Would you consider including a list of unreleased material such as demos, rough mixes and unreleased remixes on Shunt, the website?

I’m afraid I’m too much of a perfectionist to allow people to hear my ‘scribblings’.

Are you really in ‘In Bed With Madonna’? Or is it an in-joke?

Everything written on ’10 things every fan ought to know about Alan Wilder’ is true. All the information that relates to me, on the website, is totally accurate.

Did you design the website yourself, or did you get some computer whizz to do it?

Hep and I designed the whole thing and we write all the content (obviously apart from the magazine features and reviews). We programmed the bulk of it with some assistance from Siaron Hughes on the original frame structure.

Now, that you’ve gotten to know your fans via the web, what do you think of us? Are you “proud” of your fans?

You’re not a bad bunch!

With your increasing exposure to your personal fan base, are you surprised by the types of people you are meeting? Are we what you expected and did you suspect that you had a core fan base before ‘Unsound Methods’?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’re a motley collection 😉 I knew I must have had some kind of fan base on the back of DM, although I wasn’t aware of the Faith mailing list until Janet at Mute told me there was a lot of activity building up to the release of ‘Unsound Methods’.

Although there are many fans out there who cannot help themselves asking questions about DM, is there any chance you could ban or limit the number of questions that get answered regarding this subject? Personally speaking, I find so much talk about DM quite annoying. Shunt is supposed to be about you and Recoil, so I think you should be encouraging more talk about this.

Although I take your point, it’s not really fair to open a forum like Q + A and then eradicate 13 years of my musical career as a topic of conversation. What is annoying though, is receiving the same questions over and over again. People really should check this out along with the archives before they submit their questions.

Why do you use a Mac and what programmes (win95/98, etc.) do you work with? I don’t know very much about Macintosh Computers. What is the difference to other computers?

I have always used a Mac for music and, like most people, don’t want to change to another system. For music, I’ve used Steinberg ‘Cubase’ and more recently ‘Logic Audio’. We use ‘Go live Cyberstudio’ to program the website, ‘Photoshop 4.0’ for images and ‘Clarisworks’ for general word processing.

Your efforts in making this website a real ALTERNATIVE to some official music webpages is something unbelievable. Do you do that because:

a) it’s the way show business works – give more care and receive more feedback b) you entered the fast lane and can’t escape it now
c) you just LOOOOVE all these people who ask endless questions

Time constraints mean that I am having to be more selective in answering questions but there’s no point in having a website unless it’s interactive. I’m also looking to the future where the internet will clearly be the best way to promote and sell a product on a world-wide basis.

And finally, do you receive these questions personally and put your answers on-line by yourself?

Q + A is normally dealt with over coffee in the morning – I dictate and Hep types.

I was disappointed to see that many of my Q’s are never answered and yet other peoples are and they mostly have to do with the same subjects.

It’s nothing personal Jam. You’re not the only one, everybody’s questions are edited. My policy on answering them depends on various criteria: How much time I have, whether they’ve been answered before, whether the person is asking a question just for the sake of it and they already know the answer, whether or not it’s contentious (i.e. something personal about myself or a DM member) or just plain silly, how many other questions they’ve included in their e-mail and what kind of mood I’m in. Sorry if this sounds harsh but I’m incredibly busy……

Hep, does Alan sometimes swear when he is reading new Q + A e-mails ? 😉

We both do sometimes and most often for reasons like people not using capitals and abbreviating uneccesary words. For example: “If I send my copy of “a question of time” 2 u, will u sign it?” etc. This kind of thing is really irritating and time-consuming for me to edit. Spelling or grammatical mistakes are not a problem.

The ten bits of trivia on ‘Ten’ are interesting but I was wondering, will that list remain the same or will you add new trivia to it every now and then?

There will be new facts added on a regular basis (as long as we can think of things you don’t already know about).

How about a section where you present some new interesting CD’s you like and talk a bit about them?

Or to put it another way, a record review section? 😉 A good idea in principal but to be brutally honest, there’s so much information contained within this website that is never or rarely commented on that we don’t really feel inclined to make more work for ourselves and we’re running flat out just trying to keep up with all the regular features Shunt offers. Judging by some of the questions I get asked, some people don’t explore the site at all. For example, the monthly editorials take an extraordinary amount of time to compile and I sometimes wonder whether anyone bothers reading them. Unfortunately, people’s website attention span is not what I thought it would be.

