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LIVE - live albums / versions / performance


From: Robert Winberg
E-mail: robert.winberg@tranas.se

On the 'Devotional' tour, you used two visible keyboards. What kind of machines were they?

They were E-max ll Turbos.

Can you amuse us with an embarrassing / strange moment or story you may have experienced while performing on-stage?

There are many. In particular, an early Belgian show where all the tape machines failed invoking chants of "rubbish" from the audience - to which Dave's witty repost was "Fuck off, four eyes" to the bespectacled man in the front row. And then there was the unforgettable moment on a live English T.V. show called 'The Tube' where absolutely everything failed apart from Fletch's keyboard.

From: Jason Seals
E-mail: Spirit2575@aol.com

Did DM ever consider playing 'The Sun And The Rainfall' in the 90's?

I did put a vote in for it on a more recent tour- with a view to a new version of course but noone else was interested.

You once said that you thought it would be wrong to play any Recoil tracks on the 'SOFAD' tour. Why did DM play 'Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth' then?

Martin wanted to sing that song, on occasion, during his vocal spot. I had no problem with that.

Did you like the video footage more for the 'World Violation' tour or the 'Devotional' tour?

I think I preferred the work for the last tour best, although I liked aspects of both. I wasn't too keen on the images for 'Enjoy The Silence' ('Devotional') however.


From: Giuntia Tonino
E-mail: tonino.giuntia@cfwb.be

Is it true that someone was inside your piano in Indianapolis (last gig of the 'Devotional' tour)? Any funny memories about that special gig?

Jez Webb - the guitar tech. - emerged, to my surprise, from the shell of the piano during 'Somebody' I think. This is a typical last-date-of-the-tour prank as has become tradition amongst the rock 'n' roll touring fraternity. We also experienced tour managers-turned-backing vocalists in drag (Andy Franks etc.). Other favourites include talcum powder on the drum skins, Mrs. Mop coming on with a broom to sweep the stage during Dave's finest moment and exposed arses at the side of the stage...ooh, how we laughed.

From: Alexandra Chlup
E-mail: ug1z@rz.uni-karlsruhe.de

On 1/7/98 you answered to Giuntia Tonino about your funny memories from the 'Devotional' Tour. What did you mean by 'Dave's finest moment'?

I was actually asked about funny memories from the last show of the tour and my reference to Dave's finest moment was used hypothetically. I simply meant that at an important or perhaps dramatic point in the show, someone dressed as a cleaner would come on stage and start sweeping the floor.

From: Scott Coolidge
E-mail: Scott.Coolidge@ey.com

I believe a lot of fans really like the way many of the songs have been reworked for the live shows (e.g. 'Fly on the Windscreen', 'Everything Counts' etc.) We all know you are to thank for this. Looking back, are there any other songs you would have like to have reworked / remixed for a live performance?

Well, it would have been interesting to have attacked some of the earlier Mode songs from say, 'Construction Time Again' - songs like 'Shame', 'And Then'
and maybe a few others.

About halfway through the 1993 - '94 tour, you started playing the drums on even more songs like 'Stripped' and 'Halo'. Why the switch?

It was just more fun to play the drums and by that stage, I had built up enough stamina to play them for a longer period of the show.

From: Katherine Davison
E-mail: jcheney@cstone.net

I remember reading that on 'Walking In My Shoes' there is a sample of a whale. I thought I heard this sound on the 'Devotional' tour and it looked like Martin was playing it on his guitar. Was he playing it with a processor or was it pre-recorded?

If I remember correctly, the whale sound was generated from a keyboard.

What did you think of the great performance DM did of 'A Question Of Time' on the last tour? It, by far, had the most energy of the whole show and must have been a joy for you to play. 

Yes, it was fun to play. There was a lot of new energy in that version.

From: Kaleid
E-mail: Kaleid34@aol.com

You said in a previous answer that on the 'Devotional' tour, the top keyboards on all your racks were only used as backup but in the video Fletch uses the top one quite frequently. What's the deal with that?

