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TOURING - life on the road / different venues and cities

From: frequently asked questions

What do you think of DM touring without you? Do you think it will be as good as previous tours since you prepared the live show?

I think considering everything that has occurred during the last few years, they are very brave to go out on the road again - not because of my leaving but because the excesses of the 'Devotional' tour took their toll on everyone and I doubt the remaining members will want to repeat them. That said, I have no idea what the show's going to be like.

Will you attend a DM show on their forthcoming tour?

I'm not sure. I think I would feel a bit weird being there.

From: Kalevi Plattonen
E-mail: kalevi.plattonen@pp.inet.fi

Is it true that you and Martin were about to crash whilst in an aeroplane during the 'Devotional' tour?

Martin and I were on a flight from Dallas to the Caribbean when after 20 minutes or so, there was a loud bang and I think all the oxygen masks came down. It was some kind of pressurisation problem. There was a fair amount of panic and the air-hostesses, tearfully embracing one another, didn't exactly inspire confidence. The pilot had to turn around and we sat through a hair-raising 20 minutes as the plane tried to make it back to Dallas. Later on, we were reliably informed that had we been at our proper cruising altitude, this would have been a major incident. We ended up getting blind drunk in the airport, eventually hiring a private plane at great expense and woke up in the sunshine of the West Indies with a headache.

From: Sender of question unknown

Do you remember what bands supported DM during the summer USA '94 tour? Was it Stabbing Westward and Primal Scream?

Yes, I think so. You can find a full list of all DM support bands over the years by going to Zambak's site: http://www.ping.be/~tor-1307/dm/

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

DM visited Ireland on every tour, up to and including 'Black Celebration' but then not again until the 'Devotional' tour. Was there any particular reason for not coming here during the 'Masses' and 'World Violation' tours, considering DM have a fairly solid following in Ireland. And can you think of any reason why they aren't coming here on the 'Ultra' tour?

I obviously cannot speak for DM's upcoming tour. As for the others, I can't think why Ireland was not included - I can only assume it was a logistical problem, perhaps the venues couldn't hold the production, something like that.

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: Robert Sokolowski
E-mail: rybadm@polbox.com

I think that one of the main reasons why DM haven't played in Poland since '85 is that you weren't satisfied with the amount of records sold here (due to pirate activity) - am I right? Or has any Pole got under your skin?

I know this is the second time you have asked this question but I assure you that I have no problem with Poland or the Polish people, nor do I think the rest of DM do. As I said when I last answered this, we didn't play in your country for logistical reasons not because of some hidden agenda.

From: Hardy G
E-mail: hardyg@metronet.de

How did DM's backing vocalists Hildia and Samantha handle the problems during the second leg of the 'Devotional' tour? Did they know what was going on and how did they react?

The myth that has been building up around the second U.S. leg of the 'Devotional' tour seems to be now fully out of control. It wasn't really any more 'rock 'n' roll' than other DM tours over the years - everyone had their own little 'on tour' world which existed alongside a fully professionally run live show. I'm sure Sam and Hildia had their own routines which would have been completely different from my own or anybody else's and, quite often, our paths would not even cross apart from the 2 hours on stage. (yes, we did socialise as well)

From: Kim Johnsson
E-mail: kjohnsso@abo.fi

What made OMD one of the crappiest support bands ever!?

McClusky rates himself a bit too highly for my liking which is always dangerous if you're languishing in the 'where are they now' file. We bowled them all out for 10 runs in the DM vs. OMD cricket match - and I got McClusky's wicket....laugh....

From: Ingo Wziontek
E-mail: floegel@dammtorsatz.de

The years from 1988 - 1990 looked very 'American' to me and we (the fans in Europe) were very disappointed during this time. Was this a decision of the record companies to promote DM in the states or was it yours? And if so, why?

The band had toured constantly in America and battled against a radio-play brick wall for many years until suddenly things started to happen. We hadn't forgotten about Europe (we played many concerts there), it's just that it was an important and exciting time for us in the U.S. and we wanted to concentrate on this territory.

