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LIFE IN DEPECHE MODE - group decisions / attitudes / roles / incidents


From: Benny Jørgensen
E-mail: benny.joergensen@sander-hansen.com

Did Depeche Mode ever experience any problems with Depeche Mode the fashion magazine over the fact that you 'borrowed' their name, and did you have to pay for this copyright violation?

Well they weren't too happy in the early days but obviously, as the band became more successful, they quickly changed their tune. I don't think it was a copyright issue.

From: Peter Dieter
E-mail: peterdieter@gmx.net

I vaguely remember a discussion from the mid-eighties (it must have been around the time of 'Blasphemous Rumours') where DM were told to put secret evil messages in their songs. Some church-related or simply weird people out there occupy themselves with listening to music backwards and try to hear all kinds of things. In the DM case, you were said to have sold your souls to the devil in return for success. Do you remember anything about this subject?

Em ot skcollob fo daol a ekil sdnuos.

From: Student
E-mail: unknown@ucd.ie

Dave Thompson, who wrote the literary masterpiece 'Some Great Reward', has been described as a close friend of DM. Was he?

Was he fuck....

Mr Thompson also writes that 'The Great Outdoors' was actually an attempt by the group to appease you because they had left you out of the recording of 'A Broken Frame' and you would probably have left the group if they had not done it. Any comment?


Mr Thompson also writes that upon entering the group you announced yourself as a songwriter.


Did you have songwriting ambitions upon entering DM or were your ambitions strictly as a musician / technician?

My short-lived songwriting ambitions emerged after I had joined the group. I never had any songs when I auditioned and I expressed no desire to write any at that time either.

From: Robert Talbot
E-mail: ygu77@dial.pipex.com

Who managed DM before Jonathan Kessler and why the need for change in respect of this?

We all 'sort of' managed with the help of many people over the years (not least Daniel Miller). Jonathan's position evolved initially from tour accountant until he was virtually performing the management role.

From: Elev
E-mail: elev@fhsk.karlskoga.se

What are the biggest misconceptions about you and your role in DM?

I'm 'the drummer'.
I'm antisocial.
I'm still in Depeche Mode and 'Andy Corbijn' is the one who left.....

From: Niels Kolling
E-mail: nk@tdk.dk

I remember reading a DM special in the mid-80's about going out with other groups and having drinking contests. You were mentioned as DM's secret weapon so I guess you hold your liquor best out of the bunch? But who would you try to drink under the table in those wild days of your youth?

The only real contest we had was with Frankie Goes To Hollywood in Dortmund. There was a lot of tequila involved and we won.

From: Stig Jonsson
E-mail: y_cordova@karlskoga.se

What do you consider to have been the greatest, most annoying or hilarious clichés about DM?

We're all gay.
We're all from Basildon.
We're big in Germany.
We used to be big in the eighties.
We're miserable.
Our music is depressing.

From: UnsndMethd
E-mail: UnsndMethd@aol.com

What was so "hellish" about the 'SOFAD' era for the band?

I can't speak for other band members but I wouldn't say it was hell. There were difficulties which are quite well-documented but I also feel that some of the Mode's best music was created at this time and I also enjoyed the tour. You can read more about the recording and the tour by going to Report - editorial / November.

From: Michael M. Ubaldi
E-mail: mmubaldi@mailbox.syr.edu

Listening to the many DM albums and then hearing any one of you (especially Dave or Martin) talk, there seems to be some subversive discrepancy: the innate, thick cockney accent happily spewing forth during the interviews is absent in the vocals. Most apparent are the strikingly (and disappointing since we Yanks aren't worth the trouble) American inflexions of Dave singing
"just CAAN't get enough" instead of a soothing "cauhn't." Had there always been an unconscious urge to find this happy medium of a lightened British accent?

You have too much time on your hands, if you're troubled by this kind of thing Michael ;-) Dave sings the way he sings. That's it. You'll have to ask him if you want further phonetic analysis. I actually think most of the vocals sound very 'English' and there were certainly a few occasions where we discussed the pronunciation of certain words. On these occasions, English pronunciation always won out.

From: Michael Parkes
E-mail: mdparkes@email.msn.com

Depeche Mode has written some very socially conscious songs. Martin Gore said he was a socialist. Being from the middle class, what are your views on socialism? Did you find that the working class background of the other three Moders affected their political outlook?

I think the politically conscious aspects of DM's early songs were more to do with age than any great desire to make a statement - we were hardly Billy Bragg. We never had a collective political view. We all had different ideas on most things (despite our backgrounds) and apart from the tracks on 'Construction Time Again', I think you'd be hard pressed to find anything else that was directly politically motivated. I can't speak for the other members but I have mixed views myself - like most people.

From: Matt Johnson
E-mail: mattj@spaatz.org

Was there a point in time where you began to feel like less of an 'employee' of DM and more like an integral, equal 'partner'?

I stopped being an employee and became a full time member during 1982 but it was a gradual process integrating myself fully into what was (and still is) a very tight unit.

From: Jarrett Wilson
E-mail: noqu72@hotmail.com

What did you detest the most about being in Depeche Mode and what did you adore?

Photo sessions, interviews and making videos can sometimes be gruelling and in recent years I've come to hate flying so all the travelling during the last tour wasn't pleasant but I think the worse part by far is all the hanging around......waiting in airports, waiting in hotel lobbies, waiting for soundchecks, waiting, waiting, waiting..........

What did I like? Oh, lots of things - have a look through the personal archives like public life and Food and Drink. Also Depeche Mode - touring.

From: Matthew Gerbel
E-mail: matt@uniscorp.com

Okay, so a favourite DM song of yours is 'In Your Room'. How about your top 10 or 15 (not excluding b-sides)? I wanna make an official' Alan Wilder favourite Depeche Mode songs' tape for the car. I've played my Recoil tape to death already (not a bad thing).

O.K. - off the top of my head (in no particular order):

In Your Room
Never Let Me Down
Fly On The Windscreen
Black Celebration
I Feel You
Higher Love
World In My Eyes

Try throwing in a few 12" versions like the extended 'I Feel You'.

From: Jam
E-mail: Jam007DM@aol.com

About 'Some Great Reward' - the book. What a dickhead the author must be. Have you ever bothered to read the book?

I skimmed through it really quickly on the toilet (the only place to read trash) when it first came out.

From: Radus V
E-mail: radusv@email.cz

What Martin`s lyric made a deepest impression on you?

"Promises us we're as safe as houses, as long as I remember who's wearing the trousers." Pure genius.

From: Nikki Chatelain
E-mail: IGRAD96@aol.com

If Depeche Mode were ever elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, would the group consider it an honour and make an appearance at the induction ceremony or would it be one of those industry recognition things that don't mean much? The whole thing seems like it's just another way for a lot of snobs to get their egos stroked. If the group did decide to go, would you hop up onstage with them?

I can't speak for my former collegues now but as a general rule none of us liked award ceremonies and I haven't changed my tune. I certainly wouldn't jump up on stage if I hadn't been invited.

From: Angel Sebastián Cortés
E-mail: chaneque@correoweb.com

I have read about the great drinking competitions with 'Frankie Goes To Hollywood' and about the time you played cricket and won the match against Mr. Andy McCluskey and co. Pete Trewavas of Marillion says in the 'Misplaced Childhood' booklet that he met you in Hansa Studios and Depeche Mode won a pool game against Marillion. Can you please tell us more about the competitions you have won (or lost)?

There have been various competitions with different people over the years. I remember we played football, and won convincingly, against the German record company in about 1985 and to top off our victory, someone from our camp succeeded in breaking one of their players legs. By way of apology we couldn't resist sending a 'Get Well Soon' card that simply said:


Herr Hans Derrer (the hapless victim) got his own back by releasing a book of all the snapshots he had taken of the Mode over the years. Nice, eh? He's kept a very low profile since he received the letter from our solicitor.

From: Manni
E-mail: yelohat@supernet.ca>

I was really wondering what cologne David wears?

