Interview with Erasure (october 2007):

     This interview Erasure gave exclusively to on 5th October 2007 in Berlin.

   - Hi Andy and Vince! Thank you for finding the time for this interview. So, the first question - how are you feeling yourselves now?

   Vince: Its been a very long tour, weve been away for 3 months and its been good fun, but were ready to finish.

   - The "Light At The End Of The World" tour is coming to an end, what are your impressions from the tour? What were the highlights and the lowlights of the tour?

Erasure   Andy: I think it seems much longer than it really has been. And probably the worst thing was having to cancel one show in Mexico, no, two shows. It was really hard because we had just finished doing the "True Colors" tour, and then we had our own show, we had 5 shows in a row, then we had to do two shows on Rosie ODonnells boat, then fly to Dominican Republic, it was really hard. So, it was very nice to come home, to come back to the UK. But I think it went quite well.

   Vince: Its been nice to see good reaction for the new record. It was surprising that people were interested in the new material as well, not only the old material.

   Andy: Ive been quite surprised with all the young people as well at the gigs, young girls, how do they know?

   - What song from the new album do you like to perform live the most?

   Andy: I like "Golden Heart", but its too high, so we dropped it. Thats my favourite.

   - Vince, during the "Phantasmagorical Entertainment" tour you had a great drag outfit. Did you think about doing something similar again?

   Vince: The costumes change every tour, so we have a guy in London who designs all the stuff...

   - Dean Bright?

Vince Clarke   Vince: Dean Bright, exactly. Hopefully we come up with something different every tour. I'm not averse to putting on some drag.

   Andy: He likes it, yeah.

   Vince: I think its good to be different and to show a different side of you on every concert.

   - Andy, during the "True Colors" tour you met one of your idols - Debbie Harry. Tell us about your impressions.

   Andy: She said herself that shes an egomaniac, which you have to be to do music. Shes a really wise person. Shes bright beautiful, she also has an inner beauty. My favourite thing was sitting on the steps with her, smoking a cigarette. On the last show in Los Angeles we had a party afterwards, and I was kissing her, it felt like I could have easily kissed her to a tongue. My friend was filming or taking photos, so hopefully I can get pictures from him.

   - Duet with Cyndi Lauper, "Early Bird", turned out very good. Dont you want to work with somebody else, maybe another duet?

   Andy: Yeah, there are lots of people. I love Annie Lennoxs voice, I think shes really amazing. All these people are so busy and they always have a lot of things going on, dont they, Vince?

   - Did you hear Annies new album? Its coming out.

   Andy: No, we heard some clips.

   - Lets talk a little about the new album. Why two great songs: "Be My Baby" and "I Dont Know Why" were dropped out from the tracklist? Andy said that those two are too commercial...

Andy Bell   Andy: That was my own taste. I just feel like because we'd done ABBA, and they were really ABBA-ie sounding, but when it came down to the end they sounded the less finished. That is why.

   - Vince, what do you think is more important - sound or melody?

   Vince: The melody, I think. Always because that's the thing that people remember. When you write a song it's the tune that people remember, not that it's a Fender Stratocaster 1963 lead guitar sound, I mean who cares? As long as they can sing it in the bathroom that's more important.

   - What song from the new album is your least favourite and why?

   Vince: We had more songs than we needed for this reocord, so Im really proud of all the songs. My favourite is "I Could Fall In Love With You", I think. I don't think there are any weak songs on a record this time.

   - Vince, can you describe the producer's role when you are recording an Erasure album?

   Vince: The producer for us is someone who inspires and encourages us when we having doubts about something we're doing. Someone who can see, who gets it. When we come up with a tune, we do very rough demos. I think it takes someone who's in tune with us to be able to see good in that rough demo, someone to recognize that and bring out the best of that song. I think it's good to have someone to tell us when to stop, otherwise we would never finish the record, we just carry on recording and recording. For us it's a very vital role, a very vital person in the production of the record.

   - What music do you listen to these days? What modern artists do you like?

   Vince: I've been listening to lots of old scary movie tracks, so no new artists at all. Well, I've got a 2 year old son and we've been listening to a lot of the music of Sesame Street.

   - What are the Erasure plans after the tour is over?

Vince Clarke    Vince: Sleep for a year! J

   Andy: Yeah! Wed have some down time, but also were thinking about finishing the nursery record.

   - When can we expect it?

   Andy: Probably in When, Vince?

   Vince: Well, its going to take a while to get together. There are few other people who expressed their interest in working with us as well for that. The next thing we do actually is we gonna do a track for Shrek Christmas album, which is a compilation album and they wanna traditional carol, so we'll be doing it as soon as we can.