In Cologne '93 I saw some of the funniest mistakes ever made by Dave and the usual two encores were cancelled. Was this because Dave couldn't go on with the gig because of alcohol or drug-problems, and did it happen often on the tour?

You'll have to forgive me if I don't remember that particular show. There was never an occasion during the 'Devotional' tour when we didn't complete a show other than forced situations such as a bomb scare or an unsafe building, for example. As for encores, we almost always played them unless the crowd response didn't warrant one.

From: ace130
E-mail: ace130@netcom.ca

At concerts (DM or otherwise), T-shirts and other merchandise is sold. Does the band commission a company to make it and if I wanted to sell my product to them what process would I have to go through? Do I have to contact Warner or Mute or Depeche Mode?

In the past we used a professional merchandising company called Bravado who would pay an advance for the exclusive right to provide products (on our approval) for either retail and / or tour. They would receive a commission. I've no idea what DM's current deal is - I suggest contacting the Depeche Mode management office.

From: Frank T. Jørgensen
E-mail: DM101@post11.tele.dk

I'm going to see DM in concert, can you tell me a way to get aftershow passes? It's on my 28th birthday so it could be really great for the first time to be one of the lucky ones to get backstage.

You're asking the wrong person, I'm afraid. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not a member of DM anymore. Try the DM office or Mute.

From: =?koi8-r?B?68/S1iDg0snKIOTNydTSycXXyd4=?=
E-mail: korzh_yura@mtu-net.ru

I heard a rumour that you are coming to Moscow with Depeche Mode in September. I do not believe it. Is it true?


From: Robert Sokolowski
E-mail: rybadm@polbox.com

Hep, how much did you know about DM (and especially Alan) before you met them during the 'Devotional' Tour? What did you think about their music, lyrics, image etc.? Had you thought about Alan as your 'man' then?

Of course I remembered DM from my youth but I'd never bought a record or knew anything about the band. In fact, in some ways I had a twisted prejudice against them when we first went out as support because of my experiences working in a record shop in Southern California during 1989 / 90. We never seemed to sell anything but The Cure's 'Disintegration' and "that '101' thing" and when the Wherehouse riot occurred, the shop was beseeched by fans all clambering for T-shirts. As an example of DM's obvious influence, when I heard the show for the first time, I found I was strangely familiar with the songs and lyrics. I first talked to Alan on the second night of our support leg which was also his birthday - I had no idea who he was or what he did - we used to wind each other up a lot after the show and he'd ask me to go out to clubs etc.. It was about 3 days into the tour that I realised he was the bloke to played the drums. We became pretty inseparable from that point.

From: Eddie

Was the shiny 'Terminator 2' outfit you wore on the last tour your idea and is it true your wardrobe once got stolen at a concert?

A selection of outfits were designed and made (with my input) by a specialist designer for use throughout the tour. Whilst on the road, each band member had a large flight-case wardrobe that would contain this stage gear and usually the majority of one's personal clothing. During our stay in South Africa, my entire wardrobe was stolen overnight, and considering the building was securely locked and patrolled by guards, we concluded that it must have been an 'inside job'. I lost about £10,000 worth of clothing, some very personal bits and pieces and of course most of my stage outfits which had to be re-made. The only consolation was a nice, fat insurance cheque and the excuse to go out and spend, spend, spend......

From: Demo products
E-mail: mftm@alarmix.net

We heard that DM played a spontaneous gig of 'SOFAD' songs in a Hamburg bar before its release. True or not?

Sort of. Not really a gig but more of a drunken sing-song which I believe did include renditions of a couple of the new songs, amongst a load of others. It was quite a common thing for myself and Martin to take over the piano in hotel bars.

From: Jean-Baptiste Savoja
E-mail: jbsavoja@easynet.fr

I always find it weird that the 'Devotional' tour began in Lille. Why?

It was a good venue for pre-production rehearsals and wasn't so huge to be considered risky - given that first night performances are bound to be a bit nervous and problematic.

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