2022-10-04 Press Conference, Berliner Ensemble, Berlin, Germany

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Depeche Mode held a press conference at the Berliner Ensemble on October 4, 2022 at 13:00 CET to announce their 15th studio album, Memento Mori, and its corresponding tour. The event was livestreamed on Facebook and depechemode.com.

Press release from depechemode.com:

Depeche Mode Announce First Live Shows in Five Years - 'Memento Mori' World Tour to Kick Off March 23, 2023 In Sacramento, CA

posted: October 4, 2022

BERLIN, GERMANY (October 4, 2022) - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2020 inductees Depeche Mode announced today at a special event in Berlin that they will be releasing a new album and embarking on a world tour in 2023. The Memento Mori Tour will support the band's forthcoming 15th studio album, Memento Mori, due out in Spring 2023.

In a break from tradition, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore revealed today that the Live Nation-presented tour will begin with a special, limited series of North American arena dates starting March 23rd, before the band heads to Europe for their summer stadium tour. These limited North American dates will feature stops at New York's Madison Square Garden, Chicago's United Center, Los Angeles' Kia Forum and Toronto's Scotiabank Arena, among others. The band will then begin their European stadium tour on May 16th, with noted stops including the Stade de France in Paris, Berlin's Olympic Stadium, Milan's San Siro Stadium, and London's Twickenham Stadium.

In speaking about Memento Mori, Martin Gore commented, "We started work on this project early in the pandemic, and its themes were directly inspired by that time. After Fletch's passing, we decided to continue as we're sure this is what he would have wanted, and that has really given the project an extra level of meaning." Dave Gahan added, "Fletch would have loved this album. We're really looking forward to sharing it with you soon, and we can't wait to present it to you live at the shows next year."

The Memento Mori Tour will be Depeche Mode's 19th tour and their first in over five years. The band's most recent outing, the 2017-2018 Global Spirit Tour was its longest to date and was one of the year's highest grossing tours, with the band playing to more than 3 million fans over the course of 130 shows across Europe and North America.

Memento Mori will be Depeche Mode's 15th studio album and the follow-up to 2017's critically acclaimed Spirit, which reached #1 in 11 territories, charting in the Top 5 in more than 20 others. Memento Mori will be released worldwide in Spring 2023 via Columbia Records.

Having sold more than 100 million records and played to more than 35 million fans worldwide, Depeche Mode remains an ever-evolving and singularly influential musical force. An indelible inspiration to fans, critics and artists alike, Depeche Mode continues to forge ahead, with the Memento Mori album and tour representing the opening of the newest chapter of a peerless and ongoing legacy.

Transcript

Press conference transcribed by DMLiveWiki. Please credit as such when posting elsewhere.

[teaser music from the new album plays]

Marek Lieberberg: Ladies and gentlemen, a heartfelt welcome to a special conversation with Depeche Mode, here at the historic Berliner Ensemble. Please let me introduce you to our host tonight, a warm welcome for author, publicist, and Chelsea fan, a dear friend of the band, Barbara Charone.

ML: And also, two gentlemen that you may know from many moons before, Mr. Dave Gahan, and Martin Gore.

Martin Gore: Chelsea fan? That changes everything!

Barbara Charone: I think my applause was bigger.

Dave Gahan: It's a nice theater, isn't it?

BC: It's beautiful. So, thank you all very much for coming. We've just heard a teaser from the forthcoming new Depeche Mode album, and it's incredibly exciting that we're all here today. The band have just taken time out from recording in Santa Barbara to come back to Berlin, which is the home of many happy Depeche Mode memories, and then when they finish here, they're going to go back to New York to finish working on the album.

BC: I know right now you can't really talk about it too much; you can't give us too many details. But I'm sure you can give us a little hint of what's to come, besides from that fabulous music we heard. Martin, do you want to kick off?

MG: Ooh. [laughter] Well, we're quite far into it now, the actual recording process. We've got all of the tracks finished kind of, for the album, without them being mixed, and as you can probably kind of guess from the title of the album, there is a very ...

BC: We haven't revealed that yet.

MG: Oh, you haven't? Oh, okay.

BC: We'll get to that.

MG: Okay, so I can't say a word then. [laughter]

BC: How did it feel to be back in the studio?

DG: It was really good. We had a really good time together doing it. We started working on these songs, I mean the writing, probably a couple of years back.

