1986

The interest in all the clothing questions finally dropped off a bit. At least half of the year music was the main topic.
With Black Celebration, DM mixed the third album in Berlin.
Dave: "I can't work in England anymore. It's funny. The studio is right next to the Berlin Wall but none of us has ever been to the East. Martin tried once but they refused him entry. Didn't like the way he was dressed. Thought he was a hooligan." (It's true that they refused him entry, but they probably didn't think he was a hooligan.)"People imagine we work here because it's wow, you know, really heavy, but I don't feel that. The place is quite suburban. Berlin's like Brixton."[1]
And about the cellar of the Hansa Studios: "Oh, yeah. It is a bit weird, innit? I was down here doing the vocals for Shake the Disease in the dark, last time we were here, and I was terrified. I had all noises in me headphones like whispers, and apparently sometimes you can see the shadow of a projectionist. It's a bit haunted, this studio."
Nevertheless, they came back there for the third time. "Mainly because we're too lazy to find another studio! And we know when we come here that it's going to be good. It's probably one of the best studios in the world. Working in London, it's difficult to get into it because we just have so many people coming to see us. We don't go through a manager or anything. The four of us. We are the managers."[2]

As it has been mentioned in the previous chapter, the roles were starting to be defined more clearly within the band. Something that wasn't free of conflicts.
Fletch: "Martin's the songwriter, he's the main creative source behind the band. Alan's the chief musician, best musician in the band. Well Dave is the frontman of the group. A lot of people don't like his stage performance, but he really does get the crowd going, and you can't ignore that, basically. And he's put a lot of effort into his stage performance and into improving his singing over the years, and I think it's worked out really well. My niche is really on the organisational front, because we haven't got a manager and I provide all those functions." (Remarkable is that many years later - when Alan sold parts of his large DM-collection - Alan turned out to a the "list-maker" as well, as someone who kept a record of everything.) "I also see myself on the morale front; getting, keeping the band together and all that sort of thing, which I think is really important. Every band's got to have that sort of person as well."[3]
Alan: "Generally me and Martin deal with the music side, and we seem to complement each other quite well. He is much more involved in songwriting and melody, while I'm more interested in the rhythms and overall production. Martin gets bored with this side of things really fast."[4]
Sometimes it bothered him that Martin didn't really care about the production, but it also gave him more space to do what he enjoyed. On the other hand, this might have been the root cause of the upcoming problems, because it was difficult for these two characters to work together, and sometimes they also had musical differences. But probably not so many relating to Black Celebration.
Alan: "We even have the theory that Martin is a lazy sod who writes an entire album in an afternoon but pretends he hasn't so he can take ages to think about other things and do nothing."[5]
And: "The NME made the point that we were not adventurous enough. They said that we could pull more out of the bag, that we were actually quite lazy. That is true to a point, but it comes from the problem that as a democracy we always tend to end up with a compromise between the adventurous and conservative sides of the band."[6]
Probably the "conservative sides" were Martin and Fletch and the "adventurous sides" were Dave and Alan.
The only option they had when a vote was split both ways was an "independent arbitration from those we respect the most, such as Dan Miller, Flood, Jonathan Kessler etc."[7]



Stripped

(Stripped - with friendly permission of © Steve Mishos)



The single Stripped / But Not Tonight, which was released on 10 February, was the first result of all the cooperation, compromises and tensions. There was another version of Stripped available, the Highland Mix, remixed by Flood. The single's B-side But Not Tonight was available as 7" mix and as extended version. The other two B-Sides were Breathing in Fumes and Black Day. Breathing in Fumes is a mixture of a remix of Stripped and a completely new song. It was produced by the band and Thomas Stiehler. Black Day is an acoustic, alternate version of the song Black Celebration. It was written by Martin, Alan and Daniel Miller. Martin took care of the lead vocals on this.
Much to the dismay of the band, But Not Tonight was released as an A-side in the U.S.
Martin: "The American record company just think of us as a disco band and they usually release our B-sides.[8] We'd spent three weeks perfecting Stripped. But Not Tonight was a throwaway thing we did in a day."[9]
Alan: "The U.S. market is completely different to Europe and the rest of the world. I don't pretend to fully understand it but whenever we 'deliver' product, they always want to do things differently to 'suit their market'. Their argument is that 'we know our own market better than you so let us decide' - perhaps they are right. Certainly, radio in the U.S. is a strange animal which dictates how the companies promote the product."
In this case, Sire Records decided to use But Not Tonight for the soundtrack of the film Modern Girls and therefore, the single was flipped. Even an alternate video was filmed, directed by Tamra Davis. It was available in multiple versions.

