11.10.2016 Press Conference, Teatro dell'Arte, La Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy
Andrew "Fletch" Fletcher: "Hi everyone."
Dave Gahan: "Ciao, Milano."
Audience member: "Dave sei unico." (Dave, you are unique!)
Dave: "So uhm... you have to bear with me, I have some cards here to help me get through this. So first we want to welcome all of the press, and the fans, and all the guests who are here with us today. And of course, to all the fans online watching this live now. We appreciate being here today, speaking for Martin and Fletch and myself. We're really happy to be here together."
Dave: "I'm excited to announce that we spent the last couple of years writing and recording a new record. Don't all applause at once!"
Dave: "We've been working together this year in Santa Barbara and in New York, and it's all coming together really well. We're really pleased with what we're doing. And we've brought a really small sample here of what we've been working on to just give you a little taste of what we're doing. And we'd like to play that for you now if that's alright. Should be a little film. So, enjoy it."
[album snippets play]
Dave: "Thank you. As you saw, the new album is going to be called 'Spirit', and we're working to get that album out early next Spring."
Dave: "We've been working on the album with a new team, it's been produced by James Ford, and he's helped us to make what we feel is a very incredible sounding record. We hope you like it, we're very proud of it. Right boys?"
Fletch and Martin Gore in unison: "We are."
Dave: "Alright, well, I think that's about it."
Fletch: "Haven't we forgot something else that's happening next year?"
Dave: "Uhh... let me think about that..."
Martin: "Was it about the hair dresser?"
Dave: "Oh yeah, we've got to announce that we don't have a hair dresser on the next tour."
Dave: "We want to announce that we will be going on the road, of course, once the album is released in the spring. And we're going to be calling the tour the 'Global Spirit' tour."
Dave: "At this point, I'd like to bring out our touring host here in Italy, Roberto Di Luca, and our dear friend, Marek Lieberberg from Germany, to talk a little bit more about the tour. So thanks."
Roberto Di Luca: "Thank you, grazie. [Italian dialog regarding tour]"
Marek Lieberberg: "Thank you Roberto. I will now translate this..."
Marek: "First and foremost, it's Triennale Theatre le Arte, almost three years later, more than three years, but it seems to be that's the rhythm... and of course we're very grateful and very excited that Depeche Mode will be going on the "Global Spirit" tour. The band is going to reach out to one-and-a-half million fans all over Europe. It's going to be 32 concerts, mostly open-air and stadiums, in 21 countries. The last tour that Depeche Mode did, the 'Delta Machine' tour, it had about 2.5 million people. So in this, leg by leg, step by step, we go on and Europe is one-and-a-half, so I think that is an amazing figure. The tour is going on sale this week, and I'd like to tell you it starts off in Stockholm, Sweden on May 5th, it then goes to Amsterdam, to Antwerp, Nice, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Athens, Bratislava in Slovakia, Budapest, Prague in the Czech Republic, then our first German show in Leipzig on May 27th, followed by Lille in France, Copenhagen, (who put together this tour plan? sorry, heh), London at the London Stadium I believe that is; Cologne, Germany; Munich, Germany; Hannover, Zurich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Rome, Milano, and Bologna. Paris, France; Gelsenkirchen, Germany; Bilbao, Spain; Lisbon; St. Petersburg in Moscow; Minsk in Belarus; Kiev in Ukraine; Warsaw, Poland; and finishing up on July 23rd in Cluj, Romania. Quite amazing. As I said, the tour is going on sale at the end of this week or Thursday / Friday tickets will be on sale, but really we want to open this up now as usual to the floor with questions from the media, questions from the Internet, questions from fans... and before we open that up, really Martin, I have a question, and I think it's very important, very dear to all of you, Andy, and Dave, and that's charity: water; I think this tour also is going to be for charity: water, it's going to collect money for charity, it's going to raise awareness; maybe you'll tell us a little bit about your charity: water."
Martin: "Yes. I also have some notes, even though I only have a little bit to say. [laughter] We want to announce that we will be partnering with our friends at Hublot again to continue our support of charity: water. If you don't know charity: water, you should. They're an amazing organization whose goal is to bring clean, safe drinking water to everybody on the planet. On the last tour, with our fans' help, we were able to raise over 1.4 million for charity: water."
Martin: "Those funds specifically brought clean water to people in Kenya, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. We'll be announcing more information soon on this important project, and how you can get involved. There are still a lot of people in the world without clean drinking water. The end."
Dave: "I'd just like to say one more thing as well, just a big thanks of course to... he's not-often-mentioned, but he's sitting over there, Mr. Jonathan Kessler, our manager, and ....... have helped put this all together as well. Without them we wouldn't be sitting here, so I wanted to say thanks. And I guess we're now going to answer some questions."
Marek: "We explained already people are going to raise their hands, and then we're going to have our wonderful helpers to hand them over the microphone, it's one question per person, they'll attempt it to be in English, which is the language of our press conference, and now Mr. Roberto Di Luca, please would you choose a member of the cherished Italian press team to put the first question to the band."
Roberto: "Okay, let's start down there ... Luca ... are you there? Okay, here you are. Do you want to start?"
Luca: "Thank you for the start Roberto, and thank you for being here in Italy to start this trip that is going to be very very long. I would like to know something about the aesthetic of what we are going to see, because every three years almost you do a new album, now this is going to be out ... I just listened to maybe one of the songs, is it true that the title is, I wrote to myself, 'Western Revolution', as you sing in the song?"
Luca: "And anyway... what about the text and what about the ... we will see on the stage, it's going to be really different from 'Delta Machine', it's going to be a change also in the way that you want to show up during the live concerts, and can you tell us something about the aesthetic also of the inside of the album?"
Martin: "Well, for the tour, we haven't really got together with Anton yet, who will be doing the visuals again, but we are meeting up with him in November and shooting some films. And I believe we are doing a video with him too. So, we don't really know what those visuals are going to look like yet. It's still very early days, I mean we're not starting the tour until next May, we've got a long time to go before then to arrange everything."
Fletch: "We're sure as well, that it's going to be as good or better than the last tour, that's what we're aiming for all the time with Depeche Mode."
Martin: "I just want to make it clear that it didn't say 'Western Revolution'. It was 'where's the revolution?' [laughter]
Dave: "We're asking you!"
Roberto: "Okay, grazie Luca. Grazie millie. [Italian]"
[Journalist]: "What do you think about the rock, is it dead? Completely dead? And, do we need now a different, a new vision about music, about sound, about words, about ??"
Dave: "Well, yeah, I mean, for us, you know, we're alive and kicking here. We're still making music together that we're really proud of, and we still want to perform that music for you, and I think collectively we still believe that music is one of the, possibly only, forms that actually brings people together into one place and you're all there for one reason, and that's to experience something that is moving. And hopefully that's something that we still continue doing. So, I think there's great music out there, you really gotta just look for it."
Marek: "Thank you very much. From Facebook, we have Tish Liob, who's asking, 'are you coming to North America?'"
Dave: "Yes. We will be coming. Yea, we didn't mention that, did we? That will be part of the tour, and I'm hoping also to get down to South America as well. So those dates will eventually be announced, we're still working on that."
Marek: "Thanks a lot. Next question here."
[Journalist]: "Pretty obvious question, when it comes to the title of the record, how would you describe the spirit of the record? Is it comparable to 'Delta Machine', is it more harsh, is it more soft, is it more melancholic, is it more sex, is it more ... whatever?"
Fletch: "Definitely more sexy."
[audience cheering / laughter]
Fletch: "That was a joke, actually. Maybe. I mean, at the moment, we haven't finished the album, we're still working on it, but it's sounding very exciting at the moment, we're very proud of it, and we think it's gonna be as good or a lot better than the last album, which we try and do all the time."
Dave: "We worked with James Ford, it's different, we've been working with Ben Hillier as a producer for the past few records and it was time for us to change that up, so James really kind of came in fresh, he had no real agenda and he's not just a great producer, he's a great musician, so he was able to really kind of guide us. Martin had written some great songs and demo'd them, and I had too as well, so he kind of able to like take those songs and take them to another level. It was really interesting to be working with him."
