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From: Heiko Brune
E-mail: heiko.brune@t-online.de

At 'Tommy's Popshow 1984' there were two stage performances that impressed me most: You playing Neubauten-instruments and Billy Idol washing his face with spit. Any recollections of 'Tommy's Popshow' (which later became 'Peter's Popshow')?

The only real recollections are that we always took the opportunity to get very drunk backstage - particularly the year when Frankie Goes To Hollywood were also on the show.

E-mail: SKYYGIRLL@aol.com

Have you seen the 'GAP' TV commercial with a few heroine chic models advertising leather pants, leather shirts, jackets and so fourth and singing 'Just Can't Get Enough'. Aren't you glad you're post 'Speak And Spell' and don't have to take any responsibility?

Yes I have seen it - ouch. I'm guilty by association ;-)

From: Ken
E-mail: v.hill@virgin.net>

Sorry to bring up embarrassing TV appearances but did I see you guys on 'Jim 'll Fix It' a few years ago or was I dreaming?

Well it was certainly a nightmare for me but no, you weren't dreaming. Anyway, what do you mean "a few years ago" - it was at least 17! For those of you who aren't familiar with the British institution that is 'Jim'll Fix It', it's a show hosted by an octogenarian, suspected-paedophile ex-DJ called Jimmy Saville and involves kids writing in to him with their ultimate dreams - in our case:

"Dear Jim, please fix it for me to meet my fave pop group, Depeche Mode. I've always liked them, especially that Dave Ga-han, he's gooooorgeous.....etc. "

Anyway, this girl's dream came true in the form of performing a song with us. For some reason I was nominated by the others to give her this prize of some cacky little keyboard and the all-important 'Jim'll Fix It' badge. After the song, Jim called me over, saying in his own inimitable style,

"Now then, now then, Mr. Producer man sir, do you or do you not (jewellery, jewellery) have something for this 'ere young lady what performed so well tonight ...there?"

Anyway, I gave her the badge and she looked a bit pissed off that she got a snog from me, not Dave.

I'm lucky to have a copy of this epic somewhere amongst a similar array of embarrassing classics (including 'Razzamatazz' and 'Hold Tight') in a box marked "Items to be aired 'just for a laugh' at dinner parties". Trouble is, I don't know where Hep's hidden the box. If I did, I'd have destroyed the evidence a long time ago.

From: Misha Smiet
E-mail: mishaof9@iae.nl

I've been wondering about DM single releases over the years. With the exception of 'Some Great Reward' and 'Black Celebration', the first song on every studio album has been released as a single. And songs three and six on the last six studio albums have also been released as singles. Was there any logic or superstition involved, or was it just a coincidence?

You've got some spare time on your hands haven't you Misha!? Er, no, it's a coincidence however, it's always a shrewd (and logical) move to put your most commercial tracks near the top of an album's running order - given most people's attention span.

From: Heiko Brune
E-mail: heiko.brune@t-online.de

Talking about the most embarrassing moments in your life, I think I have found one in my collection of DM-TV-appearances. In a German TV-show called "Bananas" (1982), DM performed "See you" in a barn with hens all around them and an extra couple in the back having sex (well, almost!). Some scenes show each band member fumbling with one of the hens. While Dave has to keep himself from grinning all the time, you don't really seem to be enjoying yourself much. Any recollections of that event?

Thanks Heiko. Thank god there are so many dedicated fans out there who can recall all the wonderful moments over the years. I'd have hated to forget about that one.

From: Alison
E-mail: afrasca@worldnet.att.net

Currently, VH1 (MTV's sister channel in the USA) is working on a biography / history of Depeche Mode for their 'Behind The Music' series. Will you be or have you been interviewed for this program?

Yes, the interview was conducted a couple of weeks ago in London. They have also spoken to many of the other people involved with DM over the years. It seemed to go quite well and the producer / interviewer had researched his subject well, asking some intelligent questions. In contrast to the 'short film', I'm more confident that this will be a well balanced , insightful piece.

From: Marks
E-mail: butterstump@hotmail.com

About a week ago I witnessed the VH1 programme about DM and you got VERY little time on camera even though you'd been in the band for over 10 years. Any reason for this? Most angering of all was the fact that no mention of Recoil was made throughout the broadcast. I understand not mentioning Erasure, they are rather high-profile but Recoil is something most people are still in the dark about. All that said, do you feel that you were somewhat leaned on by the network to speak only of DM and not of what you are doing now?

There are a few different factors at work here. For starters I never pushed myself forward as a member of the band and the media tends to concentrate on lead vocalists and songwriters - to a lot of people, the 'techno-nerd' in the studio isn't really that glamorous. I also haven't been to death's door and back and more importantly, I committed the heinous crime of leaving the band - so, out of sight, out of mind. I can accept all these things but I was annoyed in particular with the DM Singles E.P.K (a short film) which I thought was extremely imbalanced - to have 10 years of one's hard and dedicated work represented by about 30 seconds out of a 20 minute piece is pretty insulting. I was also excluded from (and not even advised about) the interview with Anton Corbijn where the other band members discussed his videos for the singles - the same singles that I worked and performed on. As for mentioning Recoil; the interviewer actually asked me a lot about what I was doing now but perhaps he felt it wasn't appropriate to dwell on outside projects as the programme was specifically about DM - I think that's fair enough.

