e-book Depeche Mode: The Biography

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They have these huge glass windows and fans were pushing up against the window. You could feel the atmosphere in the place building up. We just all kind of looked at each other and said, 'We gotta get out of here! So we went back to the hotel, switched on the TV and there we were all over the nationwide news. A lot of the media became aware of them, which in turn created a general interest. By the way - did you know that Violator is not only the most successful album, but it is also at the top of the favourite albums in almost all polls of several message-boards and fan-websites?

These are the Top 5. A Broken Frame is in the last place. I often receive e-mails from readers asking me about the interpretation of song lyrics. Sometimes Martin's lyrics are quite obvious, but mostly they are ambivalent and difficult to interpret.


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It's not true - by the way - that you can interpret them in any way you want to, as I have often read in message-boards. Interpretation means to prove a possible meaning with every line of a song. Some main topics always appear in his lyrics, so when trying to interpret the songs you can base your interpretation on these issues and try to find your angle. Nevertheless it's difficult, because it's not easy to understand what kind of person Martin really is, and because he doesn't like to talk about his songs.

Martin : "I just write about things that affect me. I find it very unappealing to write songs that are safe, that go nowhere, that do nothing. I know that Clean has a lot of holy imagery, and that intertwines with the sex theme, which are two ideas I find interesting to mix together. But I don't try to analyze things. So "clean" is meant in the way of inner clarity, peace or holiness. I'm almost obsessed with the idea of good and evil. I suppose my songs do seem to advocate immorality but if you listen there's always a sense of guilt.

On Halo I'm saying 'let's give in to this' but there's also a real feeling of wrongfulness. Then there's Blue Dress - that's the pervy song! On the opening track World In My Eyes you seem to be saying 'just for this moment pleasure and gratification are all that matters. And I don't mind you bringing up existentialism because I am influenced by that.

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I'm probably as influenced by Camus, Kafka and Brecht as I am by pop songs. Martin : "Perhaps we should have described ourselves as a rock group. Maybe if we'd done that people might have taken us a bit more seriously. But we aren't. We are a pop group and proud of it. The only songs I can write are pop songs, no matter how dark and pervy some people might find them. We called [the album] Violator as a joke. We wanted to come up with the most extreme, ridiculously Heavy Metal title that we could.

I'll be surprised if people will get the joke. However, when we called an album Music for the Masses , we were accused of being patronising and arrogant. In fact it was a joke on the uncommerciality of it. It was anything but music for the masses!

While Martin had his bit of fun naming three DM-albums Violator, Ultra and Exciter in a "metal" way there are lots of bands in the Metal scene who use these names as a band name or an album title , but you can find lots of DM titles used by Metal bands. Just to give one example of many: In the metal band Massacra released an album with the title Enjoy the Violence. There is also a metal tribute album to DM with some amazing versions. When you talk to "metalheads" you'll find many who like DM because "they have substance". Alan : "There's much more humour than we're given credit for.

Perhaps it's just that ours, or particularly Martin's is a little specialized. It's no bad thing to be dark once in a while. Radio 1 doesn't particularly want to play us but they're forced to because of our following. It's good that there are a few bands like us to counteract all that 'jolly-jolly-party-Kylie'.

It's just down to the songs, and the care we take with them. We've never jumped on any bandwagons or tried to go along with the trendies. Even though we're into our second decade, it still seems very fresh. We never wanted to be big for five minutes and that's it.

"Depeche Mode": The Biography

Plus, we've changed, and all the changes have been natural. No one has ever pushed us in any direction - we do exactly what we want, the way we want. There's still that naivety of learning, of trying to better ourselves, and it's all done with an intense energy, a power and urgency that's lacking in so many other bands around.

We're off in our own little world, really. That's sad. I think the music business itself is partly to blame for that because of the way bands are manipulated. The way management sells bands. Yeah, it's sad that the rebellion has gone out of pop.

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That's what made me want to be in a band, y'know. For me, that was the most exciting period of my life. At the time, nothing else mattered. I did the classic thing - dropped out of school, not bothering with exams. Now I look back and wish I'd done it. I wish I'd got a better education. Learned some languages. Just another stupid Englishman who hasn't learned another language.

An ignorant bastard basically. At this time the band's state of mind was much more serious than in previous years, indeed. But still there were some funny moments from time to time. Sometimes the band members were to blame for it themselves. So Alan entered a hotel bar in Florida, in which they had an appointment for an interview and immediately said, "I've been called a faggot about twenty times today. Mostly from guys leaning out of trucks. This is a sort of backward place, isn't it? In America, people think you're homosexual just because you've got short hair.

Except for the marines.