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Author Topic: 1997: Ultra  (Read 11897 times)

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #180 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:40:02 »
1997-04-19 - Melody Maker (UK) - Tophole

[Thanks to fatherlesschild for this scan!]

DEPECHE MODE's party was awash with stars of the Eighties. Our man on the spot, who was mistaken for TIM SIMENON and nearly got a shag out of it, spied GARY NUMAM, PAUL YOUNG, SAM FOX, PERRY out of THE CURE, THE REAL TIM SIMENON, LEROY out of THE PRODIGY, NICK CAVE, KRIS NEEDS (who was DJing, natch), ANNIE NIGHTINGALE, ALAN McGEE, NEIL TENNANT, APHEX TWIN, CATHY DENNIS, all of JAMES, STEPHEN HAGUE, GALLON DRUNK, ELKA, JERRY SADOWITZ, UNDERWORLD, PRIMAL SCREAM, ANTON CORBIJN, DUBSTAR, JON PLEASED WIMMIN, and Christ, just take it from us, it was a nightmare getting served. 'PECHE played four songs at some point in the night, but not very many people noticed, possibly on accound of the free beer, but probably because they weren't very interested. You can't have your ligging spoiled by some pop band creating an unholy din can you?

1997-04-19 - Lausitzer-Rundschau (Germany) - Beharrlich cool und düster

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

1997-04-19 - Billboard (US) - IMM Gives Acts Unique Web Sites

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #181 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:40:15 »
1997-04-19 - Melody Maker (UK) - The Dave Today

[Thanks to fatherlesschild for this scan!]

Mute (12 trks/60 mins)

Long distance love never works out. At first, it's all letters echoed in the twitch of loneliness. Bonds across distance that take the map of separation and fold it into a tiny togetherness. But soon those letters start to get "lost in the post" and the telephone lines twist into circles, defining their own independence. One becomes two. Which is why Depeche Mode shouldn't have made this album. A bad album. A lazy, disposable album. She waits by the phone. Four years by the phone. He dials, pauses, and then says: "I'm fine". His chocolate voice is as charming as ever but even his thoughts have grown remote. Which is why Depeche Mode shouldn't have taken so long to send the reminder that they invented everything special. And then invent nothing new. Rhythms and sounds that would destroy the Chemical Brothers' ambitions, but remain a mere reminder of their own. He sends the first letter not to get lost in the post. 12 paragraphs. All laboured and hollow with other people's emotion. He says: "I can hear your soul crying". She reads on, patronised. He says "Let your feelings grow". She ponders whether she'll have to wait another four years to read his emptiness. His evasion. Which is why Depeche Mode shouldn't have written lyrics so tritely dismissive of new thought. "Freedom's a state". Freedom's in a state. "Emotional emancipation". Emotional stagnation.
She remembers old times, young times, through the filter of jaded memory. Wonders whether she felt any more for him when he was around. Decides that he's better off away. Which is why Depeche Mode should have written just one song as pure and fluid as "Halo", "Everything Counts", "Never Let Me Down Again", "Flies on the Windscreen", "Somebody". Treasures carried off by the cuckoos which occupy their evacuated nest. The linear tinnitus of "Ultra" makes ears ring and Depeche Mode's past success becomes overgrown with the moss of failure. Which is why David Gahan will never recover. He was away too long. Somewhere he became a fool. Trapped into self-pity. Self-absorption. Self-delusion. Which is why Martin Gore, the broken mother, will waste the remainder of his career writing lullabies about his son's promise. Sweeping up his singer's blood-flecked detritus, sterilising the room with a mist of astringent optimism. She remembers the pain of wanting him back. She still hurts. But she doesn't want him back any more.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #182 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:40:37 »
1997-04-20 - The Telgraph-Herald (US) - Album Review

1997-04-20 - El Semanal (Spain) - DEPECHE MODE Lucha por sobrevivir

DEPECHE MODE Lucha por sobrevivir
Carlos Finaly

Hace tan sólo un año, nadie hubiera apostado por la continuidad de Depeche Mode. Tras más de 15 años en la brecha, el abandono del teclista Alan Wilder y -sobre todo- los serios problemas con la droga de Dave Gahan (vocalista del grupo), hacían presagiar el fín del último gran grupo techno inglés surgido tras la segunda invasión británica de los años 80.

Una brillante carrera que comenzó en Basildon (Reino Unido) en 1980, cuando Vince Clarke, Martin Gore y Andy Fletcher forman su primer trío, Composition of Sound. En el 81 -tras la incorporación de Gahan- comienzan sus primeros éxitos en el sello Mute con temas como New Life y Just Can't Get Enough. En 1982 superan su primera crisis, cuando el teclista Vince Clarke (Yazoo, Assembly, Erasure), autor de la mayoría de los primeros temas del grupo, decide abandonar la formación. Pero Martin Gore asume todas las responsabilidades y vuelven a los primeros puestos de las listas con temas como See You y The Meaning of Love, contenidos en su segundo trabajo, A Broken Frame. Tras la incorporación de un tercer teclista -Alan Wilder- Depeche Mode se convierte en uno de los nombres punteros del techno-baile de la década de los 80, abriéndose paso en todo el mundo con albumes millonarios en ventas como Construction Time Again (83), People Are People (84) y Some Great Reward (84).

Después de editar un Grandes Éxitos, deciden utilizar por primera vez una guitarra en uno de sus temas (Stripped) y comienzan su asalto al mercado norteamericano -donde cuentan con una sólida base de fans- endureciendo su sonido y aprovechando sus espléndidos directos. Sus dos últimos trabajos en estudio -Violator (1990) y Songs of Faith and Devotion (1993)- les llevaron al punto más alto de su carrera, pero la droga estuvo a punto de dar al traste con la vida de Gahan y, de paso, con la supervivencia del grupo. Afortunadamente, todos estos problemas parecen estar superados y la mejor prueba es su duodécimo trabajo musical, Ultra. Un nuevo paso adelante en su carrera, con reminiscencias de sus primeros tiempos y reflejos de todas las nuevas tendencias y con nuevos himnos para seguir haciendo historia como Barrel of a Gun, It's No Good y Home.

lo único malo es que, de momento, no saldrán de gira. Lo bueno es que volvemos a tener un gran disco de los músicos británicos Depeche Mode.

Cuestion de tiempo.
Cuando comenzaron, su gran competencia estaba en grupos como Soft Cell, Spandau Ballet o Durán Durán. Nombres que pertenecen ya a la galería de la historia. Pero Depeche Mode ha sabido adaptarse a los tiempos, dando el gran paso del estudio al directo. Aunque, curiosamente, sus interminables giras mundiales casi dan al traste con su carrera. Si la recuperación física de Dave Gahan es definitiva, atrás quedarán también sus problemas con la justicia estadounidense. Sólo entonces podremos disfrutar de sus grandes conciertos, que trajeron consigo algunos de sus mejores trabajos como 101 (89) o Faith and Devotion-Live (93).

El Semanal, 20 de Abril de 1997

1997-04-20 - Radio 1 (UK) - Colins & Maconie show: Int. with Fletch & Brian from Placebo

[We don't have this audio interview.]

1997-04-20 - RTL radio (France) - La Saga du Rock: DM history+short interview

[We don't have this audio interview.]

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #183 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:44:06 »
1997-04-21 - Canal+ (France) - Nulle Part Ailleurs (It's No Good + Barrel Of A Gun live set)

Dentez has this in good quality, but has not yet used it on a DMTVA Ultra DVD.

The It's No Good performance was repeated in a "rock groupe Anglais" special about a year later:

1997-04-21 - MTV (US) - Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode
Ultra (Mute/Reprise)

Tricky put it perfectly: "Brand New, You're Retro." We exist in an epoch of cannibalization, at least in terms of popular culture, and the latest platter on the menu is the late '70s/early '80s. Everyone from Trent Reznor and Billy Corgan to Bono and The Edge have dug out that mildewing clutch of Gary Numan LP's and gotten all nostalgic for a future that was once typified by analog keyboards and rickety drum machines. The cutting edge is now twenty years past, so its little surprise that Ultra, the latest release from the very sharp and rather venerable Depeche Mode, arrives sounding at once fresh and archaic.

Its a hair ironic as well that. more that anything else. this CD reminds one of those great old chunks of melancholy churned out by such lost post-punk masters as Magazine, Japan, or The Human League (pre-Dare). Those bands' embrace of electronics helped pave the way for the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, The Human League (post-Dare) and, of course, Depeche Mode. Ultra harkens very purposefully back to that age when synthesizers still had a vaguely "Space:1999"-esque quality, and were the preferred instrument for the creation of a very European, very glamorous brand of angst.

Expectedly, most of Depeche Mode's best moments ("Leave in Silence," "Shake The Disease," "Never Let You Down Again," "Personal Jesus") were also their moodiest. The proceedings here are a shade dark, too. It's no wonder: Since 1993's Songs Of Faith and Devotion founding member Alan Wilder defected, and vocalist Dave Gahan flirted nearly fatally with rock godhood, Los Angeles, and heroin.

Thankfully these crises have motivated the band, and Utlra feels thick with drama rather than lugubrious. Much credit goes to Bomb The Bass frontal lobe Tim Simenon, who acts as producer. He keeps things tough and tense, but leaves enough room in the mix for some wonderfully creepy sounds to circle and echo. There are some inspired cameos by the extraordinary Dub-bassist Doug Wimbish, Jaki Liebezit (onetime drummer for the mega-seminal German rock band, Can), and pedal steel guitarist B.J. Cole. But the real success here belongs to both songwriter Martin Gore and Mr. Gahan, who returns from the brink a stronger singer. Glistening blackly, Ultra brims with spooky textures, strange atmospherics, and, most importantly, some very strong examples of songcraft.
-- Robert R. Conroy

MTV, April 21st 1997

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #184 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:46:49 »
1997-04-21 - Intro (Germany) - zeitheiler

21.04.1997, 15:07, Text: Autor unbekannt

Construction Time Again
In die Stille ausgereizter und -gestellter digitaler wie halbdigitaler Synthesizer bricht die Einsatzbereitschaft des Samplers. Mit dem ‘83er \"Construction Time Again\" kommt das Publikum in den Genuß innovativer Popmusik, in ihrer Experimentierfreude fast schon avantgadistischer Struktur. DEPECHE MODE samplen wüst in der Gegend herum, benutzen Topfdeckel (\"The Landscape Is Crying\"), Stöhnen und Schleifen als Percussion (\"Pipeline\"), nie dagewesene Möglichkeiten vervollständigen das Bild eines gestärkten Quartetts mit dem Talent, noch so trivial erscheinende Themen in einen typischen, wenn auch immer besonderen Sound einzufassen.
Das Klanguniversum von Martin L. Gore, dem Hauptkomponisten der Band, in Verbindung mit Dave Gahans - jetzt muß wohl das Wörtchen herhalten - unverwechselbarer Stimme wird zu einem Trademark britischer Popmusik.