He's six foot four ;-)

From: Carsten Vogt
E-mail: cvogt@theorie.physik.uni-wuppertal.de

Until 'Music for the masses' tour, Martin used some kind of toy instrument towards the end of 'Everything Counts'. Was his mic turned on whilst playing this, i.e., were the tunes audible for everyone?

Yes, it was a melodica.

On the 'SOFAD' tour you used a different Emulator to Martin and Andy. I am curious as to why you did this and in how far it differed from Mart's and Andy's?

The difference in keyboards was due to the fact that my particular selection of musical parts required more physical keys on the keyboard than those parts played by Martin and Fletch.

With DM on tour, was there any criteria as to which musical parts were played by you on the keyboard and which by Martin?

There were no special rules. It was a question of logistics. I would just spread the sounds over the two keyboards as conveniently as possible.

From: Petr Jech
E-mail: JBohac@cpoj.cz

Is it true that on the '101' album, some of Dave's vocals were re-recorded in the studio?

Put it this way, I doubt there's ever been a live album in the history of pop music that hasn't been touched up here and there.

From: Frantisek Trenkler
E-mail: gulo@dodo.sk

I would like to ask you why DM released so many live songs during the 'Devotional' tour (live singles, 'SOFAD' live, 'Devotional' video) and yet there was nothing released during the 'World Violation' tour? Are there at least some 1990 tour audio/video recordings in your archives so we can hope for their later release?

The 'World Violation' tour was too soon after the 'MFTM' tour to warrant a live LP. By the time 'Devotional' came along it was felt that enough time had passed to release another one. I'm sure there are some recordings from 'World Violation' but I don't know if they will ever be released.

From: Hubert Razack
E-mail: razack@mygale.org

I've always thought that the making of the backing tracks for a tour is as much work as an album - you have some songs, then you have to rework them completely. What is your point of view on this?

Yes, it's a lot of hard work and involves imagining the songs in a different way from the album versions.

If it's the case, I can't understand why so few live versions are officially released?

People generally don't like live albums - they feel they're being ripped off.

From: Neil Kay
E-mail: nkay@uk.bnsmc.com

Did you ever encourage Dave to be more talkative to the audience or were you happy with his football hooligan approach to stage craft?

It's not something we ever really discussed. None of us would ever have presumed to have the authority to tell Dave how to handle the audience.

Did Dave ever do an 'introducing the band' type cliche? For example: "On drums, Alan Wilder!...On guitar, Martin Gore...On the stage, Fletch..!"

No, I think that would have been one rock cliche too far....

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

Did Martin play the melodica on the 'Violation' or "Devotional" tours

I can't remember about 'World Violation' but he definitely didn't play it for the 'Devotional' tour.

Did you ever think about playing drums live ( on the 'Devotional' tour) for other songs like 'Enjoy the silence', 'Everything Counts' etc.?

I chose to play drums only on the tracks I felt they would work best.

What was your reaction when you saw more then 70,000 people at the Rosebowl in '88 or when there were 20,000 at the Wherehouse signing?

Both these occasions were obviously high-points in my career and both somewhat unexpected in their turnout. The Rosebowl performance wasn't actually one of our best, due to monitoring problems, but it certainly gave us a lot of credibility back in Europe where nobody could quite believe our popularity in the States.

Do you remember any mistakes you made playing keyboards / drums during DM live shows? 

I can't remember individual errors - there was nothing major.

From: Chris Watkins
E-mail: w_watkins@emerson.edu

You've answered questions regarding the 'World Violation' tour backing tapes before but what has always puzzled me was how / why they made available to the public. I know they weren't officially released, so how were they 'leaked' to whoever distributes them? Even *I* have a copy! ;-)

I have absolutely no idea. It is usually necessary for a few cassettes or Dats of the backing tapes to be made for various people to listen to (same applies to demos etc.). These inevitably get left lying around before falling into the wrong hands.

From: James
E-mail: JAME567892@aol.com

Did you and the others (in Depeche) take care with your appearance before going on stage? Was this your own choice if it was the case?

Yes, the stage outfits were down to individual choice and in my case, Paula Bradley and later Karen Dusenbury, designed and made them. 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.

