Depeche Mode are partially responsible for America’s sex lives and Dave Gahan feels like an overpaid stripper.
Day two at SXSW and you realise the constipation you are experiencing is because you are living on a diet of sliders, margaritas, coke, chilli and fries and the only healthy vegetable is the pickle or jalapeño in your burger.
By day two you are getting into the groove of SXSW and are familiarising yourself with surroundings, and wait close to 2 hours in a queue for the interview with Depeche Mode because you don’t want to miss it. Depeche Mode are releasing album thirteen, Delta Machine and this is one of their first major interviews about the upcoming release. The interview by KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley focuses on the album for the first half hour with guests Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy “Fletch” Fletcher whilst the remainder of the session is opened to the floor for questions. Along with their new album release, Depeche Mode are playing a gig on Friday at Brazos Hall during SXSW.
“At the smaller shows it’s more intense. When they’re miles away you don’t worry about it, you don’t know what’s going on” Dave Gahan answers when asked what’s in store on Friday. “ Throughout the interview Gahan kept admitting that some of the touring decisions were made by management and this becomes a bit of a running joke by the end of the interview. When referring to the 45 minute set gig at SXSW “We listened (to management) and rehearsed so we can play a 45 minute set fairly well. When referring to the style of the album Gahan offers; “I was watching a Nick Cave interview and he said that he writes about love, religion and there’s another thing right now but we can’t remember it. Death! We’re closer to that.” The conversation is imbued with humour and wit, evident when Gahan says about Martin Gore, “He’s written the same song over and over, but he does it really well.” Gore says that he’s been collaborating with the original member Vince Clark, who was in the band for 18 months and is a man of few words. “He tweets all the time and everyone thinks he’s really talkative, but he’s not” says Gore to raucous laughter from the crowd. “Quite a lot of the songs have a lot of modular synths involved which is quite different from other records” adds Gore further.
For the Q & A part of the show, a journalist from South Africa asks Depeche Mode about the future of music, and Gahan replies that the actual future of music couldn’t be brighter when you have festivals like SXSW. In classic Depeche Mode deadpan style, Gahan says we have a question for you, “Was Rodriguez really that popular in South Africa?” to which the journalist quickly retorts “Yes and we’re very proud to reintroduce him to America.”
Another journo from the US says that she doesn’t have a question but more a statement and thanks Depeche Mode for our sex lives, stating “A lot of people got boned to Depeche Mode” resulting in an uproar of laughter inside the room.
Bentley asks “Why SXSW?” Gahan replies it was suggested to us and when asked about his regiment for preparing for shows, Gahan confesses, “I’m like a ball of anxiety. I’m like an overpaid stripper. I feel comfortable up there. It takes discipline and hard work. I’m gonna do my best to entertain them. There’s nothing worse than going to a gig and seeing someone looking at their shoes, whilst they’re wearing camping gear.” Get ready to be entertained on Friday at SXSW by the self-confessed overpaid stripper.
Delta Machine is out on March 26th.