How about an editorial special later this year about the Mute building with some nice Pics?

Why? It’s just a red building on the most uninteresting road in North London. Inside are a load of desks and office equipment. The plumbing is fascinating though.

Due to the above reason, may it be possible to start a Russian mirror of Shunt?

Do you mean will WE translate the Shunt website into Russian?! See my answer to Michael above. If you would like to do a Russian version, be my guest….. 😉

Do you feel that the availability of the Internet will eventually lead to the disappearance of big record companies if musicians can distribute their work directly to consumers? How do you anticipate this potential revolution and what do you think about issues of royalties and copyrights in this potential new market?

There are a lot of copyright problems that would need to be addressed and, as I’ve said before, the internet is surely the future for selling products on a world-wide basis. Problem is, to be perfectly frank, I doubt a lot of ‘pop stars’ could find their way to switching on a computer, let alone operating a distribution network. They’d have to have a team of people to deal with the business side of things, someone to physically press up the c.d.’s, marketing ideas people etc…. Call those people a Record company – and you’re back where you started. Oh, what an old cynic I am…..

Do you ever frequent the Warner Bros. Depeche Mode and Acme City Depeche Mode message boards and what are your views on them?


Do you have any interest in offering Recoil fans a <> (or <>) free e-mail address in the future?

Er, don’t know about but you could certainly suggest such an idea to the boys at – but remember to be polite; they deal with large guns and may not take kindly to what they could perceive as a load of leather-clad nancy boys jamming their e-mail address 😉

Several of us on the Shunt mailing list are working together via the internet (primarily) to create a musical compilation of our own stuff. We have lyrics, we’re working on music and production should not be a problem. However, we need a name for ourselves. Since you have spawned inspiration in all of us, it is fitting that we ask you: Dear Alan, can you help name our effort (we’re looking for both a name for ourselves as well as a name for the compilation)?

That’s a tricky one. I’ll have to think about it some more. I’ll tell you one thing though, although they get 10 out of 10 for originality, I’d avoid some of the suggestions you’ve been coming up with on the mailing list, especially those offered by Dogboy 😉 I thought Ecoli was quite good though.

How about a special remix or two of ‘Edge To Life’, ‘Electro Blues…’ or ‘Defector’ to help us salivating Shunters cope with the long, dreary and wet winter?

What would you rather have – 3 remixes of a load of old material from almost 10 years ago or a brand, spanking new record? The choice is yours…..

Will you change the layout of the site when the new album comes out? Who is designing the new sleeves (‘House’ of Intro I hope)?

Yes, there are likely to be some changes around the release of the album, later in the year. I’m not sure who is going to do the artwork yet.

How would you feel if you were the subject of a nude web site (faked or otherwise) Flattered or pissed off?

Mmmm, that’s a hard one. It would depend on how well-endowed with the truth it was and whether it was a fair representation of me…..I wouldn’t want to have to pick a bone with anyone over it. I’m a proud, upright individual with pretty firm ideas about which sites I’m exposed as a member of.

Have you (would you) ever consider a ‘Write My Lyrics’ contest? I would love to write lyrics to a piece of your music. Perhaps in the future you could post a partial composition on the Shunt site, and allow us to submit lyrics.

Not a bad idea but I’d still need someone to sing them, wouldn’t I? I find it quite difficult to judge what makes a good lyric until I hear it sung in context.

I heard that members of the mailing list can get t-shirts but unfortunately I am not able to subscribe to Shunt and I couldn’t find any other information about getting merchandise on your pages. Please help as I would be very, very proud wearing a Recoil top.

The t-shirts you’re referring to were designed (with my approval) and printed by Rick Martin – they are not official Mute-sponsored merchandise. Only a limited number were actually produced but if you contact Rick <> he may still have some available. Other than that, I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until they turn up as prizes in future Recoil competitions. I am hoping however, that Mute will put their hands in their pockets for the next release and provide some merchandise.

How about some music for the web site? I know you are currently working on your new stuff but I think it would be a definite plus having something to listen to while we fans are browsing around your site. How about something new, perhaps something concocted exclusively for the site?