Alan: "The entire backbone of Stripped was based around an idling motorbike sound generated from the original Emulator - preset 1, and a bass drone that was eventually fed through a Leslie cabinet. Additional sounds such as the ignition of Dave's Porsche 911 and an array of fireworks (after all, it was Guy Fawkes Night) were recorded by Gareth in the studio car park using his assortment of unusual mics. The mics were placed at varying distances and heights with the fireworks being let off at the appropriate angle to create the full stereophonic effect. A hired drum kit was also set up in the large reception area of Westside" studio, where they had recorded before they moved on to Berlin, "and used to sample individual sounds, most notably the distinctive toms with their special ambience."[10]
Stripped was misinterpreted many times. Mainly German teen magazines offered phrases like "they dream of naked girls."
Dave: "It's not about sex. It's to do with having nothing except yourself. The people in the song could strip off if they wanted to though."[11]
Fletch: "The idea of Stripped is to get away from technology and civilisation for a day and get back to basics in the country. It's about two people stripping down to their bare emotions. In the video we're seen demolishing a car and taking a TV apart ... it's a bit, er, symbolic."[12]
It was Peter Care who had the idea for this video and filmed the promo in Berlin just around the corner from Hansa Studios.
Alan: "It was amazing, really. Just because in the video we are demolishing cars - the British can't bear to see material goods wantonly destroyed. We had lots of complaints. After it was on there was probably a film of someone having their head shot off on the news."[13]


trennlinie


On 17 March the album Black Celebration was released. It's the only DM-album that has the same title as a track on the album. The voice at the beginning of Black Celebration was Daniel Miller's saying, "A brief period of rejoicing." The cover photographer was Brian Griffin again.
Some tracks have six or eight little melodies all working together in a kind of techno-fugue what brought a completely new feeling to the songs.
Alan: "We used some melodies from the original demo, some came about in the studio. Actually, Dan[iel Miller] and I often felt there were too many counter-melodies and not enough space in the music. [...] The most unusual noise that we ever sampled was probably Dan Miller saying horse very fast. This was used on Fly on the Windscreen."[14]
Dave: "Black Celebration sounds a bit morbid but it's a common thing. At the end of a working day you go out and drown your sorrows no matter how sh*** you feel or how bleak your future looks."[15]
Martin: "It Doesn't Matter Two is very desperate. Very very morbid. There is one quite funny song called Sometimes which is about someone who questions their surroundings and ends up becoming tiring and over apologetic."[16] He laughed nervously. He is known to be an autobiographical pop writer and the song was probably about himself. Or as Alan said, "Martin is very honest in his songs, almost embarrassingly honest."[17]

I was asked by a reader if the line "she doesn't trust him, nothing is true, but he will do" (World Full of Nothing) might be a reference to a rape. Although it's possible, it doesn't really match the rest of the lyrics. It is probably meant in a way that he is a bit rude or doesn't really watch her feelings and reactions when he does "it". This would be in line with she doesn't trust him. She isn't really ready for her first boy but he will push her. It is also possible that although she doesn't trust him and doesn't love him, he is good enough at that very moment. (This would be the true sense of "he will do" but of course the "it" could have been left out because of the rhyme.)
As the main sentence of the lyrics is "though it's not love it means something", both interpretations are possible or maybe it is even meant in both directions.
Martin always had a strong interest in what people believe. This is probably the reason why he is so interested in religion, although he isn't religious himself. He once said he wished he could believe in something, and he said if he believes in something it is love. And World Full of Nothing deals with believing in something. Both, boy and girl, want to believe in love. That's why they are together, that's why they are doing it, that why it is so easy to slip away and believe it all, but nevertheless it's not love.
It also deals with another favourite topic of Martin's - the innocence of youth, and the way this innocence gets lost through certain events and with growing older (see 1987). Therefore, World Full of Nothing also has a connection to A Question of Time where he is worried about the innocence of the 15-year-old.