[Journalist]: "Dave, your shoes are stealing the show."
Dave: "I know, aren't they? [waves shoes, laughter] I got good socks, too! Thank you, thank you."
Fletch: "He always tries to overdo us."
[Journalist]: "As a fan but also a journalist from Budapest, Hungary, I find it more than amazing that also on this tour, you stop by at this small Eastern Central-European country; you could have skipped it by saying you've been there nine times already, given ten concerts, which is a Hungarian record as far as a major act is concerned. There must be a special bond also from your side; is it so?"
Dave: "I would say yes; we're very fortunate that we have fans all over the world. The difficulty is always trying to reach all of them, and go to all these cities and places; the tours that we do could go on forever, to be honest. We're very fortunate, and our fan base seems to grow stronger and stronger every time we put a record out. We're very grateful for that."
Fletch: "Budapest was also one of the... we were fortunate enough when the Iron Curtain was still there, that we visited a lot of these countries and it was a great experience. The fans really liked it as well that we'd come."
Martin: "I think that we were one of the first bands, I think; we were there in 85, in Budapest, in Warsaw, and Prague... it was not done back then."
[Journalist]: "Hello, I'm Peter Fisher from the Dutch / Netherlands website writteninmusic.com, are you also planning to do festivals next summer, or is it still unsure, Martin?"
Martin: "I think that's still ... you mean, the following summer?"
[Journalist]: "The following summer, yeah."
Martin: "I think that's still unsure. Like we said, we haven't announced the American tour yet, or South America, so there will be more dates added. But we just don't know yet, what they will be. Maybe."
[Journalist]: "Hi guys, I'm Julia from Virgin Radio. Thank you for being here. The guy over there, we're talking about war. I was thinking of all the shit going on in the world, at the moment, at this period; did it affect your songwriting and the atmosphere of the new record?"
Martin: "I think it did, but we don't really want to get in to the new album too much at this point because it's not released until next spring. So we'll be coming back to do more promotion and to talk about that then."
[Journalist]: "Good afternoon gentlemen, Sir Igor from Kiev, Ukraine; thank you for great news. I would like to ask you, I guess it's really hard, you've got hundreds of released songs. So I think it's really hard to choose them to play them at live gigs. Which criteria does Depeche Mode use to update the next live set / tour; maybe your personal opinion, maybe expert opinion, or maybe you use focus groups? Thank you."
Fletch: "We have sort of a Eurovision song contest, where we vote for songs and the songs that get the most votes are more likely to get in the set. But there's only three of us, so it's difficult."
Dave: "I think as well, we... for instance, we have such a big choice, and you can only do so many songs, but predominantly, of course... we have the new album, we want to experiment and do new songs, and that's always a challenge and it's exciting, and then we'll find songs that work along side those as well. I'm sure we'll be doing all the favourites..."
Martin: "And I'm sure we'll upset a lot of you."
Dave: "We can't please all of you!"
[Journalist]: "Hi, my name is Gabby, I'm from Warsaw, Poland, and in terms of upsetting, my question would be: what irritates you most in the nowadays music industry?"
Fletch: "I find it frustrating that smaller bands find it more difficult to get to the top, with very low record sales, and radio stations not really playing much new stuff. So I think that's very frustrating and sort of makes us very lucky that when we were around, it was totally different."
Martin: "We still are around."
Fletch: "Yes we are."
[Journalist]: "Hello, I'm Max, and first time I see Depeche Mode concert was from Violator tour, and I remember amazing songs of course but ... an amazing work you did with Anton Corbijn, maybe for the first time; the previous tour was Masses tour, I think? Anyway, what about the next tour, I mean about working with Anton anyway?"
Dave: "I'm sorry, if you haven't had an album before "Violator", we can't answer your question cause you're obviously not a true fan."
Dave: "I'll answer your question. We are going to work with Anton, as Martin had said earlier, and we've worked with him earlier this year, doing some photographs and started discussing ideas; album artwork, and how we can incorporate that into what we do visually as well. And like Mart said, it's a work in progress. Anton is, of course, a very busy man, but he wants to of course do something that is beyond what he's done before, and there's a lot of things you can do with technology as well. It's moved on quite a lot even from when we did the last tour, so a lot of that will be incorporated as well, I should imagine."