Well I suppose I could squeeze in a little more time to compose a load of new stuff for you hungry lot if the present content of the website’s really getting boring. Let’s see….mmm….if I stop working in the studio at 1am and get back to the house at 1:15am, I could sort through the questions to Q + A until about 3am then go back to the studio and write some new stuff ’till about 5:30am and still be able to catch an hour of sleep before having to get up again to deal with the morning’s correspondence and get my daughter ready for playgroup. Oh shit, no I can’t do that – I’ve got to go and start an airline.

Regarding server speed, I would be happy if all web pages loaded as fast as Shunt and especially Q + A. It takes 20 seconds rather than 20 minutes without isdn…it is in fact one of the fastest pages I’ve visited. Are you running your own server from home or are you hosted from elsewhere?

This is the dilemma I have – some people write in and say exactly what you have said, while others complain of slow loading times – and it doesn’t seem to depend on which country they come from. We don’t run our own server and I have no desire to set one up either. I suspect that if I go to the trouble of moving the entire site, the same problems will still occur. When I log on to other web sites I find that there are massive variations in loading times which change from day to day.

Have you ever been to Is that why you have

I have seen it – not the most exciting web site in the world (something to do with firearms) but he did get there first, hence, as you correctly deduce, the respective URL’s. I would have preferred simply because .com is the first thing people try when they are searching for a web address.

Since you don’t know what to do with those tracks you receive from other people, why not select a weekly or monthly track of your choice, and put it up on your web site?

Quite a nice idea in principle but digitising audio is time consuming and takes up a lot of web space. There is also a lot of stuff within Forum which we are struggling to keep on top of as it is. Maybe we’ll include something with ‘Fan Of The Month’ in the future.

I’ve noticed that some of the questions seem to have been lost during the restructuring of the Q + A section by Hep. Was this done on purpose (maybe to sort out the most ‘silly’ ones) or was it an accident?

Not everything is archived. Some questions don’t really warrant it or are only relevant at the time of asking. Also, the archives are already too big in my opinion, which may prevent people from bothering to wade through them. So when we archive new q+a, we try to remove some of the older, more obscure ones.

Since the photo gallery went up here on Shunt, some folks have been getting a lot of attention, mostly positive, re. their looks (i.e. Luca, Julz, Gulo). I only mention this now because *I* have begun receiving such attention. Was this something you and / or Hep had in mind when you thought up the photo gallery…perhaps an attempt to turn fans’ infatuation from yourself to other fans? 😉

We knew when we started the photo gallery that it may turn into a bit of a ‘lonely hearts’ (for want of a better term) section which we thought was a rather nice idea. In fact, I’d be curious to know how much private correspondence takes place as a result of the gallery. I personally think it makes the whole internet interaction process much more personal when you can put a face to the words. The majority of fans seem to enjoy this kind of forum which is why we are expanding it with things like ‘Fan Of The Month’.

I was wondering if you’re reading the stuff on the mailing-list from time to time and if so, do you blush sometimes? An honest answer here please!! 🙂

Yes, I do keep an eye on it. Any post longer than a paragraph doesn’t usually get read. If you want me to read the posts to Shunt, then they need to be generally relevant or at least, interesting. My delete key is nearly worn out. It’s not my place to tell you what to say but personally, I like short, quick, funny posts best. I quite like to see the odd ruck as well.

How do you feel about Shunt today after all this time, and do you feel it is a good representation of an Alan Wilder mailing list?

The Shunt mailing list is designed for people who like Recoil to correspond via e-mail – it’s whatever people make it. By default it must represent a cross section of Recoil fans and since there are no rules, gives you a good indication of their mentality (that’s not meant to sound derogatory). You can draw your own conclusions.

Is it true that people have been recently banned from Shunt?

Absolutely not. I’ve had a few mails about this recently but don’t know why this would occur. I’ve haven’t given anyone the authority to ban people from the list and I’ve certainly never unsubbed anyone. It’s more likely to be a bug with Onelist themselves.

What sites are in your bookmark list on your web-browser?

Well, there are tons. Other than related music sites, record companies, software developers etc. there is ‘Tescos on-line’, ‘The Citroen DS – a homage to the goddess’, ‘BBC comedy zone’, ‘Lords – the home of cricket’…..many more.