On 29 March the Black Celebration-Tour started. It consisted of four legs. The first leg took place in Great Britain, comprised 13 gigs, and ended on 17 April in London.
The band played ever-fewer concerts in the UK from tour to tour because the interest in them decreased more and more in England. But at the same time the interest increased abroad.
Dave: "I think on this whole tour the band have got to all really pull together. We've talked about it, and we know that we're going to have real bad times. That's something we're good at doing, otherwise we wouldn't still be together. We've gone through a lot of bad periods. We've not really had musical differences, but just as people. It's usually between me and Fletch. We tend to argue sometimes, but, obviously, we both really love each other" (laughs) "but definitely not in a soppy way!"[18]
Many interviews with other musicians (have a look here) show that most bands are able to compensate for personal problems as long as there aren't any deep musical differences. But sometimes it's enough to disagree about a small detail and the whole thing might "explode". I think that both things - personal problems between the different characters, especially between Fletch and Alan, and different opinions about the way to work, especially between Martin and Alan - increased in the course of the following years, while I don't think that the arguments between Dave and Fletch were really "dangerous". The things that destroy a project are mainly those the members of a team or a band don't notice at first. So that's probably why everyone said that everything was fine at that time.
Fletch (about the tour): "The atmosphere backstage [in Oxford] was slightly tense but when we arrived on stage the reception we received easily calmed any nerves we had. The gig went well with only a few hitches, the main one being when I tripped over on stage during the encore, injuring myself and nearly putting the whole tour in jeopardy. People still remind me of this incident much to my embarrassment."[19]

During this period DM developed into a "live-power", although they were quite a strange live band when you look at it from a traditional point of view. At first glance DM was a static formation, with three boys behind programmed keyboards, and a front man who was jumping around madly and didn't sing every note right. Nevertheless, they had a very special magic, which was so fascinating that even very critical people couldn't ignore it. You couldn't go to a DM-concert without being "blown away".
Talking about his own experience seeing DM for the first time live from the audience, Alan was very impressed by the way Dave was controlling the audience. This is true, and it was true back in 1986.
Trying to compare the earlier concerts with those of today, the fans, who like the old gigs better, had difficulties explaining what was so fascinating about them. Maybe the conclusion is: "The static and unapproachable performance of an electronic band was something absolutely new. It was unique, mystical and very impressive."
In Martin's opinion it pushed Dave into becoming more of a frontman. "He used a lot more of the stage, ran around and got the audience participating."[20]
45% of the fans who took part in the survey of depechemodebiographie.de said that the "live versions were much more creative and complex" compared to today, "this is, of course, more interesting." But it isn't a real explanation I think, especially because you already could feel this magic in the very early days when they got on stage with a reel-to-reel tape recorder, wore awful clothes and Dave was moving as if he was at a dancing lesson. From this point they developed, tried different visual effects and created more and more atmosphere.
With the very atmospheric and dark Black Celebration this magic was growing and increased until Devotional.



Black Celebration

(Black Celebration - with friendly permission of © Alessandro Pagni)



In the meantime, on 14 April, the single A Question of Lust / Christmas Island was released. Beside the 7"-mix, there are two different versions of A Question of Lust available, a minimal version and the Flood Mix. The single's B-Side, Christmas Island, an instrumental track written by Martin and Alan (it sounds as if Alan had composed it, so one could get the idea that Martin had written it and then Alan re-worked it in a way that Martin had to give him credits - but this is pure speculation) was released as 7"-mix and as extended version. Other B-sides were remixes of other album songs (e.g. an instrumental version of It Doesn't Matter Two) and some live versions.
The cover of the single shows a kissing couple. In a teenage magazine the rumour was initiated that it was Alan who was kissing the girl. It's amazing how long such rumours stay alive, because I was recently asked by a reader if it was Alan. No, it was an actor who had been engaged for the photo session.
A Question of Lust was also a rare single with Martin taking care of the lead vocal.
Alan: "It was usually fairly easy to predict whose voice would suit particular songs. Generally speaking, Martin's voice tended to suit ballads and Dave's tended to suit more raucous tracks."
At the beginning of the video for A Question of Lust Martin appeared naked in front of the camera.
Alan: "We were in a club somewhere and, as usual, Martin managed to take all his clothes off. The director Clive Richardson decided to bring his camera along and that's what he got."[21]

