Home » Music » Interview With Daniel Cassús of Spirits in the Forest

Interview With Daniel Cassús of Spirits in the Forest

…Plus some behind-the-scenes photos and videos from the shoot, Waldbühne concerts, and Takeoveree meetups.

To promote the launch of their new album and accompanying tour in 2017, Depeche Mode held a contest for one fan each day to take over their Facebook page. Of these Takeoverees — as we now refer to ourselves — six lucky ones were chosen to be featured in a documentary film directed by long-time collaborator Anton Corbijn.

My pal and Day 2 of the Takeover, Daniel Cassús, was one of these fortunate few. When I was buying my plane tickets for the final two concerts of the Global Spirit Tour, held at the Waldbühne in Berlin, Daniel was kind enough to invite me to take part in filming his scenes, which were shot in the days running up to and the morning of the first show. When he told me, “I knew you had to be in the movie,” I almost cried.

Daniel and I Skyped a few days before the release of Spirits in the Forest so that he could share some behind-the-scenes info about his experience.

Jenna: First of all, thank you for letting me be in your scenes. That was very nice of you. And I know you’ve told me now that I did not end up on the cutting room floor, that I’m in a whole six seconds. Woo-hoo!

Daniel: Yeah. About that, more or less.

Jenna: And of course I’m singing, so the whole world now knows how terrible my voice is and, like, the thing I hate doing most is karaoke and there I am, onscreen, doing karaoke. Great. But thank you for letting me be in your scenes and I really appreciate it.

Daniel: Oh, you’re welcome. I was also surprised how much stuff we shot that did not end up in the film.

Jenna: Yeah. I mean, at least they have you running — because you spent a lot of time running.

Daniel: I spent an entire day doing the running scenes, and it’s, like, one minute of film.

Jenna: I know. Well, you probably burned like 800 calories that day.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jenna: So all of the six spirits in the forest were chosen from the Takeoverees — from the Facebook Takeover — as we call ourselves. What was the best part of the Takeover experience itself?

Daniel: For me, the best part of the Takeover as a whole was going to the show. The debut of the album [Spirit] happened to be, like, the day before we were supposed to publish our posts anyway. But as a bonus with the Takeover, they gave me — they gave you as well — tickets for the show in Berlin, on Friday the 17th of March, 2017. Because, other than that, there was no plan. I didn’t know what to do for the Takeover — what to write. No one else wrote before me — only you [I was Day 1] — and I was supposed to hand in my posts also at the same time as you. So I didn’t know what to expect at all from the Takeover. At least the show was really, really nice. You know, it was exclusive.

Jenna: And you were headbanging a lot.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jenna: I know we met while the Takeover was still going on. I’m trying to remember how soon afterward we met, because we only lived a few blocks from each other [in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Berlin], so we met at that coffee shop outside. We sat on the picnic benches.

Daniel: I don’t remember right now, if it was just a few weeks or a few days, just a few weeks after [the Takeover], I think. Not very long.

Jenna: And there was another woman from Berlin who I contacted and she was like, “Yeah, let’s all meet up.” And I was trying to get the three of us to meet up and then we never did. I don’t remember who she was, but she just kind of disappeared. I don’t know where she went.

So, describe the initial reaction when you got the email about the film.

Daniel: Like always, all these emails arrived in Pacific time, which means usually when I’m about to go to bed, and then I got the email… I opened my email by chance, I guess, on Thursday evening. And then I got the email saying, “Hey, we want to kick off the Facebook with you. And you’re going to the concert and everything.” I was like, “Oh my God.” I was so hyped. I think I couldn’t sleep until one o’clock in the morning until everything settled down. I was very, very, very hyped with that email.

Jenna: I bet. Yeah, that was really cool. And then, I know that you didn’t get information about [the film, Spirits in the Forest] for a long time. You didn’t even know what they were going to be doing, like what it was about. So how did that unfold? How did you finally find out what they were going to be doing? Or what you were going to be doing in the film?