Alan, this is the second time I participate in one of your Recoil contests and both times my answers were right but I was not the first one to be picked. I suggest you to make one more prize, just for me, who always sends the right answers but never wins. How about this idea? It’s too sad to see that you are right and to understand that you’re loser again…

Losing is an important part of life Any 😉 Perhaps you’ll get lucky next time.

Do you realize that on the Forum page you have listed 15 nouns that would make great names for your next singles? Ye gods, man! You’re sitting on top of a goldmine! I’m partial to Lurker, Browser and Accidental Stumbler myself. :->

I quite like ‘Pothouse’ or ‘Nutter’.

I recently found your web page by chance and was amazed especially at this section, particularly since DM members seemed so inaccessible to a lot of us. It is obvious that, given the amount of questions and the way in which you answer, you must like sitting in front of your computer and the Internet… Right?

I enjoy and appreciate the technology and the advantages the net has to offer but I do not sit in semi-darkness staring at the computer all day long. Q + A has proven very time-consuming so it is being overhauled in the next few weeks to make it more manageable. I couldn’t keep up with the website if it wasn’t for my wonderful missus…….

I know before this site was up and running, you had a fan working on Shunt, that certain problems came up, and you had to look elsewhere to get it working. Since then, are you happy that happened? And was the first Shunt going to be like it is now or was it different?

The basic design of the site hasn’t changed since its’ first conception. However, as you have mentioned, we were badly let down which put the whole project back by 2 – 3 months. There is, of course, always a plus side to these things. Through this adversity, both Hep and I had to learn an awful lot about web programming in order to fulfil the committments we had made. The end result is that we now have a site which we can not only direct and comfortably maintain, but that is also cost effective.

You must receive hundreds of e-mail’s sent into the website because of all the interactivity and the fan’s gallery. I was wondering who deals with the different parts of the site and if Alan reads everything.

Currently, there are 4 full-time members of the Shunt team plus one or two extras who help out. Between them, they deal with all the routine enquiries and filter out the irrelevant and moronic mails so that I don’t need to sift through junk. In fact, the Shunt staff are expert in spotting the cowards that hide behind false identities and bogus e-mail accounts (they give themselves away in all manner of ways).

All the text content in the site is written by myself and Hepzibah except where media quotes and features appear. The more technical areas are often covered by others although I oversee all the design aspects.

Could you tell me where I can find my questions that have been answered in November? I’ve looked in the archives but didn’t find them. What can I do if my Q’s were deleted?

I can assure you it’s nothing sinister Olga, it’s just that we have been so busy these past two months that archiving past Q + A got a little behind, that’s all. You should now find your question and my reply in the archives. Go to the Q + A archives page and use the word search. I will say however, that not all those questions included in each Latest Q + A will end up in the archives – for example, if there’s an answer from me directing someone to another archive or something that is now out of date or irrelevant etc. it won’t be included. Occasionally they get lost too.

In the latest q + a, you wrote: ‘failing to use capital letters is a heinous crime’
yeah, right. thats why you use lower case all over the shunt web-site, isn’t it? or are you just a hapless victim of designer madness?

Watch it Mr. Stromberg…… I actually said that sending questions to this forum which require my extremely over-worked assistant to waste valuable time tidying up before they can be included – such as your one above – are of great irritation. The use of lower case on Shunt is a question of design and esthetics – this is my website and I can do as I please. You (and anyone else who plans on getting shirty for that matter) are just a guest and if you want your questions answered in future, I suggest you take on board my rules and regulations. As it is, you have now incurred a 5 question penalty ban for wasting my time in replying to your nonsense…….and if you send anything else as badly written as the mess above, you will be permanently banned. I will also arrange for Frank and Miguel Carino to pay you a complimentary visit… 😉

Also, I’ve heard you say that you dislike MP3’s because they lose quality going from CD to MP3. MP3 is the only format that doesn’t lose fidelity in the transfer unless you explicitly compress it to save disc space. Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with a compressed MP3?

The only MP3’s I’ve heard are inevitably compressed, to save download time.

Okay, I know you’ve got someone in the gallery with a Recoil tattoo but how about folks with Depeche Mode tattoos? I’ve got two myself and since I’m far too ashamed of my horrible misshapen head to give you a picture of it, would you be at all interested in pictures of my tattoos?