Right after that, on 24 April, the European leg started in Oslo, comprised 24 gigs, and ended in Rüsselsheim on 25 May.
Almost without any break the next leg kicked off in Los Angeles on 28 May, comprised 29 gigs in the U.S. and three in Japan, and ended on 23 July.
Dave: "Towards the end of the European leg of the tour I was heavily depressed. I just wanted to go home. I did a lot of sulking because, even though this is an ideal job which I love, it's also physically and mentally exhausting."[22]
It was really hard for him that the U.S. leg began right after the European leg. Nevertheless, they had their fun in the U.S. "In America we get everything thrown at us - bras, suspender belts, knickers and even shoes. After one concert we had about 40 shoes on stage and there were no pairs! Imagine all those people hopping home!"[23]
Fletch: "We were visiting places where no electronic band had been before. Before we left these shores we expected to do well on the east and west coast, but in middle America we were prepared for the worst. In the end, though the whole tour was a huge success. Everywhere we went people wanted to hear our music, I don't think they had seen a band present themselves in a way like us, with no Drums and Guitars."[24]
Alan: "We went on a tour that just seemed to take off, particularly in America. It seemed to be where we stepped up a gear and went from playing smallish club venues through to quite big arenas. So, things moved very rapidly from that point onwards."[25]
It's interesting that at this time the general interest in the U.S. in British (electronic and pop) bands was declining increasingly, after they had had a brief wave of success a short time before. DM became "hip" in the U.S. when English bands were more or less out, and American rock bands were on top again. They captured a special niche, big enough to generate a kind of general interest and a huge group of followers, although I think that the most faithful fans can be found in (East) Germany and Eastern Europe, those fans who weren't able to follow the band in the early years, as if the "forbidden fruits" had doubled the special magic of the band for them.

Fletch: "So with America over, next on the agenda was Japan. A busy schedule of three gigs in three days meant all we saw were Trains, Hotel rooms and Concert Halls. Fortunately for Martin the last day fell on his birthday. After a great Concert in Tokyo, we were on a T.V. programme where the producer gave him a video camera as a present. My thoughts went back three weeks earlier when I spent my birthday ill in bed in Vancouver. The World Tour was now nearing the end. While the equipment was coming back from Japan Alan and Martin had a short stay in Bali. Dave and myself feeling a bit homesick went home. The last leg of the tour was a few concerts in Southern Europe ending with a final concert in Copenhagen. This all sounds very nice but in the end we were plagued by the weather. The concert in Bordeaux had to be cancelled because of rain."[26]

DM were seen increasingly as "dark" and "moody" by the general public at the time. In contrast, the band members enjoyed themselves and were quite self-ironic.
Dave: "As a live band we play very loud - we're talkin' Motörhead - but that's what it's all about. That's the power of rock 'n' roll! We've never called ourselves a 'rock 'n' roll' band; we do everything there is to do in rock 'n' roll. It's Called a Heart was rock 'n' roll, man!" (laughs)[27]
Martin: "We kinda subtly corrupt the world. Basically if you call yourself a pop band you can get away with anything."[28]
And another theory of his: "Four people is the right number for a pop group. History bears me out. Five people looks wrong and three is plain stupid. Four looks powerful."[29] (One should remember this statement for later ...)

Even at this U.S.-tour, the band began to fall into the "party-trap" and to live a real rock 'n' roll-life.
Alan: "It's exciting to be able to visit so many different places and meet new people but constant travelling and hotel life can get you down. Obviously the social side of things is great - clubs and restaurants want you to frequent their establishments and will lay everything on for you. The downside of this kind of treatment is that it's very easy to get carried away and lose track of reality and it's very true that life on the road is like living in a bubble. As far as the shows go, it can get boring playing the same things night after night. I always found being on stage a surreal experience - at times my mind would be somewhere completely different whilst my body was on automatic pilot.
A usual day on the road is to check out of hotel at 1 or 2pm, travel to local airfield, fly by private jet with immediate entourage (about 12 people) to next city. Arrive 4pm approx. Go straight to gig for sound check, back to hotel at 6pm, quick sauna / work out if there was time, leave for gig 7.45pm. On stage 8.30 / 9pm.
When you come from stage it is 11 p.m. You need two hours for changing clothes and some small talk and you drink one or two beer. Now it is one o'clock in the morning and you have to go out. Before you notice it really it is 7 a.m. and you had a lot of drinks. During a tour you get used to that lifestyle so much that you are sleepless every night and drink without ever feeling drunk. This became such a normal thing that you don't recognize it as debauchery."[30]

This is the typical lifestyle of almost any band in the world. Reading thousands of interviews with different musicians I found exactly this description a hundred times. One musician described it in an interview with depechemodebiographie.de in this way: "It was like this: I came to the rehearsal - let's have a drink first. We settled down in the tour bus - let's have a drink. We arrived at the venue - let's have a drink. Soundcheck ... After show party ... before you realise it you are caught in a vicious circle. It seems to be normal to you but it'll end up in being an alcoholic."
And another one said, "It is easy to lead a debauched way of life. I drank a lot of beer already on stage, then we partied the whole night long and I took a lot of drugs - to do it all over again the next evening. A life like this is extremely short: you'll end up in prison, you'll die or you'll stop doing that sh**!" (These interviews were anonymous.)
But before you become aware of the shadowy side to this lifestyle you of course enjoy it - and at that stage of their career DM definitely enjoyed it.


trennlinie


From 4 to 16 August the band played a last small leg, comprising 7 gigs - mainly in Italy.
Dave: "It's nice to come at this time of year when, obviously, the weather helps, but it's chaos! The actual country's in total chaos!"
Martin: "They're nice people and everything, but they're renowned for their disorganization. A lot of the time it's untrue what countries are famous for, but in Italy's case, it's dead true."[31]
Alan: "In this country absolutely anything can happen. The last gig we played here was in a tent and it was actually raining with condensation over the keyboards! We also did one somewhere like this where the power chord ran through the crowd and just as we started the last song someone cut through the cable and everything went off. It was pitch black."
Fletch: "Oh yeah, and remember that Italian TV show we did? They kept saying we'd be on any minute and we ended up waiting 13 hours."
Dave: "There was that bloke poking fun at our haircuts. I said 'Well at least we've got some'. He was wearing a toupee. And when he said to Mart 'Boy or girl?' we beat him up. We're banned from that station."[32]
This is definitely not correct. You can watch this interview on YouTube. The presenter asked Martin whether he is a boy or a girl but they didn't beat him up (at least not in front of the camera).

In the meantime, on 11 August, the single A Question of Time, was released. Beside the 7" mix that runs at a slightly faster tempo and pitch than the original Black Celebration album version, there are some different versions - the Extended Remix (remixed by Phil Harding), the New Town Mix (remixed by Rico Conning) and the Live Remix. There wasn't a real B-side but some remixes of other album songs (the Black Tulip Remix of Black Celebration for example) and some live recordings (recorded at the Birmingham N.E.C., on 10 April 1986.)
A Question of Time was mainly recorded at Hansa Studios "with its unique ambience leaving its mark on A Question of Time", as Alan said. "It's difficult to say what effect the studio had on the end results but Hansa definitely had an atmosphere about it. Even though we were predominantly working at the very top of the building in studio 4, we hired out the main recording room of Studio 2 and set up a 2K PA system to send individual sounds through - effectively to beef them up and get the atmosphere of the room. This was done much to the annoyance of the Hansa cafe owner I might add, who had to endure 4's on the floor pounding directly above his head for 3 days on the trot - something akin to a road drill placed six inches from your ear. God knows what he used to put in our food as retribution ..."[33]
A Question of Time was the first promo to be directed by Anton Corbijn, who would change their image in a drastic way. With Corbijn the band lost their naive image. They were no longer a "young, poppy boy-band that might be gay". Their music became more matured, and Corbijn gave them a darker, more masculine style. Sometimes even a bit macho-esque (especially in later videos like Personal Jesus).
Martin: "We had been trying to work with Anton for quite a while, but he wasn't interested in working with us, because he felt we were too much of a pop band, and he didn't really like what we were doing. It was probably the third attempt when we sent him the single A Question of Time, and asked him if he was interested in doing a video for it. And finally he actually liked something we were doing.[34] We had a lot of bad experiences in the early days with videos. I think that a lot of the time directors came in, I think they just saw how young and naive we were and they were just taking the piss - 'Let's see how stupid we can make them look, see how far they'll go!'"
Dave: "Video wasn't an area where we had ever felt comfortable. We kind of stood in the background and afterwards went, 'Urrrgh, that looks really bad dunnit?' The moment we sat down with Anton and started talking about ideas it was pretty obvious that he was going to be part of the team."[35]
Fletch: "In the early days it was a bit of a lottery how the video turned out. It was kind of frustrating, because we felt we weren't in control. Really, up to the day we met Anton Corbijn, we were sometimes looking okay and sometimes looking terrible. We didn't have a unified image really. We didn't really look like a united band. When we started working with Anton we suddenly started to look like a cool band."[36]
But then this first promo was mainly focussed on Alan. "I can't really remember the circumstances but it is possible that I was the only one prepared to get up early enough. The location was two hours outside L.A. and I think the shoot was on a day after a gig. Directors always get you to the shoot at 5 a.m. just out of spite. Later we had to struggle with the little baskets, sorry babies for hours before they would do what was required. There were mothers, nappies, bottles, toys - all kinds of chaos."[37]

