What music do you like to listen to?
I’m still attached to the bands I listened to when I was younger such as The Beatles, Bowie (pre. 1980), Hendrix, some Pink Floyd (‘Meddle’ and ‘Dark Side of the Moon’), Roxy Music, Eno, Peter Gabriel, Alex Harvey, Mott the Hoople, Magazine, Television, Ian Dury, Public Image (when they first started), Kraftwerk, Talk Talk (last 3 LP’s), Cocteau Twins etc.
I really like singers such as K.D. Lang, Jimmy Scott, Julie London, Nat King Cole, Billie Holliday, Arethra Franklin etc.
Current groups I like include Radiohead, Morphine, Beck, Rage Against the Machine, Massive Attack, Portishead, Soul Coughin’, Eels and some rap and dance bands like House of Pain, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Juno Reactor, Tresor, and LFO.
Proper Soundtracks with dialogue as opposed to compiled pop soundtracks include Clockwork Orange, The Godfather, Taxi Driver, anything by Angelo Badalamenti, Morricone, John Barry etc.
In terms of classical music I particularly like modern British composers like Elgar and Vaughan Williams, Walton etc., 20th century Europeans such as Berg and Schoenberg, Shostokovich, Mahler etc., New world composers: Gershwin, Barber, Kurt Weil and the minimalists like Reich, Glass, Nyman and Wim Mertens. I also like traditional Irish and Cajun, Mike Flowers, Margarita Pracatan and, of course, Little Jimmy Osmond.
I have an enormous collection with just about everything you could imagine so it’s impossible to list everything.
What do you think about the progress of the current dance music scene? I mean to the extent that The Prodigy won MTV awards in 3 categories. Do you think they represent a dark side of music?
Well, they are bitch-smacking, twisted firestarters so they must be pretty fierce.
Did you know that there is a Canadian band called Delerium that has sampled a lot of your stuff and used these samples in their own songs – sometimes to the extent that the whole song is built on a Recoil sample? The same thing goes for a side project of theirs called Intermix. Did you know about this and what do you think of it? Have you heard any of their music?
This sounds very familiar – I think I’ve heard this but I’m not sure. If you send me a copy, I’ll let you know what I think….
Have you ever heard the older Kraftwerk albums called ‘Kraftwerk’ and ‘II’? What do you think about this side of Kraftwerk?
Yes, and also Ralf and Florian’s L.P. You can hear where their later ideas came from especially in the rhythm.
I was interested to read in a past archive that you are not all that familiar with The Cure’s albums. He like you, is a master of dark, atmospheric work. His lyrics are great and musically he really knows how to grab your soul. Given his effort with ‘World In My Eyes’ on the ‘For the Masses’ compilation, do you think that any collaboration may eventuate in the future between you? Or are the inter-record label logistical problems more hassle than they are worth? Or maybe you just don’t like him?
I wouldn’t call ‘Love Cats’ and ‘Friday I’m In Love’ particularly dark…. Robert’s a nice bloke but I don’t really think our two projects have all that much in common.
How do you like fellow Mute artists: I Start Counting, Fortran 5 and Komputer?
I Start Counting and Fortran 5 are, in fact, one and the same and I never much cared for them in either of their guises. I don’t know who’s behind Komputer but they are doing pop Kraftwerk for some reason. Is it a joke or a tribute? – I can’t tell.
I need to know about the availability of a CD by Jocelyn Montgomery, a David Lynch artist? Do you know anything about it?
No, unless by some coincidence you are talking about Jocelyn West (ex. Miranda Sex Garden), who was supposed to be making an album with Angelo Badalamenti. Yes I know she has a different surname but she apparently got married recently so her name may have changed. I could easily be completely wrong about this but there aren’t that many Jocelyn’s. Anybody know about this?
Would you ever consider working with Bjork (’cause I think her music needs a kick up the arse) or Madonna?
Bjork I think is interesting but I’m not sure I could stand her voice for long. I just heard Madonna’s new single ‘ Ray of Light’ (oh dear) so I wouldn’t ask me that one just now.
I´ve just heard a new Madonna album ‘Ray Of Light’ and I think Mr. William Orbit, who did the production, has very similar methods of producing music to you. What do you think about him?
I know he’s been quoted as saying he likes Recoil. He’s ok. He did a remix of ‘Walking in my shoes’ which wasn’t bad.
What did you think of William Orbit’s contribution on the new Madonna record?
I’ve only heard the ‘Frozen’ single (after all the talk on ‘Faith’) and to be perfectly honest, didn’t think the song itself was up to much, which is why I haven’t bought her LP. I just know it will be disappointing. I suppose considering what he had to work with, he’s done an o.k. job – the remixes were appalling though.
IWhat do you think of William Orbit’s technique (I know he didn’t pioneer it) of dumping all the audio into an old tape deck and then digitally recording that playback, making an older cinema retro sound. Do you use this process?
It’s quite a nice idea. I think Portishead did something similar by actually cutting some of their sounds onto vinyl before re-using them for scratches etc. It’s not something I have done but some of my samples have inherent ‘noise’ that comes with them, adding to the overall character of the sounds.
Do you like Garbage or Massive Attack? If so did you get their new albums? What do you think?
I have the new Massive Attack album, some of which I really like although there are a couple of ‘filler’ tracks that they could have done without. At one stage I really wanted to work with Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins), so it’s an interesting coincidence that they decided to use her too.
What’s your opinion on Britpop music like Suede, Pulp and other bands like that, do you ever listen to it?
I quite like Pulp’s singles but there’s not much else in the Britpop scene that I’m particularly enthusiastic about.
What do you think of other synthpop type bands, like Erasure and The Pet Shop boys. Do you enjoy that type of music?
Erasure and The Pet Shop Boys – not my cup of tea…
You and Robert Smith: both QPR fans, both write dark introspective music – possible connection?
You’d write depressing music too if you had to watch QPR.
My question is about Morrissey. Have you had a chance to pick up his new album ‘My Early Burglary Years’, a B-side + rarity collection? If so, what do you think of it? And secondly, and more importantly, is Moz on your list of possible vocalists for the next Recoil album?
No, I haven’t heard it. I haven’t actually seen it – is it out yet? I do like Morrissey’s voice and I think he would suit Recoil. What do you think?
Also, do you know that there is a German band called Sea of Sin? They are quite good, actually.
I’d never heard of them until now.
Do you keep in contact with Matt Johnson from The The? He disappeared after the sickening (to me anyhow) Hank Williams thing he put out.
No, I don’t have any contact with him.
I’m a huge fan of Tangerine Dream. Which is your favourite album of theirs?
Rubycon, Phyedra (if that’s how you spell it).
What do you think about Garbage and Curve similarities?
Curve were around before Garbage and are still streaks ahead.
Is it true that during a U2 concert on the ZOO TV tour (when Bono used to watch TV on stage), he changed to MTV where the ‘Never Let Me Down Again’ video appeared, and started to sing it with the crowd? Did you hear something about this?
I’ve never heard about this.
Could you give me an opinion about the Front 242 ‘Re-born’ tour (I called it this because they haven’t released a new studio album since 1993’s ‘Fuck Up Evil’ and ‘Evil Off’ LP’s.
I don’t know anything about this.
Have you heard Doctor Octagon’s album? If so, what do you think? Would you like to work with someone that is a good rapper but can also give another angle to the music?
I haven’t heard Dr. Octagon. As for rappers – yes, that’s why I liked Maggie. Obviously, she’s not what you would think of as a rapper but spoken word seems to suit a lot of my music. It would be great to find a male voice that was equally as different.
I wonder how you and Hep listen to CDs – do you sit still on a sofa or do you listen to the CD while cleaning the floors, ironing shirts or washing the dishes? And what do you do if you really dislike the first song of a CD, will you continue to listen to the whole CD?
We listen much like anyone else – at the moment we’ve got a gospel CD on. It’s great, just voice and organ. Unfortunately our CD collection is full of CD’s that we’ve never listened to beyond track 1, if we’ve even got that far…..
What do you think of Marc Almond´s music? Have you got any of his albums at home? Do you have a favourite Soft Cell song?
I’ve never liked his voice. I have ‘Non Stop Erotic Cafe’ and I liked ‘Sex Dwarf’.
Don’t you feel sorry for old Mr. Oldfield, desperately living on his past successes (‘Tubular Bells’), and now releasing a TB III, which is not worth listening to? I think it’s so sad seeing your old heroes sinking into the mud, and noone cares. It’s kind of like watching Romario or Maradonna playing football again.
Yes I agree – it’s sad to see musicians resort to re-runs because they can’t face life out of the limelight. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you’re perhaps passed your sell-by date or the magic has gone and you should hang up your boots and retire gracefully. Unfortunately in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, the trend is to flog the thing for all it’s worth.
Do you consider ‘Pet Sounds’ & ‘Smile’ to be the most significant, the most innovative albums ever made within pop music?
Not really no. They’re good records but there are others I would listen to first. I like some Beach Boys songs like ‘God Only Knows’ (which is brilliant). Brian Wilson’s an interesting character (pothouse).
Speaking of the Fairlight, Jarre uses this and a lot of other stuff, do you ever growl when you see his listing of studio equipment and do you like his music/innovations?
I couldn’t give a toss about Jarre’s studio equipment. “Oi, Jarre…..NO! I admire your use of fancy light shows on big walls but……”
Have you ever heard of a band called AND ONE?
Did you like The Cure’s ‘Pornography’ album? If not, what is your favourite of theirs?
Is that the one with ‘The Forest’ on it? – if so, it’s not bad. To be honest, I’m not that familiar with their albums, I just know the odd track.
I was wondering if you have had any musical influences whatsoever from Canada’s Skinny Puppy? What do you think of Skinny Puppy’s contribution to dark electronic music?
I’m not really familiar with their music.
Name a few electronic musicians that you really like (1974 -1998).
Kraftwerk, D.A.F., Eno, Daniel Miller, Tangerine Dream, Nitzer Ebb, Plastikman, many others…..
Toni Halliday / Alan Wilder – a darker Yaz-like arrangement for the new millennium?
Mmmm, I don’t think so. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to work permanently with anyone else.
Do you like Talking Heads?
Have you ever met Morrissey and if so what do you think of him?
I’ve never met him but I’m a great admirer of his words. His music’s not adventurous enough though.
Have you heard of Tanya Donelly? If so, would you consider working with her on the next Recoil project?
Who is she? Sounds like a Country and Western singer.
What do you think of the last Curve album?
I like it.
Surely you have heard the other releases from Madonna’s latest album. Have you changed your mind now or do you still have a low opinion of her new material?
