Do you think ‘Leave In Silence’ should be nominated as “the worst video of all time”? What did you and the others feel like, standing there and hitting objects on a conveyor belt with wooden spoons? Did you ever protest about DM videos pre. 83/84?
You can pretty much lump all the Julian Temple videos (‘See You’, ‘Meaning Of Love’, ‘Leave In Silence’) into one collective disaster. In those days, we were very naive and it wasn’t until Anton got involved in 1986, that we realised we could take more control over the cohesive image of the group. You should also not forget that video was a very new and experimental genre at that time so we weren’t the only ones to suffer at the hands of spotty students fresh out of film school.
We can see you a lot in the video of ‘A Question Of Time’. I heard that you were the only one at Anton’s appointment and that the rest of the band was sleeping. Is it true?
I can’t really remember the circumstances but it is possible that I was the only one prepared to get up early enough. The location was two hours outside L.A. and I think the shoot was on a day after a gig. Directors always get you to the shoot at 5 a.m. just out of spite 😉
When you were giving a track to Anton, did he make any comment about the song? What were his favourite tracks and does he like Recoil?
Yes, he was usually very positive about the music although his thoughts and subsequent interpretations were pretty strange. I have no idea what he thinks of Recoil but I sent him a copy of ‘Unsound Methods’.
In the beginning of ‘A Question Of Lust’ video, Martin wants to appear naked in front of the camera. Was it for real or just a fun idea for the video?
It was real. We were in a club somewhere and, as usual, Martin managed to take all his clothes off. The director Clive Richardson decided to bring his camera along and that’s what he got.
Why wasn’t the ‘Little 15’ video directed by Anton Corbjin and why it was originally only released in Germany?
It was released only in France and seemed like a good opportunity to try a different director.
Why did the ‘Devotional’ video not include ‘Policy Of truth’ and ‘Halo’ considering you played them almost every show?
It was probably necessary to tighten up the compilation to fit within a particular time frame, so some tracks had to be omitted. These tracks were felt to be older and didn’t work as well visually as some of the others.
Why on ‘Some Great Videos’, are ‘See You’, ‘The Meaning of Love’, ‘Leave In Silence’ and ‘Get The Balance Right’, not included?
It’s a long time ago but I reckon the reasoning was that they were just too embarrassing to include. Note: they were nearly all directed by Julian Temple.
I’d like to know whether you’d like to work with Anton Corbijn again? I remember reading how you enjoyed that part of Depeche Mode – what’s your favourite video of his?
I think Anton’s very talented and played an important part in the development of Depeche Modes image. It would, however, be a mistake to involve him in Recoil because I want the Recoil imagery to be very different from DM. My favourite DM videos are ‘Never Let Me Down’, ‘Walking In My Shoes’, ‘I Feel You’, and ‘In Your Room’.
Was there any particular significance behind the astronaut and the mummy images used during ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ on ‘Devotional’ or was this just deliberately ambiguous?
Ask Anton – you’re dealing with the mind of a strange Dutchman.
I was reading your ‘Violator’ report and I noticed you wrote this under the ‘Policy Of Truth’ single:
“Anton’s promo was shot in New York and along with another ‘Violator’ song ‘Waiting For The Night’, ‘Policy’ eventually featured in the film ‘The Confessional'”.
Did you mean to say the promo for ‘Clean’ was filmed or was there really a promo video for ‘Waiting For The Night’?
Sorry to confuse you Farhan but no, there was no promo for ‘Waiting For The Night’. Funnily enough, this was a point of debate between me and the missus while we were writing the editorials. Hep said that she thought the above sentence was open to misinterpretation and I argued that it made perfect sense – it would seem however she was right! What I actually should have said was:
“Anton’s promo was shot in New York and along with another ‘Violator’ song ‘Waiting For The Night’, ‘Policy’ eventually featured on the soundtrack to the film ‘The Confessional’.”
Was there ever a video filmed for the song ‘Dangerous’?
Was a video ever shot that was never released (like a rumoured ‘White Water Rafting’ video of ‘Shake The Disease’)? Who directed ‘Little 15’ and why wasn’t it released on a compilation? Did you not like the video?
