Transcript of an Interview for Estonian TV 1998

Interview by Erik Morna


Less than a week before The Singles Tour had to be started local journalist Erik Morna went to London to meet Depeche Mode members and record interviews for Estonian massmedia. Here is the transcript of his interview with David Gahan...


EM: You will be on tour less than a week from now, and haven´t been on tour for four years. Are you nervous or happy, maybe both?


DG: “Both. Today I feel good. Sometimes I can feel very nervous, terrified. But it´s a mixture of feelings. I´m excited now, it sounds good, really, it´s going well! I feel I´m in good shape. It´s the first time when we´re coming out to Estonia, Russia, places where we´ve tried to play before and been denied the possibility because of various reasons. Now it´s cool, looking forward – I wanna see some faces, people coming to the show and listening.”


EM: What do you know about the new countries you´re playing in now for the first time – Estonia, Russia? What do you expect from them?


DG: “I don´t know. I like to go with my own impression. I don´t really want to go with any kind of expectations. But when we´ve been in Eastern Europe countries before – it was great. The audience is always ready to have a good time. Hopefully this time it will be the same.”


EM: How do you plan to spend the time during upcoming tour?


DG: “I want to get out more, you know. I spent a lot of time staying in. On tour you have an extensive work and don´t like to get out. You can´t do all the things you were planning before and you´re staying a lot in hotel. You get pretty isolated. This time I wanna make an effort of getting out every day, to go for a walk, to see the cities. It sounds weird – I did that probably the first five years of the band, but the last 12 years it was just kind of sleeping in hotel. You know, what I´m saying. All what I can say – I don´t know what gonna happen. I don´t wanna have any expectations. I´m really very excited, I´m grateful that I can sing again and perform. It´s been a 5 years – a long time. It just feels good now – I feel very grateful.”


EM: Now “The Singles” compilation is out and tour is also kind of singles based on. Do you like to sing all these old songs again?


DG: “Well, majority of the show is from the last 3 albums, from Violator, Songs Of Faith And Devotion and Ultra, a little bit from Black Celebration, some from Music For The Masses and not much from older than that stuff. I think it´s our best work, you know. We´re performing songs from the best period of our work. And the majority of the set we do is from Never Let Me Down Again till In Your Room – and it´s like my favourite part of the set. My favourite song is like Walking In My Shoes, In Your Room and Condemnation. I like to sing nice songs!”


EM: Do you like the new songs?


DG: “Do I like the new songs? Hmmm...Yeah, I like Barrel Of A Gun, I like to sign it, it feels good to sing it. What about Only When I Lose Myself... yes. You know, songs usually take awhile to grow on me. I have to live with them for awhile. It´s great to make music, that´s the most important thing. I´m just enjoying being a part of the process of making music, my voice creating in emotion and mood of the song. It´s fun to do that.”


EM: What do you think about when recording your songs, singing in the studio?


DG: “Different things, depending on a lyrics, I have experienced a lot of different things in my life – to draw from to sing about my own personal kind of feelings, about things I´ve been through.”


EM: However, you haven´t written lyrics for a song?


DG: “Not for Depeche Mode.”


EM: Do you agree with the songs Martin writes for you?


DG: “Sometimes... especially the last 3 albums. You know, we´ve been very much in tune.”


EM: You´re living in New York right now. How often you communicate when you´re recording something?


DG: “ We stay together when we´re doing that, when we are in process.”


EM: Are you happy with the fact that Depeche Mode doesn´t make any of cover version from other people work?


DG: “I don´t know. We haven´t thought about that too much. Martin has done cover version for Leonard Cohen tribute album, I did a cover version a well for Roxy Music tribute record recently. I´ve been recently singing with a couple of friends in New York on a project as well. And sometimes I do stuff like that, but I don´t put my name to it. It´s fun to do it, it´s nice to work with other people.”


EM: Who are your idols or heroes, can you name some?


DG: “I don´t have any idols and heroes, you know, it´s a ridiculous thing.”


EM: I just heard that you really loved Keith Richard? Is it true?


DG: “I used to be having him as an idol, but I just wanted to imitate what I thought he was about.”


EM: What was the feeling?


DG: “Sex, drugs and Rock´n Roll!”


EM: Do you like when fan or group of fans stop you on a street and try to chat up?


DG: “It depends on the situation. When I´m working – I don´t mind, but if I´m with my girlfriend or with my son, and sitting, talking with them, and someone come over – it makes me angry!”


EM: What about do you talk with them?


DG: “I don´t really dictate the conversation. Usually they´re asking questions and I answer in the best of my ability. But I never have a relationship with strange people who come up to me on the streets. They think they know me, but they know only a part of me and that´s far as it goes.”


EM: Do you get letter from fans?


DG: “Sure.”


EM: Read them?


DG: “Yes, sometimes. Especially for the last few years I received many supportive letters from different people. You know, it´s nice to be back in my life, to see that a lot of people care about. It´s another life.”


EM: Have you ever been at Andy´s restaurant?


DG: “Yeah, sure.”


EM: Is it good?


DG: “It´s okay :-)”


EM: Do you have any kind of outside music making activities?


DG: “I like to paint.”


EM: Big pictures?


DG: “Yes. I was painting before I was making music. I spent 3 years in art-college. You know, it´s nice to paint for myself. I haven´t had done it for sometime, but I started doing it again. And I have a good response from people. Very big oil-painting I do.”


EM: Has any of them been on exhibition?


DG: “Who knows, maybe in the future, would be fun.”


EM: Are you planning a stage diving on this tour?


DG: “No! I don´t! I have a bad memories from Devotional tour – 2 broken ribs and I don´t intend I´m going to do that. I don´t wanna be in hospital on this tour. I want to go home with my head on my shoulders.”


EM: What kind of new bands do you like? What kind of music you´re listening at the moment apart from Depeche Mode?


DG: “I don´t really listen to Depeche Mode, because once we finished – it´s finished, you know. I don´t really like much the new music. I don´t even search so much anymore. I can mostly be moved by R´N´B and Blues record – stuff like Buddy Guy, Robert Johnson, I like to listen to Billy Holiday, some others. I like Soul music – music that touches my soul, that moves me, feeling of the sound, voice, that moves me. I find a lot of music, modern music, very cold – it doesn´t move me.”


EM: One more question: How do you feel – are you happy person right now?


DG: “Yes, very much so!!!”


EM: Can we make a sort of ID for Estonian fans and TV? That you´re coming over – it´s the 2nd of September, Tartu, in Estonia.


DG: “Estonia? Okay. Hi, I´m Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode and make sure you´re coming to see us on the 2nd of September. Now I´m saying Hi to all of Estonian fans!!!”