I don’t have a particularly low opinion of her. I have liked a few of her singles like ‘Human Nature’ and ‘Justify’ etc.. I’m just not interested enough to buy the LP.
Would you comment on ‘The Prodigy’ and Liam Howletts way of making music?
I can understand the appeal of this dance / rock synthesis and I like some of their stuff – I just don’t think it’s particularly groundbreaking – I mean, Nitzer Ebb were doing a similar thing 10 years ago but it just wasn’t considered trendy then.
Have you heard the band Lamb and what do you think of them?
Yes, I’ve got a Lamb album – some of it’s interesting. I like the fact that it’s minimal but I’m not sure if the approach sustains your interest for an entire LP.
What is in your CD player right now and what is so good that it stays in there for months?
Latest CD’s = new albums by U.N.K.L.E., Moloko, The Aloof, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Whale. Out of that selection, I will probably re-listen to Moloko and Whale more than the others.
Are you familiar with a guy called Beaumont Hannant? He thanks you (or Recoil rather) in the credits of his album, ‘Sculptured’.
I’ve never heard of him. I’ll check him out when I have the chance.
Do you ever listen to Nick Abbot on Talk Radio?
Can’t say I have, no.
I’ve read somewhere that Axl Rose likes DM and that you’ve met him. What did you think?
I’ve never had a proper conversation with him so I couldn’t tell you what he’s like.
Do you sometimes listen to DM records? If so, how frequently and what are your favourites?
Well I’ve been listening to the singles compilation recently. From this, my favourites are ‘Stripped’, ‘Never Let Me Down’ , ‘Walking In My Shoes’, ‘I Feel You’ and ‘In Your Room’. My favourite LP is ‘SOFAD’.
Where do you normally buy your records? Records in London are a third more expensive than here in Germany. The only thing I liked was the really big assortment. What do you think?
As I no longer live in London, I am pretty much at the mercy of my local and very crap ‘Our Price’. However, when I do get up to town, I tend to visit the big megastores – either Virgin or HMV. I haven’t noticed the price difference.
Could you tell how it all happened when THE CURE asked you to join?
It was more of an enquiry, rather than a direct question. I thought it was a joke at first (but I’m assured they were serious). Daryl Bamonte, who used to work for DM and now works within the Cure organisation, asked me. The last thing on my mind was to go and join another band.
What are the chances of Robert Smith doing something on your next album?
I haven’t really thought about that one.
What is your opinion of the trip-hopper Tricky? Is he someone you would consider working with?
Did you compose most of the music on ‘Ebbhead’ or was your production input limited to arrangements etc.?
Obviously I wasn’t involved in writing any of the songs but I did, on occasion, contribute a musical idea or part – as any producer would.
I interviewed CURVE recently and Toni was talking about how “great of a mate you are.” Their show was fantastic. Have you heard ‘Come Clean’ [Curve’s new album]?
Toni’s a good friend and the whole Curve lot are really nice. I think the new albums very good – particularly tracks 2 and 3. I saw their London gig a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it – especially the aftershow bash…….;-)
Tori Amos and you are my greatest influences, I was wondering if you had ever met her and have considered working with her?
I’ve never met her. I’m not sure I like her voice enough but, maybe…..
I noticed in the interview with you on Mute Records’ website that you cited Talk Talk as one of your favourite bands. I think they are one of the most underrated groups of the 80s and early 90s. I’m just curious as to what you liked the most about their music and if you would consider them to be a musical *influence* on you.
I think ‘The colour of Spring’, ‘Sprit of Eden’, and ‘Laughing Stock’ are all brilliant albums. Great instrumentation, lots of space, good songs etc… They are also like nobody else’s records – which I think is to their credit. I was a bit disappointed with Mark Hollis’ new album though, considering how much I liked the last few Talk Talk albums. It was less adventurous. I take influences from all music that appeals to me.
I read that you didn’t like Pet Shop Boys and Erasure – what about The Human League?
‘Dare’ was a great pop album and their very early stuff was quite interesting.
Are you familiar with the British group Art Of Noise? If so, have you ever considered working with Trevor Horn?
Yes. And No.
In the vein of your ‘Faith Healer’ mixes, have you ever put any thought into allowing Portishead, Massive Attack, the Scream Team, Danny Saber, Paul Oakenfold or Jon Carter (Monkey Mafia) to do any mixes for you? I would love to see a couple of stomping dance versions of your tracks.
I think Massive Attack could probably do quite a good remix of a Recoil track. I wouldn’t be so interested in Paul Oakenfold and I don’t know who Jon Carter is.
How many albums do you own? What trends are there in your music collection and how often do you buy new music?
Thousands. We’ve got every different style you could imagine although there’s an appropriate lack of Country and Western……I buy CD’s regularly.
How do you find David Syvian’s work?
A bit too ambient for me but he has done some good things.
Would you consider his voice to work with?
I don’t think he’d be right for Recoil.
Who are your favourite reggae artists?
Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, a few others….
You think that Tricky is overrated. How many times did you listen to Maxinquaye?
Enough times to realise he’s overrated. It’s not that I hate his music, I just don’t think it’s as special as people make out. Have you heard his version of ‘Judus’?
Do you generally prefer the sound of male or female vocalists?
I don’t really have a preference although it seems to be easier to think of female singers that I like, as opposed to male.
Was your work on ‘Come Alive’, off Nitzer Ebb’s ‘As is’ is very comprehensive. Can you elaborate on your input here?
Yes. They gave me the track in demo form and then gave me a free reign to do pretty much what I wanted with it.
Have you ever thought on working with jazz musicians or making a whole new type of sound in that kind of music?
Would you ever consider asking Angela Conway to be a guest vocalist? (Angela directed the ‘Faith Healer’ video and did soothing, ethereal vocals on the A.C. Marias album ‘One of Our Girls’).
I personally find her video directing skills more appealing than her voice.
Have you heard ‘One of Our Girls’ and if so, what did you think of it?
I’ll have to give it another listen because I can’t remember what it’s like.
Have you heard Propaganda’s first album ‘Wishful Thinking’? If so, what do you think about it?
No, I haven’t heard it.
What do you think of Warp production and Autechre specifically?
I like L.F.O., I can’t listen to Autechre.
Are you familiar with the ‘Sneaker Pimps’, do you like their work?
They’re alright. I like some of their stuff.
What do you think about U2’s more electronic sound on ‘Pop’?
I don’t hear a great electronic direction apart from one or two tracks (probably Flood’s influence).
Two weeks ago I bought the new Massive Attack album ‘Mezzanine’. Did they use some of your ‘SOFAD’ noises, i.e. the intro. snare of ‘Get Right With Me’.
Yes, I spotted that one immediately – better get in touch with my solicitor 😉 Actually, my attitude is ‘good luck to them’ – I have no problem with it. I suspect that it was provided by Mark ‘Spike’ Stent who was involved with mixing ‘SOFAD’ and undoubtedly has a library of sounds from it. He also mixed the Massive Attack album.
Have you ever met the members of Kraftwerk?
I’ve met Karl – he used to show up back-stage at DM shows in Germany.
Have you ever seen a show by them and if so, did you like it?
Yes, I saw them at the Brixton Academy in ’91. I particularly enjoyed the films running during the show.
Do you know Wolfgang Flur´s band YAMO (album ‘Time-Pie’)?
Have you heard the ‘Event Horizon’ soundtrack and if so, what did you think of it?
No, I haven’t heard it.
Is there any chance you will work with either Matt Johnson or K.D. Lang in the future?
I think K.D. Lang would be an interesting Recoil vocalist. To take someone who has a great voice but makes fairly safe music and intergrate it into something altogether more dark and disturbing, is an idea that appeals to me.
Do you not feel that if Moz [Morrisey] was more ‘musically adventurous’ it would perhaps detract from the lyrics for which is he esteemed?
No, on the contrary, it would enhance them.
Have you ever met U2? Do you like their music and what do you think of Bono?
Yes, I’ve spoken to The Edge briefly. I’ve never met the others even though they’ve been to some of our shows and we’ve ended up in the same bars and clubs. I’m not a major fan of Bono’s voice but I do think U2 put a lot of thought into what they do and are very good at promoting themselves.
What bands influenced you most growing up and during your musical career?
It’s hard to say really. I particularly liked David Bowie and The Beatles and later on, Kraftwerk.
Do you listen to lesser known synth-based bands such as Red Flag, Camouflage, Information Society, Anything Box, etc.?
No, I don’t have any of their records.
Like you, I’m a Curve fan and I’d love to know your view on the latest album: Were you ever tempted to give advice (or were you asked any advice) on production etc. seeing as Dean and Toni are friends of yours?
I liked the album but I wouldn’t presume to offer any kind of advice unless asked – which I wasn’t.
Who is/are your favourite industrial music artist(s)?
All the N’s – Nitzer Ebb, NIN, Neubauten
What do you think of the music by Tears For Fears? Have you ever met Curt or Roland?
I’ve liked some of their stuff over the years although Roland should cut the choreography. I’ve met both of them on the odd occasion and they seem like nice blokes.
In a recent answer, you mentioned “a great woman” who said ” je ne regrette rien” – It’s the famous french female singer Edith Piaf. Do you like her? And what about Jacques Brel?
Yes, I like both of these.
What do you think about Air?
I liked that recent single ‘Sexy Boy’ but I’ve found the rest of the album harder to get into – I need more time to listen to it.
Do you like Sakamoto and especially his soundtrack for the film “Furyo” which featured Bowie. Do you like the film too?
I’m not mad on Sakamoto and I haven’t seen this film so I can’t comment.
You’ve said in previous Q & A’s, that it was easier for you to name favourite female vocalists than male. Mind telling us some of them?
Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins), K.D. Lang, Neneh Cherry, Julie London….
Do you know if there is a song called ‘Warm Latharet’ or something like that from The Mormal (produced I think in the late 70′ -early 80’s) I’ve heard this song around 10 years ago.
It was the very first record released by Mute. The Normal, is or was, Dan Miller and the song was called ‘Warm Leatherette’. For further information, go to Media – features and see the article ‘The Band’, which has an interview with Dan.
Did you ever hear of the swiss duo Yello, if so, can I have your opinion, please?
Yes, they’ve done some good stuff. Their videos are more interesting than their music I think.
Marylin Manson: musical marketing genius or fruity bastard?
Somewhere in between probably…
I’ve always thought ‘Freeze’ has a very soothing trance-like feel to it. Do you enjoy the similar sounds of Aphex Twin or any other such “ambient” type music?
As far as ambient goes, some of Eno’s albums would be top of my list although I tend to think he spreads himself a bit thin. There have been a couple of other things I’ve quite liked but it’s not a genre I get particularly excited about.
