(April 2001)

Q1: How do you look back on “Ultra”? Did it live up to your expectations?

Andrew Fletcher: It was very critically well acclaimed; our fans like it, but we think it was made under very difficult circumstances, as well, and the fact that all of us had big personal problems still. But in the end, I think it was a good album, but I feel this album has been made under the best circumstances possible and I think it shows.

Q2: At the moment, Martin, you’re living on the West side of America, Dave’s on the East and Fletch is here in the UK. What’s it like when you get back together again?

Martin Gore: It’s really irrelevant where we live. It’s just we pick a place and we usually try and keep every member of the band happy, so we’ve done some of the record here in London, we’ve done some of it in Santa Barbara and some of it in New York. We get together and there has been this really good feeling in the band over the course of making this record, so we’ve actually slotted back into the work process quite easily.

Q3: What’s going through your head before the release of the new album? Is this a nervous, hesitant time for you?

MG: No, I don’t worry about that so much, but I actually really enjoy making the music, so once that’s finished and you have to go into the promo bit, that’s what I don’t like very much, so I’ll be happy when all the press and radio and TV is out of the way and then we can start the tour.

Q4: Do you miss playing and recording when you’re not doing it?

Dave Gahan: I don’t miss recording. I miss playing live… I miss performing. I’ve always enjoyed that more than the painstaking process of recording. And it can be, because it can be really boring, it’s a long process. You can’t make it go any faster than it is going. Sometimes it seems like we’re sitting in there doing nothing for days, but there’s always work going on. I mean, the producer Mark (Bell) and Gareth (Jones) have been very instrumental, musically, especially Mark, musically, creating the sound of these songs and that’s been good, watching that happen, but it’s never really happened fast enough for me.

Q5: What sort of music were you listening to prior to going into the studio? Does that tend to have an influence on the sound of a record?

MG: I was listening to quite a lot of abstract electronic music, really weird, out-there stuff. The kind of stuff that people make, not caring about how many records they sell. If they sell five copies, I think they’re happy. That was quite a good, fresh approach – quite a fresh, new way of looking at things for me, because that always used to be the way, in the old punk days or the indie days, but then indie and alternative became something else, and every indie and alternative band wanted to be the biggest band in the world, but I think a lot of this new abstract electronic music is good, because it’s – they don’t care again. I’m not saying that our record is like that, because it still has a real commercial edge to it, but I think, especially with a lot of the rhythm stuff, we – I – took some ideas.

Q6: What was the first track that you recorded for the album and how important is that track as far as the making of the rest of the album?

AF: We worked on “Dream On” first and it was probably the first or second song Martin wrote for the album. But I think it’s the real defining track of the album: the mixture of electronic beats with acoustic blues guitar and some really good lyrics and a great catchy chorus. So it was great that we recorded that song first and I really think it was important and set the way for the rest of the album.

Q7: What was the inspiration behind “Dream On”?

MG: I don’t know. I always hate explaining away songs, because for me they mean something and for other people they’ll mean something absolutely different. But I’ll tell you about the atmosphere of the song and the way (that) it was created. We were going to take the original demo I just played to Gareth (Jones) and Paul (Freegard). I just played it on the guitar and the idea was to not use a guitar at all, just to take it off in a totally different direction. And after we’d been working on it for about four days, we had this real kind of edgy electronic percussion going on in the background and we just cut the original guitar that I’d played in and it just sounded really good, because it was just so different to everything else that was going on in the track.

Q8: In the past you’ve worked with various producers, including Flood, Fran’óois Kevorkian and Tim Simenon. What made Mark Bell right for “Exciter”?

MG: I think when we started looking around for producers, we realised that there aren’t that many people out there that are suitable for us. You know, we need somebody that is interesting, that’s very good with electronics, and when you start looking and having those kinds of parameters, there aren’t that many people out there. We particularly liked the sound of the Bj’ìrk stuff that he’d done. I think Mark’s been a really great choice for us. He just doesn’t do anything in a clich’©d way. He just thinks very differently to most people.

Q9: Which process of making a record do you enjoy most?

MG: The overall process of making a record, I really enjoy. That’s why I’m involved in a band, because I feel passionate about music. Creating atmospheres for the songs in the studio is just a mystical process. I really love that, and Mark Bell, this time, he’s absolutely fantastic with atmospheres. He’s just this guy that can create any sound. He’ll just imagine a sound in his head and go and create it. There aren’t many people who can do that.

