The message at the OMD-reunion of the
original line-up was a great surprise for the fans, we are so very
happy about it! What was the reason to come together after such a
long time and risk a new beginning? When did you feel that it was the
very moment to say „now we’ll do it again“?
I think it all really started when we
decided to do this television show in Cologne last June (notice
by the author: "The Ultimate Chartshow", recorded at May
30, 2005 in Cologne/Germany). We´d
been asked to do TV shows before and we always said: „No“ and I
don´t know why but we just decided „Oh why not? Let´s
do it. Let´s have some fun!“. And it was when we were at the TV show
we had such good fun doing it and it was so easy. I think we all looked at each other and
said: „Shall we do some more of this?“. That was the beginning of saying: „Hey,
maybe we can get together again.“
and Paul at the "Ultimative Chartshow" in Cologne/Germany
final decision for the OMD reunion was made here
Another possible reason for the reunion
could be the fact that your former record label does everything to
let OMD and OMD’s releases of the last 26 years be forgotten. The
financial aspect of that fact alone can’t be very positive for
you. Do you fight against being forgotten? Are the planned
A&M-concerts (which you intended to play mainly to
representatives of the media) a direct reaction to show the true
significance of OMD in the musical history and to get a place next to
Synth-artists like "Depeche Mode", "Pet Shop Boys", "Human League" etc.? A
place that you really deserve but that is not recognized for years
Well, I do think there is some truth on
the fact that OMD have been forgotten by the media. There’ve been a
lot of sort of retrospective shows over the last couple of years
really that I’ve watched on TV. But in a lot of english shows they
don´t include OMD and we had some significance in the 80s as
much as some other bands that they have been on there and it had been
a sort of source of annoyance for us the fact that OMD have been
kind of forgotten. And maybe it´s a motivating factor for us to
kind of go out and say: „Hey, we did do some good stuff in the 80s
and we are capable of doing some good stuff again.“
I think it´s understandable.
Because the band stopped, people will forget you apart from maybe a
few songs on the radio sometimes. So it´s understandable why
this happend, but for us it´s frustrating. And part of the reason is to remind
people of what we did, because we are proud of it. So that is one of the reasons obviously
though we had fun doing the TV Show last year. We´re having fun
today, we´re here in Munich doing a TV Show and we are looking
forward to having fun in the next few years.
I don´t think OMD is going to be
something we will be doing everyday for the next 30 years. I think
Paul has other things he wants to do, I have some things I want to
do. But I think the next 2 years we will do some OMD things and if we
build the band back up again then maybe every 2 or 3 years we will do
some gigs and well, make a record.
I think also a lot of the TV shows,
they seem to focus the bands who had Number One Hits in the UK.
Somebody pointed it out to me recently, that there is a lot of bands
who they pick all had Number One hits. And OMD never had a Number One
in the UK, although we have had Number Ones in Germany, throughout
Europe we actually had Number One hits. But a lot of the
retrospective shows in the UK they pick bands, that have had number
Humphreys und Andy McCluskey (2006)
Andy, you told us recently, that the
fans will get „traditional“ OMD on the new album. But in the past
you were the very champion in trying out new styles and let every
album sound totally different compared to it’s forerunner. So can
one guess that the new album – following the OMD-tradition - will
sound totally different than everyone expects?
Well most of it hasn´t been
written yet, so I don´t know. But I think that one of the
things that I´m looking forward to - and I have done a little
writing so far. We haven´t had the chance to work together much
yet, but I think the fun is actually that it will sound like OMD, but
it will sound – probably mostly sound - like early 80s OMD, not
late 80s or 90s OMD. But times change, there is new equipment and
technology, new sounds, so i don´t think it´s just going
to be a complete kind of historical sounding record. I think it’s
important that it should sound like OMD now.
It won’t be retro-OMD, although there
will be some reference-points. My writing I have gone very far back
to kind of early electronic music again. I’ve rediscovered sort of
hardcore electronic music again, which were our roots. So to any
writing that we do, I’ll be bringing that again, because I’m
inspired by our early things again. I’ve recently been listening to
a lot of "NEU!", Kraftwerk and "La Duesseldorf" and all the things that inspired us back
then. But I don’t want to do that as we did it then, I want to
bring it into this century and into this period.
And then the whole album will be remixed by the Micronauts.
The Micronauts, who did an awful
version of Electricity.
I would like this!
You would like that! I don’t agree
with that! It’s an interesting track but for me it has
do with Electricity!
How will the songwriting be organized
for the forecoming album?
Will we hear a McCluskey/Cooper“ or a
„Humphreys/Holmes song for the first time?
Or will the songwriting
stay a job for the heads of the band like in the past and the main
constellation will remain „Humphreys/McCluskey“?
It will be Humphreys and McCluskey.
Sure. Malcolm never really wrote and Martin… Well, one thing we realized
about OMD coming back is that Martin is very busy as an artist, his
main career is painting and selling paintings… No no, basically it
will be Humphreys/McCluskey!
Will Stuart Kershaw be a member of the
band „only“ for live performances or will he take part in the
recording of the album, may it be as a songwriter or as a musician?
Do you think there is a chance for the Weir Brothers to rejoin OMD?
After all they were long time members of the band…
Weir Brothers - (and
same time with PAUL)
- no. Stuart
- maybe on stage and probably
little bit of writing.
