On their way of selling over 70 million copies of their albums, Depeche Mode, like any other super group, have survived more than a few bumps. They departed from
their first lyricist, Vince Clark, and another member, the gifted musician Alan Wilder. And they, who suffered in the early 80s' from extremely vicious attacks by critics,
are now known as one of the most original and influential pioneer band in pop.
They who just up to 20 years seemed in many eyes as ignorant suburban boys accompanied with flat stylish music and presumptuous, pathos filled, lyrics, are now
valued as the electronic music great esthetics. They are a rare uniquely creative group, who knew how to write a classic pop songs as well as caressing them with
ultra modern packages; keep shaking stadiums while maintaining a structure without the traditional bass drums; produce dark and unique music and even become an icon.
In the last year, the chief writer, Martin Gore, the lead singer, Dave Gahan and keyboardist Andy Fletcher, took a sabbatical as a band, but as individuals they had a
very busy year. Gore had a cover album and went on a short tour. Gahan, for the first time in his life, wrote lyrics and tunes for his first solo album, for which a six
months tour followed its released. Fletcher began dee-jaying, started his own label and signed the electronic feminine duo- 'Client', providing them a creative
We would have come from Istanbul
Gores' and Gahan solo albums were followed, especially on behalf of Gahans side, by bleak insinuations regarding the band future. Although they have been on the
edge before, Dave's heroin addiction had questioned not only his life but the future of the band as well, yet in 2003 it seems they were ever more close to terminating
their joined route. Their late release is a beautiful DVD package with a recall to the '101' movie that documented their 1988 massive American tour as well as their fans
width-American journey. So that we could scatter a few of the fogs surrounding their future as well as shining over past turning points, Mr. Fletcher popped on a one
London rainy day to their record company's offices, Mute, which resides in a walking distance not only from his home but also from his auspicious football team, Chelsea.
Before he went to watch the game, he answered a phone call from Israel.
Fletcher: "yes, I do know that in the last tour a very large group of Israeli fans got organized and came to see us in turkey.
And I do know they are a very unified and of high quality group of fans, and therefore I am committing that in the next tour, finally, we will appear at your place.
We used to accept offers to come from Israeli managers every round, but packing the equipment and us on one plane is not simple anymore. We have a huge show,
and you have a location problem. Even if we had come to you directly from Istanbul, it would have taken too many workdays, which would be, spend on flying or mobilizing
the equipment. One of the ideas we are thinking of is to start our next world tour in Israel. It's important to me to clarify that it's all a matter of timing and of a financial-technical
constraint, and not of the tension in your area that doesn't bother us at all. After all, we performed in north Ireland when things have been pretty bad".
- Well, it's good to hear you say there will be another tour and another album.
Fletcher: "We need to resolve a few disagreement between us, but I believe this will happen. We all feel that now we need to do a truly
big record, that we need to mark our stamp on the world of music".
- You still don't feel you've accomplished great achievements?
Fletcher: "Yes, that's probably true. But it's very important to us now to stabilize it, to make our contribution to the music history official.
- It's been nearly 25 years of work. Are you left with the same ambition?
"No, it has changed, we all started the band as a hobby when we were boys, and we were quite shocked from the magnitude of our success. But it's probably
one of the explanations for it, willing to maximize our abilities and our achievements all the time".
- How much does commercial success considered a factor in your considerations whether to deconstruct or to continue the brand named 'Depeche Mode'?
"It's definitely important. Depeche Mode is a band that depends on her commercial success. Not only do we have to sell to our old supporters, but also catch
up with some new younger audiences. We believe in our songs, and think they are very good and thus deserved to be heard to as many ears as we can reach".
- You've mention that the 'Client's debut album cost very little to produce, and that today due to the worldwide sell crisis in this industry, musicians must cut costs. Would this be expected even from a giant band as Depeche Mode?
Fletcher: "Undoubtedly. One of our previous records, which I shall not reveal, cost us one million dollars. Today, when records are not selling as much as they used to,
all expenses must be reduced. It's palpable that producing Depeche Mode's next album can't be as cheap as client's 20 grand productions, but we are completely aware to our need to
reduce expenses. The up to date technology make us fairly capable to it".
Wow, I don't know
- What drew you to manage client, two talented young musicians just beginning?