We made an alternative video for ‘Strangelove’ (again at the Americans request), directed by Martin Atkins. He also made the video for ‘Little 15’. The last two video compilations have all featured the work of Anton Corbijn and it was felt that it would be out of place to include someone else’s work. Don’t be surprised if ‘Little 15’ ends up on some future video compilation 😉
I was wondering what happened to the leather jacket that you were wearing in the ‘Shake The Disease’ or ‘Policy Of Truth’ videos? Any plans on selling it? 🙂
Still got them – no I’m not selling.
Last night I was watching ‘Some Great Videos’, and the one to ‘It’s Called A Heart’ reminds me a bit of the Stephen King story, ‘Children Of The Corn’ – was that the intention?
You’ll have to ask Peter Care (the director) – he came up with that ‘concept’. Quite how he equated ‘calling something a heart’ with twirling cameras around on the end of a string in a field of corn in Reading dressed in a skirt, I’ll never be able to tell you………but then the track was asking for it….. what’s it all about, eh?
Do you know exactly what happened with the ‘In Your Room’ video not being played by MTV? I heard it was censored because they said it contained “slavery images”. The same occurred with Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ for other unknown reasons. If all of this is true, what about the ‘Master & Servant’ video that was played on MTV a lot and where the lyrics and images make an ambiguous reference to sado-masochistic sex?
I couldn’t begin to explain what goes on in the censor’s minds. As I’ve said before on Q + A, it’s perfectly acceptable to beat the shit out of people and blow their arms and legs off in TV cop shows but show someone chained to a chair and you’re corrupting innocent youth. The irony of censorship is that in most cases it simply highlights the very thing it’s attempting to suppress. Just look at the notoriety of films such as ‘A Clockwork Orange’ (banned in England since it’s release) and ‘The Exorcist’ which are now considered tame by comparison to most current box office films.
Who is that man running around in ‘101’ saying, ” start the tape please “
Step forward, Mr Andy Franks!
Did you like the video footage more for the ‘World Violation’ tour or the ‘Devotional’ tour?
I think I preferred the work for the last tour best, although I liked aspects of both. I wasn’t too keen on the images for ‘Enjoy The Silence’ (‘Devotional’) however.
In ‘101’ there is a scene of Martin on guitar, Dave on harmonica and someone else singing ‘I Saw Her Standing There.’ Is that other person Daryl Bamonte?
Yes, if I remember correctly.
Do you know if a ‘New Life’ video was ever made? I think I’ve seen a bit of it on TV…
Not that I’m aware of.
I have seen a strange video for ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ shot somewhere at the seaside with you on drums, Fletch on unplugged synths :-), Martin on guitar and Dave on vocals. Do you remember it? If so, why and where was it shot and who directed it (I doubt if it was Mr Corbijn :-))?
If I remember correctly, it was done for a Belgium T.V. show. I don’t have any other details.
Was the reported ‘Axel Rose kicked out of the DM ‘101’ release party for shooting a pig!’ story actually true?
Not that I know of.
Did the old saying ‘never work with children’ apply to the making of the ‘A Question Of Time’ video?
Yes, we had to struggle with the little baskets, sorry babies for hours before they would do what was required. There were mothers, nappies, bottles, toys – all kinds of chaos.
In the ‘101 video’, Dave is seen holding a child. Also, there is a young lady present. Is this his child? And was that his wife or girlfriend?
It must have been his son Jack and first wife, Jo.
It’s nice to talk again to you after nine years break!! The last time I met you was at Logic Studios in Milan during the recording of ‘Violator’. Do you still have all the video tapes you made of the fans that the band was meeting from town to town between 1983/1987? I should be in lots of them!!
Yes, I’ve kept all my early video tapes and you wouldn’t be the first person to enquire about them. Sorry to disappoint you but even though you might be in them, they’ll never see the light of day publicly!
Near the end of the ‘Strangelove’ video, we can see you in profile holding the famous DM loudspeaker and an old lady is walking by whilst looking at you. The scene looks very spontaneous, was it something arranged by Anton?
No, the old lady was a coincidence.
In ‘Devotional’, is that your back on the screen?
I’m not sure what you’re talking about but I don’t think so.
Will the videos from the ‘SOFAD’ period ever see the light of day. I still have not seen ‘Condemnation’ or ‘In Your Room’.