Who will produce the new album?
Like we did the early albums.
Both Paul and I have our own studios.
We will do the recordings ourselves and then probably we will get
somebody to mix the album, just to do the final recording, but we
will produce it.
We will drive the whole thing.
und Paul - interviewed by Lola
Until now you „only“ speak of
releasing an album. Do you also plan to release a single? Some people
are talking about the 10-year old song Sister Mary Says to be the new
OMD-single. Don´t you think a new song taken from the new album
recorded with the actual band would fit better? And how comercial or
hit-orientated may a single be? In the 80s you accepted compromises
(or better you had to after pressure of your record label) but you
only have this pressure to write a hit-single in an indirect way
I think since we only have a few ideas
for songs that we definitely want on the album so far, it’s too
early to say what will be single. But I’m sure there will be
singles, we’ll definitely release singles, but it’s too early to
say what it will be. I also think the time of the release of the
album is probably going to be the autumn of 2007, so we have a long
way until it’s released. The most important thing for us is that we
have to start again. The band has been gone for a long time and often
forgotten, so we have to start to making people think about OMD and
hopefully create a demand for a new album. To make people want an OMD
We have a fan base who would love to
have a new OMD album but we want more than just the fan base. And so
we want to remind people of what we have done and where we’ve come
from and people to remember the name again and then hopefully that
will create a demand for a new record, which also gets the time to
reinvent, to write some decent songs.
The medial landscape has changed a lot
compared to the past. The extreme quickness and a discretionary
replaceability of the artists is dominating nowadays. The record
companies don´t care about a gentle build-up of newcomers and
an intensive care of well-known artists anymore. What chances do you
think you have to be recognized in an adequate way by media and
audience? Don´t you think the 8 years that OMD were absent from
the view of the media are a very long time to get a foot into the
Yes, it is. But I think we are prepared
to do some hard work. We think we are going to make a great album,
the band has been always very good on stage and we will use the live
performances to start people thinking positively about the band
again. But we realize that it’s gonna take time and also I think we
are realistic. Even if we make the most fantastic album that OMD ever
made it probably won’t sell as many as the old albums did, like
"Architecture & Morality" or "Sugar Tax".. We have to be realistic
about that. But we gonna write the best music we can, play the best
gigs we can and then hopefully that will be the beginning of a new
"The Best Of Formular One" TV performance - March 8th
Andy, you have a studio in Liverpool
and you are a producer, Paul is busy with his actual band ONETWO and
his label "theremusic", he will go on tour in spring, Malcom has a
label himself and Martin’s regular occupation is being a painter.
But with the reunion of OMD there is a lot of work coming towards
you. You have to rehearse for the „Architecture &
Morality“-Live Shows, for an Europe-Tour and by the way write and
record the songs for the new album. Do you have a master plan to
pursue the new OMD activities in a way that satisfies both the band
and also the fans?
It’s just a lot of hard work ahead,
but we never find it hard work. I’ve always enjoyed working, so if
I was not working, I get really depressed so I personally like hard
Obviously Paul and Claudia have their
own band, they have their own music and we have to realize that
that’s important about Paul and Claudia. Paul’s not going to do
just OMD, I will do different things, we just said Martin paints. And
one of the other things is that about myself and Martin in particular
we have quite young children. We don’t want to be on tour for six
months and never see our kids or wives. Yes, and Paul’s the same.
We have to think about that. It’s a little bit more complicated
then when we were all in our twenties and OMD was 24 hours a day,
It was our life, 7 days a week.
But we can do it.
It doesn’t mean we can’t do it.
We’ll do it very well!
If there will ever be a DVD what are
your personal wishes for it´s content? You have recorded a lot
of video footage by your own during the tours of 1986 until 1988. Will
there be a chance for the fans to ever see this?
I know that we never released a DVD of
all these single videos but the funny thing is: I think if we want to
be a cool band, I don’t think we should ever release a DVD of the
videos, because most of them are horrible.
I totally agree with him!
But I mean we are actually making a
television programme this year which is going to be shown in the UK
and hopefully will be shown in other countries. We do have film
footage of things that have never been seen, which we will be trying
to use. So there will be things for people to buy and to see and to
listen to, not just concerts and a new album, there will be TV-shows
and DVDs, all this is going to happen.
Who will design the cover for the new
album? Martin maybe?
Peter Saville, who did all our early
are you in a conflict working
with two bands?
How do you decide which of your songs you will use
for which band?
It’s a little bit like dancing at two
weddings, as we say in England.
He’s going to use the best ones to
OMD, but don’t tell Claudia!
Pretty much I have written today is on
the next OneTwo album. We have said that there are some things we
have started, which won’t be on the OneTwo album, which I am gonna
be sending Andy…
He’s been telling that for three
I have a deadline to finish my record
by the end of this month, so it’s a little bit tight over there,
but No, I don’t see it as a conflict, it’s just a question of
beeing organized. And I’m far more organized than I used to be.
does the reunion of OMD mean the unavoidable end of the Genie
They’ve already finished. It’s
over. They ended. I had to give up and finally accept defeat.
THANKS TO ANDY AND PAUL FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW!
complete interview as a audio-file (mp3) download:
GERMAN TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTERVIEW:
Hagen Schmitt & Lola
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