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End of the carnival

This tour was exceptionally generous for depeche MODE fans in my country. 5 gigs in total never happened. Also never so many coincidences, referring to previous tours, happened during this tour ever. Even starting with summer concert which could be treated as the 4th anniversary of concert from 2013.

Three Polish concerts, or as we called it Polish Spirit Tour happened at the end of the carnival season. Seeing all three concerts I have the honour to write the in-depth review of the final gig in Poland which was in Gdańsk.

Concert in Gdańsk was scheduled on Feb 11th, which was the 8th anniversary of the second concert in Łódź in 2010. If you remember the flood of balloons, trolling the band by singing Master & Servant (which was our revenge on the band for flying out this classic from the set at that time). Everything of it I witnessed 8 years ago.

depeche MODE played for the first time in Gdańsk, but to be honest it wasn’t first visit in this city… sort of… Again back to Delta Machine Tourdepeche MODE has finished the gig in Moscow, and during their return to the UK they did a stopover in Gdańsk to refill the plane.

All of this throwback, flashback, and other memories we’ve talked in the queue waiting before the concert. People were camping since the day before and bodies were frozen but souls were hot supported from time to time tea with rum 😀

Also, there were memories from two previous concerts about work of security, concerts tricks and tips, and a lot of flashbacks from the concerts in Kraków and Łódź. Hardcore fans were queueing since 3 a.m. waiting in front of prepared tent-gates. Nevertheless, the spirit was high, new friendships established immediately. 2 hours before the start of Entry Entrance security shifted us between the gates which caused a lot of mess, destroying all agreements between fans and fans and security. Letting in the hall had started…

Runs, walks to the GA1 zone started and sooner or later we have met again each other near the FOS on the random sites. The atmosphere was superb. Fans started clapping and forcing others on tribunes to start the Mexican Wave. Technicians even helped us more playing louder and louder upbeat warmup music.

In meantime, Blackline appeared on stage. Douglas McCarthy and his new incarnation. Played good portion of time shortening the waiting for the main star of the night. In 2010 for me concerts of depeche MODE and Nitzer Ebb were equal levels. We had the pleasure to witness two stars for one price. Next day after two concerts of Nitzer Ebb as support I had a pleasure to see the trio playing the full set in Warsaw. This time Blackline proved that they are better live than what they show on studio productions. Nice two final songs and at least acceptable songs from the rest of the set.

The atmosphere was hotter and hotter. Rumours said that Dave wanted to have +24*C on stage, plus hot heads of fans caused that some fans fainted because of lack of fresh air.

depeche MODE

It’s hard to write song by song when so many good and less good things were written on this blog during the whole tour. Needless to say that people were waiting for I Want You Now and Cover Me. Both we’ve got and more… I think it’s better to highlight the highlights of the concert.

Everywhere during Polish Spirit Tour fans tired to prize Andy, chanting his name. Why? I don’t know but this story reaches times of Touring The Angel. Check bootlegs or Live Here Now from Warsaw 2006.06.09.

The crew of the band highlighted the depeche MODE fan club 3City (3City we call agglomeration of Gdynia + Sopot + Gdańsk which border each other).

Dave was really connected to the crowd even more than normal. So many times interacted with us on the main stage or on the catwalk.

But I need to highlight Martin’s part. Before 3rd Martins song Martin said:

I think this might be an old Polish folk song… Maybe not…

This was a straight reference to the folk version of Enjoy The Silence which ran through the net as viral several months ago and was one of the highlights during Takeovers, on press and tv.

You could almost feel the excitement in the cold, winter air, mixed with the scent of hot tea with rum. It’s always amazing to see how people are connecting and bonding during their waiting in the line! The atmosphere was high, even though the temperature was low. We were all ready for what was about to happen!

I was looking at the empty stage and I knew that I’m about to witness something incredible! And so it was…from the very first moment when the band came on stage. You could feel incredible connection between the band and fans. The energy was so intense – on stage and under it – that you just had to go with it all the way! You could see fans crying during Insight, people were holding each others hands, singing, clapping and giving our band what they came here for – the best time!

The crowd was floating in Dave’s arms during Cover Me, that moment took us so high that even now I’m getting shivers, just thinking about it! When Everything Counts started – it just blew my mind how the whole crowd sang it. I loved the way Dave thanked us for giving appreciation to Martin and Andy, you could feel that guys were having fun with us and that they can feel our energy too. I was touched with how long they were saying goodbye to us.

The whole show was extrimely energetic, full of emotions, highlights and unforgetable moments. It’s amazing that every single show – no matter if it;s your 50th or is it your first one – makes you really feel and understand what depeche MODE is truly all about. What does it mean to me? Well, we can always talk about it when we meet somewhere in another queue.

Long ending of Walking In My Shoes in Gdansk 2018.02.11
Long ending of Walking In My Shoes in Gdansk 2018.02.11

The benchmark of this concert was long outros sang by fans, extending sometimes over reasonable time the songs in the setlist. Since few concerts also the band started trolling the audience by extending final notes of Walking In My Shoes. I think I liked more what we fans started few month ago in summer chanting the intro/outro of the song. But hey this is the game between us and them how to underline and make unique gig from others on this tour.

This concert was the fantastic mixture of spirit… not 100% sober fans, music, atmosphere, and something unique which is hard to describe by words.

Other highlights you can see on my montage clip where I chose the best moments form gig in Gdańsk.

At the end of my review, I’d like to thank all the fans who I met outside the Arena and inside too. It was a pleasure to sing with you party with you and share all the moments which made this night and two before so unique.

Global Spirit Tour: From Gdansk to Minsk
Global Spirit Tour: From Gdansk to Minsk

On Feb 12th depeche MODE‚s plane left Poland taking them to Minsk for another fantastic concert.


This review for the first time appeared on blog Almost predictable, where David runs the project to review every gig on Global Spirit Tour.

Interview with Brian Lucey – mastering engineer of Spirit album.

After the interview with Charles Duff (MATRIXXMAN) it came about time to interview another person who was involved in final part of production of newest depeche MODE album – Spirit. Brian Lucey was hired to do the mastering of Spirit. We’d like to present his view of sound of the album and modern problems of sounding & mastering of the records.

Karolleks: What is your definition of mastering these days ? What is it, what is it’s role and importance?

Brian: Mastering on the artistic side, is about connecting the artist to the widest audience in the deepest way possible.  Enhancing the production by balancing musical timelessness with immediate impact.

Karolleks: What kind of challenge was doing the mastering on Spirit? Was there anything special about it, anything different that you never encountered before?

Brian: No real challenge, just a great record with a great team, fun work.

Brian Lucey

Karolleks: Why does mastering on vinyl differ from the one on CD? You did the mastering part of Marylin Manson album and those two were noticeably different from each other. Can we expect the same from upcoming depeche MODE album?

Brian: Vinyl tends to be more dynamic and overall more conservative, by necessity of the physical limitations of that medium. I would expect a couple db more punch on the vinyl, no dramatic changes. Most of the changes are you own playback system getting into the loop.

Karolleks: Does the band have the input in how does the mastering is done? I mean, did they come to you with any objections/ideas or did they just go along with your work?

Brian: Usually I present my work, and the decision makers come back with revision notes. None here. Sometimes I am given a ref track or notes up front. Not this time.

Brian Lucey
Brian Lucey

Karolleks: What is your view on the so-called ‘Loudness War’? Why is it present and what have changed throughout the years in mastering to let that happen?

Brian: Humans are driven by fear or love… or some combo of both, usually. Fear of not being as loud as others is not new. Vinyl had physical limitations and digital does not. Louder=better is the ape brain, so we have to learn around that. Dynamic motion is factually better emotionally. I’m usually not bothered by people’s needs for volume as my clients tend to have good taste and not go way over the line.  There are interesting challenges when pushing the limits, and I enjoy that element of modern music.  This record [MODE2Joy: Spirit] is loud enough, definitely louder than the 80s, but not smashed in a modern/crazy way.

Karolleks: Thank you a lot for your will to talk to us! That’s a great honor and a pleasure!

Brian: Thanks for good questions and I hope You love the record!

Interview with Charles Duff (MATRIXXMAN) – keyboard programmer for Depeche Mode’s new album – „Spirit”

„Sure thing” Charles said to us, when we poke him once upon time via Twitter asking for the interview. And this is it! Karolleks doing the inteview with Matrixxman brings us behind the curtain of the Spirit – 14th depeche MODE album, which is out today.

Before Spirit

Karolleks: I just want to add that we thank you a lot for your kind will to do that interview with us. It is really highly appreciated!

Matrixxman: It’s my pleasure Karol. Glad I can be of service to you 🙂

Karolleks: How did you end up working with Depeche? Is it something you always wanted to do or just got an offer and went along with it?

Matrixxman: I am still not quite certain how this all came about. I suppose there were a number of candidates for this particular position and for whatever reason Martin seemed to like my stuff. Truth be told, the offer came at a time when my own techno career started to really pick up so it was hilarious timing-wise. I had also just moved to Berlin and was in the midst of heavy touring in Europe and then the phone call from Martin came. For a brief moment I was worried about having to cancel DJ gigs (as in, would there be repercussions? Might I piss some people off? Etc.) but I rather quickly came to my senses and realized it was worth it no matter what the cost to my own career was. It turned out to be one of the most crazy adventures of my life thus far.

Karolleks: Did you know Depeche well before? Any particular album/song that is your favorite?

Matrixxman: I hadn’t thought I would ever have the chance to work with a band like them, to be honest. The whole thing kind of blindsided me. I was certainly a fan before this all happened. My favourite album would undoubtedly be Violator. My favourite song would be a tie between Behind the Wheel and Shake the Disease. I find myself coming back to that album more frequently than I’d like to admit 😉

About Spirit

Karolleks: How much do the demos differ from the final versions?

Matrixxman: Contrary to what I heard of some of the previous producers, James had a special reverence for the vibe of the original demos and worked hard to keep that core energy intact. Some of the tunes took sharp turns but more or less, I’d say many of them were already so strong as demos they didn’t need a ton of work. Gore has his finger on the pulse, so to speak. Virtually all of the beats and sounds he came up with entirely on his own were cool as hell. Far cooler than what most of my peers.

Karolleks: Was there any particular song that the band struggled with and that took much more time for them to get it finished?

Matrixxman: Hmm. Cover Me required some quality time. Maybe there were some others but this one stands out in my mind. This particular track Dave wrote initially. He was adamant that we should all try to get busy and „fuck it up” as the kids would say. At first I had a tough time coming up with compelling things for this tune but Dave did a great job of urging us to get weird and creative. James did some really cool tweaking of the voicing of the chords which helped push it in a darker direction. I came up with a sort of Pink Floyd-ish arpeggiated synth pattern that I hummed to Martin and we set about making that. Kurt worked his synth magic as well. Next thing you know, all of the contributions really brought the track to life. It took on this eerie, cinematic quality that wasn’t previously present.

Karolleks: Were there any more songs that never made it to the album/deluxe version ? If so, how many of them?

Matrixxman: Yes. There were a few indeed. Can’t recall how many exactly but there were a couple at least.

Karolleks: Were they finished songs ? Or just eliminated at the very beginning (at demo stage)? Did you start working with them, but they never got finished ? Do you have any idea if the band is planning to release them separately (as b-sides or some extras)?

Matrixxman: There were a few demos that were gorgeous but didn’t make the cut for some reason. I think the basis for the album had already been roughly fleshed out so new candidates weren’t being brought to the table any longer. We never even got a chance to start on them. I legitimately have no clue what their plans are for those remaining tunes but if I had to say, they might never see the light of day.

Karolleks: What was the biggest obstacle while programming the keyboards and during the production of Spirit overall?

Matrixxman: Well, for starters I had never used modular synths AT ALL before this album. Lol. And then my ass walks into the studio and I’m confronted with wall to wall modular synths. I remember thinking to myself „Holy shit. What on earth am I going to do?” It worked out though. I am quite comfortable with your traditional synth keyboards; I know my synthesis architecture and sound design reasonably well so ultimately it didn’t prove to be too problematic. A little bit of messing around before the studio sessions started helped out immensely. But damn if I wasn’t mortified at first.

Karolleks: Did you have any contribution to working with vocals? Among the reviews around the world, people noticed that Dave’s vocals are mostly filtered (meaning it’s not a clear pure vocal, there’s always some effect added). And while in Scum it just seems to be intentional for the way it sounds, what was the reason to do that for other songs ? Did Dave have any difficulty with tuning his voice, or it was just an idea how the vocals should be done on this record? Whose idea was it? It seems like it’s one of the things that reviews are not to happy about on this album.

Matrixxman: I didn’t personally work with the vocals at all during the album but in reference to Scum, I’m pretty sure Martin’s original demo had heavily distorted vocals on it. So that would explain why Dave’s vocals had the same treatment on that particular tune. Dave gave exceptional vocal deliveries in the studio. His takes were damn near flawless from my perspective so I can only assume that any effects on the vocals were Dave and Martin’s choice or perhaps informed by James.

Karolleks: Spirit seems to be a lot more different if it comes to length of the songs on this record. Namely, this album is significantly shorter in total than it’s precedents, although the number of songs stays the same. Was it the original idea of the band or did James Ford have an influence on it ? 

Matrixxman:  That’s a good question. I believe James kind of reached a point where he felt the album was more or less done and it seemed intuitively like the right move for him. Not sure how much communication took place between him and the band.

Karolleks: Was there any particular order on which of the songs were you guys working ? Did you work a little on each songs all the time, or did you just got one song finished and moved to another?

Matrixxman: We were working on one song at a time mostly. I can’t recall how the order was dictated. Occasionally we would go back to another older song but it was a fairly linear process in which we were focusing on one song usually.

Karolleks: Whose idea the coda of Cover Me was? Did Dave’s demo include that or did you come up with this in the studio? It’s a very interesting and I must say – amazing piece of music.

Matrixxman: The coda was either James‚ or Dave’s doing but creatively speaking, it was an amalgamation of everyone’s talent then and there. I’m happy that the arpeggio thing I contributed helped tie it together. Kurt came up some epic synth stuff as well.

Karolleks: Was there any idea of yours that the band didn’t want to go along with and you thought of it as a big mistake?

