2004

On 27 October, with Bottle Living / Hold On, another single of Dave's soloalbum was released, followed by the single A Little Piece on 9 February 2004. Also, on 1 March, the concert video Live Monsters was released.
In 2004 the bitching still persisted for a while, until peace was restored, and DM announced that there would be a new album.
Fletch: "Unfortunately, Dave uses interviews as a therapy substitute sometimes. He always talks a lot about things which are burning issues to him. He always tells journalists a lot to inflate his self-esteem, this is rather obvious. 'Why are you suddenly writing songs, Dave? Why didn't you do this before?' His answer was of course: 'Because Martin didn't let me.'' This is complete rubbish because Dave had never shown any ambitions to write songs."[1]
This is the quotation in request. Already in 1987, Alan had talked about Dave having song ideas, and there is a radio interview from 1994 in which Dave was thinking about making a solo record. Didn't Fletch know this? Maybe this quote is wrong, or it might have got lost in translation because it's only available in German. But Dave also played demos to Martin during the recordings of Ultra and Exciter. He didn't ask him directly whether the songs could be used for these albums, but playing self written songs to someone meant that "he had never shown any ambitions to write songs"?

Dave: "I was trying to let Martin know through the press that this was not something that was going to work for me again."[2]
One could wonder now why he didn't tell him directly. Why did he use the media to tell him? Well, the answer is always the same - this band isn't able to communicate.
Dave: "I want to know what Martin feels about me but at the same time, I don't, because I feel like it's going to be the worst. He's really extroverted, but in other ways introverted - we're all like that. I really admire and respect him, and I see him having a hard time in his life right now," (Martin went through divorce from Suzanne at the time), "and I sympathize with him. After all these years, you'd think we'd know each other a lot better, but I don't think we really do."[3]
Martin: "It was a question of having to accept that or not carrying on with the band. I wouldn't call it an ultimatum, but it was obvious to everyone involved that if Dave wasn't going to be contributing then he probably wouldn't be interested in carrying on."[4] But he was also a bit offended and worried. "During the press for his solo record, he went a bit too far, saying stuff like he felt like a puppet and I was a dictator, and he felt he had a right to contribute. I realised during that period that if the band were going to continue then I would have to allow that to happen up to a point. But I didn't think it was right that after 25 years he should step in and write 50 per cent of the songs."[5]
Dave: "I said, 'I contributed to everything you've done all these years. I want some back now.' I said, 'let's shake it up a bit. I'm going to bring in my stuff.' Martin said, 'well, how many songs? How much?'"
Martin: "Dave came to that project with a lot of bravado. He wanted to write half the album! We were all a little cautious of that. He had just put out his first solo album and had really only just started writing."[6]
Dave: "Martin said, 'I think it's going to be very hard for Depeche Mode fans to take this.' I was like, 'Bull-s***!'"[7] But he also said that he had known it would end up with a compromise.



Bottle Living

(Bottle Living - with friendly permission of © Matteo Prezioso)



So, is Martin a totalitarian dictator? ;)
Martin: "Yes, Dave called me a totalitarian dictator." (laughs) "Which was a little unfair because I'm not like that. Everyone who knows me knows that I'm not a totalitarian dictator."
Fletch: "Oh, but you have your moments. But, yes, Dave said some strange things. But that's how Dave is. He always says what he thinks."
Martin: "Even in DM interviews he sometimes says things that let me think: 'What?!'' But we know what he is like. He doesn't always say what he means."[8]
(By the way - sometimes I think the same about some things Fletch says. Recently I found an article quoting Fletch with, "It was sad the way things turned out eventually, especially with Alan leaving. I miss him terribly; he is a good friend."[9] It made me think: 'What?!' Things definitely calmed down over the course of time but Fletch calling Alan a good friend, missing him terribly, really sounds strange to me.)

As an outsider it's difficult to consider if Dave's hurrying ahead was warrantable. Sure, Martin isn't exactly an innocent "fluffy bunny-wunny" either and it might be difficult to work with him - but a dictator?
But I don't know why Dave thought the solution might be to write songs on his own. Some fans had their difficulties with that. So Martin was quite right worrying about the idea of letting Dave write half of the album.
At least Dave had realised that the band had a problem, especially after Exciter, which really divided their fan-base. And he tried to find a solution. Indeed, he preferred the Alexander method (cut the Gordian knot with a sword), but the bottom line is that he gave a new impulse to the band.






References:
[1] Depeche Mode: Das ist Demokratie, Intro, October 2005, Words: Jürgen Dobelmann / Thomas Wenker
[2] Pop: It's good to talk, Sunday Times (US), 18 September 2005. Words: Dan Cairns.
[3] Fighting Mode, Music Article, 14 October 2005. Words: Chris Willman.
[4] Heroes of their degeneration, Times (UK), 30 September 2005. Words: Stephen Dalton.
[5] Songs of Innocence and Experience, Mojo, November 2005. Words: Danny Eccleston.
[6] Depeche Mode in Mature Mode, Los Angeles Times, 28 March, 2009. Words: Chris Lee.
[7] Songs of Innocence and Experience, Mojo, November 2005. Words: Danny Eccleston.
[8] Source can't be found anymore
[9] Taken from: Depeche Mode returns to basics with latest Album, Channel News (Asia), 14 October 2005. Words: Zul Othman.



Biography: 2005

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