps that's why I like Depeche Mode. It may also be why they are so often underestimated.
    If Joe Strummer started dressing in frocks and dealing with emotions other than anger openly without shouting and without the protection of a guitar swinging round his crotch, would you take him seriously?
    Think about it...
[1] - According to Jonathan Miller in the Depeche Mode biography Stripped, "Some Great Reward" was very nearly called "Perversions" instead, the clincher being the thought that mums wouldn't buy it for their children with a name like that.
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #186 on: 17 January 2014 - 07:48:22 »
1985-02-xx - Fachblatt (Germany) - Technischer Überraschungs-Verein

[Thanks to spirit for submitting this scan to this forum. Transcribed using OCR and translated by me.]






Technischer Überraschungs-Verein

Die Sache steht unter keinem guten Stern zunächst. Morgens um acht schellt das Telefon - im Schwabenland ist man halt etwas früher auf den Beinen als die meisten Journalisten - und die Stuttgarter Plattenfirma sagt das vereinbarte Interview in Essen ab. Grund: Keine Zeit, Streß am ersten Tag der Deutschlandtournee. Das Konzert will ich mir trotzdem ansehen, wer weiß, vielleicht gibt es ja doch noch eine Chance. Da heißt es erstmal, Meinungen und Erwartungen zu korrigieren, die aus meiner über zwei Jahre zurückliegenden ersten Begegnung mit Depeche Mode (siehe Fachblatt 3/1983) gewachsen sind. Damals waren sie vier nette Jungs, die allein durch ihre pure Anwesenheit auf der Bühne die Teenies in Entzücken versetzten.
 
Live noch relativ unerfahren, konnten sie weder durch nennenswerte musikalische Darbietungen noch durch eine interessante Präsentation überzeugen - sie standen halt da und spielten zu reichlich Playback ihre Hits. Heute ist alles ganz anders: die Grugahalle ist zum Bersten gefüllt, der Bühnenaufbau ist riesig, zumindest, was das Licht angeht. Die vordere Hälfte der Bühne ist nämlich völlig leer, während sich im Hintergrund auf drei Ebenen die Keyboards von Mastermind Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher und Alan Wilder befinden. „Leer" ist allerdings nur so lange das richtige Wort, bis David Gahan sich „breitmacht". Mit einem Bewegungspensum, das an Hochleistungssport grenzt, rast er über die Bühne. Aus dem schüchternen Jüngling im karierten Flanellhemd ist ein echter Showman geworden. Schwarzes Leder, Tätowierung auf dem Oberarm, der richtige Hüftschwung an der richtigen Stelle, um den Teenies, die immer noch zahlenmäßig überlegen sind, feuchte Träume zu bringen. Die Power, die da über die Bühne kommt, läßt völlig vergessen, daß es sich nach wie vor um eine rein elektronische Band handelt, bei der die Playbacks keinen allzu großen musikalischen Freiraum lassen. Von allen Synthie-Bands, die ich je gesehen habe, bietet Depeche Mode heute mit Abstand die beste Bühnenperformance, und ihre LPs stehen diesem Eindruck ja auch in nichts nach. Die Fans wissen es zu schatzen, lassen sich anstecken und tanzen, was das Zeug hält - eine ganze Halle, die großte Disco, die ich je gesehen habe, und wer nicht schweißnaß nach Hause geht, ist selbst schuld. Aus dem Interview wird zunachst natürlich doch nichts, dafür treffen wir uns zwei Tage spater in Siegen. Aber auch das sah zunachst nach einer mittelgroßen Pleite aus. „Zehn Minuten", kam es ungerührt aus dem Mund des Managers, „die Jungs haben keine Zeit." Und dafür 300 km gefahren? Achselzukken... Blinder Alarm, gottseidank, denn als Alan Wilder kommt, den ich damals auch vor dem Mikro hatte, ist er in seinem Mitteilungsbedürfnis gar nicht mehr zu bremsen. Auch er ist offensichtlich froh, mal über etwas anderes zu reden als über seine Lieblingsfarbe und das Leib- und Magengericht. Später kommt noch David dazu, freut sich auch über die alten Fotos aus dem Fachblatt-Artikel, aber ihn habe ich hier nicht mehr zu Wort kommen lassen, sonst hatte die Story eindeutig den Rahmen des Heftes gesprengt.

