Yazoo - It wasn't a well keened out marketing ploy!
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In December 2007 Side-line announced that Mute Records planned to reissue both Yazoo albums "Upstairs at Eric's" and "You and Me Both" as remastered versions next to an extra disc with remixes and b-sides. Add to this a DVD featuring an exclusive short film with new interviews from Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet and the videos for "Don't Go", "The Other Side Of Love", "Nobody's Diary", "Situation (1990)" and "Only You (1999)" next to a string of TV performances. All this in a cute boxset, simply titled "In Your Room". And that should have been it. But then the news reached us that the 25th anniversary boxset would be followed by the 28-date "Yazoo Reconnected: Live" tour, in a lower tone to save Moyet's voice, taking the band to Denmark, Germany, Scotland, the UK, Spain and surprisingly enough also the USA where they were known as Yaz. Weird since both band members had not been spending time face to face for the past 15 years one would think... Side-Line spoke to Vince Clarke about the reasons behind this reunion. More info at www.yazooinfo.com and myspace.com/yazooofficial . (By Bernard Van Isacker)
SL. What came first, the boxset or the idea for a reunion?
V. The boxset was planned anyhow by Mute since it had been 25 years since we split up. The reunion tour actually came later when there was more and more interest from promoters and agents. It all went rally smoothly.
SL. You guys were not on speaking terms for 15 years, except via e-mail. There must have been a very good reason to say yes again and to share that with the Sunday Mail and the Sun...
V. Ha, indeed. It had been 15 years since we had physically seen each other. I know that Alison was keen on working together again so when we decided to get together again, I asked to get to meet each other the day before we were to see someone else, but then she wanted to have this meeting done in presence of the press. So there I arrive and I saw a camera filming us getting together again, a very awkward situation to say the least ! (laughs) But it soon got very nice and so it all went well actually.
SL. So it was not part of a well keened out marketing ploy?
V. (Firm) No, sorry, it wasn't.
SL. You mentioned in an interview that you will be recording new tracks as well with Alison whilst on tour.
V. Well, we won't be recording as such, just writing some new material. We'll see later on then if we actually going to record and release it. But it might never happen since I have much work with Erasure as well.
SL. Then again, you are on a 2 years hiatus with Erasure so that shouldn't be a problem?
V. That's right, but again, it is not set in stone that a new album will surface but it is not impossible.
SL. If that's the case, would that still be in the Yazoo style as we know it or is that kind of electropop no longer an option...?
V. You know, I have been listening back to the material we recorded back then and it was interesting to hear how these songs could be sounding great still when being so simple. Simplicity above all really and that is how I would like to work again on new Yazoo tracks or any other material because definitely the material turned me on to the less is more approach.
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SL. Let's go back in time. You buggered off suddenly, what was the final straw that made things explode?
V. There was no final straw as such really, we were just working each one on his own and neither of us was really interested in the work of the other. On the first album we worked together both on the music and the vocals. For "You and me both" I was making my robotic music, because face it, that is what I am making and what I am good at (laughs), and Alison came in later the evening to record her vocals. At that point there was no proper relationship between us both. We actually never made the time to get to learn each other like we should have done. Add to that that egos were thrown in and you had a situation... We got so big that it got beyond control.
SL. A kind of Depeche Mode part 2 experience?
V. Not really, with Depeche Mode I just didn't like the musical direction things were heading into.
SL. In fact the cover artwork, two fighting dalmatians was kinda suitable looking back...
V. Yeah, it was, but I never saw it at that time. Apparently Alison did realise this (laughs) but I never drew that parallel! We were young back then and we actually thought that we could get away with anything we did, which was also the case (laughs)!
SL. Will the reunion have an impact on how you will record material with Erasure?
V. Yes, I think so If you see what kind of sound we were able to create back then with a minimum of material then yes, I want to incorporate the Yazoo sound into Erasure for sure.
SL. I was in fact pleasantly surprised by Andy Bell's remix of "Nobody's diary".
V. Me too, he should do lots more remixes for us, next time I will ask him to do some for Erasure as well. You know, Andy has always been a big fan of Alison's voice and this is the best tribute he could have done, I'm just like you really impressed by it, it sounded fantastic. You feel that Andy has been in touch with the dance scene, it reflects in his work.
SL. Any chance of releasing some live CD's like you did with Erasure via Liveherenow?
V. I'm not sure if it worked out all that well with Liveherenow. It was more like a gimmick, you know... I prefer releasing a live album that is actually well produced than just releasing it like this. If Erasure would have been a jazz band in which we constantly would change structures of songs etc , it would have been a pretty interesting venture, but for Erasure... I dunno. I always work very structured so it also sounds structured. It was definitely something for the hardcore fans, but even then, you can only sell a live album a few times to the same guy before he gets bored too ! (laughs) And in the past there was a live recording or two made which weren't all that good soundwise I felt...
SL. But will we get a live album?
V. There are indeed plans to record the London shows with Liveherenow, but they won't be released like we did with Erasure, instead it should be a finished product, well produced and all in a studio whilst taking the time to deliver a proper product that meets the standards we want.
SL. What can we expect from the live shows soundwise? I know that in the early days that the sound was pretty much similar to the album albeit with a few sound changes...
V. We will be bringing the sound of the album, I'm currently working on the concert tracks and they will be sounding very close to the album sound. The show will more or less consist of the two albums supported by rather dark visuals which Alison is taking care of. So no, no lottery or colourful visuals like you are used to with Erasure ! (Laughs)
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