Vince Clarke reveals more details on new Erasure album, an EDM album and more - interviewPosted on 28/04/13
(Photos by Mauricio Moriarty & Bernard Van Isacker) - Last Friday Vince Clarke (Erasure, Yazoo, ex-Depeche Mode) was in Mexico City to do a DJ set at the Pasagüero club. Earlier that day he had also engaged into a Q&A at the SAE Institute on production (although most questions there revealed to be more fanlike as you can read in this article on our live Twitter reporting during the event). I remembered from this Q&A that bands should learn to invest in music even if it doesn't bring them any money the first years, "because in the first place it's all about the love of making music isn't it?" A hard truth these days, but an attitude which pays off on the long run.
The DJ set on Friday night was preceded and followed by a party with mostly Erasure, Yazoo and Depeche Mode songs being spun (though none of the new Depeche Mode songs made the playlist, I wonder why…). To be noted that later on some girls also started yelling "Alan!" when Depeche Mode songs were spun. It kinda reflects what I heard earlier that day when talking to people here in Mexico: the new Depeche Mode album is far from being liked. But that's another discussion. Back to Vince Clarke.
At the club local fixer / correspondent Maira Oliva and me were able catching up briefly with a dead-tired Vince Clarke for an 8-minute interview. Yep, very short, but we fired the questions as fast as we could to get a maximum quantity of info. Here's a transcript of that short but quite an informative chat.
(From left to right: Maira Oliva, Vince Clarke, Bernard Van Isacker)
SL: You are currently preparing a brand new Erasure album, a Christmas album.
Andy didn't want the pressure to do a whole album this year and our manager has been pushing us for a long time to do a Christmas album. Andy felt that this was the right time to do it. We will be writing half of the album ourselves and the rest will be covers. Soit's a little less pressure. To be honest I sansn't really into it in the beginning. I didn't want to make christmas songs on synthesisers.
SL: My first idea when I heard about this Christmas album was that it could sound like muzak if you treated it just like synthesiser music…
Exactly, but I came up with a concept for the sound of the record which I'm quite excited about it. It will be quite unique sounding I think and quite a departure of what we have done in the past. It will be more of a challenge than the cover album we made because practically everybody has done every christmas song ever, so we needed a a unique way to approaching the songs.
SL: What's the idea sound wise then?
Well, we'll strip the songs down as much as possible and go really minimal. The songs are great anyhow, and Andy will sing like… well, Andy is Andy and that won't change. The only thing that will change is the music. It will be very much 8-bit like and using sounds sparingly. I'm not sure people will like it, I'm sure they will though. But what we have done so far sounds very different to what we have done so far.
SL: You are also working on an EDM (Electronic Dance Music) album?
Yes, that's correct. I started to work on some tracks and came up with the idea that instead of approaching a person to ask if he/she wanted to work on this record, I'd be approaching many people. I didn't want to do the same thing like I did with Martin in VCMG. I wanted to break away a bit from that and invite many people for this record.
SL: You are staying with Mute too for this one I guess?
Oh yeah, I'm a Mute man definitely, for 30 years already!
SL: So how do you look at the recent purchase of the back catalogue rights of your material and that of other Mute artists by BMG?
Well, you know, what happened was that Daniel tried to buy the rights back and BMG put a lot more money in on the last minute so I think Daniel was quite disappointed about it. (Read also: Mute catalogue comes into BMG hands) In a way it's good for us really, because it means that Daniel is now really concentrating on Mute Records and the bands on it, rather than relying on what has been recorded so far, the back catalogue that is. He is investing a lot of money in signing a lot of new bands which are quite good according to me.
SL: In the past you have always stated that you weren't really fond of being in the spotlights, but being a DJ now, is exactly that no?
Well, that's the bad part of it (laughs). The good thing is that I'm spinning the records I like and not the ones that I think others will like. At first I did try to make a list of records of which I thought people might like, house music etc. But then Andy said: "just play what you like first". So I did.
SL: By the way, wasn't there a new Yazoo album that was coming our way?
No, there won't be any new Yazoo album. I heard the single Alison did and it sounded very interesting. I really loved it and I was positively shocked by the new departure. I didn't expect it at all. (Editor's note: the new Alison Moyet album was produced by Guy Sigsworth, who was a former member of Frou Frou together with Imogen Heap. During his career he has worked with such artists as Seal, Björk, Bomb the Bass, Madonna, David Sylvian and so on. Read also: Alison Moyet giving away free song 'Changeling' - returns to electronic roots)
Below are some pictures and also a Vine post we did to give you an idea how the day went.
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Posted by B. Van Isacker
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