By Gabriela Acosta, MWN
Depeche Mode is one of the greatest bands in the history of music. When Metro was notified that there was the possibility of interviewing Dave Gahan or Martin Gore, one of the conditions was to listen to the complete album ‘Memento Mori’.
A few days later, the interview with guitarist Martin Gore, who was in Santa Barbara, California, took place. The musician turned on his screen during the Zoom meeting and the first thing he did was to give a warm greeting, and then he smiled.
Relaxed, without rockstar poses and inside a room full of details, he began the interview with only one limitation: time.
Did the pandemic and the loss of Andy Fletcher mark ‘Memento Mori’?
We started working on this project at the beginning of the pandemic, and the tracks are directly inspired by that time. After Fletch’s passing, we decided to continue because we’re sure this is what he would have wanted, and that has really given the project an extra level of meaning.
Obviously, it wasn’t our ideal, because, you know, we just lost Andy, and, well, we decided to continue with our schedule just so we would have something to focus on. Both of us are very passionate about music, so this gave us kind of a distraction, and it helped us get over the loss of Andy and make it a little bit easier. I mean, obviously, we’re still dealing with it every day, but, you know, having something to focus on has definitely been a good thing for us.
The album is about nostalgia and darkness but also gives a wink of hope.
Yeah, sure. But all the songs for the album were written before Andy died, and we even had the idea for the album title before it happened. Which, you should know, seems strange, but, I think after he died, it was even more important to release it and have ‘Memento Mori’ as the album title.
We spent quite a bit of time working on the right order. We are from a generation where albums were very important. I know that’s not necessarily the case these days, but for us it is, so we wanted to take the listener on a real journey from beginning to end.
You have made a mark in music history. Is it pressure or satisfaction?
We love music, we always say we wouldn’t know what we would do without it. So, you know, the fact is that we’re still here, 40 years later, still making music and still being able to do what we want to do and have a fan base out there that loves us. I don’t necessarily see it as pressure, it’s great that we’re still here and still able to keep doing it.
How do you take the comments about your comeback?
Oh, I’m not sure really, I think a lot of people have said that, when I’ve been doing interviews, that with this album they notice a lot of references to our past. There are certain tracks that remind them of some times in our past, and I don’t think we did that consciously. But, you know, maybe that’s something we took advantage of.
Where are you at with Depeche Mode?
Everybody always thinks about the negative things, and I should clarify that that’s what’s planned. We never plan more than one project at a time because it’s such a big effort that we put in, so I know for a fact that I’m going to be working and Dave knows that he’s going to be working for the next year on this project.
Would Depeche Mode think about artificial intelligence?
It’ll be interesting to see where it goes. I mean, obviously, it’s a little disconcerting. Will it be able to write songs that are amazing? I’ve seen some examples of songs that were pretty good. At least those I thought were pretty good. I’ve been following the developments in some music apps where you can have singers sing the words for you. And that’s advancing as well. Soon, someone will be able to make or write a song using AI and then use an AI singer to sing it. Will we get to lose something human? I don’t know, I don’t know.
What’s your approach to social media?
Actually, to be honest with you, I try to stay away from social media as much as I can, but I do know that it’s a very powerful tool obviously.
• Dave Gahan joined the band in 1980, at the same time as Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, who swapped their guitars for synthesizers to give their music the electronic sound that is now so characteristic of the British band. They are members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020.
• March 24 will mark the release of the 15th Depeche Mode album, ‘Memento Mori’. The band will then kick off a massive tour with 81 shows across the Unites States, Canada and Europe.
• ‘Memento Mori’ is the synth-pop legends’ first new album in six years and the band’s first as a duo after Andy Fletcher’s death.
• Depeche Mode will play a show at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on October 25, 2023.