Fachblatt: Als ich euch vor zwei Jahren das letzte Mal gesehen habe, wart ihr vier liebe Jungs, die brav und ein bißchen verloren auf der Bühne herumstanden. Heute tobt zumindest David wie ein Berserker herum, du sitzt mir in schwarzem Leder gegenüber, was ist da passiert; das kann ja nicht nur mehr Erfahrung sein.
Alan: Das war eine ziemlich klare Entscheidung. Wir haben die Tour, die du ansprichst, mit Video gefilmt, und was wir dann hinterher gesehen haben, war einfach furchtbar. Mag sein, daß es den Leuten gefiel, aber für uns war das nicht länger akzeptabel. Da haben wir beschlossen, einen harteren Kurs zu fahren, und das hat sich nicht nur in der Musik, sondern auch in der Show und in unserem Aussehen niedergeschlagen.
Fachblatt: Diese Zäsur ist vermutlich zwischen „A Broken Frame" und „Construction Time Again" anzusetzen?
Alan: Ja.
Fachblatt: Aber so nüchtern-kalkuliert, wie du das hier darstellst, kann ich es mir eigentlich nicht vorstellen. Da muß sich doch auch eure innere Einstellung geandert haben.
Alan: Nein, so wie du dir das vorstellst, ist es wohl nicht. Ich glaube, daß wir innerlich keine anderen geworden sind als früher. Natürlich sind wir ein paar Jahre älter, haben mehr Ahnung von Musik, von Plattenaufnahmen, vom ganzen Business. Bei David ist es vielleicht etwas auffalliger. Er geht viel mehr aus sich heraus, sowohl als Sanger wie auch als optischer Mittelpunkt.
Fachblatt: Früher war die Bühne ja „demokratischer" aufgeteilt: Ihr standet alle nebeneinander und hattet gleichviel Platz. Heute hat David die komplette vordere Bühnenhalfte für sich, während ihr auf verschiedenen Ebenen hinter euren Keyboards fast verschwindet. Warum eine so klare Umverteilung der Gewichte?
Alan: Wir haben uns nicht hingesetzt und gesagt: "David, du gehst jetzt nach vorn und machst die Show allein." Es war ein langer Prozeß, in dem er immer mehr Selbstvertrauen und Mut bekommen hat, so einen breiten Raum - wortlich und im übertragenen Sinn - auch auszufüllen. Früher hatte er einfach Schiß, sich zu bewegen und war unheimlich nervos. Leider finde ich, daß er inzwischen etwas zu weit geht. Manchmal dreht er wirklich durch und brüllt nur noch rum. Aber die Leute fahren natürlich tierisch darauf ab.
Fachblatt: Wo liegt der Grund fur dein Unbehagen? Eifersucht, daß er die ganze Aufmerksamkeit abbekommt?
Alan: Nein, ich meine, wir drei könnten das gar nicht, weil wir an unsere Instrumente gebunden sind. Wir haben da einfach eine Menge Arbeit. Wir konnten nur hinter den Keyboards vorkommen, wenn alles vom Band karne. Nein, tauschen wollen wir nicht. Man muß schon ziemlich exzentrisch und - na ja - etwas arrogant sein, um so eine Frontmann-Rolle spielen zu konnen. Das ist nicht nur eine Frage der Stimme, singen konnen wir auch, aber da muß noch etwas dazu kommen, was wir drei nicht haben.
Fachblatt: In einer anderen Musikzeitung habe ich ein Statement von euch gelesen, laut dessen ihr nach einer Woche Tournee die Schnauze voll habt und eigentlich nur noch für die Fans spielt. Als ich euch auf der Bühne gesehen habe, habt ihr keineswegs einen gelangweilten Eindruck gemacht.
Alan: Also, erstmal halte ich das mit der einen Woche für übertrieben. Ich kann mich nicht erinnern, daß einer von uns das gesagt haben soll. Aber am Ende dieser Tournee, das weiß ich, werde ich sagen: „Es war zuviel." Konkret: Was ich nervig finde, ist nicht das Auftreten. Wenn es gut losgeht, stehe ich richtig gern auf der Bühne. Aber das sind nur 90 Minuten von 24 Stunden. Dieses Toursyndrom hasse ich, nichts als Routine. Selbst die Musik, die wir abends spielen, ist ja im Prinzip nur ein Wiederkäuen dessen, was wir Monate vorher im Studio ausgedacht haben. Speziell ich bin jemand, der ständig auf Veränderungen aus ist, der Kreativität braucht und nicht Wiederholung. Im Studio ist es deshalb für mich auf jeden Fall spannender.
Fachblatt: Aber gerade wenn du dieses kreative Element hervorhebst, dann muß es doch erst recht langweilig sein, an Tapes gebunden zu sein, die dir auf der Bühne einen Rahmen vorgeben, den du nicht verlassen kannst.
Alan: Ja, aber ich glaube nicht, daß es für uns eine andere Möglichkeit gibt. Wir sind an diese Arbeitsweise seit Jahren gewöhnt, und ich glaube, daß die Vorteile von Tapes und Maschinen stärker wiegen als die offensichtlichen Nachteile. Es ist eine saubere Lösung - keine Tuning- und Timing-Probleme, kein Feedback, exzellenter Sound. Das bringt für meine Begriffe mehr als die potentielle Möglichkeit, jeden Abend das Arrangement eines Stückes zu verändern, Improvisationen einzubauen etc. Andersrum: Wenn ich mehr Soli spielen könnte und mehr Freiraum hätte, glaube ich nicht, daß mich das mit meiner prinzipiellen Ablehnung gegen Tourneen versöhnen könnte.
Fachblatt: Arbeitet ihr heute mehr mit Tapes als früher?
Alan: Absolut gesehen, ja. Aber das ist irreführend, denn das Verhältnis zwischen Live- und Playback-Anteilen ist nach wie vor 50:50. Das liegt daran, daß wir früher viel sparsamer waren. Heute ist die Soundfülle viel größer. Vom Band kommen: Schlagzeug, Sequencer, Perkussion, Soundeffekte und einige Vokaleffekte, die man live nicht realisieren kann. 95% der Vocals sind allerdings absolut live, genauso wie alle Melodien. Was wir zu dritt live spielen können, spielen wir auch. Das ist wie bei einem normalen Keyboarder, der seine Rhythmusbegleitung neben sich am Schlagzeug sitzen hat.
Fachblatt: Zur Rolle der Elektronik: In unserem letzten Interview habt ihr gesagt, die Synthesizer sind für euch ein wichtiges Hilfsmittel, weil sie euren begrenzten musikalischen und technischen Fähigkeiten entgegenkommen. Mittlerweile bekommt ihr in Kritiken meist besonders gute Noten für eure technischen Fertigkeiten, für die Klangexperimente und die Studioarbeit. Was hat sich geändert?
Alan: Ich bin sicher derjenige von uns, der die qualifizierteste musikalische Ausbildung hat, aber das finde ich gar nicht so wichtig. Wichtig sind die Ideen, und obwohl ich gut spielen kann, programmiere ich lieber einen Computer, der mir das Spielen abnimmt. Ich finde es unwesentlich, wer hinterher die Ausführung übernimmt, denn es ist meine Schöpfung, so oder so. Und wenn es im Computer zu perfekt klingt, lasse ich es einfach weniger perfekt klingen. Das kann man ja alles beliebig beeinflussen, vor allem mit unserem Equipment, das ich für das beste und am weitesten entwickelte halte, was derzeit zugänglich ist. Wir arbeiten im Studio hauptsächlich mit dem Synclavier II. Andererseits bin ich der Meinung, daß ich alle Aufgaben, die ich dem Computer anvertraue, auch selbst bewältigen können sollte, erst dann kann ich sie getrost der Maschine überlassen. Deshalb halte ich es für unfair, wenn man uns vorwirft, wir könnten gar nicht spielen. Aber diese Argumente begleiten uns seit den Anfangstagen der Band. Außerdem geht es ja gar nicht um das Spielen allein. Wichtig ist es z. B., die richtige Atmosphäre für einen Song einzufangen und das nicht irgendeiner Laune der Technik zu überlassen. Das bedeutet dann, zwei Tage zu experimentieren, bevor ein ganz bestimmter Sound steht. Einfach auf irgendeinen Knopf zu drücken und zu sagen: „Ach ja, das klingt ganz nett, nehmen wir das", so arbeiten wir nicht.
Fachblatt: Ich nehme an, daß Synclavier nehmt ihr nicht mit auf die Bühne...
Alan: Richtig, erstens wäre der Aufwand viel zu groß, außerdem ist das eine ziemlich anfällige Anlage, die für den harten Toureinsatz zu empfindlich ist. Martin benutzt live den Emulator I, ich habe den neuen Emulator, und Andy spielt einen Oberheim OB-X/OB-8.
Fachblatt: Hast du eine Idee, warum gerade ihr in Deutschland das größte Stück vom Kuchen abbekommt? Andere Elektronikbands, die in England populär sind, sind hierzulande bei weitem nicht so erfolgreich wie Depeche Mode.
Alan: Ich glaube nicht - wenn du darauf abzielen solltest -, daß es irgendetwas mit der elektronischen Geschichte der deutschen Rockmusik zu tun hat. Die war ja hier wiederum kommerziell nie so erfolgreich wie bei uns oder in den USA. Ich hoffe natürlich, daß unsere Songs der Grund sind, warum die Leute uns hier besonders mögen. Außerdem fände ich es gut, wenn es daran läge, daß sich die deutschen Fans nicht so von Angeberei und Hype blenden lassen, weil wir dieses Starimage ja hoffentlich nicht so pflegen wie einige unserer Kollegen... Aber ob das alles letztlich wirklich so ist, keine Ahnung, das kannst du von außen wahrscheinlich besser beurteilen.
Fachblatt: Die Tour führt durch die ganz großen Hallen und ist immerhin selten genug heutzutage, fast überall ausverkauft. Ist das eure Belohnung, um mal auf den LP Titel anzuspielen?
Alan: Natürlich sind Hunderttausende von Fans eine Belohnung, keine Frage. Aber daß die Platte „Some Great Reward" heißt, hat keine tiefere Bedeutung. Das ist eher eine Notlösung. Buchstäblich am allerletzten Tag hatten wir uns immer noch nicht auf einen passenden Titel geeinigt. Dann haben wir diesen Ausschnitt genommen. Es klingt ganz gut und ist auch ein bißchen zwiespältig. Etwas Selbstironie kann ja nicht schaden.
Fachblatt: Womit wir bei den Texten wären. Die Lyrics von Martin waren ja früher immer ziemlich introvertiert bis unverständlich. Mittlerweile sind sie viel klarer geworden...
Alan: Seine Texte haben viel mit seinem persönlichen Erleben zu tun. Wenn du sie liest, weißt du immer, wie es ihm gerade geht. Auf „Broken Frame" ging es z. B. meist um seine damalige Freundin. Das war eine Beziehung, die einfach keine Möglichkeit zum Wachstum bot, und das ging dann natürlich irgendwann in die Hose. Jetzt hat er eine Freundin, die total anders ist, und...
Fachblatt: ...jetzt schreibt er Sado-Maso-Songs wie „Master And Servant", was?
Alan: Na ja, wer weiß, was da vorgeht... Auf jeden Fall ist er viel offener für die Dinge, die um ihn herum passieren. Die politischen Texte kommen teilweise durch die Begegnungen mit anderen politischen Systemen und Kulturen während unserer Tourneen. Trotzdem möchte ich Depeche Mode nicht als politische Band definieren, wie das seit „Construction Time Again" in den Medien immer wieder geschehen ist. Zumindest möchte ich den Begriff Politik nicht auf Parteien und Regierungen gemünzt wissen, sondern auf die Menschen und das Leben an sich.
Fachblatt: Ich hatte gestern eine Diskussion mit einem Kollegen. Eigentlich ging es zunächst um Bronski Beat, die wir beide interviewt hatten, und er war ziemlich schlecht auf euch zu sprechen. Er meinte, während Bronski Beat ihre Texte wirklich aus eigenen Erfahrungen ableiten, wäret ihr letztlich viel zu weit von der Realität entfernt, um euch politisch zu äußern, und daher seien eure Texte nichts weiter als Effekthascherei und Schaumschlägerei.
Alan: Das finde ich unfair, denn ein gewisser Entfremdungsprozeß tritt automatisch ein, sobald du mit viel Geld in Berührung kommst. Das werden auch Bronski Beat noch feststellen, daß sie eben nicht mehr die Provinzjungs sind, die sich in London irgendwie durchschlagen müssen und von der Hand in den Mund leben. Aber das kann doch kein Grund sein, nun plötzlich mit dem Denken aufzuhören und nur noch Larifari zu schreiben. Es hat ja niemand behauptet, daß unsere Texte auf Selbsterlebtem basieren, das wäre anmaßend und unwahr, aber es muß doch legitim sein, Beobachtungen aufzuschreiben. Aber wir schweben - Gottseidank - nicht in solchen Superstar-Regionen, daß wir die Dinge um uns nur noch verzerrt oder gar nicht mehr wahrnehmen. Punkt. Was soll ich mehr dazu sagen?
Fachblatt: Seit ein paar Jahren nehmt ihr meistens in Berlin auf, eine Stadt mit Symbolcharakter, die auch im Ausland für eine ganz bestimmte Musik steht. Seid ihr deswegen da?
Alan: Klar, es ist unheimlich angesagt, nach Berlin zu gehen, aber unsere Beweggründe sind viel prosaischer. Wir haben das Studio dort gefunden, das ideal auf unsere Bedürfnisse zugeschnitten ist. Gareth Jones, unser Toningenieur und Co-Produzent, hat es ausfindig gemacht. Traditionell sind Studios so konzipiert, daß sie einen großen Aufnahmeraum und einen kleinen Kontrollraum haben, während wir die umgekehrten Proportionen brauchen. Im Hansa-Studio können wir die ganzen Keyboards im Kontrollraum aufbauen. Der zweite Vorteil ist das hervorragende Computerpult und die Möglichkeit, auf Spuren aufzunehmen, und drittens gibt es dort endlose Hausflure und große leere Räume, in denen wir bestimmte Effekte aufnehmen können. Daneben ist Berlin ein angenehmer Aufenthaltsort, wo man auch morgens um drei nach getaner Arbeit noch ausgehen kann. Bei uns ist ja sowas nicht möglich.
Fachblatt: Gibt es einen Austausch mit Berliner Musikern?
Alan: Nein, wir arbeiten nie mit anderen Musikern.
Fachblatt: Ich meinte mehr auf der Ebene von Ideen- und Erfahrungsaustausch.
Alan: Ja, wir kennen einige Leute wie die Einstürzenden Neubauten. Aber die kennen wir durch Daniel Miller, der solche Gruppen sehr schätzt. Musikalisch ist das aber nicht so unsere Wellenlänge.
Fachblatt: Und Kontakte zu den anderen Mute-Acts?
Alan: Robert Görl kennen wir ein bißchen, mit Vince Clark haben wir Kontakt, wenn der sich auch meist zuhause in seinem Studio verkriecht, und zu Frank (alias Fad Gadget) haben wir ein sehr freundschaftliches Verhältnis. Es ist gut, daß so ein Mann bei Mute ist, weil jede große Firma ihn schon längst fallengelassen hätte, weil er halt nicht viele Platten verkauft. Die gute Idee von Mute ist, daß das Label auf der Liebe zur Musik basiert und nicht auf der Liebe zum Geld.
Fachblatt: Was vielleicht ein bißchen blauäugig ist, aber solange Geld da ist, sagt sich sowas leicht, und ihr finanziert ja wohl letztlich die Firma.
Alan: So ausschließlich kann man das nicht sagen. Yazoo waren auch immer sehr erfolgreich, und wenn Vince etwas macht, dürfte es auch ziemlich gut laufen.
Fachblatt: Aber bringt das nicht Eifersüchteleien und Minderwertigkeitskomplexe mit sich, daß Fad Gadget z. B. denkt: „Scheiße, im Grunde halten mich die Jungs von Depeche Mode am Leben."
Alan: Soweit ich das beurteilen kann, ist das weder für ihn noch für uns ein Problem.
Fachblatt: Weißt du, wieweit die Öffentlichkeit in Großbritannien ein anderes Bild von euch hat als die hiesige? Hier pendelt ihr ja zwischen zwei Extremen: auf der einen Seite die vergötterte Teenieband, auf der anderen Seite die Computer-Genies, deren Platten mit dem Anspruch von Kunst und Seriosität rezensiert werden.
Alan: Die Unterschiede sind schwer herauszuarbeiten. In der BRD gibt es natürlich den „Bravo"-Faktor, das ist ein ganz entscheidender Gesichtspunkt. Weil Bravo uns fast jede Woche in den Mittelpunkt rückt, haben wir dieses starke Teenie-Fanpotential. Daran ist nichts verkehrt, aber das ist mit Sicherheit kein Verdienst von Depeche Mode, sondern von Bravo, ob wir das mögen oder nicht. Die sagen ja auch klipp und klar: „Wir brauchen Interviews, Informationen, Fotosessions, und wenn ihr nicht mitmacht, besorgen wir uns die Sachen anderweitig!" Und dabei spielen wir mit, das muß man nüchtern zugeben. Die Teenies kaufen unsere Musik, da gibt es keinen Grund, sich über sie zu erheben oder sie lächerlich zu machen. Wir leben schließlich von ihnen. Trotzdem, wenn wir uns das Publikum selbst aussuchen würden, dann wäre das sicher nicht unser Stammpublikum. Aber die älteren Leute, die nicht jede Woche Bravo lesen, kommen ja auch zu uns, obwohl ich glaube, daß da einige abgeschreckt werden, weil sie denken: „Wenn die kleinen Mädchen das toll finden, dann ist es unter meiner Würde, dahinzugehen." Von der Struktur ist das Publikum in England wohl ähnlich, wenn auch aus anderen Gründen. Eine Zeitung, die so mächtig ist, daß sie quasi unser Schicksal in der Hand hat, gibt es bei uns nicht. Wenn dort viele Teenies in die Konzerte kommen, hat das mehr mit unserer Vergangenheit zu tun, wo wir uns klar an ein ganz junges Publikum gewandt haben, so wie wir aussahen und wie wir damals waren - eben sehr jung und naiv. Sowas wirkt nach.
Fachblatt: Wie klangvoll ist der Name Depeche Mode in Japan und in den USA?
Alan: Nicht besonders. Andere würden vielleicht sagen, wir seien eine Kultband, aber das wäre nur eine elegante Umschreibung für die Tatsache, daß wir dort kaum Platten verkaufen. Wir waren zweimal in den USA und fahren im Frühjahr wieder hin, aber ich bezweifle, daß uns das den Durchbruch bringen wird. Wir sind nämlich zu einer grundsätzlichen Sache nicht bereit, die fast als Vorbedingung für den Erfolg drüben gilt: Wir wollen nicht sechs Monate durch Amerika touren. So eine Mammuttour, da bin ich sicher, würde uns umbringen, und wir wollen noch eine Weile weiterleben. Natürlich hätten wir dort gern Erfolg, aber wenn nicht, geht die Welt auch nicht unter.
Interview + Fotos: Andreas Hub

[Translation:]

Technical Surprise Club

It went off to a good start. In the morning, at eight o'clock, the phone rings - in Swabia, jorunalists are always up just a bit earlier than most journalists - and the Stuttgart record company cancels the planned interview in Essen. Reason: No time, stress on the first day of the tour in Germany. I want to go view the concert anyway, who knows, maybe there is still a chance. That is, mainly, to correct opinions and expectations that have developed out of the more than two years since my first encounter with Depeche Mode (see Fachblatt 3/1983). At that time they were four nice guys, who could delight teens simply by being present on stage.
 
