from "JOEPIE", a Belgian pop magazine. Translated and typed by Stefan Moernaut
Depeche Mode Prive (part one : Alan Wilder)
"When I joined Depeche Mode, I didn't like their music at all", says Alan
Wilder surprisingly. "Martin, Dave and Andy were really nice fellows, so
I decided to stick with them for a few months, I've never had any regrets."
Depeche Mode's most recent gain tells about himself...
Q: You are the quiet guy in Depeche Mode, Alan. Are you in private like
this too ?
A: Actualy I am. I was born in Acton in West-London. The youth isn't so
rebellion there like in Basildon, where the others come from. My parents
weren't rich nor poor. In school I mostly stayed in the background.
Q: Were you a jpgted student ?
A: I was doing quite good, but I wasn't interested in most of the
subject-matter. I only found music and languages to be absorbing, but I
really hated the piano-lessons my parents obliged me too.
Q: Wasn't music in your blood then ?
A: It was sort of a familymatter. My parents wanted their kids to have a
musical education. My one brother is a pianist and accompanies all
kinds of singers, the other teaches music in Finland.
Q: Did you ever have any other jobs ?
A: No, after school I was unemployed all the time. My parents advised me
to apply to recordingstudio's. I think I got rejected about 40 times.
In the DJM-studio's I finally got a job as a thee-guy. Not very
exciting, but I did get the chance to meet my idols of that time, The
Q: Did you play in any groups at that time ?
A: Yes, I played in a little soft-rock-band wich was called The Dragons.
I moved to Bristol to get the chance to rehearse more. After that I
played in several jazz- and blues bands. Until I read an ad in the
paper back in 1982. A famous group were looking for a keyboardplayer
who was younger than 21. They were Martin, Dave and Andy who just
lost Vince Clark. I was 22 but after a white lie, they took me.
Q: How would you describe your task in Depeche Mode ?
A: I am, musically, certainly the most experienced DM-member. I'm also
their confidential agent. If either one of them has any problems, he
mostly comes to me. This however doesn't mean I'm the boss of the group.
I'm just a little to sensitive for that. Martin Gore is the one in charge.
Q: Your haircut is at the least to call "striking". Who's responsible for
A: My girlfriend Jeri. She isn't only the mother of my child, but also a
great hairdresser. Every morning she spends 20 minutes to get my hair
fixed. It takes a whole bottle of hairspray.
Q: What are your other interests ?
A: Photography. It started as a hobby and it's now a real passion. On
tour I hardly do anything else on the bus. I even recorded our American
tour on video, which won't ever appear in any cinema, I'm afraid.
Depeche Mode prive (Part two : Dave Gahan)
"As a teenager I had to appear regularly to the youthjudge", remembers Dave
Gahan. "I kicked up a row everywhere, stole cars, painted all the walls
with rebellian slogans. Fortunatly I could lose this superfluous energy
some years later on stage. Otherwise I would have definatly ended up in
jail." The Depeche Mode foreman tells how a rebellious yougster turned
into a successfull performer.
Q: How many jobs did you have before you joined Depeche Mode ?
A: I don't know exactly, but I think it must have been 20 in less than 6
months. I never held out very long and my bosses hated my rebellious
attitude. It was a little better when I was on the academy of arts a few
months later. However I only really settled down when I found my way
in the Pop-biz. My mother often cried bitter tears for me.
Q: Today you're a very modest guy, except on stage, that is.
A: Right. After a concert, I'm often close to exhaustion. Not long ago
two roadies had to carry me to the dressing room. It took half an hour
before I could say one word. The first three songs I usually stay
pretty calm, but after that I really go into ecstasies.
Q: Isn't that at the expense of your health ?
A: Yeah, a little I guess. It is indeed a fact that after a tour I'm
several kilo's lighter and that I sometimes feel sick to death after
a concert. There is therefore an extensive medicine box in the tourbus.
Q: What's the nicest experience of your career ?
A: Undoubtedly our most recent American Tour. It was a lovely experience
to get the public up on their chairs evening after evening as an almost
Q: What do you do to recover your breath after these exhausting concerts ?
A: I like a good movie. After that I often to go to a nice pub to drink a
beer. I also love to go fishing. I still live in my place of birth
Basildon, Essex. The Chelmer is abounding in fish. Besides that I
like to drive my motorbike or my beach-buggy. On tour, my walkman is
my dearest possession.
Q: Do you have a good relationship with your mother ?
A: Yes, although I have a steady girlfriend, Joanne, I still live at home.
I like it with my borthers Peter and Philip. Even my sister, Susan, who's
maried for a few years now, lives in Basildon.
Q: You go on hollidays sometimes ?
A: Seldom. We're very busy with the band. A couple of weeks ago, I
thoroughly enjoyed the few weeks, with Joanne on the Greek Island, Kos.
Q: Does Joanne come along on tour ?
