Depeche Mode, in mourning for its keyboardist Andy Fletcher, expects a “painful” tour

The group, which has just announced a new album and a European tour, evokes the loss of Andy Fletcher, who died last May.

Martin Gore, co-founder of Depeche Mode and its main songwriter, expects to see ghosts during the British group’s world tour after the death of his partner Andy Fletcher, he told AFP in an interview on Wednesday.

The sudden disappearance of keyboardist Fletcher in May, after four decades of collaboration, continues to haunt the British group, which announced Tuesday in Berlin the release of a new album in 2023 and a steady world tour, the first in five years.

“Andy loved hotel bars. As we travel the world, I look forward to seeing him sitting in hotel bars with a pint in front of him. I can’t help it,” says Gore, 61.

“I understood when I got back to the hotel in Berlin, when I saw the bar where I saw him so many times, that it was going to happen again during our next tour,” says the musician. “I realized it was going to be more painful than I had imagined,” he adds.

Entitled memento mori, the band’s fifteenth studio album will be released next March. Inspired by both the pandemic and the loss of Fletcher, who died of aortic dissection at the age of 60, the album will precede a tour, the band’s 19th, which will kick off in California, in Sacramento. Concerts are planned, in particular, in London, Berlin and Paris.

“His passing kind of cemented the title of the album,” says Gore. “We thought it was a good title anyway, after his death it seemed really fair.”

40 years of success

Depeche Mode has sold more than one hundred million records worldwide. Among his greatest hits, I just can’t get enough, Everything counts, never leave me aloneWhere walk in my shoes. Pioneers of synth pop in the early 1980s, they developed this genre to free themselves from it by opening up to guitars in the early 1990s.

Gore says that many of the songs on the new album are inspired by his 60th birthday and a growing sense of his own finitude. But he is also delighted to see new generations embracing the band’s music, both its classics and its most recent compositions.

“If you have parents who really like a band, play their music all the time, and it’s okay, then the kids will listen to it all the time, too,” says Gore.

“Stay ahead”

“It’s one of my best theories as to why we have so many young people at our concerts and even waiting outside the hotel to see us. Every time, it’s a real surprise.” According to him, the group is still considered a pioneer of electronic music, a way of not sinking into nostalgia.

“We’ve always tried to keep up (with technology) and it’s always been important to us to have young up-and-comers to do our remixes and stay on top of that.” “I think it keeps us interesting for a younger generation,” she concludes.

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