Still relatively inexperienced live, they could not persuade, neither through a significant musical performance nor an interesting presentation - they were just there and played their hits with a lot of playback. Today, everything is different: the Grugahall is filled to the rim, the stage set is huge, especially when it comes to the light. The front half of the stage is in fact completely empty, while on three levels in the background are the keyboards of masterminds Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher and Alan Wilder. "Empty", however, is only the right word until David Gahan "courses through". With an amount of exercise that borders on high performance sport, he races across the stage. The shy young man in the plaid flannel shirt has become a real showman. Black leather, tattoo on the upper arm, the right hip swing to the right place in order to bring the teens, whom are still superior by numbers, wet dreams. The power that emanates from the stage can completely make you forget that this is still a purely electronic band in which its playbacks do not leave a lot of musical space. Of all the synth bands I've ever seen, Depeche Mode offers today by far the best stage performance, and their LPs indeed follow this impression in every way. The fans can appreciate it, get caught, and dance like crazy - an entire hall, the biggest disco that I have ever seen, and those who won't get up getting sweaty have themselves to blame. Naturally, the interview won't happen today, but we will meet two days later in Siegen. But even that appeared to become an average-sized bust. "Ten minutes", was exclaimed calmly out of the mouth of the manager, "the guys do not have time." I drove 300 km for this? Shrug... False alarm, thank goodness, because when Alan Wilder comes in, whom I had before the microphone also at that time, I know that he is almost unstoppable in his desire to communicate. He, too, is obviously happy to for once talk about something other than his favorite colour and favourite dish. Later on, David arrives and becomes excited about the old photos in the Fachblatt article, but I have not let him speak, otherwise this story would clearly have ended up being beyond the scope of this issue.

Fachblatt: When I saw you two years ago for the last time, you were four cute boys who stood on stage wellbehavedly and a little bit lost. Today, you have at the very least David running around like a madman, and you're sitting across from me in black leather, what happened here; it cannot just be due to having had more experience.
Alan: It was a pretty clear decision. We recorded the tour, which you mention, on video, and that what we then saw was just awful. It may be that it pleased the people, but for us it was no longer acceptable. Since then, we have decided to go a tougher course, and this is being reflected not only in our music but also in the show and in our appearance.
Fachblatt: This kind of change probably took place between "A Broken Frame" and "Construction Time Again"?
Alan: Yes.
Fachblatt: But I cannot imagine it to have been as cooly calcuted as you make it out to be here. An attitude different than what you're telling me here has to have taken place.
Alan: No, it's not like you imagine it to have been. I believe that on the inside we have not become any different than what we are like before. Of course, we are a few years older, have more of an understanding of music, of recordings, of the whole business. For David, it is perhaps a bit more apparent. He's much more visible, both as a singer and as an optical centre.
Fachblatt: In the past, the stage was more "democratically" split: you all stood next to each other and everyone had the same amount of space. Today, David has the complete front half of the stage to himself, while you guys almost disappear behind your keyboards at different levels. Why the clear redistribution of weights?
Alan: We didn't sit down and say, "David, you are now going to be at the front and do the show alone." It was a long process in which he got more and more self-confident and courageous to fulfill such a big space  - literally and figuratively. Before that, he was just too scared to move and was incredibly nervous. Unfortunately, I think that he now goes a bit too far. Sometimes he really goes mad and will only yell stuff. But of course the people love it.
Fachblatt: What is the reason for your discomfort? Jealousy of him gathering all the attention?
Alan: No, I mean, the three of us could not do that at all, because we are bound by our instruments. We have a lot of work to do. We could only step from behind the keyboards if everything is being played from tape. No, we do not want to swap. You have to be quite eccentric and - well - a bit arrogant in order to play such a frontman role. This is not only a question of voice, we can also sing, but you must also have something else which us three do not have.
Fachblatt: In another music newspaper I read a statement by you guys, and according to which, you are fed up with touring after a week and will actually only continue to play for the fans. When I saw you on stage, you did not make ​​a bored impression.
Alan: Well, first of all, I think that just one week is a bit of an exaggeration. I cannot recall that one of us had said that. But at the end of this tour, I know I'll say, "It was too much." In concrete terms: what I find annoying, is not the performance. If it goes off well, I'm really happy being on stage. But these are only 90 minutes of 24 hours. I hate this tour syndrome, nothing more than routine. Even the music that we perform in the evening, is indeed in principle merely a regurgitation of what we have created in the studio months before. I especially am someone who constantly looks for changes, someone who needs creativity, and not repetition. Being in the studio is therefore more exciting for me in any way.
Fachblatt: But it is precisely when you prefer this creative element, that it surely must be even more boring to be bound by tapes, which give you limits while being on stage which you cannot cross.
Alan: Yes, but I do not think there is any other way for us. We are used to this way of working for many years, and I believe that the advantages of tapes and machines outweigh the obvious disadvantages. It is a clean solution - no tuning and timing issues, no feedback, excellent sound. This delivers, in my opinion, more than the potential ability for each night to change the arrangement of a track, or incorporate improvisations, etc. Reversedly: If I could play more solos and had more freedom, I do not think it could be reconciled with my pricipal disapproval towards touring.
Fachblatt: Do you work more with tapes now than before?
Alan: In absolute terms, yes. But this is misleading, because the ratio between the live and playback parts is still 50:50. The reason for that is that we were at that time much more economical. Today, the sound is much bigger. The band has: drums, sequencers, percussion, sound effects, and some vocal effects that you cannot realise live. 95% of the vocals are, however, absolutely live, just as all melodies. Everything us three can play live, we will play. It's the same as with a normal keyboardist, who has his rhythm back-up sitting next to him on drums.
Fachblatt: about the role of electronics: In our previous interview, you said that the synthesizers are an important tool for you because they meet your limited musical and technical skills. Meanwhile, you usually get in reviews particularly high marks for your technical skills in sound experiments and studio work. What has changed?
Alan: I'm definitely the one in our group who has the most qualified musical education, but I think that's not so important. Important are the ideas, and even though I can play well, I prefer to programme a computer in such a way that it will relieve me of playing. I think it's insignificant, who takes over after the execution, because it's my creation either way. And if it sounds too perfect in the computer, I just make it sound less perfect. You can change everything completely, especially with our equipment, in such a way that you think is best and most developed for what is currently available. We work in the studio mainly with the Synclavier II. On the other hand, I do have the opinion that every task which I entrust to the computer, I should be able to tackle myself also. Only then I can confidently leave them the machine. So I think it is unfair if someone accuses us of not being able to play. But these arguments have been with us since the early days of the band. Moreover, this is not only about playing. It is important, for example, to capture the right atmosphere for a song and not leave it to some kind of technical equipment. This means that we have to experiment for two days in order to get a very specific sound. We don't just press any button and say, "Oh, that sounds nice, we will take this one." we do not work that way.
Fachblatt: I presume that you won't take the Synclavier with you on stage...
Alan: Correct, firstly, the expenses would be too high, and it is also quite a vulnerable system which is too sensitive for the hardships of travelling. Martin uses the emulator I live, I have the new emulato , and Andy plays an Oberheim OB-X/OB-8.
Fachblatt: Do you have an idea, why you guys have the largest slice of the pie here in Germany? Other electronic bands which are popular in England are in this country not nearly as successful as Depeche Mode.
Alan: I do not think - if you are talking about that - that it has anything to do with the electronic history of German rock music. That was here indeed commercially never as successful as in our country, or in the USA. I certainly hope that our songs are the reason why people like us here especially. Also, I think it would be nice if it was due to German fans not being so blinded by all the bravado and hypes, because we hopefully do not promote as much of a star image as some of our colleagues do... But if all this is really the case, I have no idea, you can probably judge on that better from the outside.
Fachblatt: The tour will be in really big venues and by now has been sold out almost everywhere. Is this your some great reward - pun intended?
Alan: Hundreds of thousands of fans are of course a reward, no question about it. But the fact that the album is called "Some Great Reward", has no deeper meaning. It was more of a emergency solution. Literally, on the very last day, we still had not agreed on an appropriate title. Then we took this excerpt. It sounds quite good and is also a bit ambiguous. A bit of self-mockery won't hurt you.
Fachblatt: Which brings us to the lyrics. The lyrics of Martin used to be always quite introverted to a point where they became incomprehensible. Meanwhile, they have become much clearer...
Alan: His lyrics have a lot to do with his personal experiences. When you read them, you will always know how life is going for him. On "Broken Frame" it was for example mostly about his girlfriend at the time. This was a relationship that simply wasn't meant to be, and so of course it has gone bad. Now he has a girlfriend who is completely different and...
Fachblatt: ...now he writes sado-masochistic songs like "Master And Servant", something like that?
Alan: Well, who knows what's going on there... In any case, he is much more open to the things that happen around him. The political texts came about partly through contact with other political systems and cultures during our tours. Nevertheless, I wouldn't define Depeche Mode as a political band, as has happened in the media ever since "Construction Time Again". At the very least, I would not use the term politics as referring to parties and governments, but to the people and life itself.
Fachblatt: I had a discussion with a colleague yesterday. Actually, it was about Bronski Beat at first, whom we each had interviewed, and he was talking pretty badly about you guys. He said that while Bronski Beat really derive their lyrics from their own experiences, you guys are in the end too far removed from reality in order to be able to express yourself politically, and therefore your lyrics are nothing more than gimmickry and pretense.
Alan: I think that's unfair, because a certain alienation process occurs automatically as soon as you come into contact with a lot of money. Bronski Beat will also have realised by now that they are no longer merely the provincial guys who somehow had to find their way through London and had to live hand-to-mouth. But that can't be a reason to suddenly stop thinking and just writing nonsense from then on. No one has claimed that our lyrics are based on personal experience, that would be pretentious and untrue, but it should be legitimate to write down observations. But we do not hang around - thank God - in such superstar areas that we now only observe the things around us in a warped or blocked view. End of story. What else is there to say?
Fachblatt: For a few years now, you have been recording mostly in Berlin, a city with a symbolic character, which is also known abroad for having a very specific kind of music. Are you guys here for that reason?
Alan: Granted, it's extremely trendy to go to Berlin, but our motives are much more prosaic. We found the studio there because it perfectly suits our needs. Gareth Jones, our sound engineer and co-producer, had discovered it. Traditionally, studios are designed in such a way that they have a large recording space and a small control room, whereas we need the inverse proportions. At the Hansa Studio, we can set up all the keyboards in the control room. The second advantage is the outstanding computer panel and the ability to record on tracks, and thirdly, there are many hallways and large empty spaces in which we can record certain effects. In addition, Berlin is a pleasant place, where you can also go out after work at three o'clock in the morning. In our country that is really not possible.
Fachblatt: Is there an exchange with musicians from Berlin?
Alan: No, we never work with other musicians.
Fachblatt: I meant more on the level of ideas and experiences.
Alan: Yes, we know some people, like Einstürzende Neubauten. But we know them through Daniel Miller, who greatly admires such groups. Musically, we're not at the same wavelength.
Fachblatt: And contacts with other Mute acts?
Alan: We know Robert Görl a bit, we have contact with Vince Clark, even though he is mostly holed up in his studio at home, and we have very friendly contact with Frank (a.k.a. Fad Gadget). It is good that such a man is with Mute, because any large company would have dropped him long since, because he just does not sell a lot of records. The good idea of Mute is that the label is based on its love of music and not for the love of money.
Fachblatt: That is perhaps a little naive, but as long as money is there, something like that can be easily said, and you guys probably finance almost completely the whole company.
Alan: It cannot be said like that. Yazoo were also very successful, and whenever Vince does something, it would also go pretty well.
Fachblatt: But doesn't this bring jealousy and inferiority complexes with it, for example Fad Gadget may think: "Shit, basically the guys from Depeche Mode keep me alive."
Alan: As far as I can tell, this is neither for him nor for us a problem.
Fachblatt: Do you know how much the UK's public image of you guys differ from the local one? Here, you switch between two extremes: on the one hand, you're the idolised teen band, on the other hand, you're the computer genius whose records will be reviewed with a claim of art and respect.
Alan: The differences are difficult to work out. In Germany there is of course the "Bravo" factor, which is a crucial aspect. Since Bravo puts us on the cover almost every week, we have this strong teen fan potential. Nothing is wrong with that, but that is certainly not done by Depeche Mode, but by Bravo, whether we like it or not. They say very plainly: "We need interviews, information, photo sessions, and if you do not give in, we will otherwise provide these things ourselves!" And we play along, you simply have to admit to it. The teens buy our music, so there is no reason to subjugate them or ridicule them. In the end, we live off them. Still, if we could choose our audience ourselves, they would certainly not be our core audience. But the older people who do not read the weekly Bravo, also come to us, although I think that some are a bit put off by it because they think, "If the little girls think they're great, then it will be beneath my dignity to go along with them." The structure of the crowd in England is probably similar, albeit for different reasons. We do not have a newspaper over there that is so powerful that it virtually has our fate in their hands. If there are many teens to be found at the concerts over there, it will have more to do with our past, when we clearly turned to a very young audience, with the way we looked and how we were back then - just very young and naive. Something like that haunts you.
Fachblatt: How sonorous is the name of Depeche Mode in Japan and in the USA?
Alan: Not very. Some might say that we are a cult band, but that would only be an elegant euphemism for the fact that we hardly sell records there. We were in the U.S. twice and will travel to there again in spring, but I doubt that that will give us our breakthrough. That's because we are not ready for a basic thing which is almost considered a prerequisite for success there: We do not want to tour America for six months. I'm sure such a mammoth tour would kill us, and we want to continue to live for a while. Of course we would like to have success there, but if not, it won't be the end of the world.
Interview + photos: Andreas Hub
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #187 on: 17 January 2014 - 07:48:40 »
1985-02-xx - Muziek Expres (Netherlands) - Alles over Depeche Mode

