Interview with Gareth Jones
In February 2012 I had the opportunity for an interview with Gareth Jones for
the German music magazine True Trash. It mainly deals with Gareth
himself and his work in general.
This interview you can find here. (Only avaible in German).
Besides, I asked Gareth some questions about DM, especially about the relationships between the band members during the time he worked with them, basing on Alan's statement that "the relationship that never really flourished was between myself and Martin" (see 1995). I wanted to know if there had been any signs for in the years before SOFAD.
Note: The following interview parts don't follow a strict question-answer format, but were taken from a larger context. The questions referred to special context in the biography. You should read the chapter referred to in order to see the context.
About the beginning of the relationship in 1983:
Gareth Jones: "When I worked with the band in the 80's everyone had a really good relationship. Alan was the new boy in the band obviously at Construction Time Again but it was a wonderful creative time we all had. So, everyone was getting on really well. Of course, sometimes there would be an argument or something but this is something normal in any relationship. There were some arguments between any of the group sometimes, me and Fletch had an argument at some stage, whatever, it wasn't a big deal. What I saw was a very creative and positive working relationship."
See this part in context: 1983
About the main reasons for the tension during recording Black Celebration:
Gareth Jones: "It was the third record we made together and obviously it was
challenging and we all wanted to do something special. Daniel Miller had the
idea that we should follow Werner Herzog. He had the idea we should live the
album. What we did was ... we didn't have any time off. At that time we all
were a lot younger and we worked every day very long hours. From when we
started recording the album to when we finished mixing it we went to work
every single day. So that meant that we had ... in a way it brought a special
pressure into the process. It was quite a high pressure process but it was a
thing we were willing to do. We all thought it was a good idea. We all felt
it would be a good thing to do for this record. That wasn't something we were
forced into. We discussed it and we all said: That's a great idea, let's do it!
Let's enter the studio and don't stop working and won't have a day off until
And that meant that we got some kind of a claustrophobia, a claustrophobic attitude in the recording which really seemed to suit the songs and the album that we were trying to make. So, yes, it was a big tense sometimes. And when it came to the mixing Daniel and I were also tired. I remember very well the first track we were trying to mix. I think it was the title track, Black Celebration. We were sure we had quite a good mix and then everyone would make their comments and we decided it wasn't good enough and we tried again and again and this ... well, it drove the band nuts. Everyone was getting tired and just wanted to finish the record. I remember the band had a meeting and Alan said: Look, guys, we really need to sort ourselves out, we really have to get the record mixed! We must move forward.
I really remember it as a claustrophobic atmosphere and as sometimes dark, but it was a wonderful creative experience as well. So in a way the claustrophobia and the tensed atmosphere was really positive for the work I think."
See this part in context: 1985
About the relationship between Alan and Martin in the 1980s, especially around recording Black Celebration:
Gareth Jones: "I just remember everyone was working very hard. At that stage Martin wrote all the songs, and Alan was a huge part of the studio-team. He was there every minute. Martin, Dave and Fletch might come in a bit later sometimes, on some days. Alan was there with me, Daniel Miller and the assistant every minute of the whole thing. We were all working in a very loving way, I think, with a lot of love and respect for the songs. We all felt we were working on the songs, even Martin had written them. Once he had written them they became a life of their own. And the responsibility of the production-team as a group of musicians was to make the songs as good as we could. To me it seems that Alan and Martin had a great relationship. Alan was working incredibly hard and focused to make the best out of the songs."
Of course, he can't say anything about the relationship between these two character during the time of SOFAD because he didn't work with them at that time.
"I don't know if there was particularly a problem between Martin and Alan. Clearly there was a problem in the group somehow. Y'know, it's like in a family, isn't it? In a family, if one member starts behaving badly then you have a family problem. You can't just blame one person, the whole family is something that needs to be looked at. And I guess it's a bit like in a band, it's a complex relationship. And when it goes wrong it goes badly wrong sometimes."
See this part in context: 1995