Folgt auf die Vision auch nicht zwangsläufig die Stagnation, so kranken D.M. doch bald am Syndrom des Selbstplagiats, was sich zwar in Hits niederschlägt (\"People Are People\", \"Stripped\"), aber die Innovation und Aufbruchstimmung vom Beginn ihrer Karriere deutlich vermissen läßt. \"Some Great Reward\" und \"Black Celebration\" sind deshalb keine schlechten Platten, bieten aber nicht den geeigneten Stoff, um im Kontext dieses Artikels explizit erwähnt werden zu müssen. Der meiner Meinung nach beste DEPECHE MODE-Song der 80er Jahre, \"Shake The Disease\", erscheint ohnehin nur als Single und auf einer der unzähligen wie unnötigen Maxis, die mit jedem neuen Album der Band veröffentlicht werden.


Music For The Masses

1987 erscheint das letzte bemerkenswerte Album, wartet \"Music For The Masses\" doch neben ausgefeilter Produktion und akribischem Sampling und zahllosen Details mit den bis dato besten Kompositionen und Arrangements Martin Gores auf. Über die Jahre ist ein immer gegenwärtiges dunkles Element in die Musik DEPECHE MODEs eingetreten, um sich dort festzusetzen. Auf \"Music For The Masses\" wird diese Stimmung auf den Punkt gebracht und wesentlich mehr als noch auf \"Black Celebration\" zur Zeremonie suggeriert. Ärgerlicherweise wird das Album nach dem eher zweitrangigen (CAMEO-Rip-off) \"Strange Love\" und dem reichlich übertriebenen Image-Geplänkel bewertet. DEPECHE MODE betreten an der Schwelle zu den 90ern das üble Terrain der Selbstdarstellung mit Mode-Foto-Sessions, Imagewechseln und lustloser musikalischer Reproduktion über was-weiß-ich-wieviele, auf jeden Fall zu viele Platten. Ich bemerke noch nette Schlager, bemerke Martin Gores Reaktion auf Seattle im niedlichen \"Personal Jesus\", verliere die Band jedoch zunehmend aus den Augen. \"Violator\" gähnt, \"Songs Of Faith And Devotion\" schläft, der Titel wird zur puren Ironie.


Martin Gore trinkt Mineralwasser. Wach, etwas nervös und leise redend erklärt er mir den Verlauf der Arbeit an \"Ultra\", dem reifsten Album von DEPECHE MODE, soweit ich es beurteilen kann, soll und möchte. \"Es war spannend, in der neuen Besetzung [Gahan, Fletcher, Gore] in Tim Simenons Studio zu gehen und dort mit ihm zu arbeiten. Wir wußten nicht, wie es funktionieren würde, weil eigentlich immer Allan Wilder der Musiker der Band gewesen war. Beruhigenderweise arbeitet Tim immer mit einem festen Studiomusiker zusammen, also waren fünf Leute an der Produktion beteiligt.\"
Neue Elemente in der Musik, zeitgemäße Rhythmik, um nicht zu sagen Dance-Attitudes, erkären sich von selbst, stehen sie doch neben Sounds, die aus der Musik der Band nicht wegzudenken sind. Zippelt hier und da auch ein kaputter Breakbeat durch Arrangements wie \"Life Thieves\", bleibt die Musik dennoch auf dem Nährboden wunderbarer Ideen Gores stehen und wirkt in keinem Moment entwurzelt. \"Nach der letzten Tour mußten wir uns voneinander entfernen, sahen uns mehrere Monate gar nicht. In dieser Zeit wurde klar, daß Alan die Band verlassen würde. Ich hatte begonnen, die ersten Songs vorzuproduzieren, innerhalb von drei Monaten standen viele Ideen ...\" Dem Bild des Eigenbrötlers möchte er eigentlich gar nichts entgegnen, schießt es mir durch den Kopf, während sich unser Gespräch einem unweigerlichen Einschnitt nähert. Um den drogenbedingten Ausfall Dave Gahans machen wir (wie auch ich hier) einen großen Bogen.
\"Wir könnten in Nashville eine Platte aufnehmen, sie würde immer noch nach uns klingen.\" Tatsächlich kann sich die Band heute Gastmusikern mit Pedal Steel Guitar öffnen (\"Bottom Line\"), ohne an Authentizität im Sound oder im Arrangementverlauf einzubüßen. Im selben Kontext zu sehen ist die direkte musikalische Umgebung. \"Es gibt derzeit viele gute Bands im Dance-Bereich, in dem wir uns meiner Meinung nach mit diese Platte auch bewegen. UNDERWORLD und ONE INCH PUNCH haben uns remixt und interessante Dinge geschaffen. Es ist auch wohltuend, wenn sich solche Bands heute auf uns berufen.\"
Dem Publikum die Band mit dem rüden \"Barrel Of A Gun\" ins Gedächtnis zurückzuholen war eine gute Idee. \"Ja, das war es, denn es ist das extremste Stück des Albums, ein Startschuß, wie eine Erinnerung mit einem Hammer.\" Im weiteren Verlauf von \"Ultra\" dominieren leise Töne. Nach dem Hammer kommt die Dunkelheit? \"Ich denke, es hat immer ein dunkles Element in unserer Musik gegeben. Wir nennen das realistisch. Wir wollten immer realistische Musik machen, und in der Realität gibt es eben nicht so viele schöne Dinge. Neben aller Melancholie, die sicher da ist, lebt ‘Ultra’ aber meiner Meinung nach von seiner gelassenen Tanzbarkeit.\" Dem wäre zu entgegnen, daß Popmusik nie per se für den Tanzboden taugt.
Ist die Bandidentität nach über 15 Jahren und nunmehr als Trio neben der musikalischen überhaupt noch auszumachen? \"Als Vince nach ‘Speak & Spell’ ausgestiegen war, standen wir wesentlich unsicherer da, weil er den Großteil der Songs geschrieben hatte. Bis wir den Sampler als fünftes Bandmitglied entdeckt hatten, wußten wir nicht genau, wie wir es anfangen sollten, unsere Musik zu verwirklichen. Als Alan ausstieg, waren wir eine kurze Zeit über den Fortbestand von DEPECHE MODE uneinig, aber das war's. Musikalisch ist die Arbeitsteilung heute sowieso weniger eindeutig. Bei diesem Album verschwanden die Grenzen ohnehin noch mehr, da wir mit dem Produzenten und dem Studiomusiker im Team arbeiteten. Mit dem Gedanken der Band habe ich persönlich keine Probleme.\" - Stellt sich mir nur noch die Frage, welche wichtige Aufgabe Andrew Fletcher heute noch bekleidet, aber wer will schon den Teufel an die Wand malen, er will es mir schließlich auch nicht sagen ...

Ton läuft

Eine Läuterung im Verlauf der Schaffenspause hat nicht nur hinsichtlich Dave Gahans Gesundheit stattgefunden: \"Ultra\" kann durchaus vergrätzte Anhänger der ersten Stunde - wie in meinem Fall - zurückholen (siehe Rezension im Hörtest \"Populär\"). Frage ich dieser Tage Bekannte, was sie zu DEPECHE MODE zu sagen haben, ist der Großteil auf \"Ultra\" gespannt. Ich sage dann immer \"Recht so!\" und meine es.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #185 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:47:14 »
1997-04-22 - Viva (Germany) - Was Geht Ab (band interview)

Dentez has this in good quality, but has not yet used it on a DMTVA Ultra DVD.

1997-04-24 - San Antonio Tx Express (US) - DEPECHE MODE BARELY BACK AMONG THE LIVING ON 'Ultra'


Depeche Mode
Mute/reprise 46522
Reviewed by Robert Johnson

Depeche mode is lucky just ot be aloive after the twi njolts it suffered in 1995 - crooner David GAhan's suicide attempt and the departure of keyboard player Alan Wilder, who had been in the band since 1982.

The fact that Ultra even exists then, should be enough to cheer the British groups worldwide legions of fans. It'll have to be. Slow dark and Boring. "Ultra" the bands first studio Album sinces "Songs of FAith and Devotion"(1993) suggest that Depeche Mode may be intact but not yet whole.

Gahan, who went into drug rehab after his suicide attempt (he opened a two inch gash in his wrist with a razor blade)m sings with renewed vigor on "Ultra." But musical director/songwriter MArtin Gore gives him little to work with. Depeche Mode hasn't been a particularly happy bands since Martin took over song writing chores from Vince Clarke after the bands first album, but "Ultra" is spectacularly Morose and plodding.

Reduced to a trio of Gore, Gahan, and synth player Andrew Fletcher, Depeche Mode and producer Tim Simenon called in a throng of backing players - ex-living Colour bassist Doug Wimblish, pedal steel player B.J. Cole, three percuscconists, two drummers, a keyboardist programmer, strings and some guy creded with "system 700." None of the guists manages to (or is allowed to) shake things up much, however.

There are some occassional bits of texture to break up the draggy proceedings - the curelike groove of "it's No Good;" the abrasive guitar fragments that starts "Useless" And at times, the mood is intoxicatingly hypnotic. But after a while someone should have snapped his fingers to bring Depeche Mode out of it's trance.
two stars

San Antonio Tx Express news, April 24st 1997

1997-04-24 - Bravo (Germany) - Erster Auftritt nach drei Jahren

[Thanks to fatherlesschild for this scan!]

Depeche Mode
First live performance since three years

In sleeveless white undershirt and tight black leather trouser, Depeche Mode lead vocalist Dave Gahan raged onto the stage of the "Adrenalins Village" Club in London. He started rocking with the tough "Barrel of a Gun". The 20 minutes lasting performance was the first live concert for Dave, Martin Gore (Guitar) and Andy Fletcher (Keyboards) after a pause of three years. "It's good to be back" welcomed the gaunt Depeche Mode leader his fans after the first song and smiled. Thereafter, the three wave-rockers performed their current hit "it's no good" (Number 6 in our charts) and the forthcoming single "Home", that will be out on June 2. 34 year old Gahan, who had a strong addiction to heroin and tried to commit suicide (BRAVO reported about this) in Los Angeles, looked like still being very weak. He did not do any wild Actions on stage. "Thanks God, Dave is clean again, but he isn't absolutely fit yet...", told Martin Gore at the party after the concert, that was held to celebrate the brand new Depeche Mode album "Ultra". "... because of this, we will begin our world tour not before 1998." he also explained.