BC: Most of the songs I understand were written before, during the pandemic, so before Fletch died... and you were always planning on recording this in the summer, starting recording.

DG: That sort of changed a lot of things that we were doing at the time, of course, Fletch passing... so Martin and I had been communicating and sort of sending some things back and forth to each other. With my own few things that I had played very badly on a guitar and sing into my iPhone, and I'd send it to Martin, and then he'd send it back with his beautiful angelic voice on it and lots of other bits and pieces and suddenly it would become more of a song.

DG: And Martin sent me a whole bunch of songs, I think at first like about six songs or something that he'd been working on, so I started singing then...

DG: We got together the first time in, just for a couple of weeks, I guess a few months ago now?

MG: Yeah, something like middle of July I think it was. One thing I think is important to say, is that all of the songs, and even the album title, was kind of decided before Andy passed.

BC: Well, you didn't say the title of the album.

MG: So the album title is "Memento Mori", which means "remember you will die".

DG: "Remember that you must die"

MG: Or you must die... will die, must die. It sounds very morbid, but I think you can look at it very positively as well; live each day to the max. I think that's how we like to interpret it, too.

BC: And Dave, what did you think of the title when you heard it?

DG: It was around sort of the same time Martin had started to send some of his songs. He'd sent me, first it was six demos of songs that he had written. And, we were just talking, and we started to talk about ... what we felt, the feel of some of the songs or its direction we might want to go in, and Martin said, "you know, actually, I have this idea for a title", and I liked it immediately.

DG: I just think the direct translation as well... you told me the history of where it was first... was it Roman times?

MG: Roman or earlier.

DG: Maybe even earlier.

MG: They used to walk behind an emperor or something, after he'd won a great victory, and somebody would walk behind him saying "memento mori".

DG: So, it's sort of humble, humble them and "remember that you must die" also.

BC: It's got a new poignancy, also, what with Andy gone.

DG: Yeah, it took on another...

BC: Meaning...

DG: I guess it took on a ... I mean, all the songs, ... once I started singing as well, for me anyway, in the studio, you know, at Martin's house ... of course, as songs always do, as you perform them, even over years and years, songs that I've been singing for years, they always take on different forms depending on what's going on in your personal life or what's going on in the world. And I'm sure it's the same for all of you, too. They represent different times and some of these songs, of course you can't help but reflect.

DG: And when we were in the studio together, many times we would joke or things would come up and of course, we miss Fletch. Fletch would comment on something or ... and those are the things that you miss about someone when they're not there, they're things that you kind of take for granted when they are there.

DG: I think I speak for Mart as well, and he was really missed in the process.

BC: He was there in spirit.

DG: I think so. I gotta just say there was like... just recently, I was sitting outside, in my hotel, I had a little balcony, and I was sitting sort of watching ... in the morning, and someone in a room near me was smoking a cigarette... and many times I had been there before, like working at Martin's place and for a moment I sort of like, expected to hear Fletch say "awright Dave", cause he was like in the room next door or something. Little things like that.

BC: I'm sure Martin, it's the same for you.

MG: Because we recorded at my place mainly, and then in another studio in LA that we've never worked in before, we'd never worked in my place, as a band ... and because I was used to going there every day anyway to work, it didn't seem so strange. I mean, obviously it was a bit strange, but not as strange as it would have been if we'd have worked in the studios that we worked in before.

MG: But when we came to Berlin on Saturday evening and I walked into the hotel and I saw the bar, where I'm so used to seeing Andy like every single time we stayed in that place.

BC: Pint in hand.

MG: You're just used to seeing him so much there, that that really hit me.

BC: One thing on this album that you'll all be surprised, is that Depeche are going to be breaking with tradition and starting their touring with a special limited run of shows in North America this spring, followed by lots of stadium shows in Europe next summer. So you must be really excited about taking this new album on the road, and going back on tour.

DG: Right now, as Martin said, the focus is on finishing the record, having it finished, and so this is kind of ... we had to sort of jump out of how we were working together to do this, and to talk about it, and thinking about how we are going to perform some of these songs, and how they will be integrated with songs that you all know already. Anton Corbijn, of course, is already working away on lots of different parts of the design and photographs and ideas for everything...

BC: And you've played some great venues. Madison Square Garden, London's Twickenham Stadium, the Stade de France in Paris, and the San Siro in Milan. So, pretty exciting. I can see Martin you're very excited.

[DG and MG laugh]

MG: Of course it's exciting to play those places. It's a dream to play those places, isn't it.

