I have read that you have a dentist’s chair but haven’t actually visited a dentist in 15 years. You have lovely teeth by the way. Would you ever consider re-releasing DM songs in tribute to the dental industry. i.e. ‘Plaque Celebration’, ‘Shake The Gum Disease’, ‘A Question of Brush’?

Maybe a Recoil re-release: ‘Electric Brush For Bukka’s Whites’.

Have you ever heard a bootleg 12″ of ‘Little 15’ (remixed by the Bogus Brothers)? I read somewhere that this mix was a ‘rejected’ mix by DM but I doubt it. Can you shed any light on the matter?

I think I heard it once – was it quite dancey? As far as I remember, we never commissioned a remix so it wouldn’t have been presented to us for approval.

Have you ever heard the ‘strange versions’ bootleg mix CD of ‘SOFAD’?


Is there any reason (bar ‘Moonlight Sonata’) that you haven’t done any cover versions?

What about ‘Route 66’ or ‘Faith Healer’?

I’ve been seeing demo versions of DM songs turn up on bootleg recordings and on the internet lately. Do you have any idea how these recordings got into the hands of the public? I would imagine that Martin would be reluctant to pass around tapes to just anyone. Were these stolen copies? Did he give them to his girlfriend? Were they copied by someone in the studio looking to make an extra buck?

Copies of demos and rough mixes are made up for all sorts of people (from band members to record company people, video directors, collaborators etc.) and invariably end up in the hands of fans and bootleggers. There’s not much you can do about it. I have never given away any of my copies of Martin’s demos and yet I don’t now possess all of them – where did they go?

Have you heard any covers of Depeche Mode tunes that you’re particularly fond of, or despise immensely?

I thought the version of ‘Shame’ by Self (featured on the ‘For The Masses’ tribute album) was good. Tricky’s ‘Judas’ was, er, brilliant if you like a load of out-of-tune mumbling obscuring an otherwise good song.

What do you think of DM bootlegs if they are of good quality?

I don’t have any real problem with bootlegs CD’s. I don’t think they adversely affect artists since they are normally only bought by die-hard collectors. Bootleg merchandisers are much more of a problem at gigs though. They set up their stalls and fleece the fans, selling them inferior products long before they realise official, better quality items are on sale.

I’ve just received a brilliant remix of ‘Two Minute Warning’ *synth-mix* and ‘The Sun & The Rainfall’ *1995 mix* or *TR 808 mix*. Both of them are dance enhanced and pumped up to date. They are on the ‘Fast Fashion’ series (bootleg). I wonder if you’ve heard them and if you have, what’s your opinion of them?

Sorry I haven’t heard them so I can’t comment. You can send them to me if you like (snail mail address at the bottom of the page) and I’ll let you know what I think….

Just wondering what you feel about all these bands (mostly German but also American ) that have tried to catch that Depeche Mode spirit in their music. I’m talking about synth pop acts from the past like Camouflage, Red Flag and Cause & Effect… and also more current bands like De Vision, Beborn Beton, And One, Mesh’and KieTheVez … Is this trend flattering or annoying?

It’s flattering if others take influence from what you do although I have to confess, I haven’t heard much of the music from the collection you mention. I am familiar with some of the names though.

Do you find it flattering that people made a DM tribute album?

Of course.

I’d like to know what do you think of the job done by Diesel Christ on the ‘Diesel Mode’ album. Actually, they also made ‘Diesel Mode 2’ that I haven’t heard yet. Have you?

I haven’t heard any of them.

Have you heard The Cure’s ‘World In My Eyes’ cover? What do you think?

Not bad.

What’s your favourite track on ‘For the Masses’ and why? Have you heard the other tribute albums (‘Your World In Our Eyes’ etc.)? If so, which is your favourite album?

I like Self’s version of ‘Shame’. It’s just what a cover version should be – different from the original. It’s got a great sense of energy. In fact, I included it on a party compilation DAT recently and it proved a hit with the people dancing around my house….. ;-). I’ve heard one or two other tribute albums but to be honest I haven’t listened to them enough to make a fair comment. Overall however, I’m more impressed with the covers that are original. What’s the point of doing a version of a DM song using all the same sounds and a Dave-like vocal?

I am dying to hear your opinion on the ‘For The Masses’ tribute CD.

I like Veruca Salt’s ‘Somebody’, it has a strong atmosphere and Self reminded me what a good song ‘Shame’ is. Rabbit In The Moon also do an unusual version of ‘Waiting For The Night To Fall’.

Apart from ‘For The Masses’, have you ever heard any other dM covers compilations like ‘Trancemode Express’, ‘Reconstruction Time’ or ‘Your World In Our Eyes’, for example? Have you heard Tricky’s version of Judas?

One or two. I’ve heard ‘Trancemode Express’ and I’ve heard the Tricky cover.

Have you heard ‘I Got You Stripped’ by Illmatic – what do you think?

I haven’t heard it.

Do you own all the DM singles, maxis and albums? Have you ever heard any bootlegs?

More or less – there are one or two holes in my collection. Over the years I’ve heard quite a lot of bootlegs and somebody kindly sent me a collection of some others recently.

One of the highlights for me on ‘For The Masses’, is Rammstein’s version of ‘Stripped’. It took a bit of time to get used to the vocal but now I like the track so much I’m actually getting into some of their other material. Have you heard their latest album? What do you think of them and does it matter to you that they sing in German?

The only other Rammstein tracks I’ve heard are on the ‘Lost Highway’ soundtrack. I think I might find a whole album a bit grating but I’m reserving judgement for the moment.