Bravo (Germany), April, 24st 1997

1997-04-24 - Bravo (Poland) - Pierwszy wystep po latach

1997-04-24 - Onion (US) - Ultra Rebound

Ultra Rebound

[Insert the usual rambling about Dave and Alan here.] That's saying nothing of the fact that its most recent album, 1993's Songs of Faith and Devotion, was a pompous, sodden bore. The new Ultra is spotty but better: The single "Barrel of a Gun" ia a hookless, forgettable non-song, and "The Bottom Line" is a plodding nightmare, but "It's No Good" is catchy and smartly arranged enough to compensate for lyrics that seem swiped from a Billy Squier song (Sample: "Don't say you want me/Don't say you need me/Don't say you love me/It's understood.") While many tracks are overlong, appropriately gloomy atmosphereics step in when they're sorely needed: "Useless," "Home," and "Sister of Night" are vastly preferable to arena-ready pap like Faith and Devotion's "I Feel You." Ultra is far from Depeche Mode's best album, but it's not the worst, either. And that should be good news to fans who feared that very thing.
by Stephen Thompson

Onion (Madison and Milwaukee, WI.), April 24st 1997

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #186 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:47:30 »
1997-04-25 - Chicago Tribune (US) - After Depeche Mode's Gahan Hits Bottom, He And Band Regroup

After Depeche Mode's Gahan Hits Bottom, He And Band Regroup

April 25, 1997|By Jim Sullivan, The Boston Globe.
It was last year near the end of May in Los Angeles, and Depeche Mode's lead singer, Dave Gahan, found himself awakening out of something -- a very deep sleep, perhaps? -- and he groggily asked the paramedic next to him the painful, and painfully obvious, question: "Did I overdose again?"
"No, David, you died," said the paramedic. "You flatlined for a couple of minutes. You were actually dead."
What was "death" like? Was there a warm and welcoming white light?
No. "All I remember is being really, really scared," says Gahan, speaking from London. "I can't even explain how scared I felt and how wrong it felt. I was in this complete blackness and I felt something inside of me . . . I realized this is not what I wanted, death, and it wasn't the solution and it was for the first (time) -- slowly, very very obviously -- where I felt I was not going to the right place."

You can't bottom out much more than that, although Gahan, now 35, came close the previous summer when he slit his wrist in a suicide attempt. His subsequent heroin and cocaine overdose was the final straw, the epiphany. It came after Depeche Mode had recorded songs for its upcoming album, after sessions in New York that had not gone well for Gahan.
Back in L.A., his home at the time, an arrest and incarceration followed the overdose. Gahan was placed in a "diversion program," mandated by the court. It's a regimen that includes drug tests and counseling for at least a year. At present, Gahan has been clean 10 months. Aiding in his recovery were Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, both of whom had battled drug abuse.
His prodigious drug intake, Gahan now says, was an attempt to counter his sense of self-loathing, to block questions of identity. It was also, he admits, a cliched situation where he tumbled into the most obvious rock-star tar pit. "I created this person, or this mask and image of myself, this textbook rock star, and not knowing what to do with it . . . I put down the music."
As Gahan nearly died, so did Depeche Mode.
"There were a couple of points where it seemed very improbable that we would carry on," says Martin Gore, the band's songwriter and guitarist and one of its synthesists. "I was having to consider the prospect of finishing the record on my own."
That didn't happen. Gahan pulled through, the band came together, and between sessions in New York and London, the album was finished last year.
Keep in mind that while Depeche Mode had been on the sidelines since its exhaustive world tour ended in 1994 -- and thus not a part of everyone's mind-set in this quick hit-turnover era -- Depeche Mode is one of alternative rock's biggest brand names, a superstar band, one of the first to make it to arena status in the States.
During the early 1980s the British band, initially under the leadership of Vince Clarke (now of Erasure), and, later, Gore, pioneered the synthesizer-based new wave. Some of its music was directed toward the dance floor; other music, more cerebral and moody, found its audience among the young and disaffected.
To date, Depeche Mode has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. Its last, "Songs of Faith and Devotion," accounted for 4.5 million, 1.5 million in the States. "Barrel of a Gun," the advance single from its upcoming album "Ultra" (out Tuesday), went to No. 1 in nine European countries and was a modest modern rock hit here earlier this year.
The new single, "It's No Good," debuted at No. 4 in England last week. The video just aired on MTV's "120 Minutes," and the single will come out a week after the album.
Still, it's almost a miracle that there is Depeche Mode at all.
You can't entirely blame Gahan for the mess Depeche Mode found itself in three years ago. Following the '93-94 world tour, synthesist-programmer Alan Wilder quit. "Fine," said Gore. "We shook his hand and said `See you around.' " For his part, Gore also dived into the deep end of a few pools of typical rock excess. Synthesist Andy Fletcher underwent his travails. "Depression," he says, "which is not a thing that makes headlines. Putting needles in your arms and getting arrested is the sort of thing that makes headlines."
When it set about to make "Ultra," Depeche Mode recruited techno-wiz Tim Simenon of Bomb the Bass to fill Wilder's spot. He brought in three other musicians to flesh out the sound. The 15-month recording process, done mostly in London and New York, was anything but placid.
"When I got back, the relationships in the band weren't good," says Fletcher. "But in the last six months, we got along real well. It completely changed around. Martin started to write songs that were really good."
There is also a certain spirituality, evidenced throughout their career and, on "Ultra," in "The Love Thieves," "Home" and "Insight." "Religion has held my attention," says Gore. "There's always been a fascination for me (although) I've never followed any type of religion. It's just one of those things -- God attracts me.
"I've always been searching," he continues. "I don't think I've ever quite -- I'm almost singing a U2 song here! I won't. I'll rethink. . . . You just somehow try to work out your place."
The musical and lyrical contours of "Ultra" suggest melancholia, loss, desperation and isolation. The terse "Barrel of a Gun" seems to address Gahan's pain, addiction and predilection for self-destruction.
But while they'll make their U.S. network TV debut on "The Tonight Show" May 15, there won't be any tour.
"I spent the last year getting my life back together," says Gahan. "It would not be good to try to go out on the big stage. It's not even so much the debauchery that goes along with touring. . . . The frame of mind you get into -- different times and cities every day -- is very disorienting. I'm just getting settled again after a couple of years of turmoil. I think all of us are in a similar frame of mind."

1997-04-25 - Alterworld (US) - London Party

Guests had fun at DEPECHE MODE's London party on April 10th- but only if they enjoyed eye-popping porn movies. DAVE GAHAN and co. played the saucy films to celebrities at their party to launch their new album ULTRA. The PERSONAL JESUS stars took over the trendy ADRENALIN VILLAGE venue next to the River Thames and turned it into Hotel Ultra for stars including NICK CAVE, PET SHOP BOY singer NEIL TENNANT, PRIMAL SCREAM, and OASIS record boss ALAN McGEE. But while guests laughed and joked together, THE PRODIGY star LEEROY THORNHILL made a bee-line for the TV room - full of televisions and transvestites - and parked himself in front of the adult movies. A guest says, "All the TVs were playing porn films - he was loving it. You couldn't drag him away from them. We left him to it and hours later he was still there." DEPECHE MODE enjoyed playing the gig so much they're thinking of going on tour again. The ENJOY THE SILENCE stars performed live to celebrity guests at a party to celebrate the release of new album ULTRA. The band nearly split during their troubled American tour last year and vowed to stay off the road. But the gig at ADRENALIN VILLAGE was so good, they're hoping to tour again next year to promote a forthcoming greatest hits album. A friend of the band explains, "The band really enjoyed the gig and are seriously thinking of going out on the road as soon as possible."

Altersleaze page of Alterworld, April, 25st 1997

1997-04-25 - Entertainment Weekly (US) - Ultra Commercial

Ultra Commercial

Depeche Mode may have been electronica when electronica wasn't cool, but that doesn't necessarily mean the rewared of influence are all theirs to reap. Ultra debuted with big but not B.I.G. sales, entering at #5 with a SoundScan total of 92,000-- not bad, if not near the 152,000 that their last album, Songs of Faith and Devotion, moved in its first chart-topping week in 1993.

Entertainment Weekly (album chart), April 25th 1997

1997-04-25 - Billboard (US) - Billboard ULTRA european notes

Billboard ULTRA european notes

LONDON - Depeche Mode's first studio album in four years, "Ultra.," has debuted at No. 1 in Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Greece, with top-five showings in eight other European territories. In Germany, where the act is licensed through Intercord, the set--released worldwide April 14--has sold 279,000 copies. It also has the No. 1 spot next week on Music & Media's European Top 100 chart. In the U.S., the album (on Mute/Reprise) enters The Billboard 200 at No. 5, with sales of 92,000 units, according to SoundScan. (Billboard)

Billboard, April 25st 1997

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #187 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:48:11 »

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddmnet.]

[Melody Maker, 26th April 1997. Words: Daniel Booth. Picture: Alpha.]
" Their, ahem, self-discovery has been represented only in a hideously dark, guttural rock vocabulary and sound, which falls foul to the cliché that confessional and troubled lyricism can only be mirrored by gruesome, twisted music. "
Summary: Not so much a review of the Ultra launch party as a musing sparked off by the gig, with the author considering Depeche Mode to have become sidetracked from the kind of music they have always done best. Few fans will like this review, but the author states his points precisely and without dropping the band lamely in the 80s synthpop box. Far more useful than the other review I have for this gig. [394 words]

    Better than most, Depeche Mode illustrate the reversal of pop’s glory, from chic to shit, from despair to nowhere. At the heart of their sorry, downward spiral lies the career-threateningly almighty mistake that so often paralyses even the most inspired groups. The curse of credibility.
    You can see it happening, right now, in the plight of both Mark Owen and Robbie Williams. Forced out of their natural habitat by a rapacious, moronic media, they both feel the need to “correct” their past identities and to contrive a new, acceptable image. The mistake is twofold: 1) that you, the public, should insist on a false, conservative notion of “credibility” in the first instance, and 2) that Mark and Robbie should look for this by befriending an unsightly bunch of shitpop shovellers and, in the words of a thousand Your Shout writers, “go all indie”, a metamorphosis which carries no intrinsic worth at all.
    They’ll learn. But it will probably be too late. With Depeche Mode, however, the rot has already set in. To me, they will forever be the electrified thrill, the chief innovators of a new pop, spraying out tunes that buzzed insanely. A major reason to look back in wonder at the years 1981-1985. Over a decade later, they really are no good. As they slither and grovel like rock beasts through tonight’s mini-set, the last nail is spitefully driven in.
    This isn’t just some half-baked longing for groups to remain as they were when I was young. It’s just that Dave Gahan has grown up to live all the rock myths that his group, and their cheap, frilly pop used to piss all over. Their, ahem, self-discovery has been represented only in a hideously dark, guttural rock vocabulary and sound, which falls foul to the cliché that confessional and troubled lyricism can only be mirrored by gruesome, twisted music. “Barrel Of A Gun” certainly convinces you that Gahan’s life has been insufferable recently, but it’s impossible to care when that pathos is smothered by polluted slabs of synth-carnage. Electronic music, and especially electro-pop, has yet to fully release itself from the grip of industrial, keyboard-trashing horror. It is this legacy that continues to undermine Depeche Mode; their simplistic assimilation of techno-grunge merely distorts the truth into a crass, black pantomime.
    I just can’t take them seriously. Tonight, I just don’t get enough.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #188 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:52:18 »
1997-04-26 - MTV (UK) - News (Dave interview)

This video appeared on the first DMTVA 97 Ultra DVD; Dentez made a nice compilation out of the many TV reports about Dave's "situation" from that time. Someone ripped the clip (with Spanish subtitles) from the DMTVA DVD and put it on YouTube, so you can watch this clip here:

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #189 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:53:09 »
1997-04-26 - NME (UK) - OLD GRAVE OF NEW DAVE!