Fletcher: "It's fun working with women, especially after all my life I was surrounded with a male dominated environment. It's a known fact that women are more emotionally
revealing, and working with Kate and Sara I also understood that they aren't taken seriously like man in the music industry.
- Even in 2003?
Fletcher: "Even more than before. I guess its because they are mainly conceived as sex objects, and when they do try to create, no one pays real attention to them. But Kate
and Sara see it as a challenge and enjoy the good fight.
- Besides managing, recently you started deejaying.
Fletcher: "Yes, it's another aspect of love to music, but this isn't the only news. Ever since I opened my label I'm hanging around records store listening to new things in a
way I think I haven't done in 15 years. It's fun I'm learning a lot, and this sort of study sure to help with the bands next album, just as David and Martin are to gain
from their projects.
- You've said recently, that pop music doesn't arouse the same excitement as, for instance, launching the new "Harry Potter books. On a personal level, is there
any music that shaking in the same intensity as before?
Fletcher: "Wow, I don't know. You've caught me unguarded with this question. I need some time to think about it. Music touches me on a daily basis whenever I work it,
but I can't seem to remember any music that got me all stirred up.
- How did you feel when you watched again the screening of 101'?
Fletcher: "I went to the London's and Paris's celebrated screening and got all excited. Major part of those songs we don't play anymore, and I've told martin that next
round we should go back and pay respect to our past. It was a very na?ve era to the band and it shows. We were very invigorated and enthusiastic; it was our
peak in the 80's. Later things has gone to a more somber and complicated for us.
- You are almost unprecedented example to a band that was ridiculed in the critics' eyes, and with the years this outlook was completely changed. How did you survived from the period you were considered novelty act to the time you were recognized as groundbreakers?
Fletcher: "We believed in ourselves, and we had an outstanding support from our managing company, Mute', and its manager, Daniel Miller, and a similar support I offer
client'. It is true that in the mid 80's when guitar rock reemerged, we were mocked, but we stood in the test of time.
- Where do you think you made significant mistakes in your career?
Fletcher: "Honestly, I don't think we made any. We might regret some of the videos that look entertaining today, and also for being filmed amused and frivolous, but it was our truth those days.
We remain true and sincere
- You turned out to be the most successful English band in the world, but you never seemed to gain parallel success in your homeland.
Fletcher: "I think it has to do with the mentality of the English media, but on the hand, we had 14 hits in the top 20, so we have no reason to complain. Fortunately, we are big in the world- because their bands that turns giant in England alone, and when the English media turns her back to them, they are left with no other audience to rely upon.
- What are the favorable traits you like in your band members?
Fletcher: "The three of us grew in the same little town in Essex, and they are left the same natural sincere and true people. I respect them for that. These are two people I have 100% faith in them.
- In the recent interviews that were added to the DVD, Dave Gahan expresses a very heartfelt sentence. He tells that he felt like imposter singing Gores' songs. They were neither his words nor his feelings.
Fletcher: "It's correct. But the truth to the matter is that he has never tried writing on his own before, and it's good he started now, maybe as a result of the hard stuff he has undergone in the last years. Dave has a tendency to drop the entire fault on martin, as if he ever prevented him from writing, which he didn't. There are very few examples to a band in which the singer isn't also the songwriter, The Who' for example, and I think it would be good for Dave to start writing and I suspect it would be good for the band. This weekend I've been to see Martin in California and he played me 3 brand new fantastic songs that he wrote to Depeche Mode, but it's good that Martin would keep in minds that another person is working on it besides him.
- Healthy competition?
Fletcher: "Exactly. In the past Alan Wilder occasionally brought songs, and it's good for Martin to be kept on his toes without knowing whether his songs will be put on the album. We now realize that both of their songs will be in the next album.
- How come in the past 20 years you haven't written anything?
Fletcher: "This isn't my strong side. I have no interest in creating something of my own.
- Occasionally, don't you feel like sitting down and play, and suddenly a musical idea would come to mind and you develop it?
Fletcher: "No I don't write to myself. I'm not good at it.
- Self-critic highly emasculated?
Fletcher: " When talking to people and close friends I'm good at expressing feelings, but it's hard for me to articulate them as a song.
Martin, and now Dave are doing this fairly easy. On the other hand, I've been in a band that generated the best lyricist in the last 30 years, Vince Clark and then Martin Gore, so I know I might be capable to write a good song, but not a really great one.
Translated by HigherLove