Matrixxman: I wanted to do some super 80s style drums on one tune or another, and it got shot down ultimately. I get it though; they lived through the 80s so they’ve already been there and done that. I was just following my impulses  to do something very retro at that moment. But it’s cool. I respect their opinion.

Karolleks: When you guys were working in the studio, there were rumors around the world that Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner have contributed into your work in the studio. Is that true ? If yes, which songs did they work on with the band ? It is known that they worked on Dave’s demos for this album.

Matrixxman: I have no clue actually. They could have been involved but I’m not sure.

Karolleks: What is your personal favorite on this album?

Matrixxman: Eternal. It’s so dark and chilling. It makes me want to cry.

Karolleks: To what extent did Andy Fletcher contribute to the creative part of the album ? How would you describe his contribution to the band in the studio?

Matrixxman: He would suggest we try a different key or perhaps speed up or slow down a song. He would make this suggestion frequently. He did have a good perspective with regard to the overall „vibes” of the tunes and would know when something needed more work or if it was good as is. Andy was also the only one who would hang out with us in the evenings so we enjoyed many a night with him after the long studio sessions. At times of frustration he actually provided a great boost in morale for the team I think.

Karolleks: Was there anything significantly different/special that you noticed when working with Depeche comparing to other bands and artists?

Matrixxman: Yeah, they’re simply brilliant geniuses. It was an exceptionally fun yet creatively challenging experience. Most of my other studio sessions I’ve done previously kind of pale in comparison, which is understandable.

Karolleks: What do you think of Depeche Mode live? (the sound, show, performance in total). Have you ever been to a Depeche Modeconcert before and are you going to any of Depeche shows during the upcoming Global Spirit tour ? Did you see them rehearsing ?

Matrixxman: Never seen them live! I would love to catch them one day. I may have seen them briefly rehearsing one night 😉

KarolleksHow do you like Spirit overall ? What in your opinion are the pros and cons of this album ?

Matrixxman: I am very proud of it. It’s cons would only be that I would have liked to have more songs on the album but that was not my decision.

After Spirit

Karolleks: And lastly, what are your plans for the future? Any new projects? Is there any chance for you to be supporting DM on the upcoming tour? Would you be willing to work with Depeche again?

Matrixxman: I have left the world of DM to return back to my dark techno lair. Just released a couple 12″ EPs and there is a bunch more on the way. I will not be touring with DM but if you happen to reside in Europe I’ll be playing some cool festivals this summer like Dekmantel, and of course, Berghain now and again.

For the time being I am just releasing my own music at the moment but who knows what the future has in store. It would be an honour to work with DM again (and perhaps even in the capacity of a producer) should the opportunity present itself 🙂

Interview with… Jonas Öberg from electronic act Michigan

Theirs productions has done some buzz among fans of depeche MODE recently. All thanks to Alan’s bank of sounds used on tours by depeche MODE in 80’s and 90’s, plus huge dose of talent and dedication.

I found interesting to give some questions to man who spent his talent and time to bring back to life masterpiece of the band at it’s best times. Why, what was the reason and what can you expect next. All of this and more…

You have appeared in People’s minds recently because of your activity on SoundCloud and uploading (almost) original live tracks from tours when Alan was in the depeche MODE. But you did a lot in the past. Please introduce yourself.

Haha, yes, it’s funny how people are noticing the work I’ve done. Well, my name’s Jonas Öberg and I’m in my 40’s. Im a musician, songwriter, singer, producer whatever for myself and the electronic act Michigan. With Michigan I’ve record some albums and a couple of singles in the past. We play electronic music and are devoted to it. It’s been many years since we released a record, but hopefully we will record another one later this year.

It’s not your first activity around depeche mode revisiting, reinterpreting music of this band?

No it’s not. We’ve performed some DM tracks in the past.

Music is very vivid in your life did you get the directional education or you are self-made man?

I’m a self-made man. Music’s always been a big part of my life.

dm_sounds_4OK, let’s focus now on synths from max bank. How did you get this synths? What was the reason to get them?

Well, I got in contact with a couple of guys in the Internet, and we decided that we should try and buy the sounds from the actual auction that Alan hosted. And yes, we got one of the discs. The reason, at least for me, was that I wanted to hear the specific parts/sounds he used for his setup, without the rest of the track.

When the idea born in you to put together all bits and pieces?

When I got a hold of the samples I guess.

How did you managed with Martin Gore’s guitar parts?

There’s not a lot of them in the tracks from the 80’s, I’ve sampled some, and I’ve created some.

How big is your input in the tracks. Did you sampled the studio tracks, or created tunes using original setups?

It’s a mix between everything basically.

What is your hardware and software workshop?

I’m working in Cubase 8, with mainly Native Instruments softwares, even bought their Komplete Control. NI’s has taken control of my life, it’s so good….hahaha. Then I use a lot of other stuff, I’ve got the whole Arturia library/setup, and a bunch of other software synths.

Before we start this interview we exchanged few emails and you said that songs weren’t complete. What was missing, which parts? How much of you is in these tracks? What is the ratio of original and created by you (average)?

Most of the actual sounds are of course directly from DM’s catalogue. But, I’ve put them together in a way that I never thought was possible at first. There are a lot of things going on in the background in a DM track. So, every track has got some 30-60 hours of work, just to put the right sound in the right place.

Did you use World Violation Tour backing tapes which are circulating around the depeche universe since years?

No, I didn’t.

Did something amazed you during your work on this project?

Yes it did. I noticed how clever the guys (Alan) were in terms of how to reuse a sound from time to time. That´s why I guess, that at least I, felt that every album has some kind of connection to each other.

Did you finished all productions from Alan’s files? How many in total tracks did you made or going to make?

Alan’s files did help, then again a lot of sampling and some own creativity. Don’t know really, I’ve made some 75-80 tracks during the years.

There are some songs which depeche MODE played in several tours. On every tour these songs were played differently like New Life on Construction Tour and on Some Great Reward Tour, or Everything Counts which had different arrangements in 87, 90 and 93. Can we expect all of them from you?

haha…. No, you can’t expect that from me. I have other projects that I’m working on, such as writing new material for Michigan.

During several tours depeche MODE prepared some songs to play live but then didn’t play them like I Want You Now in 87/88 or Leave In Silence in 1993. Did you found/perpared any of them?

I’ve done both I Want You Now, and Leave in Silence. But I haven’t heard the version of the years you mentioned, guess not many have. So I decided to do whatever I could with the sounds I have for the tracks and it turned out to be versions from 1994 and 1986.

I found on your profile songs like To Have To Hold or But Not Tonight, which weren’t played live. Are these songs reflects to my previous question or is it only your creativity and initiative to prepare these songs?

I got curious on how they created the „lead sound” for But Not Tonight, and I had my idea on how to actually make it sound like the original. It’s a mix between already existing sounds from other tracks on mostly Black Celebration, then mixed down and put thru some effects.

You are playing with your project live as support and as headliner tell us something about it.

Yes I did. It was a couple of years ago now, but we toured a lot in Germany back then. We were support act for De/Vision on their „Noob-tour”, we´ve played some festivals and some other gigs.

And during this tour you did visit Poland. Any memories, flashbacks?

It was nine years ago…Time flies…… No, memories really, besides that we had a lot of fun.

Thank you for the nice interview and thank you for your effort.