Yeah, send some pics in if you like but your “horrible, mishapen head” sounds infinitely more interesting……..can’t you send a photo anyway? 😉

What do you think of the overtly commercial nature of the Depeche Mode website? Do you think that the marketing of DM related paraphenalia in anyway cheapens the integrity of the band and its music? I mean t-shirts are one thing but nail lacquer?

I did have a laugh at nail polish. I can’t imagine someone like Martin giving his consent to that one.

I’ve noticed that you post some of the dumbest questions in the world! If these are the 15 “best”, I’d like to see the ones that were rejected! Do the questions not get any better than this, or are you just throwing them in for humour?

Obviously a majority of enquiries are included because they’re either funny or I can formulate a relatively amusing response – let’s face facts, this forum’s been going for sometime now and there are very few sensible questions left to ask me.

While we’re at it, I’ve got a stupid question. I see a lot of people asking if you would autograph {insert the name of object here}, and you tell them to “send it to the addy below”. I have a friend Sandy who would like her butt autographed, but says she’ll settle for her underwear to bear your signature. Would that be too much?

See, you’re obviously intent in raising the tone with that one then. Send it along to the address below if you must……..;-)

Have you visited any of these auction web sites like eBay or Yahoo? As you can imagine many of the DM items for sale are bootleg recordings (video and audio) as well as other unreleased promotional material. The most treasured thing I have is a DAT soundboard recording from the last leg of the 1994 tour, partly due to the fact that it’s one of the last shows you performed in and also because it’s an excellent recording like no other.

I haven’t visited these auction sites but I know all about them. I also have a copy of the soundboard recording you mention – it’s nice because it features the trip-hop version of ‘I Want You Now’ which will probably never see the light of day.

Ahh, you’ve gotten yourself a Powerbook G3. What do you plan on doing with it? I mean, there are several musicians who play live with a powerbook. Hint, hint.

I just stroke it lovingly.

Alan, I don’t understand something: If people say you are “antisocial’ and don’t like to have contact with people but that the other members of Depeche Mode are so kind and normal, why do you have Q+A and they’re not interested in our questions to them? Please, don’t tell me that they don’t have time for this because they are too busy – I think that they could answer 10 questions every two months. What do you think? Could you speak with them about this, please?

I’m afraid I can’t speak for them Carlos – I’m not in Depeche Mode anymore……..

Could you tell me the name of the best chat that you have ever visited and do you visit other official band websites?

I don’t seem to have the time to join in on-line chats at the moment although I have registered with ‘Shuntania’, the real-time chat set up by someone from the Shunt mailing list – so if I get a moment, I may join in. I am also planning some on-line chat sessions via Virgin or one of the bigger musical outlets as promotion for the new LP nearer it’s release – details will be on the Bulletin page in advance so you can get involved if you want. As for good websites, there are many good ones out there – Gary Numan’s springs to mind because, like this one, he is closely involved and has good contact with his fans. He answers questions and updates the site regularly.

The design of Shunt is completely based on Intro’s campaign for ‘Unsound Methods’. Will you change it with the release of ‘Liquid’ ( a lot of work), will it remain the way it is or does the new design fit with ‘UM’ (some kind of continuation)?

As you say – a lot of work. It will be revamped to an extent, incorporating the new artwork and hopefully, with Intro doing this, there will be some sense of continuity. Will the site be totally re-designed? I doubt it. Some changes will be as a direct result of comments received from the current survey we are conducting and there will be some new features and a lot more news items. We also have a new person temporarily on board to help out with some of the more technical aspects.

It is with some concern that I note the presence of the questions “Favourite Recoil Album” and “Favourite Recoil Track” in this month’s editorial/survey thingy. As a suspected tree-hugging liberal, have you now elected to follow the whim of the people and base all future tracks on what we have already liked? Is this Millbank influenced strategy the result of a lack of confidence brought about by the fortieth birthday and will we see a new “third way” embracing neither the gloom-laden under produced and over-flanged pop of DM, nor the “boogie woogie bollocks” of Jules Holland?

Come on Charlie lead from the front.