Daniel: Yeah. The film thing. They were always teasing us with, “There’s more to come. There are more surprises — more surprises in store. It’s not over yet.” And one day, I think it was April last year, an email came saying “Depeche Mode film opportunity.” And it didn’t say much either. It just asked if I was interested in participating in a film that was about the fans and I said okay. And I thought, it’s probably an extra on the DVD. It’s going to be like a 20–, 30–minute thing. I think it’s just going to be something very, very, very small. And a few days before I was about to shoot, the other fans — at least Dicken, Liz, Cristian, and Carine — they found me [on Facebook] and they sent a message like, “If you know what this is about, then you’re the right person.” Something very cryptic like that. And in the end, they were the other four fans that had been filmed already. Indra had also been filmed, but we hadn’t found her at the time yet. And in those few days between them finding me and my shooting, we got to exchange information and we put the pieces together and that’s when we started to realize how big this was. It was not going to be just a small documentary, a small feature, a bonus on the DVD. It would be at least as big as the concert itself. It was going to be a feature film.

Jenna: So, they had you running, as we’ve talked about, like up and down and all that stuff. Did you know what they were going to be asking you? Were there any surprises during filming, like “Why are they doing this?” or what have you?

Daniel: Not many surprises. We [the film crew and Daniel] had a Skype call. Also, I had a shooting where we went over some of the subjects, and when they interviewed me, they pretty much made the same questions again, this time on camera. I’d say the karaoke was the biggest surprise and they just asked me a list of places that I like to hang out, a list of places in my neighborhood. And in the end we ended up filming lots of places all over Berlin, not just here in Prenzlauer Berg. And the karaoke thing was something that… They sent me an email, I think just a few days ahead of shooting, asking for recommendations of places. The bar, for example, was the place I said — I even, I suggested another place. I suggested Badfish, right?

Jenna: Yes, my friend’s bar.

Daniel: But they went with Das Hotel, which they somehow managed to get authorization to film there. For karaoke, I said Monster Ichiban, and that worked out fine, but they just went there. They knocked: “Can we film here?” And [Monster Ronson’s management] said, “Yeah, just come before we open.” That was surprisingly easy. But the very idea of filming the karaoke was something that they told me just a few days before, when they asked me places to film. And then we went scouting on a Friday.

Jenna: Did you feel prepared for everything? Or were you caught off guard for anything they did?

Daniel: Believe it or not, one thing that I was kind off caught with was my wardrobe because I have lots of shirts with everything, lots of band shirts. And they wanted something very sober and just solid — black, if possible, just that. And the best shirt they could find was a Depeche Mode shirt — a very old one, one I wouldn’t use actually to go outside, it’s what I use to sleep. That’s the one I’m seen in the film using most of the time. At one point they were okay with a Nine Inch Nails shirt, but I don’t think that made it.

Jenna: Talk about the day they had you running back and forth under the train tracks where “Everything Counts,” the video, was shot. I remember it was hot and I felt so bad watching you running and sweating and they’re chasing you with the — what did they call it? The camera rickshaw or something like that?

The infamous camera rickshaw near the Berlin U-Bahn.
The infamous camera rickshaw near the U-Bahn, which can be seen in the video for Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts.” More photos at the end of the post.

Daniel: That entire day was made up of a short interview at home. Actually, most of the interview was done on the first day at home, and then the rest was running. First, we spent hours just filming me running back and forth here at the Gleimtunnel, which is just 50 meters. So it meant, some six or seven takes, going back and forth all the time. We spent a lot of time doing that because for every take they would do the playback, check how it was, then see what they could do better, and do it again and again and again. For such a short space, it took such a long time. From there, we went to Kreuzberg to shoot me running after the rickshaw but not looking at the camera. They also didn’t say for how long, they just said, “Keep running.” At one point I was getting really, really tired — and they didn’t stop. And it was one of the hottest days of the year.

Jenna: And it was really hot. It was like that was one of the hottest days of the year.

Daniel: I think the last concert was the hottest day of the year, I think, 35 degrees Celsius. After running after the rickshaw, they calculated the daylight, at least. So they wanted to film me under the elevated subway, the U-Bahn, exactly when the sun was setting so they could get that light that you see in the film. And I think that was already eight o’clock [at night].