Martin (on the question about who is meant with the 15-year-old in A Question Of Time): "Well ummm, yes, it was written about a person in particular. Full stop, no comment." (laughs)
Dave: "I think it's just looking really, observing. Rather than ... just writing about what would happen to that person, a young attractive girl who was very innocent, and obviously, once us lads get our hands on them, they change."
A horde dipped teenagers appeared exactly at that moment, and one of the girls asked whether she might kiss Dave on his cheek.
"No, no", he said before he gave in, "oh, alright then."[38]



A Question Of Time

(A Question of Time - with friendly permission of © Camilo Rueda López)



On 18 August Alan released 1 + 2, two long instrumental tracks with a lot of samples and sounds, and chose the name Recoil for the project. When he was asked about where the name came from in 1989 he simply replied, "The dictionary."[39]
In 2010 he would answer the same question less ironic, "It's what happens when you shoot a gun and the power of the gun throws you backwards, that's the recoil. And I thought that was quite nice if music has that effect on people as well ... you don't want music to wash over people and have no effect. So I quite liked the word for that reason. But apart from that, there was no great reason, really. It's just that it sounded good at the time."[40]

Alan: "I did a couple of refinements at home with samples and recorded them on cassette. Sampling was brand-new at that time and it was exciting for me to play around with that just for the fun of it.[41] It was a cassette demo on a 4-track Fostex or Tascam, and only ended up being released after I played it to Daniel. He said, 'could you re-do this?' I didn't really have time to do it properly, so we just decided to release it inconspicuously, as it was, and not pay too much attention to it.[42] We felt it was good to get anything out there and perhaps I didn't feel that precious about it because it was only a side project at the time."
The rest of the band didn't seem to notice it.
Alan: "They didn't say much about it. And I was quite reserved about it at the beginning. The first release wasn't much more than a demo. There wasn't the impression given they had been very interested in."[43]
This didn't change with the subsequent releases, but later it became clear that all remaining band members did listen to Recoil, definitely. Many years later Dave would show up quite impressed by Alan's music, Fletch mentioned once that he liked Liquid, and there's a recording of a "hotel session" involving Martin on which he sang In Your Room and then added the refrain of Control Freak (from Unsound Methods, 1997) - you're all I need to get high. It might seem ironic, because it was him who called Alan a control freak, but nevertheless he had listened to this record.



While I never got any answer according to the question if I might stream excerpts of Depeche-Mode-songs on this website, Alan kindly granted me to do so with Recoil-songs.
So here is an excerpt of "2":

(with friendly permission of © Recoil / Alan Wilder)



1986 was a year of rather unsuccessful interviews. There was one in which Dave simply talked and talked and ... The reporter didn't manage to put forward her questions, instead she got things like this:
"I got really drunk at the last gig we did and didn't get back to the hotel until four in the morning. There I was lying on the bed and suddenly I wanted to go pee. I went into the bathroom and fell asleep on the loo. After about an hour I tried to stand up but I slipped on a towel and went flying through the shower - flat out on my backside, I was. I cried out for Jo who got me back to the bed. I sneaked a look down at my ankle and nearly died when I saw the size of it. It was like an elephant's foot. Huge. It still hurts me now."[44]
But no matter what kind of health related obstacles the band members faced they hardly cancelled a show - the show must go on.
Alan: "You can't just decide to have a night off just because you feel a bit tired and once on stage, a natural adrenaline rush would always see you through."[45]
Dave: "You wouldn't believe how much money I spend on clothes. Tonight I actually ran out of leather trousers so I had to wear white cotton ones. I get soaking wet every night and the leather goes all hard. Five gigs and they're ruined. Tonight I even slipped about on stage it was so wet."[46]
And if you thought, he would look after his wardrobe himself -
Alan: "Each band member had a travelling wardrobe and a wardrobe person was responsible for making sure everybody's stage gear was washed and ready to wear etc."[47]

