This week on the Smartless podcast, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode join hosts and superfans Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and perhaps more importantly Sean Hayes -- who did his senior thesis paper on the group's music -- to discuss how the band came to be from each of the members' varied paths in life, and continuing legacy after over 40 years.
Now touring in support of Depeche Mode's fifteenth studio release, Memento Mori, Martin Gore first explained how the group basically came about after he had purchased a synthesizer, inspired by former band member Vince Clarke (who would go on to form Erasure) and the late Andy Fletcher. "That basically got me in the band," he says humbly. "There's a lot to do with that," frontman Dave Gahan adds. "What we found out," he says, "you didn't need the amp anymore. You could just DI straight into a PA system. Carry the little synth under your arm pretty much to a gig, and show up with our little drum machine and three synths kind of teetering on some beer crates in a pub or whatever as our stands -- and we could play."
It was a chance meeting in a rehearsal studio that brought Gahan together with Clarke, who although in separate bands at the time, had been jamming together on a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes." Eventually, he was brought into the fold under the moniker Consequence Sof Sound, or COS for short in hopes of soliciting some of OMD's (Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark) success. His idea for the name 'Depeche Mode' was eventually accepted, and the rest is still history in the making.
"The cool thing that we get to do," says Gahan now enjoying a legacy lasting almost half a century, "Over the years, we get to hear from other artists, other musicians is that what we've done somehow has influenced them to do what they do. This is how it goes 'round, and that's I think an amazing thing about music and film... how it can be the soundtrack to our lives."
Listen to more with Depeche Mode on this week's full episode of Smartless -- now streaming on Audacy. Smartless is a podcast that connects and unites people from all walks of life to learn about shared experiences through thoughtful dialogue and organic hilarity. A nice surprise: in each episode of Smartless, one of the hosts reveals his mystery guest to the other two. What ensues is a genuinely improvised and authentic conversation filled with laughter and newfound knowledge to feed the Smartless mind. New episodes come out every Monday.
Depeche Mode will be on the road well into December, while the band's fifteenth studio album, Memento Mori, arrived in March of 2023. For a complete list of tour dates and to grab your tickets, click HERE.
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