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Also two are a band

Bands are formed, bands disband.

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Also two are a band

Bands are formed, bands disband. Some disappear silently because the founders simply no longer make music together. Others, after falling out or losing one of their musicians, publicly announce their breakup like a cabinet decision.

Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, the two remaining founding members of Depeche Mode, explain themselves in a press conference. The world is looking to Berlin, where Gore and Gahan are sitting in the theater, on the stage of the Berliner Ensemble. No, they don't dissolve. Also two are a band. Fears have been dispelled for days via Instagram with pictures from the studio. A film is running above them on the stage video wall, showing their instruments, their mixer and then themselves: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore – and Andrew Fletcher. "We will go again," sings Gahan.

Five months ago they were still three, until in May 2022 they not only lost their keyboardist, but also the good spirit of the band, their mediator. Andrew Fletcher kept his gadgets in the background on stage, but he spoke for Depeche Mode when there was something to discuss with the public. He kept the band together with its two songwriters and singers, Gore and Gahan, who never took it easy on themselves or him. Fletch, the red-haired buffoon with horn-rimmed glasses, played the sociotopic stoic without whom no band would grow or exist as long as Depeche Mode. Andrew Fletcher died suddenly of an aortic dissection in May at the age of 60. The obituaries for him were also obituaries for Depeche Mode.

Now the two survivors speak up. They chose the location with great care. For Daniel Miller, who discovered the band from Basildon for Mute Records and turned it into one of the biggest bands in the world, they were always "the biggest German band in the world". This was due to their Prussian-Rhineland music with borrowings from Kraftwerk and samples from the collapsing new buildings, which made Depeche Mode in Germany look bigger in the 1980s than they were then - especially in East Germany, around the epicenters of Leipzig and Berlin. In the spring of 1988 they performed for the FDJ birthday in the Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle, even the newspaper "Neues Deutschland" wrote: "It can only have been like that with the Beatles for a while: intoxicated devotion to the music, euphoric jubilation for the hymns recorded songs and girls tears.”

Depeche Mode liked Berlin, where in the West before the Wall came down, there were “DM parties” for people with briquette hairdos in nightclubs like Linientreu. The poet Achim Wannicke idolized the band in his "Linen Faithful Ice Dance". They recorded "Black Celebration" in the Hansa studios on the wall, threw flower pots at the border guards and for "Stripped" in the video smashed a Russian Lada into pieces with a sledgehammer. Twelve years later, as the biggest Berlin band in the world, Rammstein shot their own video for "Stripped" with excerpts from Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia film.

Gahan and Gore are sitting in Bertolt Brecht's BE and are announcing a new album. It will be called "Memento Mori", that's what it says on the stage. Much was done before the pandemic and before Andrew Fletcher's death.

Dave Gahan: “I had written some new songs, recorded them lousy with my guitar and iPhone and sent them to Martin. Martin emailed me his.”

Martin Gore: "We met for the first time in July of this year."

After that they went into the studio to record "Memento Mori".

Martin Gore: "The title should remind each of us that we are all mortal."

Dave Gahan: "That we must die! Each of our songs is a memento mori, even the old ones. They change because the world, time and every person changes. i miss fletch Whenever I'm standing on the hotel balcony and smoking, I look to see if Fletch is standing on my neighboring balcony and is smoking. His spirit is with us.”

Martin Gore: "On Saturday we were already in Berlin in our favorite pub. Every time the door opened I thought Fletch was coming in.”

Since 1993, Depeche Mode have followed their own four-year plan with their albums. Between each record lies a legislature for new songs and an Olympiad in which they tour the stadiums of the world. Although "Spirit" from 2017 already conjured up gloomy forebodings of the band breaking up, in "Fail" Gahan sang: "We're done", fucked. "Memento Mori" took a year longer than usual and, how could it be otherwise, is about the end again. Depeche Mode's music has always been vanitas music like the music in the dark wave next door or in heavy metal. "The album will be released in March 2023," explains Martin Gore on the theater stage.

Bertolt Brecht, the founder of BE, would have liked the press conference. The effects of alienation he demands come about by themselves. Martin Gore doesn't wear angel wings like in the stadium, but an understated jacket with lots of zippers, and Dave Gahan wears an anthracite-colored jacket instead of a lace-up leather top. Two musicians play two megastars. The questions do the rest: why do you still make music? "For the community," says Dave Gahan. Who accompanies you? "The stage band," says Gahan: "They're there today too. Should she sing a cappella for you?” Will Depeche Mode also play unplugged, i.e. without electricity? "We can't do that, we're an electrical band," says Gahan. "At least not without batteries," says Gore.

In the stage design, the dates of their world tour in 2023 appear under a recent Anton Corbijn photo, which only shows Gahan and Gore. They start in Sacramento (March 23, 2023) and come to Germany in May: Leipzig (May 26), Düsseldorf (June 4 and 6), Munich (June 20), Frankfurt am Main (June 29) and Berlin (July 7th), in the Olympic Stadium for a home game as a Berlin band.

You just keep going. Just one year after the band was founded 42 years ago and after “Speak

"Dancing Dave," who sang and danced to Martin Gore's songs for 22 years, became the proud author of his own work. He said: "I don't want to be pitied. I just want people to notice me. In the main I want to be noticed by Martin. Sometimes I'm very angry with Martin, he doesn't talk to me. Martin isn't the type to throw compliments, except for himself. I like working with people who see something in me that I don't see myself. I don't know if I could work at Depeche Mode under the same conditions as before. The creative process at Depeche Mode no longer stimulates me.”

Back then, obituaries for Depeche Mode were written on the occasion of the two solo albums. Dave Gahan can now look back on five albums under his name and three albums as the lead singer of the Soulsavers. With Martin Gore one project follows the next, for VCMG he has even reconciled with Vince Clark, the Depeche Mode founder who deserted in 1981. Gahan and Gore form an alliance of convenience to keep Depeche Mode alive - like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards for the Rolling Stones, even without their stoic mediator Charlie Watts. Gore and Gahan also look the same as 61 and 60-year-olds, but they also look healthier today than they did when they were 30. In 1993 Gahan had a heart attack and is said to have been clinically dead, two years later a suicide attempt failed intoxicated with drugs, he also had cancer.

No matter how many hasty obituaries of Depeche Mode have been written in the past 42 years, no one has made a better mistake as a prophet than Diedrich Diederichsen in the early eighties in "Sounds": "Depeche Mode are absolutely here today and gone maybe tomorrow at noon."

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