Deluxe “Sounds” to include old demos!!

EMI slipped the new bio for “Sounds Of The Universe” out to press earlier, and in it is a very interesting quote from Fletch on the content of the deluxe edition of the forthcoming album: Around 17 news songs in total, and demos – both new and old!! Read on for the full thing…

Depeche Mode – Sounds Of The Universe (Mute)

Groundbreaking, chart-topping electronic legends Depeche Mode

return in April 2009 with their most dazzling and diverse album in

decades. Sounds Of The Universe finds Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and

Andy “Fletch” Fletcher back at the top of their game after almost 30

years together. Eclectic and energised, they sound like a band reborn.

With global sales in excess of 100 million, including Number One albums

and dozens of classic singles, Depeche Mode belong to a select

premier league of supergroups – alongside U2, REM and Metallica –

who have survived from the early 1980s with their ideals, their creative

vision and their core members intact. They overcame internal friction

and critical hostility to become one of the most influential bands of the

post-punk era, namechecked by everyone from The Killers, MGMT,

Coldplay, Pet Shop Boys and Marilyn Manson.

Sounds Of The Universe is Depeche Mode’s latest forward-thinking

masterpiece, a Violator for the 21st century. Lyrically, it contains many

of the band’s enduring obsessions – lust, spirituality, romantic yearning,

sinful temptation and sadomasochism – plus more overt black humour

than any of their previous albums.

Musically, Sounds Of The Universe will please fans of every age and

taste. From Dave’s overlord chant on the mighty first single Wrong to

Martin’s velvet-lined Scott Walker croon on the sensual lounge-music

ballad Jezebel, and from the sci-fi gospel-blues hymn In Chains to the

sleazy electronic glam-rock stomp Corrupt, this is a classic Depeche

Mode album.

As they approach their 30th anniversary, Depeche Mode are on a

personal and musical high. Old tensions have been resolved, hatchets

buried and bad habits conquered. Recorded in Santa Barbara and

New York, Sounds Of The Universe was born from positive creative

chemistry, and it really shows.

“It’s a tremendous record, just to blow our own trumpet,” laughs Dave.

“We’ve had the luxury this time of recording a lot more songs than we

really need, all of which have been of great quality.”

“All of us have had a really good time being together,” says Martin.

“The overall atmosphere in the studio has been fantastic. Very few

issues. We were very focussed.”

“The overriding thrust of the album is the number of high quality songs,”

Andy agrees. “Martin’s been writing really prolifically, to a high

standard. We’ve recorded about 20 songs, which is pretty good for

Depeche Mode. We’re even doing a deluxe version of the album with

about 17 or 18 tracks, including old demos from current and previous


The album title Sounds Of The Universe has various meanings, from its

spiritual subtext to its retro-futuristic arrangements. “We’ve used a lot of

old analogue synthesisers and drum machines, which conjure up

image of the universe and space travel somehow,” Martin explains.

“We’ve gone back to a lot of old vintage gear, without making the

album sound too retro. It’s like yesterday’s future. That’s why for me it’s

a perfect album title.”

Sounds Of The Universe marks a reunion between Depeche Mode and

Ben Hillier, who previously produced their 2005 album Playing The

Angel. A gifted all-rounder who has worked with full orchestras and

rock bands, Hillier gave the album a timeless sound palette blending

vintage bleeps and beats with contemporary electronic textures.

“We all felt it would be stupid not to work with Ben again,” says Martin.

“He’s just one of those people who puts his mind to something and

becomes instantly professional at it. He’s also quite forceful. That’s

important for us, at this stage of our career, to have someone willing to

stick their neck out and disagree with us.”

Like Playing The Angel, Sounds Of The Universe features writing credits

for both Martin and Dave. After honing his talents on two solo albums,

Dave has earned his place as Depeche Mode’s second songwriter.

“The fact that Dave has started writing songs has done a lot of good

for the band because his confidence is much higher now,” says Andy.

“He feels a lot more attached to the band because of that.”

In fact, Sounds Of The Universe is the closest collaboration yet between

Depeche Mode’s two main songwriters. Martin and Dave share vocals

on several songs and they have even co-written one track on this

record. It felt like “a true partnership”, says Dave. “I think in a blind test

people would find it difficult to tell who wrote which songs,” adds


The first single from the album, Wrong grabs the listener’s attention from

its first stack-heeled, staccato shriek. Over stomping beats and

screeching synthesisers, Dave hammers out Martin’s darkly comic

reflections on a lifetime of mistakes, misdeeds and bad decisions.