As a guy who bravely left his prior successful band to pursue his own career interests, do you have any words of advice for Ginger Spice in her currently similar situation?(hahahahahahahhhhh!!)
Now, go and get what you really, really want……..Zig a zig doh!
Since you seem to be a guy who enjoys cutting and pasting random samples all around his own music, do you appreciate the hugely popular sample-happy stylings of Beck and / or the Beastie Boys?
Yes, I like both of the above. They use samples in a fresh, creative way.
Of all bands in the early 80’s, do you think any of them were of any good quality? If so, which ones?
It’s difficult to think of many. The Smiths were good, Tears For Fears, Psychedelic Furs………er……..
Have you heard the new Smashing Pumpkins album and if so, what do you think of Bon Harris’ work on it?
I haven’t heard it yet. I’m sure Bon’s contribution will have added some interesting aspects to the overall sound.
What did you think of Nitzer Ebb’s last album ‘Big Hit’?
My opinion is a bit clouded by the knowledge of some of the problems they encountered trying to complete it. I know it took them an unreasonable amount of time to finish and by the end of the experience, they were virtually over as a group. Having said that, it’s not a bad album but perhaps a bit patchy.
One of my all-time, synth-pop heroes, (besides you off course :-), is Phil Oakey. Have you ever met him and would you consider working with him?
No, I’ve never met him and he’s not someone I would really consider right for Recoil.
You have sited Kraftwerk as an influence. How was it working with Francois Kevorkian on ‘Violator’?
Francois wasn’t the easiest person I’ve found to work with – he’s quite overbearing in the studio and can be a bit ‘difficult’. However, I really like him and I do think he did a very good job for DM at a time when we needed someone to come in and add a different perspective to the project. In hindsight, the fact that he could be somewhat demanding, brought about a kind of tension that fired people up and consequently worked in our favour.
Which record features your remix of Toni Halliday’s ‘Time Turns Around’?
I think it was a single but I don’t know much about it. Why don’t you check out the Curve website (go to Connections – links).
In 1995 I attended a Human League concert for the first time and it was absolutely brilliant – pure electronic pop with a set up of 3 synths and electronic percussion. I’m going to see them again in December on the big ‘Rewind’ tour, with ABC and Culture Club. Will you catch them on this tour and have you seen them live before, perhaps in their prime around 1981/82? If so, how was it? What do you think of the whole ‘Rewind’ idea?
I’ve never seen the Human League but I’ve liked one or two of their tracks over the years, although I’m not quite as enthusiastic as you ;-). Revivals are ok I suppose but I’m not so sure about touring – some things are best left alone when they come to an end.
What do you think about New Order coming back? Do you like their music and if so, what is your favourite album / single? Have you been to any of their concerts in more recent times and did you like what you heard? What do you think of their side-projects, Electronic and Monaco?
I didn’t notice when they went away and I hadn’t noticed that they’d come back. This doesn’t mean I dislike them, I just don’t really notice them.
After DM and Recoil my favourite band is Nitzer Ebb, so I was extremely excited when you got to produce both ‘Come Alive’ and ‘Ebbhead’ which I think was the high point of NE’s catalogue. I heard Douglas say in an interview that Flood did a “Judas” on them (I think he went off to produce ‘Achtung Baby’) and you ended up doing most of the work. So how was it in general to work with them? How far did you take the songs from the demo stage and what exactly does a Nitzer Ebb demo sound like?
We started the project, without Flood, in a programming room. Bon and Doug already had some very loose sketches of some tracks but apart from this, the programming and recording of the album was one and the same. Flood joined us towards the end of the programming period and left again to work on the U2 record shortly before the end of the recording period . I finished the recording and mixed the album with Steve Lyon at Konk Studios. Doug is a dream to work with – very open-minded and willing to be flexible on all matters. Bon is more protective and subject to overdoing a good idea. I would point out that despite this, I still got on very well with Bon. Generally, I found their attitude to be something I respect – they were both very conscientious and hard working and wanted to get the absolute best out of the record.
In her question to you on June 10th, Alexandra Chlup mentions a new song sounding very much like ‘Red River Cargo’. I think it comes from Tricky’s new album ‘Broken Homes’ and features P.J. Harvey as guest vocalist. Would you like to work with her in the future or do you think that it would be somehow inappropriate because of her recent collaboration with Tricky (and also Nick Cave)?
I haven’t heard the Tricky album so I can’t comment on it. As for P.J. Harvey, I do find her work quite interesting.
In an earlier answer (29/5), you said you “can’t listen to Autechre”. Is this just a question of taste or can I draw a connection with another of your replies “I think it´s actually a bit too easy to just knock out an instrumental L.P. and then call it ‘experimental’…”?
I just find their music too abrasive to listen to for any length of time.
I have read that you like Roxy Music. Have you had a chance to hear Dave’s take on ‘Song For Europe’ and what did you think of it?
No, I’ve seen lots of comments about this but never heard it.
Are you familiar with the work of Al Jourgensen and his group Ministry? I’ve always thought their history and musical influence has an interesting parallel to DM and some of your latest Recoil work.
I’ve been aware of Ministry for some time – they’ve been around for years – but I couldn’t say I’m familiar with their music.
I was quite amused when I listened to the Chemical Brothers’ first album, ‘Exit Planet Dust’ because the first track also contains samples from ‘Bloodline’. Did you know that?
Yes, I’m aware of that.
I’m glad to read that one of your favourite Mute acts is Renegade Soundwave. The last time I bumped into Danny he was alongside a beautiful black lady and they were working together. Do you know anything about him? Do you keep in touch?
I don’t really know him (or Gary) very well, I just liked their music. The black girl is his wife.
What’s your opinion on bands like The Prodigy, The Orb and Daft Punk?
From those 3, I like Daft Punk the most.
Do you have any relations with any Front 242 band members and what do you think about them?
I know Richard from Front 242, he’s always been a very friendly bloke.
Are you familiar with any Sisters Of Mercy records? Would you be interested in working with Andrew Eldritch?
Yes and not particularly.
Since you’ve been a fan of Curve from the beginning, what do you think: Are Garbage just a bunch of Yankee copycats or an original modern rock group?
The problem I have with Garbage, and I could be wrong, is that they feel like a record company driven / manufactured group. I liked a couple of tracks on their first album but I was disappointed with their new L.P.
Would you consider having Elizabeth Fraser doing vocals for your music?
Yes, I would have loved to have used her but I can’t really do it now as it would seem like jumping on the Massive Attack bandwagon.
Which song do you like best on ‘Mezzanine’?
‘Angel’, track 2 and the single, ‘Teardrop’
What made OMD one of the crappiest support bands ever!?
McClusky rates himself a bit too highly for my liking which is always dangerous if you’re languishing in the ‘where are they now’ file. We bowled them all out for 10 runs in the DM vs. OMD cricket match – and I got McClusky’s wicket….laugh….
The beginning of ‘Stalker’ slightly reminds me of Pink Floyd. Would you say that they have had a certain influence on you?
I do like Pink Floyd c. late 60’s to mid 70’s, i.e. ‘Meddle’, ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ etc. and I’d recommend any of these albums to Recoil fans.
What do you think of artists such as Madonna who are amateurs in the electronic music area. Some say she has brought soul and the human element into electronic music, when Depeche and Recoil have already done that for many years now?
I don’t feel strongly about Madonna’s music. I doubt she has all that much to do with it. It’s probably the part of her career she is least interested in. ‘Frozen’ is a William Orbit record with her voice on top. I prefer her more spoken efforts like ‘Human Nature’ etc..
Have you ever considered working with Martyn Philips?
Have you heard a band called Cause & Effect and if so, what do you think about their music?
I don’t know them.
We know that you are somewhat fond of Angelo Badalamenti’s work. Have you heard ‘Booth and the Bad Angel,’ his project with Tim Booth (of James)? I think it’s really unique and intriguing. What do you think?
I’ve deliberately not listened to it because I suspect I will hate it. They’re a pairing, in my opinion, that couldn’t possibly work. However, Badalamenti and Marianne Faithful ‘A Secret Life’ – now that worked, have you heard it?
You said you like David Bowie’s music only ’till 1980 but what do you think of his recent work, ‘Earthling’ or ‘Outside’?
Speaking of Peter Gabriel, what kind of work from him do you prefer – the kind he did shortly after leaving Genesis or the more recent stuff like his film music or his work with ethnic artists?
The albums he made in the first few years after leaving Genesis were, I think, his most innovative. Some of his more recent work is also good, for example ‘Passion’ that was used for the soundtrack to ‘The Last Temptation Of Christ’.
Did you ever listen to the 1992 Intermix album ‘Phaze Two’? There’s a Recoil sample on almost each of its eleven tracks, mainly taken from ‘Bloodline’ and ‘Faith Healer’ – Deformity mix.
No, I’ve never heard it.
Do you have any opinion on the work of Ultravox and Gary Numan? What do you think of the retro “scary” analog sounds of the early / late 70’s / 80s?
John Foxx-era Ultravox – good, Midge Ure-era Ultravox – this means nothing to me. As for Gazza, he’s a nice chap but you wouldn’t get me up in a plane with him. The last time I saw him, he was talking to god on the great white telephone 😉
What’s your favourite Public Enemy LP (mine’s ‘It Takes a Nation…’) and what do you think of the new soundtrack they’ve done for Spike Lee?
I like most of their albums although I really like ‘Musik and our mess age’. I don’t think I’ve heard the new Spike Lee thing.
Was the fact that ‘Ebbhead’ didn’t do well commercially a big disappointment to you and NE?
Er no, I never really thought about it to be honest. I didn’t have any great expectations that the Ebb would suddenly become incredibly popular.
Did you enjoy working on it?
I’m glad I did it but it got a bit tense towards the end. I wasn’t sorry to see the project finished and I must admit, it’s made me very hesitant about taking on other production jobs – I’m a musician first and foremost and I found the role of producing someone else’s music energy-sapping and ultimately, perhaps a little unfulfilling. This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, I just prefer to concentrate on doing my own thing.
Have you ever heard of an artist called FALCO from Vienna who recently died in a car crash in the Caribbean? If so, what do you think of his music, for example songs like ‘Rock Me Amadeus’?
Um……Yes, I’ve heard all of his song.
What do you think of Hanson?
I try not to think of Hanson.
Favourite ever concert that you attended?
Probably Charlton Athletic football ground, 1974-ish, to see The Who, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Little Feat, Streetwalkers and a few others….
What is your opinion on the music of Talking heads and David Byrne? Have you seen the concert ‘Stop Making Sense’ and if so, what did you think of it?
