Depeche Mode, 'pessimists at heart,' never imagined longevity

Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:45pm EDT
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By Corrie MacLaggan

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Depeche Mode has come a long way since its 1980s debut as part of Britain's New Wave scene, and as it prepares to tour behind its 13th album, no one appears more surprised at the group's longevity than the band members themselves.

The British synthpop pioneers - singer Dave Gahan, guitarist-keyboardist Martin Gore and keyboardist Andy Fletcher - are marking their fourth decade in the music industry with the release of "Delta Machine" on March 26.

"We've always been pessimists at heart, so we never think further ahead than whatever's coming next," Gore, 51, told Reuters at the South by Southwest Music Conference this week.

The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide since its 1981 debut album "Speak & Spell," thanks to hits along the way like 1984's "People are People" and 1989's "Personal Jesus."

Depeche Mode's textured sound and moody lyrics made it one of the biggest bands to emerge from the British New Wave in the early 1980s, alongside groups such as The Boomtown Rats.

The title "Delta Machine" reflects the musicians' contradictory sounds - they're influenced by the Delta blues, but they also use technology like computers and synthesizers.

"We feel like our music is a blend of organic and inorganic," Gore said.


From L-R, Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Andrew Fletcher of British band Depeche Mode pose during a photocall before a press conference in Paris to announce the dates for their 2013/2014 world tour October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier