|Allstarmag interview with Martin
Part One Of A Three-Part Interview
Depeche Mode is cooking up quite
the array of visual effects for fans on their forthcoming tour, which kicks
off the first week of September in Moscow, runs through Europe, then hits
the U.S. from October through Christmas.
"I really don't like giving too
much away," laughs the band's main songwriter, guitarist/ keyboardist Martin
Gore. "It should really be a nice surprise for the fans. I can say it's
quite interesting. [Anton Corbijn] got us to dress up as some of our idols.
That will be slightly humorous when shown on those massive screens behind
us. I'm gonna leave it at that."
Gore adds, "The look of the stage
is something that is totally different." He couldn't recall how many video
screens the stage would have, but did say it will be more in line with
the second leg of their last tour for 1993's Songs of Faith and Devotion,
which was scaled down from the elaborate staging for the first leg of that
"We had 11 or 14 screens on-stage
with visuals interacting between all the screens. I think we realized,
maybe it was over the top. So we scaled it down for the second leg and
I think that actually went over better with the audience, with just a couple
of screens. This time, we'll probably only have a couple of screens as
Before fans will get a look at
the staging, they can see the video for the only new song ("Only When I
Lose Myself") on their forthcoming singles collection, The Singles '86-'98,
due Oct. 6 on Mute/ Reprise.
Shot by Brian Griffin, who is new
to music videos but did Depeche Mode's first five sleeves, the video depicts
the song's theme of obsessional love -- or so Gore thinks.
"He sees the song as being very
ethereal, so the look of the video is supposed to be very ethereal and
dreamlike. Apart from that, it's going to be hard to judge, because all
we did yesterday [Wednesday (July 22) in New York] was rock in and out
of the light."
Griffin did shoot for two days
in Los Angeles images of "wrecked cars and of couples who look very similar
to each other standing next to the wrecked cars," says Gore. "I told him
I quite like the imagery, but I'm not quite sure what you're trying to
say. I think he's portraying this obsession thing. The couples that look
similar maybe represent the duality of the relationship, and about people
losing themselves into each other."
No word yet on when the video for
"Only When I Lose Myself" will debut; and tour dates have still yet to
Part Two Of A Three-Part Interview
Depeche Mode fans will have to be
satisfied with just the three new songs the band has penned for their forthcoming
singles collection, as that's all they may be getting until the year 2000.
The Singles: '86-'98, due Oct.
6 on Mute/ Reprise, will include one of those three newly- written songs,
"Only When I Lose Myself." However, two other songs recorded during the
same sessions ("Surrender" and "Headstar") will be available as B-sides.
When asked if the B-sides would
be available in both the U.S. and the U.K., Martin Gore, the band's main
songwriter and guitarist/ keyboardist, answers, "That is a very hard question,
because we've been going through debates at the moment with our American
record company. They don't want to put it out -- not because they don't
like it. It gets into that whole marketing game. If we're releasing it
in the rest of the world, why not here?"
"Headstar" is an instrumental that
Gore -- who wrote all three new songs -- describes simply as "quite upbeat."
"Surrender," on the other hand, "is quite slow," he says. "It's very melodic.
It's a good song to sing. It's about surrendering to your desires -- maybe
you don't really have a choice."
He also describes "Surrender,"
as well as the Tim Simenon- produced "Only When I Lose Myself," as an extension
of the band's last album, 1997's Ultra. Of "Only When I Lose Myself," Gore
says, "It's a bit more soulful, and it's quite slow for us. Kind of like
a ballad, but it's a bit of a rockin' ballad."
Lyrically, the song is about relationships
("One of my favorite topics," he says), and of obsessional love in particular.
"I've always found love quite obsessional. People talk about co-dependency;
to me I've always found there's something co-dependent about being in love
-- that's what love is all about."
With a world tour kicking off the
first week of September and running through Christmas at least, Gore says
there isn't much time to begin work on a new studio album. "That would
be a whole new project when we get back from tour," he says. "We're out
from here to Christmas, so I'm not particularly thinking about songwriting
at the moment. I can't see an album out before the year 2000, really. By
the time I get back home and start writing, well... we just don't work
Part Three Of A Three-Part Interview
I particularly like the Failure
version of 'Enjoy The Silence,'" says Depeche Mode songwriter/ guitarist/
keyboardist Martin Gore, when asked what he thinks of the forthcoming tribute
album to the band, For the Masses (1500/A&M, Aug. 4).
"I like the Deftones' version [of
'To Have and to Hold'] too," adds Gore, "and I find the Rammstein version
[of 'Stripped'] very humorous. And I've always liked the Smashing Pumpkins'
version [of 'Never Let Me Down Again'], but that's been out for a while."
This certainly isn't the first
time Depeche Mode has been tributized. In fact, there have been at least
four tribute albums released (Sometimes I Wish I Were Dead, Your World
In Our Eyes, Transmode Express, and Sons of the Barrels) -- most originating
from Sweden. However, Gore considers For the Masses to be the first real
On how it compares to the previous
tributes, he laughs, "The accents are a lot more understandable. It's a
lot more interesting, really. The groups they put together for this one
and the versions are more interesting. It's a lot more poppy; the other
ones were electro-pop, as far as I can remember.
"It's a great honor to get to that
stage of your career where people are taking out time to record your songs
-- try getting us to do that," he adds, which begs the question of who
he would take time out to cover. "I did a Leonard Cohen tribute a few years
ago. Um... quite a few people. I've always liked Kurt Weill... No one's
ever done a John Lennon album, have they?"