Now that the Prodigy’s Keith Flint is the top dog
in electronica, does he ever stop to remember who threw him a bone?
While the importance of trailblazing techno-rockers
Depeche Mode is certainly reflected in their
record sales — 35 million albums worldwide in the past 17 years —
the band’s artistic prowess is now being celebrated with a tribute
album titled For the Masses, which will be released next
“It’s a great honor,” says Martin Gore,
songwriter and founding member of Depeche Mode, while in New York
for a video shoot. “It’s about the biggest compliment a band can
get. Everyone in the band loves it.”
For the Masses has been a three-year project for
co-producer Jeff Turzo, who also plays guitar and
keyboards for God Lives Underwater. “We chose
bands we’d like to see on it,” he says. “We thought it would be
cool not to have any electronica bands. I mean, it wouldn’t make
sense to have Camouflage on it,” he jokes about
the Depeche Mode imitators.
To that end, the Smashing Pumpkins, the Cure
and Veruca Salt are but a few of the names that
show up on the tribute. In addition, a rocking version of
Violator‘s “Policy Of Truth” is delivered by
Dishwalla. “We wanted to change it around by
making it as heavy as possible and taking it away from the techno
thing,” says Dishwalla frontman J.R. Richards. “I
was a big fan growing up, so I was really into doing the tribute.
They’re great songwriters.”
Los Angeles’ Failure also contributes a
standout track with the 1990 hit “Enjoy The Silence.” “The Smashing
Pumpkins was an especially big honor, but I really like the Failure
version best,” Gore says about the bare bones acoustic track that
explodes with effects mid-song.
With 16 covers total, did Gore find it odd that “People Are
People” didn’t show up on the compilation? “That’s about my least
favorite song I’ve ever written,” he says of the ’80s mega-hit.
“I’d be upset if someone had chosen to record it.”
Depeche Mode’s The Singles: 86-98 will be released this
October in conjunction with their first U.S. tour in five years.