Instantly addictive, Wrong clearly has a guaranteed future as a skypunching

stadium anthem. It already feels like a Depeche Mode


“We decided at a fairly early stage that we wanted Wrong to be the

first single, because it’s quite different to anything we’ve released

before,” says Martin. “I don’t know quite what category to put it in

musically, but it’s got a kind of rap feel to it. It’s probably as close to

R&B as we’re ever going to sound.”

For Martin, another album highlight is Peace, with its sublime technogospel

arrangement and cascading choral refrain. It was written back

to back with Footprint, a seductive whirl of warped fairground pop,

which became a kind of nocturnal sister song to Peace.

“Both those songs had a spiritual element to them, and to me that

formed a sort of cornerstone to the album,” Martin explains. “We’ve

had spiritual references on previous records, but I think with this one it’s

a little more obvious.”

Dave’s contributions to Sounds Of The Universe were written with his

regular composing partners, Andrew Philpott and Christian Eigner,

Depeche Mode‘s live drummer. One of their stand-out collaborations is

Come Back, the dirtiest and rowdiest rocker on the album.

“I wanted to take it away from being a straight ballad,” says Dave,

“with a feel beneath it that was kind of My Bloody Valentine or Jesus

and Mary Chain. A big lush sound with this droning wall of noise

underneath. Martin did some fantastic backing vocals for that.”

Another of the singer’s dirty confessionals, Hole To Feed marries modern

electronics to a floor-shaking, bone-rattling Bo Diddley beat. The lyric, a

blend of rock-star swagger and tender yearning, is vintage Dave


“Lyrically, I’m just being my usual cynical self,” Dave laughs. “I’m the

man who has everything but I’m still just poking around in that little hole

that feels empty, wondering what I can fill it with.”

In keeping with tradition, Anton Corbijn again provides the striking

sleeve design and band photos for Sounds Of The Universe. Now an

acclaimed film director with his Joy Division biopic Control, the “Dutch

Master” has been Depeche Mode’s chief visual consultant for over 20


“It was difficult to get him this time,” Andy laughs. “Now he’s won all

these awards as film director it was very hard to tie him down for an

album cover. But yes, Anton’s still involved, he’s very important to

Depeche Mode.”

The band is set to go on a mammoth global jaunt opening on May 10

with 28 stadium concerts across the Middle East and Europe. Further

legs of the tour will include the US and throughout South America. “We

played Mexico on the last tour and it was amazingly successful,” Martin

recalls. “We did two nights in Mexico City to 50,000 people each night.

Knowing how popular we are out there, we’re expecting a similar

reaction this time – we all felt we neglected South America on the last

tour, so we decided to put that right.”

For a band with such a long and successful history, selecting the set list

for the tour is a major task. Around 230 possible Depeche Mode classics

need to be honed into a 20-song concert. “Every time we tour now the

set list becomes a real nightmare,” says Andy. “Because we’re a

democracy, it’s like the Eurovision Song Contest, voting individually for

each song. But it’s not such a bad problem to have.”

Public response to the Tour of the Universe has been phenomenal, with

many European stadium shows selling out almost immediately. “The

touring thing is where it all makes sense for me,” nods Dave. “Once the

fans are there, there’s always that feeling underneath Depeche

Mode’s music of wanting to be part of something, and there are a lot

of people out there who feel the same.”

Ultimately, all three members of Depeche Mode pay tribute to the

loyal army of fans who have supported them for almost 30 years. Their

devotion is what makes forward-thinking albums like Sounds Of The

Universe possible, and their excitement is what makes Depeche Mode

tours such electrifying spectacles.

“We’ve been blessed over the years by our audience,” says Martin.

“We have the craziest, most loyal fans of any band I know. People who

think Depeche Mode are doomy should just come and see one of our

concerts and see how the audience react. The shows are just an

amazing high, everybody’s there to have a good time.”

In 2009, Depeche Mode are unstoppable. Get ready for the album of

the year from the biggest, brightest, best band in the Universe.


  • Oscar Aguirre


    Shit I can't wait!

  • Jauri Aragon


    Yay! they got impressed with Mexico ! and they're coming back! that's very bueno news .

  • dj erick


    we waitiing depeche mode in chile!!!!

  • John Todd


    DM listen to the fans... they're releasing demos. Friggin awesome!

  • Wayne


    I heard this news a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't sure in what capacity they were going to be used. Lets just hope the WIME demo is released. That would be worth getting the new album for alone.

  • rtmode


    Hearing the WIME demo or any demos would be great, but if the guys have recorded 20 or so songs why are the releasing demos at this time? I could see during the lull between records being a time to re-release something with an added bonus here or there. Right now with all the talk about all the songs they have recorded in the last year or so it just seems odd to be bringing out demos. But hey, I like demos.

  • johnny


    I think every media - paper, tv, radio should start with this fraze " Get ready for the album of the year from the biggest, brightest, best band in the Universe."" That is what they realy are. Thank You Depeche and thank you all you devotees outhere brothers and sisters.

  • Rodney


    Hopefully they cleared the "previous album" demos with Warner Music since technically anything recorded while under contract (demo, live or otherwise) would be controlled by them. Obviously it's a non-issue in the the rest of the world as they are controlled by Mute...

  • johnny


    P.S. I also think that any UFO E.T. or Alien would say after listening to Depeche : Wow they sound like the music from our planet " Hehe

  • dmbreand



  • dave rowley


    Is it me our for some reason it seems there is more attention,more buzz and more posetive response to this album then in a very very long time.and hardly any one has heard much music from it.All looks good for dm,christ they might even get some air play on mighty RADIO 1, not

  • Laura Smith


    I am rarely dumbstruck by a press release, but this was amazing! So much information; it's gonna take awhile to process it all. The album sounds utterly fantastic and I can't wait to get my hands on it ASAP! "Sci-Fi Gospel Blues", "Fairground Pop"? Hell to the yeah!

  • matt


    I need a wee I'm that excited...

  • coldview


    Pffeew. What a press release? And now some demos added? Now, that will be something to look forward to, been so long most depeche fans wanted that.

  • Ivan B


    WoW look$ like DM really mean bu$ine$$ thi$ time. pffeeeew... D'you think Wrong $ound$ a bit like Rihanna? hehe It will definitely get played then heh. WoW. DM are back!!! SCREEEEEECH ARP

  • Quadro


    It's encouraging that EMI really seem to be getting behind this release and referring to it as "the album of the year". I know you have to take PR with a pinch of salt but there does seem to be a different vibe about this one.

  • 36loverman


    Wow!!! I am getting really excited, and when I get excited I get horny, and when I get horny - LOOK OUT!

  • Pete Thomson


    If the concert in London is anything like as good as Manchester in 2006 then I may explode with joy!!!



    Response to comment No.1, Brilliant,funny and uplifting and i completely agree about duran duran they have got to be the most embarassing band of all time and just so full of them selfs. I dont think i can out do the so exited i could shit or the may explode with joy comment.All i know is i cried with joy at the happiness of this wonderfull press release.

  • Laila


    I´m looking very forward to the new album and the concert i June in Copenhagen. The last concert in Copenhagen was FANTASTIC. I must say I became an even more passionated fan after that great concert. I love both old and new songs of DM- it would be brilliant if"I want you now" and/or "Sometimes" would be played at the next concert, but they are only some of all of my favorites....:0) But its thanks to my older sister I started listening to DM. She listened to DM day and night when I was a child- and so did I- I enjoyed falling in to sleep every night - it was my lullabies for example listening "Pipeline"- the music found its way through the door to my ear- and we are both(my sister and I) still listening to DM.

  • modefan


    I couldn't agree more about the positive energy being shed on this album. I wonder if it's b/c it sounds really good, or finally somebody realized that to sell more albums you need more advertising.

  • Jamie W


    Wooww. I am very excited. I think the now with the worldwide EMI deal and EMI's dire financial circumstances they are rightly getting behind this release. It seems allthe stars are alighned for DM in 2009. Internal problmes resolved and creative highes for DG and MG. From the PR it seems like the sound of the album is going to actualy fit with the fashion of the day as electro pop and rock seems to be all the rage. Very, very excited. Only problem living in Australia is where will I see them. Come to Australia or it looks like a flight to South America.

  • xeplcheo


    I hope its as good as they say it is

  • songs of faith


    come on depeche mode ¡¡¡¡, we all fans let them will become nº 1 in the world

  • Aurora


    Depeche Mode, no olviden visitar CHILE. Son espectaculares cada uno en lo suyo. Dave, Martin, Andy, no olviden que en CHILE tienen muchos seguidores. He visto el trabajo que estan haciendo y lo encuentro muy bueno y cada dia mas profesional. Estoy orgullosa de ustedes. Viva lo bueno Aurora Chile

  • Virgis


    We are waiting here, in Lithuania - the biggest, brightest, best band in the Universe.

