Where the original song was built from chilly synthesizers and Dave Gahan’s serenely smooth vocals, Wilson and Tessmer kick their guitars into overdrive for the song’s main riff and share impassioned vocals, making the song a duet. They even added a wah-wah guitar solo toward the end.
The musicians met at a benefit in 2017 and became friends. “It was a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping thing to watch Eric for the first time,” Wilson said in a statement. “Eric was tapping into a pure rock and roll thing I can really appreciate.” They decided to get together and work on an as-yet-untitled album of cover songs in person, as opposed to “sending tracks back and forth or constructing a sound on a screen,” as Tessmer put it.
They recorded at the Clubhouse, a studio in Austin, in March 2019 with producer-keyboardist David Rice, bassist Chris Maresh and drummer Ramy Antoun. Recording engineer Tim Palmer, who has worked with David Bowie and Pearl Jam, mixed the recording. The duo documented the making of the LP with a behind-the-scenes film.
“Policy of Truth” was the third single off Depeche Mode’s touchstone 1990 album Violator. Following the blockbuster hits “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence,” it wasn’t as big of a smash, but it did make it to Number 15 on the Hot 100 and Number One on the alternative chart at the time. It has since become one of the group’s most frequently performed songs.