Depeche Mode singer talks Tool, Metallica; Failure cover “Enjoy the Silence”

Posted by on October 12, 2015


While Depeche Mode’s moody electronic music occupies a place alongside other ’80s and ’90s alt-rock alongside The Cure and The Smiths, the band have amassed quite a sizable metal following as well. Rammstein and Deftones are among the bands that have covered them. Failure, who’d covered “Enjoy the Silence” on a 1998 Depeche Mode tribute album, For the Masses, are again covering the song now that they’ve gained a second guitar player for their current tour. Queens of the Stone Age’s Troy Van Leeuwen, who was in Failure in its first incarnation, has afforded the band the opportunity to play the song live.

Also, in an interview with Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan, Rolling Stone found that the heavy music admiration goes both ways. He’s a fan of early Tool music, as well as Rage Against the Machine:

“I’ve always liked Tool,” he says. “Even when I was living in Los Angeles, when they were just coming up. In fact, the guitar player [Adam Jones] used to come over to my house a lot. His girlfriend was a roommate of this girl that was living with us, so he used to hang out with us when they were just coming up. I got to see them in a lot of little clubs, but you knew immediately they had something really special.”

He also likes Metallica, not for the heaviness of their music, but the songwriting, which he says is pop:

“Metallica are a heavy-sounding band, but they write pop songs,” he says. “They’ve got their dark moments, just like Depeche Mode have, but deep in there is a tune with a catchy chorus or a pop arrangement. Certainly bands like Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, though I wouldn’t necessarily call those metal bands, but Metallica really do their own thing and always have.”

He adds that he met James Hetfield at an Indian restaurant in London and spoke about touring and the internal struggles the band went through.

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