Andy Bell of Erasure

English synthpop duo Erasure, consisting of songwriter and former Depeche Mode member/founder/keyboardist Vince Clarke and singer Andy Bell entered the music scene in 1985 with their debut single "Who Needs Love Like That".  This duo recently hit the road for their first tour in five years in support of their new album Tomorrow’s World. Just prior to Clarke announcing his reunion with Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore for a a series of EPs and a new album under the band name VCMG, Glide had a chance to speak with Mr. Andy Bell.

 Hi, Andy. You are in Brazil?

Yeah, we are in Sao Paolo. It has been cloudy all day, just starting to break through now.

What are the fans like there?

So far they have been very sweet, kind of quiet and not very loud in the audience. They have been singing along to all the words, especially the younger ones. They have been generous with their gifts and things. We have gotten a load of t-shirts, great big cuddly toy things. Of course you can’t carry them around because it is too much so we have to give them away to people. People have been really, really sweet.

What has been the craziest thing a fan has ever given you?

The craziest thing was a fairy made out of an old rubber condom that put inside a little box. I think it was one of those rib tickler condoms that had ears on it and stuff. They made it a face and put little legs on it.

That is very creative!

Yeah, it was very creative and looked realistic.

I wanted to ask did your solo album Non-Stop influence the new Erasure album Tomorrow’s World in some ways?

I think it did but I don’t know whether Frankmusik (producer and electropop musician) heard it or not. I know Vince heard it. I think all of these things work subconsciously. I think just by the very fact of doing it you set the bar up a bit. You put more energy into it. That definitely has happened on some subliminal level. Whether people are aware of it I don’t know. I think definitely with the synth programming with Vince’s and Frank’s work it has given it an energetic input.

How did you meet Frankmusik?

We didn’t really meet. He did a remix for us for The Innocents reissue of Phantom Bride, which I really loved. I loved some of hisown stuff. He’s a real synth fanatic. He loves Vince’s work. He just wanted to work with us and it was very encouraged by the fans.  It just worked out that Frank was the one we wound up working with. I wanted to work with him as well instinctively.

Right now you are currently on a Total Pop! Tour.

Yes, we have finished the first half so the next bit will be Tomorrow’s World.

Do you get a break?

We don’t really get a break but we get to turn it around in Tampa. We have all our new production stuff there coming in. We have to reinvent a whole new show in six days.

Wow. Is there a theme like space?

We are doing six tracks from the new album so they are quite difficult performing wise. Then there will be songs from this part of the tour so it’s still singles and stuff people know. There is a whole big set that looks very “Tomorrow’s World-ish.” It is quite Dune-ish with our stained glass window motif. Hopefully it will be really nice.

Light visuals I am sure…

Yeah, a whole lot!

The first song on the album “Be With You” really has you stretching vocally.

Oh, right. That is really high that one. That is one of the most difficult songs to sing on the album. I think that will be the next single as well. It was very high, when you think about it. I was doing vocals in Frank’s LA studio. He uses loads of EQ and compression before you even go into his MAC so you have to sing on the top of your voice. It was quite hard.

Do you have a video coming out?

We haven’t seen it so we don’t know what it is going to look like. They just took some live footage of us, on the road, backstage and stuff like that.

What is the song “Then I Go Twisting” about?

Someone said that it sounds like a song written to an Erasure fan but to me it is song written about the monotony of life in small town Britain. You can see that people are so bored and there is nothing to do there. The music is all the same on the radio. This song is saying “I Go Twisting” or I go insane and that is it.

How does Erasure stay relevant to new fans?

t is one of those things. You don’t really always stay relevant. It is like anything… bend like fashion and you go in and out. I think we have had a large elliptical parth and it takes us ages to when we come back in again. Now we feel like we are coming in again. There is not that many people that understand us on a really fundamental level I think. Although we do great shows I think underneath it all we are not really rock stars. We don’t take it too seriously really. We love doing music and writing songs. In the end it is just me and Vince. We are not on MTV and all those things so we are pretty much out of it.

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