[Photo found on eBay.com. I transcribed/translated it. In this photo, some of Martin's answers were cut off, so I could not transcribe it all. This article seems to be a mix of a previous Bravo magazine article as well as of band member profiles made by DM's Official Information Service.]



Alles over Depeche Mode

David Gahan kun je altijd wakker maken voor een glas sinas, maar Martin Gore geeft toch de voorkeur aan appelsap. Andy Fletcher houdt het liever bij een groot glas melk, en Alan... Ach lees ook eigenlijk zelf maar wat de jongens van Depeche Mode antwoordden op de vele vragen die wij hen voorlegden...

Hoe luidt je naam precies? Andrew John Fletcher
Wanneer ben je geboren en waar? Op 5 juli in Nottingham
Hoe lang ben je? Hoeveel weeg je? 1.88 meter en 75 kilo
Wat is de kleur van je ogen? Blauw
Heb je nog broers en zussen? En hoe heten ze? Twee zussen en een broer, Susan, Karen en Simon
Wat is je lievelingsdrankje? Melk
En je lievelingskostje? Geroosterd brood met worst
Heb je huisdieren? Ja, een kat
Wat zijn favoriete groepen of artiesten? Te veel om op te noemen
En je favoriete filmsterren? Michael J. Pollard en Jenny Hankey
Heb je al eens eerder in een groep gezeten? Ja, in No Romance in China
Welk instrument bespeel je? Gitaar en synthesizer
Wat zijn je hobbies? Videospelletjes, teevee en sport
Wat is je persoonlijke wens voor de toekomst? Een eigen huis bezitten
En je zakelijke toekomstwens? Een nummer 1 hit in Engeland halen

Hoe luidt je naam precies? Alan Charles wilder
Wanneer ben je geboren en waar? Op 1 juni 1959 in Londen
Hoe lang ben je? Hoeveel weeg je? 1.79 meter en 62 kilo
Wat is de kleur van je ogen? Grijsblauw
Heb je nog broers en zussen? En hoe heten ze? Twee broers, Andrew en Stephen
Wat is je lievelingsdrankje? Pernod
En je lievelingskostje? Alles met veel kerrie en yoghurt toet
Heb je huisdieren? Ja, een kat
Wat zijn favoriete groepen of artiesten? David Bowie
En je favoriete filmsterren? Richard Dreyfuss en Glenda Jackson
Heb je al eens eerder in een groep gezeten? Ja, in Real To Real, Dafne & The Tendersports [sic] en The Hitmen
Welk instrument bespeel je? Toetsen
Wat zijn je hobbies? Gelukking zijn
Wat is je persoonlijke wens voor de toekomst? Alle aspected van muziek te mogen meemaken
En je zakelijke toekomstwens? Eh... muziek blijven maken

Hoe luidt je naam precies? David Gahan
Wanneer ben je geboren en waar? Op 9 mei 1962 in Epping, Essex
Hoe lang ben je? Hoeveel weeg je? Ojee, ik zou het ècht niet weten!
Wat is de kleur van je ogen? Groenbruin
Heb je nog broers en zussen? En hoe heten ze? Twee broers en een zus, Peter, Phillip en Susan
Wat is je lievelingsdrankje? Thee en sinas
En je lievelingskostje? Geroosterd lamsvlees en toe fruitsalade met slagroom, hmmmm...!
Heb je huisdieren? Nee
Wat zijn favoriete groepen of artiesten? Simple Minds
En je favoriete filmsterren? Steve McQueen en Goldie Hawn
Heb je al eens eerder in een groep gezeten? Ja, in Vermin
Welk instrument bespeel je? Electronische drums
Wat zijn je hobbies? Vissen, teevee kijken en eten
Wat is je persoonlijke wens voor de toekomst? Ik wil dolgraag Japan bezoeken, en ook een eigen huis een een auto hebben
En je zakelijke toekomstwens? Een tournee door Japan en een nummer 1 hit scoren in Engeland

Hoe luidt je naam precies? Martin Lee Gore
Wanneer ben je geboren en waar? Op 23 juli 1961 in London
Hoe lang ben je? Hoeveel weeg je? Ik ben 1.69 en ik weeg 62 kilo
Wat is de kleur van je ogen? Groen
Heb je nog broers en zussen? En hoe heten ze? Twee zusters, Jackie en Karen
Wat is je lievelingsdrankje? Appelsap
En je lievelingskostje? Ik vind alles lekker, als ik maar een [?] met slagroom toe krijg...
Heb je huisdieren? Nou en of! Een hond, een kat en twee goudvissen
Wat zijn favoriete groepen of artiesten? The Sparks en Tom Jones
En je favoriete filmsterren? Jack Lemmon en Una Stubbs
Heb je al eens eerder in een groep gezeten? Ja, in Norman & The Worms
Welk instrument bespeel je? Gitaar en synthesizer
Wat zijn je hobbies? Gitaarspelen, [?]
Wat is je persoonlijke wens voor de toekomst? Nog lang, gelukkig en grappig leven leiden
En je zakelijke toekomstwens? Populaire hits maken

Translation:
 
Everything about Depeche Mode

David Gahan can always be woken up for a glas of orange soda, but Martin Gore prefers applejuice. Andy Fletcher rather sticks to a tall glass of milk, and Alan... Well, read for yourself what the boys of Depeche Mode answered to the many questions that we presented to them...

What is your full name? Andrew John Fletcher
When were you born and where? 5th of July in Nottingham
How tall are you? How much do you weigh? 1.88 metre and 75 kilos
What is the colour of your eyes? Blue
Have you got any brothers or sisters? And what are their names? Two sisters and a brother, Susan, Karen and Simon
What is your favourite beverage? Milk
And your favourite meal? Toast with baloney
Have you got any pets? Yes, a cat
What are your favourite groups or artists? Too many to mention
And your favourite movie stars? Michael J. Pollard and Jenny Hankey
Have you been in a group before? Yes, in No Romance in China
What instrument do you play? Guitar and synthesizer
What are your hobbies? Video games, TV and sports
What is your personal wish for the future? Own a house
And your business-related wish for the future? Get a number 1 hit in England

What is your full name? Alan Charles wilder
When were you born and where? 1st of June 1959 in London
How tall are you? How much do you weigh? 1.79 metre and 62 kilos
What is the colour of your eyes? Blue grey
Have you got any brothers or sisters? And what are their names? Two brothers, Andrew and Stephen
What is your favourite beverage? Pernod
And your favourite meal? Everything with a lot of curry and a yogurt dessert
Have you got any pets? Yes, a cat
What are your favourite groups or artists? David Bowie
And your favourite movie stars? Richard Dreyfuss and Glenda Jackson
Have you been in a group before? Yes, in Real To Real, Dafne & The Tendersports [sic] and The Hitmen
What instrument do you play? Keys
What are your hobbies? Being happy
What is your personal wish for the future? To experience all aspects of music
And your business-related wish for the future? Eh... to keep making music

What is your full name? David Gahan
When were you born and where? 9th of May 1962 in Epping, Essex
How tall are you? How much do you weigh? Oh dear, I really don't know
What is the colour of your eyes? green/brown
Have you got any brothers or sisters? And what are their names? Two brothers and a sister, Peter, Phillip and Susan
What is your favourite beverage? Tea and orange soda
And your favourite meal? Roasted lamb and for dessert a fruitsalad with whip cream, hmmm...!
Have you got any pets? No
What are your favourite groups or artists? Simple Minds
And your favourite movie stars? Steve McQueen and Goldie Hawn
Have you been in a group before? Yes, in Vermin
What instrument do you play? Electronic drums
What are your hobbies? Fishing, watching TV and eating
What is your personal wish for the future? I would love to visit Japan, and to own a house and car
And your business-related wish for the future? A tour through Japan and get a number 1 hit in England

What is your full name? Martin Lee Gore
When were you born and where? 23th of July 1961 in London
How tall are you? How much do you weigh? I'm 1.69 metre en I weigh 62 kilos
What is the colour of your eyes? Green
Have you got any brothers or sisters? And what are their names? Two sisters, Jackie and Karen
What is your favourite beverage? Applejuice
And your favourite meal? I like everything, as long as I get a [?] with whip cream on it...
Have you got any pets? Most definitely! A dog, a cat and two gold fish
What are your favourite groups or artists? The Sparks and Tom Jones
And your favourite movie stars? Jack Lemmon and [?]
Have you been in a group before? Yes, in Norman & The Worms
What instrument do you play? Guitar and synthesizer
What are your hobbies? Playing guitar, [?]
What is your personal wish for the future? To spend a long time [?]
And your business-related wish for the future? Making popular hits
2017-06-30: Photobucket has disabled external image hosting, all scans will have to be re-uploaded on another site.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #188 on: 17 January 2014 - 07:48:57 »
1985-02-xx - Best n°199 (France) - Report

http://www.frenchviolation.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5632





http://www.playingtheangel.com/website/articles.php?item=205

Quatre Pages
N’ayant toujours servi qu’un seul maître, le pop, les Depeche Mode en reçoivent maintenant de grandes récompenses.

