Chatting with Alan Wilder
Yesterday i got the chance to meet Alan for an interview. I had 30 minutes,
but I also talked to Alan for about 15 minutes after the interview..just
normal talk (no interview questions). Some days before I got the new album
from Mute just for preparing the interview. There are 9 tracks:
Drifting (also forthcoming single)
Red River Cargo
I think Stalker, Luscious App. and Red River Cargo are the best ones....now
to the meeting with Alan!
I came to the hotel about 2 hours before the interview :) I waited on a
parkbench outside the hotel...after 1 hour Alan and some journalists came
out for doing some kind of photosession. When it was my turn I walk into the
hotels restaurant and met the mute manager. The interview was delayed for
about 5 minutes...I drank a Cola and spoke to the mute manager and Alans
wife...the 5 minutes went very slow. I installed the tape recorder and said
hi to Alan. I was quite nervous the first question but when I realized that
Alan really seemed to enjoy my questions I became very cool :) When my time
was out I there seemed to be a pause to Alans next interview...I spoke about
10 minutes with Alan about Swedish music, Depeche Mode-sleeves (antons
works) and some other topics... I'm going to listen to the interview-tape
now and write down the questions/answers! Dont complain on my bad English! :)
H: Its a long time since the last (bloodline) album and much have changed.
Whats the difference between Unsound methods and your previous albums?
A: The previous Recoil album was really an instrumental record but we ended
up with some vocals on it, but it essentially remained as an instrumental
record. So the vocals really were like an afterthought. This time...as the
music came together it became clear that every track really required vocals
to make it really complete and i was determined this time to push the
project so it didnt have anything lacking at the end in my mind anyway. So
thats the main difference. And of course, instrumentually it moved on for me
well its probably a lot less electronics and less programms and I has a sort
of looser feel and it's a bit dark.
H: You have a lot of guest singers on the new album and Recoil seems to be a
very free project for you. What do you think about that?
A: for me its essential really in these day...to have that kind of
freedom..it was main reason really for leaving Depeche and I've done this
project before as a side project to depeche and I wanted to have more time
for it and more control of what i'm doing. I felt like I didnt want to be in
a group anymore and this project has many advantages if i keep it the way it
is where i bring people in to contribute you know..something to it but not
to become a permanent member then I can really do just about anything I want
to do with it and I like the idea, it keeps changing and new people come
H: Why did you choose "Drifting" as the forthcoming single?
A: Well I think the album doesnt really have what I would call that many
radio friendly tracks on it. Its quite dark. So Drifting is probably one of
those maybe two or free that are more likely yhe ones the play on the radio
and thats really the reason..but well I like the track and it has some sort
of more melody with the vocals...some of the other vocals are
quite...narrative(?)..they are spoken...
H: What are the words about?
A: Well...I dont write the lyrics so I'm possibly the right person to ask.
All of the singers on this album wrote their own lyrics.. Siobhan Lynch whos
singing on drifting..her words are quite ambigious so.. you could have
different meanings too.. I have an idea in my mind..but I never thought of
asking her to tell my...just in case it destroys my own vision...and I think
the listener should have that choise as well so I think its better to leave
it open and let the listeners make up their own mind what its about.
H: How long have you been working with the album and are you satisfied with
A: I started work last september and finished in June so it took about 9
months with a couple of breaks... Yes essentially i'm happy with the
result..i think is the most focused thing I've done and the most completed.
There always a side of me that things I could have done something better,
but I think thats not a natural reaction...you always feel that you can do
more and do better...
H: You have worked with many different peoples in your career. Who do you
want to work with in the future? Do you have any dreams?
A: Well. Actually you say that I have worked with a lot of
people..but...most of the time in Depeche Mode we didnt work as a group and
we didnt used to bring people in..the last album we done..we did have some
extra musicians but that was the only one. As I said there is a lot of
advantages to having this...I can bring in people..and...I always try to
find someone new to work with and think its a real challange to keep your
hope(?) It makes you do things differently if you work with a stranger,
somebody new...so I like to give myself that challange to find intresting
new people each time...so i should carry on looking for new people to work
on the next project which I hope will start quite soon.
H: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: Well I try to...I mean..its elements of everything I listening to...so I
think a lot of the rhythm on this record are influences by
hip-hop...and...many british bands like Portishead and Massive Attack have
influenced me too...I think the last album with Recoil..and the Depeche Mode
albums are a little bit to much programmed..so i was constantely trying to
do something like this...I also bring influences from all my other musical
taste...which includes...Classical music, soundtracks, and traditional
H: Do you like going to other groups gigs?
