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DANCING WITH FRIENDS

FROM REUNITING WITH OLD BANDMATES TO HELPING OUT THEIR NEIGHBOURS, THE WORLD OF DEPECHE MODE’S PROJECTS AWAY FROM THE BAND IS AN ESOTERIC TRIP. CLASSIC POP SPEAKS TO SOME OF THE KEY COLLABORATORS WHO HAVE HELPED NURTURE DEPECHE’S SECRET PASSIONS…

After the tour for Exciter, Depeche needed time out. While Martin Gore worked on his covers album and Andy Fletcher started a record label, it was time to see if Dave Gahan could be a songwriter. Released in 2003, Paper Monsters proved him to be more than capable. Wanting to tell his story of his addictions and becoming sober, Gahan wrote its 10 songs with Knox Chandler, a session guitarist he’d befriended when Knox played on Exciter. “I needed to express the feelings inside of me more,” Dave told Beyond Words. “Singing Martin’s songs has been great, but I wanted to challenge myself, not live vicariously through someone else’s feelings.”

Paper Monsters led to Gahan finally starting to write for Depeche, but also it opened the doors for his own style. The more electronic Hourglass followed in 2007, this time written with Andrew Phillpott and Christian Eigner, Depeche’s drummer since 1997. Explaining how Hourglass was more comfortable to make, Dave told Spin: “Singing Martin’s stuff has rubbed off on me. I’ve really started to find my own voice.”

Gahan has made two further albums away from Depeche, both 2012’s The Light The Dead See and Angels And Ghosts in 2015 being collaborations with Soulsavers. The downtempo duo supported Depeche on the Sounds Of The Universe tour, and Dave told them to get in touch if they wanted to collaborate. “Bands saying ‘We should work together!’ happens all the time on tour,” admits Soulsavers’ Rich Machin. “It’s standard musicians’ bullshit, but I never got the impression Dave was anything other than sincere. It’s a reason I like him, he’s very much a no-bullshit person.”

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About Classic Pop Presents

In our latest special edition 132-page magazine we explore the world of synth-pop pioneers Depeche Mode. We follow the band’s epic story – decade-by-decade – from their genesis in Basildon as synth-loving adolescents with Vince Clarke at the helm, through to the present day as a globally famous three-piece with over 100 million record sales under their belts. Classic Pop Presents turn the spotlight onto classic albums from every era of the group’s evolution including Speak & Spell, Black Celebration, Violator, Songs Of Faith And Devotion, Exciter and latest LP Spirit – plus, we go behind the scenes via exclusive interviews with Depeche’s Martin Gore and Dave Gahan, as well as producers Tim Simenon, Ben Hillier and James Ford. We also sit down with the two directors of pioneering tour film 101 to hear how they captured the reality of ‘Mode on the road’. Also inside, we deliver our definitive Top 40 Depeche Mode playlist as well as highlighting some lesser-spun gems; we survey the band’s videography and revisit their mammoth global tours through the years. Add to that our in-depth feature on Depeche’s many collaborators, our investigation into collectable vinyl from their back catalogue and much more besides – it’s an unmissable issue!