BERLIN (Reuters) – British electronic music pioneers Depeche Mode announced a new album and world tour on Tuesday, their first since the death of founding member Andrew Fletcher this year.
In a press event livestreamed from Berlin, singer Dave Gahan and guitarist and keyboardist Martin Gore said they were still working on “Memento Mori”, their 15th studio album since the band originally formed in Basildon, eastern England in 1980.
The title, meaning “Remember you must die”, was chosen before Fletcher, the band’s keyboard player, died in May.
“We’re quite far into it now in the actual recording process. We’ve got all of the tracks finished kind of for the album without them being mixed,” Gore said.
“All of the songs and even the album title was kind of decided before Andy passed. (The title) sounds very morbid but I think you can look at it very positively as well in that live each day to the max. That’s how we like to interpret it too.”
Most of the songs were penned during the COVID-19 pandemic, with their themes inspired by that period, Gore said in a statement on the band’s website.
“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,” he said.
Fletcher died after suffering an aortic dissection. He was 60. Gore and Gahan returned to the studio in July.
“Many times we would joke or things would come up and of course we missed Fletch,” Gahan said in Berlin.
The band will kick off a world tour to support the album’s spring release, in March.
“That process is still happening, what we’re going to be doing on stage, how we’re going to do it, what visuals we’re going to use,” Gahan said, when asked what stage tributes the band were planning for Fletcher.
“He’ll be there in spirit anyway, I’m sure, judging us.”
Depeche Mode, known for songs such as “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence”, released their first album “Speak & Spell” in 1981, placing them at the centre of Britain’s new wave scene.
They released their last studio album, “Spirit”, in 2017.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, editing by Ed Osmond)