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddmnet.]

[Thanks to fatherlesschild for this scan!]

[NME, 26th April 1997. Words: Simon Williams. Picture: All Action.]
" If this is a publicity exercise to tell the world that, hey, Dave's drug problems are way behind him and he's as-fit-as-a-funky-bunny-thanks-very-much, any bozo brain can tell you that performing five tunes is hardly the most taxing of tasks in the known world. "
Summary:   Underwhelmed review of the Ultra launch party held at London's Adrenalin Village. The writer is understandably left cold by the massive expenses allegedly incurred in hosting the party, but chooses to go overboard in his criticism with a string of sarcastic (and sometimes unintelligible) remarks directed at virtually every aspect of the band. Healthy proof that Depeche Mode are no more immune to the trappings of fame than anyone else - but very little else to recommend the article. [605 words]

    Something strange has happened in the firmament of pop. And hell, even by pop's pugnacious standards, this occurrence is scalp-scrapingly bizarre. It's Dave Gahan, y'see: there he stands mid-stage, beaming down at the admiring hordes, and he is wearing his standard issue white vest and his arms are covered in their standard issue Los Angeles tattoos and his face is decorated with a touch of eyeliner and a lick of lipstick. And take me to your leader wearing nowt but lacy lederhosen if wavey Davey doesn't look like BRIAN MOLKO'S BLOODY DAD.
    Eeeeeeeek! And, indeed shriek away to your heart's content, especially if you are one of the lucky 'few' hundred loitering around the sarf London aircraft hangar otherwise known as Adrenalin Village. For what we have here is an invite-only party to salute the release of La Mode's squillionth album, 'Ultra'. We have photographers lounging around the entrance waiting for a Nick Cave or a Gary Numan or a Neil Tennant to womble past! We have gallons of free booze! And, crucially, we have heard plentiful rumours suggesting that Depeche Mode will choose this very evening to perform live in the UK for the first time in three years.
    So everything's fine and dandy, right? Yes indeedy - to a certain extent. Further information leaks reveal that a cool £50,000 has been splashed out on simply staging the show, and that figure enters the realms of the positively frigid when Depeche Mode eventually play five songs. If this is a publicity exercise to tell the world that, hey, Dave's drug problems are way behind him and he's as-fit-as-a-funky-bunny-thanks-very-much, any bozo brain can tell you that performing five tunes is hardly the most taxing of tasks in the known world. Case unresolved. If it's a 'party' for various chums and cheesies, then the appearance of only one old song, 'Never Let Me Down' hardly represents great, uh, music for the masses. And if tonight gives the majority of the audience their first opportunity to hear 'Ultra' in full-on big-bollocked form, then a grand total of four new album tracks scarcely justifies the costs incurred.
    And here comes the absolute shocker, Kids Of The Side-Splittingly Cynical Generation: the album is neither 'Ultra'-bright nor 'Ultra'-white. In fact, it's 'Ultra'-dark and 'Ultra'-slightly-doomy-to-be-honest-with-you-guv. Tonight they will play 'Barrel Of A Gun', two songs which, being called 'Useless' and 'It's No Good', suggest a rather less-than-cheery thematic link, and a fourth called 'Home' which goes along the lines of, "Here is a song / From the wrong side of town / Where I'm bound / To the ground / By the loneliest sound". Beep, and indeed, beep!
    Considering the recent turmoil in the Mode camp, perhaps it's not surprising to discover that Martin Gore has stuck so determinedly to the now-traditional Depeche black and blueprint.
    They aren't fast! They aren't fashionable! Ignoring the lyrics, which can occasionally be more hamfisted than a pig clutching a pork pie (does Gahan reeeaallly rhyme 'houses' with 'trousers' at one stirringly guffaw-tastic point?), La Mode remain as resolutely downbeat as ever.
    The pace is lethargic; the synths are spooky; the vocals are half-groaned, half-moaned and generally a bit, you know, deep. The vibe is vampish, Old Grave-ish and bordering on the utterly relieved at having made it back from 'the edge'.
    Then Depeche Mode finish their five-song giglet and march off into the sunset or wherever it is rich rock stars go when they've wobbled on the very brink of oblivion and landed the right way up, and we go to laugh at Gary Numan's hair in the VIP party. Just because we can.

1997-04-27 - Westwood One (US) - Spin Session with Depeche Mode

Here is the transcript to Depeche Mode's recent interview of the Spin Session with Anton Corbijn...

It features DM and hosted by Anton Corbijn so it will go: D=Dave, M=Martin, F=Fletch and A=Anton. Btw, because of the crappy reception I hope I can properly equate the voices with the right person hehehe.I'll also edit out the ummms, ahhhs and other utters.I'll be including when they were laughing because they break out into lots of lapses of laughs and gigles and it's good to hear they are having a good time!If anyone has heard this, I probably made some mistakes along here and there so please correct me if I'm wrong, and excuse the bad spelling it's late;)

It starts by a woman saying: "Westwood One Entertainment and Spin Magazine proudly presents a Spin Session with Depeche Mode hosted by world famous video director and photographer and a long time Depeche Mode collaborator, Anton Corbijn " with NLMDA in the background.

D=Can we call you Ant? (everyone laughs)

A=This is Anton Corbijn and I'm trying to interiew Depeche Mode here, the new album out called Ultra and I'm trying to shine some light on a couple of things that have been annoying/avoiding(? not sure what he said) me the past ten years or so(everyone breaks out laughing).With us are Andy Fletcher...and David Gahan

F=(cuts off Anton)This is Andy(laughter)

D=Hi this is David and this is Martin Gore

M=(really faintly)Hello this is Martin

F=and you're supposed to mention the program aren't you?

A=and we're doing a Spin Session apparently..a Spin Session

F=we're supposed to interview you...

A=(interupts Fletch)no... no...

F=(interupts Anton)you're just a bit nervous

NLMDA comes on

A=the whole thing is of course, I'm a visual man so I feel like a bit of a visual number on the draw here but to maybe we should start with you describing what you are wearing so people get a bit of an idea what we all look like here.

D=how the hell are you Anton?

F=what are you wearing, the first thing

A=Well funny enough and I didn't do it on purpose but I'm wearing a T-shirt from details magazine...

F=Gasps really loud(laughter)

A=...with a black jacket and Levis jeans. And Andy, what are you wearing?

F=I'm wearing a grey sort of a wind-breaker jacket with a bluey grey trousers with a nice pair of black boots and a silvery shirt and glasses.

A=OK and David...

D=I'm wearing whatever my personal statement is today. That would be a black jacket and pinstripe trousers and very bright socks and a green shirt , yeah kinda almost matches the socks...

A=now..umm very chic(laughter) Martin

M=black jacket, black T-shirt, black jumper, and black watch tartan trousers.

F= and what about on your head?

M=I only wore it because it had the word 'black'(laughter)

F=what about on your head though???

M=and a black...

F=I think the only reason he's wearing a hat is because he's had a very dodgy haircut so (?)listeners can't see us(something I have no idea what he said, but then Dave cuts him off)

D=Not dodgier than normal!

F=apparently this one is

D=yeah really?

F=yeah uh-huh

D=it's a bit of a loaf of bread on his...

M=and we'll be doing a video tomorrow [*personal comment here* could this be the reason behind the hair in ING video???]it was done by the hairdresser by the local consierge at the hotel and it's the worst haircut I've had since I was about 9.

I Feel You comes on

A=you've once said that you've probably the song writer that used the word knees more than anybody else, but also the word black I guess lots. What holds it for you in that color?

M=I don't know if I've used the word black as many times as people would imagine but I suppose it has been used quite alot, but I actually notice once, I thought it was quite funny though that I've used the word knees in so many of the songs. I was always down on my knees...and down on my knees again

F=I've never noticed that

A=because both of a religious and a sexual thing, and that's the combination you find productive

M=exactly so. It's always ambiguous when I'm actually talking about religion or sex or love or all three of them intertwined, it's always very vague

D=He's a naughty naughty boy!(laughter)

F=funny how that goes..

Shake the Disease comes on

A=so we're still in the Spin Session here, this is Anton Corbijn with Depeche Mode. And what I am also very interested in is the fact that David went through this really difficult period and I know you don't write the lyrics but I was amazed that Martin's lyrics were so fitting or seems so fitting for Dave's state of mind and I was wondering, did you do that on purpose or was it just in the air or ...

M=I get asked all the time in interviews where whatever I'm writing is a soundtrack for Dave's life and obviously I'm not doing that. I can never try and understand what is going on in Dave's head and then try and make those, and make that into a song. It's an impossibility for me.

D=If you think and try to analyze too much you know that you'll's just is what it is, and for whatever reason I think it's much bigger than it has to be sometimes.

BoaG comes on, commercial break, and then Master and Servant comes on.

A= I always think there are three phases or phases in Depeche Mode, there was the first phase with Vince and Vince left, then the phase where Alan Wilder came in, I wasn't sure what the thrid phase is. Is the thrid phase now or is the third phase when the guitar came more domonant

F= I think it's got to phase three now I think, it definately seems like a new phase now

D= whether it's the third or the fourth stage, you could argue that we've had four stages. I think the longest phase of course is with, when there was the four of us with Alan. It's very much a different band, I mean when it began in the beginning with Vince, who was writing all the songs, it was a completely different thin. I mean , more so than alot of other bands survive as long as we have. We've been together for 17 years, it's clearly two different bands and probably three different bands.

Freestate comes on and the Personal Jesus accoustic version

D=I like to think that what's happened is pretty natural

A=yeah there is a sort of evolution...

D=if Alan had decided not to leave, and all just stayed together and gone into this project all together, I really don't think I honestly don't think that we would have achieved what we have with this in the making of Ultra...


D= in that kind of atmosphere. The atmosphere really does dictate whether you can just be yourself and realize that strength and just do the best you can in your part

A= and obviously if it had been the three of you and because there is a different disciplines in each of you...

D= well we were forced to actually have to reach out and ask other people for help, other muscicians, other producers, Tim came along with a team. That was something we were forced into and I think pretty nerve rackingly at the beginning. But what's come out of it is something that I think sounds alot more creative.