I’ve never been a big fan of Talking Heads but around that time, in theory, I thought they were quite interesting. Their music just doesn’t groove and his voice is often too quirky for me.
Do you like the music of Jean Michel Jarre and how do you rate him as a musician/producer/performer?
He’s totally overrated. He managed to find the ‘arpeggiator’ button on the Roland JP8 in the early 80’s and he’s been using it ever since, whilst spending fortunes shining lights onto walls…
Would you consider asking the singer from Portishead to work on the next / or another future Recoil project? After listening to their two releases I just get the impression that she would be suited to your music, do you agree?
I like their music but I’m not really interested in using her as a collaborator.
What is the better release by Radiohead -‘The Bends’ or ‘OK Computer’?
Have you ever heard Mike Oldfield’s early work- ‘Tubular Bells’, ‘Hergest Ridge’, ‘Ommadawn’)? I usually think that electronic music is really deeper than usual acoustic stuff but those pieces are outstandingly deep and full of atmosphere, like the kind of things you produce.
I quite liked ‘Tubular Bells’ at the time because it was so different. It sounds totally daft now.
Which Mute artists interest you the most?
I like various bits and pieces, especially Diamanda Galas and some of the NovaMute dance lot. Unfortunately a lot of my favourites like Nitzer Ebb and Renegade Soundwave are no longer in existence.
Apart from DM, Doug (and Nitzer Ebb), Moby, Barry Adamson and Erasure, what other MUTE artists do you personally know? Do you know, for example, Diamanda Galas?
I met Diamanda once a long time ago. I know Danny and Gary from Renegade Soundwave, I’ve met some members of Neubauten and Nick Cave’s band., Frank Tovey and various others. Mute is a very incestuous company and being located in a small building with it’s own studios, it is not uncommon for the artists to bump into one another.
Have you ever been asked to produce a Polish band, ‘Hedone’? 2 years ago I read that they were going to ask you.
Maybe I was asked, I don’t remember. I get many requests.
What kind of music does Paul Kendal make. Could you explain it?
For those who don’t know who P.K. is see: Report – editorial – June. In the editorial, P.K. probably didn’t explain his music very clearly because it’s pretty unexplainable. It’s very experimental and deals more with ‘aural sculpting’ of individual sounds as opposed to traditionally structured music. It’s minimal but not necessarily ambient. Don’t expect lots of melodies 😉
Recently in one of your answers you said, “PK’s music is very experimental and deals more with ‘aural sculpting’ of individual sounds as opposed to traditionally structured music.” Speaking of ‘aural sculpting’ and sheer noise for that matter, what do you think of the demented releases of Mute labelmate Boyd Rice / NON? Is it ‘bad art’ as some have criticised, or do you find it creative in some way (at least from a non-musical standpoint)?
Well I have no problem with it and I’m glad there’s an outlet for extreme art because everything has it’s place. Trouble is, I can’t listen to it.
I always thought that The Mission would have been the ultimate opening band for DM. Were they, if you can remember, ever asked or considered as an opening act? What do you think of the music?
Well Wayne’s a thoroughly nice chap. He lives in L.A. now. I don’t think they were ever considered as support.
Any thoughts, in musical terms (visual image aside) on Danielle Dax?
I don’t know anything about her to be honest.
Any thoughts, in musical terms (visual image aside) on Japan? (the band, not the island nation)
I had a soft spot for Japan around the early 80’s (Tin Drum) and Hep likes the even earlier stuff – ‘Adolescent Sex’ and ‘Obscure Alternatives’. I thought Japan were well-produced and quite different to a lot of other music that was around at the time.
Have you ever heard of a band called Broadcast? They’re on the WARP label and they’re an enigma unto themselves, nice and dark.
Can’t say I have.
As a David Lynch fan, you must be aware of the similarities of the Eno mixes of ‘I Feel You’ to Lynch’s song ‘The Pink Room’ – used in an incredible scene from ‘Fire Walk With Me’ – even down to the same snare sound. Which one came first? Did Lynch borrow from Eno or vice-versa? What do you think of Lynch’s (as opposed to Badalamenti’s) music?
Yes, they are very similar, aren’t they? ‘The Pink Room’ was released before ‘I Feel you’ so Lynch couldn’t have borrowed it. The fact that Lynch is interested enough to make music at all is rare for a film director. Perhaps he should concentrate even more on music since ‘Lost Highway’ 😉
What are your thoughts on Cold Meat Industry? It’s a label out of Sweden which releases albums by the likes of In Slaughter Natives, Mortiis, Morthund etc etc. Any comments on the power noise movement in Germany? (Ant-Zen records, Noisex, Imminent Starvation, Synapsescape etc.) Would you ever work with Dirk Ivens from DIVE? Do you know Jonathan Sharp of New Mind? Do you enjoy the Zoth Ommog label’s work?
Errr……..I’m sorry Peter but I have no idea who any of these people are.
Have you heard Robbie Robertsons latest album? What did you think of it?
No. But I have heard the spoken word track he did with Howie B.
How many times you have worked with Butch Vig and do you like the new Garbage 2.0 version, album?
I’ve never worked with Vig. He remixed a DM single while we were on tour. I thought the new Garbage album was disappointing. I preferred the first one.
Have you ever seen Morrissey live?
Have you heard Radiohead’s ‘Airbag / How Am I Driving?’ mini-album? If not, would you like a copy?
No I haven’t heard it but I’d love to receive a copy – thank you.
Considering you’ve worked with various artists connected to Mute, have you ever considered working with some of the others on the label? A few that come to mind would be: Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Blixa Bargeld, Anita Lane, Simon Bonney or even Rowland S. Howard.
I don’t really know Nick Cave and his mob very well but I heard a rumour that he detests DM so I’m not too sure how they’d feel about Recoil.
What do you think about Way Out West, Orbital and Leftfield?
I’m fairly indifferent to all of them actually. They’re ok.
Besides Nitzer Ebb, DM and Recoil, have you been involved in other projects? If so, which ones and what was your part?
Not in any major way since I joined DM.
What is going on with Nitzer Ebb? I haven’t heard from them in a while.
Sadly, they are no longer. I think Mute may be planning a ‘best of’.
There’s an Irish band called the Devlins and shortly after you left DM, I was talking to Colin Devlin who said that you were possibly going to produce their second album. Obviously you didn’t but can you recall being approached or was it just a case of your “people” talking to their “people”?
Yes I do remember receiving an enquiry from The Devlins but I wasn’t really able to undertake any production work at the time.
I was reading your FAQ’s and saw the list of bands you generally listen to. Are there any bands that you consider guilty pleasures – i.e. bands not normally deemed “cool”?
The music I listen to isn’t based on its ‘trendy’ factor. I’m presently listening to Roxy Music – is that cool?
Have you ever heard of a german band called Deine Lakaien?
No, never heard of them.
Which track from the ‘Ebbhead’ album do you like most and why?
‘I Give To You’, ‘Godhead’ and ‘Ascend’. Various reasons, too many to list here.
Have you ever listened to any of ‘They Might Be Giants’, and what is your take on them?
I thought they were ‘She’s lump’ but Hep advises me that they were something about a birdcage………urmm…right.
I am very much influenced by the Recoil designs and I agree that the Gus-Gus artwork is very good. I think that quite a lot of 4AD’s artwork is excellent and seems to have a strong link with the music. Do you like Dead can Dance?
I always liked the Cocteau Twins’ artwork which seemed to perfectly compliment their music. I still haven’t listened to Dead Can Dance.
Can you name a few tracks (maybe more dance-orientated) that you like?
Daft Punk – ‘Around The World’ (mainly because of the video), Fluke – ‘Atom Bomb’, Plastikman, Tresor etc…
Do you like the Future Sound Of London?
Not particularly. What I’ve heard sounds fairly forgettable.
What do you think about ‘Tears for Fears’ (especially the lyrics) and leader Roland Orzabal? And what about your best selling ‘Spice Girls’ (don’t be too hard!)?
I always quite liked ‘Tears For Fears’, especially their first LP, ‘Shout’ and one or two other tracks but they went a bit jazzy after that. As for the ‘Spice Girls’, our daughter Paris has just discovered them so I’ve been listening to their LP as I’m answering these questions. Talk about torture.
Bearing in mind the MSG link – what do you both think of the Medieval Baebes?
I haven’t heard their CD but they’re….er….novel. 12 tarts in see-through nighties – can’t complain, can I? I always tease Hep by suggesting that she would currently be a ‘baebe’ right now had she not met me.
What is your opinion on those mad n’ crazeee Manic Street Preachers? Without using the words monotonous and dirge, do you think it’s right to cash in on the death / disappearance of a band member for commercial gain or was it just unfortunate timing (to go just before they broke through to the big time)?
Now that is a cynical suggestion, isn’t it? I’m supposed to be the misanthropist around here 😉 I can’t say I’d noticed such a callous attitude from those lads. They seem like quite humble, down to earth Welsh people to me.
I know you enjoy the music of both Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. If you had the opportunity to re-record a song from each of them, which tracks would be privy to the Alan Wilder touch? 🙂
Reworking a Kraftwerk track would be a tough assignment. Maybe I’d chose an older song to re-vamp – perhaps ‘Radio Activity’. I wouldn’t know where to start with Tangerine Dream.
Have you heard of ‘California Breakbeat’ as played by The Crystal Method?
What about hard trance or “synth-core”? Have you heard any Empirion?
I’ve heard of Empirion but I haven’t heard the music- Doug McCarthy worked with them for a while last year.
Was Einstürzende Neubauten in fact one of the influences for DM’s industrial sound on ‘Construction Time Again’ and ‘Some Great Reward’? What is your opinion of their deconstructivist cacophony of noise? And, considering that both bands are on Mute, do the two groups know each other to any extent? Finally, I am almost certain that you would appreciate this line from EN’s LP ‘Halber Mensch’……
“Lass uns noch was wodka holen” — “Let’s get more vodka” (Russian vitamins, he calls it).
I like some of Neubauten’s work although I’m not sure they’ve been any great influence on DM. The last time I saw any of the band members was with Hep (who toured with them and worked with a couple of the band) when we bumped into Alex Hacke in a record shop in Berlin – he seemed like a nice bloke.
Do you like the production style of Steve Albini? He tends to favour a very dry and ‘documentary-style’ (for lack of a better word) type of sound when he records.
Dry?, wet? – whatever’s appropriate. No real opinion – I can’t really think of anything he’s done. Did he produce P.J. Harvey?
He stated in an interview years ago that Depeche Mode had wanted him to produce an album but he declined. Is it true?
Not during my time with the group.
I am hesitant to ask but I am so curious…what do you think of Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’?
