When Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy Fletcher first heard the stark new material band leader (and longtime friend) Martin Gore penned for its latest effort “Spirit,” he and the album’s producer James Ford were taken aback by its dark, socio-political lyrics. “At the time, we were a bit worried,” he recalls. “But then as we recorded the album, the world situation got worse and worse. We had Brexit in Britain, and then Trump actually winning the election? By the time we finished the album, we thought it was a perfect time to release it.” Gore explains his motivations.
Martin, two years ago you got a really bad feeling?
I started writing songs for “Spirit” toward the end of 2015, early 2016. And I just felt that there were a lot of horrific things happening around the world. There was the Syrian crisis going on, which obviously led to the refugee crisis, the Russians had invaded Crimea, there was a war going on in Ukraine. And it just seemed like we were getting into bad situations everywhere you looked. And there was that whole spate of police shootings in America. I could feel something in the air that didn’t feel good.
Then things just turned insane.
Trump defunding the EPA and putting a man in control who doesn’t even believe in climate change? It’s lunacy! And unfortunately, he’s not the only person who’s a denier — you find them everywhere you go. I have a 14-month-old and a 6-week-old at the moment, and our new song “Eternal” I wrote for Johnnie Lee, the eldest. And it was kind of serious, but kind of a black comedy, as well, when it mentions the “black cloud rising.” But unfortunately, we’re living at a time when we have to worry about that. I’m not old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis, but now we’re in a situation that’s almost as serious as that.
Is there such a thing as an honest man anymore?
I think that the system in America is just very, very flawed. I mean, I can’t quite work out when lobbying was a good idea. But why it still exists — and is accepted –– I don’t understand, because it is just so corrupt and so wrong.
What is “The Worst Crime,” punishable by death on “Spirit”?
For me, we’ve already talked about it: The worst crime is destroying the planet. We have this opportunity to change, and we’ve had so much evidence, so much scientific proof for so long, and we keep choosing not to do anything about it. And it’s not just destroying the planet for us – its destroying it forever, for our future generations.
IF YOU GO
Depeche Mode The Global Spirit Tour
Where: SAP Center, 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8
Tickets: $50 to $150
Contact: (408) 287-7070, www,ticketmaster.com
Note: The tour also stops at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Oracle Arena in Oakland.