Depeche Mode: Interview
Martin Gore joined the band that would become Depeche Mode in March 1980, after dissolving his previous band, Norman And The Worms. Depeche Mode‘s album ’Playing The Angel‘ is out now.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to make music, believe it or not. I remember walking this girl home from the bowling alley, when I was about 16, and her asking me what I wanted to do when I left school. As a joke, I said I wanted to be a pop star. But as I said it, it didn’t seem funny. And I didn’t laugh, and she didn’t laugh. It was just like that was what was going to happen.
What are you good at apart from making music?
Absolutely nothing. I’m really average, at best, at everything. I got really into sudoku over the last six months, then I realised that I’m just really average at it, just like everything else. A few years ago, I used to think I was really good at Game Boy golf, and then our keyboard player, who’s obsessive about everything, came on tour, and within a few weeks he’d gone round the 18 holes in 19 under par. My record was 12 under par, and I’d been playing for years.
What’s the strangest present a fan has ever given you?
All of us were each given a Depeche Mode ‘Bible’ once. This is going back a bit, so it had four Testaments: of Dave, Andrew, Alan and Martin. But the whole thing was really well done. It had a metal cover, and was quite thick; there were lots of pictures in it… It was very Biblical-like.
Did you think of licensing it as a piece of official merchandise?
No, we never thought about that. But I’ve got it somewhere, so there’s still a chance.
Have you ever sung karaoke?
Quite a few times, yeah. I like ‘Love Is In The Air’ by John Paul Young, and I like ‘Superstar’ by The Carpenters. I have to be in a certain mood, though. Really drunk.
Have you ever been to the Depeche Mode-themed bar in Tallinn, Estonia?
Yes, actually we went there on this tour and the tour in 2001.
Behind the bar, there’s a photo of you with the owner, in which you look absolutely petrified…
Er… The first time we went there, it was manic for the first five minutes or so, but then everyone calmed down. But the last time we went, there were lots of people in there and it was really a problem.
It must be weird to drink in your own stalker-shrine…
Yeah, it wouldn’t be my first choice for a place to go but at that time of night, when you’re already drunk and it’s so close to your hotel, it’s hard not to. It’s like: “What shall we do, shall we go to bed? Ooh, I’ve got a good idea – let’s go to our bar!”
When was the last time you went back to Basildon?
It was probably about a year ago, just because my family still lives there. I don’t go out and socialise too much. I read the ‘Essex Boys’ [about the 1995 Rettendon Range Rover murders] book recently, which was a bit scary, as we used to know one of the people in that book. One of the people who ended up dead. He was someone we used to hang around with in the pubs in those days. I don’t know if Basildon’s changed too much since then, but it wasn’t a very safe place back then.
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