Q10: What do you think Mark Bell has brought out of you as a vocalist?

DG: He’s helped me to – I’m not one of the most confident singers in the world. I like to spend some time with a song, for quite a while, when Mart gives me the songs. Mark was just really encouraging and he liked what I was doing and immediately would – You know, I need a pat on the back. I need that encouragement. I need to know that I’m bringing something to Martin’s songs, otherwise I wouldn’t bother. I know I am, in my heart, but, you know, sometimes it’s like, “What am I doing here? Martin could sing this song. Why doesn’t he just do it himself?” I felt like that a few times during the recording of this album, but Mark said, “What you bring here is really important, it’s really valuable. It’s part of Depeche Mode and it’s part of what becomes the song.” So he’s really encouraged me with that and Gareth’s (Jones) been great with that as well.

Q11: How would you describe the mood of “Exciter”?

AF: I think it’s really weird, because I sort of see it as being optimistic, but I played a track to a friend of mine who’s not really a Depeche Mode fan. I played him a song called “Dead of Night” and at the end he was going, “That’s the darkest song I’ve ever heard in my whole life!” And I’m sort of thinking, “This is really uplifting,” (laughs) but I think it is a lot more optimistic and there’s a lot more melody than the previous album.

MG: I think we’ve always made weird pop and I think this is another great example of that. I think it won’t fit in anywhere, but we never have, so that’s not particularly a worry. But, I just like being able to make music that’s weird! And if it’s successful as well, then that’s good.

Q12: Are you conscious of not repeating what you’ve done before and does that get harder as time goes by?

MG: I think it does get harder, because I think your quality control goes up. Or if it doesn’t go up, you know there’s at least a certain standard that you’ve got to achieve each time. We’ve got such a history behind us now and we can’t let ourselves down. We have to make sure that what we release is worthwhile, otherwise there’s just no point anymore. I don’t particularly financially need to do it anymore, so the only reason for doing it is because I enjoy it.

Q13: Do you think “Exciter” will surprise people?

AF: Hopefully it will. There are a lot of 17 and 18 year olds that haven’t bought a Depeche Mode record. We’re looking to reach new people all the time, ’cause we feel our music deserves that.

Q14: How did you arrive at the album title “Exciter”?

DG: Well, I think it was a title that Martin was knocking around with Gareth (Jones) and Paul Freegard, who helped him sort of demo his songs. I think the idea came up then once. Mart just came in the studio one day and liked the idea of it. We just stuck the name up on the wall and looked at it for a while. I guess I liked that it ties in to “Violator” and “Ultra” and somehow it kind of works with those.

MG: I think we wanted to have an up title. I think “Ultra”, for instance, was a real positive title. I think we wanted to have something that stands up alongside that. But also, it is a reference, I suppose, to “Violator”. Everyone keeps saying to me it’s like “Violator”, but for me, I don’t really see it like that. If it is a slight reference in a small way, then that’s OK, I don’t mind that.

Q15: Tell us about the album sleeve by Anton Corbijn.

AF: It’s actually quite phallic, the sleeve. It’s a picture of a cactus and it goes with the title, “Exciter”. I think we can get the meaning there. And, yeah, it’s been good to work with Anton again. He’s been instrumental, I think, in creating our image over the last fifteen years or whatever. And he always brings, I think, a good sense of humour to Depeche Mode and I think the cover has a bit of sense of humour as well.

Q16: Do you have any favourite lyrics on this album?

DG: I think it’s like the combination. It’s the way Martin writes the lyrics with the melody. I think “When The Body Speaks”. I have a lot of fun with “Dead Of Night”, for instance. I get to be sort of Dave Gahan on that, big time. You know, I’m in a gig and play out all my sort of fantasy, Bowie-esque type stuff and, y’know, Iggy stuff and the dark Gothic man – “When The Body Speaks” was a real challenge and it’s just a beautiful melody. Also “Goodnight Lovers”. I loved it. I felt like I was singing that to my baby daughter and Mark had said to me, “It’s kind of got a lullaby feel about it.”

Q17: What are some of the themes covered in the album?

MG: I think most of my songs are always about relationships in some form or another and this one is quite heavily love-based, but not in a bland way, I don’t think. There’s always some kind of twist, some kind of twisted element to the songs, and there’s always a lot of suffering. You know, they’re not just out and out pop songs.

Q18: Do you have any particular favourite tracks on the album?