Marsheaux – with the feminine touch – the interview

A Broken Frame by Marsheaux is so intriguing that only few bands tried to record their own vision of others album. Only pretty little bands plays entire albums in a raw, especially after so many years. If we add to this the fact that two Greek women covered the album which is  – gently writing – underrated by depeche MODE, final effect raises far more interest, than a raised eyebrow only.

Marsheaux latest production was received very warm by the fans. In many forum reviews appeared as the best depeche MODE covers ever. Listening to the fan talks and reviews I heard same story everywhere – discussions about contemporary depeche MODE, luck of melodic lines, playing early works other than Just Can’t Get Enough and Photographic. How fans are missing fresh look on the classics by the band, other than thousands of remixes issued under the name of the band, which can be identified only after the description on the cover, without respect for the acquit.

A Broken Frame
A Broken Frame

Curious of it all, who are the authors of that buzz. How they find themselves in this situationas, what has changed in their lives latest album and what Laidies will present on June 20th in Warsaw. I got few chats with Marsheaux before arrival to Poland. Feel free to read and comment the effect below…

You have some music recorded over the years and you are not newcommers, why did you decide to record the cover album?

We wanted to release it and sell it during our concerts. Then we thought that would be better if we proper release it through our record company. Finally it worked out really well. People seem to enjoy it a lot and the feedback we got was superb. We decided to cover the entire A Broken Frame because its their most underrated album. We both like it very much and we think the result is really good. We respected it a lot.

Marsheaux-Broken Frame Promo Photo_sYes, that’s true. Band forgot this album very fast. Why do you think A Broken Frame is that underrated. Or why do you think people should treat this album better?

depeche MODE wanted from the beginning to throw away the label of the New Romantics off them. They never liked the term New Romantics. But A Broken Frame is a deep new romantic album. Leave In Silence is the best new romantic track that ever written. Some will say that Fade to Grey (Visage) or To Cut A Long Story Short (Spandau Ballet) or even Planet Earth (Duran Duran) are the best, but we think that Leave In Silence is on Top.

depeche MODE still thinks that A Broken Frame is a naive album. In 1982 they were looking to stand on their feets after Vince’s departure. They were looking to find their sound and image. They did the album within 4 months and Martin had to be the leader, something that was really difficult for him.

Also another reason is that the majority of the depeche MODE fans discovered them after Music For The Masses. So when they digged into their previous albums they found Speak And Spell and A Broken Frame as the most weak of them.

It’s not your first depeche MODE covers. Earlier you had New Life interpretation. Do you have plans to record some new covers of dM?

We think that with A Broken Frame we are over with depeche MODE. We don’t want people to say that we do it on purpose and cover depeche MODE all the time. We did New Life back in 2004 for the greek depeche MODE tribute and now A Broken Frame. We like doing covers a lot but now after depeche MODE we think we must stop for a while. Maybe will do but for our ears only, when we have fun in the studio ☺.

Why that early period of depeche MODE’s career? Band and most of the public appreciates and underline darker and „mode ambitious” period after 1986.

We love all their albums. Even in Exciter there is a charm. But we chose A Broken Frame. We were between A Broken Frame and Some Great Reward. We chose this as we really think that this is the actual beginning for depeche MODE. There is a naive but strong dark romanticism inside it. There are too many diamonds inside like the Sun And The RainfallNothing To FearMy Secret Garden and Leave In Silence. We discovered that we both love this album very much so we decided immediately to cover it.

abrokenframe_1920_9You know how „greedy” depeche MODE fans are. You have said that you thought about Some Great Reward. I read some voices over Internet, that you produced best depeche MODE covers ever. So people will push you to do another cover to hear it live or as download. I’m pretty interested in to hear such a project… maybe except Somebody & Blasphemous Rumors 😉

We don’t think that we’re going to do any other depeche MODE covers. We don’t want in the end people to say that we are a cover band. We think that we have our own great songs for people to discover. A Broken Frame was an one off project. It started really great and finished even better. We are really proud of it and we want it to stay as is. We have started working on our new songs for our forthcoming album.

When you worked on that cover album, did you try to bring the old climate in modern look, or did you start from the scrapbook? How did you work on such concept? Is it hard to re-do the music, when covers of this album are not common, and this music lives only as Martin & Co created.

We wanted to have the original concept to our project, from the cover to the music. We wanted to give our feminine touch to it, we treated it like it was our little baby. We had the original as a reference but we added a contemporary feeling on it. It wasn’t hard to make the music from the beginning. We really enjoyed it in the studio, It was a really creative period of our lives and we love it.

I like what you said about „feminine touch” this is what I felt from the beginning. How New Life is different from your covers of A Broken Frame? Although it was done 10 yrs ago, for me A Broken Frame shows your progress and evaluation of your taste & your vision in music.

Exactly. New Life was almost the same as the original with female vocals. We didn’t have the knowledge and the equipment back then, that we have now. With A Broken Frame we went to a different approching to all tracks.  The Meaning Of Love and A Photograph of You turned to a totally different tracks and we added a Primal Scream feeling to See You. We agree that A Broken Frame shows our progress. Our taste and vision in music change year by year. We have some standards in our sound but we always want to improve it.

Let’s leave for a while music. dM’s & yours A Broken Frame are corresponding on visual level too. During recent times I rediscovered visual approach of Brian Griffin, who was hidden behind Anton Corbijns’ works. How did you tryed to play with his keyvisuals of A Broken Frame from 1982? Griffins’ cover photo is masterpiece. IMHO your visuals are one of the points which decided me not to go over your production.

Brian Griffin is a superb photographer. He managed to do great covers. Especially the Echo And The Bunnymendepeche MODE  and Wang Chung covers are state of art. The Original A Broken Frame was the best cover in the 80s.  Even Life magazine did a cover with the  A Broken Frame artwork. We wanted to make a same approch with the aesthetic of A Broken Frame cover. We gave  a mediteranean feeling to it. You can consider it as the continue of the original artwork.

This is our first cover that we appear on it. When we started the band we have agreed with Undo Records not to do any promo shootings or any videos. The important thing was the music but through the years we realised that the image of the band is important as well.

Broken Frame 2
Broken Frame 2

How do you prepare for a concert? Do you review each time the set and discography, or prepare a set for a set of gigs?

Something like that… In each concert we play different songs. We have the list with our hits like Dream Of A DiscoSummerInhale and Breakthrough, and then we choose songs that we think that people will like them from all our albums. Computer Love is a song that people like it a lot, people also like when we play cover versions like the Promise and Pure. Especially in UK people demand Pure.

What drives you apart depeche MODE, what kind of music, styles, climates?

We like the old electronic scene like John Foxx, DAF, The Human League, OMD, Gary Numan but we like different styles as well. There was a period that we listened only Tori Amos and Kate Bush for example or other period we listened a lot of electronic body music like Front 242Nitzer EbbCasandra Complex or Neon Judgement.

We like a lot of new staff like the FFS collaboration of Franz Ferdinand and Sparks. We are huge fans of Sparks.

I have to tell this to my friend who is big fan of Sparks 🙂 Is this band who you’d like to play on same stage?

Actually we’d love to do something like what Franz Ferdinand did but they did it first 🙂 Sparks are the most clever band in the world. Their lyrics are genius. Even Sparks are really underated. They have influenced so many bands and artists but never got the credit they deserve.