A: Mostly. We, in Depeche Mode, give no credence to the assertion that
women always cause trouble in a band. Andrew's girlfriend, Grayne,
mostly joins us on tour too and it's social most of the time.
Depeche Mode prive (Part three : Martin Gore)
"I've grown to be the 'boss' of the band over the years", tells Martin Gore.
"For the choice of songs as well as for the visual aspects I have the last
word. Still I'm not a born leader, on the contrary". The eye-catcher tells
how it did come this far.
Q: Did you ever think you'd be this famous, Martin ?
A: Not at all ! As a child I used to be the shy type. I always had none or
only a few friends and I spent most of the time alone in my room reading
fairy-tales. I lost myself in fairy-tale books and lived in another world.
In school as well I had a big shortage of selfconfidence. The teachers
only seldom heard my voice.
Q: So you've changed completely nowadays ?
A: That's right, but don't think it happend from one day to another. I think
my job as a bankclerk has a lot to do with it. Because I was so young, my
coleagues treated me a little in a stepmotherly fashion. After a while
I came up for myself better and better.
Q: Are you really such a party-animal ?
A: I love parties. In my time off I can therefore mostly be found in a
London club or one of Basildon's pubs.
Q: Do you still live in Basildon ?
A: Yes. I still like living home with my mother and my two sisters. My
German girlfriend lives in Berlin, but I don't even think of moving to
Germany. Berlin is a lovely, mysterious city, but I'm dreadfully attached
A: Is Andrew Fletcher your best friend ?
Without any doubt. I like to pull caprices and Andy is always the victim.
He hasn't actually anything in common with me, I'm very exuberant while he
prefers calmness and peace. Still he is my permanent "going-out-partner".
Q: You seem to like striking clothes ?
A: Yes, as far as that goes I'm very busy. I design together with a few
co-operators DM's stage-outfits and I organise the photo-sessions.
Nothing is too crazy for me. I don't even shrink from wearing from time
to time something from Christine's wardrobe.
Q: What's you favourite food ?
A: For two years now, I'm a convinced vegetarian. Just like Alan, I decided
it was time to live healthier. Therefore I go jogging every morning with
my dog Ben.
Q: In a few days, you'll be playing on the Torhout-Werchter Festival. What
do you expect from these concerts ?
A: Very much. We heard our presence on the 'double-festival' caused a lot
a critisism. A 'commercial' band like Depeche Mode would mar the
prestigious play-bill of the T/W festival. We ignore that kind of
criticism. We are convinced a lot of Flemish and Dutch people will come
to dance to our music. We won't disappoint them. We think it's a big
honour and we won't put, the trust the organizers gave us, to shame.
Depeche Mode Prive (Part four : Andrew Fletcher)
"When I see my sisters, Susan and Karen, leave each morning to the factory,
I'm glad to be a musician." says Andrew Fletcher. "And yet, there wasn't
any indication I would end up in the popbiz." Depeche Mode's most taciturn
member talks about his marvelous world.
Q: On stage, you are the most quiet one. Are you in private like this too ?
A: Yes, as a child I wasn't exuberant either. I was a boyscout, they didn't
have a lot of use of me. Besides I was an incorrigible pessimist, who
never saw the bright side of life.
Q: What were your most important pursuits those days ?
A: Reading. Especially books about history. I was convinced I was going
to become a teacher later.
Q: Who changed you ?
A: Martin Gore. He really is what you can call my antipole, but just because
of that we get along so well. Without him, I would probably spend all
my saturday-evenings before the T.V. He always manages to get me out of
my easy chair to go to a cosy pub or a nice discotheque.
Q: Do you spend your holidays together too ?
A: Yes. Last year we both deepsea-dived in the ocean on our hollidays. an
incredible experience. Besides we're both furious collectors of old
toys. We often go nosing around together in second hand shops too.
Q: do you have a steady girlfriend ?
A: Yes. Her name is Grainne and she is Irish. She studies biology and
physiology at the University. She want's to become a "X-ray-assistant"
just like her mother. At night we meet. We only go out rarely, but we
have endless conversations about a million subjects. That doesn't
mean it's always boring.
Q: Does she come along on tour ?
A: Mostly. I'm very fond of that, because it's the best way to drive away
the boredom on the tourbus.
Q: Do you have a lot of friends in Depeche Mode's entourage ?
A: Yes, but it's striking most of them are girls. As a kid I could always
get on a lot better with girls than with boys. The most amusing girl of
the entourage is Jane Spears. She is a very competent technician and
takes care of the light-show, the stage-robots and the movable parts on
stage. She likes however to have a bit of fun. The two cooks are very
Q: Do you, despite the overwhelming success, still have a secret wish ?
A: I would love to make a European trip with Grainne. Even if it was only
to see the historical cities, I read so much about, with my own eyes. But
as long as Depeche Mode's success keeps going on like this, the only sights
of a town I'll see will be the concert halls and the hotel rooms, I'm