MG: I’m not really sure. I think my favourite at the moment is “The Sweetest Condition”. I just think it’s a really interesting blend, again, of styles. You know, it’s really bluesy; it has a lot of slide guitar on it and although we have used that before, I think it’s been used in a different way and I really love the words on that song as well.

Q19: What about a song like “Goodnight Lovers”, which has a lovely, sort of souly feel to it. Where did that song come from?

MG: With that one, I really wanted to recreate a Velvet Underground kind of feel. Velvet Underground with Nico, something like “I’ll Be Your Mirror”. It’s very difficult to do that without Nico, but we got Dave to sing it really softly, almost whisper it, and I think the overall effect of the chords and the way he sung it does almost recreate it, which I was quite pleased with the end result.

Q20: Martin, you sing lead vocals on two songs on the album. Tell us which ones these are and can you tell us about those songs?

MG: I sing lead vocal on “Breathe”, which is like a real kind of 50s torch song. It just sounds like, you know, nobody in particular, but it sounds like it could be something from Twin Peaks, but it’s definitely got a real 50s feel to it. I just really like doing things like that, just off the wall things that people just really do not expect us to do. And the other song that I sing on is “Comatose”, which is, for me, one of the weirder songs and another one of my favourites on the record. It’s the sound that’s playing the chords on that, (it) is so on the edge that you feel like it’s going to lose the plot. As it’s going, it virtually doesn’t back the vocal at all. It’s like almost playing something a-tonal, but it somehow just about works. It sounds like some big steamboat in the background.

Q21: Martin, what do you get from your song writing?

MG: I just love capturing emotions. I think that’s one of my abilities, to capture emotions, but this time round, I think they all sort of like drag you in. All of the songs seem to drag you in and take you on a journey, which I think is great, if you can do that.

Q22: What would you like people to come away with after listening to the album?

MG: I think I’d like them to be excited. I mean, I know the title is “Exciter” and there’s no pun intended there. I think it is pop music, but it is weird and it’s definitely got a contemporary edge to it. It’s got a real modern feel to it and I want people to think it’s a little bit special.

Q23: You’ve had the number one records, the million selling albums and all the rest of it. What equals success to you now?

DG: Well, to be honest, I’m quite content right now. I’m really excited about going out and performing these songs and playing some songs that are a challenge and that we haven’t performed before and you never know how it’s going to be and I’ve always enjoyed that much more than anything else, to be honest.

MG: Well, if the album’s not successful, we’ll all be really disappointed. I think we’re all happy with it. I mean it’s like I said, I don’t particularly need to do this anymore and I think we’ve created a nice record, something that I can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t do well, but, you know, you never know.

Q24: How do you think this album’s going to translate to playing live?

DG: I think really well. I think, if we pick the right songs. We obviously won’t perform all of it, but there’s certain songs on there, like “Dead Of Night” and “Sweetest Condition”. I’d like to have a go at doing “When The Body Speaks”, some kind of version of that. It’s kind of unusual for me to do like a ballady type of song live. “Dream On”, of course. I think “Free Love” will work well. “Comatose” and “Breathe”, Mart can do either of those. I think they would work well. He talked actually about maybe breaking them down a little bit and he’s done that before, where he just maybe stands with an acoustic guitar for a couple of songs and does a couple of versions like that of the stuff that’s on the album. That would be really exciting, if he did that.

Q25: What are your aspirations and dreams for this album?

DG: I’m very proud of it. I’m very proud of the work that I’ve contributed to this record and, er – CD, we say now, right? I want people to hear it. I want people to hear the hard work that I’ve done. I’ve enjoyed it so much, as well. I’ve really enjoyed singing on this album. I didn’t really say that before. I’ve enjoyed it more, because I’m just in a real good place. I feel really content. I want it to sell millions of copies, you know, I want to pick up a Grammy next year, I want to get an MTV award, I want to pick up a Brit. I’d love to do that. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t, but, if it doesn’t happen, c’est la vie. We’ve made a great record, we’re gonna go out and tour. I know our fans are really loyal and they’ll be coming out to see us. There’s not much more you can really ask for. I’m doing what I want to do, you know, in my life. I’m very happy. I love living in New York. I’ve got a great family. You know, anyone would want my job.

Q26: Can you remember what your hopes and aspirations for the band were back in the early days? What would have equalled success for Depeche Mode then?

AF: To be honest, we never really saw ourselves as us being successful or, you know, be(ing) on Top Of The Pops. We really were just enjoying playing gigs and it was just a bit of fun. We never really saw ourselves as being as hugely successful and we certainly didn’t think that we would still be here twenty years later, so it was just a bit of fun among friends.