That was also a couple of back and forth a few times. But not even as many as that short thing on the trailer — that took longer. And after that, there was even one extra part which didn’t make it, which is me running on a treadmill, in what’s supposed to be a gym, but it’s actually the sister hotel of the hotel they were staying at, which just happened to have a treadmill on the corner facing the street and it was full of windows and they just filmed me from the street without having to ask anyone.

Jenna: I remember you telling me about that. And you shot all this just a couple of days before the concert and before the other five of them flew into Berlin. I think we shot the karaoke scene the day before the first concert, right?

Daniel: On a Sunday.

Jenna: Yeah. So Sunday we did the karaoke. Saturday you were running, Sunday was karaoke and the bar, and then Monday was the concert.

Daniel: Monday, there was a little bit more shooting. In the end, every day we started doing something at home. It was supposed to be only the first day, [but] it happened on every day [that] we started shooting something at home. You know, most of the interview was on the first day, but there were other parts shot on Sunday and Monday. They also wanted to film me walking with Bismarck [his dog], and for that they chose a place nearby. They asked me, “You’re going to the concert, to the first concert?” I said, yes. “So what time must we wrap up?” I said, “I want to leave at around five. So be prepared to finish sometime before that, so I have enough time to get ready to go.” And after filming more in my apartment with am Falkplatz really close, it’s the end of the Mauerpark. And we just filmed some silent scenes with me and Bismarck, which did not make the cut. That was also [the film crew’s] hard wrap as well. I think the entire crew was there. They divided themselves to film at the same time in the other cities, but they all met together for Berlin. So it was also their hard wrap around one, two, or three o’clock in the afternoon that Monday of the first show. So after that, I went home to get ready to go to the show.

Jenna: And the day that we shot the hotel, was that the day I came over to your place and they were shooting and I was trying to keep Bismarck from going in the shots? Was that Sunday also?

Daniel Cassús takes a break from shooting "Spirits in the Forest" to dote on his beloved dog, Bismarck.
Daniel and Bismarck take a break from filming “Spirits in the Forest.”

Daniel: It could have been, and I think it was, because then we went to the hotel together, probably.

Jenna: Yeah, I think so. Yes. Yeah. Because then we got in the van and then we went to the bar. That was that morning. That’s right.

Daniel: They needed to record silence. They needed to record like, I don’t know, 30 seconds, one minute of silence, of ambient sound.

Jenna: Oh yeah. And I was trying to keep [Bismarck] steady because his nails were clicking on the floor and he was getting all excited. Because we were upstairs, you were downstairs, and you could hear the sound going down. That’s right. He’s such a good Neffe [German for “nephew”]. I love my little boy. I miss him. I miss you guys a lot. I actually have been having dreams about Berlin and I want to go back and hopefully I can get all that sorted out so I can come back for a visit at some point.

So after that, we went to the concert. Thank you for saving me a place on the floor. Because I was having that ticket fiasco, if you remember, where I didn’t even have tickets. I had ordered the tickets months ahead of time and they hadn’t come. They sent me the wrong tickets. Thank you for your help with that. That was just so ridiculous. We went to the concert, then the next day we had the Takeoveree meetup at Hotel Ultra, Mo’s place. And then we had the dinner at the Italian restaurant right next to Hansa Studios, then went to the Hansa party, which was a lot of fun. I don’t remember even staying that late though.

Daniel: I was exhausted already because again, I had to be at 10AM in the morning with Anton [Corbijn, the director] already on the day of the second show. So, yeah, it was six days in a row that just blurred.

Jenna: Yeah. And then we had the final concert that Wednesday. When did you first meet all the others in person?

Daniel: I think it was on Tuesday morning because [the production crew] said, well, “You don’t get to get a plane ticket to go to Berlin because you’re already there, but you get to stay in the hotel, which is something that is helpful for logistics and everything. So it’s nice that you stay with us.” Which was in fact really nice because it was a very good hotel. They had a great breakfast.