I should probably know this but I can't remember - I think it might be 'Hunk' by Faberge or possibly 'Hi Karate' or 'Beast' but I'm not sure...................

From: Chris Diggins
E-mail: raydo@gateway.net>

I was reading the latest Q + A and one of the questions stated that your face had been used on the video screen at the singles show. If you had been consulted about this would you have given DM permission to do so?

It's not really a question of whether or not I'd have given permission (which I would), it's more about whether anyone thought to ask for it (which they didn't).

From: Philip Spooner
E-mail: philip@ardensoftware.com

I have a Q Magazine interview with DM issued just before the 'Ultra' album and it mentions that Dave was using hard drugs during the recording of 'SOFAD'. Taking this into account (and the sensationalist stories concerning that tour), was the decision to tour the album ever questioned at the time? In your opinion, should it have been?

We had a couple of meetings where the question of Dave's drug usage was addressed. It was put to Dave that if he didn't clean up his act, we wouldn't make it through such a long tour. He agreed.

From: Carsten Voigt

You mentioned that there are a few inaccuracies in Steve Malins Biography. As far as the quotations from you are concerned, are these correct? In particular, did Martin really drink those 67 beers?

For the most part I'm happy with the majority of the quotes although there are one or two times where I definitely didn't, or wouldn't have phrased something the way it appears in print - either because it's tactless or just encorporates words that I don't use. The bit about the beers is true.

From: Mark Stryker
E-mail: MarkStryker@aol.com

While surfing some FTP sites, I came across an MP3 called 'Yesterday' by Martin Gore. Downloaded it and it sounds like him, drunk off his arse, singing with a few other drunks in a bar. I was just curious if you recall this event?

We had hundreds of imprompu sessions around bar-room pianos the world over so it's quite possibly authentic. Let me know if you come across a version of an extremely drunken Hep and Martin singing 'Strawberry Fields' - now that's one for the dedicated collector, not to mention someone who doesn't mind a really serious assault on the ears ;-)

From: Vita
E-mail: devotee@post.cz

What kind of person is Dave? Was he your biggest friend in the band? What about his sense of humour?

He has a very sharp and wicked sense of humour. Hep always laughs when you read some of the comments (especially from women) on the DM mailing lists where he's sort of thought of as this poor little fluffy bunny-wunny who needs to be protected all the time. If these girls ever met Dave for more than 2 minutes after a show, or if they came on with this attitude, he'd eat them alive with a few chosen words.

From: Loretta Dadah
E-mail: ldadah@fwrv.com>

I know there's a great chance that you will not want to answer this but ask I must. Why do you think some people are so resentful of you? I can hear it in their voices, whether I'm watching them interviewed or reading their comments - it really pisses me off! My guess is that they are very, very jealous. Now a biography has been written about DM and the truth comes out for all to know. Was there any satisfaction for you in that? You're obviously not at all bitter (unlike some) but was it nice for you to know that people were finally getting the facts about things as they really were? I know it filled me with pride. It was nice to 'hear' others praise you the way I always have. You come out of that bio looking damn good, as you damn well should.

Of course there's nothing more upsetting than seeing things written about you that are completely untrue - especially if they become the standard and accepted view over the years.......and naturally it's always satisfying when wrongs are righted and one can feel vindicated. Then again, as I've said before, you shouldn't take Steve Malin's book as the absolute authority on DM - there's loads of stuff that DIDN'T come out that people don't know about. I think it was interestng however, that the same comments about the parties involved, including me, came up again and again from all sorts of different people.

From: Carlos De
E-mail: bongs@mixmail.com

I have read that when DM were in Madrid during the making of 'SOFAD', one night a motorbiker wanted to kick Dave because he laughed at his tattoos and his aspect of neo-easy rider. What really happened and who calmed the angry biker? After all this, did he want an autograph from Dave?

There were in fact many bikers but I think Dave's words to one of them were "What are you looking at, you fat c**t?". About 10 minutes later, all hell broke loose with several resulting 'autographs' in the form of bruises and black eyes - none received by the bikers though. Miraculously, none were received by me either. I have an uncanny knack of making myself invisible during times of extreme violence.

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