DG: I always felt like I was big star in my own right, like right from the beginning, to be quite honest (laughs), If ever there was like two men and a dog there in the pub.

Q27: Who inspired you to want to join a band?

MG: I think when we first got into electronics and became an all-synthesizer band, obviously we were influenced by Kraftwerk. That was probably the main influence, but there was a bit of a scene going on then. There were quite a few bands, like the Human League. I remember going to see Human League and I was quite impressed with their show. I quite liked their first couple of albums.

DG: Definitely The Clash and it wasn’t like, “I want to do what they’re doing,” musically. It was never about that. When I first went to see a band like The Clash, it was like, “I can do that.” I’d been doing it in front of the mirror with the hairbrush for a long time anyway, so I could really do it. I really had dreams of myself doing it and it wasn’t long after that I found myself in that position and it’s a lot scarier when you first stand up there in front of people than you imagine. So it took me a good few years to actually probably move (laughs) like a step to one side or something during the gigs, but we were lucky right at the beginning. We had a bunch of friends that would run various different sort of clubs, like places in London and places in Southend and Canvey Island and stuff like that: a little group of friends who were listening to music that was a little bit different to what everybody else was listening to. There was some electronic stuff, a lot of Bowie, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk and stuff like that and probably Iggy Pop and there was maybe 50 people or something, this group of friends who would come and go and change. We would always be playing to this little audience, wherever we were lucky enough to play a gig.

Q28: You’ve always had this incredible relationship with your fans. Is it still important for you to reach a new audience and also be given that opportunity via radio and television?

DG: To be honest, we’ve been a bit gypped in the past with that. Sometimes radio and TV and MTV and all that sort of thing, they don’t quite know what we’re about and what to do with us. We don’t really go in with the Limp Bizkits of this world. What do they do with us when they’re putting us on their play lists? There’s a problem, but I think that’s a good thing as well. That’s worked in our favour, definitely, over the years. A little bit of mystery there is nice, but I would like to – I think there’s a lot of people out there that don’t really know what we do. I can’t tell you how many times I get people come up to me in the street, even at home in New York, and they’re like, “You know, I saw you at your last show at Madison Square Garden. Never seen you guys before, you know. Never really liked you, but it was amazing.” That kind of thing and that’s really nice. I think we’ve got a lot of die-hard fans there that have been with us for years, but it’s always nice to break new ground. I really think this should be our year, you know.

Q29: How would you sum up the relationship Depeche Mode have with their fans?

MG: The fans, they’re – what’s the word? Most of our fans are crazy. You know, they’re so dedicated, they’ll go out on day one and buy the records. We often suffer because of that, because we have got such a huge fan base that obviously the record just drops after that. But they are fanatical.

Q30: How would you describe your present relationship with each other, especially since you’ve been through so much together?

MG: We’re actually getting on. This sounds like a really boring story. People would love to hear that we hate each other and that we fight all the time, but we’ve actually got on so much better over the making of this record. You know, it’s like, we are really like a close family now. Although in the past we’ve always had that bond, there has been tension. It’s been quite well documented on the last two studio albums, “Ultra” and “Songs of Faith and Devotion”. Of course there was going to be tension going on, because there was all kinds of behind the scenes stuff happening.

Q31: Any thoughts as to why you are getting on so well at the moment?

MG: Well, I think that probably one of the main reasons is Dave’s very healthy now. He’s very fit in mind as well, and he is a nice person and I think that sometimes got lost in the past because of all the drugs he was taking.

AF: It’s really interesting because the last particular year and a half have been really enjoyable. It’s well documented we went through our rough patches and that was personally as well. When we first started, it was like school friends; it evolved into sort of a family situation. It’s like your brothers and sisters, almost, you know. And then, obviously, going through the terrible strain of the difficult years, for five or six years and then personal relationships got pretty bad, or could have got bad at times. But the last year, the great thing is, it’s been really enjoyable, to go to work, to go to the studio and everyone’s been getting on fantastically.

Q32: In view of the band’s history, how do you think you have managed to stay together?

