Depeche Mode

1980-
Dave GahanVocals
Martin GoreKeyboards, vocals
Andy FletcherKeyboards
Vince ClarkeKeyboards1980-1982
Alan WilderKeyboards1982-1995

Depeche Mode Artistfacts

  • Their original name was Composition Of Sound. "Depeche Mode" was the title of a French magazine (translated, it means "fast fashion") that went out of print in 2001. It was chosen because it sounded cool.
  • Clarke went on to create Yazoo, The Assembly, and Erasure.
  • Clarke wrote virtually all their music while he was a member - all but two songs on Speak & Spell (the band's first album) are his (Gore wrote "Tora! Tora! Tora!" and "Big Muff"). When Clarke left, Gore filled the songwriting vacancy, becoming their primary composer. He sang on some of their tracks, but Gahan took lead on most of them.

    Gahan eventually grew frustrated singing Gore's songs, and in 2003 released a solo album with his own compositions called Paper Monsters. On the next Depeche Mode album, Playing the Angel (2005), he wrote three songs.
  • Fletcher owned a restaurant in London called Gascogne. The address is 12 Blenheim Terrace, St. John's Wood, London NW8 0EB, England.
  • Martin and Dave have been known to trade vocal duties in concert, one singing a song the other sang on the album.
  • Martin only began writing songs because Vince Clarke left the band and someone had to.
  • It was hard for the band to get gigs early on, since the didn't hide the fact that they had no drummer. They would often put the drum machine on the riser for the drums, or out in the middle of the stage to make it obvious.
  • Until sometime in the late '90s, their contract with Mute Records was a handshake deal with Daniel Miller.
  • Photographer Anton Corbijn was hired to help with the band's image during the Music For The Masses era. He is the same photographer that took the picture of U2 on the cover of The Joshua Tree. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kelly - Portland, OR, for all above
  • At 17 Dave Gahan was a hard-core David Bowie fan who earned his place in Depeche Mode with a rendition of "Heroes" (he also had the look the band was after). The singer subsequently moved to New York and found his children attending the same school as his idol's. Bowie and Gahan sometimes saw each other at school plays.
  • Andy and Martin along with Alison Moyet and Perry Bamonte (from The Cure) went to St. Nicholas Comprehensive school. Vince went to Laindon High Road School, which was the enemy school. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dave - Basildon
  • The band reached unheard-of heights of hedonism and self-destruction on their 1993 Devotional tour, on which they brought along both a drug dealer and a psychiatrist. Gahan got so wrecked on heroin that he collapsed backstage before the encore at their October 8 show in New Orleans and had to be rushed to the hospital. The diagnosis: a minor heart attack. They canceled the next show, but he continued on after that, defying his doctor's orders that he perform while seated so as not to strain his heart. Gahan finished the tour, but didn't shake his demons. In 1996 he was hospitalized after taking an almost-fatal speedball (mixture of cocaine and heroin). After more drug scares that year, he finally got clean at the Exodus Recovery Center in Marina Del Rey, California.
  • Martin Gore speaks fluent German. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lizza - Mexicali, Mexico
  • They appear in the video game The Sims 2 Open For Business. In addition to being characters, they recorded a new version of their song "Suffer Well" in Simlish, which is the language spoken in the game.
  • In 2009, Apple tried something new, offering an "iTunes Pass" for the Depeche Mode album Sounds of the Universe, which entitled buyers to video extras and other songs in addition to the album. Record companies are always trying to upsell their artists, as they want fans to buy the music, go to concerts, purchase merch, etc., and the iTunes model of selling individual tracks doesn't suit this. By offering the "Pass," Apple is extending an olive branch to the labels. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • Gahan, Gore and Fletcher discussed how they've lasted so long together during a live Q&A at the 2013 South By Southwest. Their secret is by sometimes not being together. "We don't keep in constant contact after a tour, we only speak to each other every four to six months," said Gore.
  • Gahan is very lucky to have survived the '90s, as for much of the decade he was drug-addled and suicidal. "When I got the news that Kurt had blown his head off, my first reaction was that I was angry," he told NME in 1997. "I felt like he'd stolen my idea, like he'd beat me to it."

Comments: 8

  • Isabelle from Oxford, UkI often see the mistaken translation of Depeche Mode as "fast fashion". This is wrong! In French, "une dépeche" means "a dispatch", i.e. a piece of news, a report. The title of the French magazine that DM took their name from means "Fashion dispatch".
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArIn Germany in the early 80s their name seemed to be pronounced "DEH-Peshe Mode," with the accent on in the first part of the word. I used to watch a German program "Formel Eins" and that's the way the host would pronounce it.
  • Danny from Sydney, AustraliaTheir new album is like listening to paint dry.
  • Stephen from Lehi, UtAmazing they have endured so many years. The best always last!
  • Richard from Rotherham, EnglandDave Gahan has developed a successful solo career over the last two or so years writing his own songs. A new album by Depeche due in the autumn of 2005 has songs written by Gahan has well has Gore as a result.
  • Rod from Davao City, Otherthe album 'violator'includes the hits 'personal jesus,'policy of truth,'and 'enjoy the silence.'
  • Ben U. from San Jose, CaAlan Wilder originally joined the band in 1981 as a replacement keyboardist for Vince Clarke. He remained a part-time member (he was only available for live performances and apperances, no studio work) until 1983, when he became a full-time member.
  • Scott Evans from Bradford, FinlandDepeche Mode's roots go back as far as 1976, with Fletcher and Clarke forming a band called 'No Romance in China'. They originally had two guitars, but were dropped for synths
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