Love Thieves comes on

D=I think too much is read into our individual elements of what Depeche Mode or any other band is about. It is a combination of diferent kind of like artistic statements to all come together and create an atmosphere

A=it has to do with the medium or how the music on radio or whatever, it becomes bigger than if you just write it in a book

D= I think we come from the umm.. Martin and myself and Fletch actually too, there is alot of spiritual stuff that you know, I'm not going to come out and directly kind of like particular types of religion or anything like that but we've all experienced it through families and losses and all that kind of stuff and the kind of life being a form of destiny that somebody's already set out for you and the challenges that, the challenge being that we all actually go with it.

Female voice over" In case you're wondering what's going on here, it's a Spin Session with Depeche Mode and phase four, the three man band. And next up we'll have some cd talk...."

This part I kinda missed, switching the tape sides during the commercial break and failed to fast foward a couple of seconds, but I got a friend to tape it also so she probably has this part. The first and second sentence, I'll transcribe from memeory....

A=hi you're back, I'm Anton Corbijn and you're not! (hysterical laughter from everyone)....I've always wanted to say that

Someone says: Dave just went to the bathroom so we can talk about him...

F=and what kind words do you want to say about him Anton?(laughing)

A= I think Dave, in my eyes is a great pop star and rock star and I think I don't have many bad words to say about him at all. He usually gets up on time, he's nice too.(laughter)

Female voice over "the man with nothing bad to say about Dave Gahan is Anton Corbijn, the man who is usually behing the camera for our favorite Depeche Mode video, but this time we put him behind a microphone to direct the Depeche mode Spin Session. "

ING comes on

D=I think people get carried away with the technology side of things which is very easy to now a days, you really lose sight of what it is you were trying to do in the first place and I think that, you know, call me old or whatever but I really remember getting, with your pocket money and going out and buying that album, I particularly remeber Diamond Dogs, and the whole package the whole sleeve and sitting and playing the album and really looking at...I don't often now take out a cd and pull out the package and start looking at it. I really don't know why that is ...

F=because you're blind, you can't read it

D= no...

F=(laughter) it's really hard to see

M=I know particularly Diamond Dogs because you were looking for his knob (lots of laughter)

D= yeah there(?where?) was his penis...(more laughter)

M= (I don't really understand, but it goes something like)first version Bowie had his knob(????)or laugh(???)(it was said rather faintly behind lots of laughter)

D=I gave (???) one and I had to make another one

F=it's not a work of art anymore

D=it's just not personal somehow

A=it's nothing that special anymore

D=I know, it's not that personal, maybe because I've been doing it as well, but I remeber feeling like I was the only person in the world that knew anything about David Bowie.

WIME comes on

A=I don't think that I'm foreign or really listen to the lyrics initially but I get a feel of the music or of the sound of the voice that we just talked about rather than what you sing of and that could be a hit or miss with visuals of the song but I think it's a safe way to go because you just enhance the feel of the song than the words.

D=So it's the best way to express yourself is, Martin expresses himself best I think with the songs that he writes and the atmosphere is sort of created around those songs. I find it really difficult to, like people ask Martin questions like what his songs are about, it's kind of ...I don't think you can directly answer that question, it's a feeling, it's an emotion , and I think Mart wears that feeling, emotion on his sleeve.

A=that's one thing I've always wondered, you know like when dave said the Pumpkins, the Smashing Pumpkins were always known as the Pumpkins...

D=Billy Pumpkin

A= so what are we, are we Depeche or the Mode

D= Dave Mode

A=I know, are we known universally? As DM?

M=there's two camps of thought

F= or three, DM, Dave, Depeche

D=Mart Mode

F=Mart Mode (lots of laughing)

Walking in My Shoes comes on

A=Depeche Mode is really a french name, and we have this program in Europe called Euro-trash where there is a french presenter trying to speak very french-english it was quite funny and I think Depeche Mode is quite ahead of its time. And because I know in the late 70's there was not much feeling for France, but how was it ever chosen? Was it just a word or were you aware of it?Did anybody speak french?

D=It was really just the word, I liked the way it looked and the way it sounded, and at the time the band was named Composition of Sound...I mean...hello.

F=What was really funny the other day was this band I know and they are doing quite well , and I said to him what's the name of the band and he just went Pregnant. And then I thought about it to myself and you just can't call yourself 'Pregnant', but when you actually start thinking about it, it starts to grow on you, you know...

D=that's funny, you *grow on you*...*pregnant*

F=what I'm trying to say is, at the end of the day, what we chose when dave picked up on that word,...

M=It's two words by the way, what are you talking about....a word?

WIME comes on (I forget which mix it was, but I think the Mode to Joy mix)

A=what's funny is this all had an affect on you, this lifestyle, Fletch had a breakdown, dave had his drug problems, mart thought he'd have a heart attack at any moment(laughter)

F=yeah, here's a tip for anyone listening going into the rock and roll business, that it has an effect on your brain

D=It made me feel healthy being around you also, it's hard I mean we've been doing this for 17 years ...

F= yeah and people used to think of us as a synth-pop band but I think we're as rock and roll as they come.

M=we've been out on this promotional trip and it's the first time we've been away together for a while and it's been a very sober experience generally. I mean it's not like it being was on the last tour which lasted 14 months, this time we've all been drinking like 14 bottles of mineral water at dinner and things like that.We've had to step back a gear a bit, turn back a gear.

D=It's interesting also because what I think our idea of being sober is different, there's been clean and sober when it's like I guess we all decided that not picking up drugs and alcohol is a good start, but it's an on going process, you have to work at it because I would sit and Mart's drinking a beer or a glass of wine or something and maybe to other people, like they wouldn't even notice it but to me it's like an obsession.

BTW/Route66 Megamix comes on

F=the last 17 years in the group has been uphill all the way I mean actually that sounds's been downhill!downhill all the way!

D=you know, it's been 17 years, but it moves so fast that it was nearly destroying us is what we've created because there wasn't a chance to sit back and look at what it was and appreciate it

A=it happens very often

D= I think it happens to alot of people, and you just kind of like engulf yourself with all this stuff and you have to have time in the day to actually sit and appreciate it, so what I think we're doing now is really healthy for us as people

F= and also if you look at the moment, we seemed to be getting alot of accolades from various sources and I think we have made our place in history or rock and roll music and I think it's a real achievement.

Female voice over "and I think we have to agree with Fletch on that one, and that sadly brings our Spin Session with Depeche Mode to an end"

Spin, April 27th 1997

1997-04-27 - Band message to fans at Camden Convention London

[We don't have this audio interview.]

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #190 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:53:47 »
1997-04-28 - Hits (US) - IT'S A MODE MODE MODE MODE WORLD

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddmnet.]

[Hits, 28th April 1997. Words: Janet Trakin. Picture: Anton Corbijn.]
" "On this album, there were a lot of things in the melody that actually helped me and gave me the feeling of hope I could get out of the things that I was doing.""
Summary: Short article combining a quick resume, a review of Ultra and a mini-interview of the band. The writing is somewhat flat and interview covers the usual ground, so there is comparatively little here that will be new to many people, although this is another good starting point if you're new to Depeche Mode. [1099 words]
    The problems of Depeche Mode over the past year or two have been well-documented, especially those of lead singer Dave Gahan. In 1995, Gahan slit his wrists and ended up in an L.A. hospital. A year later, his heart stopped for two minutes after injecting a speedball - a mixture of heroin and cocaine. Gahan's frequent visits to the emergency ward earned him the nickname of 'The Cat' by paramedics. Moreover, a founding member of the group, Alan Wilder, left after their grueling '93-'94 tour for 'Songs Of Faith And Devotion', which also saw Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore suffer seizures.
    However, after a four year hiatus, the group is back with 'Ultra' (Reprise), produced by Bomb The Bass's Tim Simenon. The first single is a rough, industrial-sounding song called 'Barrel Of A Gun', the accompanying video for which was filmed in Morocco by rock photographer Anton Corbijn. The second single, 'It's No Good', is classic Depeche Mode synthpop, an inverted love song that probes the negative. The group just finished shooting the video for that one in N.Y.'s East Village.
    Whether it's 'Love Thieves', the brooding song about death, 'Home', the dark-laced 'Sister Of Night' or the hymnal 'Bottom Line', the group exhibits the strengths and perseverance of a band that has survived to release their 12th album, marked not only by the expert songwriting of Martin Gore, but also the distinctive vocals of Dave Gahan. For those critics who claim Depeche Mode is depressing, Gahan insists that this one is positive and uplifting. It's brought him out of the doldrums and may just do the same for ardent Mode fans.
    HITS' new South Beach correspondent Janet 'I Will Never Give Up The Knicks For The Miami Heat' Trakin caught up with Fletcher, Gore and Gahan in N.Y.C. and proceeded to burn them out bigtime.
    Tim Simenon is the first producer you've ever given a full production credit.
    Andy Fletcher: He asked for it. He felt that it was probably right because he did produce the whole album. Before that, our albums were always co-productions.
    Was there a point when Depeche Mode almost broke up?
    Martin Gore: We never did. There were times when we thought it was very probable that we would. We always stuck through the bad times because we felt we did something very special together.
    The closest it came to coming apart was after the New York recording session, where we got one vocal out of Dave in six weeks. He was in a typical state where he was incapable of singing. He went out to Los Angeles to try to sort himself out. We heard two weeks later on the radio that he'd OD'd. We felt that at this point we were hitting our heads against the wall and getting absolutely nowhere. I did a lot of searching to decide what to do with the band because at one point I thought it was better for David if the band didn't exist anymore because it wasn't doing him any good.
    Why aren't you touring in support of this album?
    Fletcher: The band has been touring for 17 years. It's always been important for us to play electronic music as a live entity, but the last tour was too long. It took a lot out of us. We felt this year, we're not really fit enough or ready to tour. [1] That's not to say we won't tour again.
    Are you afraid of a relapse by Dave?
    Fletcher: He seemed to relapse so many times before, we couldn't be completely sure, this time, that he would take it seriously. Thank God he has.
    How did Alan Wilder's departure affect the group?
    Gore: That was probably a direct result of the tour. As Andy said earlier, It took its toll on all of us. Alan felt at the end of the tour he wasn't enjoying it and didn't really want to play with the band anymore. Six months after the tour ended, he still felt the same way. He thought it was to for him to bail out.
    Fletcher: I wasn't sure whether I could work in a band without him anyway. I felt he didn't have too much respect for the other members of the band. In the end, it made the decision-making process a lot easier. When there are three people, there has to be a decision.
    How did Dave's troubles influence the writing on the album?
    Gore: I don't write from Dave's perspective at all. I'm sure that indirectly I'm influenced. The emotion and what's going on inside of me are affected by what's going on around me. I'm still writing from my perspective. I'm not writing a soundtrack to Dave's life.
    What do the lyrics of 'Barrel Of A Gun' mean to you?
    Dave Gahan: The song sums up the way I was treating myself and everybody around me. That's what life had in store for me every day. It's a really powerful statement. When you're in that kind of row, the last thing on your mind is dying.
    Did the fans support you during your rehab?
    Gahan: From the first time I was publicly written about, I've received literally sackloads of letters. All of them were basically sympathetic to me, which I was actually surprised about. They suggested to forget the band and just get well.
    What was your rehabilitation at Exodus like?
    Gahan: Like most detox and treatment centers, it was a 12-step program. It wasn't just about giving up drugs, it was about getting a new view of life and a set of principles to live by. If you follow them, it works.
    Does Martin explain the songs to you before you perform them?
    Gahan: I prefer that he doesn't explain the songs to me before I sing them. They're pretty self-explanatory. I like to make up my own little story of what they're about and Martin's perfectly happy to allow that. He likes to keep it ambiguous. Different songs pinpoint places, things and events in your life that mean different things to different people. Sometimes, it's an overall feeling, sometimes it's in the lyrics, sometimes in the melody. On this album, there were a lot of things in the melody that actually helped me and gave me the feeling of hope I could get out of the things that I was doing.
    How did your hearing go in Los Angeles and are you staying clean?
    Gahan: I pee in a cup frequently. I have been for nine months now. I'm still working on it, but it's going good.
[1] - The reasons given for not touring are perfectly good ones in themselves, but also there was probably the matter of Gahan still being on bail and needing to take a drugs test twice every week until summer 1998.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #191 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:55:10 »
1997-04-xx - Arena (UK) - DEAD MAN TALKING

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddmnet.]