It’s a fine LP. Great songs / melodies and something new to be found each time one listens. I like the way the songs are constructed – they are given time to breath and evolve.
I read somewhere that Axle Rose was not happy with DM’s success in the States and there was a fight with the band. Is this true?
Not that I know of. In fact, I heard that Axl Rose was a bit of a Mode fan. We never had a fight with him or Guns ‘n’ Roses.
Have you heard the fabulous new Hooverphonic album and if so, do you dig it?
No I haven’t but you’re not the first person to mention them so since you always send such chirpy e-mails, on your advice I will check it out. Can I rely on your taste?
I see that you know your ELO 🙂 I wonder what other ELO songs you like?
I didn’t say I liked them, I just remember the hits, like: ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘Telephone Line’, ‘Overture’, ‘Sweet Talkin’ Woman’……
I must admit, I do have a soft spot for 70’s glam: Gary Glitter, Sweet, Wizard (offshoot from ELO), Bolan etc….. I grew up with it 😉
Would you join Kraftwerk if they asked you nicely?
Why would I want to join a group that never releases any records?
Just wondering if you have had a chance to hear Esthero? They are quite good and unique. Also wondering about your thoughts on Morcheeba, Jai and Hooverphonic.
From this selection, I have only heard Morcheeba. I thought their LP had a couple of good moments but was a bit bland.
I read on the Nitzer Ebb Album ‘Ebbhead’, that you were the producer of this fine stuff. What was the reason for you to produce this band?
They asked me and I thought it would be an interesting project as well as good experience.
Did you like their music?
I read somewhere a few years ago that you were planning on working with Curve in one way or another (perhaps producing their next album) and then they broke up (albeit temporarily). Was there any truth to these plans? If so, now that they are back together, do you have any interest in working with them?
Curve have never asked me to work with them. Toni and Alan Moulder are very good friends and I wouldn’t be surprised if we do something together again in the future although I don’t know what. There are no plans at the moment.
What do you think of Chuck Berry?
He made some good records but has the reputation for being a complete and utter bastard. Not only was he banged up for underage sex (I think) but would often refuse to go back and play an encore without demanding more money – in cash – from promoters. He’d also regularly chastise his band for not predicting which key he was going to start a song in. Oh well, I suppose ‘Johnny Be Good’ makes up for all this eh………..
What do you think of these bands : Unkle, Death in Vegas, Bomb The Bass, Gus Gus, Orbital and Placebo ?
Unkle – ok, nothing special, Death In Vegas – haven’t heard them, Bomb The Bass – ok, haven’t heard more recent stuff, Gus Gus – like some tracks, good LP artwork, Orbital – inoffensive, Placebo – quite interesting, seem to be getting better. I met Brian Molko from Placebo at a Curve gig in London – he’s a very nice chap.
Honestly, if you had your choice, Abba or The Spice Girls?
What do you think of Jewel?
What are your thoughts on Laurie Anderson’s works? What about Stabbing Westward? If you are serious about working with Morrissey, have you contacted him?
I don’t think I’ve heard anything by Laurie Anderson since ‘Oh Superman’ – she never gets any airplay. Stabbing Westward are o.k. – they were very friendly when I met them on tour. No, I haven’t contacted any vocalists yet but, potentially, Morrissey could be good. Would he want to do it though?
Can you tell me more about the ‘Node’ project?
I don’t know all that much. I think it was just a one-off LP produced by Flood, Ed Buller and someone else whose name I can’t remember. Sort of ambient electronic, more in the style of, say, Tangerine Dream rather than Aphex Twin. They did a ‘gig’ on the concourse of Paddington station which worked quite well actually, especially when the station announcer started speaking.
I know that you like LFO and was wondering if you speak with Jez and Mark and if there is an LFO (now Mark Bell) remix for a Recoil track in the works? Favourite LFO track?
I haven’t actually spoken to Mark since they did the Faith Healer remix and I didn’t know they’d trimmed down to just him. I do listen to (and enjoy) their music but I can’t remember any of the titles.
Ever heard the classic Swedish synthband Page?
I’ve recently gotten into “non-gangsta” rap – Kool Keith (aka Dr. Octagon), etc., to be specific – primarily because, unlike mainstream rap, it seems more original & less contrived. (I absolutely can’t stand when a rapper takes an older song, adds more bass, and then raps over it – e.g. Puff Daddy.) What are your thoughts regarding the contemporary rap scene?
I’m torn. Some rap I like, some I can’t stand. The hip hop approach to rhythm and sampling etc. has been quite innovative but as with most styles of music, there are very few with real imagination who push things a bit further, and many who just churn out poor imitation. Check out General Music / musical styles in the archives for more…..
Have you any views on Mansun and Manic Street Preachers, both of whom have just released good albums?
I liked some of Mansun’s first album – ‘Wide Open Space’ comes to mind as being particularly good. I haven’t bought their current record – it’s been given a hard time in the press which probably means it’s really good. I’ll let you know more when I’ve heard it. Manic Street Preachers? Well, I thought the two tracks ‘Design For Life’ and ‘Australia’ were good pop songs.
Have you ever heard the Kraftwerk album ‘The Mix’. What’s your opinion?
It’s pretty good although, like any fan, I would have preferred new material. They obviously put a lot of effort into re-recording those tracks – why not write some new ones? And when are we going to get a new album?
I was wondering what you think of Trent Reznor’s music (not the lyrics, but the instrumentation).
I like his work. He takes a lot of care over it. Many of his sounds are unique – I think he does most of his own programming. I’m not so keen on his really abrasive stuff but I have a lot of respect for him.
I have a personal goal to ensure that many people hear the music of Joy Division. Have you heard this band, and if so, what is your opinion?
Yes I know their incredibly revered but I never really got it.
What is the best band/artist you have ever seen live?
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band (about 1974).
Would you ever work with Duran Duran?
What do you think of the following:
Billy Joel, Elvis Costello, Madness, Leonard Cohen, Spinal Tap, Alan Partridge…
Bug-eyed – croaky – baggy- sleepy – dobly- AHH HA!!!
Have you heard about Shara Nelson? Now I’m sure that she could make special vocals for your music.
Yes, I think ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ with Massive Attack was brilliant – one of my favourite tracks actually (and Martin’s – he based a whole DM song around it……can you guess which one?). Unfortunately, her solo stuff that came out soon after was rather average I thought.
Have you heard the music of John Shea? Ever listen to John Zorn or Kronos Quartet?
Don’t know John Shea. I have stuff by the other two and listen to them sometimes.
Since you are good friends with Daryl Bamonte, have you ever met his brother Perry and/or any other members of the Cure (Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, etc.)? If so, what do you think of them and their music?
Yes, I’ve met The Cure many times, both professionally and socially. Robert Smith is very nice though obviously, like me, a little dim and misguided – he’s a Q.P.R. supporter 😉
Any comments on Blur’s new album, ’13’?
I really like it. They are a group who are improving with every record. I admire anyone who tries to expand their horizons and isn’t a slave to current trends.
I see that you worked with Spirit Feel (or vice versa) on the ‘Walking In My Shoes’ single and they did the music for Martin on that Leonard Cohen tribute album. Do you know the members names or what any of them are up to now?
I’ve never actually worked with Spirit Feel – they did a remix for us. I don’t know all the members but one is Paul Valentine who I believe lives in Martin’s London flat. I haven’t seen him for years so don’t know what he’s up to.
Have you heard of New Zealand bands The Chills, Shihad or Straightjacket Fits? If so, what do you think of them?
You Antipodeans do ask me about the strangest bands…..no, I’ve never heard of them.
I asked before in a Q & A, if you’d ever consider working with Anita Lane. Have you ever heard her stuff?
I like some of her stuff – ‘Blume’ with Neubauten for example…..don’t know about working with her.
Do you have in your possession a good quality recording of ‘Tour De France’. If so, where did you get it from?
I’ve got a very dodgy cassette only. If, reading between the lines, you’re about to suggest sending me a bright shiny new copy, I’d be more than happy to take it off your hands. Incidentally, I hear rumours of a new Kraftwerk album…..
What do you think about Suicide and new project of Alan Vega with Panasonic?
I liked the recent Vega / Panasonic collaboration.
Have you had exposure to any current Australian acts, such as Regurgitator, Powderfinger or the Severed Heads?
I’ve never heard of any of them. Apt names for the Aussie mentality though 😉
Was Hawkwind a musical influence on you in the DM years and should I give them a listen?
Hawkwind had their moments but don’t sound anything like DM.
Do you have a favourite Beatles album or period?
‘The White Album’ which is a masterpiece. It’s also the most diverse record they made and is the one where you can clearly tell which is a Lennon song and which is a McCartney song. I don’t think the two of them crossed over much on that album. Unfortunately, I have a bad record in holding on to any copies I buy – I’ve no idea what happened to the original I bought at the time of it’s release, about 4 years ago a double CD was stolen from my car and then it’s replacement was taken when we had another burglary a few months later…….is John trying to tell me something perhaps?
Do you have a favourite Cocteau Twins record? Please elaborate!
I particularly like ‘Heaven Or Las Vegas’ although all their records are good. I’ve been a fan for many years and, as many of you know, an big admirer of Elizabeth Fraser’s voice. They own September Sound – a very good studio in Twickenham where I remixed ‘Stalker’ and ‘Missing Piece’.
Have you ever heard of The Wolfgang Press and if so, what’s your opinion? If you haven’t, I’d love to send you some of their work.
I’ve heard the name but never the music.
What is your honest opinion of the vocal styles of The Edge from U2, Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys and Marc Almond of Soft Cell? Any of these men worthy of singing on an upcoming album?
I don’t really have an opinion on Edge except to say that a bit more top end wouldn’t have gone a miss on ‘Numb’. As for Marc Almond and Neil Tennant, aside from the obvious tuning problems (which always irk me), neither are my cup of tea.
Which Kraftwerk song(s) do you like best?
I don’t have one particular favourite. I like many including ‘Autobahn’, ‘Radio Activity’, ‘Numbers’ etc…
Which of their albums do you like best?
Probably ‘Computer World’.
‘Are Friend’s Electric’ – genius or barmy old cack?
Nearly every week I seem to receive a question bout Gazza – why is this? I do have a bit of a soft spot for ‘Are Friends Electric’.
Would you consider working with Brian Ferry? Also, do you rate the Roxy Music album ‘Avalon’ ?
Can’t really see that as a Recoil collaboration. Nothing against Ferry – I quite like him although everything he’s done since Roxy music has been just a bit too smooth for me. Roxy music were great though.
Have you or any of DM ever met Trent Reznor or been to see a Nine Inch Nails show? If so, what did you think? Have you collaborated with him on anything or would you like to? I have a strong feeling that besides Bowie and Kiss, Trent secretly has admired DM for as long as i have.
