Alan Wilder (Recoil, ex-Depeche Mode)
In just a few days, over 400 lots will go under the hammer as former Depeche Mode member and Recoil 'Boss' Alan Wilder sells a large selection of musical / studio equipment and memorabilia at auction. Before the main auction starts this weekend in Manchester, Mr. Wilder answered some questions of Janos Janurik (Hungarian freelance journalist). Enjoy this interview and keep an eye on this historic auction!
Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Hello Alan! This summer, you’re going to sell a large selection of your musical / studio equipment, vinyl & memorabilia at auction. Please say a few words about the auction cause! What has made you want to do this?
Alan Wilder (Alan): As I have already said, it’s for the charity of Alan Wilder unfortunately. Times are tight for everyone these days, and divorce plus lack of any finance for making records means I need to do some belt-tightening. Having said that, I’m not overly sentimental about every little detail of my musical history. Obviously, I'm much more attached to certain things than others, and I am fortunate enough to have saved enough memorabilia to still keep a great collection for myself. I certainly wouldn't get rid of everything. I am retaining items that I personally value and treasure the most - for instance I have a huge photographic & home movie record of my time in DM, which I would never sell. But really, I need more space (and peace) in my life and this goes part of the way to achieving that. I found it an evocative and cathartic experience to sift through all the collectables - the actual sorting and cataloguing process brought back great memories and I was able to re-live some key moments which I had inevitably forgotten about, reminding me of how lucky I have been to have enjoyed such a career, doing something I'm passionate about.
RoD: You’ve got an enviable collection of Depeche Mode vinyl & CDs. What is the rarest item in your opinion?
Alan: Something to keep an eye on in the auction is the unreleased box set called DMBS 1-4. Known as the ‘Holy Grail’, these are the 4 extremely rare white labels from the Depeche Mode box set that was never released. It was recalled at the last minute for unknown reasons. Album acetates are also very desirable, being so rare. Only one or two are ever produced for a record release and I have quite a few of these iconic records. A few selected teaser items are currently on sale via eBay, and more will be added as we approach the auction. (http://shop.ebay.com/depechemodeatomegaauctions/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562)
RoD: Could you name a record you’ve bought recently? What kind of music do you listen to nowadays?
Alan: The last album I heard was actually sent to me by Alessandro Cortini, whose project SONOIO I really like. Alessandro is an ex-member of NINE INCH NAILS (for those that don’t know) and he guested for Recoil at one of the events on the US tour. His music focuses on his use of the Buchla synthesiser, which I believe he designed himself - in fact he’s known for custom designing small synths which he sells with his CDs. A very clever and very charming bloke he is.
RoD: You made a documentary film about the history of the listed items. Any special story behind the stage clothing you wore on the legendary ‘Devotional’ Tour? I remember I always liked your stage clothes a lot.
Alan: Each garment was individually designed and manufactured by fashion designers Paula Bradley & Karen Dusenbery in direct response to discussions prior to the ‘Devotional’ tour. When I originally thought about what to wear for the tour, and it was suggested that we should perhaps have some clothes custom made, for some reason I had in my mind Public Enemy(!). I had remembered seeing a video of them wearing boiler suits with sunglasses & berets. I wanted something similar and we ended up with many different sets consisting of mainly two-piece outfits - black and dark green/blue colours, using silk, mesh and other unusual materials, with zips, buttons and poppers, each different but all confirming to a unified ‘look’. Of course, I ended up looking nothing like a member of Public Enemy :) On a practical level it was important that I could move freely in order to drum. It also meant that for 14 months, I didn’t have to think: “What the hell am I gonna wear for the gig tonight?” One or two pieces were unfortunately stolen during an infamous stop on the tour in South Africa (’94), so somewhere near Cape Town, there is a bloke running around in the sun wearing a green mesh, silk boiler suite with leather straps dangling off the sides!
RoD: One of the biggest dreams of the Depeche Mode fans would be the release of a live DVD from the ‘World Violation’ Tour. Is there any raw material for this somewhere within your personal collection?
Alan: Unfortunately not. This is a commonly asked question and I am aware that fans would really love to see such a film. However I don’t have any recollection of concerts being filmed from the tour, although I’m sure we must have done. I know some footage does exist, but these tend to be in-house venue recordings - closed circuit feeds of the side screens that were used at the larger arenas. I just don’t remember whether Anton Corbijn filmed any of the concerts for example, or indeed any other commissioned directors. But I’m probably not the best person to ask.
RoD: Just another word for Depeche Mode. You made a remix for their 2009’s song ‘In Chains’, which is a big fans favourite from Depeche Mode’s current release, ‘Remixes 2: 81-11’. Andy Fletcher has mentioned in a recent radio interview that he could imagine a possible cooperation between you and Depeche Mode in the near future. What would it take to make this fans dream come true?
Alan: How many times are you gonna ask me the same question? :)
RoD: And now a question concerning your Recoil project. You had a successful tour throughout the world and you recorded a concert in Budapest at an old cinema building. Can we hope to one day see this live recording arrive on DVD?
Alan: Yes, I very much hope so. As you say, we recorded and filmed the last European show from 2010, in Budapest, and we’re at rough edit stage. Personally, I think it looks stunning, but we still have quite a lot of work to do on it. It doesn’t seem like my record company is interested in it though. So far it’s been completely self-financed, and I will find a way to release it myself.
RoD: When and where can the fans see and hear you again? What will be your next steps after the auction is finished?
Alan: I’m working on two cover versions for a Talk Talk tribute album, and a couple of other remixes as well. These projects are the most I can squeeze in between the rest of my (complicated) life at the moment, and sadly I don’t have the time or finances to spend a year in the studio making a whole new RECOIL album. I would like to make more RECOIL music in the future though if possible.
Great breaking news at last moment! Alan Wilder has decided to perform a virtually free concert immediately following the main sale event in Manchester on Saturday 3rd Sept at Zion theatre, as a thank you to everyone who is supporting the auction. For the lucky few who are registering to attend the live part of the event, it will possible to stay for this performance as long as the theatre capacity at Zion will hold the numbers. In order to cover PA and projection costs, we are asking an extra £5 only for anyone who wishes to remain at the theatre for RECOIL's performance. The ONLY way to get a ticket is to register now with Omega by contacting:
Telephone : +44 161 865 0838
This is a very limited offer - first come, first served. Registrations, which also gives you full access to bid in the auction plus a printed catalogue, are being accepted right now.
For further details:
http://auction.recoil.co.uk / www.omegaauctions.co.uk / www.the-saleroom.com