So, I checked in as soon as possible, I think — very early. And I soon met Dicken, Liz. Cristian was already there. I think he arrived earlier for the first show already. And I think Indra arrived sometime later. We were all in the hotel restaurant just talking and they were just arriving. And the kids were there too, of course. So, at one point it was just one big table with all of us.

Jenna: What was it like to finally meet in person?

Daniel: It was great because we didn’t talk about what we did or what we didn’t do, what our shootings were, or anything like that. But we were all very excited and, like, we did on the online chat thing, but we were all trying to piece together what we knew, trying to find out how big was this and how big was our part in all of this. And you only had clues, actually. Not even meeting in person could we find everything out. But yeah, we talked a little bit about what we did. But still, the biggest surprise was until we finally saw the film. But it was great to meet them in person, especially Dicken, because I guess he’s the most famous one of all of us. I got to finally tell Dicken that I learned Spanish because of him.

Jenna: Really? That’s why you learned Spanish?

Daniel: Yeah, it’s a long story, but I had that relationship with Dicken before he was famous. He worked for MTV Latin back when I used to watch MTV Latin in the late nineties. I used to have it on cable and satellite at the time. And MTV Latin was so much better than MTV Brazil. It was based in Miami, but it was all in Spanish for the rest of Latin America. MTV Brazil, instead, was more like a franchise. It was a Brazilian media group that had a contract so they could use the logo and everything, but they could only show the videos that the record label would send them and they had to comply with each label, how each label wanted to promote each artist. So sometimes videos would premiere like six months later than they would everywhere else. And now I had two MTVs to compare, and MTV Latin followed everything that MTV US did, so the videos would premiere, like, months ahead than on MTV Brazil. And it was so much fun. And [Dicken] was a producer for MTV Latin at that time.

Jenna, Joana, Lluvia and Daniel at Hansa Studios
Four Takeoverees — Jenna (Day 1), Daniel (Day 2), Lluvia (Day 99), and Joana (Day 76) — pose on the famous “Depeche Mode stairs” at Hansa Studios.

Jenna: When was this? Like what year, approximately?

Daniel: ’96 until, I don’t know, early 2000s — and then he switched to VH1. I think they also replaced MTV Latin with VH1 at the time. He was also responsible for making all these funny sketches. I think he put some of them on his YouTube channel. There’s one where he got a video from the Spice Girls and just resynched everything, that “Martyr” style, to have them singing a Chilean song called “Gracias a la Vida.”

Jenna: That’s why you started learning Spanish?

Daniel: Yeah, because I started watching MTV Latin a lot, and the hosts were from Argentina or Mexico, most of them. And not only were the international artists premiering first on MTV Latin, there were also the local Latin artists that they would show a lot, and I ended up learning about, like, Cafe Tacuba, Aterciopelados, La Ley, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs — there was so much Spanish. I ended up learning Spanish like that, from watching television.

Jenna: It’s a good way to learn a language. I used to practice German by watching movies I knew really well in English already, so I didn’t have to know what was going on, and then watching it in German. I watched Jaws in German, and Dirty Dancing. And I remember that one was funny because the iconic line, “Nobody puts Baby in a corner,” the way they said it in German was actually “Baby belongs to me.” It didn’t even make sense. That’s, like, the opposite of what [Patrick Swayze’s character] is trying to say. It really made it change the whole meaning of what he was saying. And I was like, “That’s bad!” But at least I understood it. I was so proud. “Oh, I understood what he said!” So, I watched a lot of movies like that, just because I knew what everybody was saying. So I totally understand why watching TV can be a good way to learn another language.

Now, you’re always so well prepared. You are always thinking so far ahead. You’re whip-smart. That’s why Lluvia [Arras, Day 99 of the Takeover and Jenna’s friend from LA] and I call you Siri. Because if we can’t find the answer on Google, we ask you. But anyway, you’re well prepared, you think ahead. You thought far enough ahead where you brought a Polaroid camera with you so that Anton could take pictures.

Daniel: Yeah.

Jenna: A famous picture that you have now.