Mignons. Malins. Intelligents. Les Depeche Mode sont-ils les Gremlins du rock?
En ce début ils jouent à la dynamite et gagnent. Mégafolie ou mégabrio, mégafrime ou mégagénie, pour percer les Depeche Mode je me suis livré sur eu au test Gremlins. Si nos Depeche Mode résistent à l’eau et ne réclament jamais à manger après minuit, alors seulement je serai sur le sort qu’ils nous réservent.
Martin Gore, Alan Wilder, David Gahan et Andrew Fletcher sont-ils plus Grem que Lins - (drum machines)? De toutes façons, il faut les toucher pour s’en convaincre. Alors, suivons-les donc; par exemple ce lundi de décembre où ils remplirent le Palais Omnisport de Paris Bercy!

Jeux électroniques
´Tu vois, ce n’est pas compliqué. Tu lances ton bras en l’air puis l’autre avec mouvement de cul et c’est gagné!´
Cette petite nana devait être craquante, elle m’a quand même broyé le pied et presque assommé pour se rapprocher juste un peu plus de ses idoles. Plus près de toi mon Dieu, dans une salle pleine comme un oeuf de 15000‚ mes c’est un pari difficile. Jeux de briquets et kids allumés, le public de Depeche Mode est déchaîné, il danse à l’unisson de manière uniforme.
Gentil, sage, inoffensif, minet, angélique, séraphin, ado, teenyboppé, l’adepte - masculin ou féminin - de Depeche Mode s’identifie à ses (nouvelles!) idoles, comme un cheeseburger ressemble à un autre cheeseburger. Techno pop ou electro funk, Depeche Mode se rit des étiquettes. Le gig de ce soir est un succès total et déconcertant. Invariablement la même question forme un écho filigrané sur les synthés du groupe: quels sévices ont-ils fait subir au Mickey avant de parvenir à lui décrocher la queue?
Depeche Mode n’est pas inconnu sur mes circuits. Depuis le départ de Vince Clarke, j’ai rencontré le groupe à deux ou trois reprises. Ces conversations publiées ´in Best´ permettent de tracer quelques conclusions: Depeche Mode craque sur Picasso et ses formes psychédélismes. Depeche Mode ne suit jamais les conseils de la rock critique. Depeche Mode c’est une affaire d’hommes, pas de meufs dans le groupe. Depeche Mode prétend ne pas aimer les uniformes. Depeche Mode a publié son premier titre, ´Photographic´, en 81 sur la légendaire compilation ´Some Bizarre Album´ qui révélait aussi Soft Cell, Blancmange et B Movie. Depeche Mode ne connaît toujours pas le sens du nom Depeche Mode car ils sont incapables de lire le magazine. Depeche Mode a gagné un jour quatre pages dans le NME en balançant le contenu d’une chope de bière dans la tronche d’un rock critic. Depeche Mode ne pratique pas la couture mais s’habille chez des copains de Kensington Market. Depeche Mode déteste les covers sauf ´Mamma Mia´ d’Abba. Depeche Mode traverse toujours dans les clous. Depeche Mode adore les jeux électroniques et déteste qu’on lui pique ses piles. Depeche Mode rêve d’être le premier groupe à se produire dans l’espace. Depeche Mode se prononce Depêche Mode, des paichers Maude, Despèche Maode ou Daipèche Môde: aucun des membres du groupe ne le scande de la m’me manière. Depeche Mode ne craint pas que l’on le présente à ses parents, sauf que maman risque de craquer, fuguer et réclamer le divorce pour pouvoir suivre dans la foulée la tournée US du groupe en vendant des T-shirts à l’effigie de ses nouveaux héros. Gonflés à l’eau distillée, les Depeche Mode marquent sans doute un tournant dans nos múurs musicales. Comme un négatif photographique, le groupe navigue aux antipodes du hard rock et pourtant le phénomène crée lui ressemble comme un frère. Jeunes gens, il est temps de changer votre fusil d’épaule et d’échanger votre cuir contre un ensemble Fiorucci ou Kenzo! Tel Saint Georges terrassant le Dragon, les Modes auront-ils les couilles de convertir ces légions de hard rockeux infidèles?

Depeche
Time is still money, si l’on doit juger un groupe à l’occupation de son emploi du temps, les Depeche Mode chatouillent le niveau critique de Michael Jackson. Plutôt que d’accepter une interview bâclée dans un minibus entre Roissy et Boulogne Bilancourt, j’ai préféré opter pour la méthode Colombo du détective privé suiveur et gaffeur. Je ne devais pas le regretter.
15 h: Le minibus blanc des Depeche Mode se gare face aux studios de Platine 45. Sur le plateau, tout est prêt pour le tournage en play-back de ´Master And Servant´ sur fond blanc. Patrick Leguen dérègle une dernière fois ses caméras pour apporter sa touche de bricolo génial. 15 h 15: De, Peche, Mo et De sortent de leur loge. Leurs pantalons de cuir sont à l’image du titre sado-maso qu’ils doivent interpréter. A noter que Martin Gore porte une mini jupe de cuir sur son pantalon histoire de jeter un doute sur sa sexualité pile et secteur.
´It’s a lot! it’s a lot! it’s a lot like life life life! boum crack poum!´ «Master And Servant » démarre et c’est le playback le plus bruyant de ma mémoire d’audio reporter. Martin, Alan David et Andrew tapent comme des sourds sur des jambo percussions et des cymbales. Jeu de scène minimalise et maxi bruit. Les Mode sont à la bourre, ils n’ont pas le temps de visionner leurs performances. Silence on tourne. Seconde et troisième prise, Gahan le chanteur ose un sourire de temps à autres. 15 h 30: Les Mode sirotent des cocas à tour de rôle tandis que Patrick Leguen les films un part un sur des gros plans séraphins sur fond play-back. Andrew Fletcher me raconte qu’il est sidéré par le phénomène de force centrifuge; cette Modemania qui ravage l’hexagone, il ne la comprend pas plus que moi. Certes le succès de ´People Are People´ n’est pas étranger à l’engouement soudain des grenouilles pour ces rythmes séquencés. Mais si les Français craquent sur Depeche Mode, pourquoi ne se sont-ils pas décider avant?
16 h: Le temps presse. On speede. Les Mode strip-teasent dans leur loge, je suppose que Gore n’a pas envie de se balader en jupette et je le comprends. Boulogne Billancourt / Bercy, il faut traverser la capitale par les quais dans le sens longitudinal et au milieu des embouteillages, pour la balance. Mister Vogue a tout prévu. Depuis deux minutes trente, deux motards de la police attendent le groupe pour l’escorter toutes sirènes hurlantes jusqu’au Palais Omnisport.
16 h 15: Le convoi démarre, motards en tête suivis du minibus du groupe et de ma Triumph épinard. On grille un feu rouge et ce n’est qu’un début: suivre Depeche Mode dans Paris c’est dix fois, cent fois, mille fois plus drôle que l’attraction le plus bandante de Disneyland. Couloirs de bus, ligne blanche dépassée, les motards de la police nous font le trip ´visite officielle´ et c’est irrésistible. A la hauteur de la Concorde, les deux files quais sont bouchées. Qu’à cela ne tienne, en repoussant les autos à gauche et à droite nous créons une troisième file. Pleins phares et warning pulsés, on file un train d’enfer tandis que les agents qui règlent la circulation saluent du képi toutes nos infractions. Jusqu’à Châtelet, une voiture banalisée ferme le cortège. Quel fun, on se croirait projeté dans un épisode de ´Starsky & Hutch´. D’ailleurs, Martin Gore n’a rien perdu du spectacle puisqu’il filme toutes les scènes avec un mini magnétoscope intégré. Je vous l’ai dis, Depeche Mode colle bien à son image et affecte un penchant très net pour toutes sortes de gadgets électroniques.
16 h 35: Arrivée sans encombre à Bercy en un temps record. Les flics -plus par curiosité que par zèle- escortent le groupe jusqu'à sa loge. Nos anges de la route sont fascinés par le spectacle de cette salle dantesque et de tous ces gradins qui supporteront bientôt le poids de milliers de fans.
16 h 50: Les Mode retrouvent leurs petites amies respectives. Sur la scène, tout est près pour le sound-check. Emulators I et II, sequancers, percus, synthés de tous poils et drum machines, Depeche Mode possède tout un arsenal pour faire vibrer le PO de Bercy.
´Nous avons jamais jouer dans une salle aussi vaste!´ me confie Andrew Fletcher, ´même Wembley était plus intime. Mais pour nous c’est plutôt excitant car c’est nouveau. Pourtant je m’inquiète un peu pour l’acoustique de la salle!´
17 h: Pour s’en rendre compte, cher Andy, il faut rejoindre tes petits camarades sur la scène et pousser quelques chansonnettes. Pendant ce temps, dans un bureau du rez-de-chaussée, Vasco l’organisateur du gig règle au téléphone les derniers détails. Georges Leton et son équipe avaient organisé le concert de Fat Gadget à Paris. En rentrant à Londres chez Mute - Label de Depeche Mode - Fad ne tarit d’éloges sur Vasco Organisation et c’est ainsi qu’ils héritèrent de la tournée de nos Gremlins synthétiques. Un millier d’invités, quelque quatorze mille billets vendus, Bercy sold out pour Depeche Mode alors que Waters ou Yes n’étaient parvenus qu’à une contenance de cinquante pourcents. Joli tour de force.
17 h 45: Les Depeche Mode s’isolent avec leurs girl friends pour manger un morceau. Il n’est pas encore minuit, nos gentils Mogwaï ne se transformeront pas encore en Gremlins.

Mode
Il faudra attendre 21 h15 et le début du gig pour qu’ils se déchaînent avec tout leur flegme britannique. Face aux cris de la foule et aux corps qui s’agitent, les Depeche Mode conserveront jusqu’au bout leur self-control. Je suis capable de reconnaître leur extraordinaire potentiel, mais leur musique ne me donne pas envie de m’accrocher aux rideaux.
Elle me réjouit, pourtant. Face aux hordes barbares des heavy-métaleux, Depeche Mode fait l’unanimité chez les kids. L’album ´Some Great Reward´ se classe en troisième place du reporter, là ou l’an passé on trouvait les quais Leppards, Saxon et autres Tygers of Pan Tang. Le son de Depeche Mode manque peut être de chaleur, mais il ne m’assomme pas comme une vieille bière. Hard rock contre Techno pop: mieux vaut encore voir les kids craquer sur des machines que sur des éjaculations précoces de décibels. Clean et aseptisé, Depeche Mode ne ravira pas les fans de Metal En Pack ou d’Enclume Magazine, mais la route de l’évolution est peuplée de cadavres comme ces caravanes qui traversaient l’ouest sauvage avant d’atteindre l’Eldorado, la Californie Rip les gars.
Le rêve est au bout de nos HP, espérons qu’il ne nous décevra pas.
Gérard BAR-DAVID

Translation, by me:

Four Pages
Having always served one master, namely pop, Depeche Mode now receive great rewards.

Cute. Crafty. Intelligent. Are Depeche Mode the Gremlins of rock?
At the beginning they played like dynamite and won. Mega mad or méga brilliantly, méga sham or méga genious, to label Depeche Mode I would have to bring out the Gremlins test. If our Depeche Mode are water resistant and never beg for food after midnight, only then I will be certain that they deserve us.
Martin Gore, Alan Wilder, David Gahan and Andrew Fletcher are they more than Grem than Lins - (drum machines)? Anyway, you must touch them to be convinced. So, follow them; for example this Monday in December when they fill the Palais Omnisport de Paris Bercy!

Electronic games
'You see, it's not complicated. You throw your arm in the air and then the other while moving your butt and that’s all there is to it! '
This little girl should be adorable, nevertheless she crushed my foot and almost knocked me over just to be a little bit closer to her idols. Nearer to thee, my God, in a room full to the brim with 15000 people, well, this is a difficult challenge. Are room full of lighters and the teens are lit up, the audience of Depeche Mode sets loose, they dance in unison uniformly.
Nice, wise, innocent, sissy, angelic, cherubic, teenager, teenybopper, the follower - male or female – of Depeche Mode identifies with their (new!) idols, like a cheeseburger resembles another cheeseburger. Techno pop and electro funk, Depeche Mode ridicule labels. The gig tonight is a total success and disconcerting. Invariably the same question about the synth group arises like a watermarked echo: What harm have they done to Mickey before he could reach the line?
Depeche Mode is not unknown on my social circle. Since the departure of Vince Clarke, I met the group two or three times. These conversations published in 'Best' allow to draw some conclusions: Depeche Mode adore Picasso and his psychedelic shapes. Depeche Mode never follows the advice of the rock critic. Depeche Mode is a male, no chicks in the group. Depeche Mode pretends to dislike uniforms. Depeche Mode has released their first title, 'Photographic', in ‘81 on the legendary compilation 'Some Bizarre Album' which also showcased Soft Cell, Blancmange and B Movie. Depeche Mode still does not know the meaning of the name Depeche Mode because they are unable to read the magazine. Depeche Mode one day managed to get four pages in the NME by swinging the content of a beer mug into the face of a rock critic. Depeche Mode does not require high fashion but buys clothes from friends on the Kensington Market. Depeche Mode hate covers except 'Mamma Mia' from Abba. Depeche Mode always cross at the crosswalk. Depeche Mode love video games and hate those who steal their batteries. Depeche Mode dream of being the first band to perform in space. Depeche Mode pronounces Depêche Mode as des paichers Maude, Despèche Maode or Daipèche mode: no member of the group utters it the same way. Depeche Mode is not afraid that of being presented to their parents, except that mom may give in, run away and seek divorce in order to follow the group’s U.S. tour while selling T-shirts bearing the image of her new heroes. Inflated with distilled water, Depeche Mode undoubtedly mark a turning point in our musical customs. Like negative photographic film, the group navigates like the antithesis of hard rock and yet, the phenomenon creates like them like being a brother. Young people, it is time to change your tune and exchange your leather against a Fiorucci or Kenzo collection! Like Saint George slaying the dragon, do the Modes have the balls to convert the legions of hard rock infidels?

Depeche
Time is still money, if one were to judge a group by how they occupy their time, Depeche Mode tickle the critical level of Michael Jackson. Rather than accepting a messy interview in a minibus between Roissy and Boulogne Bilancourt, I opted for the method of private detective Colombo as a gaffer and follower. I should not regret it.
15 pm: The white minibus of Depeche Mode stops at the Platinum 45 studios. On set, everything is ready for filming 'Master And Servant' in play-back on a white background. Patrick Leguen moves the cameras one more time to bring his genius, handy touch. 15:15 pm: De, Peche, Mo and De are taken out of their rooms. Their leather pants are just like their sadomasochistic track that they are about to perform. Note that Martin Gore wears a mini skirt on top of his leather pants, which has already been casting doubt on electric sexuality.
'It's a lot! It's a lot! It's a lot like life life life! Boom crack poom!’ "Master And Servant" starts and this is the loudest playback in my auditory memory as a reporter. Martin, Alan David and Andrew smash like deaf people on the jambo drums and cymbals. A showmanship of minimalism and maximal noise. The Modes are in a rush, they do not have time to view their performance. Quiet on the set. Second and third take, Gahan singer dares to show a smile from time to time. 15:30pm: The Modes sip their cokes in turn while Patrick Leguen films them one by one for the cherubic close-ups while having the playback in the background. Andrew Fletcher tells me he is amazed by the phenomenon of this whirling force, this Modemania, that is ravaging France, he does not comprehend it any more than I do. Although the success of 'People Are People' is not difficult to account for the sudden infatuation for these chaps because of its sequenced rhythms. But if the French are craving for Depeche Mode, why did they not realise this before?
16 pm: The clock is ticking. We hurry. The Modes are strip teasing in their rooms, I guess Gore did not want to walk around in a skirt and I understand that. Boulogne Billancourt / Bercy, you have to cross the city along the docks in the longitudinal direction and in the middle of traffic, for balance. Mister Vogue has prepared everything. For two and a half minutes, two police motorcyclists will escort the group to Palais Omnisport with wailing sirens.
16:15 pm: The convoy starts, bikers are heading, followed by the group’s minibus and by my physical triumph. Stopping at a red light, and this is only the beginning: to follow Depeche Mode in Paris is ten times, a hundred times, a thousand times funnier than the wildest Disneyland attraction. Bus lanes, exceeding white lines, the police motorcyclists make the trip an 'official visit' and it's irresistible. At the top of the Concorde, the two platform lanes are occupied. Never mind, we just push the cars to the left and right and we create a third lane. Headlights and pulsated warnings, we spin at breakneck speed while policemen who regulate the traffic salute with their cap all of our offenses. At Châtelet, an normal-looking car ends the parade. What fun, it's like screening in an episode of 'Starsky & Hutch'. Moreover, Martin Gore has not missed anything of the show because he filmed everything with a mini-video camera. I’ll have you know, Depeche Mode fits well in their image and affects a very nice tendency for all kinds of electronic gadgets.
16:35 pm: Arrived safely at Bercy in a record time. The cops - more out of curiosity than out of zeal - escort the group to their dressing room. Our angels of the road are fascinated by the spectacle of this Dantesque room and all those steps which soon bear the weight of thousands of fans.
16:50 pm: The Modes return to their respective girlfriends. On stage, everything is ready for the sound check. Emulators I and II sequencers, percussion, synths of all kinds and drum machines, Depeche Mode has a whole arsenal to vibrate the PO of Bercy.
'We have never played in such a large room!’ Confides Andrew Fletcher, 'even Wembley was more intimate. But for us it is more exciting because it's new. But I'm a bit worried about the acoustics of the venue!'
17 pm: To find out, dear Andy, you must join your group buddies on stage and push a few ditties. Meanwhile, in an office on the ground floor, Vasco, the organiser of the gig, arranges on the phone the last details. Georges Leton and his team had organised Fat Gadget’s concert in Paris. Upon returning to London to Mute – the label of Depeche Mode - Fad is full of praise about the Vasco Organisation and thus they inherited the tour of our synthetic Gremlins. A thousand guests, some fourteen thousand tickets sold, a sold out Bercy for Depeche Mode while Waters or Yes reached a capacity of fifty percent. Nice feat.
17:45 pm: Depeche Mode isolate themselves with their girlfriends for a snack. It is not yet midnight, our friendly Mogwai does not transform into a Gremlin yet.

Mode
It will start at 21:15 pm and it takes the start of the gig before they go wild with all their British phlegm. To the cries of the crowd and bodies that move, Depeche Mode will retain all self-control. I am able to recognise their extraordinary potential, but their music does not make me want to climb up the walls.
It pleases me, though. Facing the barbarian hordes of heavy-metalheads, Depeche Mode are doing well unanimously among kids. The album 'Some Great Reward' ranks in third place of this reporter, there where previous years the records of Leppard, Saxon and even Tygers of Pan Tang were to be found. The sound of Depeche Mode may be lacking in heat, but it does not hurt me like an old beer. Hard rock against Techno pop: it’s nevertheless better to see the kids raving about machines than premature ejaculations of decibels. Clean and sanitised, Depeche Mode does not delight the fans of Metal En Pack or Enclume Magazine, but the road of evolution is populated by corpses as these caravans cross the wild west before reaching Eldorado, with the guys stopping in California.
The dream is the end of our horizon, we hope we won’t be disappointed.
Gerard BAR-DAVID
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #189 on: 09 February 2014 - 07:56:07 »
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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #190 on: 31 March 2014 - 06:18:38 »
1985-02-xx - TVAM (UK) - Wide Awake Club

Dentez has this in good quality. Not hosted online.

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #191 on: 31 March 2014 - 06:18:56 »
1985-03-11 - Hey (Turkey) - Andy Fletcher

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

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #192 on: 05 May 2014 - 02:17:05 »
1985-03-xx - Poppis n.3 (Sweden) - Vi längtar hem

[Thanks to Rome for sending a photo of this article!]





1985-03-xx - Rocket (Sweden) - Studiosynthar blir livesynthar!

https://www.facebook.com/depechemodeisverige/posts/446696962122229

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #193 on: 18 May 2014 - 00:41:22 »
1985-04-xx - Star Hits (US) - Four boys who make heavenly noise

[Photos found on eBay. Also found here: https://www.facebook.com/starhitsmag/posts/1317521661664392. Transcribed using OCR.]



Four boys who make heavenly noise from "gadgets and gizmos and tools and toys", they're better known as...
DEPECHE MODE

Depeche Mode regularly turn rude noises into beautiful music, but these four British pop scientists are much more than an attractive soundmachine. The only way to describe them is Heavenly Metal—emotional lyrics and subtle electronic melodies meshed with an irresistible mechanical beat provided by all sorts of toys, tools, gadgets and gizmos.
The band broke out of their native Basildon (a suburb south of London) in 1981 with a jolly dance tune called “Just Can‘t Get Enough.” Founder Vince Clarke split to found Yazoo with Alison Mo yet after the debut LP Speak And Spell, but Depeche Mode‘s European success grew with each successive album.
American audiences weren‘t quite as quick to latch onto the band whose name — which comes from a French magazine — roughly means hurry up, fashion.” While other British groups were scoring big synthpop hits, the Modes grew more sophisticated across two more albums (A Broken Frame and Construction Time Again) and, dare we say it, genuinely progressive.
1984 saw the Stateside release of the compilation LP People Are People, which includes excellent British hits like “Love in Itself,” “Everything Counts” and the powerful title track.
This year D’ Mode are in a slightly different mode for their most recent LP, Some Great Reward. The catchy melodies are still there along with the everything-including-the-kitchen-sink sound effects, but the lyrics concern such adult themes as racism, teenage suicide and relationships as on “Master and Servant.”
What’s next? We wouldn‘t hazard a guess. But in the meantime, our London correspondent, Neil Tennant, files these personality profiles, sketched late last year during their biggest European tour yet...

DAVE GAHAN, singer, 22, recently moved out of his mom’s house into his own place in Basildon. Is it in the posh section of Basildon?
“There isn’t a posh section of Basildon.” The moodiest member of Depeche Mode, he often sits by himself at the rear of the tour bus and looks rather drawn and nervous before a concert. Afterwards, he’s friendly and relaxed as he smiles and jokes around with the other band members. Dave admits that on tour: “You can get quite lonely, really.”

MARTIN GORE, 23, writes most of Depeche Mode’s songs. He lives with his German girlfriend Christina in a Berlin apartment that’s been sitting empty during the long months of touring. On the road he chats with Christina, chuckles a lot, reads books on Nazi Germany and drinks, er, full-bodied beers like Holland’s Grolsch (the others prefer exotic soda pop like Tizer and Vimto). On stage he wears a leather miniskirt, plays keyboards, bangs some metal pipes and sings just one song — “Somebody.”

ANDY FLETCHER (known as “Fletch”), 23, lives with his girlfriend and her mother in Basildon (where he attended school with Alison Moyet). He’s never considered living anywhere else. “It’s what you’re used to, I guess.” Off stage he wears glasses, looks a bit like a sassy schoolboy and chats easily with fans. He likes to goof on the tour bus driver by messing around on the walkie-talkies that connect the backstage area with the bus. Fletch also plays keyboard on stage and occasionally waves his arms about.

ALAN WILDER, 25, lives in London, doesn’t come from Basildon and writes a song occasionally. On stage he plays keyboards, makes weird noises with an Emulator and bangs on a piece of corrugated iron. He comes across as the most suave and sophisticated member of Depeche Mode, seems to go to bed the latest and never gets in a ratty mood. He maintains that hairstyle with numerous pots of styling gel, and is an enthusiastic photographer.



1985-xx-xx - Yeh Eum Records Co. Ltd (South Korea) - Some Great Reward: Korean insert

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Depeche-mode-Some-great-reward-Rare-Korea-LP-Inserts-in-EX-/271216647466
From this release: http://www.discogs.com/Depeche-Mode-Some-Great-Reward/release/2990338

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Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1984: Some Great Reward
« Reply #194 on: 18 May 2014 - 00:41:41 »
2006-09-29 - Mute - Some Great Reward remaster

Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRMd75uQUJ4



[I typed out the text:]

"You can get away with anything as long as you give it a good tune..."
Depeche Mode: 1984

Dave Gahan: We wanted to definitely go somewhere else, we knew it was time to try something different, and the idea of going to another country really appealed to us, and we always liked Germany.
Martin Gore: West-Berlin wasn't in close space, but it was also full of interesting people.
Andy Fletcher: We wanted to record an album in a place that was alive, and not a place that was dead, like London.
Alan Wilder: Coupled with the fact that we've been on the road a lot and travelled around much more, it gives a slight different feeling to the whole recording.
Dave Henderson: I think people were aware of the stories of people going to Berlin and making great records, or even artists going to Berlin and making great art. You don't realise till you actually go Berlin, or certainly around that time, how creative and exciting and just weird the place was, because the Wall is still up, there are things you never thought of. You read about these things, but when you're out there, you're "Oh, this is actually really quite a grey, spooky, place. It's not Blade Runner continuously, but it was - well, it was raining when I went.
Daniel Miller: Because we all worked in the same place, we all stayed in the place, same hotel, we tended to go out together.
Andy Fletcher: It was just crazy, yeah, we were - again - still very young, and we sort of were treated not as cool as everyone else.
Dave Gahan: The idea of going to Hansa Studios where Bowie had worked, and Iggy Pop, that Martin and I were certainly big fans of, it was... We really had, like, a very "gang" mentality, as well, it was "Us against the world".
Walter Farber: Die generelle Scene in Berlin war sehr Intim, weil wir ringsrum eine Mauer hatten, und durch dieser Mauer war auch die Gruppe die Berliner einfach viel enger, jeder kannte jeden, und Abends auch in dem Clubs war es immer so mehr oder weniger die gleiche Leute, und da hat Berlin richtig Spaß gemacht! [The general scene in Berlin was very intimate, because we had the Wall circled around us, and because of this Wall, the group of Berliners was very close, everyone knew everyone, and also at night in the clubs you would more or less always see the same people, and so Berlin was a lot of fun!]
Dan Silver: It suited very much the fact that they were having big success in Germany, and Martin had a German girlfriend, and was talking German quite fluently, the whole thing seemed to fit quite well.
Martin Gore: Berlin, at the time, was a very strange place, with a very special atmosphere, but I think if we recorded that album in London, it probably would have turned out something similar.
Daniel Miller: We were getting into a bit of systems music and stuff at the time, and a bit of Steve Reich. I mean, I had been into it for years, but then the guys were getting into it a little bit. Alan was definitely getting into the sort of Philip Glass-y thing. So it was quite a little bit of that knocking about in the background.
Gareth Jones: It definitely was supposed to be tougher, we didn't want to be wimpy. We wanted to make powerful, strong records with a lot of atmosphere. I was working with Einstürzende Neubauten at that time, in Berlin, who were like one of the archetypal metal-bashing bands - that's not trivialise what they do, I'm a big fan of the lyrics as well and the guys in general, but - a lot of what they were doing was taking found objects and striking them and making found objects into musical instruments with contact microphones and so on. And this is something we were already doing on Construction Time [Again] without knowing about Einstürzende Neubauten. I met Neubauten - again - in Berlin and I had already made Halber Mensch with them when we came to Some Great Reward. And in my life, there's like a massive... I introduced Neubauten to sequencers and sampling, and I was able to bring some of the work that I had done with Neubauten to highlight some of the sounds and melodies and textures of the Depeche work. So there was a big crossover.
Dave Gahan: Technology was moving really fast, and we used it. The idea of creating a new sound that you haven't heard before was much more interesting to us. And really it was the atmosphere that that sound created which would be the template for the direction that the song would go in.
Martin Gore: Daniel bought a Synclavier, which opened up new avenues, and the sampling was so much better.
Alan Wilder: We weren't trying to be trendy or clever, we were just literally picking things up that we around us and say, "Let's sample that!", and when you do that, you tend to come up with sort of hitting metallic objects, because they seem to be all around you. And before you know it, you're in the kitchen, sampling knives and forks and scissors, and stuff like that.
Martin Gore in 1984: Okay, we've got this vague idea at the moment, which was used on the demo
Daniel Miller in 1984: [whispers] Speak up.
Martin Gore in 1984: We've got this vague idea at the moment, which was used on the demo, we've got this pebble, which we got from the mud.
Daniel Miller in 1984: The mud.
Martin Gore in 1984: Anyway, the idea is to roll the pebble on this piece of metal on here, which is the windowframe, thus causing, thus making this sort of sound. And the idea is to take that sequence and to make an interesting rhythm out of it, and to sequence it all through the song, so people dance.
-
Daniel Miller in 1984: You're just playing it back off the Synclavier now, Mart?
Martin Gore in 1984: Yep. We just recorded them, and we're just playing them back to see what they're like.
[Pebble sequence plays]
Martin Gore in 1984: That was quite good, wasn't it?
Daniel Miller: The whole thing about recording with Depeche is always trying to push it as far as we could. The songs were always strong and it was trying to put them really interesting and unusual and original musical kind of picture. And it was always that, trying to move forward, and Gareth was very good at pushing that.
Alan Wilder: Gareth thought it was always a bit more than just an inch near, so full of ideas, more than just sort of sitting there just micing up a drumkit [and] saying "Okay, off you go, and I'll record you." He would have more radical ideas than that. Hansa Studios is actually four floors of studio, and we were on the top fourth floor. Studio 2 had the great, big, recording space. And Gareth wanted to set up a PA system and we had tie lines going down from studio 4 to 2, and we would send our sounds through this 2K PA, at ridiculous audio levels.
Gareth Jones: The acoustics of People Are People and the sound of the beats and the big fills things, is all the sound of the  rooms, with the beats getting thrown around Hansa Studio: three floors down for the bass drum, snare drum one floor over, toms in another room over there that, kind of thing. The whole building was shaking.
Alan Wilder: It gives quite a big sounding record, the biggest sort of in that sense [makes a large box with hand gestures], the biggest we've ever made, and it seemed that it had something going for it.
Dave Henderson: It was taking social and political subject matter and making it quite poppy and commercial.
Gareth Jones: That stood out, everyone just thought, "That is amazing." As a piece of mid-'80s pop, I think it's Martin's best song ever, of anything. But for what it was supposed to be at that time, that was amazing, I think he really hit the spot with that one. In a way, that's one of the good things about that video. for me, is that kind of industrial edge that the battleship video gives, it reflects to me in kind of a decent way what we were kind of trying to do with the sound as were making the record.
Daniel Miller: We just basically pressed 'play' and just ran it, and everbody sang along, and it just seemed like it all sounded great, even before we recorded it properly.
Andy Fletcher: We thought it was a good song. Now, we're not too keen on it. It's probably... It's our biggest hit that we don't play.
Jürgen Kramar: Yeah, it overtook us somehow, we knew that it was gonna be very, very strong, because - again - it's very easy. The track is very easy, the rhythm is fantastic, the melody everybody can sing along.
Walter Farber: Diese Wortspiele, "People Are People", war einfach dass wass der Deutscher sofort verstanden hat. Und dadurch war hier auch der große Erfolg möglich. [This play of words, "People Are People", was just something that Germans could quickly understand, and that is how its big success over here was possible.]
Neil Ferris: People Are People was a record that, as soon as it went to radio, it was an instant addition to everyone's programme.
Craig Kostich: People Are People hit a tone with the public address: racism, sexism, and acceptance of one another. And I think that it was something that also appealed to the mainstream pop radio programmers at that time too.
Jürgen Kramar: It kind of took us by surprise that it went so big, a monumental thing. People Are People was an absolute smash.
Martin Gore in 1984: You want me to do anything, I don't know what I'm doing here.
Daniel Miller in 1984: You might as well save time.
Martin Gore in 1984: I'm trying to play a riff into the Synclaver sequencer. I'm gonna play it wrong, though, because I'm not very good at this one.
Martin Gore: Lie To Me: I don't know if we made the best version of that that we possibly could have done, but I quite like that as a song.
Daniel Miller: Lie To Me was, I think, one of the strongest songs that Martin had written up until that point. I thought it just had a great feeling to it.
Martin Gore: It was just one of the first tracks that had this chord change that I've used over the years - overused, over the years.
Dave Gahan: Lie To Me was one that we had played for a long time live, which I always really liked, I think, really simple and direct, and we toyed with the idea of bringing that back on this tour, actually.
Martin Gore: Alan got a lot more involved with the production with Some Great Reward. I think that was a big turning point. Often, Alan would sit in the studio with Daniel and Gareth till 2 or 3 in the morning. We'd be off to some bar or some club somewhere.
Daniel Miller in 1984: What were you doing? Trying to get the click in sync again?
Alan Wilder: Trying to get the click in sync, yet again.
Daniel Miller: He was really into it, and he was the one who didn't get bored, and he was very happy to sit around, listening, twiddling, making the sounds right and stuff like that. He was definitely, in terms of being in the studio, focusing on the studio on a long, overall basis, Alan was definitely in there.
Alan Wilder: My strength, really, is sort of orchestrator and sort of sound manipulator, if you like, and trying to finding ways to get the best out of what's there, rather than coming up with the original ideas or the initial song ideas. So I just decided, "Let's leave that to Martin, he's good at it." And he's much more prolific.
Daniel Miller: There are a lot of stories about how Somebody was recorded. It might as well have been that Dave tried it and it didn't work out. There's bound to be a couple of songs that Martin writes for the album where it works better with his voice.
Andy Fletcher: It was really down to two things: If we thought it suited Martin's voice more, or if they were of a more personal nature, like Somebody.
Alan wilder: It was probably the first of what you'd call an acoustic performed track on an album. In fact, Martin sang it naked. It was his call. [laughs] I turned the piano away as I was playing, but yeah, we recorded it live, just him and me, in the big studio 2 hall, and he stripped off for that one.
Daniel Miller: We had a few takes of it on different tracks, and they were all out of sync with each other. And so, what we did was, we played all the takes, and faded one into the other, so they all kind of drifted in and out, and we had these massive tape loops going, as well, all the way around the studio, of traffic noise and things like that, which we recorded in Berlin.
Gareth Jones in 1984: Just seeing if it will run.
Martin Gore in 1984: That looks pretty good.
Daniel Miller: It was experimental, we were trying things out, and had no idea if they worked. And I don't know how Martin feels about it in retrospect, but I think it's a really great song, and I think we just twisted it sonically in a different way by doing that. As usual, we were running late in the schedule, and the band, certainly Dave, Martin and Fletch, had booked holidays, and it was kind of getting very nervous, getting very tense, because the album wasn't finished and the holiday period was coming up, and it was like, "What are we gonna do?"
Gareth Jones in 1984: Mr. Miller, a few words please about the production so far.
Daniel Miller: We haven't got time, we're running out of time basically, we've had it, we've had it, basically, I don't see us... We'll never finish this, it's over... Let's go home.
Martin Gore in 1984: [fake crying] We can't go on holiday.
Dave Gahan in 1984: [also fake crying] We can't go on holiday! We're going crazy!
Daniel Miller: And it was like, "Oh, Dan, well, we gotta go on holiday, ehm, good luck with finishing the album, I'm sure it will be great. Anyway, see you in a couple of weeks, bye!"-kind of thing, and so the others went off on holiday and we finished the record.
Daniel Miller in 1984: Al?
Alan Wilder in 1984: Yeah, that's about the size of it. What's the date? It's the 12th of August. The lads have gone off on holiday. They've been away for about 5 days now. In the mean time we've completely put Stories Of Old back in time, we rerecorded just about every part of the song, in good time. Now, the funny thing that has happened is that Martin, according to their Telex which they sent us, Martin lost his baggage, which went to first New York and then Johannesburg, so that his karma for pissing off during the mixing. [To the camera:] Yeah, you bastard!
Daniel Miller: The monster of the album in terms of - there's always one monster on the album in terms of getting it finished, is Master And Servant. I suppose there was a bit of a reaction after the success of People Are People. "Oh, we're going too poppy, Dan, we gotta be careful", which is good, which is correct. And think we didn't make a conscious effort to make... We felt that the next single had to be a lot harder, a lot kind of... and different, again.
Alan Wilder: We spent a lot of time on that track. Not just recording it - it was quite complicated - but also when we came to mixing, I think we spent, like, 7 days on the mix.
Daniel Miller: I think we were mixing it for 10 - some ridiculous amount of time.
Gareth Jones in 1984: And, eh... I feel a bit strange, eh, and I don't think I can go on. I want to go on, but I don't think I can.
Daniel Miller: I remember being up all night with Gareth, on the last night, editing the tapes, and the tape all over the room, and I remember leaving in the morning to go to the airport, and there had been this huge snowstorm overnight, it was really freezing, it was 7 in the morning, and I had been up for, like, 3 days. Because everything was late, I had not been able to play the tracks to anybody. So, I arranged for them to come to the mastering room, we were listening through it, and the last chorus came in, and something weird was happening. And we realised that the snare drum had been left out. We spent 10 days mixing the track, and it was so complicated, we were so burnt by the end of it, that we hadn't noticed that we'd muted out the snare drum. We sort of sat around for about five minutes, "What are we gonna do? Are we going to re-mix it?" and everybody said, "No, nobody will notice."
Gareth Jones: This was now, I think, Martin was living in Berlin, we were going to, like, leather clubs and staying out late and getting a bit pervy and everything. Master And Servant, if you like, was like a pop interpretation of that, with the whip noises and the screaming and the pretty girl in the video, and it was all this. It was all a bit edgy, edgy and witty in a kind of pop way, we thought.
Gareth Jones in 1984: I, I never get uncool, you know. [Dave starts stroking Gareth] I always stay calm. Especially when I'm surrounded by such nice people.
Dave Gahan in 1984: Hmm, yeah, bondage, ha ha. [wraps Gareth's tie around his neck] Come baby.
Gareth Jones in 1984: We've got what you might call a close working relationship, me and the boys. But we don't want to go into that now, do we guys?
Dave Gahan in 1984: Play it again, Gareth, play it again.
Gareth Jones in 1984: I've played it, Dave, you play it, I think you should be able to play it without-
Dave Gahan in 1984: -play it again. [Dave presses button repeatedly]
Gareth Jones in 1984: Oh, yes Dave. A little spanking.
Dave Gahan in 1984: Oh...
Daniel Miller: It was an important moment, because the band felt they could do a song like People Are People and do a song like Master And Servant and take the fans with them and I think that was important.
Alan Wilder: Personally, I had no qualms about any of the words, and to be honest, how they might be received commercially also, was no interest to me, really. I think the idea of being subversive is quite appealing, and there's a degree of that in Master And Servant and Blasphemous Rumours, and I think the fact that you can basically get away with anything if you give it a good tune.
Gareth Jones: There was a lot of worry about Blasphemous Rumours, because Fletch and Mart, I think they were, like, Sunday school goers when they were younger and stuff, I think there was quite a strong religious background in their upbringing. But yeah sure, at that time, Blasphemous Rumours seemed like an attack on the Church or something. I think that the song is about God letting us down, basically, isn't it? That's the thing, something bad happens, you know, everyone has it at some stage in their faith or in their life, where something reall bad happens and you think, "Well, if there's as God, why did He let this really bad thing happen to my friend or to me or to half the world?"
Dave Gahan: By that time, we were getting pretty confident with, like, what we wanted to do, and Neil was given the tall order of trying to actually convince people at Radio 1.
Neil Ferris: The problem came with Blasphemous Rumours: that was a very, very difficult record, and there were a lot of people who felt that that song lyrically, and just the title of it, that the record shouldn't be on the radio. And we did struggle with radio play, and there were certain people who objected to playing it, and they made their feelings very strongly known.
Dave Gahan: Alternatively, over in the States, it got played. You know, stations out here in Long Island, WDRE, played us, started to play it, on the sort of underground, alternative stations.
Martin Gore: In 1982, we almost wrote off America, we thought that would never be popular in America. And when we went back in 1985, we suddenly had become this cult phenomenon, and we were playing to, like, 15.000 people a night.
Andy Fletcher: American radio was changing big time, and we were seen as one of the stewards of this new scene that was happening.
Andy Franks: If you wanted your records to sell and you wanted people to know who you are, you had to go out there and work. MTV was still in semi-formulative stage, really, so the only way to get out there was to go and tour.
Daryl Bamonte: America 1985, does that still count as Some Great Reward? Oh. Yes, it was longer, yeah. [laughter]
Alan Wilder in 1985: Mr. Silver, a few words?
Dan Silver in 1985: Completely sold out. Do you see? In good style.
Alan Wilder in 1985: Frightening.
Uknown guy 1985: Good result.
Alan Wilder in 1985: Outrageous.
Dan Silver in 1985: Yeah. And wait for Europe!
Dan Silver: The kids that were their audience were phoning the radio stations and saying, "Why aren't you playing Depeche Mode?" And there was this whole demand-led phenomenon that meant that Top 40 stations who had ignored the band's last album for having to acknowledge the current one.
Chris Carr: By that time, I actually thought that they were very much an individual voice. Martin certainly felt that he had to say things, and I think he was saying them for a lot of people.
Daryl Bamonte: With Some Great Reward, I think that they kept the pop fans and their pop sensibilities, in the public eye and on radio, but that's when they really started getting back a certain coolness to them that they had in the very early days.
Dan Silver: I don't think they were thought of as a teeny band anymore, and I think people understood they couldn't be dismissed as such. Yeah, they were coming of an age.
Gareth Jones: We that it was tougher and that we made it more interesting, more unusual. Those three albums leading on to Black Celebration is all part of a... It's just a real natural progression - isn't it? - of a band developing.