MG: I think that we all realise that we’ve created something special and you know, just the elements work. We had Vince (Clarke) leave very early on. I think he told us he was going to leave before the first album came out. So we just sort of carried on after that and with Alan (Wilder), I think we did create some kind of legacy. So when he decided to leave, I don’t think we really thought about just ending it there. We thought, you know, this is too special. We’ve just got to carry on, through the thick and thin, through all the problems with “Ultra” as well. There were times when we got very close to ending, but I think it is too special just to call it a day. The last year on “Ultra” was the worst and we’ve spoken quite a lot about that in the past. I remember having so many crisis meetings during that about how we were going to carry on, “There’s no way we’re going to finish this” – and, you know, it was a bit of a nightmare. I think in some ways, we thrive on misery. (laughs) Somehow, maybe that helps us.

AF: I just think it was a case of just over-excess in every way. There were times when if I’d got a phone call saying Dave had passed away, for instance, I wouldn’t have been surprised. When you get that situation, when you’re trying to work and concentrate on things, it’s very difficult. And we really were on the edge during those times. I’m glad that we got through it and we’re enjoying ourselves again.

DG: I think we’re very strong characters and I think, yeah, there’s been times when, you know, we might not have made it. Individually, someone was – usually me, sort of, just kind of falling by the wayside a little bit and I’ve had my problems with that. I always knew I was going to get through it and as long as I didn’t die. I never felt at any point that I wasn’t going to make it – actually, that’s a lie. There were a couple of little occasions there where I thought it was all over for me but, I don’t know, I lost a little faith and hope in myself and in life and stuff like that and I think everybody goes through that, but, you know, I kind of dragged it through the dirt for a while and, when you’re in a band, that can be a real problem. I don’t know, I don’t think it’s any new story. I think, to be honest, it’s made me stronger, and I see other people going through the same problems, friends and stuff like that, as well, and God bless ’em, there go I, but for the grace of God, that’s me. I get strength from that, too. I really feel like it’s important for me to give off something that’s positive. You know, it wasn’t something I was planning to do, but there was a time there when I was nothing but negative to myself and everything around me and there’s too much of that in the fucking world, you know. There’s enough of that already. As I said before, I feel really blessed. I don’t feel like that now, I feel like I’ve got my soul back and I’m ready to kind of share it.

Q33: Are there any defining moments that spring to mind when you look back at the band’s career – the things that made the whole thing, the ups and the downs, worthwhile?

DG: Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of like key moments, one being, obviously, when we made the “101” movie and we performed at The Rose Bowl in California. That was defying all the odds and, you know, people were whispering, “They’re never gonna fill this place,” and that kind of stuff. You could feel it but, at the same time, I had a real confidence that it was gonna be just fine and it turned out really well. And at the same time, see, a lot of those high points then become real low points as well afterwards, because what do you do to top that? That kind of thing. Fortunately, Martin’s come up with another bunch of songs and we just go off and we go in the studio and start again.

Q34: If there was one image which encapsulated your time with Depeche Mode, which one would it be?

DG: Definitely, for me, that image of The Rose Bowl. There was one point in the song “Never Let Me Down” where I jumped up onto one of the risers and I noticed a couple of people in the audience were waving their arms around, so I joined in. And then, suddenly, there was like 70,000 people doing that and I was just overwhelmed. I felt the tears, the sweat coming, rolling down my face, but it was like joy. It was just like, “You don’t get better than this. This is amazing.” You know, “Basildon boy makes good”!

Q35: Have you started thinking about ideas for the next tour and what you’re going to be playing?

MG: Well, the last time we went out and played, it was to support the Greatest Hits album, so there we played just like all the hits, right across the board. I think this time round, I think we can afford to be a bit weirder, you know, play some of our more obscure album tracks. I think we want to get some visuals happening behind us again. For me, it’s really boring always just to go and watch four people, five people or whatever, on stage playing instruments. You need some more interest value than that. I think we’re starting the tour in America in around June time. Then we’ll be playing for about five months or so. So it’ll be America, followed by Europe, I think around September.

Q36: Playing live is obviously something that you get a lot out of, but what is going through your head when you’re up on stage?

DG: All sorts of stuff, to be honest, now. On the last tour there’s a lot of songs, like songs from “Songs Of Faith and Devotion”, that bring up all these sad emotions and lost time and a lot of stuff like that. And there’s other songs that, over the course of twenty years, that’s a lot of living and a lot of emotions and all sorts of stuff floods across me and I try and stay in what’s going on there at the time. Often, with a lot of those sort of songs, like “In Your Room”, that’s kind of how it felt, you know, during those darker times for me, if you like. I was in my own little room. I felt very protected in my own little room for a while and I was invincible and I could come out when I wanted and go back in when I wanted and the room was a safe place, but now that room scares me and I don’t really want to go in there any more. So, when I was singing that song on the last tour, it was almost like I could sing it from outside the room and go there for a little bit and look at it and peer in. It was a lot more fun than singing it like it was the last time I was going to sing it every night. For instance, on “Songs of Faith and Devotion”, on that tour, I really got off on the whole kind of darkness of that period of my life and it got really boring.

