Speaking with Steve Lamacq ahead of the release of Spirit
Cai Trefor

17:39 21st February 2017

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Depeche Mode are back with their first album since 2013's Delta Machine and Steve Lamacq was fortunate enough to catch up with lead singer Dave Gahan to get some details ahead of its 17 March release.

The eagerly anticipated new album, which is named Spirit, saw them enlist James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco as the main producer. Of what Ford brought to proceedings, Lamacq was told in the interview on his 6music show: “It was a perfect fit for us. We really sort of needed – we needed to work with a new team. We done a few records with Ben Hillier and they’d been great and we really enjoyed that process, but it was, you know, we needed to try something new. “

Gahan also adds how musically and technically accomplished, and how decisive Ford, who also worked with Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons, was. Meanwhile, Lamacq describes the producer bringing, "a real sense of freedom to the sound."

Lammo then goes on to ask how much the album deals with the rocky political times we live in. “It’s impossible to not be affected by what goes on around you,” says Gahan. “Look a lot of these songs were written a year and a half ago, you know so but there’s stuff’s been going on you know in the world, these changes, these things that we’re all like you know you’ve got Brexit there, where you’re kind of like, WHAT? One of the songs on the album, the first song that’s on the album is called Backwards and you know pretty much sums it up. It’s like, what are we doing, people?”

Depeche Mode are about to embark on a world that sees them take in 32 cities across 21 countries and Gahan tells Lamacq that they plan to add more shows on top of that.

The singer also says the new album, Spirit, is going to make its way into the live show in quite a big way: “It’s the kind of album that you want to perform as well, there’s songs on there and we’ll pick six or seven songs or something from the record that we’ll want to put into our repertoire and we’re very fortunate.”

For their tour, the only UK dates are London Stadium for which they’ve sold a staggering 60,000 tickets. But those looking to see them in more intimate surrounds can. Today they've been announced to play on the 2,000 capacity Barrowlands on 26 March as part of 6Music festival. The sprung dancefloor and old fashioned but well kept interior is something out your wildest northern soul dreams. They haven’t played there since 1984.

Of their appearance, Gahan was impressed it’s been so long and said: “Glasgow has always been one of those gigs that when we played, certainly in the early years that was always a great crowd. So it will be fun to play there again."

Given that Barrowlands is intimate compared to the stadium jaunt they have planned, the singer also said that they will be having more small shows in addition. But they will be very much on the downlow. “We’re in rehearsals now but we’re planning a sort of promotional trip when the album comes out and there’s talking of doing a few of these smaller things."

Depeche Mode play London Stadium on 3 June and Glasgow Barrowlands on 26 March.


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Photo: Press