Oh I’m sure you’ll get to see them at some point.
Are there two versions of the ‘Walking’ video? I have seen one on MTV when it first came out, but I also saw a picture of you, Martin and Fletch with half naked girls on your laps, which did not appear in the video.
You’ve probably seen a US MTV edit of ‘Walking…” Arses are a no-no for American TV. It’s ok if you’re blowing someone’s brains out though.
Keeping in mind that you are a perfectionist, does it bother you that you messed up ‘Black Celebration’ in ‘101’ when you were demonstrating the keyboards backstage?
It’s not something I’m losing sleep over.
Both the ‘Devotional’ and ‘Live In Hamburg’ videos contain less tracks in the US. Why do we always get the shorter videos?
I have no idea. Probably a U.S. record company decision. We normally provide the Americans with ‘parts’ (i.e. finished products) and then they decide what is suitable for their market. They always like to do things differently and it’s usually the subject of a lot of debate. They insist that they know their market better than us – maybe they’re right?
You also said you have some very rare DM video footage that would never see the light of day, except for the right price. What if I told you I know someone who might be interested!
They still couldn’t afford them 😉
What is your opinion on the videos ‘Personal Jesus’, ‘Clean’, and ‘Halo’ and where were they shot?
‘PJ’ was shot at a commonly used film set in Spain. ‘Clean’ and ‘Halo’ were both shot in California (I think). I quite like them but they’re not my favourites. There’s always something to admire in Anton’s films.
Do you remember a girl named Jenna Elfman who now appears in a pretty big (but lame) TV show called ‘Darma and Greg’? People say she’s in the ‘Halo’ video?
I don’t remember much about the filming or who the extras were..
I recently watched ‘101’ again. Terrific live footage, the kids were a good idea and they were fun (and understandably phoney). However, there’s hardly any behind-the-scenes shots of the band members. Were the kids there to take attention away from you guys? The film had interesting observations on “pop” and the pop market but I got the feeling there was maybe some (self) censorship regarding footage of yourselves. What is your opinion of the film?
What was the point of having so much footage of fans tossing about on a bus in ‘101’?
To be honest, I could have done without the ‘fans on the bus’ angle which I felt gave the whole film too much of a pop feel. That’s not to say I didn’t like the fans, I just think Pennebaker was limited because he had to make the film from the only perspective he had – a pop band playing to massive audiences of screaming kids. For that reason alone the film works but from my personal perspective it’s not all that interesting. I would have liked it to have offered something more in-depth.
I got a videotape of an old U.S. MTV Dance Show including an unreleased promo-clip for ‘Strangelove ’88’. What was the idea behind this and will it ever find its way onto an official collection? I heard a rumour that there is a ‘But Not Tonight’ video. Is this true?
The exact reasoning for why a second version of ‘Strangelove’ was made, is lost somewhere in the mists of time (;-)) but an educated guess would lead me to conclude that as usual, it was probably something to do with the Amercian record company and / or MTV not being happy with Anton’s original version. The second video was directed by Martyn Atkins. As for ‘But Not Tonight’, I’ve covered this before. A video was made for this track (directed by Tamara….can’t remember her surname) because of its inclusion in a dodgy film at the time. Check the archives for more details.
Was it scary seeing yourself as a ‘movie-star’ up there on the big-screen when you first saw ‘101’? Were there any special moments you remember being filmed but were unfortunately left out of the final cut or any particular scenes in the film that embarrassed you or the other members of DM (like Dave strutting around in his knickers and sockies)?
It was all pretty embarrassing actually. Especially the premiere in London with my parents and friends sitting there watching us make fools of ourselves in massive cinemascope.
Was it a dream come true getting to smooch on a sexy model all day when you made the ‘Policy Of Truth’ video? And why did that chick run away from you so fast after you two played kissy-face, did you have death-breath or something?
We didn’t actually snog – although I was up for it. She just wanted to pretend. She probably ran away because of what I whispered in her ear. ‘-)
I happened to see the Erasure video for ‘Respect’ the other day and at one point Vince Clarke spray paints all over a symbol that looks remarkably like the loudspeaker logo from ‘MFTM’. Was this slight the result of an open feud at the time and was the pettiness reciprocated by DM?