And there was one interview in which the reporter wanted to know something completely different, but Dave and Fletch didn't bother, talked about whatever they wanted.
Dave: "Yes, I've got plans to have kids. I want to try everything. Plus I'm in a good position to look after them properly, but that doesn't mean I'll send them to private school. I want them to live and learn as I have."
Fletch: "I'm 24 now and I often get the urge - to have children that is - but my girlfriend's just started her career and I wouldn't want to interrupt it." (He was talking about his later wife, Grainne.)
Dave: "Some people are so dedicated to their job, nothing else matters but I think that's very tunneled vision. For example, our engineer has just had a vasectomy and he's only young. I find that really stupid." [And I find it very impolite to tell this in public :D] "Why not take your baby into the office? What's wrong with that?"
Fletch: "Don't be silly."
Then they switched to another topic still far away from what the reporter wanted to know.
Dave: "I think that if you've got money it's wrong to feel guilty about spending it. I've always spent what money I've had whether it be a fiver or five hundred."
Fletch: "That's a ridiculous attitude. You've got to have certain values, Dave, and you need to draw a line somewhere. Personally, I think the huge amount Martin has just spent on his new sofa is completely stupid."
Dave: "But Fletch you've got to enjoy life."
Fletch: "I do."
Dave: "I know, but you only live once and it's silly to have money sitting in the bank."
Fletch: "Yeah Dave, but for you everything's got its price."
Dave: "I often don't look at prices."
Fletch: "Sure, but ..."[48]
Probably this is an example for what Dave meant when he said that he and Fletch tended to argue. As you can see it's nothing serious. They are simply different characters with different opinions and tend to talk at cross-purposes.


trennlinie


And there were really some articles about Martin's clothes again. Why did he wear a bra with a tin of beer on each side on stage lately? (And why did the reporter even dare to ask about it?)
Martin: "It's just something I like doing. It's a laugh, it makes me laugh when I look in the mirror, it makes other people laugh when they see me and I'm making the whole world happy!" (laughs)
Dave: "And it makes people cry. Especially Fletch. 'You can't wear that, oh God!' he comes in with his new gear on and it's quite a big event because we wonder what he's got on this time."
Martin (laughs loudly): "In France a couple of years ago, we'd never really had much success and I put on this gear in the dressing room when we were doing this TV programme and Fletch took one look at me and said 'Mart, we're never going to do anything in France if you go out looking like that!' The next thing we knew, we had massive hits there. That was what started it."[49]

Legendary is the interview Martin gave in Berlin, lying on the asphalt, while the reporter wanted to learn something about Martin's ambitions as a male stripper ...
Fletch: "If he carries on drinking he could strip!"
Martin: "It's something I never really wanted to do when I was younger, but as I've ... I've not got great ambitions to be a stripper, but I quite like stripping."
What about doing it right here?
Martin: "It's not a question of not being an exhibitionist. The reason I wouldn't strip in front of Woolworth's in Berlin is it's just not the right place to do it."
And then she asked about the leather.
Martin: "I love wearing leather. I love wearing black, but apart from that I love the idea of ... being tied up, because I love the feeling of helplessness, and that's the only reason. I'm not really into pain. Well, it is about whips and chains, but it's not ... As in most of my songs, I hate writing about a certain subject. I like writing songs that are maybe about a certain subject, but, like, take in a greater spectrum. I hate having to describe songs because if you try and describe them in a few words, you never describe them fully. 'Cos sometimes I write a couple of lines and I'm not sure what they're about. I don't know exactly what I'm trying to say, but they fit exactly the atmosphere of the song and the music, at that point. I hate interviews, actually, because I find it so difficult coming across natural. I hate reading them, too. That's one reason why I don't like doing them. I don't blame journalists, I blame myself for what I say. I know it's really bad. It's just a question of ... I reckon if you interview us, a lot of the time you're going to get a lot of stuff that's real rubbish. I know when you interview me, you're going to get a lot of stuff that you're not going to be interested in at all."[50]
The journalist probably thought she had learned something about Martin's personality, but this interview is a good example for Martin's humour and for being very clever when someone was too curious about special things.


trennlinie


Speaking of funny things - here are two tit-bits:
Dave: "I suppose A-Ha will take away everyone's girl audience for a while because they're hunky good looking chaps. The problem is that they probably speak funny."
Fletch: "They probably speak better English than you do."
Dave: "Rubbish. I bet they don't."[51]
[Er ... Unfortunately, Fletch is right here. A-Ha speak English very well while it was sometimes hard work to translate Dave to German. ;-)]

Fletch: "At the beginning of this project I started taking lots of vitamins. But as soon as I stopped taking 'em I got ill. I'm not saying it's connected, mind you, but I've been ill for the last week and a half, trying to 'shake the disease'. Still it's better than being constipated, that's the worst thing!"
Dave: "Toilet talk is one of his favourite topics. It's all he ever talks about!"
Fletch: "Well, it's a weird thing. I mean you do it in private ..."
Dave: "You should interview him about toilet style ..."
Martin: "Can I just interrupt for two seconds? They need the video title now! I've thought of something I don't like very much: Some Great Videos."
Fletch: "Yeah, because some of our videos are pretty bad, so it's not The Videos, all of them, but some of 'em."[52]
Some Great Videos was released on 22 September.
For the rest of the year the band got some time off.