That’s True. Talking ’bout live acts. What gears do you use on stage? Do you (try to) use same keyboards as in early 80’s or is it an emulation, soft synth’s etc?

We have from the beginning our 2 Micro Korgs. We also use them a lot in the studio. They are our little babies on stage, really impressive synths. The guys behind us use some controllers but can’t say much because every time they bring something different. We’d love to use some of our studio analogue gear like Korg MS-20 or Korg Mono/Poly or Korg PolySix but we want to be flexible when we travel with our equipment.

When I read a list what you use in your band my eyes opened wide. If you would add Yamaha DX-7, Roland TR-808 or Korg DW 8000 you would have pretty wide & representative portfolio of 80’s gears. Do you like to collect old synth’s or just use and when it’s done you look for a new tools. Men like to collect toys, how is with you ladies? 

We buy analogue synth but we don’t collect them. A collector buy things just to have them. He wouldn’t buy a TR 808 and leave it in a box for years. We love to live with our gear. We use them, and treat them hard 🙂 We want them to be a part of our music life. Our next buy will be the Roland Jupiter 8 (if we find one in a reasonable price).

Is it your first visit in Poland?

Yes it is our first visit in Poland. We want to taste your food… Traditional food.

Try pierogi and bigos first. 🙂
Any expectations from your side to the attenders?

We never have any expectations. We enjoy every live we’re doing. People like us as well. This will be the first live that we are going to present the A Broken Frame. We did it in Athens on February in a party about the album release, but we’ll play more songs from A Broken Frame in Poland.

Will you stay for the aftershow party? Any musical requests to the dj’s? What would you like to hear & dance to?

Yes of course we’ll stay at the after show party. We love messing around with people. We are sure that the music will be fantastic and that we’ll have great time.

Thanks and see you next Saturday 😀

Plakat.MARSHEAUX_ProgresjaMarsheaux will play live June 20th, Saturday at Progresja Music Zone in Warsaw. Buy tickets.

librum MONUMENTum – wywiad

Pięć lat przygotowań i pisania, 23 lata zbierania pamiątek, 30 lat bycia fanem. Inwestycja długoterminowa, z której korzyści mają… wszyscy fani. Wiele godzin poświęcenia i wysiłku, własnej kasy i wiedzy, często kosztem rodziny. Kiedy po raz pierwszy przeczytałem info o tej książce, powiedziałem sobie w duchu – Nareszcie!!!! W końcu coś na co czekałem przez lata. Coś dla fanów od fanów… bo zespół nie widzi takiej potrzeby. My widzimy. Dlatego jest Monument – librum MONUMENTum – księga w której zaklęto pamięć o zespole, który kochają. Zapraszam do spędzenia chwili z Dennisem i Sachą – autorami MONUMENT.

[MODE2Joy]: Dennis jesteś fanem depeche MODE i jak każdy z nas miałeś swój moment zauroczenia się tym zespołem. Z innych wywiadów wiem, że tą pierwszą piosenką było Pipeline. Moja to Pimpf :-). Kiedy zacząłeś zbierać pamiątki związane z depeche MODE? Stało się to równolegle ze staniem się fanem, czy później?

[Dennis Burmeister]: Zacząłem zbierać pamiątki zaraz po upadku Muru Berlińskiego. Przedtem było to bardzo trudne. Mieliśmy jedynie kilka kaset w słabym stanie i plakaty z Bravo, ale nie było tego za wiele…

[M2J]: Co zapoczątkowało Twoją kolekcję, co było tym pierwszym klejnotem w kolekcji?

[DB]: Jeśli dobrze pamiętam, jako pierwsze kupiłem limitowane single koncertowe na 12″ – L12Bong2, L12Bong3 i L12Bong4. Było to bardzo ekscytujące ponieważ skok jakości był niesamowity, a kiedy kupiłem i przesłuchałem te nagrania na CD, to było to dla mnie czyste science-fiction.

[M2J]: Rozumiem Cię doskonale, dla mnie to było jedno z pierwszych nagrań koncertowych jakie poznałem z repertuaru depeche MODE, zaraz po 101. Słuchałem tego koncertu na okrągło. Szkoda, że nie wydali tego na wideo, jak było pierwotnie planowane.

[M2J]: Kiedy zdałeś sobie sprawę, że kolekcjonowanie plakatów, CD, gazet, to coś więcej, niż tylko zapełnianie luk w podstawowej dyskografii i jest to coś więcej, niż tylko sporadyczne zainteresowanie zespołem?

[DB]: Czy to takie ważne?? Jestem po prostu kolekcjonerem, jak każdy fan. Nie wydaje mi się, żebym miał jakąś szczególnie unikatową kolekcję. Ja po prostu buduję swoją kolekcję tak samo, jak na początku. Lubię kolekcjonować, rzadkie nagrania i wszystko, co dookoła. Nadal to jednak kwestia jakości nie ilości. Muzyka jest nadal w tym wszystkim najważniejsza. To tylko tyle, to właśnie sprawia, że jesteśmy razem i czyni nas społecznością fanów.

[M2J]: Czy jest w takim razie coś czego nie masz lub jest dla Ciebie ‚świętym gralem’? Coś o czym jeszcze marzysz (z depeszowych tematów)?

[DB]: Powiedziałbym, że pierwsza kaseta demo zespołu jest pewnego rodzaju ‚świętym gralem‚. Jestem bardzo dumny, że mam kawałek historii muzyki w mojej kolekcji.

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[M2J]: Wielu fanów pisze prywatne biografie depeche MODE na użytek własny. Czy Wy robiliście coś podobnego? Właściwie, to co było impulsem do stworzenia ‚Monumentu’??

[DB]: To było bardzo proste: wydawca zapytał się mnie, czy podoba mi się idea stworzenia ilustrowanej biografii. Nigdy nie ukazała się dobrze ilustrowana biografia zespołu i bardzo podobał mi się ten pomysł: Stworzyć książkę pełną faktów i fotografii. Dla jasności, jest bardzo wiele książek o zespole, ale większość z nich jest bardzo powierzchowna, nudna i pełna tych wszystkich głupich spekulacji i plotek.

[M2J]: Jak długo powstawał ‚Monument’?

[DB]: Potrzebowaliśmy pięć lat na wszystko. Ja osobiście potrzebowałem roku na fotografowanie, digitalizowanie i edycję materiału potrzebnego do biografii. To było często bardzo trudne, mam swoją pracę, życie rodzinne. To było bardzo ciężkie, aby znaleźć choć chwilę wolnego czasu na pisanie. Ale zaskoczyło! 🙂

[M2J]: Czy na początku Waszej pracy było jakiekolwiek ryzyko, że projekt się nie powiedzie?

[DB]: Nie było takiego ryzyka. Wiele osób było wtajemniczone w projekt, ale nikt nie myślał lub mówił o ryzyku. MUTE wspierało nas od samego początku, więc pracowaliśmy w bardzo dobrych nastrojach.

