Aire FM - 21st of September 2000

(Sorry, I always seem to chop the beginning off interviews - basically the DJ was just saying he gets a bit nervous interviewing big stars!)

M=Matt Wilkins

A=Andy

V=Vince

M: So I do get a little bit nervous..so you've been to the shops...in Leeds

A: Yeah

M: Where about's have you been.. Harvey Nicks was it?

A: Yeah, I've been there..quick in and quick out

M: I have to avoid the place. Quite frankly it's lethal. I just end up spending up completely

A: Oh, I know..

M: You didn't get a leather suit there did you, at all?

A: No, nope.. no leather

M: Like on Top Of The Pops

A: No

M: Was that on Top Of The Pops that time?

A: Rubber!

M: Oh, it was rubber, wasn't it, it wasn't leather..

A: Naah

M: Wasn't there a little bit of trouble about that?

A: No!

M: Was there not?. I heard there was a little bit of bother going around..

A: No, it made the single go up twenty places!

M: (laughing) Fantastic...so what do you think of Leeds now. I don't know if you spend any time at all in Leeds.. because they kind of think it's like the London of the North at the moment...it's the only place outside London you can go to Harvey Nicks

V: I spent a bit of time here because I did some music for a play at the Yorkshire Playhouse

M: Oh right, OK

V: Which was about two years ago. They did a version of Rita, Sue and Bob Too. And they wanted me to do some kind of '80s snitches of music, which was good. So I know it a little bit, but not really well.

M: So that's the kind of thing that you've been up to because it's been 3 years hasn't it now?.

V: Three years since the last release

A: Well, I've been chilling out. Vince has been working hard behind the scenes..he's done two film soundtracks

V: A couple of movies, yeah

M: Really?. Anything we will have heard of?

V: Well, they're not coming out until next year. One's called 'Blood' which is a really blood curdling horror film. And one is entitled 'The Bullfighter' which is a romantic thriller.

M: Fantastic. You're spending a bit of time in Spain at the moment, aren't you?.

A: Yeah, half and half

M: Which bit of Spain is it?

A: Majorca

M: That's one of the islands in the Ballearics. So it's just half and half in and out of Spain?

A: Yeah

M: What attracted you to spending a bit of time out there.

A: Well, it was kind of... we were looking around..my boyfriend's from California anyway so it's very similar, the coastline. And he's been living in the UK for about 20 years. And we just had a look round, like on the South coast of Spain and on the North East coast and it just so happened, we'd been to Ibiza for a holiday - worn ourselves out on holiday and then decided to stop off at Majorca on the way back and go and look at somewhere...and we just loved it. It's really nice.

M: OK. For people who don't know, how did it all start for Erasure?, you were knocking about in bands like er..Yazoo and The Assembly and Depeche Mode as well. And you kind of decided to break away from that didn't you?

V: I started er...(says something like twenhurr years ago to try and disguise how long it's been!) with Depeche Mode and then did Yazoo and The Assembly as you say. And the relationships weren't really working out so myself and the producer advertised for a singer in the music papers and Andy came along to one of the auditions and that's when we first started and that's 15 years ago now.

M: So I understood that the original idea was that you were going to create an album with lots of different voices on it and Andy was the one that stuck.

V: Yeah, because it didn't really prove practical to do that, you know, and what happened in fact, was that Andy started getting involved in writing the songs with me and then it really did become a proper group.

A: And it was Flood who we did that with. I mean, he was at the audition weren't he?.

V: Flood was yeah.

M: That's right. And that's the producer who's helped you on your new album Loveboat.

A+V: That's right.

M: So how many number one's has it been?.

A: One

V: Only one number one in this country.

M: Yeah, but what about the albums?

A: Five

M: So they've all gone up there pretty much, so how do you feel about the release of the new one?.

A: Well, I'm quite nervous, but um.. cos it's been a long time, you know, we've kind of put it back a couple of weeks. Um (pauses).. because the last two.. I don't know whether the album went in the top 10 or not, I'm not sure. I don't think so (Cowboy reached number 10 in the UK charts! :). So I don't want to have my hopes up too high, you know.. but at the same time, I'm feeling very lucky at the moment.

M: Is it all about the chart success though?

A: Not really. No, I mean, it is nice, it's very flattering and it's an ego boost, just for that short while. But I think we've um..

V: We're beyond that, I think.