References:
[1] Back to the Wall, No. 1, 22 February 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[2] "I Love the Idea of Wearing Leather and I Love the Idea of Being Tied up, Because I Love the Feeling of Helplessness ...", Record Mirror, 8 February 1986. Words: Nancy Culp
[3] Depeche Mode: The Interview, Talking Music SPEEK013, 1988
[4] Basildon Bond, Blitz, April 1986. Words: Bruce Dessau
[5] Back to the Wall, No. 1, 22 February 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[6] Basildon Bond, Blitz, April 1986. Words: Bruce Dessau
[7] recoil.co.uk
[8] Celebrity Squares? Sounds, 26 April 1986. Words: Dave Henderson
[9] Devout Moded, Vox, February 1993. Words: Martin Townsend
[10] recoil.co.uk
[11] Back to the Wall, No. 1, 22 February 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[12] Back to the Wall, No. 1, February 22nd 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[13] Basildon Bond, Blitz, April 1986. Words: Bruce Dessau
[14] recoil.co.uk
[15] Back to the Wall, No. 1, 22 February 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[16] Back to the Wall, No. 1, 22 February 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[17] Videointerview during Masses-Tour 1988
[18] "I Love the Idea of Wearing Leather and I Love the Idea of Being Tied up, Because I Love the Feeling of Helplessness ...", Record Mirror, 8 February 1986. Words: Nancy Culp
[19] Information Service newsletter, September 1986
[20] My interview with Depeche Mode, 29 January 2010, words: oyvindholen
[21] recoil.co.uk
[22] Yes, it's Two Typical Days on Tour with Depeche Mode, Smash Hits, 27 August 1986. Words: Ro Newton
[23] One of those Days ..., Smash Hits, 26 March 1986. Words: Chris Heath
[24] Information Service Newsletter, December 1986
[25] The Story Of Depeche Mode, BBC Radio London Live94.9, 7 May 2001, Producer: Tony Wood
[26] Information Service newsletter, December 1986
[27] Depeche Mode's Kinky Moods, Creem, July 1986. Words: David Keeps
[28] If You Call Yourself a Pop Band You Can Get Away With Anything, Record Mirror, 23 August 1986. Words: Andy Strickland
[29] Back to the Wall, No. 1, 22 February 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[30] recoil.co.uk
[31] If You Call Yourself a Pop Band You Can Get Away With Anything, Record Mirror, 23 August 1986. Words: Andy Strickland
[32] Yes, it's Two Typical Days on Tour with Depeche Mode, Smash Hits, 27 August 1986. Words: Ro Newton
[33] recoil.co.uk
[34] My interview with Depeche Mode, 29 January 2010, words: oyvindholen
[35] Interview with Depeche Mode, The Videos 86>98, Mute MF033 and Videos 86>98+, Mute MF042. Director: Sven Harding
[36] My interview with Depeche Mode, 29 January 2010, words: oyvindholen
[37] recoil.co.uk
[38] If You Call Yourself a Pop Band You Can Get Away With Anything, Record Mirror, 23 August 1986. Words: Andy Strickland
[39] Ask Alan, Bong 6, July 1989
[40] Recoil in Bucharest - Otiliei Haraga, depechemode.ro
[41] recoil.co.uk
[42] Unsound Recordings, Sound On Sound, January 1998. Words: Bill Bruce
[43] recoil.co.uk
[44] Yes, it's Two Typical Days on Tour with Depeche Mode, Smash Hits, 27 August 1986. Words: Ro Newton
[45] recoil.co.uk
[46] Yes, it's Two Typical Days on Tour with Depeche Mode, Smash Hits, 27 August 1986. Words: Ro Newton
[47] recoil.co.uk
[48] From Lads to Dads, Just Seventeen, 19 March 1986. Words: Jenny Tucker
[49] If You Call Yourself a Pop Band You Can Get Away With Anything, Record Mirror, 23 August 1986. Words: Andy Strickland
[50] "I Love the Idea of Wearing Leather and I Love the Idea of Being Tied up, Because I Love the Feeling of Helplessness ...", Record Mirror, 8 February 1986. Words: Nancy Culp
[51] Back to the Wall, No. 1, 22 February 1986. Words: Max Bell / Mark Booker
[52] Depeche Mode's Kinky Moods, Creem, July 1986. Words: David Keeps



Biography: 1987

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