Andy Bell tells Lauren Murphy how band partner Vince Clarke saved him from the curse of Phil Spector – and why coke isn’t it
It’s going really good so far. We’ve been writing over two years at this stage. Vince lives in Maine now, and he’s got all of his synthesisers there in one studio that he calls The Shed. It’s in the middle of pine trees, by the sea, so it’s very romantic and scenic. There’s loads and loads of bugs there, so when you walk from his house to the studio you have to run the gauntlet – especially those deer flies. They’re bastards! Apart from that it’s a great working environment. We did some writing there, some in New York, some in London, so we’ve been all over the place. We wrote about 20 songs, and now we’re working in the studio with Frankmusik this week. Well, I think Vince would be very happy to make synth albums the whole time, because that’s what he loves, and he can be quite experimental. Because Erasure was formed out of The Assembly and Yazoo, we did go very pop, and it’s sometimes quite hard to break out of those parameters. But I do like to do different things to keep it interesting and fresh. Vince is snowed under with the programming side of things, but I think he’s starting to realise how much physical work it is for me, too, with the whole performance aspect. I love being the monkey on the barrel, but it does wear you out.