[M2J]: Z drugiej strony, ciężko nie odnieść wrażenia, że gdyby nie fani tacy jak Ty i Sascha, wiele projektów nigdy by się nie wydarzyło. Jak to możliwe, że gdyby nie fani, nigdy nie mielibyśmy skatalogowane archiwa TV depeche MODE. Dziś z nich korzysta nawet Alan i webmaster depeche MODE. Jeśli nie fani projekty takie jak depmod.com nigdy by się nie wydarzyły, jeśli nie fani… itd. Można wyliczać jeszcze długo. WTF?, Czemu fani są bardziej kreatywni i wykorzystują nisze, zamiast jęczeć do zespołu i płakać, że ten zespół nic nie wydaje po za standard.

[DB]: Hmmm…ciężko powiedzieć, ale myślę, że zespół to wciąż po prostu muzycy. Jestem pewien, że nigdy nie napisaliby biografii o swoim życiu. Ale wciąż mam nadzieję, że Alan zrobi to pewnego dnia. Powinien mieć wiele wspomnień i tony zdjęć w swoim archiwum. No to jak?, Alan… wystarczy, że dasz znaka, czekam… chętnie pomogę 😀

[M2J]: Wkrótce lokalne edycje ‚Monument’ ujrzą światło dzienne. 9 listopada w Polsce i równolegle w Anglii. Czy będą jakieś różnice w porównaniu do niemieckiego wydania?

[DB]: Kilka małych różnic. Angielskie wydanie ‚Monument‚ będzie miało bardzo długi wywiad z Danielem Millerem. Mam wrażenie, że to największy i najdłuższy wywiad o zespole, jaki Daniel udzielił w ciągu dziesięcioleci.

[M2J]: Czy wiesz jaka będzie różnica między wydaniem kolekcjonerskim, a standardową edycją ‚Monument’ w Polsce?

[DB]: Szczerze? Nie mam bladego pojęcia. Pytałem się parę razy, ale to był wielki sekret. Ale mam nadzieję, że limitowaną edycję dołączę do swojej kolekcji. 😀

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[M2J]: Niemiecka wersja jest już na rynku od jakiegoś czasu. Czy pomiędzy wydaniem, a chwilą obecną pojawiły się jakieś nowe dokumenty, zdjęcia, nagrania, czy inne archiwa, które powinny się znaleźć w ‚Monument’, a nie znalazły? Innymi słowy czy planujesz wydanie drugie-poprawione, poszerzone lub przebudowane w przyszłości?

[DB]: Wciąż otrzymujemy bardzo wiele ofert od różnych fotografów, ale byłoby nie w porządku tworzyć ‚nową’ książkę. Nie chcemy sprawić, aby fani czuli się oszukani. Dostaliśmy wiele ciekawych fotografii od C.C. Catch. Była sporą gwiazdą w połowie lat 80. i nadal jest. Podesłała nam materiały ze swojego prywatnego archiwum. Jedno zdjęcie znajdzie się w niemieckiej re-edycji, jak również w wersji angielskiej.

[M2J]: Czy planujecie wydać książkę w innych wersjach językowych, po za polską i angielską?

[DB]: To wymaga zainteresowania po stronie wydawcy w konkretnym kraju jako licencjonobiorcy. Obecnie nic potwierdzonego. W każdym razie jesteśmy zadowoleni, że Anakonda weszła do współpracy przy wydaniu książki w Polsce.

[M2J]: Wcześniej wspomnieliście o wywiadzie z Danielem Millerem. Powiedz, dla tych, co nie kupią angielskiego wydania, co jest w tym wywiadzie? O czym on jest?

[Sascha Lange]: Rozmawiając z Danielem Millerem byliśmy głównie zainteresowani historią Mute Records, oraz rozumieniem takich nurtów, jak Punk we wczesnym okresie, DIY*, jego zainteresowaniem Krauk Rock, jego udziałem w pracy z depeche MODE oraz co widzi kiedy spogląda za siebie po przeszło 30 latach pracy w branży. Na szczęście Daniel miał zapas czasu, aby odpowiedzieć na nasze pytania, a my usłyszeliśmy wiele ciekawych i śmiesznych historii z jego udziałem.

* – DIY – Do It Yourself (zrób to sam).

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[M2J]: Wspomnieliście wcześniej, o planowanym ponownym wydaniu Monument w Niemczech. Czy macie zamiar poszerzyć książkę o europejską część  The Delta Machine Tour, czy też ramy czasowe pozostaną takie same?

[DB]: Tak, będą niewielkie aktualizacje, ale nie będą mieć wielkiego zasięgu.

[M2J]: Nie boicie się, że za każdym razem, kiedy depeche MODE wyda nowy album będziecie proszeni o dopisanie brakującego fragmentu historii i ponowne wydanie książki?

[DB]: Jako, że depeche MODE wydaje album średnio co 4 lata możemy sobie wyobrazić wydanie zaktualizowanej wersji co 4 lata. Jeżeli zespół będzie wydawał muzykę wystarczająco długo, to możliwa jest część druga Monument.

[M2J]: W liście do polskich fanów depeche MODE napisaliście, że zbieraliście również płyty, wywiady i plakaty z polskich pism. Wiadomo, że w tamtych czasach było ciężko podróżować między krajami obozu komunistycznego. Jeździliście do Polski osobiście, czy wymienialiście się z polskimi fanami?

[DB]: Ani ja ani Sascha mieliśmy szansy, żeby w latach 80. jeździć do Polski. W tamtych czasach kontakt między fanami z Europy Wschodniej był bardzo ograniczony. Głównie chodziło o niewielkie szanse spotkania się i barierę językową. Prawie nikt nie mówił przecież po angielsku. Artykuły w polskich gazetach o depeche MODE i płyty licencyjne to była często kwestia przypadku zdobywana przez ludzi, którzy byli na wakacjach w Polsce.

[M2J]: Szczerze, to my nie traktowaliśmy drukowanych w Polsce pamiątek, jako coś specjalnego. Dla nasz większą wartość przedstawiały Zachodnioniemieckie edycje Bravo, Popcorn, czy innych zachodnich pism, gdzie w tamtym czasie mogliśmy znaleźć więcej wysokiej jakości zdjęć… (do tego Bong i albumy fotograficzne).

[DB]: Pewnie. Zachodnioniemieckie pisma młodzieżowe były również bardzo popularnymi we Wschodnich Niemczech pozycjami w kolekcji – obok nagrań. Ale jak każdy szalony fan kolekcjonowaliśmy wszystko, co miało etykietkę depeche MODE i włączając w to kilka polskich czasopism.

[M2J]: To co zaskoczyło mnie w Waszym liście do polskich fanów, to fakt, że BYLIŚCIE ZAZDROŚNI O FAKT, PIERWSZEGO KONCERTU DEPECHE MODE W WARSZAWIE w 1985. Dlaczego?

[SL]: W tamtym czasie to było dla nas wielkie zaskoczenie, jako młodych ludzi w NRD, że koncerty depeche MODE w Polsce i na Węgrzech w 1985 były możliwe, a w NRD nie. My również chcieliśmy zobaczyć depeche MODE na żywo, ale oficjele w NRD nie ośmielili się zorganizować ich koncert w tym kraju. Musimy podkreślić to raz jeszcze NRD w tamtych czasach to nie było najwspanialsze miejsce do życia (Wy jednak mieliście lepiej).