   - For this Christmas?

   Andy: Yes, for this Christmas, yeah.

   - What's happening with the project of remastering old Erasure albums and re-releasing them in 5.1 surround sound in the Depeche Mode style?

   Andy: Well, I havn't heard any yet, I think they did "Wonderland"...

   Vince: I don't know they were supposed to be doing it...

   Andy: ...and then they moved. So, we dont know... Nothing...

   Vince: We havn't heard. Well, we did have discussions with them about it and thought "Chorus" would be the best one for it.

   Andy: We don't even see anyone from the record company anymore, do we, Vince? They don't even come.

   - Vince, do you remember your feelings when you worked on remastering of "Speak & Spell"?

   Vince: When I was doing an interview for the documentary, it was very pleasant. I was always talking to someone I knew very well. It was very comfortable and it was nice to do that.

   - Andy, do you have any plans about another solo album?

Andy Bell   Andy: Id like to do some more dance material, but I dont know if it will be enough for an album, so I do want to do some collaborations with other people.

   - Vince, what can we expect from Erasure musically? Don't you think about recording another concept album, like the "Erasure" album in 1995?

   Vince: I don't know. Sometimes it's not a good idea to plan too much...

   Andy: ...pre-judge.

   Vince: Yeah, because you don't know, until you sit down and write a song, you just don't know what's going to happen, or how its going to turn out, I mean, if a songs going in a particular direction and we can see a pattern, perhaps we would go down that road. Until you sit down and write a song, you don't know how it will turn out in the end.

   Andy: I can tell you why I couldn't sleep the other night, Vince, afterwards.

   Vince: J

   - Vince, can you unveil the secret of "Loveboat" album? Why it has such a strange sound with deep bass? What was the idea?

   Vince: The original idea was to use as least instruments as possible, so I used I sampled a lot of guitar and messed about with it in the sampler. I also sampled a lot of Stylophone and messed about with the sound a lot manipulated the sound alot.

   - Some Erasure fans think that Erasure should work with some modern musicians. Do you think Erasure needs such collaboration and why?

   Andy: I don't think so really, because we have our own stamp already, with Vince. If we were to work with someone like Mirwais, I love some of the sounds but it just wouldn't be us.

Vince Clarke   - Vince, what was the reason for you to pose nude for Rankins photobook?

   Vince: The real reason was because it was a low part of my life, and my self-confidence was completely zero, so I just did it and didnt care anymore.

   Andy: So you wouldnt do it again?

   Vince: No.

   - Vince, you became a father two years ago. Do you think that was the right time for you to become a father? Are you planning to have more children?

   Vince: I'm not planning to have any more children, one is plenty. I think, probably the best time to have a child is when you are 15. Because that way you get rid of all the terrible stuff over with while your still a horrible teenager anyway, then he's grown up and you can go on with enjoying yourself. It went very well for me, Im a very happy father.

   - Please, continue the phrases:
   a) if Id have a spare ticket to heaven, Id give it to...

   Andy: I dont know... To Paul. Or the devil, not that they are related.

   Vince: To Oscar.

   b) you can always find in my refridgerator...

   Andy: Some dry cheese.

   Vince: Theres always some garlic.

   c) my partner is perfect because...

Andy Bell   Andy: He's a dark brooding mean hunk.

   Vince: What was the phrase? She has big tits. J

   - Vince, what are your associations with Russia and Russians?

   Vince: I did lots and lots interviews with Russian journalists, and the interesting thing is when they always said: "Why you arent playing in Russia?" And I always said: "The reason we are not playing in Russia is because we were never asked to play in Russia."

   -  I heard this time you were asked, but it was Andy, who refused.

   Andy: No, no, I didnt refuse!

   - Because of the situation with gays...

   Andy: Not so much that, a little bit, but also weve been touring, it got on and on and on if you add more shows, and I just felt like it was enough. So it was not against Russia.

   - Anyway, I want you to know that we're still waiting!

   Andy: Ok, next time well put you on top of the list.

   - You promised!

   Andy: Yeah!

   - Is there anything you want to say to your Russian fans? Maybe some greetings from Erasure?

   Vince: Thank you for your support for all these years. We are sorry that we havn't been able to visit your country yet, but hope to do so before we die. J

   Andy: I'm very glad I've already went there. And I'm also glad that not everybody is rich!

   - Thank you and good luck for the show!

   Andy: Thank you!

   Vince: Thanks very much, thanks for all.

Erasure express its gratitude to Oksana Strizhakova (Gala Records) for help with the organizing of this interview.

Twilight 0.2 (photos: Truckdriver, Rankin)