KURT: Elsewhere on the music scene, former chart-toppers Depeche Mode debuted at number 5 on the "Billboard" chart this week with the group's latest album, "Ultra." Despite the fact that it didn't bow at number one, fans were no doubt happy to see that singer Dave Gahan's much-publicized drug problem hadn't wrecked the band. We checked in with Depeche Mode on this and other subjects and here's what we learned.
ANDREW FLETCHER, Keyboards: This album here is very, it's a miracle that it's actually come out, and I think it's a miracle that it sounds so fantastic as well.
DAVE GAHAN, Vocals: Doing this record, especially in the last 8 months or so, it's really helped me a lot therapeutically, Martin's lyrics and stuff, and the songs being fundamentally about destiny. It's kind of spooky.
MARTIN GORE, Guitar, Keyboards: I think the record does have some spirituality. There's kind of like a fatalistic view that comes through quite a lot on the songs.
MTV: As fate would have it, Bomb The Bass mastermind Tim Simenon stepped in to produce "Ultra." His involvement as both a producer and a musician helped push the band back towards more familiar musical territory.
GAHAN: There was a style that we were going for with "Songs of Faith and Devotion," and I think we achieved that. I don't think we were trying to be so stylized with this album, the songs have come to the forefront again.
GORE: There were times when I thought this is not the Depeche Mode I know, this is a lot more fun.
FLETCHER: I'm really glad now that we've gone back to more melody and soulfulness that we're best at.
MTV: The band says that melody and soulfulness is most evident on their latest single, "It's No Good" [825K, QuickTime].
GAHAN: It was the most Depeche Mode sounding song that we've put out for a long time. The title itself is pretty funny, Depeche Mode's new single, "It's No
Good." I like that.
MTV: For the first time in the band's career, Depeche Mode will not be touring behind "Ultra." Instead they plan on doing a few special performances similar to the one recently held in London [743K, QuickTime].
GAHAN: I need time, you know. That's why with this record I'm adamant that I don't want to tour at the moment -- especially this year -- because I don't want to set myself up, or put myself in a situation where I'm in a dangerous place or I'm tempted to fall back into old ways. We've made possibly the best record in our career, and I'd like to leave it at that for now and see what happens.
May 16th, somewhere in Los Angeles.