A: Well, I dont go to many gigs these days to be honest..sometimes I find
that I'm to close to it...well I go to a gig and all I can see is the
setting up of the scene..and imagine the backstage...I cant just enjoy it for
what it is...Generally I dont go to many gigs but I listen to a lot of music
which I just mentioned before... I have a huge collection of cds and
vinyls...well...I'm the kind of people who hear one track on the radio and
then I go and buy the whole album instead of just buying the single... and
usually i'm just disapointed with the album...so these days...i moved away
from buying too many poprecords...i reasearch all the musicareas...like
soundtracksareas are really interesting...
H. Have you ever had plans to play live with Recoil?
A: At the moment there's no plans...although there's always a
possibility..you know..if an important tv-station come along or there was a
big demand to go on the road then I could consider it but its difficult to
imagine how a project like this could be taken on the road... I dont feel
like i'm a natural front person...I more like to do things like work in the
H: What kind of response have you got after your depature of Depeche Mode?
A: Well I haven't really had much contact with either media or my fans - if I
have got any, cause I've been out of the picture for more than 3 years so
this Is really an interesting period for me now to find out really if I do
have any fans.
H: Did Depeche Mode set stop for your work with Recoil and it is easier to
work with just one project.
A: There was never any problem having a sideproject..but you had not
so much time...the last album I did with Recoil i couldnt really promote it
cause Depeche Mode took so much time...so this gives me a lot of more time
to doing promotion, exactly like this, to put the album further.
H: Depeche Mode cooperated with Anton Corbijn. Is he going to do something
A: Well I havent asked Anton and I dont even know if he would like to do it.
I really like Anton and what he does, but I feel I would be a mistake to use
Anton cause it would be to close to what i did before.
H: I've heard about a band called Daphne and the Tenderspots. Can you tell
me about it?
A: Well. Thats an unfair question....ah...no...it was a group I was in last
70ies...we were some sort of new wave...and Daphne was the singer...and we
did have a recorddeal and realesed a few records and then we didnt do anything.
H: Do you have an education, as a musician or a normal education?
A: I have a grammar school education...i only got three o-levels(?) cause I
was lazy, but I did have quite a good musical education I had pianolessons
and I did well in those..I got up to grade 8 and i didnt really enjoy the
lessons at the time but now i'm really pleased that I did have them and I
think its a big step for what I do know.
H: Have you written many songs which never have been released?
A: No..I wouldn't say that I'm prelific writer at all..ahm...I write
music...but I have trouble writing words and I did write a few songs for the
early Depeche Mode-albums...but i really didn't like them and I still don't
do...I think theres a few extra tracks that didnt make it onto this album
which may get used later...they have different vocals and different
words..so they may get used at some point but I havent got to many others.
H: What are you intressted in besides music?
A: ahm..I recently moved to the country and got a child..so that takes up a
lot of my time...but having children and being very hand on with them which
we are takes a lot of time..I mean we dont have a lot of time to the things
we want...I love to go to the cinema...and I went to the cinema a lot
before..a really love film..and I love football...Queens Park Rangers...and
what else? I go to resturants...ah..I have a sort of.. ah..we both of us
collect submedicalinstruments(??) and we go around to antiquefairs and thing
like that and collecting pieces of furniture...quite a lot fun...
H: Do you feel old and is there something left in your life that you want to do?
A: I should hope so otherwise I would just top myself right now...ahm...I do
feel older...but i actually feel that I'm in a really good time in my
life...with complete control of everything I'm doing and I'm really
enthustiastic of what I'm doing even more enthustiasthic in making music
then I have ever been...and i have created a situation where I got no real
limitations..now a've got my homestudio where I working so I can work in
exactly the way a want to and when I want to. And I can also combine as I
said my privatelife and my family and everything so I feel I have got to a
really good stage in my life.
H: This radio show is for greedy students. Have you got any tips on cheap food?
A: Cheap food? I dont know about it cause I'm always going to expensive
restaurants. But what is cheap food? McDonalds?
H: no..that is expensive....you have a limit of one pound.
A: ok...they should live the hippie life and grown there own vegetables.
thats a cheap way of living.
Then my time was out...so I pressed the Stop button and thanked Alan for the
interview...then he signed some things for me...the bloodline cd, a new
promo photo, the innersleeve to World in My Eyes L12" (big photo with Alan)
and the 1+2 LP...Alan seemed to have a pause so we talked about swedish
synthmusic...he had just got the dm-tribute "Your wolrd in our eyes" and he
couldn't find the meaning of doing tributes.... after some minutes I thought
that Alan would prefer do be away from people like me so said byebye and
went to the trainstation...