Veteran British Techno Pop Band Depeche Mode Is Back

Aired April 11, 1997 - 5:57 p.m. ET

LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN ANCHOR: Veteran British techno pop band Depeche Mode is back with its first album in over four years. In that time, the band has had to overcome the highly-publicized drug problems of its lead singer, David Gahan. But as Mark Scheerer reports, his recovery process included focusing his energies on the band's 10th album called "Ultra."


MARK SCHEERER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the first video off Depeche Mode's new album, "Ultra," looks a bit like a scene from the cult film "Trainspotting," so did lead singer David Gahan's life. Gahan's addition to heroin almost ended in tragedy in May of last year when he was found unconscious from an overdose in a West Hollywood hotel.

DAVID GAHAN: The bottom line was I didn't want to get clean. I thought I could control it. I thought that maybe I could, like, do it now and again, have a little party and do this. But those little parties lasted a month, you know. Just one night, you know -- a month later I'd be sitting here shivering, wondering what happened.

SCHEERER (voice-over): Gahan checked into a rehab clinic and got clean and sober. His bandmates were supportive and sent him lyrics for their 10th album; lyrics that told Gahan they knew what he was going through.

GAHAN: When I heard the songs, I heard some of the words and stuff like that, it was for the first time I kind of felt like it was something that I had that gave me a sense of purpose, a sense of worth again.

SCHEERER (voice-over): Gahan recorded the songs while in recovery, including the second single, "It's No Good."

ANDY FLETCHER: In the last eight months, he has been completely clean. And I think not only has his life improved, but also what he did on the album has been incredible.

SCHEERER (voice-over): Techno pioneers for over 15 years, the band predicts their many fans won't be shocked by what they hear on Ultra.

MARTIN GORE: So we made a conscious decision to return to a more electronic sound for this record, even though there's quite a bit of guitar featured.

SCHEERER (voice-over): But folks who just can't get enough of Depeche Mode live will have to wait. There are no plans to tour any time soon.

GAHAN: All of us, after the "Songs of Faith and Devotion" tour were emotionally wrecked in some kind of way. It would be really insane to go back and do the same thing and expect it to be different, you know.

SCHEERER (voice-over): After what they've been through, Depeche Mode is content to be standing still and still standing. Mark Scheerer, CNN Entertainment News, New York.

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