I’ve never seen a NIN show but I did meet Mr Reznor briefly once, some time ago. He seemed nice but we didn’t have a chance to have a conversation. I’m not sure if he’s been to a DM show or not. He could be an interesting person to work with one day but I know he is deeply rooted in his own project at the moment.
My friend wants to know what your opinion is about the Irish musician named Enya.
Tell your friend I think Enya’s a bit wimpy.
On my sound searching I picked up Bando de Gaia’s latest, and ‘Perfecto Fluoro’ by Paul Oakenfold. I was wondering if you’ve heard of these and your thoughts on this style?
No I haven’t heard either of these.
You mentioned you liked Japan (the group) and haven’t quite found David Sylvian’s solo material that interesting. What about his stuff with Robert Fripp or Rain Tree Crow? Have you checked out any of the other ex-Japan members’ material (JBK – Steve Jansen / Richard Barberri / Mick Karn)? Would you consider them possible collaborators?
I’ve got a live album of Sylvian and Fripp which, to be honest, I rarely listen to. I only occasionally listen to solo Sylvian if I’m in the mood (‘Wonders Of The Birdcage’ or ‘Terrific Bushes’ for example). As for Dali’s Car….er, I don’t think so. Hep says that a couple of ex-members (Jansen and Barberi she thinks) formed an outfit called The Dolphin Brothers in the mid-eighties that was quite good but I haven’t heard it myself.
I grew up in the 80’s so nearly all of my favourite musicians were European techno (pop) groups, like: Depeche Mode, Howard Jones and Alphaville. Do you still, or did you ever, follow any of these contemporaries?
Not really. Obviously we were aware of these people and sometimes we used to bump into the likes of Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Ultravox etc. at TV shows around Europe.
Did DM ever have a falling out with The Orb? The reason I ask is that in a recent interview, Alex Paterson was talking about gigging and said that The Orb had been asked to play Madison Square Gardens but that they declined on principle. When the reporter asked him on what principle, Paterson replied “We’d have had to play support to Depeche Mode”.
Ooh catty…..sounds like a touch of the sour grapes there. I’ve never met The Orb.
Have you heard the CD ‘Victor’ ? It’s the solo project of Rush’s guitarist Alex Lifeson.
No, I haven’t heard of it.
Is there any connection between Bill Bell (who collaborated on the ‘Victor’ project) and Andy Bell?
I doubt it somehow.
In a current issue of ‘Future Music’ there is a feature on Kirsty Hawkshaw. I would be interested in your opinion on her songs and voice, in case you’ve heard anything.
I’ve never heard anything by her.
Have you ever considered using the vocals of Peter Murphy on your upcoming Recoil album? I think his voice would be perfect for the dark and atmospheric music you are so good at creating.
Er, I’m not planning any tracks about dead horror actors but if I do……. 😉
Is Matt Johnson a nice guy or was he quiet and kept to himself? Do you like The The at all? Any particular tracks you like by them?
He seemed nice enough to me – not particularly introverted either. I like some of his music but I can’t seem to think of any of the titles at the moment. Hep says ‘Infected’ was one of her Top 5 albums of the 80’s…..
What do you think of Robbie Williams?
Have you ever heard of an Irish singer called Jack Lukeman? He has a powerful voice which I can only describe as somewhere between Frank Sinatra and Nick Cave. He usually covers all those classic crooner tunes but I think his voice would transfer brilliantly to a dark Recoil track. If you haven’t heard him, I can copy a few tracks and send them to you.
I’ve never heard him so if you’d like to send a tape that would be interesting – thanks.
Bernard Sumner of New Order and Electronic has provided samples and / or helped out in some way with 808 State, Sub Sub, Section 25, Paul Haig and others. Would you consider him for an upcoming Recoil project, perhaps?
Nice bloke but…….. no.
I just noticed in your link section that “Sonya Madan has collaborated with Recoil in the past year”. Could you tell us what it was at all? Did you produce a remix for them or something?
Sonya provided a vocal to an extra track called ‘Don’t Look Back’ that will appear on the single release.
I remember you said in the past that you liked the Moloko album but what do you think about their new single,’Bring it Back’? It is a pile of shit for me….
Is that the ‘Oh, God we’d better do something with a disco beat and have a hit’ track? Mmm, Paris likes it…….;-)
I was just wondering whether or not you like the Pet Shop Boys and if you’ve heard they’re new album ‘Nightlife’. I’m asking this because I know many Recoil/Depeche Mode fans who love the Pet Shop Boys too.
‘West End Girls’ was good at the time. Unfortunately, the group never moved on and I’ve hardly liked anything they’ve done since. Can’t stand Neil Tennant’s voice either.
I know you appreciate Gareth Jones’ work but would you produce an Erasure album just like he did? I find myself with goosebumps just by thinking about it!
No I wouldn’t.
Also, if you were invited by any group or artist to produce their/his/her album, who would you chose and why?
Not sure. It would be have to be someone well known who hasn’t realised their full potential yet.
Mariah Carey/Tina Turner/Cher/Whitney H./ gives you a call, desperately wanting to contribute her brilliant voice to your 2002 album ‘Liquid Bloodline’. What’s your response?
To Mariah: “If I need someone to wank all over my music I’ll do it myself, thank you”
To Tina: “Don’t you already feature on track no. 5?”
To Cher: “Sorry but I stopped using vocoders in 1975”
To Whitney: “Not if you do that wobbly thing with your mouth”
On behalf of the Jarvis Cocker lusting hussies on Shunt, would you consider collaborating with his Pulpness?
I don’t think he’s got a great voice but I have a lot of time for Mr Cocker. He’s one of the most articulate people in the pop business and he writes witty and often astute words.
What do you think of Pulp?
I’m very much in agreement with Mr. Wilder and I especially like ‘This Is Hardcore’. However, I would like to shoot their producer – their records are horribly mixed with no bottom end and inaudible drums. With a better man at the helm and a few more interesting wibbly-wobbly noises, they’d be even better.
I read on a Nine Inch Nails news site that someone saw you on November 9th in London during their final dress rehearsal – some kind of pre-tour show which only 100 people could attend. If it was really you, what did you think of it? Were you so impressed that you’re planning to also see them at the end of the month at the Brixton Academy?
I’d like to ask you what you think about the new Nine Inch Nails album ‘The Fragile’, and is it true that you’ve attended the warm-up gig of their tour in London? If so, how did you like it (both album and concert) because I saw their show here in Berlin and I think the performance and sound were stunning – one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen. That leads to a secret wish of mine: What about a collaboration between Recoil and NIN, be it a song, remix or even better a tour together?
Have you made some kind of deal with NIN to help you promote ‘Liquid’?
Last night I went to the Nine Inch Nails show in Paris and before the show there was some awsome music which was sent through the P.A. (at a moment when we were speaking about DM). I asked everyone around if they knew this music and no one was able to answer me. Meanwhile I told a friend of mine that it sounded like Recoil and decided to check on a DM Forum. Then I found that it was Recoil’s ‘Liquid’ LP. Is it true and did you deal with Mr Trent Reznor himself (hearing ‘The Fragile’ it seems like he appreciates your work and sound)?
I have heard ‘The Fragile’ a few times now and it is growing on me. As an outsider it’s clear to me that there was a dilemma about whether to cut it down to a single LP or take the more bold and somewhat risky step of releasing a double. Obviously, a lot of effort went into making it and it would have been very difficult to shelve so much work but personally I would have edited it down to a very strong single album. Having said that, I like the way it breaths and takes it’s time to evolve and seep into your consciouness. Generally, I like the moments that don’t sound like previous NIN – the quieter, atmospheric sections that feature more adventurous sounds. Despite it’s drawbacks, still a vastly superior record to most others released these days.
Regarding the live show, I can confirm that the music you heard was indeed from the new Recoil LP. I was invited to attend the final production rehearsal in London a few weeks ago and asked for permission to use the Recoil tracks as an intro to their show. I enjoyed the performance a lot – the band were very tight and there is an interesting section in the middle involving projection. Hep and I are going to the show on the 29th and possibly the second one too – we’re meeting a big gang of friends including one Miss Nicole Blackman who is the girlfriend of Trent’s guitar tech, John.
Actually I’m just finishing off Q + A and it’s 2 days since the above mentioned show. You’ll all be pleased to hear that the night was most enjoyable with a good performance by Mr Reznor and the band even though he apparently didn’t think so himself. Miss Blackman was in top form and amongst the usual crowd we were pleased to bump into such dignitaries as Flood and ‘Liquid’ drummer Monti. Notable incidents included yours truly falling over the P.A. and Hep walking into a mirrored wall. The reason? She thought it was another part of the bar that she hadn’t explored yet 😉 I’m afraid we were very, very drunk……..
A lot of synth music seems to be inspired by cyberpunk (Frontline Assembly, Front 242, Nine Inch Nails and a lot of industrial bands too). Have you read any cyberpunk writers like William Gibson or Bruce Sterling? If so, what do you think about them? Are their visions of the future ok to you and do you feel inspired by them?
No I haven’t read any of this stuff – call me old fashioned.
Have you ever met Dave or Roger (when he was alive) from Pink Floyd?
I met Dave briefly in New York – he was a gentleman. Never met Roger. I also seem to recall meeting a couple of the band during a big aftershow party following their appearance at Earls Court a few years ago. Incidentally, that’s the same place that Daryl and I were told to be quiet by Queen’s Brian May – he threw a wobbler because we were talking during ‘Meddle’ but then had to apologise profusely when his spotty young son wanted my autograph 😉
You’re smart to expose Paris to Nyman – what is your favourite of his work? I am partial to ‘The Piano’ soundtrack. I can’t listen to him without being transported somewhere else in the universe. Has he influenced you in any way? Do you see any similarities in your respective styles?
I didn’t think ‘The Piano’ was very good. I hated the film too. I prefer ‘A Zed And Two Noughts’. I suppose there is some influence – listen to ‘Little 15’.
I know you went to see Numan earlier in the year at the Forum – any chance you will be going to Manchester next month?
No, Gary asked us but we’ve got to stay in that night and check that the dishwasher’s functioning properly. We’re seeing him this Wednesday (27th) though – going to see a comedy show with Graham Fellows called ‘Brian Appleton’s History of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (Anyone remember Jilted John – ‘Gordon Is A Moron’?).
What do you think of Marilyn Manson and his album ‘Mechanical Animals’?
Er, isn’t his real name Brian or something?
Do you think what he says about “corruption, misuse of God, false belief..” is true or is it all bullshit?
