Watershed, one of SA’s most well-loved bands, were asked to participate in the European tribute album to one of the world’s biggest 80’s pop outfits, Depeche Mode. Releasing their catchy rendition of “Never Let Me Down Again” last month, they follow it up with the release of the phenomenal music video for the single.
Duncan Robson directed this cinematic masterpiece for “Never Let Me Down Again” and explains the inspiration and approach for the music video
“It was immediately apparent to me when Craig shared Watershed’s cover of ‘Never Let Me Down Again’, that we should make a video to accompany it, so I consulted with my partners at The Network Productions in Cape Town. I have edited and directed many music videos in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, frequently working alongside the late, great Tony Mitchell one of the icons of music cinematography, so I was clearly aware of Depeche Mode and the size of their following.”
“However, it was only after meditating on the kind of images that should accompany the track that I found an amazing resonance with the original videos Depeche Mode produced, to the extent that many of my style references were echoed in the original Anton Corbijn video.”
“My initial instinct was to go for a strong, hard monochrome look and to ‘resonate’ with the commonly perceived ethos of the track. We produced two versions: one in colour, the other in black and white. On review we thought the colour version offered more in support of the track. From the get-go Craig and I were on the same page, we wanted to resonate with rather than mimic anything that had gone before.”
“The key to the story is there is no story. Just a loose translation in images of the words and what they could mean, chosen and assembled to ‘almost make sense’ – a kind of ambiguity and strangeness which give the video a life of its own each time it is viewed. I like the idea of mystery, the feeling of a story which remains hard to grasp and leaves the viewer trying to make his or her own sense of what they see, to make their own story.”
“My team and I feel we have managed to include a couple of corners and edges and to hit the target with this work. I hope it leads to added success for the band and the project, in future.”
The treatment evolved over time but the key criterion, to resonate but not to mimic earlier work, prevailed. Robson’s video idea to have a beautiful girl sync the words and for different little scenarios, which pose more questions than they answer, adhere to a German saying “Ohne Ecken und Kanten, bleibt nichts hängen” – without corners and edges, nothing sticks.
Watershed have put together a track and a video that is a current, 2022 update of the original which retains the essence of the 80’s smash hit.
Craig Hinds from Watershed comments on the track
“We identified the big bits and made them bigger, but as with any cover we do, we always want the original feeling and intention of the song to pull through. We then threw everything into the production to overlay it with what we think is our Watershed trademark sound.”
“In my most influential years I was listening to Depeche Mode and this song was always a favourite. I love the harmonies and the simplicity of the melody – which is what I believe makes good songs great. Without a doubt one of my formative musical memories – the sound of my youth and influential beyond my imagining- playing this song now is really coming full circle for me and such a privilege!”
Check out the video for the track below:
Not shy of hits of their own such as “Indigo Girl”, “Letters”, “Undone” and many more, Watershed join the ranks of Alphaville and Yello in putting together this incredible tribute album to the late great Andy Fletcher #6122 and Depeche Mode.
You can stream / download “Never Let Me Down Again” HERE.
Watch this space for updates in the Music Videos category on SA Music Zone.