I think it was just a bit of fun from Vince, nothing more than that.
Did / Do you ever try to ‘direct’ your visual representations (cover art / videos) or do you just let Anton / Intro etc. follow their own creative ideas?
I always tried to get involved with the artistic side of DM and Anton was usually quite receptive although he very much likes to stick closely to his own ideas. With Recoil, I’m much more involved. I’m always open to people’s ideas but I do have a strong concept of how I want the project to be represented.
I’m a cameraman so I know what it normally takes to shoot a promo., but I wondered what it was like when Anton was shooting? I mean was there a big staff or was it just you four and him? Did he do the handheld shots himself?
He occasionally used a cameraman (and a larger crew when necessary) but 90% of the time would operate himself. Sometimes there would be just Anton, maybe Richard the producer, and the 4 of us. We felt much less inhibited with a smaller crew.
A rumour says that the white-dressed girl featured in the ‘Condemnation’ video is Polish – can you confirm this?
I think she was Hungarian. It was filmed near Budapest.
I was wondering how long it took to make your hair “just perfect” for the videos ‘Master and Servant’ and ‘Everything Counts’? By the way, I love these 2 videos very much! How old were you then?
HOT HAIR (circa 1983/4)
You will need:
1 STUPID PRATT (preferably aged – about 22 should do it)
1 LARGE MIRROR (doctored to look as flattering as possible)
1 HEAD OF STRAGGLY, UNKEMPT HAIR (do NOT wash thoroughly)
FULL HOLD HAIR GEL (2 tubes)
HOVIS BREAD (1 loaf)
ELNETTE TURBO-NUTTER-BASTARD STRENGTH HAIRSPRAY (3 cans)
1 BLINKERED ATTITUDE
1 POOFY EIGHTIES POP BAND
GAGGLE OF TEENAGE GIRLS
1 PACKET CONDOMS
Take stupid pratt and stand for half an hour in front of a large mirror. Start by coating straggly hair thoroughly with both tubes of full hold hair gel, being careful to ensure sideburns are not missed. Using comb, scoop upwards to resemble loaf of bread and immediately cover LIBERALLY with hair spray (remembering to save some for the garnish). DO NOT MOVE UNTIL SET. Next, ignore the fact that everyone’s saying “Look at that stupid pratt who looks like he’s got a loaf of bread on his head” and place firmly in an equally badly dressed and follically-disasterous 80’s pop band. Finally, add one more spray of Elnette and serve immediately to gaggle of teenage girls who’ll tell him he looks great……
I happened to re-watch the ‘NLMDA’ video and I had a feeling that the car Dave’s driving lacks a back left wheel. Is it my eyes that played a joke on me or is it true?
Yes, it’s true. It was a 3-wheeled bubble car.
At the beginning of the Videos 86>98 Martin said that people were trying to find out how far you (as a band DM) would go in the videos. How far would you go?
In 1982, as far as anyone wanted us to. Now….not very far at all.
What is it like anyway to stand in front of a camera doing stuff you wouldn’t normally do?
Highly embarrassing, usually really boring and in a lot of cases, freezing cold.
In the same video there’s a scene where you’re sitting around and suddenly there’s a female with a red skirt passing by and your eyes are following her. Was that Hep? 🙂
I’m not sure what you’re talking about Alex. I don’t recall anyone being in the shot. Are you sure you’re thinking of the ‘Singles’ video?
Who picked the women for the DM videos? Was it purely Anton’s choice or did you all sit there and vote for your favourites? Who was your favourite video ‘babe’?
It was Anton who arranged the casting for DM videos and surprise, surprise,they were usually models or tasty actresses 😉 I liked the girls who he used on the ‘In Your Room’ film for the ‘Devotional’ tour because of their unusual, slightly androgynous features.
In the ‘101’ film, you demonstrate a part of ‘Black Celebration’ on the keyboard. Whose part was that?
At the end of the ‘Everything Counts’ live video you hold up 2 fingers in the opposite direction to a “peace” sign. I think it means “FUCK YOU” in some countries? Did you know that and do it on purpose, or was it just a reaction to the camera?