Q37: With the release of “Exciter” and a world tour beckoning, would you say this a good time for Depeche Mode?

DG: I think so. As I said before, I don’t think it gets better than this. If you’re not enjoying it now and you’re not like embracing what we have here and what we’ve created for ourselves and just enjoying it, then don’t do it any more. Stop. I intend to keep doing it. I’m enjoying being part of this and making music and I can’t wait to get out there, really, to be honest.

Q38: You’ve been quoted as saying you see Depeche Mode as almost sort of outsiders. Would you have it any other way?

MG: No, we’ve always gone out of our way to be out on a limb, because what’s the point of making music if you’re going to make music like everybody else? We’ve always wanted to make what is alternative music and like I said earlier, the meaning has changed these days. You’ve got so many bands who sound the same and it’s become the mainstream. At least what we do doesn’t sound like anybody else. It’s just out there somewhere.

Q39: Do you have a vision for the future?

AF: Not really, no. I think we do take a year at a time. We know what we’re doing until the end of the year. We don’t really know what’s happening after that. I would like to think that we were going to make another album, things like that. Again, it goes back to the same rules. If we feel we’ve got something to offer and if we can keep the music as strong as we’re doing at the moment, then we should keep going. If things don’t happen that way, then we should finish it.

Q40: You mentioned earlier about the tremendous success that the band have had around the world. Can you give us an idea of some of the countries where Depeche Mode are successful?

AF: Well, places like China, for instance. We once did a gig in Hong Kong. Peter Gabriel played with us, not played with us, played before us, a week before us, and he played to basically 80% Europeans. We got a crowd that was three times as big, which was 98% Chinese. Our records are selling well in India and places like that, South Africa, South America and of course Eastern Europe, where we’re absolutely huge. We never planned it this way, but it is an achievement.

DG: Actually, probably, thinking about it, our music’s never really sounded very English. In the past it was more industrial sounding and not your standard sort of English sounding pop music, somehow. Probably that’s got something to do with it and for a while that worked in our favour in America, because we were the oddball English band, you know. But we’ve always been that kind of band that’s not really fit in. We don’t really fit. We don’t really fit in as personalities together, either, to be honest. The three of us, we’re very different personalities.

Q41: What would you say each of you bring to Depeche Mode?

DG: Something very different. And I think that is what has worked for us, in our favour, to be honest. We are very different. I mean, Fletch and Martin are very close and they’ve always been buddies. But I’ve always been the oddball, to be honest. I’ve always been, you know, not that intimate with anybody, a bit of a loner. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I enjoy that. I’m up in my head a lot. I like to joke around a lot. I like to think that over the years I’ve brought an element of fun to Depeche Mode. I’m kind of known for bringing the darkness along and I don’t think I’m totally to blame for that. I think Martin’s brought a lot of that too, in his music. Fletch is very much the – he’s organised in his thoughts and very structured and we have disagreements a lot in that way, because I’m kind of more like up in my head and I see visuals of what we’re doing and things like that, but Fletch needs to see it written down, in writing. He’s more that kind of guy, you know, which definitely is important in a band. You need to have somebody that’s that personality. Martin – I don’t really know Martin and I don’t think he knows me, but there’s something. There’s some kind of thing that we know about each other that – It seems to me that I’ve known Martin for a long, long time. It’s like an old scarf or a pair of shoes, you know. It fits and it feels good when you put it on. I don’t know if he feels the same about me, but it’s comfortable and I kind of know where he’s going to go.

Q42: You’ve been making music now with Depeche Mode for quite some time. Do you find it strange to think that you’ve been doing this for almost your entire adult lives?

MG: Well, we’ve been doing it now for 21 years or so (laughs).

AF: It’s like being in one continuous dream and sometimes I feel all of a sudden I’m going to wake up and then I’m going to be doing my old job, with a synthesiser in a suitcase, going to a small little place in Canning Town, basically, so it does seem like a real dream. It’s gone very fast, very fast.

MG: Me and Dave were saying the other day, we only feel about 20, so there’s something not quite right there. (laughs)