No idea. Don’t know what he’s said but I don’t find it too easy to take anyone called Brian seriously.
Would you agree that Manson is having a “bad influence”? I’m not a big Manson fan or anything, I just liked his latest album and everyone I know freaked out at me saying “Oh my God! He’s evil!…” and shit like that. So I’m just curious.
I haven’t heard any of Brian’s LP’s or read any of his comments but I have heard the singles and seen the videos on MTV. Glam rock’s ok but don’t take it seriously – that’s not the point.
Charlie, how keen are you on Led Zeppelin? Do you even fancy them?
They’re a bit craggy these days – Bobby Planet does bear an unnerving resemblance to the camel from the cigarette packet – but I liked them in their hey day. Best tracks – ‘Kashmir’, ‘Trampled Under Foot’.
I received a promotional CD from a record store and it’s called ‘Emotional Ambience Intelligent Drum ‘N’ Bass’. On this CD to my great surprise is a track from Recoil called The Bridge. How do you plead? Is the new Recoil album going to have a lot of drum ‘n’ bass sounding tracks on it?
I found a supposed Recoil track on CDNOW.COM – it’s called ‘Velocity 9’ and it’s taken from ‘VA-Beats From The Streets : Jump Up Drum N’ Bass-Funk’. I am making the assumption that this isn’t a Recoil track. If not, I’m sure your lawyers would like to know about this!
You’re right – neither of these are Recoil tracks. I read a review of some ‘Recoil’ track in a magazine a couple of years ago and alerted Mute that there was another group/artist with the same name. I didn’t get a response but I’ve not heard anything else since so I don’t know if they still exist.
Have you ever heard of a band called The Jam (they were big in the late 70’s and early 80’s) because I was reading the quotes in the ’81-85′ CD booklet and I noticed that one of the guys names was Paul Weller who was the frontman for the band. To help you get a good idea of what they sing, here are the names of a few songs: Town called mallace, That’s Entertainment……
Thanks for clueing me in Diggins. I’d gone underground at that time and was so busy eatin’ trifles that they must have passed me by. ‘Town Called Mallace’…. are you sure?
Thanks for answering my question re: Numan at the Forum. No, I didn’t get to this gig but one of my friends went and said she saw you – I have never been able to determine whether she was taking the piss or not! So, was Numan’s sound as bad as the fans are making out on the Forum?
Well, I was right up at the back of the venue and although the sound was harsh and a little unclear in some places, I thought the energy of the music and Gary’s performance, more than made up for it.
I was reading last month’s Q +A, when I found this:
Have you heard ‘Songs In The Key Of X’? I think that he has achieved a very personal vocal style, and as with KD Lang, he can make great songs when he is provided with the right music.
It seems that you did some overcutting & pasting, removing the name of the singer, Elvis Costello.
Ah, right. Sorry about that. I think Costello is an accomplished songwriter and some of his work over the years I have liked – ‘Pills and Soap’ for example. I’m not much of a fan of his voice however, especially when he attempts to sing difficult Burt Baccarach songs in registers which are clearly too high for him.
Do you like N’ Sync, 98 Degrees or the Backstreet Boys? Which group is your favourite? Who do you think is the cutest Backstreet Boy? I like Howie, but Nick is a turd!
I liked the one from East 17 who used to wear the hats….”when da funder caws you…” It must be great to be in a boy band nowadays. I wish I was still on the road with DM so we could come off stage and be handed those big fluffy robes that seem to be all the rage – not to mention the fact that they obviously give one greater ‘pulling’ power. I mean, in their video Boyzone are wearing them when they get off their private jet and they’re met by 10,000 screaming girls……tell me, is that really attractive? For those of you who ever got backstage after a Mode show, would you really have wanted to meet us dressed in dressing gowns and slippers? Call me old fashioned. I don’t understand. And why do the singers in these bands, all sound like they’ve got a clothes peg attached to their noses?
In an interview I heard that Bloodhound Gang are big fans of DM and they tried to work with you in 1993 or something. What are your memories of this and did you ever listen to their music?
I just read an interview with the singer of the Bloodhound Gang, Jimmy Pop Ali. He said that whenever his band was about to release a new single in Europe, he asked you to produce a remix of it, since he’s a fan of DM and you, but you’ve always declined his offer, saying you were too busy. He said you even turned down the $30,000 he offered you the last time he asked. Any truth to that? Would you do a remix for them if you had the time or do you (strangely enough) not find it appealing to remix songs like ‘Kiss Me Where It Smells Funny’?
It’s true that they have asked me a couple of times although nobody has ever mentioned $30,000 to me. Problem is, I’m not really in the remix game. It has to be something extra special to get me interested and I don’t like the idea of just churning stuff out quickly for the bucks. If I do something, I do it properly. I also prefer to work on music from beginning to end, not re-interpret something that’s finished for a dance club. I just don’t find remixing very fulfilling.
Have you heard Talvin Singh’s CD ‘OK’ ?
You’ve said you’re not a big fan of David Sylvian but surely you’ve heard Japan’s final album ‘Tin Drum’ from ’81 ? This is still one of the most original and exciting pop albums of the 20th century…..yes? No?
Yes, I liked ‘Tin Drum’ a lot at the time. Haven’t heard it for years.
Who do you venture out to see play live?
Neither Hep or I particularly enjoy live shows – we go along for the aftershow hospitality 😉 The last gig we saw was Gary Numan because he invited us.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with Vocalist Chris Connelly but he is a VERY good singer….I mentioned your project to him in a recent post to which he replied:
“Yes, I would like to work with the Depeche mode guy. Can you put me in touch?”
You can find out more about him at www.chrisconnelly.com. I may just be assuming that you don’t know him, but if you don’t, check it out…
Thanks, I’ll check it out.
Have you ever heard of a band called Towering Inferno? If so, what do you think?
No I haven’t.
Alan & Hep
Did you go to the Numan concert on 12 June at the Forum?
Yes, did you?
In a past Q+ A, you mentioned that you have a soft spot for ‘Are Friends Electric?’ by Gary Numan. Have you heard the recent cover of this song by Kurt Harland of Information Society (another artist devoted to contact with his fans)?
No, ‘fraid not. I saw Gazza do it last week and you can’t beat the original.
I just stumbled upon Johnny Marr’s new website (www.jmarr.com) to find that it resembles yours to a staggering degree. There is the famous Q+A section where he too addresses fan’s questions, there are many of the same features as the superb Shunt site and it’s even centred in a small box on the screen in the same proportions as Shunt! As imitation is of course so flattering, I was interested to know what you thought of others following in your technological barrier-breaking footsteps?
As for his Q+A – good. More musicians could take an interest in their own websites and Mr Marr obviously sees the importance of doing just that. As for similarities, I took a look and it’s not really that close to the design of Shunt. There are actually quite a lot of sites based around a smaller frame size. The idea is to retain the composition of the page no matter what size screen you are viewing on. We find that the artistic look of the website benefits from that.
Also, you might like to know that someone asked about you on his forum and Johnny is apparently a fan of your Recoil work. Would you in fact be interested in collaborating one day with Mr Marr and taking Recoil in a new direction?
He’s more than a decent guitarist. If he ever wanted to play on a Recoil record, I’d be happy to have him.
Now that 1999 is over, would you mind giving a top 5 list of your favourite albums.
Even better, in no particular order (that’s just too hard), here’s my top ten all time LP’s as recently submitted to CDNow:
1. ‘The White album’ – The Beatles
Easily the most engaging of all their LPs. ‘Abbey Road’ is more polished (possibly the best pop record ever) but the ‘White album’ tells you more about the relationship between Lennon and McCartney when, it seems, the were at their most disparate. A sprawling, hugely diverse record showing all corners of The Beatles at their most creative.
2. ‘Berlin’ – Lou Reed
The most bleak and wonderfully grim album by Lou Reed. I never tire of hearing it, not least for it’s sordid depressing tales but for the fantastic, often epic production by Bob Ezrin and Allan MacMillan. Like no other Lou Reed LP before or since, this stands a mile above the rest (even ‘Transformer’ – another classic).
3. ‘Are You Experienced?’ / ‘Axis – Bold as Love’ – Jimi Hendrix
These two albums are almost as one for me. What can you say about Hendrix apart from the fact that he changed the course of popular music. The best guitarist ever and these albums represent him at his (all too short) peak.
4. ‘Computer World’ – Kraftwerk
Truly ground breaking group who perfected their minimal style with this LP and have been treading water ever since. The ‘Grandfathers Of Electro’ deserve the title for being so massively important in the influence of not only electronic music for the last two decades but also for providing the entire rhythmic basis for Hip Hop.
5. ‘Aladdin Sane’ – David Bowie
The number one glam rocker, Bowie made more great LP’s in the 70’s than anyone else. I could have chosen any one of 6 for the brilliant melodies, quirky lyrics, that voice and those cheek bones. Unfortunately, the creative juices dried up post ‘Let’s Dance’ but he will always provide an entire evening of sing-songs around the piano chez Wilder.
6. ‘Meddle’ – Pink Floyd
Floyd created soundscapes better than anyone else during their peak. Other favourites include ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. Sequenced bass lines, Gilmore’s chiming gtr, strange Scottish roadies talking about not being mad, backwards pianos, etc, etc. The list of new ideas for the time goes on and on.
7. ‘OK Computer’ – Radiohead
Like a good wine, ‘OK Computer’ improves with age. Definitely one of those LP’s where you hear something new each time you listen. Always melodic, very intense and cleverly structured – like Blur, Radiohead keep getting better.
8. ‘Spirit Of Eden’ – Talk Talk
Talk Talk started out as a fairly straight pop group until, virtually overnight, they retreated and decided to start making innovative, unusual, brilliantly individual records – thus losing 98% of their audience in the process. Starting with ‘The Colour Of Spring’ through to ‘Laughing Stock’, they began to use flugelhorns, variphones and bassoons to augment their more minimal new sound. Along with notoriously miserable Mark Hollis’ tragically soulful voice, they were like no other group.
9. ‘The Last Record Album’ – Little Feat
Maybe a surprising choice but Little Feat were no ordinary West Coast rock group. In Lowell George they possessed one of the greatest slide guitarists ever, not to mention the most laid back but groovy rhythm section in rock history. Their songs and arrangements were deceptively complex and with this album, they hit some of their greatest moments.
10. ‘Next’ – The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
More for nostalgic reasons than anything else, I discovered Alex Harvey at 14 and was entranced by the theatricality of their live show. The records were also great though. Contains their crowning glory ‘Faith Healer’ along with many other magical moments.
