Guardian interview ran on February 25th 1999.
Alan Wilder is a musician. Formerly of Depeche Mode, his current preoccupation is a solo project, Recoil
Compiled by Hamish Mackintosh
Thursday February 25, 1999
computers important . . . for you? . . . for the world?
For me, essential. For the world, perhaps not. One should retain one's quality of life but not at the expense of progress. Shopping is a good example - just browsing a virtual supermarket, then sitting back and waiting for some spotty youth to deliver my weekly choice directly to my door has got to be the way forward. However, pottering around your local country deli for some unusual delights should not be eradicated.
about the Internet? Does it threaten or enhance individual freedom?
It's a paradox. My solo project, Recoil, takes advantage of the Net to spread the word and benefits from fans being able to exchange material (essentially bootlegging); whereas Depeche Mode, my other source of income, needs to take precautions to prevent unauthorised material flying around.
you use an Apple Mac or a PC?
Strictly Mac, because that's where I started (best for music). I use a 9600 with two 21-inch monitors for music, running Digidesign's ProTools 24 [a 24-bit, 32-track digital music studio] (nothing but music-related software is installed). For the office and Web site, I use a G3 and a 7600, with 17-inch monitors.
do you use the machines for?
Primarily making music but also running a Web site (www.recoil.co.uk). No games. I have a strong aversion to Sonic The Hedgehog.
favourite software, and anything you'd like
but can't have yet?
Logic Audio and Recycle for music; and Go Live Cyberstudio and Photoshop for Web design. And no!
Any favourite spots on the Net?
For stories of foreign objects lodged in the body along the lines of "I was hoovering my signal box in the nude when I tripped over the dog and accidentally sat on the kettle . . ." complete with X-rays and full medical jargon (www.well.com/user/cynsa/newbutt.html);
to translate anything into 'Saaf Lahndahn', 'Redneck', Swedish
and more (www.rinkworks.com/dialect/);
The Citroen DS- An Homage to the Goddess (www.idds.com/Pages/the.godess.htm);
Anton Corbijn Photographer (www.photogenic.net/corbijn/index.html);
and Mouth Almighty Records - Bringing the Muse to Market (www.mouthalmighty.com/index.htm).
you get into dialogues with strangers on the
Yes, a little. I quite enjoy talking to faceless people on occasion. Perversely, it can be a freeing experience.
you use your own name when surfing?
Generally, no. I prefer Norman Gland or Dr Feschel.
long at the terminal?
Yes, an unreasonable amount of time. I'm taking fresh air therapy at the moment..
you a geek? Got any favourite geeks?
Yes, I sit up late into the night, writing e-mails wearing nothing but Y-fronts and socks. Stephen Hawking (a Recoil fan, so he says :-).
a desert island, would you prefer a human or
a computer for company?
A human. I'm not quite that sad.
what's taking up your time?
Making a new Recoil album - on a computer. And
running a Web site - on a computer.