[M2J]: Sascha spędziłeś trochę czasu nad przywróceniem do publicznej świadomości fanów historii koncertu w Berlinie Wschodnim z 1988. W Polsce KONCERT Z WARSZAWY 1985 jest pewnego rodzaju fundamentem subkultury fanów depeche MODE w Polsce. Oczywiście fani depeche MODE istnieli wcześniej, zbierali muzykę, plakaty. Jednak podczas tego koncertu fani mogli zobaczyć jak wielu ich jest na koncercie i jak wielu nie mogło dostać się na ich koncert. Koncert ten był katalizatorem ruchu fanowskiego w Polsce. Czy koncert w Berlinie Wschodnim był czymś podobnym dla Wschodnioniemieckich fanów, czy też po prostu czekaliście jeszcze dwa lata, do upadku Muru Berlińskiego, aby korzystać ze swobody, jaką dało zjednoczenie Niemiec?

[SL]: Właśnie tak było. Koncert we Wschodnim Berlinie wzmógł histerię na punkcie depeche MODE w NRD wielokrotnie. To właśnie po koncercie dziesiątki fanów zakładało fankluby. Wszyscy mieliśmy nadzieję, że na kolejnej trasie depeche MODE znowu zawita do NRD. Tak się jednak szczęśliwie złożyło, że na jesieni 1989 upadł Mur, a parę miesięcy później rozpoczęła się World Violation Tour. Napisaliśmy o tym okresie w rozdziale ‚Behind The Wall’.

[M2J]: Jak Wam się podoba The Delta Machine Tour? Jesteś bardziej fanem studyjnych, czy koncertowych wytworów depeche MODE?

[DB]: Prawdę mówiąc, to mam spory problem z obecnym depeche MODE. Widziałem ich w Berlinie… i nie będę robił tajemnicy, że brakuje mi Alana Wilderadepeche MODE nie jest tym samym zespołem bez niego. Pewnie… lubię ‚Delta Machine‚, lubię ‚Sounds Of The Universe‚ i pozostałe albumy. Ale to nie to samo. Coś się skończyło z odejściem Alana. Za każdym razem, gdy widzę, albo słyszę depeche MODE, zawsze myślę o tym. To wciąż boli… nie uważasz?

[M2J]: Masz mnie. Mam podobne uczucia, wciąż brakuje mi Alan w zespole. Dzięki Panowie bardzo za rozmowę i powodzenia.

Przeczytaj również wywiad o innej biografii, jaka udzieliła mi Lillian – autorka strony www.depechemodebiographie.de

Hanging on Your Words – the interview

It’s amazing, how the accident rules the world. My paths crossed with Lilian, when we joined the ‚Setlist Relay Project’ at Home Forum. We did common relays in Berlin, both Dusseldorf’s and Warsaw. At that time I still didn’t know that Lilian is that Lilian who writes the depeche MODE’s online biography at depechemodebiographie.de. I have learnt this very fast and then the story went quite fast. I was surpirsed, that nobody heart about Lilians’ effort and book. Very quickly I’ve decided to send her few questions… oh btw and we’ve made a history by accident. First ever interview at MODE2Joy blog. Accidents happen…

[MODE2Joy]: How did everything start? How did you become the depeche MODE fan?

[Lilian]: I got to know dM when I was a child and was given a cassette of Speak & Spell as a birthday or Christmas present in 1981. (My birthday is in November, so I can’t remember whether it was birthday or Christmas.) I liked them a while because it was music my parents weren’t listen to. 😉 (I grew up with 1970s Rock, Blues and stuff like that, Leonard Cohen, Donovan, Manfred Mann, ELO…) I noticed what they were doing afterwards, Everything Counts, People Are People, but the interest was low in the average. I became a real fan with Black Celebration and Music for the Masses, although I’ve to say that I understood Music for the Masses much better when re-discovering them later. And I followed them along until Devotional. I left them with Alan, didn’t think they would “survive”, and there were many essential things in my personal life at the time that were more important than a band. I was completely away from them for a long time, didn’t notice what they were doing after Alan had left the band.

[M2J]: What was your depeche MODE moment? Song, clip, concert?

[L]: I still feel connected with Music for the Masses, its still my favorite album of theirs, and with Devotional as well. The most impressive concert I’d been to myself was in Manchester, England, in December 1993. It was a great concert, but the lad who was with me was shocked by Dave’s appearance. When we went home he kept saying, ‚He’s on drugs, isn’t he? He’s gonna die, isn’t he?

A great moment, of course, was Alan’s appearance at the RAH. Unfortunately, I wasn’t there personally, but I never thought it would happen to see them together on a stage again.

[M2J]: What pushed you to start the website and to run the online biography?

[L]: I ‚came back‚ to them when they released the song Lilian on their album Playing the Angel in 2005. Not that I liked the song that much, (the opposite is the case), but I had got curious about what had happened to this band I used to like, who had now released a song with my name as the title.

I discovered the now no longer functional website sacredDM.net* that offered a large collection of articles about the band through the years. I started to read them and tried to find answers to questions like, ‚Why did Alan really leave the band?’, ‚Why is this band popular with a large group of people, but is nevertheless misinterpreted, misunderstood or even ignored by large sections of the general music business?’, and ‚How and why did the band change from a certain point onwards, without being bothered by the fact that some of their more critical fans don’t like everything they are doing and releasing today?’…

[M2J]: That’s funny, but same year as you started I closed my first MODEontheROAD website and quit trading concerts. When I first saw sacredDM.net* it was obvious for me, that this website was fully loaded  of plenty of depeche MODE goodies. My first impression was to download whole website to my archives, because I was afraid, that sacredDM.net* will disappear. I was right… after few years.
*(links are not to the live working website but to the ‚waybackmachine’ museum)

[L]: …What I had noted down for my own interest soon developed into a very long, detailed biography. I told some people about it, and they wanted to read it. At first, I sent the file, attached to E-mails. But when I got more and more requests I decided to publish it on a website, so I wouldn’t be bothered by requests about sending the file.

Personal Jesus
Personal Jesus
[M2J]: You said few minutes ago, that one of your main factors to write the biography was to answer the question: ‚Why Alan did left the band?’ I know that the answer wasn’t easy but official statement was quite clear. I think…

[L]: My main interest to write the biography was to find an answer to the question why Alan had left the band. Alan answered the question hundreds of times but always a bit different. That seems to lead to that almost every dM-fan has its own theory about it. When I asked this question in the fan survey that I carried out for depechemodebiographie.de I got 26 different answers! Some of them were orientated by things Alan said, some were orientated by rumours or suggestions by the remaining band members, some were own theories. Not even people who are close to him are sure about. So Steve Lyon said that he didn’t understand why Alan left although Alan told him much earlier.

I put Alan’s answers, suggestions of the remaining band members, and theories of fans together, trying to draw a conclusion.

As Alan’s leaving was a kind of leitmotif for this biography he is prominently mentioned, but it’s not a Alan Wilder biography, and it’s not all about problems, or the „dark sides” of the band. I’m tired of the drug stories. They are mentioned of course, but my main interest was the „band chemistry” itself with all their different facets.

