Depeche Mode to hit the road next year
Readying a new album and stadium tour for next year, Depeche Mode feels free. The group, which helped bring electronic music into the mainstream with a flurry of hits, finally is setting its own pace.
Spirit, the first Depeche Mode studio album since 2013, will come out in the first half of 2017, and a 32-city, 21-country tour across Europe starts in May.
The shows together could pull in more than 1.5 million fans, even before dates in North America and Latin America expected later next year. But the group is relaxed.
“I think there is more freedom at the moment,” keyboardist Andy Fletcher said as the group announced its plans in Milan, the site of one of Depeche Mode’s numerous live albums.
Martin Gore, a fellow keyboardist and the group’s main songwriter, says that Depeche Mode grew accustomed to cranking out albums annually in the early 1980s after the band’s birth in Basildon, just east of London.
“To put an album out every year, that’s quite a lot of pressure, you need a lot of creativity, and maybe you can do that when you’re younger,” says Gore, 55.
“I think, when you get older, you need more time if you want to keep the standards of the record.”
Amid rapid advances in electronic music, Gore says that Depeche Mode was attentive to staying up-todate on technology — and was proud of rejuvenating the group’s fan base.
“We are fortunate that we keep appealing to young people. It’s not just the people who grewup with us and were fans of us in the 1980s,” Gore says.
Depeche Mode has not yet finished recording Spirit, its 14th studio album.
The group is working out of studios in Santa Barbara, California, where Gore lives, and New York, the home of frontman Dave Gahan.
Depeche Mode triumphed with a string of hits in the 1980s and early 1990s such as Just Can’t Get Enough at first becoming synonymous with danceable synthpop but gradually adopting a darker sound.
“We helped to make electronic music acceptable,” Gore says.
“When we started out it was a constant battle. People didn’t take electronic music seriously. It was considered like a novelty that wasn’t real music and that would go away very soon.
“Now it’s just so prevalent. For good or for bad, we’ve helped to get it to this point,” he says with a laugh.
Depeche Mode sees one of its legacies as bringing over listeners of other genres, including rock fans who would have rarely stepped into a dance club.
Members of rock band Depeche Mode (from left) Andrew Fletcher, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore promote their upcoming album Spirit in Milan.