Marek: "We'd like to take a question from the balcony please..."
Fletch: "Is there anybody up there?"
[Journalist]: "I'm here, I'm here! Thank you so much. I'm Sonya Multury (?) from Italy, and I'd like to ask if you can tell us something about very funny moments or special moments that happened during the recording of the album. Thank you so much, and welcome back."
Dave: "It's really hard when you can't see someone who's answering the question, but... if anyone's got a flashlight or something... where are you? Hi!"
Dave: "Well, you know, loads of great things happen when you're recording. For me, it's quite often when it's a bit spontaneous as well, like you get an unexpected surprise. There was one point during the recording when James Ford, the producer, discovered that there was a pedal steel guitar of Martin's, in the studio, and I think he taught himself how to play it within a day."
Martin: "I think it was an hour!"
Dave: "Yeah, and it found its way to quite a few of the songs. It's always exciting in the studio because Martin brings in a lot of his equipment from his own studio, so we have tons of stuff to play with. Like we said, we worked with a completely new team as well. When things come together, and they are coming together quite quickly with James, he likes to work fast, he likes to get ideas flowing fast, so there's plenty of moments."
Marek: "Thank you. We return now to the gentleman here..."
[Journalist]: "Hi guys, <name>, Italia. How would you describe the chemistry within the band after so many years of music, and are there some key factors that drove you to make this record, even some notable personal factors from all of you?"
Martin: "Like we said, it's difficult for us to talk too much about the new album without giving too much away, too early. We like making music, so that's why we get together and we make albums. We have fun doing it. That's about all we can say at this point."
Dave: "There's a chemistry that happens, and you're never sure of when you go back into the studio again, after all these years and all the music we've made together, you don't really know what's going to happen or if that the chemistry between us is still going to be there. It's not something you can really talk about; there is something ... music is magic, it can be, and when it all comes together, you feel it. And then once again when we take that to the next level and we go on stage and we perform that, it takes on another life, and of course you're involved in that, because we get to then all be part of something together. We're excited to see what's going to happen with this stuff."
Fletch: "It's quite nice, the two halves of our career. The first half, the creative part in the studio, and then followed by the tour, which is completely a different type of thing altogether. It makes being in a band really good."
Martin: "It's weird, because when we're making music, we're kind of isolated. And we actually jumped today when we came out of the hotel and there was a whole load of fans scream suddenly. We're not used to that, cause we've been away from it for quite a while. [laughs] But we'll get used to it again. [laughs]"
Marek: "Thank you very much. We return to fan from Leipzig! Here you go."
[Fan]: "Hello guys, my name is Bianca, I'm from Leipzig in Germany. My question is, especially to Dave and Martin too, sorry Fletch, have you already on stage forgotten the text from an old or a new song, and if yes, what do you do then? How do you react?"
Martin: [quietly to Dave] "Have you forgotten words to a song ..."
Dave: "Oh, yeah, lots. Fortunately, quite often, I can't see that far without my glasses on now... usually, the first few rows, they're singing everything anyway, so I just kind of copy them. Or make it up."
Marek: "The fans on the balcony, please, we can't see a thing, maybe we put a little light up there..."
[Journalist]: "Hello, I'm here, ... I'm Mr. Filpetti from. I have two short questions: the first one being: what makes you keep making more new music after more than 35 years together? The second one is, in the industry, the new fashion seems to be the reunions of bands. So, is there any chance of Alan coming back with you? Thanks."
Dave: "That was a lot of questions, wasn't it? I forgot the first part already... yes and no!"
Dave: "We've been lucky; for the last almost 20 years now, we've had Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner playing with us ... you can put the light on them, I think they're down there somewhere, there are a couple journalists that look suspiciously like Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner, oh yeah, they are! ... so, that question's kind of redundant really, but we're very lucky to have them play with us for so long."
[Journalist]: "Okay, hello, this is Svetlana from Germany, Germany television... okay, to Dave: first of all, Andy and Martin, you look marvelous, ageless..."
