2015-09-13 Elektroniskt i P2, P2, Stockholm, Sweden
Mats Lindström interviews Martin Gore over the phone to ask him about the 'MG' album on a show completely dedicated to electronic music, called 'Elektroniskt i P2'. Unfortunately it seems Mats has read previous recent interviews with Martin, seeing as he asks him exactly the questions which have been put to Martin several time now. Mats closes off by playing Martin's song 'Hum'. A transcript has been typed out below for your convenience. Since I do not understand Swedish, I had to paraphrase Mats' questions to the best of my ability.
- Duration: 05:55 minutes
Martin: Hello? Hi Mats.
Mats: Tell us about the creation process of 'MG'.
Martin: I actually wrote four or five of the song during the writing process for the last Depeche Mode album. With Dave and me both writing songs for the band now, we had so many actual songs written, that there just wasn't really any room for the instrumentals. So I had these four or five tracks that I liked, just sitting around, so I thought it would be an interesting concept to carry on writing instrumentals and put out a full instrumental album. Mats: Why did you name the album 'MG'?
Martin: This project has more of an affinity, I think, with the 'VCMG' project in that it's instrumental, and it's completely electronic. That's why I wanted to carry on the 'MG' name from that project. I think it has more in common with that than with the 'Counterfeit' albums or projects that I put out before.'
Mats: What is the difference in the writing process for songs with lyrics versus instrumental songs?
Martin: I think it is obviously very different, writing instrumentals to writing songs, because, with songs, the most important things are the lyrics and the vocal melody. And then, when you come to recording the real thing, obviously, the vocal is the most important thing on the track. With an instrumental, you strip all those things away, and you somehow have to create other things to keep the listeners' interest. So it is a different discipline. But it's also quite freeing as well. I mean, I actually enjoyed the process of writing instrumentals. For me, I think music always comes a lot easier than lyrics do. I go in, knowing that there won't be any vocals. I wanted this album to be completely instrumental, I wanted it to be completely electronic. I knew that I wasn't going to pick up a guitar during the whole process, or use any real drum sounds. Yeah, so, just knowing that there are no vocals involved, you do work differently, because you're constantly trying to create little interests, little points of interest, that keep the listener interested.
Mats: What is your favourite Depeche Mode instrumental?
Martin: I do like the instrumental Stjarna, which was spelled S-T-J-A-R-N-A, I did like that one. I mean, we have put out a lot of instrumentals over the course of our career, and I've never added up how many [there are], but there are a lot.
Mats: Is 'MG' inspired by Apex Twin's 'Selected Works'?
Martin: Yes. I mean, I like both of those albums, volumes I and II. I think they're very inspirational, especially when you're thinking about making an instrumental album. I mean, it's not like I take them into the studio as references and try to recreate anything, but I just like listening to them as pieces of art.
Mats: What about Brian Eno's ambient works?
Martin: 'Music For Airports' changed the place so much that I knew exactly when each note was coming in. And it's kind of unpredictable at times, but I used to play that so much.
Mats: What kind of soundtracks do you like?
Martin: I really like the imaginary soundtrack that Geoff Barrow put out a couple of years ago, called DROKK. That was kind of an imaginary soundtrack to a 'Judge Dredd' film. It sounds very modular to me, it sounds very '70s, almost John Carpenter-like.
Mats: Why did you not use any guitar on 'MG'?
Martin: I just felt it didn't have a place on this album. I wanted it to be very electronic, and have this kind of, like, sci-fi-feel. And the moment you put a guitar on a track, you immediately pull back into this reality. People immediately associate a guitar with something that's present, and "now", whereas synths can be far more imaginative.