In the 'Devotional' video, for 'Everything Counts', you and Andrew, and in 'Judus', just yourself, move to single deck keyboards at the lower level of the stage where Dave sings. Is this because these keyboards had sounds allocated to them that the others did not?

No, it was purely a visual consideration for the encores, to try to create less of a detached feeling and more of a group atmosphere.

From: Aaron Young
E-mail: ayoung@littlefoot.engr.sgi.com

I was wondering if you used to personally set-up and tear down the keyboards etc. for the DM shows. I find that if I let someone else do it, there are always problems and I ultimately end up doing it myself. Did you ever experience the same problems?

I've done my fair share of humping gear over the years but without meaning to sound arrogant, at DM's level, one doesn't set up ones own gear. One has a crew of a couple of hundred people to take care of that kind of thing.... ;-)

From: Peter Borg
E-mail: peter.borg.4641@student.uu.se

On the 'World Violation' backing tapes, one can hear drums on 'Clean' and a guitar on 'Personal Jesus' mixed very low. Were they there for back-up or to flesh out the live sound or have I been imagining things?

The extra sounds you heard were never audible through the P.A. system. They were back-up sounds in case of breakdown.

From: Jon Schiller
E-mail: Diverjon@worldnet.att.net

I know from watching '101' that there were tape machines on the side of the stage. Who started them for each song and/or were there sequencers, and who was the master and slave?

The machines would be started by the keyboard tech., Wob Roberts, at the beginning of the set and were only stopped and re-started inbetween encores. There were two identical machines which ran in sync - one was purely a back-up to the other in case of breakdown.

I also noticed on the 'SOFTD', that the laserdisc sounds much more sonic, so it sounds like there was a sequencer sending all the information instead of tape.

Do you mean a laserdisc of 'SOFAD' Live? If so, there is no difference between the sound recording of that, compared to the recording on any other format.

How involved were you with the live sounds while playing drums? Did you mix the kit yourself and what sort of monitor mix did you have?

I used to play to a 'headphone-only' sequencer part which would feed to one ear only. On the other side I would have a floor monitor with the drums and selected sounds from the rest of the balance (without vocals). The mix was provided by the monitor engineer although I could adjust the level of the headphones myself.

From: Mario Vella
E-mail: mmjgvella@hotmail.com

Was there any particular significance behind the astronaut and the mummy images used during 'Never Let Me Down Again' on 'Devotional' or was this just deliberately ambiguous?

Ask Anton - you're dealing with the mind of a strange Dutchman.

From: Stephan Martinussen
E-mail: stephan.martinussen@get2net.dk

I think it's a shame that all those live-tracks you brilliantly reworked for various tours, won't be released ('I Want You Now' comes to my mind but also 'Everything Counts' - both from the 'SOFAD' tour). As a fan, it's really frustrating to be forced to buy bootlegs of bad quality to have them. Any plans to release at least some of them?

I wouldn't think that any live versions from my time with Depeche Mode will now be released.

From: Gary Hill
E-mail: ghill@arn.net

I was lucky enough to see you perform in Dallas on the last leg of the 'Devotional' tour and loved the different mixes of 'I Want You Now' and 'A Question Of Time'. Were you responsible for these new mixes?



From: Kaytee
E-mail: diode.ladder@pipemedia.co.uk

My boyfriend and I were watching 'Devotional' last night and though the performance is haunting indeed and quite powerful, it really made us cringe to see the way Dave carried on. I mean, stage diving?! What goes through your mind when you look back at him during that period of time?

It's hard to say. Looking back with the aid of hindsight, there are good and bad elements of the any stage show and we were all responsible for them. I think Dave had a very demanding job to go out there every night and engage the audience so it would be unfair to criticise him for a particular move, no matter how much of a rock cliché it was.

From: Fernando Cariddi
E-mail: lacatedral@yahoo.com

I read and watched that in the tours '101' - 'SOFAD', Depeche Mode used the E- II Turbo. Did this sampler have any advantage compared to the others in those days?

There were a few around that would have done a similar job but the Emax seemed to be more robust for on-the-road use.


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