When Essex, England electronic rock group Depeche Mode formed in 1980 and released its cheery synthpop debut LP Speak & Spell the next year, little did anyone know the enormous success and impact the band would have over the next 30+ years in the music industry, especially after having lost its chief songwriter Vince Clarke to other projects soon after the album’s release.
Synthpop was in vogue back then, with other English electronic artists like Gary Numan and Human League already successful worldwide by then. But it was keyboardist Martin Gore who stepped up to lead the band’s direction from 1981 and on. He, along with singer Dave Gahan and keyboardist Andy Fletcher took the band and electronic music in general to darker, more cutting edge places than it had ever been before over the next couple of decades, with classic albums such as Music for the Masses, Violator, and Songs of Faith and Devotion being among Depeche Mode’s most notable works. The group would go on to be the most successful electronic music group of all time, selling over 100 million albums, according to EMI. It has influenced and inspired countless bands over the years, from The Pet Shop Boys and The Killers to modern day electronic musical acts like Cold Cave.
Having survived and thrived through the grunge, ska, and nu metal movements of the ’90s, and the ever-changing musical trends of the ’00s, DM is still active in 2013, with an upcoming 30+ show-long world tour that kicks off in early May. The band is promoting their recently released 13th studio effort, Delta Machine, which was produced by Ben Hillier (Blur, Doves, Elbow) and mixed by longtime collaborator Flood (U2, Smashing Pumpkins).
The new album features a healthy mix of the fresh and the familiar. First single “Heaven” is a modern-sounding electronic slow jam, while new single “Soothe My Soul” is more in line with songs from the band’s ’80s output (think “Personal Jesus”). Regarding the latter, the band is keeping it old school by releasing a “maxi” single of it, which features six remixes. There will also be a two-track CD featuring a remix and a radio edit of the tune, and a 12″ vinyl release, all of which hits stores in North America and everywhere else in mid-May, except for the vinyl version which will hit stores everywhere on June 10.
Depeche Mode starts their tour in North America on August 22 in Detroit and finish up in Arizona on October 8. To keep up with news regarding the band, visit the official Depeche Mode website.