Where I come from it means “Fuck Off” as opposed to “Fuck You” which we English never say. As insults go, I am of the opinion that, despite the multitude of variables, you just can’t beat a simple “Fuck Off” – especially when delivered by a tight-lipped, braces, Ben Sherman and Dr. Martin-wearing British skinhead. In this particular case, it was just a friendly “Fuck Off” to the invasive cameraperson who was trying to sneak a shot of my private sleepy moment.
Did you ever find out how the ‘crazy young dudes’ from ‘101’ ended up?
I know one of them ended up in the music business. Margaret now tour manages various groups I think.
What language is that fellow Valdemar speaking during ‘Strange’, before the ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ video?
Danish, as far as I know. Maybe Benny Jørgensen can confirm this for us.
In the video for ‘Everything Counts’ as well as its live performance on ‘101’, just what the hell is that thing that Martin is playing with his mouth?!
Was the short interview with you at the end of ‘The Videos 86>98’ held in your house? Were you very nervous because you kept playing with your hands?
It was filmed in a private club in London. No, I didn’t feel nervous – I’ve always been a gesticulator.
You said your favourite shows had probably been those in Paris and Barcelona. Did you ever consider releasing the show in Barcelona for the ‘Devotional’ home video? Was it actually filmed?
I think it was filmed but only with a couple of cameras. To get all the various camera angles, ‘Devotional’ had to be shot across several different shows.
Who are all those guys at the VERY beginning of the ‘A Question Of Lust’ video preventing Martin from showing his naked self to the camera. Where were you when that happened?
Andre Arhle is the security man with the shaven head. Can’t remember who else is there. I don’t think I was around that evening.
I was watching the ‘101’ video earlier. What kind of keyboard is used during that little scene where you demonstrate the sounds (“It’s got 36 banks…”)?
Emulator 11, I think. Each bank of sounds for each song was contained on a large floppy disc. The subsequent Emax keyboards had an internal hard disc eradicating the need for floppies which made life much easier.
I happened to find the video for ‘Master & Servant’ the other day and I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Do you get this same reaction watching some of the old lower-budget Depeche Mode videos and if so, which one do you find the most ridiculous?
Actually it’s not the budget that necessarily determines how crap the video is – we’ve made very expensive crap videos as well. It took us a long time to realise that the less we do in them, the better they look. I managed to make a video for ‘Stalker’ without having to actually be in it – I’ve been trying to do that for years. I don’t like making them, I don’t often watch them and I certainly don’t go back and dig out old DM promos if I can help it. They’re nearly all ridiculous up to the Anton era and even he’s made us do some daft things 😉
Can you shed some light on how the “free fall” sequences were filmed for the ‘Shake The Disease’ video? During these passages, the other band members (in the background) seem to be walking in a very unnatural manner, leading me to believe that you guys can’t actually fly…….
This was Peter Care’s famous ‘upside down machine’. It makes for a fairly simple optical illusion. The subject is strapped to a motorized pole that runs through the back of his jacket. As the pole rotates taking the subject with it, the camera follows at the same angle giving the impression that he is remaining still and everything in the background is actually moving. Peter also used another similar trick in that video where the camera is strapped to the subject on a kind of stiff harness (no cameraman). As you move around with the camera, you again appear still while the background moves around.
Did you have any influence on the filming of ‘101’ and ‘Devotional’? In particular, I found it was a pity that, contrary to ‘101’, you are not shown playing the keyboards in the ‘Devotional’ video. Was that done on purpose?
Well, we gave our opinions on rough edits etc. but they are both director’s films. ‘101’ was more specifically about day to day life on the road so the keyboard demo was perhaps appropriate whereas the ‘Devotional’ video was simply a film of the live show. Either way, shots of people playing keyboards aren’t very interesting – once you’ve seen one, that’s pretty much it. If I was directing, I think I would do the same thing.
I have heard from one Russian video director (on the Russian yearly awards ceremony) that the DM video of ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ was shot / directed / produced by / with the help of some Russian guy, who recently produced a great video for Mumij Troll (very great new Russian group). So I wonder if it’s true?
Why was the 12″ mix of ‘People Are People’ used for the video and not the album version?
There is in fact a 7″ and 12″ edit of the video. The 12″ version was made because we just liked the idea of doing one.