What the hell was with all that focus on Gahan? I thought it was supposed to be about the band! Why didn't they just call it: VH1 'Behind the Music: DAVE'?

What did you expect? To follow on from what I said above, the rise, and more specifically the fall of a band or musician, is always going to sell newspapers and T.V. programmes. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll plays a big part in the media attention of any group, with the music often taking a back seat. I'm told that the 'Behind The Music' series has a reputation for focusing on scandal so I'm not surprised. I do hope however, that one day we will be able to see a documentary on Depeche Mode that is balanced and shows the REAL truth instead of fuelling tired old cliches, ludicrous inaccuracies and irrelevant gossip.

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

You must have grown up watching 'Top Of The Pops' in the 70's. How was it to be there for the first time with DM? And do you remember if there were any interesting groups performing on the same show?

My first TOTP's appearance was in 1982 (performing 'See You'). It was an all-day affair, mainly spent hanging around in our dressing room while the union-led BBC staff took their various tea, lunch and back-strain breaks. The audience consisted of about 15 people being goaded with cattle-prods to move them swiftly around the studio from stage to stage. We had the dubious honour of appearing on the same show as one-hit-wonder Adrian Gurwitz. If your memory isn't capable of resurrecting his unforgettable tune, the lyrics were as follows...."gonna write a classic, gonna write it in an attic"........ er,......yes. He's still up there apparently.

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

It always annoys me that Americans seem to get screwed as far as music goes. England always gets more singles, more mixes, more B-sides and other rare recordings while Americans have to pay ridiculous prices to import the stuff. One of the biggest examples that annoys the hell out of me is the 'Devotional' video. The US version was cut short by a few songs. Who makes these idiotic decisions?

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. The 'Devotional' video was probably due to time-versus-selling price constraints. If they go beyond a certain time limit they then have to move into a more expensive format / catagory which was thought to be too unaffordable for the average DM fan - quite sensible actually.

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

Which DM singles chart success has surprised you the most over the years?

'It's Called A Heart'.

Which DM singles chart failure has disappointed you most over the years?

Probably 'Walking In My Shoes' although you couldn't call it a total failure.

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

Did you ever feel pressured by the Record Company to make and put out singles? I mean, it seems that when you got to the third or fourth single release from an album, it had to be remixed. Did you feel that they lacked a bit of production or was it Mute that insisted that they should be remixed?

There is always a certain amount of record company pressure - their job is to sell records. The point of singles is to promote albums and the only way to keep an album alive is to try to get a single in the charts. By the third or fourth release, all the hard-core fans have already bought the album so it becomes more difficult to chart a single. The obvious way around this problem is to make the single package appealing to those people who already own the LP - hence:

!!!"New 'Butch Vig megatastic never-before-heard' version, extra remixes, live tracks, new extra extra B-side reject track, metal CD box, small Filipino boy and cheap, nasty t-shirt " !!!!

etc........ cynical, isn't it?

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

I always wondered what was the point of wearing sunglasses during TV appearances or photo sessions. Was it the lights or to hide a hangover? ;-)

No point whatsoever apart from serious pose factor number 11.

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

Do you recall playing drums for some television appearances in 1987 /1988? During 'NLMDA' you had a bass, snare and crash cymbal with a keyboard next to them.

Vaguely. We were aware that 3 "Walters" (as coined by a journalist) with keyboards looked very boring. 3 Walters with keyboards, a piece of corrugated iron on a stick, a bicycle wheel and a brick + mallet looked a lot better, didn't it?

What's your opinion of KROQ 106.7? Have you talked with Richard Blade anytime in the past 4 years?

I haven't spoken to Richard Blade for 5 years or more. Whatever you think of KROQ, they were very supportive of DM for a long time which helped our career in the U.S.

From: Johan Vanderhoeven
E-mail: jvdhoeve@vub.ac.be

During the 80's, one of the major problems for DM was that they had to defend themselves wherever they went. Now, in total contrast, they are seen as the 'kings' of the whole electronic movement! Any comment?

These things always go in trends - DM have been in and out of fashion ever since 1980. My golden rule: take it all with a large pinch of salt. Don't be offended when they hate you and don't take it too seriously when they love you.

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: Aaron Henderson
E-mail: aaron.henderson@nuigalway.ie

I have an original 7" pressing of 'A Question Of Time' in which the second verse has been completely edited out! Yet the version on 'Singles 86>98' includes the verse. Did the original release have this verse edited out and can you remember why (censorship)?

I can't honestly remember - probably. The most likely reason was to bring it down to a 'radio friendly' length, hopefully ensuring that dear old Radio1 would be more inclined to play it - such is the wrath of the BBC that they can scare one into butchering one's own song because they cannot tolerate more than 2 minutes and 43 seconds of any given record before Batesy's' Our Tune' is due.

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