[M2J]: After so many years I have learnt that this band has 2 faces, on one hand official versions or even some semi official versions and I think some biographies, which I did read in the past, reached that level. There are stories like drug addiction, official version of Alan leaving, alcoholism, relations between the members, but only on some certain level. On the other hand plenty of things which even Alan won’t tell you even after 18 years. Sometimes you have a feeling that there were something more or different but you are not able to find out what it is… in some cases Alan never left the band he only stopped studio, live and commercial activity, but he is still… benefits, shareholding depeche MODE project in general.

[M2J]: OK! Now you are about to release the biography in print. How did it happen?

[L]: I was asked about it several times. This biography is strongly influenced by the people who read it. People sent in a lot of feedback right from the start. I received (and still receive) many e-mails with questions, ideas, criticisms, requests – concerning the biography itself and regarding the layout of the website.

And there were many people asking for a print edition or an E-book edition because they didn’t like reading so much text on a computer screen.

I had refused to do so for a long time. To run a non-commercial website is one thing, to have it in print and sell it is something completely different. I didn’t want to be one of those people who make money with the name depeche MODE. Another reason for being against it was that the concept had always been to run a website you could update every day if necessary.

On the other hand, this biography has grown by the interest and suggestions of the readers, and they had asked for a print edition.

Nowadays there are a lot more possibilities to publish something than a few years back. It’s possible to publish a book without lots of payments in advance, so I decided to fulfil this wish.

Now everyone can decide if, where and how to read it – on a computer screen, on an E-book reader or as a printed book on their sofa.

[M2J]: Do you think odd that, fans of depeche MODE are doing a lot of things which should come from the band. I’m talking about TV Archives project? Your biography? But also many small projects like mulitcams from almost every concert, cataloging every record vide depmod.com. Now even Alan and webmaster of the official site is using theirs output.

[L]: This is a difficult question. I think it depends a lot on the devotion of the fans. They are doing stuff they would like to have, they are interested in.

I think it’s a question of being connected. The band is quite old-fashioned at that point. When you look at other bands, there’s much more communication with the fans. But that’s how they are, and maybe it’s a reason why we like them so much. 😉 You never get closer to some certain points.

Stripped
Stripped

The band probably also thinks that they are releasing enough. I think it’s a question of communication. They are quite bad at that point. Instead of reacting on requests they prefer to say nothing.

There are requests which repeat regularly, like the one for a DVD of Worldviolation. Why not saying, ‚There isn’t any good material‚., or if there’s material you can work with saying, ‚There will be a release some day?

I tried to get interviews with the band. They didn’t react on any requests. I don’t think it would have been difficult to ask someone of the record company to write a short notice that they aren’t interested in. Whoever I talked to from record company or management was excited first and willing to help but then, after they had talked to the band, turned silent, as if they were told not to communicate with me. Why not saying, ‚We don’t like that project. Tell her, we are not interested.‚? It would have saved a lot of time because no answer can mean a lot while a ‚no, thanks‚ tells you everything you need to know.

So there are only interviews with Alan, Gareth Jones and Steve Lyon.

[M2J]: Holding the test print book in my hands it’s hard to pass away the feeling that this is very intensive and full of information and effort book. Did you have any other problems apart no answers from band members or some band crew? Which part was the most difficult to you?

The whole project went through many different phases over the years. And some of them were quite extensive and exhausting. The basic biography itself, and every radical change of it, the English version, but also creating the website, etc. The print edition was another phase. It was an exhausting project in itself. I set myself a deadline. You have to because you will never get ready with such a big project when you think you have all the time in the world. The main problems were English editors, who disappeared out the blue, technical issues, keeping self-discipline (although I think I’m quite disciplined), and not being a total perfectionist and control freak (which I tend to be. ;))

Considering the whole project it’s difficult to say which were the moments of most effort or most anger at something which didn’t work. The photographer of the cover photos and pictures for the interior says I was most impatient at the subject index, and at uploading the interior hundreds of times at CreateSpace after discovering another mistake, or a technical issue. ;))

Picture 9 - The graph on the wall tells the story_
Picture 9 – The graph on the wall tells the story_
[M2J]: Many fans are doing bio’s of depeche MODE for theirs internal needs. What happened that your one will see the light of the day?

[L]: It was a “fast-selling item”, never meant to be popular, printed or whatever. It has just become bigger and bigger because people kept asking about topics, ways to read and other stuff.

[M2J]: How many language versions will you issue?

[L]: The original version is in German. Again, on requests of readers the international version in English was done after some years. Other languages aren’t planned yet, but you never know. 😉

[M2J]: You are not native speaker of English. Did you have any support in English during writing process?

[L]: It was astonishingly difficult to find an English editor. I wanted a British native speaker because the main point was to get it authentic. My English is not so bad that I wouldn’t be able to get a text right (after reading it a hundreds of times), but it won’t be authentic, not like a native speaker would write it. But it took a while to find someone. Unfortunately, he couldn’t edit the whole text but the most important passages at least. So probably there will be a few odd sentences here and there, but that’s what I meant with – don’t be such a control freak. 😉

[M2J]: If somebody would come and say. Hey I’d like issue your bio as hardcover book in my language? What would you say?

[L]: If she/he translates it and takes the costs and efforts of doing it, we can talk about it. 😉

[M2J]: Your bio of depeche MODE is one of many biographies released recently. Don’t you afraid that sooner or later we will come to the same situation like with tribute albums in the past. Over production of this format was that big, that now nobody cares about next tribute projects.

[L]: I’m aware of that there are many other biographies on the market. But my point was never to make money with it or to get popular or whatever.

I chose Amazon to publish the service editions because there aren’t any payments in advance and because the ordering, payment and shipping process in all parts of the world are easy to deal with. So there aren’t any risks. I’m able to offer what people asked for without being in a position to HAVE to sell something.

[M2J]: How do you find The Delta Machine Tour?

[L]: I haven’t been to a concert of this tour myself, but when doing relays for Home forum and talking to other fans and watching some videos and livestreams, I have to notice that this tour is much better than the last ones. Maybe their best since Devotional!

Death's Door
Death’s Door
[M2J]: Are you the fan of studio or live aspect of depeche MODE activity?

[L]: Well, I’m definitely one of the ‚old timers who want Alan back.‚ 😀 I like most of what they did between 1983 and 1993, including the fantastic live versions of the Exotic Tour (and I wish there would be a good release of World Violation Video), but I’ve some difficulties with some stuff they did and released after Alan’s leaving. I’m not very keen on some of the new live versions of old songs. So I’m more an album listener, and I still prefer Black Celebration, Music for the Masses, Violator and SOFAD, ahead of any other albums.

[M2J]: Please tell the readers of MODE2Joy blog, how they can grab your biography of depeche MODE, and where, apart from your website?

[L]: At the moment print and E-book editions are only available via Amazon. International version in English at Amazon.com. It’s also possible to order in Euro from every Amazon European shop. i.e. Amazon.de.

If there were lots of requests from readers from certain countries in which Amazon isn’t popular, we might think about an expanded distribution. This project has grown with and through its readers. So anything could happen – updates, special editions, editions in further languages, a calendar with pictures from the book … or nothing at all. It’s just a question of interest. Maybe this is the most special about this project – nothing was ever planned. It’s a „I would like to …”-project. 😉

[M2J]: Thank you Lilian and good luck with your biography of depeche MODE.

Please read my another interview with authors of MONUMENT bio.