[Thanks to fatherlesschild for this scan!]

[Arena, April 1997. Words: Gareth Grundy. Pictures: Jake Chessum / Various.]
" As he begins posing for photos, Jonathan Kessler enters the room, still in trainers and tracksuit bottoms after his morning run. He asks Gahan if he’s OK.
    “Yeah!” he declares, loud enough for everyone to hear.
    Then he looks at Kessler, smiles weakly and shakes his head."
Summary: An exceptional feature-length piece chronicling, with merciless precision, Dave's fall from grace and rehabilitation. While some articles of this sort milk the salacious details for all they're worth, the writer here has stuck to a relentless, unblinking narrative with very little commentary, not even from Dave himself. The result is harrowing, but just try stopping half way through. [3800 words]

    It’s a rock’n’roll cliché: singer finds stardom and descends into drugs hell. It’s also true. Welcome to the world of Dave Gahan.
    "Don’t put too much coke in there, man,” says Dave Gahan to the drug dealer loading his syringe with a blend of cocaine and heroine. “I’m not feeling well.” It’s almost 1am on May 28, 1996, and Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode, is sitting in his hotel bathroom at the Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles. Outside, a girl he’s just met in the hotel bar mills about, oblivious to her new friend’s activities.
    Back in the bathroom, Gahan injects the cocktail into his arm and looks into the dealer’s eyes. Immediately he knows that something is wrong. Something is very wrong. He passes out ten minutes later and begins to have a heart attack. The dealer tries to revive him. Failing, he drags Gahan into the bedroom where the girl panics, picks up the phone and dials for an ambulance. Terrified of being arrested, the dealer puts the receiver down and refuses to let her make the call. They struggle. She pushes him over and he runs off, only to return minutes later to collect his syringes and some, but not all, of his merchandise.
    With the dealer finally gone, the girl makes the call and waits for the paramedics. She throws water and wet towels on Gahan, without effect. She tries to pick him up. Gahan is only slight but he is still too heavy for her to lift. She notices that his hands are turning blue. The colour is beginning to spread up his forearms.
    An ambulance arrives at 1.15am and takes Gahan to LA’s Cedars Sinai hospital where his heart stops beating for two minutes before he is revived by doctors. He is then handcuffed to a policeman who accordingly reads him his rights and arrests him for possession of the cocaine found in his hotel room, and for being under the influence of heroin.
    At dawn, Gahan is released from hospital and taken into custody by the LA Sheriff’s department, who lock him in a cell with five other people. Still woozy from the attack and terrified by his new surroundings, Gahan begins banging on his cell door.
    “I’m sick,” he shouts. “I’m an addict. I need a doctor.”
    A cop gives him a towel and tells him to wipe the sweat off his body. TV crews camp outside the jail and, four hours later, when Gahan is released on $10,000 bail, he’s met by a phalanx of cameras. He uses the opportunity to apologise to his mother.
    Dave Gahan was born in Epping on May 9, 1962, but grew up in nearby Basildon. His mother, Sylvia, was in the Salvation Army and sent Gahan to Sunday School every week. He’d play truant and return home lying about what a great time he’d had. His father, Len, left home when he was just six months old. He reappeared when Gahan was five – after his stepfather had died – and stayed for about a year before disappearing again, this time for good.
    Gahan was a tearaway as a youngster, notching up juvenile court appearances for stealing cars, vandalism and graffiti. His drug experimentation began as a teenager after thieving some barbiturates which his mother had been prescribed for epilepsy. Soon afterwards he graduated to speed. “A gang of us would go out together and buy a big bag of amphetamines,” he says. “We’d go to a party or club in London and catch the milk train home.” [1]
    He left school in 1978 and went through 20 jobs within six months. The following year, he took heroin for the first time, in a King’s Cross squat, but was too enamoured of speed for it to make a lasting impression. Speed was the punk drug and Gahan was in deep, following the Damned and the Clash around the country.
    At the turn of the decade, Gahan began frequenting the nascent London club scene. Although he applied to Southend Art College to study display design, he returned more interested in music and auditioned, in 1980, to be the singer for a Basildon synth band called Composition Of Sound. The group’s members – Vince Clarke (who went on to form Yazoo and then Erasure), Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, all from the polite side of town – had heard Gahan singing Bowie’s “Heroes” at a jam session with another band in the local scout hut. He passed the audition and even came up with a better name, borrowed from the cover of a French fashion magazine: Depeche Mode.
    Gahan was 18. Now he’s 34. In the intervening years Depeche Mode (with Alan Wilder, who replaced Clarke after the first album) conquered the world. Their last album, 1993’s Songs Of Faith And Devotion, went to number one in 17 countries. Today, Dave Gahan will tell you that he’s lucky to be alive. He’s not being melodramatic. For the last two and a half years, during which he was addicted to heroin, he didn’t care whether he lived or died. “I was on a death trip,” he says. “For a very long time”.
    By late 1990, the pressures of being in Depeche Mode were affecting Dave Gahan’s personal life. Fans were camped outside his house, some even hired private detectives to follow him around. To cap it all, his five-year-old marriage – to Joanne, one-time head of the Mode fan club and mother of his three-year-old son, Jack – was on the rocks.
    He’d fallen in love with Teresa Conway who’d been the band’s publicist on their 1988 US tour. Gahan was obsessed with her and phoned her constantly while he was in Milan recording the Mode’s 1989 album Violator.
    In 1991, he divorced Joanne and moved to Los Angeles to live with Teresa. “I was besotted, blinded,” he says. “I was in lust. I cut off everyone who had ever been involved with my life up to that point. I started anew.”
    That summer, Teresa took him to see highly fancied (now defunct) cosmic rockers Jane’s Addiction, who were led by chemical dustbin and would-be shaman Perry Farrell. Gahan hadn’t been so excited by a band since he saw The Clash as a teenager.
    “They just had this incredible energy,” he says. “I thought if we could combine that with what we were doing, we would become the greatest band in the world.”
    From that point Gahan devoted to his life to the pursuit of that objective. Teresa liked men with long hair, so he grew his shoulder-length. He grew a beard. He got tattooed. Heroin, which his new love also used, was simply part of the package.
    “I wanted to go all the way, do it rock’n’roll style, y’know, live in Los Angeles, the whole bit,” he says. “I thought it had to involve every aspect of my life, and whoever wanted to tag along with me, that was fine. My ego was way out of control.”
    Late in 1991, Gahan’s father died. He hadn’t seen him since he was five and now he had to bury him. “In the space of six months,” says Gahan, “everything just piled on top of me.”
    In March 1992, the band reconvened in Madrid to record a new album. The others regarded Gahan’s new image and ideas about abandoning the group’s electronic template for rock’n’roll with a mixture of shock and resistance. They also noticed that he had lost a lot of weight – a consequence of his heroin abuse.
    Alan Wilder wanted to call a band meeting and give Gahan an ultimatum to clean himself up. Daniel Miller, head of Mute, the record label Depeche Mode had been with since their inception, flew out to Spain, but even his presence failed to resolve the tension. Recording only became productive when the band, at Miller’s suggestion, moved out of their villa and into less claustrophobic surroundings in Hamburg.
    “It was hard for the rest of the group to even be in the same room as me,” says Gahan.
    The album recorded. Gahan married Teresa Conway in April 1992, at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The nuptials were witnessed by one of the chapel’s Elvis impersonators. No members of Depeche Mode attended the ceremony.
    Following the release of the Songs Of Faith And Devotion album, Gahan was back on tour. The lavish stage production, designed by Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn, who had provided the band’s visual image since 1988, was divided into two tiers. Gahan was isolated below, and in front of, the other band members, who watched as he pirouetted, high kicked and lived out his rock’n’roll dream in a purpose-built playpen.
    But the fantasy was leaving him scarred. His arms were covered in scratches and marks, both from a stage-diving incident in Manheim and from injecting heroin. He needed cortisonic shots just to perform.
    Inter-band relations had disintegrated. Three cars were used on the tour: Gahan rode in one and the increasingly disgruntled Wilde in another, Gore, Fletcher and members of the crew crammed into the third. Manager Jonathan Kessler was forced to communicate between band members. In an attempt to place the band back on speaking terms, a psychiatrist was hired for the tour. Although Gore and Fletcher subjected themselves to the therapy. Gahan didn’t get on the couch.
    The tour gave Gore two stress-induced seizures, while the depression Fletcher had been enduring since the album’s completion began to worsen. At one point, Gore was worried that Fletcher was considering suicide. In the summer of 1991 (1994?), prior to the second American leg of the tour, Fletcher had a nervous breakdown and returned to England, where his wife was pregnant with their second child.
    “I think even a lot of the crew ended up using the psychiatrist,” says Gahan. “Things were that bad.”
    In the autumn of 1994 the Songs Of Faith And Devotion tour ground to a halt after some 14 months and 180-odd shows. “We took on way too much,” admits Gahan. Andy Fletcher is more succinct: “It was just hell”.
    Shortly afterwards, Gahan visited his GP. He had broken two ribs and sustained internal haemorrhaging after diving into the crowd in Indiana and landing on a crash barrier. The doctor was worried. Battle wounds aside, Gahan didn’t weight much more than 100 pounds. The doctor wanted him to see a psychiatrist. Gahan ignored his advice and instead went with his wife to a rehab centre in Lake Tahoe, northern California, to relax as much as to get off drugs. Between 8pm and 9pm every day – showtime on tour – he began to feel twitchy and agitated.
    “I was fried,” he says. “Completely fried”.
    Gahan returned to LA and struggled with his addiction, eventually returning to rehab, this time in Tucson, Arizona. After six weeks he had lunch with his wife and told her he was going to stay clean for good. Then he realised what he’d said. The prospect of a future without heroin spooked him into using again. He was losing control. “My daily routine,” he says, “was finding, getting, and using.”
[1] - This is the one complaint I have with the article - from how the writer jumps from his mid-1990s drug problems to his early experimenting, and then (as you'll see) misses out the 1980s entirely, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Dave was some hardcore drug fiend all his years. He wasn't - for a large chunk of the 1980s he not only stayed away from the drugs (of any description), but was somewhat prudish in tone, regarding Martin's heavy partying as something he'd long grown out of. It was in 1987 when he started to head downhill again, doing cocaine on the Music For The Masses tour.