Daniel: It’s actually in an envelope right here. They gave me a thank-you card, and in the same envelope I kept all the pictures. So I started taking pictures of everyone that day: Indra, Dicken and his kids, Cristian trying to look very serious. Carine, very exhausted from the heat already. Liz, very happy. Anton himself. I took this at night already, so it’s very dark. And at one point, I turned to Anton and I said, “I heard you’re good with cameras. Can you take a picture for me?” And I gave him the camera and he took the picture. He didn’t even realize it was actually an Instax, the Polaroid from Fuji. And when the picture came out — vrrrt! — he was like, “Oh, it’s an instant camera!” And it’s a good thing that the picture came out good or else I’d have to ask him again. He was actually super busy that day. He gave us some attention at the beginning, then he filmed the fans arriving and Dicken playing with his kids. But after that, he was totally concerned with filming the show, so I didn’t have much time to ask him to do stuff for us. And that was it. When we arrived, [Jonathan] Kessler came to talk to us, to thank us and everything, and welcome us. And then, everyone took us to the stage through the infamous Hitler hallway. It’s just a very narrow and curvy passage. According to Anton, Hitler built it so he would be less vulnerable to someone trying to shoot him. That was the idea. And that stayed, somehow, to today. And that’s the way to the stage, actually. And we were just given this, I don’t know, 10 minutes to see the stage from the stage itself. It was not that impressive, to be honest. But that was actually the moment I took the picture of almost everyone. And when we were clearing the stage, I turned to Anton and gave him the camera and asked him to take my picture.

Movie poster for "Spirits in the Forest: A Depeche Mode Film"
The movie poster for “Spirits in the Forest” has had a lukewarm reception by Depeche Mode fans.

Jenna: So on the poster, there’s six creepy looking figures, some “spirits” on there. Which of the six are you?

Daniel: I think when the poster came out, we made some stupid joke where we would choose which one [we each were]. I think I was one of the big-headed ones. I don’t know which one. Um, but yeah, we try to ignore the poster. It wasn’t really Anton’s finest moment. Even the movie title is not really that great.

Jenna: I know. It’s grown on me, but I remember the first time I heard it, I was like, ugh. I know why they chose it — you know, Global Spirit Tour, and it’s the Waldbühne, the “forest stage.” But it’s… come on.

Daniel: Yeah. It’s like, “What’s the first thing you can think of? It’s a movie about a band on tour, they’re touring on an album called Spirit, we’re going to show six people, and the show is in a stage in the forest.” And that probably was the first thing that came to mind.

Jenna: Yeah, I think they kind of gave up at that point. They kind of just went “ehhhhh,” you know. But I have to say that finding titles for things, whenever I’m writing, that’s usually the hardest thing, just to come up with something nice and succinct and that means something. So I get it. But I don’t know, I probably would have chosen something else.

Daniel: I would have picked something like I did for my own blog, that lyric from “Shake the Disease”: In Spirit I’ll Be There. Just adapt it a little bit, like These Spirits Will Be There, or something. I don’t know. They could work on that. It would have been much nicer than Spirits in the Forest.

Jenna: Even just In Spirit. It’s simple and it means something. And it’s also a lyric. Or they could have chosen a lyric from the album. Whatever. It is what it is. We’re stuck with it.

Daniel: Revolution in the Forest would have been better, seriously.

Jenna: Yeah! But, hey, we have it. That’s what it is. Oh well. People who haven’t seen it are thinking that it’s going to be 101 Part II, but that’s not what it is. How is it different than [Depeche Mode:] 101?


Daniel: That was also my concern when, the day we met for location scouting, they were very clear: “This is not going to be another 101.” Plus Pasqual Gutierrez [co-director], he mentioned his sister was this very big fan, so he knew more or less what the fans wanted and what the fans did not want to see. And he knew about 101, he said. Even Anton, two weeks ago in London [at the private screening], he said, “Oh, 101, it’s just the band in America and fans following them around. There’s not much about the fans to show, except they’re in the bus.” And this time we wanted to tell their stories. So, as soon as they cleared up that it was not going to be another 101, and I filmed my parts, it came together that it was going to be about our stories and they wanted to focus on particular moments of our stories and our lives and how Depeche Mode evolved together with everything. And that’s totally not what 101 is.