Have no fear Mr Toal. We are just curious. Thought it would be interesting to tell YOU all what you think. Survey’s throwing up some surprising results. Seems Mr Moby’s none too popular for example. Oi – and less of the tree-hugging insults please.

Which Mapplethorpe book are the pics on this site from?

A very large one entitled…… wait for it……..’Mapplethorpe’.

So the pics on this site are from ‘Mapplethorpe’. Any plans on including some scans from the section between red pages?

As I said, my mother reads these pages…….

Looking at some of the visitor book comments, do any of the fairly fanatical rantings you regularly receive trouble you at all? I put a straightforward one-off message on the DM board recently and got a slightly over-enthusiastic response in return, which was enough to worry me.

I’m not troubled by them. Amused would be more accurate.

How many people make up the Shunt Staff?

They come and go. I like to sack on a regular basis;-)

Tell me the three things that you look for answer a question. I’m a bit desperateeeeeeee (It’s a joke)?

Intelligence, humour, potential for acerbic answer.

Just wondering if YOU really posted the following to a DM message board I found located at: <>

> Alan Wilder
> unregistered
> posted July 05, 1999 10:07 AM
> Hello there, friends, and thank you for those kind words.

>First of all, Recoil is and will always be my first priority, and remains a segment of my life that I am very proud to uphold. Recoil is the darker extension of my former musical self in that other band, oh, you may have heard of them..I prefer to explore the darker aspects of humanity, while instilling a richly layered soundscape within my usual electronic-based musical rhythm-romps. I first tried this with my debut effort, Hydrology 1 + 2, which is quite difficult to locate these days due to its sheer complexities and primative sentiments, not to mention the lack of support it received from the average wholesalers I have to deal with in the commercial sense. My second album is an extended version of Hydrology, Bloodline, that has a more rich, poppy sound that produced my very first single and somewhat radio-friendly music. You can find the video for “Faith Healer” at my Recoil web-site, which was a rather dreadful ordeal to film. My third album is probably my most mature and commercially-appropriate yet, Unsound Methods. Not only did it produce two-and a half singles (“Drifting”, “Stalker/MissingPiece” respectively), but it is the first to feature the musical talents of my lovely wife, along with the voices of several gospel singers I recruited from the “Songs of Faith and Devotion” project earlier. At the moment, I’m adding finishing touches and last-minute ideas to my upcoming new album, of which I’m still pondering over a good title. It should be out sometimes this fall, fingers-crossed, and I hope that you all will indeed take the time to search it out at your local music shops and listen to it for yourselves.

“…musical rhythm-romps”? “…primative sentiments”? “…lovely wife”?

Do you think it sounds like me? Can this person spell?

What do you think about getting a message board going? Is it feasible?

Doesn’t it just serve the same purpose as a mailing list?.

Do you chat on ICQ?


For 5 months now I’ve been submitting great Q and A questions and have not received the slightest response. So, would you please just say “Hi Kami?” I have no backstage stories of you to reminice about. I’m just a chick from Minnesota who went to as many concerts as possible and loves DM and Recoil.

Hi Kami. Sorry you haven’t had any of your questions answered before. I can’t guarantee that I’ll reply to everyone’s queries but a good thing to remember is to keep them short and amusing and avoid anything about DM unless you’re 100% sure it’s never been asked before.

Who made up the anagrams for the latest Recoil competition – they’re real cool! 😉

It was Hep……..she pretends that she actually works on the website but the reality is that she wastes loads of time coming up with phrases about snogging Dave. You should have seen some of the ideas that she almost had working, but not quite:



Oi, Supa Star Claps…..

U clap – I suss a prat….


Give Mart a needle now….

A.W. gave DM a note…..

No-name Dave relenting…..

DM Rage? Win a tenner, love…

Ravage Wilder, then rent one…..

Mean Dave won’t ring Lee……

Wilder gave me ‘n’ Ann no tea……

Dave – Agent venom…..

Gentleman Dave over……


Find hot Dave soon to snog……

Hi, I snog’d Dave’s fat foot…

I snog’d hot ‘n’ fit Dave on sofa…..


Yeah, I know M.L.G. sins….. 

Alan lick – or be……


Tart likes bloke who……

Slut trouble for A.W……..


…..And I thought I’d shacked up with someone intelligent.