Sleeve notes [scanned by me]:





[Transcribed into text using OCR:]

The first song we recorded for Some Great Reward was People Are People’. It was done as a one-off track months before the main album sessions because we wanted to put out an interim single between albums - in those days bands released many more singles because they meant a lot more. Alan and I had done some work on the sound and feel of it in London and we were trying to prevent it from sounding too poppy because the melody was very catchy and we were always conscious of putting a twist on things sonically.
When we arrived at Hansa Studios in Berlin, I remember that there was a really good atmosphere within the band. We went to the studio the day before recording started and I began setting everything up, eventually doing a very rough mix with everyone singing along - Martin, Dave, Fletch, Alan and even the coproducer Gareth Jones. The next couple of days just came together really quickly, partly because the song was already so strong and also because everybody was getting on really well. There was just a very positive feeling going into the session.
‘People Are People’ became Depeche Mode’s biggest hit to date and reached Number 4 in Britain and Number 13 in the US Billboard charts. It was their first big American single and gave them a much bigger profile, crossing over from alternative radio to pop. It was all very exciting.
The songs on Some Great Reward were still accessible but the sound of the album was becoming more complex and we felt the need to progress - something that’s always been a part of Depeche Mode. The technology was progressing too so we harnessed that as well. It is best to have the ideas first and use the technology to enhance those ideas, but sometimes the technology inspires the ideas. It works both ways. People weren’t using sampling much in those days, so when you switched on a machine it was like a blank sheet of paper because there still weren’t many references, Everything you did was new, which is healthy because it means it’s coming from your own imagination.
We started ‘Some Great Reward’ at a place called Music Works in Highbury, North London in early 1984 - Martin’s an Arsenal fan so he felt close to home. Recording techniques were changing fast and we basically needed somewhere with a big control room to accommodate all of us and our equipment. The plan was to record the album in London and mix in Berlin but as always, we were behind schedule and ended up doing quite a lot of the recording in Hansa.
‘Master And Servant’ was a difficult song to record because we all knew it was a really important track and would probably be the follow-up to People Are People’. It was done on a 24-track and was the most complicated track we had ever recorded in terms of the number of sounds - in fact, we started afresh at least two or three times but then one day it just came together. Each of those tracks had about ten different parts because Depeche always have lots of parts playing in a linear rather than parallel way.
Killing joke were recording in another of Hansa’s studios while we were there and they would pop in to see how we were doing. One day we were mixing ‘Blasphemous Rumours’ and because it has a very dark verse and a very catchy chorus, they had a massive argument between themselves as to whether that was the right approach to take with the track It seemed to have a big effect on them.
When we eventually got around to mixing the album, we hired a second studio in Hansa which had a massive room. We sent sounds from the mixing room down to the big PA system which was at full volume, and then fed those sounds back into the mix. We also sent sounds out to different parts of the building like stairwells and lifts. Martin allegedly recorded Somebody’ naked in the basement! We were using the building itself, so if you walked into Hansa at the time you would hear sounds coming from all over the place. ft was a very productive time.
‘Master And Servant’ was to be the next single off the album and it went back to London to be mastered while were were still in Berlin. When we got it back, we went down to our local club and asked the Dj to play it to see how it sounded on the big system. We then realised we had left the snare drum off from the last chorus right through to the end of the song! We thought about changing it but even though it was a mistake it actually sounded good to us.
Some Great Reward was a Number 5 album for Depeche Mode in Britain, their highest chart position to date. ‘Master And Servant wasn’t as big a hit as ‘People Are People’ but it had more impact in terms of defining where the band were going and what Depeche Mode were about. ‘People Are People’ marked the end of an era song-wise and ‘Master And Servant’ was the beginning of the next.
Daniel Miller
2017-06-30: Photobucket has disabled external image hosting, all scans will have to be re-uploaded on another site.