Martin Gore, the co-founder and main songwriter of Depeche Mode is preparing to be haunted by memories during the British group’s world tour, the first after the death of his partner, Andy Fletcher, he said in an interview with AFP on Wednesday.
The sudden death of keyboardist Fletcher in May, after four decades of working together, continues to plague the group. During a press conference in Berlin on Tuesday, they announced the release of a new album, followed by a world tour, their first in five years.
“Andy loved hotel bars. When we travel the world, I’ll see him sitting in hotel bars with a beer in front of him. It’s like I can’t get away from that,” said Gore, 61.
“I understood this when I entered the hotel in Berlin, when I saw the bar where I had seen him so many times, that this would happen again during our next tour,” the musician explained.
“I realized that it would be much more painful than I had imagined,” he acknowledged.
Entitled “Memento Mori,” the group’s 15th studio album will be released in March 2023.
Inspired by both the covid-19 pandemic and the loss of Fletcher, who died at age 60 from a ruptured aorta, the album will be followed by a tour, the group’s 19th, which will begin in March in Sacramento, California, and tour cities such as London, Berlin, and Paris.
“Somehow, his death cemented the title of the album,” Gore explained. “We thought it was a good album title but after he died, it felt really right.”
Depeche Mode has sold over a hundred million records worldwide. Among their biggest hits are “Just can’t get enough”, “Everything Counts”, “Never Let Me Down Again” and “Walking in my Shoes”.
Pioneers of electronic pop in the early 1980s, they made this genre evolve until it opened up to guitars in the 1990s.
Gore said that many songs on the new album were inspired by his 60th birthday and the growing sense of his own mortality.
But he finds comfort in the fact that younger generations also like the band’s songs, both the classics and the newer ones.
“If you have parents who genuinely like a band and listen to their music all the time and it’s average good, their kids will listen to it all the time too,” Gore said.
“It’s one of the best theories to explain why we have so many young people at our shows, and even waiting in front of the hotel to see us. Every time, this is a real surprise,” he added.
For him, the group still considers itself a pioneer of electronic music, a way of not falling into nostalgia.
“We always try to keep up with [technological advances] and it’s always been important for us to have promising young people doing our remixes and keeping us on the cutting edge,” he pointed out.
“I believe that allows us to continue being interesting to the young generation,” he concluded.