The QUESTIONS & ANSWERS section of the Official OMD Website proved to be a popular feature in which queries about OMD’s record releases and career could be answered directly by ANDY McCLUSKEY or by site administrator and OMD archivist Paul Browne.
The context for many of the queries and replies featured on these pages has obviously changed over time but have been preserved here intact as a window on a particular period in OMD’s history.
I wonder where the space/piano/speak/choir collage on Georgia comes from. Are the collage pieces created by OMD or sampled from other artists?
“They’re all various samples recorded from the radio when we were in The Manor recording Architecture And Morality. In fact, I recently rediscovered the original tape. The samples were randomly spliced using the best bits (including a French news broadcast ! ) and this was dropped in for the chorus”. – Andy
Do you think it’s likely that Virgin will ever remaster any OMD using formats such as multi-channel CD’s (i.e. SACD)? It seems your music, with its effects and techniques, would be a good candidate for multi-channel. Also, if given a choice to remaster one in SACD, which would you pick?
Chris Del Plato Long Valley, USA
“I’m not interested in pursing multi-channel sounds because it would mean digging out the tapes and remixing them. It sounds like a lot of work for very few sales in return. But I might change my mind in the future”. – Andy
I have been enjoying your music for as long as I can remember. Also, I am a *huge* Fairlight CMI freak and I was wondering if Joan of Arc was actually done with a Fairlight CMI as I think it is? The beginning of this song gets my heart pounding! I will hopefully get my second CMI in a few months. How DID you create the beginning sound of Joan of Arc? What do you think about the Fairlight CMI Series III? (be nice, I have one 😉 Did you know what happened to your CMI?
Eric vanLuijk, Monroe, NY
“Joan Of Arc did not employ a Fairlight – we only got a Fairlight in 1983 when we started work on Junk Culture. The intro to Joan Of Arc is actually me singing falsetto double-tracked. I then added random Glockenspiel over it and then wrote the song!”
“The intro to Maid Of Orleans on the other hand featured distorted Mellotron and organ.”
“I’ve never used a Series III. The Series II was great at the time and without it we wouldn’t have written many of the songs we wrote at the time. But by 1990 even the Series III was being surpassed by the new music sequencers for PC’s and stuff like the Akai.
“To answer the last query, our Fairlight is currently In storage”. – Andy
What is the first keyboard that appears on The Romance Of The Telescope? Is it a Mellotron sound? It’s a beautiful sound – I can imagine that the song wrote itself once you’d played the first 3 chords!
“It was a Prophet 5 – one of the factory presets. But you’re correct, once we’d laid down the chords, the rest of the song just fell into place”. – Andy
OMD has used a unique sound on their songs in the 90s. It has a harmony sounding "AHH" to it..almost as if Angels were singing. For example ‘Pandora’s Box’, ‘Speed Of Light’, Call My Name’, ‘Walk Tall’, ‘Dream Of Me’, ‘Dollar Girl’, ‘Love & Hate You’,’Heaven Is’, ‘Can I Believe You’, ‘Universal’, &’The Sun & The Moon’, ‘Too Late’, and ‘Victory Waltz’ are some if not all of the songs that have this sound. Do you know the name of the sound and what keyboards carry it?
"In the early days we used simple electronic organs to play chords, then we got a Mellotron and discovered choirs on Architecture And Morality. After that, we used Fairlight CMI choirs and most of the choral chords in the 90’s are from a Korg M1 (program 23). "- Andy
There are some great bands around doing catchy singles but in a totally unique and fab way (e.g. that Eels single). I’d love Andy’s new project to create something that radio DJ’s would just sit up and go "Wow, we must play this!" What musical direction is planned, or are you waiting to see what happens in the studio? Also, what do you think of bands like Stereolab, who have kind of re-invented what you were doing between ’78 and ’80, playing around with cheap home made synths, taken inspiration from 70’s German electronic bands and packaging the wonderful results in mysterious "industrial pattern" sleeves?
"Agreed to all above. Stereolab are great and a new (not OMD) project might stand a chance of doing things. "- Andy
The original Q&A pages first appeared on the Official OMD Website in 1998
Revised text 4th February 2014
Publications that have featured his contributions include Electronic Sound, Metro, Japan Update Weekly, J-Pop Go, Wavegirl and The Electricity Club.