You relied heavily on the internet as a promotion medium for ‘Liquid’; how would you rate its success overall (or thus far)? Do you think one day it will be a viable way for lesser-known artists to bypass the politics & economics of major record labels, yet still realise the distribution or promotion necessary to sustain that rock star lifestyle? Will it only work if you’re already famous?

To be honest, I’m a touch disappointed that our internet efforts haven’t had a bigger effect. As we found out from the Shunt survey, the majority of people out there feel that e-commerce is still not to be fully trusted. Also, the net relies on the visitor being inquisitive enough to search for something, and with so much choice, there are many distractions from that search. The truth is that to really sell music to people, you have to play it to them – incessantly – and the optimum way to do that is by sticking a transistor radio next to their luggholes for 24 hours a day. Back to square one then.

The net will catch on – internet radio is growing for example but it will take a bit longer than we think. One of the down sides of all our work with Shunt and the internet is that it seems to have exacerbated the lethargy that exists in other areas of marketing. The Mute press department has virtually given up and now that MTV has finally decided to give a Recoil single a significant spin, can you find the CD in the shops? Can you f***…….

How would you reconcile the paradox that, as the most liquid (ah!) medium ever devised, the Net allows non-mainstream artists/movements a public and accessible platform – yet simultaneously makes it easier than ever to distribute copyrighted materials?

The argument that Record Companies have always acted as filters for the dross that should never be for public consumption has never washed with me. Most of these companies have been responsible for inflicting the worst possible drivel on us for donkey’s years. The whole issue of copyright needs to be properly addressed, and I’m sure it will eventually, but I’m generally for free enterprise and an open forum.

Seeing how more bands these days (Foo Fighters for example) are bypassing the record companies and relying more on the internet to distribute their music, how do you feel this will effect the future of record companies? Do you think the music industry will someday be a virtual business?

Whatever your product, it has to be promoted and marketed. Yes, you can distribute in new ways but most musicians don’t have the ability, time or inclination to sell themselves properly, hence record companies. Seems to me that the more musicians get onto the net, the more important it then becomes to promote your product better than the next person – since there is more and more competition. Of course, the marketing, radio, TV, press and promotions people have to adapt but they are still a different breed, and very necessary. That’s not to say that it can’t all be done in virtual space of course but I suspect, as with most things, the internet will settle down and work in conjunction with all the other media outlets.

I just wanted to know what your thoughts are on the whole Metallica/Napster law suite? Do you support music sharing via the internet? Have you actually checked out Napster? I did do a search on Recoil and yes, you are on there for the world to download. Does this piss you off?

What exactly is Napster? I’m not quite up to scratch on the issue although I did hear it mentioned. I imagine they are making available commercially released music as free download? Even though I have a relaxed attitude to bootlegging, if that is the case, then it’s wrong. Maybe there is more to it – perhaps you could fill me in.

What do you think of the new (ish) translucent AppleMac colouring? The reason I ask is that I work at a computer rental company and consider translucent computers (iMac’s in particular as they now come in about 20 bloody colours) something of a stupidly shaped albatross around my neck. The matter was somewhat compounded when my chick told me she was considering BUYING me an iMac for my birthday ! What do you think – is beige the new black?

Actually, making computers in non-beige is something I’ve been moaning about for ages – they look crap in my office. However, the rather poofy translucent iMacs are not what I was looking for, preferring as I do, the sleek black G4 powerbook. I don’t really want to see the inside of a hard drive. What I really want for my office is a great looking plasma 52 inch TV/Computer combination (in non-beige) that disappears into the wall when not in use.

What is your opinion on new laws being passed by the British government to allow MI5 to read through every single e-mail that moves through England, and to monitor all internet activity by the British public?

They may regret their decision when the poor chap who is assigned the task of monitoring Shunt – the mailing list reports his findings 🙂

I just want to know if you were affected by this ‘Love Bug’ virus that originated from my country, Philippines. I hope that you will not judge the rest of the Filipinos from such a crime. My personal apologies for those who have been a victim – I’m really ashamed that my fellow countrymen have done this to the world!

I don’t hold you personally responsible, Asymetrix Computer Center – you’re forgiven. Anyway, being a Mac user, and since viruses seem to be mainly designed for PC, I seem to have remained disease-free so far.