Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan: “We’re Still Kind Of The Biggest Alternative Band Out There.”
KROQ morning show hosts Kevin & Bean were so excited to speak with the Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan that their introduction ended up three octaves too high followed by comedic apology and laughter.
Calling in from New York, the English native remarked how incredibly chilly it’s been during the current cold snap, remarking, “Your hands feel like they’re going to fall off, it’s not fun.”
After some small talk, attention was quickly turned to Depeche Mode’s upcoming 13th full-length studio album, Delta Machine, due in U.S. stores March 26.
After Bean asserted that the album’s use of word “delta” sounded inspired by New Orleans or “the blues,” Gahan approved.
“You’d be right,” the singer elaborated. “It definitely has a lot of blues influences, I would say closer to what we were doing around the time of Songs of Faith & Devotion,” with Gahan adding that the lyrical content of the new album is in more in the vein of breakout 1990 full-length, Violator. “Martin’s come up with all these blues riffs.” (According to Gahan, Martin Gore, the band’s main songwriter, is an “underrated” guitar player.)
Explaining how Depeche Mode works in the studio, Gahan said, “Being an electronic band, primarily, you can really experiment a lot and the songs take on different arrangements, tempos, feels, before we find something.”
“The song we found to drive this record was the single, ‘Heaven,’” Gahan elaborated, with a rumored leak forcing Depeche Mode to world premiere the song a day earlier than planned.
“It was like a shot in the arm,” the frontman explained about the first time Gore presented the song to the rest of the band. “I was like, ‘Ahh, I can’t wait to sing that song.’”
Accompanying the single is a video shot in New Orleans’s Ninth Ward by director Tim Saccenti. Gahan says the video’s look was “inspired by the film The Tree of Life,” with its beautiful yet twisted, dark imagery. “Mainly it’s a performance video, which we haven’t done in a long time,” he stated.
According to Gahan, the band will begin their U.S. tour following their international dates. With Belarus, Minsk being the final stop on July 29, that puts Depeche Mode in America in late summer or early fall (U.S. dates are tentatively scheduled to kick off on the West Coast).
How does the trio of Gahan, Gore and keyboardist Andy Fletcher maintain enthusiasm for recording and touring after 32 years? “I’m constantly surprised by this band,” confessed Gahan. “When I show up, really exciting things happen. I guess what I’m saying is, we’re not done yet.”
“We’ve been that band that nobody understood, then we’ve been the band that everybody tried to imitate, and suddenly we were the band that everybody says, ‘oh we were influenced by,’” he joked, looking back on the electronic act’s storied 32-year-history.
“Anyone that’s got any kind of coolness whatsoever seems to like Depeche Mode,” Gahan concluded. “I know I’m blowing our own trumpet, but we’re still kind of like the biggest alternative band out there somehow.”
— Jay Tilles, CBS Local