Jenna: Yeah, from what I understand, I haven’t seen it yet. I’m seeing it on Thursday here in Miami. And, from what I understand, it’s nothing like that. I mean, I know you all have seen it now. Has Indra been able to see it? I know that she doesn’t always have internet where she is [in Mongolia].

Daniel: Actually, she must have been the first to see it because she wakes up earlier than all of us.

Jenna: Oh, that’s why. Okay.

Daniel: But we had a link to watch it. I only watched it once actually, through the link, because it was always buffering, always when the band was on stage it was buffering. It gave me the impression that, “Oh god, it’s too much of the band in the film. It’s so long. They could have put less of the band.” And then I’ll get stoned on the street, of course. But then when I saw it in London without the buffering problems, I realized that actually there’s not that much of the band. I think they managed to find a good balance, something around 30 to 40 or 50 percent of the film is the band performing. But you only see the band on stage performing — there’s no backstage anything. There’s no Alan showing how to create [music, like Alan Wilder did in 101]. That’s not in this film.

Jenna: And how did you feel the first time you saw the film?

Daniel: The first time I saw it, I was very, very, very anxious to see how I was portrayed in the film, of course. And after I saw that, I was a little bit more relieved. Then the second time was actually more moving because then I didn’t care about my part anymore. I already knew what was there. And I paid more attention to what my five colleagues had to say. And maybe it’s me just over-analyzing everything, but every little bit of what they say I could relate to. I didn’t divorce, like Dicken, so I don’t have that experience, that connection that he has with the song “Precious,” but that was very touching. Carine’s story is very touching, Liz’s story is very touching — everything. Even Cristian telling how it was in Romania in the ‘80s. There’s also a part where I talk about how Brazil was in the ’80s. Even though we were on opposite sides of the iron curtain, life was pretty bad for both of us being satellite states in the Cold War in the ‘80s.

Takeoverees meet up at an Italian restaurant next to Hansa Studios in Berlin
A group of Takeoverees met up the day before the final Waldbühne concert in Berlin.

Jenna: So are you happy with the way you came out on the screen, or was there anything that you didn’t like about the way you’re portrayed?

Daniel: I think people are going to find defects anyway, find something to complain about. There’s a part where I mention — at least they decided to put that in the film — where I mention I’m not a typical carioca, which is a person from Rio. I even met the person who edited the sound, who mastered and mixed all the sound. He said they worked on like five, six months on our voices making sure they had everything. So this was probably something that they edited together, where I say, “I’m not a typical carioca [a person from Rio],” and I think in that moment, you don’t see the image of me being interviewed, it’s me running quickly, so you cannot notice the sound editing, probably. That’s from what I remember. I think it’s like that. And they put that together with me saying that I didn’t see myself living there [Rio] for the rest of my life. I talk about the economy, and that made it into the film somehow. Anyway, that’s what they picked.

Jenna: Is there something that you wish they had put in that didn’t make it?

Daniel: Maybe more running!

Jenna: Make use of that [footage]!

Daniel: I wish there was more of the part that we did, in the karaoke and in the bar. It’s really, really short. If you wink, you’re going to miss it. I’m happy that an idea that I had, which was to go visit the fans that were camped outside. We did that on Sunday after the karaoke. There was still some light. And that was my idea, and we were going to do that on Saturday, but they didn’t have time. And I thought, “Oh my God, it’s never going to happen. We’re never going to have enough time.” But on that Sunday, we finished everything early actually. So they said, “Let’s go there,” and then we went. I had two informers there, one of them being Joana [Vieira, Day 76], of course. We arrived and I inverted roles, a little bit: I became the interviewer. I started interviewing people on line. Thankfully, they also edited that so it did not look like The Posters Came From the Walls. I think that part came out perfect. It lasts just long enough to show that the fans are crazy enough to camp outside, but it’s not a freak show.

