Old And Young


Starting out as proponents of New Wave, which - for some inexplicable reason - was ignored in the UK for many years, and evolving over time into synth-pop, Depeche Mode has never been abandoned by their listeners. We caught up with them at a world press gathering in Paris’ 150-year-old Théâtre de la Gâité, where they gave details of their new album and tour. In an exclusive interview, immediately afterwards, the band’s brain, Martin Gore, answered our questions.

You’ve been working together for more than 30 years now. What has changed in the band during that time?
We’ve gotten a lot older. We know each other’s weaknesses now and what attitude each of us will take in which situation. Dave’s weight in the band has begun to increase. He wrote some of the songs on the new album, and we worked together on others.

Which songs would you say are the best you’ve written up to now?
I don’t think I can give a definite answer to that. But I can say that the three or four songs I wrote for the new album are among the best I’ve written so far.

The music business isn’t going so well today. Where do you see yourself in the sector?
Actually, we are lucky because we don’t fit any mold. We’re also pleased with the loyalty of our well-entrenched fan base. We can still get people to like the music we make, so we have no complaints.

All Depeche Mode songs are different. How do you keep from using the same notes when you start to compose a song?
Actually, I usually do start with the same notes... Joking aside though, as times passes writing new things gets harder. At some points I start to repeat myself, parody myself. Still, I’m lucky that it doesn’t happen too much.

As a result of your long collaboration, even your original fans have started to age. And music isn’t what it was when you started out back in the 1980’s. How much did you think about today’s listeners when you were making your new album?
To tell the truth, we make the music we want to make. We’d like to capture the music of today, but I don’t know where we would start. There are young bands all over the place today who are using the style of the eighties. As I recently read somewhere, “The impact of the eighties has outlasted the eighties.”

You were unable to give concerts in several countries on your last tour because of Dave’s illness. Turkey was one of them. When are you going to come to Turkey on your new album tour?
We started out in Tel Aviv for our new album. After Athens and Bucharest, we’ll be in Istanbul on May 17. So far 34 concerts have been finalized.

We like Depeche Mode for their dark songs. Does that tradition continue on the new album?
That’s what people always say. Still, I would like to think that our songs are not all that dark. I can say that there is always something positive in every song. On the new album we recapture the feeling of the songs on the Violator and Songs of Faith and Devotion albums.

As much as Dave Gahan’s lyrics, Martin Gore’s composing talent is what makes Depeche Mode what they are.  Gore, is also the soloist on Depeche Mode’s concert classics like Somebody and Home.

Besides being in the band since it was formed, Andy Fletcher also handles legal and financial issues for the group, which does not have a permanent manager.

Dave Gahan, who will turn 51 before the Istanbul concert, has more energy on stage than many younger men despite advancing age. Gahan is also the father of three children.