Published Feb 25, 2013After a lot of teasing, Depeche Mode finally revealed that they would be returning with their 13th studio album, Delta Machine. According to keyboardist and founding member Andy 'Fletch' Fletcher, the record finds the British synth-pop pioneers echoing classic-era Depeche Mode while also pushing their sound forward into new areas, the concept behind the album being a merger of a bluesy feel with electronic music.
"The important thing with the new album is that it's actually quite minimal," Fletch tells Exclaim! "You can hear a blues influence on certain tracks and a techno or electronic influence on other tracks" — no doubt inspired by Martin Gore's 2012 techno collaboration VCMG, with ex-Depeche Mode key member Vince Clarke — "and sometimes they merge together."
The trio were joined in the studio by their producer Ben Hillier, engineer Ferg Peterkin and Swedish musician Christoffer Berg, known primarily as the producer for Fever Ray and the Knife.
"He makes his own music," says Fletch of Berg. "He's a real genius and a lot younger than us so he brings some young energy in. He was excellent."
Recorded in California and New York City, the album was also mixed by longtime collaborator Flood (aka Mark Ellis), who gained an international reputation over two decades ago for his work with U2 and Nine Inch Nails.
Fletch says that Delta Machine came together more easily than previous albums.
"I think it's better than the last album," he adds. "I think there's a lot more energy on this album."
In fact, the recording actually went so smoothly that they finished ahead of schedule.
"When you're working on an album, you either accidentally find a direction or you know the direction to begin with," he says, "and with this album we started listening to Martin's songs and we just knew what direction to move in. With Songs of Faith and Devotion, I think we were always searching for a direction and maybe we didn't find it."
Delta Machine will be released on Columbia Records on March 26. In the meantime, watch the video for new single "Heaven" below.