  • Mark


    This is going to be freakin' awesome... Just one worry, I hope that they don't do what Radiohead did and make the deluxe edition cost like $80... God that sucked, thank god for the internet and consequently not being forced to buy 2 hi-fi vinyl albums and 10 pounds of artwork... Not that I wouldn't buy all that stuff if I could afford it becuase i do love band art but being broke sucks

  • Wayne


    'Response to comment No.1, Brilliant,funny and uplifting and i completely agree about duran duran they have got to be the most embarassing band of all time and just so full of them selfs' You completely agree about Duran Duran? Then it just shows you that you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • PGV


    Anything about the Coverart of Sounds Of The Universe ? I doubt of the official photo on the official website of DM would be the cover of SOTU, but i hope that it will be a photo indeed !!

  • Jakob


    YEAH! Really looking forward to the album and tour - what a DM year it's going to be!!! :)

  • Chad


    I am very excited about the new album and hope it's definitely a 21st Century Violator. As for Duran Duran - you don't know what you're talking about. I currently am sick to death of DD, but Duran Duran change their sound on EVERY album. Ever listen to Notorious, Big thing, Medazzaland, Pop Trash and then Red Carpet Massacre? I am not saying they are all good albums, but they are so musically different that it's insane. No one will take you serious when you make stupid generalizations like that.

  • Chad


    Nathan, Like Martin wears and did on several tours? Bigot.

  • Wayne


    Chad, glad I am not the only one who recognises that Duran albums sound very different. I like Duran a lot, although I go through stages, but even their first 3 albums are very different sounding.

  • Wayne


    'Dear, Miss Wayne. Why dontcha put on a dress and give us a little twirl?' oooh get you. Talk bollocks and react with a comment like that. Big kiss you daft goon.

  • Wayne


    Nice intelligent post.

  • Chad


    Since I am gay and deal with retarded fucks like you every day of my life, that just rolls off my back. Anyone that attacks someone's musical preferences, since music is all subjective, it just lets me know that the person making fun or attacking is a complete immature jackass. But back to Depeche - I have never seen anyone in Duran wearing a skirt on stage. Or mesh. I've seen them in concert 27 times and no such thing, but I have seen DM only 4 times and have seen it twice. In the BIGOT'S HANDBOOK TO BEING A BETTER BIGOT, I am sure it would state that a male wearing a skirt on stage would make him more likely to be a fag than someone who doesn't. Regardless of how supercool the music and the band are. In fact, the gayest of GAY, Andy Bell, has never worn a skirt on stage that I have seen. Martin - ultimate Gay. (By your 2nd grade reasoning, of course). Wayne, let the idiot say what he says...he needs the attention it seems.

  • Civil Engineer


    Wow! We really need to get back on track to discussing what this article is about... The SotU Press Release. Please stop this petty argument Nathaniel! Thanks! :D



    Im not just making rash comments about duran duran, back in the 80,s I had all of there singles on 12inch and most of there albums. Im certainly not a fan any more but i used to listen to them a lot back then. I dont think there early stuff has aged well and to me it was very much of its time(80s throwaway plop). And the point i made about them bieng embarrasing is mainly due to the way simon le bon and john taylor conduct them selfs in interviews,they have a real sense of unjustified importance they havnt influenced any current music and over the past 15 years anything they have done has been completely forgoten. I dont think they have got a deffinate sound in the way the MODE have.

  • Wayne


    A-PROPER-FAN, thanks for taking the time to explain. I myself actually think the first two Duran albums still stand up very well and have aged much more than S&S and ABF. Seven is a little different, but then I don't think it was as strong as the first two either, but definately a lot more mature sounding. I do still like Duran although don't listen to them that often, but do feel that they don't just release a continuation of their previous album. I think for me, their debut, Notorious and Pop Trash are my favourites and all still sound fresh. And Le Bon in interviews has never changed. He has always been the same. Wears a bit thin though after 30 years eh ;-)

  • Sinful


    "For a band with such a long and successful history, selecting the set list for the tour is a major task. Around 230 possible Depeche Mode classics need to be honed into a 20-song concert." Tip: do like The Cure and make the set list 30+ songs for every concert and 10-20 extra songs to select from if you want to change the set list during the tour. It will still be hard to select what songs to play from such a long carrer, but I don't think the fans would mind longer concerts :P

  • stjarna


    As a fan of 25 years + I am excidedly anticipating yet one more album. I am just curious to know how a possible track total of 230 was arrived at. By my calculations, even with the new material there are actually 172 Depeche Mode tracks.

  • Sergey


    Can't wait. WRONG is amazing.