|From a Spanish DM microsite on
A studio placed in the middle of
London, there Depeche are rehearsing for their American leg of the Tour.
Andy walks past and greets gently, at a distance Martin comes out. He looks
nice to a first natural sight and his shyness is obvious. The agreed time
is 30 minutes, Martin Gore needs less time to answer our questions:
I: What are you doing in London
at the moment?
M: We started to rehearse for the
Tour the last week, we started without David. Then we are going to the
USA to perform with him. There is where the Tour begins.
I: Is “Exciter” your best album?
M: It’s hard for me to judge any
album when it is so close and we have dedicated to it for such a long time,
but definitely I think it is out there to stand out as the best. Anyway,
the last four records are all the same good.
I: Differences between “Ultra”
M: The main difference is to have
Mark Bell, he has brought something different and fresh which does not
sound as Depeche, as well as new elements.
I: Is this a more melodic album?
M: I think it is melodic actually,
I always say we make a strange pop and I like that. It is definitely a
pop album, the majority of the songs are made with love but not falling
on a mainstream pop.
I: Does the presence of death increase
in you lyrics with the passing of the years?
M: I always had an obsession with
death, I have got into panic all my life because of death. I’m about to
be 40, I shouldn’t say this, but I’m beginning to think more about mortality.
I: When will Depeche’s existence
stop making any sense?
M: If we just bore on the glories
of the past, if we were considered as a retro band, trying to remake “Just
can’t get enough” or even “Ultra”, if we didn’t try to change and to do
something new, I think we would stop it.
I: Let’s speak about remixes, how
did you come up with the one Kruder and Dorfmeister made of “Useless”?
M: We were not there when they
made it but I personally like that remix. Through the years very good remixes
have been done out of our songs and this is specially good. They made it
before we get to know them, I met Richard Dorfmeister in Germany when he
made me an interview for a magazine.
I: Is this song “Useless” a song
about ideological disappointments?
M: It is a song about relationships
(very Martin, je,je...), about relationships in a negative sense.
I: Before you used to write about
groups of people or generations, now your lyrics speak more of yourself,
M: I have become more arrogant
with the years (laughs), I cannot write about things that I am not interested
in. I always write from a personal point of view, it is easier to speak
about me or you because these are closer emotions.
I: This turn in you lyrics, may
it distance you from you fans?
M: I don’t think so, all my songs
have been about relationships and intimity, I think that works. It is something
special, something that people grasp, the passion, the emotion, reality,
it is what fans connect with, that’s why we do it.
I: Do you think that your fans
have grown with you?
M: I don’t know what our main audience
is like now. I guess it changes all the time, recently you find young fans
at the entrance of a hotel, but you also find 35 years old people with
children that study and are outside the hotel as well. It is a bizarre
I: The Sampler:
M: It has always been very important
to me. The first thing I do to make a demo is to put more and more sounds
into the sampler. Then I get the song and I try to join the sounds in a
way, that’s how I make the base of the song to later do the structure and
I: And the electronic music today...?
M: I see it goes very well, there
is a lot of underground scene, a lot of mainstream and minimalist electronic
I: And how do you feel after 20
years of practicing it?
M: Really, we had to fight for
electronic music. Not so much at the beginning of the eighties because
there was a movement, but at the middle of the decade since we were the
only band that didn’t leave it behind. People used to ask us why we were
doing so if it was such a cold music, lacking emotion. We kept doing it
and people gradually saw it was viable.
I: After twenty years in the music
business, any polical concussion?
M: There’s a lot of **** (shit?)
around the music business, you have to fight against everybody. We had
a very sad phone call yesterday, we have reached the point where very often
songs are secondary, the music is secondary and it is only marketing tools,
it is appearance and it doesn’t matter the music you’re making.
I: Is it so difficult to be happy
when you’re succesful?
M: You have to live with it, you
are not particularly happy. There are many good things, but promotion and
other things are not included when you form a band. When you join a band
is because you want to make music, as simple as that. But you are obligued
to do things you don’t like. If you want to see you records you have to
I: What happens to the person when
the figure (“character”) is being praised all day?
M: It is difficult to cope with
it, but I think it doesn’t change you. You keep on being the same person.
Sometimes it is more difficult because you have different opinions in your
I: Why have you moved to California?
M: My wife is Northamerican and
after 12 years living in England, she couldn’t stand it anymore. I begun
to agree with her. The world is full of places like this.
I: Dave, Andy and you live in N.Y.,
England and California, how does this affect the group?
M: It is not relevant where we
live because every time we decide to make an album we get together, it
is very easy to travel from England to the USA. It is easier and in a way
better because we spend the right amount of time together.
I: How was the contact between
“Ultra” and “Exciter”?
M: Andy and I lived in London and
Dave in New York , we kept the contact but we didn’t speak to each other
all the time.
I: How was your Singles Tour?
M: It was fantastic, we spend very
good moments, we played hit after hit therefore the audience was in a continuous
frenzy. You could feel a passional heat, we love to do it, we are going
to look for it on this Tour but there will be a distinct feeling, it is
not a singles tour, we will play hits of course, but also 5 or 6 songs
from the new album as well as dark songs of previous records.
I: What was it of your solo career?
M: I enjoy being with my family
and children. If I was doing a solo album, I wouldn’t have time to disconect
between Depeche’s projects, and I don’t think that is good for my head,
to mantain a creative level you have to take some rests, but I would love
to do solo albums.
I: How is the relationship with
Mute, your original discography label?
M: Mute has been very important
for us, we wouldn’t continue if we had signed to a multinational in 1981,
they wouldn’t have allowed us to develop. At the moment “Construction Time
Again” was published they would have certainly fired us because we were
not doing the same music as when we started. We have a great relation with
Daniel Miller, he’s generally more like a friend rather than the boss of
the company. Sometimes, when he disagrees he acts as the boss, but he is
generally our friend.
I: Why are The Beatles, The Stones,
The Beach Boys, more considered that you regarding you influence?
M: They were out there since the
beginning, especially Beatles and Stones, I also like The Beach Boys. They
are the pillars of music, the cornerstone.
I: But do you think you are claimed
M: People speak about it and they
mention us as influence, artists from different styles, house, techno,
alternative rock and even metal. Lately, we have been mentioned in many
interviews, it is amazing how many times our name is mentioned. And moreover
we have our wonderful tribute album released some years ago. A very strange
groups collection which make different things like “Smashing” or “The Cure”,
we like it, it is very nice for us.
I: Have you (Depeche) achieved
M: We didn’t want to conquer the
world, or we didn’t think of continuing working twenty years later, sometimes
this happens and I feel grateful for it.
I: After achieving your dreams,
what is left?
M: I don’t know. I ask myself about
it all the time. You get a lot of success but it doesn’t matter, it is
irrelevant for a person’s growth, I could be in a supermarket and kept
being the same person, I don’t know, it is difficult to judge.