[Arena, April 1997. Words: Gareth Grundy. Pictures: Jake Chessum / Various - page 2 of 2]
    In July 1995, Alan Wilder called a meeting in London with Andy Fletcher and Martin Gore to tell them he was leaving Depeche Mode. He faxed Gahan in Los Angeles to inform him of his decision. He never received a reply.
    Gahan was otherwise occupied. He’d retreated to his bedroom. Stepping into his walk-in closet, he’d lock it from the inside and sit in there injecting heroin. He called it his Blue Room. The longest period he spent in there, moving between bedroom and closet, was three weeks. Teresa’s best friend, Kippy, who lived with the couple, would occasionally knock on the door to see if he wanted anything.
    “It was really bizarre,” says Gahan. “We never lived alone. There was always somebody there. I didn’t mind, I liked the company. At the time, I was romanticising about the idea of death and just slipping away. It wasn’t part of the rock’n’roll thing by then. It was just about me. I didn’t like what I’d become and I didn’t know how to end it. But along with this, there was also something in me that wanted to live. I was always very afraid when I was on my own.”
    Even so, his habit had ruined his second marriage. Teresa moved out of their million-dollar home in Hollywood, unwilling to stick by the drug-addled Gahan.
    “Every time I tried to get sober, she wouldn’t stop her own using to help me,” he says. “That’s when you it’s over. Our marriage was pretty much non-existent anyway. We’d see each other occasionally, that was all.”
    In August 1995, Gahan returned from yet another detox attempt to discover that he had been burgled. Everything – his two Harley Davidsons, his home recording studio, even the cutlery – had been taken. “There was nothing left,” he says. “Just wires hanging out of the walls.”
    The electronic alarm had been shut down and resent. Only three people had the code: his estranged second wife and two builders who had worked on the house, supplied Gahan with drugs and were users themselves. “The police were convinced it was my wife because we’d separated,” he says.
    Gahan reacted by putting the house up for sale and renting a place in Santa Monica. “I thought everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around,” he says, “I was hellbent on destruction.”
    Despite having a new apartment, Gahan began to spend a lot of time at the Sunset Marquis hotel. On August 18, 1995 he was on the phone to his mum in England. He was waiting for a friend, a girl who was accompanying him to rehab meetings, to return to the hotel. But he wasn’t really sure if he wanted her to return; the Valium and bottle of wine he’d swallowed were preventing him from thinking clearly. He asked his mum to hold for a moment and went into the bathroom, where he picked up a razor blade and began slashing his forearms, gashing his wrists. He wrapped his arms in towels and returned to the phone, and told his mother he had to go.
    “It was definitely a suicide attempt,” says Gahan. “But it was also a cry for help. I made sure there were people who might find me.”
    The girl arrived, saw the blood running down Gahan’s arms, and called an ambulance. Gahan was rushed to Cedars-Sinai and – because attempted suicide is a felony offence in California – was put in a psychiatric ward. He was given a padded cell and wrapped in a straitjacket.
    Eventually he was released into a room with just a bed in it, nothing else, not even a mirror. If he wanted a cigarette he had to go outside. Denied matches or his Zippo, he had to insert his cigarette into a wall-mounted lighter instead.
    After his release Gahan retreated to his Santa Monica apartment. By this time he had become so paranoid that he’d taped his curtains shut and was living in darkness. He never went anywhere without carrying a gun.
    “I had lots of guns, a 9mm, a .38 revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun too,” he says. “I just thought they were out to get me. Yeah, it was very much like the bit at the end of Goodfellas with the helicopters. I mean, if there were actually helicopters overhead, or cars going by, I’d freak.”
    He was now more worried about the attitude of his drug buddies than being arrested. Dealers were refusing to sell to him. No one wanted the liability of a suicidal, drug-sick celebrity. Especially one who was beginning to overdose regularly.
    He remembers the time he woke up on a dealer’s front lawn, wearing only his trousers, shoes and socks. His wallet, shirt, silver watch and jewellery were all missing. He’d overdosed inside the house and been thrown out. He staggered to his feet and began hammering on the front door, shouting that they’d forgotten the $400 that he’d hidden in his sock. The dealer, Maria, opened the door and let him in. She was wearing his watch. The following week, Gahan went back to the same place to score yet again.
    “I had to,” he says. “These were my so-called friends.”
    It was time for Depeche Mode to go back into the studio. The band, plus Jonathan Kessler, Daniel Miller and producer Tim Simenon arrived in New York in April last year. Gahan flew in from Los Angeles to complete vocals on eight tracks. His voice was so ruined from drug abuse that he managed only one. “And that,” says Andy Fletcher, “was probably luck”. [1]
    Fletcher, Gore and Simenon had crisis meetings in the back of a New York taxi, travelling between the studio and their hotel. On the second day of recording, they delivered an ultimatum to Gahan: he had to sort himself out. This time for good. It was suggested he take on a vocal coach to get his voice back. Gahan knew his bandmates were resentful towards him.
    “They were nervous and scared,” he says. “I was a chronic relapser. I was destroying everything. My life and theirs.”
    The sessions finished in mid-May. For the last two weeks he was in New York, his new girlfriend told him that she knew he was going to get high again. Gahan told her she was right, he had to, just to see if he’d finally mastered his addiction.
    “When I went back to Los Angeles,” he says, “I used like I’d never used before. I went mental.”
    That was when Dave Gahan pushed it too far.
    “After that big overdose last May, the paramedics told me that I should have been dead,” he says. “They said that I had enough heroin and cocaine in me to kill a horse.”
    After his overdose and release on bail, Gahan went back to the Sunset Marquis and continued to use heroin for a couple of weeks. Not that it was having any effect any more.
    “In the end, the most exciting part of it was connecting with somebody who had drugs,” he  says. “Getting in my car, racing there and having stuff in my hand. It was all downhill from there.”
    He phoned his girlfriend in New York, who said she couldn’t have a junkie around her. Then Jonathan Kessler called, telling Gahan he had to attend a meeting with his lawyer concerning the arrest. There was no such meeting. He arrived to find Kessler with Bob Timmons, a professional “intervention specialist” who works with addicts in the entertainment business. They told Gahan he was going to rehab. Right away.
    Gahan checked into the Exodus Recovery Centre in Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles – the unit that Kurt Cobain escaped from before committing suicide in April 1994. This time he was serious in adhering to the rules. The place was like a minimum security prison. Meals were eaten with plastic cutlery and Gahan was woken at 7am for a morning meeting with his counsellor and recovery group. These sessions would run throughout the day. He was not allowed to leave and for the first few days, while he was in withdrawal, he would have seizures every hour.
    The last time he spoke to Teresa Conway was when she phoned him in the Exodus. They’d been separated for a year and were discussing divorce. Shortly afterwards she served Gahan with the requisite papers. The split was sour.
    “She’s suing me for a lot of money,” he says. “I felt like I gave up a lot I already had – a wife and son – for something that seemed real at the time, but in retrospect was pretty painful. The first couple of years we were together were pretty good, but after that it started dwindling. A lot of it was based on lust – I could hang out with this girl, party, and get laid.”
    In July last year, Gahan pleaded not guilty to cocaine possession charges in the Los Angeles municipal court. Judge Charles Rubin Friday ordered him into an outpatient programme, which would allow him to work with Depeche Mode again. The band had continued working while Gahan was ill. To assist his recovery, he left Los Angeles and moved to New York.
    The Leonard Hotel, Marble Arch, London, January 22, 1997. Dave Gahan looks nervous. His pale green suit, jewellery and mid-Atlantic accent provide some superficial rock star swagger, but he seems shaken. As he sits down to have his make-up applied for a photo shoot, he begins to talk. He rambles things you wouldn’t ordinarily tell a photo shoot crew that you’d just met.
    He says he’s been on the phone since seven o’clock this morning. His girlfriend phoned him from New York. She found her ex-boyfriend, and father of her son, dead in his apartment last night. He’d hanged himself.
    “I just didn’t know what to say to her,” he sighs. She told him they shouldn’t phone each other for a while, that this is an emotionally raw time for both of them. His eyes well up.
    You could write to her…
    “Maybe I should,” he says, staring off into the distance.
    As he begins posing for photos, Jonathan Kessler enters the room, still in trainers and tracksuit bottoms after his morning run. He asks Gahan if he’s OK.
    “Yeah!” he declares, loud enough for everyone to hear.
    Then he looks at Kessler, smiles weakly and shakes his head.
    On February 21 Dave Gahan was given eight months to show that he can keep clean. He will be back in a Los Angeles court on October 21, and, if he’s still drug free then, the charges against him will be dropped. In the meantime, he’s on parole. He provides two urine samples a week and must talk to his Exodus counsellor, and his probation officer, every day. He’s also required to attend AA meetings while he’s in Britain. Gahan’s faith in the rock’n’roll myth has been replaced by belief in his own sobriety.
    His relationship with his first wife is now healthier and he’s spending time with Jack again. “I just wasn’t physically able to be around him while I was using drugs,” he says.
    “I believe that I can do this: stay sober,” he says. “I’ve got to get humble, real humble. I maybe even need to stop everything before I really work out what I want to do with my life. I’ve been in Depeche Mode for 17 years and in that time I’ve been married twice and divorced twice. That’s a sad state of affairs. I don’t want to make the same mistakes again.”
    Depeche Mode release the single “It’s No Good” on March 31 and the album Ultra on April 14.
[1] - Dave didn't even manage that much, to be honest. The song, Sister Of Night, had to be spliced together from several recordings as Dave's voice was too poor for him to sing the song adequately from start to finish. 

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #192 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:55:58 »
1997-04-xx - Audio & Video (Russia) - Feature

1997-04-xx - Radio 102.1 Toronto (Canada) - Interview

[We don't have this audio interview.]

1997-04-xx - Radio Danabuse (Hungary) - Interview

[We don't have this audio interview.]

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #193 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:57:01 »
1997-04-xx - BlahBlah (France) - Depeche Mode registre ultra

[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddmnet.]

[Thanks to fatherlesschild for this scan!]

