In the beginning of ‘Fly On The Windscreen’ (the version on ‘Black Celebration’), there is a sample of someone talking. It sounds like it could be from radio or television but I have no clue what the person is saying and it bugs the shit out of me. I ran it by the Shunt punks and nobody seemed to know. Do you remember what it is?

“Over and done with” courtesy of Daniel Miller if memory serves correct.

What is the characteristic synth or/ and sampler of the ‘Black Celebration’ album?

The Synclavier.

What is the most unusual thing that you ever have sampled?

Dan Miller saying ‘Horse’ repeatedly very fast (as used in ‘Fly On The Windscreen’).

I have an original 7″ pressing of ‘A Question Of Time’ in which the second verse has been completely edited out! Yet the version on ‘Singles 86>98’ includes the verse. Did the original release have this verse edited out and can you remember why (censorship)?

I can’t honestly remember – probably. The most likely reason was to bring it down to a ‘radio friendly’ length, hopefully ensuring that dear old Radio1 would be more inclined to play it – such is the wrath of the BBC that they can scare one into butchering one’s own song because they cannot tolerate more than 2 minutes and 43 seconds of any given record before Batesy’s’ Our Tune’ is due.

Are you satisfied with the production / final mixing of the two albums ‘Black Celebration’ and ‘Music For The Masses’?

It’s only natural to think, with the benefit of hindsight, that you could have done your previous work so much better. In fact, I’d be worried if I didn’t think that about every single record I’ve been involved in. It’s what drives you forward. ‘Black Celebration’ has some good stuff on it but the mixes do sound odd – too much reverb, not enough bottom end etc…. ‘MFTM’ actually ‘sounds’ better but is not such an interesting record.

Where does the sentence “Life in the so-called space age” come from? Was it a title of a song not included on the ‘Black Celebration’ album?

No. It was Martin’s thing. He wanted the phrase put there for some reason.

I had a Korg DW8000 when I was in high school and I called it my ‘Black Celebration Faker’ because I was able to get a few patches that sounded like some on the record. Did you use a DW8000 at all on that record?

No, I don’t think it existed at the time.

In an interview, Martin said that he thought after ‘Black Celebration’, Depeche Mode would never make another record. Was making this album difficult?

It’s quite normal, when coming towards the end of an album recording, for there to be a certain amount of tension in the air – too much time spent in close proximity to the same people makes you stir crazy after a while. ‘Black Celebration’ was no different in this respect and it signaled the end of a co-production relationship with Dan Miller (although I should add, not a falling out).

After ‘Black Celebration’, Depeche Mode seemed to tone down the metal-bashing and use of metallic-noises. Was this because these hard sounds didn’t work so well from 1987 onwards or was all the metal-bashing more down to early experimenting with samplers? Do you find these sounds outdated?

I think we had used up our quota of metal bashing sounds by that stage. There are only so many ways you can hit a pipe with a hammer…..

I think you used an ARP synth on ‘Black Celebration’. Which one, the ‘Odyssey’?

It would have been Dan Miller’s Arp 2600.

What are your favourite songs from ‘Black Celebration’?

‘Stripped’, ‘Fly On The Windscreen’ and ‘Black Celebration’