Depeche Mode Frontman Says They Have Big Tour Plans for New Album
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 03.08.2013
Dave Gahan talks Delta Machine and more...
Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan recently spoke with Billboard about their upcoming album Delta Machine, their tour plans and more. Check out the highlights:
On whether it's daunting to have to follow up their last massive tour: "You know, I don't really feel like that anymore. There was definitely a time in my life where I was like, "You've got to be bigger, faster, stronger, better." Over the years, this being our 13th studio album… working on this record somehow felt like a new thing. Martin and I were really on the same page what we were doing writing-wise, and we just really came together, so it was a really enjoyable experience to do. As far as the tour goes, on the last tour there were lots of ups and downs personally. Physically, I had some problems -- I got sick for a bit and I got through that. Then I had some other problems with my voice, which I think all has to do with the fact that I was struggling to try and get my body back together after being diagnosed with cancer, unfortunately, at the beginning of that tour. Every time we took a break, I went back to the hospital for some more treatment, so it was a bit of an uphill battle. But the tour itself and the shows themselves were absolutely extraordinary. Talk about a mixture that lifts your spirits! This tour, we've got some ambitious plans. We're starting out pretty large in Europe, going to some big stadiums for a bunch of shows, and then we come back to the States and go into more reasonable sized venues, lots of arenas, and that brings us close to Christmas. We're already now planning another European leg and then definitely South America and possibly Asia. Then I think we're planning to come back to America, and some more festivals in Europe in the summer of 2014."
On how long ago the songs of Delta Machine began to take shape: "At the end of the last tour, we just kind of go our separate ways. We give each other a big hug and go, really; We never really make any plans after that. It was shortly after that, a few months after, Martin caught me up in an email, and I told him I was writing and I was doing a Soulsavers thing. And Martin ended up going doing the [VCMG] thing with Vince Clarke, so it worked well, and I think that of inspired him, too. I would say toward the end of the year after the "Sounds of the Universe" tour, it took about a year or 9 months. I started writing in my studio in New York, gathering with my friend Kurt Uenala, who actually co-wrote all the songs on Delta Machine with me. I was going in, singing, and working out stuff with the the Soulsavers and he came up with ideas and we started writing stuff on the side, Depeche stuff."
On "Heaven" being the first single: "To be honest, we were all gung-ho on the track "Angel," which is a little more aggressive and a little more typical of what you'd expect from a first record. Then we tracked stuff ahead of it, and I personally feel like ["Heaven"] is one of the best songs Martin's written in many, many years, for many reasons. It's just one of those songs that makes me want to continue making music, long story short. As soon as I heard it, I was excited to sing it. When I actually got into singing it and we started recording it, I felt like it was a piece of work that set a standard for the record."
On changes in the way album promotion has changed since their last LP in 2009: "I'm very aware of it. I think Martin is very aware of it too. Martin is very into technology, and he's amazed by the Internet and the fact that the world is really at your fingertips. He definitely had embraced that -- I, not so much. I'm a little skeptical. I don't spend a lot of time on my computer and stuff… I don't really buy into it. I don't buy into the fact we have to be contained by it in terms of what we do artistically. Sadly, I think one bad side of it is [the loss of] a lot of that mystery, and some of that specialness. When I was growing up in the early 70s and really getting into music, waiting outside the record store for that 45, waiting for a single from The Dead, The Clash, David Bowie, or T-Rex or something to be there. There was something about that that was so special. Waiting for the album, waiting for the artwork to maybe find out what the band looked like -- that, these days, sadly is gone, because we find out everything we want to know about a person in a second. It was good on this record to kind of have Flood back on board and have Flood mixing the record -- that technology was good there, because Martin and I would get on Skype with him and he'd be in London mixing while we were in New York still recording. That's the only way we'd communicated with him! We did not spend any time in the studio with him. I think this record as well is the end of a trilogy of records that we're doing with Ben Hillier. He produced the last three records, including this one [and 2005's "Playing The Angel" and 2009's "Sounds of the Universe"], and this one, for me, got to where we were trying to go with the first one. "Sounds of the Universe" was certainly more landscape-y, more filmic, and I think this was more of a combination of the two elements there. It's very driven, it's very out front, and it still has some of those kinds of dreamy qualities to it as well."