[Blah Blah News, Avril 1997. Texte: Inconnu. Photos: Anton Corbijn.]
[1781 mots]
    La difficulté pour un groupe de rock, c’est durer, d’avoir une continuité, de faire plaisir aux fans d’hier tout en essayant d’en attraper d’autres. Il y a vingt ou trente ans, la question ne se posait pas. Aujourd’hui, un groupe peut d’un disque à l’autre basculer de la gloire au néant. Depeche Mode, comme son nom l’y prédisposait, a dû faire face à l’ironie des médias rock, qui n’ont jamais porté dans leurs coeurs les tourneurs de boutons.
    Barrel Of A Gun est le premier single extrait du nouvel album, Ultra. Ainsi en cette année 1997, la techno emporte toutes les certitudes sur son chemin, les groupes de rock traditionnels, ont beaucoup de mal à rester les deux pieds sur terre. Là où U2, à grand renfort de communication, prétend faire un album moderne et futuriste, en s’alliant soit à Flood qui participa aux débuts de l’aventure Depeche Mode, soit à Howie B., sorte de Brian Eno du Casio Tone, Depeche Mode, tout en ne déclarant rien de particulier, sort un single cataloguant tous les dangers qui émergent à l’ère de l’Internet. Le tout avec une telle aisance que cela en est presque louche. Depeche Mode a vendu son âme, ou bien la façon dont il compose se prête sans problème particulier au temps, même si ce derniere passe vite.
    Ce Barrel Of A Gun, dans sa version de base, est formidable, unde démonstration rigoureuse du chemin obligatoire qui rock et techno doivent negocier ensemble. La conjunction de l’écriture, du style Depeche Mode, et les talents de sorcier du son de Tim Simenon posent Barrel Of Gun comme l’impeccable single que Depeche Mode se devait de sortir.
    Il eut été, avec le recul du jugement, impensable que Depeche Mode, qui a toujours joué avec des instruments non conventionnels, essaie de refaire le coup de Personal Jesus. Les trios déclinaisons qui suivent la version dite radio sont percutantes et auront toutes leurs fans. Quant à l’album Ultra, il se compose de onze chansons qui vont soulager les angoissés du devenir de Depeche Mode, et ennuyer ceux qui l’avaient enterré pour des motifs divers. Depeche Mode connaît trop la puissance de la recherché qu’autorise la technologie aujourd’hui, pour ne pas avour parallèlement à sa carrière, suivi le son du rock et celui que les gens réclament.
    Ultra est un album à part entière, qui révèle une fois encore s’il est nécessaire, l’incorrigible côté romantique de Depeche Mode. Au fur et mesure que les chansons s’enchaînent et les titres défilent, on se demande si les members du groupe n’avaient pas déjà rêvé de cet album voici dix ans. On y retrouve intacte leur volonté de se battre, la montée  en puissance d’une nouvelle idée de la pop. Eux qui ont toujours eu à se justifier de n’être qu’un groupe de play-back, doivent rigoler en voyant les gens se ruer aux raves ou acheter des albums de rock sans guitare.
    Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher et Dave Gahan ont encore un toit solide, car la maison Depeche Mode est loin d’être hors garantie. Tant que leurs  chansons seront composées à l’ancienne et déclinéesau future immediate, ils n’ont pas à craindre les méfaits du temps, qui ont usé pour toujours leurs camarades du depart, ceux qui comme eux avaient faix le choix visionnaire d’une musique dont le support ne serait plus la guitare et le Larsen. Il est certain que le groupe peut remercier le ciel d’avour été pressenti très tôt comme un espoir prometteur de la nouvelle scène anglaise de l’époque. Si Daniel Miller, le fondateur de Mute, n’avait pas fait prevue de curiosité, Depeche Mode n’aurait pas fait la carrière qu’on lui connaît  aujourd’hui. Aussi étrange que cela paraisse, le monde du rock, par esprit et par principe rebelled à tout ordre ou orthodoxie, n’accepta jamais la remise en cause du rock par des adolescents mal dans leurs peaux, pas spécialement beaux et préférant se casser la tête à l’inventer une musique plutôt que de suivre les règles établies. Depeche Mode a la dure et involontaire responsabilité d’être le dernier rampart vivant du rock contre la banalité de la musique partout et tout le temps.
    En conclusion: Ultra est l’album où un group, Depeche Mode, s’exprime, joue avec le feu, se remet en cause sur la moitié des titres, et pousse Depeche Mode, les individus et le groupe, dans une spirale ascensionelle. Ça y est! Ils prennent de la vitesse, conservent leur élan… Oui!!! Ils ont double tout le monde… Musique, maintenant!
    Avec le recul, on a l’impression que Kraftwerk, qui trône dans chaque page imprimée en la matière, a été le point de depart de la technopop. Ce n’est pourtant pas ce groupe qui a popularise et engrangé les benefices de cette révolution dans le rock. Dans le chantier musical que fut l’Angleterre des années quatre-vingtes, Orchestral Manoeuvre in the Dark avait déjà fait un trou dans le mur du silence, avec un single considéré comme le second depart d’une pop électronique d’où sont absentes les guitares. Dans la foulée, Brian Eno a travaillé avec un groupe, John Fox, s’est consacré à la composition a partir de synthétiseurs. New Order, avec son célèbre maxi Blue Monday, a définitivement établi la junction entre techno-pop et club.
    Le rock et pop étaient alors en train de connaître une mutation profonde. Le passé ne s’est plus jamais écouté de la meme manière. Pour les nouvelles generations d’adolescents, la musique a pu s’écrire au quotidian. Lorsque Depeche Mode s’est fendu de People Are People, le groupe a franchi son premier cap. Le succès de cette chanson était basée sur l’utilisation d’un sampler, une machine du diable, totalement révolutionnaire. L’introduction de People Are People a déclenché l’intérêt de milliers de musicians en herbe, pour qui la techno-pop n’existait pas. Depeche Mode a mis au point une formule qui est toujours valuable: synthétiseurs soutenus par des samplers, dans lesquels sont charges des sons de batteries, des choeurs ou de la guitare.
    Aujourd’hui avec la sortie d’un novel album, Depeche Mode se trouve revenue à sa sono de base, plus de quinze ans après son départ. En effet, le groupe a fait ses débuts avec une formule classique, basse, batterie et guitares sans synthétiseur, avant de passer rapidement à la formule qui lui a ouvert la voie du succès. Lorsque le groupe a attaint le sommet de sa gloire, les tournées aux États-Unis, suives de la sortie de Violator et de Song Of Faith And Devotion, lui ont permis de commencer à introduire des choristes, des parties de guitares de plus en plus importantes. Depeche Mode est alors devenu un groupe de rock qui joue live, utilise de moins en moins de parties enregistrées, bref se comporte… comme un groupe de rock.
    Parallèlement au chemin qui suit aujourd’hui Depeche Mode, la techno vit un nouvel âge, le troisième en deux décennies. Les nouveux musicians ont tout simplement samplé Depeche Mode pour leurs jolis sons de synthétiseurs, pour faire une nouvelle musique. D’un côté des gens sont à la recherché de nouvelles musiques à danser, la techno est en gestation, d’un autre toute une scène underground, à mi-chemin entre le heavy metal et la disco, met au point un pendant bruyant à la techno-pop proper et parfois un peu froide de OMD, Ultravox, Japan, Spandau Ballet ou même Depeche Mode.
    Aussi, quand on annonce enfin la sortie d’un nouvel album de Depeche Mode, on se demande à quelle tendance les members du groupe ont succombé, ou bien quell machiavélisme les a tiraillé. Depuis des mois, les rumeurs courent sur la mauvaise santé, les abus, la fatigue, la lassitude, les tournées marathons, l’ennui, le stress. Puis le depart d’Alan Wilder ne fait qu’empirer les ragots. La vraie question étant en fait: que sera le son et la ligne directrice du future album de Depeche Mode? Pousseront-ils la machine dans le sens de Violator, vers plus de rock? Seront-ils tentés par un retour à la techno? Rien ne filtrait. On a pourtant fini par apprendre que Tim Simenon, un petit prince de la dance music en Angleterre, allait collaborer étroitement avec Depeche Mode.  Or, Tim Simenon et son groupe Bomb The Bass ont la reputation d’être des bricoleurs, des chercheurs, des inventeurs, d’être tout ce que vous voulez, sauf des suiveurs.
    Dans la longue carrière de Depeche Mode, il ne faut pas oublier que le groupe est avant tout un fabricant de single ou de maxi dont la destination finale est la piste de danse. Le concept de l’album n’a jamais été le principe du groupe. Ce n’est qu’avec Violator que Depeche Mode a conjugué efficacité et tubes. Avant de parler du nouvel album, il faut se demander si un groupe comme Depeche Mode a eu une influence sur les ventes de synthétiseurs ou de samplers. On doit pouvoir dire oui, car si la guitar fut l’instrument de predilection instinctif du rock, les musicians qui avaient des synthés étaient tous pianists de formation, et peu fonctionnaient à l’instinct. Avec la montée en puissance des premiers groupes allemands dans les années soixante-dix, quelques-uns se sont confrontés à ces nouvelles machines, mais le prix et la maintenance était trop importants.
    Kraftwerk n’a pas contribute à l’émulation de nouveaux talents, car son approache était trop rigoureuse. Par contre, lorsque Depeche Mode et d’autres ont fait leur apparition, ils donnaient une vision de leurs groupes, ils présentaient une attitude rock sans guitare, mais accessible à tous les adolescents du monde occidental. Le tour de force qu’a réussi Depeche Mode alors que les critiques fusaient de toutes parts, fut d’être immédiatement credible sur scène. Ce que la presse n’avait pas compris, c’est que dans l’après punk, la musique était redevenue un element de plaisir, qu’elle participait de l’environnement sonore des gens. Les années quatre-vingts ont été celles de l’explosion de la demande de musique nouvelle fraîche, de sa diffusion partout et en permanence.
    Depeche Mode a vécu ce phénomène, notamment en France lors de son passage à Bercy. Le groupe fut programme et déprogrammé de trios salles différentes en quinze jours. La demande était telle, qu’ils passèrent de l’Eldorado à l’Olympia, pour atterrir finalement à Bercy, le tout en deux semaines. La preuve que le groupe convenait à des milliers de gens, qui se posaient la question de savoir si Depeche Mode serait bon sur scène. Ce que ces gens voulaient se résumait à être ensemble pour écouter du Depeche Mode à fond la sono. Que la musique fut principalement enregistrée rendait le son excellent. En cela, les generations qui avaient connu le rock d’avant ne pouvaient pas critiquer la qualité du son. Depeche Mode était à une charnière et négocia alors, certainement involontairement, son passage vers le futur.

Offline Angelinda

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Re: 1997: Ultra
« Reply #194 on: 07 May 2012 - 00:57:34 »
1997-04-xx - Canal+ (Spain) - El gran Musical (Mart + fletch interview)

Dentez has this in good quality, but he has not yet used it on a DMTVA Ultra DVD.