Avital Perelshtein at the final Depeche Mode concert at the Waldbühne
Takeoveree Avital Perelshtein (Day 150) shows her devotion at the final show at the Waldbühne.

Jenna: So now that all the teasers for each of you have been released, are you guys getting bombarded with friend requests on Facebook?

Daniel: I am. At least, I think every day there’s, like, three or five new requests. I think I accept most of them. And then I immediately invite them to like my page.

Jenna: I’ll include a link to your page, as I know you have a [Facebook] page now. Doesn’t Bismarck have a page too?

Daniel: No, he doesn’t, but maybe he should. Now I’m afraid because of the creepy guy that took [a photo of] me on the street.

Jenna: Is there anything else that you want to talk about with the experience, this whole big, crazy experience that you’ve had? Wonderful-crazy.

Daniel: Yeah, it was wonderful-crazy. I felt what it was like to be part of a film set for a few days. The entire six days felt like one day for me. I would go to bed, even on a day that we finished early, like that Sunday, I wouldn’t get to bed until one or two in the morning, and by 10:00 AM, they were all knocking here anyway. And there was a funny story. They wanted to go to a club in Berlin and it was already Sunday evening. And I said, “I think you don’t have too many chances of getting into Berghain, but you can go to KitKat Club. Just be prepared that what you’re going to see there cannot be unseen. And somehow they got into KitKat Club on a Sunday and they enjoyed it and it was pretty much what I described to them: You cannot unsee it. But 10:00 AM Monday, they were here shooting a little bit more, the rest that was missing.

Faithful and Devoted: A Memoir for Depeche Mode Fans
The cover of Jenna’s Depeche Mode memoir, which recounts her following the band across Spain during the Devotional Tour.

Jenna: So they probably didn’t sleep very much that night, if at all. Maybe they were still on whatever they took at the club or whatever someone gave them at the club.

Daniel: I just said I was there with a friend in September ’17, so the previous year, and we went on a Friday. And a couple in front of us didn’t get in because they didn’t know the name of the party and they started to argue with the bouncer. There was just enough time for me to Google the name of the party, so when they asked us the name of the party, I said that, and then [the bouncer said], “Okay, get in.” I don’t even remember [the name of the party] anymore. It’s a Friday-night party. They rotate, I don’t know, four or five parties every week. But I just Googled it and said [the party name] naturally and got in. So I told [the crew], “Well, it would probably help if you know the name of the party, to know the name of the DJ playing, or something like that. And I guess they just did that little homework and got in.

Jenna: Good tips to know if you want to get into [notorious Berlin nightclub] Berghain.

Daniel: Berghain’s more complicated, full of these mysterious, subjective sciences. They look at you and they start judging you from the moment you get into the line. KitKat was easier: Just know the name of the party and that’s it.

Jenna: In the three years I lived in Berlin, I never went to Berghain. I can’t believe it. So next time I come back, hopefully. Because no one would go with me. I wanted to go early in the morning or whatever to try to get in, because I didn’t want to wait on a three-hour line or whatever it is. One day I’ll go back. I hear that there’s a lot to be unseen there too — the dark room or whatever it is.

Daniel: Don’t go there! Go in the morning, like six in the morning. There’s an Instagram profile now, called @BerghainLineLive, and they keep updating the status of the line and rejection rates and stuff like that. Usually Sunday morning they say that people get in — it’s less hassle to get in, less rejections, and everything. There’s no line, stuff like that. I also stopped going there after I moved here [to Berlin]. I started getting rejected. When I used to come here as a tourist, I never got rejected. Then I moved here and I started getting rejected. Maybe I should bring my Anmeldung [German registration] next time.

Jenna: Well, thank you very much for your time. Any sign-off to everybody?

Daniel: No, thank you to everyone. Hope you all enjoyed Spirits in the Forest. There’s a little bit of everyone’s spirit in the film.

Jenna: Thank you, Daniel.

Note that the transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity and to make me and Daniel sound more eloquent (i.e., many “uhs” and “likes” were removed).

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