A: Yeah..

V: I mean, the satisfaction is writing and making a good record. You know, which hopefully we've done.

M: Yeah, I mean you've got that very, very ,very Erasure sound that you started with right at the beginning and it's gone all the way through. And you can hear it on the new album as well. But it's slightly more raw, perhaps?

V: Well, it's a little bit darker I think. But that's the influence also of Flood, and one of the reasons why we got him in because he's been working with lots of rock bands and alternate rock bands in America. So he kind of brought a bit of an edge into the mixing stage of the record.

M: So we're going to hear a live session from you in the studio very shortly. First of all, lets check out the first single you're gonna be releasing from the album. This first single from the album is called 'Freedom'.

(plays Freedom, the radio edit version that has less 'doo-wahs'!)

M: The forthcoming single from Erasure is called 'Freedom', from the new album Loveboat

(back to the interview)

M: I don't know how to approach this one.. there's lots of rumours of rivalry between yourselves and, for example, the Pet Shop Boys..

A: Yeah..

M: Was that a rumour or..

A: No, no, we don't ..

V: It's just a rumour.. we've never met them..

A: We've met them once I think, on one TV show in Munich in like 1990 or something like that

M (laughing) I mean, comparing the two bands.. I mean, probably the pioneers of the electro synth sound that you've very much made your own. Um..but bands, a similar genre of bands have kind of fallen by the wayside now. What do you think's given you the staying power to, you know, still be around now?

V: I think our ability to write songs. And we've concentrated on..you know, the most important thing is the melody when we write the songs. And so it's hopefully catchy choruses and.. things that people sing in bathrooms..

M: (laughing) bathrooms?

V: Showers, baths..

M: A good place to compose?

V: It's a good place to sing, apparently..

A: It's a good place to sing. It's a very good place to warm up as well..

M: (laughing) The acoustics in the bath tub!

V: We're hoping you've laid on a bath for Andy actually cos if we're doing this acoustic session we need to warm his voice up!

M: Haha!

V: So if you can arrange a shower for him...

M: Well, we'll have to take you into the canteen and fill up the sink...

A: Yeah alright...oh well I used to play in the sink all the time when I was little. My Nan used to fill it up for me and put all knives and forks in it and I could play in there for hours!. I loved it. I had to stand on a chair but...

M: (laughing) Actually, there's something I read in the papers today that blokes in Leeds are spending more money on clothes than people in London, blokes in London. Any sign of that in Harvey Nicks today?.

A: No

V: There was a few chaps buying some stuff yeah..

A: Yeah..

V: But it wasn't packed..but then, it is quite expensive.

M: It is..

V: (laughing)

A: I went in for Jeans and came out with air-dried ice cream (?!)

M: Air-dried ice cream?!..what's that?. Is that like the space stuff that they take into space..you get in little packets?

A: Yeah.

M: Is it gonna taste good?, that's the big question

A: It tastes quite nice..

M: Oh, you've eaten it already!

A: No, I've had some before!

M+V: (laughing)

M: So what's gonna be the rest of the year for you and Christmas Time, have you got any plans?

V: Well, after this single, we're going to release, hopefully in the New Year, Alien, which is one of the ballads on the album. It's the one that we're going to be singing in a minute..

M: Oh fantastic.

V: And um..

A: I think we should do the video in November..do you think?

V: We're doing another video in November..yeah, we are doing the video in November..

A: Yeah.

V: And then Andy'll start working on a solo album..

M: Are you looking forward to that?

A: Yeah.

M: Is it going to be um..a little bit strange? (without Vince)

A: Yeah, it will be quite strange, it'll be very strange. It'll be interesting to see if I can do it, y'know.. without Mr.Clarke

M: Without Mr.Clarke..you must have one of the most unmistakable voices in the whole of the music industry though..

A: It's no mistake! (laughs)

M: So, I'm sure you'll do very well with that. So the single's gonna be out on the 9th of October, it's called Freedom and the album's gonna be out 23rd of October?. Is that right?

A: Yeah..

M: So we'll look out for that one as well..and we're gonna hear an acoustic session right now of Alien

A: That's right, yeah

M: That's a funny name for a ballad!

A: Well, it's a cute little Alien though!!

V: Haha!, yeah, it's a home sick Alien!

M: Fantastic. Let's check that out then

(Do live acoustic version of Alien).