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We Love You - The Interviews!

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An interview with Invisible College, Feb 2003

What is the short story behind Invisible College?

<Eric> Bob and I were school mates. We loved synth music-- OMD, Kraftwerk, Ultravox, Numan, etc. and wanted to make it ourselves. I bought a bass, a cheap drum machine and a 10 watt pratice amp, and Bob bought a synth. OMD was the model for the band. It was attractive because it meant that as two people we could produce music that we liked and had control over. So many friends of ours had four and five piece bands that they were struggling to keep together due to so many interests and egos.

<Andrew>I have known Bob and Eric since the mid 1980s. I worked with Eric on another band project called Clock International and was in the crowd at many Invisible College shows. I became involved the Invisible College two years ago working on remixes. Bob and I discovered an ability to work closely together writing bed tracks for original songs.

How long have you been OMD fans?

<Eric> 22 years. I will not divulge my age.

<Andrew>  have liked OMD since the 1980s, but have been more distanced from them as a musical influence than either Bob or Eric. I believe this has been a strength for Invisible College in working on cover songs enhancing original input in the project.

<Bob> Same as Eric.

What is the story behind recording this OMD cover?

<Bob> The song that was chosen for the We Love You album is Messages. This particular version was recorded during a rehearsal session back in November or December, 2002. The three of had wrapped up a set we were preparing for live and thought we would give Messages a run through before packing up for the night. I’m not sure if this recording picks up on it but there was such an incredible energy that whole evening. When I heard that there was going to be a fan driven tribute to OMD, I thought a live recording, even from a rehearsal, would be interesting to submit.

What other bands do you admire?

<Eric> I like Wire and Brian Eno as much as I do OMD. If I was on a desert island with just that part of my collection I would be happy. Granted, that is a lot of music so I guess it's a bit of a cop out.

<Andrew> I have had long term listening enjoyment and been influenced by early electronic bands/artists such as Gary Numan, Ultravox, New Order, Cabaret Voltaire and Fad Gadget. I believe all of these bands/artists had a unique ability to bring song writing into electronic music.

<Bob> For me, it has to be 808 State, Moby, Chemical Brothers, Ultravox, Numan, John Foxx, A Certain Ratio, Joy Division and Johnny Cash.

Have you also covered any of these bands?

<Eric> No, but I would like to. Fisherspooner have already done The 15th, which really pissed me off, not just because they did it but did it well. I would like to do "Goodbye Tonsils" by Severed Heads and making it sound like "Georgia", if you can imagine. I would also like to do "The Fat Lady of Limbourg".

<Andrew> We have a live cover cued up for Are Friends Electric (Gary Numan) and She's Lost Control (Joy Division)

<Bob> Mmm, Eric forgets that in our formative years we did perform a version of Brian Eno’s ‘Backwater’ ;-)

What are Invisible College's future plans?

<Andrew> We intend on focusing our efforts on the upcoming album as well as North American/European tour dates.

“We Love You” is a CD by and for OMD fans.  Tell us a story regarding an experience as OMD fan.  Anything funny, interesting, weird, etc.?

<Eric> The funniest story I can recall is one where Bob and I went to see OMD open for Depeche Mode, 87 I think. We had given a demo tape of "The Word I'm Looking For" to Paul Humphreys in person earlier in the year. After OMD's set, we were hanging around the stage door and Martin Cooper walks by. We said, "Hey, Martin tell Paul the Invisible College is here", or something to that effect, as if he was our secretary and as if Paul would remember who we were. Martin looked at us strangely and said "Yeah, sure." We must have waited for an hour after that. Paul never showed, no surprise. I can't believe how cocky and naive we were.

<Bob> quote “I can't believe how cocky and naive we were.”

Oh I can!

Jim Shilts

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Invisible College:

Biography - Invisible College, formed in the 1980s by Bob Hanley and Eric Klaver, distinguished itself by playing appealing, polished electronic music.

Today, joined by Andew White, Invisible College continue their project of bringing well-worked and thoughtful pop music in an electronic medium to a world that has recently rediscovered the beauty and excitement of electronic music.

Personnel - Bob Hanley vocals synthesizers programming; Eric Klaver synthesizers programming; Andrew  White synthesizers programming

More info here: