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.
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.
Yes, 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 Rainfall, Nothing To Fear, My Secret Garden and Leave In Silence. We discovered that we both love this album very much so we decided immediately to cover it.
You 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 Bunnymen, depeche 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.
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 Disco, Summer, Inhale 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 242, Nitzer Ebb, Casandra 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 😀