Interview with Alex Ogg

Do you have any strong memories of the Wembley gig? 

We had tried to avoid moving into stadiums, and the previous tour had us playing 7 consecutive sold-out nights at the Astoria – which was an experience none of us wanted to repeat, so next time around we did Wembley. We had played this size venue (and bigger) before when supporting in Europe and the U.S. so it wasn’t an entirely new experience, although it was the first time we’d done such a big venue on our own, and it was exciting that it sold out very quickly.

I remember being aware all the way through the gig that it was being broadcast, and felt unusually conscious of not making any mistakes… especially in the song “Kingdom Come” where I played the piano, which has some particularly “naked” sections in it where a mistake would bring certain embarassment… I was much relieved to hear the recording afterwards.

I'm guessing that the band was pretty much at its commercial zenith at that point.

It really was. The record company was eager to see us move up to the next level of commercial success, and we knew that once we’d gone down that road there was no turning back… we did it under pressure from them, and with some degree of trepidation.

After the show, we were presented with gold records, and I remember jokingly saying “does this mean I don’t have to do any more interviews”… which didn’t go down too well with the suits.

What are your thoughts on the so-called Goth movement?

It was inevitable that The Mission would be tagged as a goth band because of the past association with The Sisters. In reality we all had a different take on what we were doing. Mick and I saw ourselves as a rock band, and Wayne definitely wanted to move more towards pop songs.

That first generation of bands who acquired the goth tag were, for the most part, quite diverse and didn’t necessarily want to be lumped together under a category. The fans perpetuated the stereotype to a much greater degree than the bands themselves. In fact I clearly remember a significant number of Mission fans (the seriously goth ones) being turned off - not because we’d had a chart single or whatever, but because a couple of band members had their hair cut short…which I think is strong evidence to how ridiculous the whole scene thing is.

It seems to me that in the years to follow, the bands who had grown up listening to that period of so-called goth music diluted it into a pastiche, and by so-doing reinforced what goth supposedly was. It’s interesting that now there is a definite contingent of bands who willingly call themselves goth. From what I’ve heard, it’s blatently dirivitive, and sadly lacking originality. Apparently now there’s no need for any other purpose than the perpetuation of the goth tag that was fed to the public by those lesser thinkers in the media business.