DG: It's not until you walk on stage in those places that you really get to feel what that's like. I mean right now we're not there of course, we've been locked away in the studio, which has been great. It's been a really enjoyable process, making this record with Martin, and James Ford, and Marta Salogni.

BC: One thing, Martin, that you must be really excited about, is the fact that The Gunners, Arsenal, are top of the league in England.

MG: Yeah, I haven't been able to say that for quite a few years, not very often... so yeah, I am very happy about that. [laughter]

DG: What just happened, everybody just suddenly started ... did something ... something happened, I don't know. There was a change in energy, suddenly there was an audience.

BC: It must have been Arsenal.

[Martin laughs]

DG: Yeah, it was something to do with Arsenal, Mart.

BC: Yes, we were just saying before we were rudely interrupted that Arsenal, Martin's football team, are top of the league in England. And I think Dave, you're excited about the [New York] Knicks starting a new basketball season, well you've got a season ticket.

DG: I am a season ticket holder, yes.

BC: And you'll be playing their venue as well.

DG: Yeah, it's great to sit there watching a basketball game and then I sort of always look over at the other end and that's where I am, over there.

BC: We'll just have to get Martin a gig at the Emirates.

MG: Well, won't happen.

BC: So I think we're gonna take a couple questions from the audience. There's somebody with a mic... Marek's got the mic. Does anybody have a question?

Journalist: James Ford is the producer again?

MG: Yes, yes.

Journalist: Because there was a rumor about Rick Rubin.

MG: We actually did a few days of recording at Rick Rubin's studio, but Rick Rubin wasn't involved. We just worked in his studio.

DG: He let us use his place for a few days.

BC: Anyone else in the front?

Journalist: Is there an idea to make Andy Fletcher tribute during the forthcoming gigs on the tour?

DG: We've got some thoughts and there's certain songs that were big favorites of Fletch's and we'll make something of one of those songs, maybe. But that process is still happening, you know... what we're gonna be doing on stage and how we're gonna do it and what visuals we're gonna use and things.

BC: It's nice for a surprise.

DG: Yeah. I mean, he'll be there in spirit, anyway, I'm sure, you know, judging us...

[Martin laughs]

Journalist: Who else is going to be in the live band, apart from you?

BC: We've got... the live band is actually here tonight, and we're gonna ask Christian and Pete to stand up.

[audience cheer]

DG: Mr. Peter Gordeno and Christian Eigner.

[audience cheer continues]

MG: They actually said that they would stand and sing something acapella for you.

DG: And very, very handsome they are as well.

BC: Yeah, sing!

DG: Yeah, we're waiting.

BC: Is that it for questions?

BC: Well, I'd like to thank you all... we'll have one more question.

Journalist: Yes, thank you. Dave, you already mentioned that things change in time. What do you think nowadays, we have wars in Europe, things like that, people die, you mentioned too... what is the impact of music nowadays? What can you change with music nowadays? Thank you.

DG: Martin and I were talking about this earlier as well. We get to make music and we get to play music for you, hopefully bring a sense of joy and togetherness in our own small way, in a world that seems to be constantly in some kind of turmoil. It sometimes feels a bit strange, to be able to do this, any time, but to be able to walk on a stage and bring some joy to a lot of people, I hope, is something that I think we are pretty proud of.

BC: Well, I think that's it for the questions, but we want to thank you ...

Journalist: Sorry, one more, please?

Journalist: Thank you. Have you ever thought about a special "unplugged" show, "unplugged" performance, for example, during this tour?

DG: We can't really unplug cause we're [an] electronic band.[1]

[audience cheer]

DG: We'll try, we'll do something, I don't know.

MG: We could try with battery packs, or something.

[audience laughter]

BC: I think that's a really good point to end on.

BC: We wanted to thank everyone for coming and we're gonna leave you with a short video with all the tour dates and you've seen them as well. Hopefully it's going to whet your appetite for the new album.

MG: Towards the end of March, the album's coming out towards the end of March, yes.

BC: In the spring, yeah. That's great, thank you!

[audience cheer]

MG: Thank you.

[video plays showcasing tour dates, with background audio of Personal Jesus, Never Let Me Down Again, Walking In My Shoes, Enjoy The Silence, and a snippet of a song from the new album]

References

  1. Depeche Mode performed at KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas in 1998 and 2005, performing several songs in a semi-acoustic format, so this is not necessarily a new concept.