Other contenders were:
‘The Queen Is Dead’ – The Smiths
‘Physical Graffiti’ – Led Zeppelin
‘Peter Gabriel’ – Peter Gabriel
‘Broken English’ – Marianne Faithful
and many more………
I was listening to the radio when it was broadcasting Andreas Johnson, ‘Liebling’ and if I’m not wrong I found the verses TOO similar to the ones in ‘Two Minute Warning’! What can you tell me about it?
I think it’s actually called ‘Glorious’. I can’t really tell you anything that you haven’t already noticed and you’re not the first person that has pointed this out to me. I say, good luck to him – and my solicitor 🙂
How about Tom Jones?
Now that’s where I draw the line.
The release of Kraftwerk’s recent single, EXPO2000, seems to have been a pretty low-key affair which hasn’t received much attention. Have you heard it, and if so, were you as disappointed as me with this unimaginative rehash?
Well, Kraftwerk do Kraftwerk very well but unfortunately haven’t innovated for a long time. Maybe that’s asking too much but I never expected them to become caricatures of themselves.
Is there any cover you’d like to perform on your next record?
I’m not really into cover versions even though I covered ‘Faith Healer’. I think it’s usually hard to beat an original.
I read that Kraftwerk came to see Depeche Mode perform. Do you vividly remember that performance?
They used to turn up now and then to various shows but I can’t remember any specific performances. The last time I recall seeing any of them was in 1993 when Karl came to the Dortmund show and I remember introducing him to Hep.
Stefan from Placebo said that he’s a huge fan of DM. have you met him and do you like Placebo?
Hep and I met him at a Curve gig actually and he was very friendly and very complimentary. Brian’s very nice too.
I’ve always felt that U2 and DM had similarities. What do you think of ‘Pop’?
I preferred ‘Achtung Baby’ and ‘Zooropa’.
You said recently that one of your current car CDs is ‘Analogue Worms Attack’. Do you like Mr. Oizo at last or do you still find him “silly”, as you wrote half a year ago?
Ok, ok – not so silly now. I think there are some interesting grooves on the album.
If you could use any guest vocalist, alive or dead, who would it be?
Nat King Cole.
Comment on the following:
The band, Tool
Don’t know any of their stuff. Not sure if I could get into a band named after a penis.
The superstar, Britney Spears
I don’t allow myself to watch her videos……..young girls gallavanting around in schoolgirl’s uniforms – too much for an old mans heart 😉
If John Lennon was alive today, do you think he would be making good music or churning out the appalling shit Paul McCartney releases?
He was always infinitely more appealing to me than Paul. I suspect that he wouldn’t be making too much music these days if he were still alive. And I’m sure he would hate Oasis.
Are you familiar with the work of Sascha and John Digweed, including their Northern Exposure compilations and their individual work?
Never heard of them – sorry.
What are your points of contention concerning music, if any?
Hep likes Squeeze
I like Portishead
Do you know the German composer Klaus Schulze?
Not really. I know the name.
Have you ever heard of Meg Lee Chin? She’s one of the many members of Pigface, as well as having produced a recent album called Peace & Love. Would you consider working with her?
I’ve never heard of her. I’ll check it out if I get the chance.
I read on one of your previous answers that you listen to Rage Against The Machine. Have you heard their new album, ‘Battle Of Los Angeles’, yet? If so, what do you think of it?
It’s unsurprising. I’ve only listened a couple of times. About half of the tracks stood out as being a little different – the rest sounded very typical of them and their sound.
Did I ask you about the Beautiful South?
I don’t suggest you do.
What is in your car CD player at this very moment?
Mr. Oizo – ‘Analogue Worm Attack’ and Supergrass’s new LP.
I got this in my e-mail. Care to comment?
“The Nine Inch Nails entourage got a bit wild after the first of the band’s sold-out show at Brixton Academy on London on Monday (Nov. 27) at the posh Met Bar. Gary Numan and Alan Wilder were seen dancing, and a few of the ladies in their party were told to “tone it down” by Nails’ managers when they started getting racy. Said ladies were nearly thrown out when they tried to take a photo with NIN bassist Danny Lohner. Management came over and barked ‘PHOTOS ARE NOT ALLOWED’ and threatened to confiscate the camera. Lohner had to plead on their behalf that it was perfectly all right. When one of the gals tried to get guitarist Robin Finck to cha-cha to the DJ, he confessed weakly, “I can’t do that.” Drummer Jerome Dillon did however get up to dance with …another guy. Alan Wilder was so intrigued that he didn’t notice as he backed over a PA and fell over. Fun was had by all.”
Hmm…I guess when you’re dancing with another guy, drunkenness is to blame, eh? And I’m wondering if Hepzibah and Nicole were in that “racy” group.
I think I mentioned something about this party on last month’s Q + A. Anyway, for a start, I wasn’t dancing. Staggering, maybe. I’m not sure exactly who the ‘racy ladies’ were but I suspect they included Nicole, Hep and Gary’s missus Gemma, who invariably wears very little clothing at these kinds of functions. It wasn’t the Nails’ manager however who ticked them off, it was someone from the bar and I think they apologised when they realised the ‘racy ladies’ were with the NIN party. Can’t remember anything about the drummer but I did fall over the PA and Hep did walk into a mirrored wall, not to mention referring to Trent (sarcastically of course) as ‘The Dark Prince’. Actually I got stuck talking to a Recoil / DM fan for ages who dropped me like a hot potato when his royal Darkness walked past, then spent the rest of the evening perstering me to introduce her to his blackness……..sorry love, that’s not the way it works……..;-)
I was really surprised and excited to see you will be featuring Sonya Aurora Madan on the new Recoil album. What made you think she would be a good fit for this particular song?
I really like her voice which I felt wasn’t being fully exploited within the Echobelly production. She also has a great melodic sense.
Are you a fan of Echobelly or just Sonya’s voice?
Mainly her voice although there were a couple of tracks on their last LP ‘Lustra’ that I liked.
ACould you give your short opinion on the following artists and albums?
Lo Fidelity All Stars
Never heard anything by them.
Beck’s newest album ‘Midnite Vultures’
Rage Against the Machine’s newest album ‘The Battle Of Los Angeles’
Music doesn’t quite match the artwork. One or two good tracks though.
The Prodigy (I know you’ve commented on them before but I never heard any comments about their music)
Good energy. Silly make-up.
Banco de Gaia
Know the name, don’t know the music.
The soundtrack to the movie ‘Pi’ (Both an awesome movie and a dark atmospheric techno soundtrack).
I have yet to see it.
Never heard anything by them, apart from ‘Stripped’.
Don’t know this.
What are your views on Tom Jones? Have you seen him shake his booty live, and if so, did you dig it?
Looks like he likes a pint and a shag. Never seen him live.
Is HE on the up coming Recoil record? 😉
Probably – he’s on everyone elses, boyo.
Who do you think would win in a fight, the Pet Shop Boys or Erasure? Or do you find this question distasteful ?
Er, it’s not that I find it distasteful, just pointless – I couldn’t give a toss personally…….
I would like to know your opinion about William Orbit and his last work where he adapts some classical music. After hearing his version of Adagio for strings by Samuel Barber, I don’t know if he’s a genie like some people say or if he spoils all he touches.
Stick him back in Aladdin’s Lamp and close the lid, I reckon;-)
Having grown up in Britain during the ’70s / ’80s, what did you think of the experimental British artists, Throbbing Gristle and Zoviet France? Also, what do you think of fellow countrymen Peter Christopherson and John Balance of the legendary ambient/techno group, Coil (a spin off from Throbbing Gristle actually)?
I liked both TB and Coil not so much for the music although some of it was very good but just because they lean a bit on the weird side.
What do you think about Stings ‘Fill Her Up’? It starts out as Country, then becomes Gospel and finally ends as Jazz? Any chance of something like this from Recoil?
Not unless I develop a serious interest in yoga, give up drinking, hire some bland musicians and get all me mates to stick a medium size plate in their mouths.
I have heard people mention Dead Can Dance and Recoil in the same dialogue and I am curious what Alan feels from this music? Alan, if you read this recent interview with Brendan Perry regarding his solo work, you may be surprised to find the many similarities between you and he.
I quite like what I have heard from Dead Can Dance.
What will you answer to Marc Almond if he would ask you about collaboration?
I’d have to ask him to bring his pitch tuner plug-in with him. Nice chap though.
Hey Al, any possibility of you influencing Mute into releasing a Nitzer Ebb ‘Best Of’ collection or at least a re-mastered version of ‘That Total Age’?
As far as I know, there has been a plan to release a Nitzer Ebb ‘Best Of’ for a long time now. I’m sure Doug and Bon are into the idea but I understand there are some complicated legal wrangles (to do with the ownership of some of the early recordings) which have to be resolved first.
Just wanted to say that I heard ‘Liquid’ played before the NIN show in New Orleans and loved what I heard so much that I ran out and bought your latest. Since Trent Reznor is playing your CD, have you two ever met? Would you like to collaborate with Trent in the future? Have you heard his latest ‘The Fragile’? If so, would you ever remix any of his tracks or would you let Trent remix some of your tracks?
Yes – we have met on a couple of occasions. I found him to be a little shy but quite friendly. Can’t really see that a musical collaboration would work since we both like to be in control of things. I have heard ‘The Fragile’ which I have already commented on in this forum. If Trent wanted to do a Recoil remix, I’m sure I’d let him have a go. Likewise, if he wanted me to do something for him, I’d most likely oblige.
I have recently seen Nine Inch Nails and absolutely loved the show but I overheard some people afterwards saying that they didn’t enjoy it as much because it was a bit more subdued (numerous instrumentals, less carnage, etc.) than the previous ‘Self Destruct’ tour. I was just wondering what your opinion was?
I enjoyed it although I have to admit that the less histrionic tracks are my favourites. I thought the film stuff in the middle of the set was the most interesting and atmospheric section. I’d never seen them before so I have nothing to compare this tour against.
Have you ever heard of Mark Bell or LFO and have you worked with him? What do you think of LFO?
Mark and his partner in LFO did a remix of ‘Faith Healer’ back in ’91. I have heard two LFO albums which I enjoyed but I’m not aware of what he’s been up to in more recent years.
I may sound weird or stupid but when I listen to ‘Liquid’, I find stuff that is similar to Primal Scream’s music. Do you listen to this band and would you agree with me? Also, I think I have found a sample from ‘Rush’ on Primal Scream’s ‘Stuka’ from the album ‘Vanishing Point’. Am I right?
Don’t know about the sample question – I would have to have a closer listen.. I don’t really hear a lot of similarity to Recoil. I find their music very hit or miss. I do like some of their stuff although I think the press go completely overboard about them. Sometimes, the singer’s voice is nothing short of excruciating.