Dave Gahan - 60 Second Interview: Dave Gahan (Metro, 2005) | dmremix.pro

Dave Gahan 60 Second Interview: Dave Gahan (Metro, 2005)


Well-known member
60 Second Interview: Dave Gahan
[Metro, 3rd October 2005. Words: Andy Williams / "GG". Picture: Uncredited.]
Basic interview with Dave on the release day of "Precious", mainly looking at changes within the band dynamics and Dave's own state of mind. Sadly the interviewer seems to view them as too old and all the trite Mode buzzwords (Just Can't Get Enough! Basildon! Drugs!) are here. Given that this is a newspaper for a very general readership it is forgivable - just. Includes a brief review of "Precious".
" After 25 years of making records together it becomes more obvious we're still doing it just because we want to. "
Who would have thought when fresh-faced Basildon boys Depeche Mode perkily performed I Just Can't Get Enough on Top Of The Pops in 1981 that a life of rock'n'roll excess lay ahead? Not frontman Dave, whose well-publicised love of drink and drugs led to two heart attacks in the mid-1990s. They're back with new album, Playing The Angel.

You're about to embark on your first world tour in five years. Why are you still doing them?

Because we can. We found out while making the album that there are still things we want to do together and one of the aspects I really enjoy about the business is performing. I don't like the travelling or being away from my wife and children - that's the hardest part - but the performing part is something I love.

Do you miss the stadiums?
When I was touring my solo album, Paper Monsters, I played in both tiny clubs and big arenas in Europe - one day it could be 10,000 people, the next day it could be ten - and I found that it's all the same. It gets a lot louder in bigger gigs, you feel the enormity of the sheer amount of people in one place, but I found I just really love performing.

Why have you done another album? You've sold more than 40 million - presumably you don't need the money.
No. We've all done quite nicely, thank you. If money was the reason for doing it I don't think we would bother, unless ten years from now we're all broke. After 25 years of making records together it becomes more obvious we're still doing it just because we want to. If you'd asked me ten years ago why the Rolling Stones were still doing it I'd have said: 'I don't know,' but I get it now. It's because they still enjoy it. What's not to enjoy? You see thousands of people celebrating what you've spent your life doing. [1]

Has the electro revival helped bring you back into fashion?
The electroclash thing has come and gone. There's too much attention focused on what's trendy, but bands like us, REM and U2 have created our own worlds and our own platforms to work from and that's quite a special thing. It's much tougher for bands to do that now. They don't get a chance to grow if their first record isn't a hit.

You've contributed some of your own tracks to this album. Has it changed the way the band works?
It's changed the dynamics. When we were making the album, we all realised we all had things to contribute and it added a feeling of healthy competition between me and Martin [Gore, until now the group's only songwriter]. [2] Our producer embraced the fact we were fortunate enough to be going in with 20 songs we'd demoed. We knew I was going to have three songs on the record and the rest would be Martin's.

You've said being in Depeche Mode is better now than it has been for 15 years.
Well, maybe that's going over the top but it's definitely better than it has been for the last five. That's just due to my own state of mind.

Was that related to your drink and drug problems?
Definitely. I found it difficult to deal with my life. Ten years ago the sh*t hit the fan and I couldn't run any more. I had to stand still and go: 'F**k, what a mess.'

You had two drug-induced heart attacks. What finally convinced you to go into rehab?
The law - but thank God it did. It was forced upon me and it was either make that choice and change or carry on and go to jail. [3]

Is it difficult to stay off booze?
Not any more. I still go to bars and see bands. There was a while when it was difficult to do that. It became obvious it was a problem because I'd be thinking about it too much. It doesn't work like that any more. Most importantly, I'm not going to be there for my wife and children if I go to that dark place again.

You live in New York. Do you miss anything about England?
I was going to say fish and chips but I've found a great chip shop down the road run by some English guys. It's called A Salt And Battery. There are things I miss but I visit. I like Britain more than when I lived there. Coming from a working-class family I was brought up with the mentality that I wasn't good enough. But I don't give a sh*t any more.


Depeche Mode: Precious (Mute) * * *

Electro-synth pop that's not a million miles away from (but also not as good as) Enjoy The Silence. As such, it sounds a bit dated, but at least it keeps Dave Gahan busy. [4]

[extra interview question - included only in the newspaper's online version of the interview]

60 SECONDS EXTRA!: After waiting more than 20 years was it easier than you thought?

Yes. I don't know why but it was about me personally feeling more confident. The three of us allowed the process to evolve and all mucked in together rather than Martin writing the songs and then me going in to sing them. It felt fresh, like starting again.

[1] - This is calling to mind a comment he made on US radio at the time of the release of Ultra: "...it's usually an uphill battle in the beginning when you've got an album out: "Oh not you guys again, why do you bother?!" " Throughout the Eighties the band, especially Dave and Alan, found it a great niggle to constantly have to justify their use of electronics and even their continued existence. It's surprised me that Dave managed to answer so civilly.

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[2] - To all intents and purposes, but strictly Vince Clarke wrote all but two songs in 1981, and Alan contributed several (co-writing one with Martin) in 1983-84.
[3] - Another concern that may well have influenced Dave would be the difficulty of touring the world with Depeche Mode as a convicted criminal. As for the heart attacks, the first was 8th October 1993 while on stage at a Devotional Tour concert, the second was the well-known overdose on 28th May 1996 at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, Los Angeles.
[4] - Although I haven't had sight of this, several visitors to official message board were able to pick up a different edition of the newspaper: the closing remark read "at least it keeps Dave Gahan off the smack". If anyone has a copy I'd love to add it here.