Fletch: "Dave, you look a bit older..."
Dave: "I'm working on it, I'm sorry."
[Journalist]: "No, no... Dave, I wanted to ask you, because we are talking about forgetting, I am wondering if you are still able to make this move, you know, this shaking hip, swinging ... are you still able, I suppose a lot of ladies would like to see it. Would you, could you?"
Dave: "Well, you have it down pretty well, you can come up here and show everyone if you'd like. But no, I'm still in good form, I'm good to go."
Dave: "I'm glad you noticed though, thank you."
[Journalist]: "Hello, my name is Jenna from Germany. Nice to be here. I have a question: you've played with a lot of bands and supporting acts. My question is, is your taste of music an influence for the supporting acts, or are there bands who you'd like to say 'yes, I'd like to play with them!'"
Fletch: "I think there's a bit of both there, sometimes it's bands that we like, but it's bands that we choose. They're not bands that other people choose for us. And it can be dangerous if you're a support band for Depeche Mode, with our rabid fans."
Marek: "If you have further questions, just raise your hands, because we're sort of reaching the end of our ..."
Dave: "How about this gentleman right down here, he's had his hand up a few times... yeah, you, he'll be next, alright, you're next!"
[Journalist]: "Hi guys, I'm Roberto from Czech Republic. A lot of your fans are touring with you across Europe and across the world, including me. When I read their feedback on your shows, it's very positive, always. My feedback is always positive. Thank you for the shows. But a lot of them have one big wish: surprises during the show. Some changes in the set list. What are your plans for the next tour? I mean, changes such as 'Blasphemous Rumours', 'Something To Do', to add to your set list. Thank you."
Dave: "As we've said before, we'll be touring with the new album 'Spirit', and obviously we want to perform some songs from that album. And then we'll pick a bunch of songs that we would like to do. We usually rehearse a lot of songs, and once we've locked in to the set we want to do, it changes a little now and again. Especially if visuals are incorporated with certain songs, there's a reason for that; there's a reason that we're putting on a show in a certain way and that we want people to see that like that, because there's a performance that begins here, it has an arc, and that's where it ends. So, I think there's room within the set to sometimes alternate some songs that feel they're in the same tempo possibly. It's important that when we're presenting a show that we feel that it's to our strength and what we're doing. It's not like we're playing little clubs and we can change the set every night..."
Fletch: "We've got over 200 songs, and we can't play for six or seven hours. And we do try and incorporate some old songs, but we can't incorporate every old song, obviously."
Martin: "We have noticed though, there are quite a few fans that follow us around. In fact, wherever we are, we look out into the first few rows, and it's usually the same people! [laughs]"
[Journalist]: "Hi, my name is Martin. The sample we have heard sounds rather apocalyptic to me. Does the record reflect the state of the world as we know it now, or can we expect a political album..."
Fletch: "Or the way it will be ..."
Dave: "I think that you have to wait and see really, as we said, we're still forming that, but it's definitely I think, a very uplifting and thought-provoking feel and sound to this record."
Fletch: "There is a lot of things happening around the world at the moment, particularly now, and it's hard to completely ignore it completely."
[Journalist]: "My name is Teresa, I'm coming from Portugal. You're going back to Lisbon once again, you have fans there in Portugal from the 50th to the 15. So, with this kind of music, with this new album, are you looking for the youngest people, because it seems to be very powerful also."
Martin: "I think we've always been very fortunate that somehow, our music does appeal to young people as well as the people that have grown with us. We have no idea how that happens, we are very fortunate that it does. Maybe we've been around long enough now that people are just playing, you know, the older generation are playing it to their children, forcing it on their children... it's amazing, we look out into the audiences, and we have 15, 16, 17 year olds there, and that's great."
Marek: "Thank you so much, Dave, Martin, and Fletch, and thank you for being so open and answering all these questions. And by the way, there are some old things that Depeche Mode are carrying around, and that's me! I'm very grateful about that. Thank you very much guys. Thank you everybody here at Teatro dell'Arte. We'll see you on the tour, thank you!"