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Archives / Re: 2017: Spirit and Global Spirit Tour
« Last post by Angelinda on 16 November 2017 - 22:06:18 »
2017-11-16 - Depeche Mode on Facebook:

Three new festivals have been added to the Global Spirit 2018 festival tour!:
OpenAir St. Gallen Festival - St. Gallen, Switzerland - June 30, 2018
Open'er Festival - Gdynia, Poland - July 5, 2018
Mad Cool Festival - Madrid, Spain - July 12-14, 2018 (date TBA)
Archives / Re: 2017: Null + Void - song featuring Dave Gahan
« Last post by Angelinda on 15 November 2017 - 21:55:51 »
2017-11-15 - Zero Magazine (UK) - ”Dave vet vad som fungerar och vad som tar sig in under huden!”

Null + Void – ”Dave vet vad som fungerar och vad som tar sig in under huden!”
Fredrik Emdén


Du har jobbat mycket med Dave Gahan, både med hans sologrejer och i Depeche Mode. Och nu är han involverad i Cryosleep, på låten ”Where I Wait”. Vad är det som gör att ni samarbetar så bra?
– Hmm, svårt att säga, men jag tror att vi är ett ganska kompatibelt team eftersom han jobbar mer med magkänsla medan jag kan bli ganska analytisk när jag väl lämnat idéstadiet. Att omge sig med personer som har en helt annan kompetens är idealiskt och det som gör att saker blir intressanta och rör sig framåt. Eftersom vi har jobbat tillsammans rätt länge nu behöver vi inte argumentera eller utmana varandra, vi känner varandras styrkor och svagheter.

Vilken är Dave Gahans styrka som låtskrivare, tycker du?
– Han är väldigt bra på att komma på melodier som passar hans röst, vilket ju är ovärderligt. Han arbetar med dem i dagar och spelar in dem på ett digitalt minne. Han har ägnat hela sitt liv åt att sjunga fantastiska låtar och kan skriva utifrån den erfarenheten. Han vet vad som fungerar och vad som tar sig in under huden. Jag kan såklart inte tävla med det.

Planerar ni fler samarbeten? Eller är du rädd för att fastna i rollen som ”han som alltid arbetar med Dave Gahan”?
– Ja, jag hoppas att det blir fler samarbeten. Vem vet… men för närvarande är han upptagen med Depeche Modes världsturné.

Archives / Re: 2017: Spirit and Global Spirit Tour
« Last post by Angelinda on 14 November 2017 - 21:20:48 »
2017-11-14 - Billboard (US) - 'Friction Is What Keeps Them Creative'

Depeche Mode Manager Jonathan Kessler: 'Friction Is What Keeps Them Creative'
by Richard Smirke

The press shy Kessler talks exclusively with Billboard about the band's longevity, those "experimental" years in the mid-'90s and more ahead of being honored at the sixth annual Artist & Manager Awards.
In 1986, a 22-year-old Jonathan Kessler -- fresh from graduating from the business school at the University of Pennsylvania -- began working for Depeche Mode as an accountant during the British band's Black Celebration tour. Over the next seven years, as the group went from strength to strength, releasing a string of classic albums along the way, Kessler's responsibilities steadily grew until in 1994 the New York-born executive, still aged under 30, became Depeche Mode's first ever official manager.
It's a position that he continues to hold to this day, having steered the band to over 100 million record sales and cementing Depeche Mode's status as one of the biggest touring acts in the world. This year the group, numbering Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher, released its 14th studio album, Spirit, and began its record-breaking Global Spirit Tour. Having sold out stadium and arena dates around the world, including four nights at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl, 2018 sees the tour move onto South America. 
"This is a band that continues to grow and have huge appeal internationally," the publicity-shy Kessler -- who has also worked with Sting, Neil Young, Tracy Chapman, Rod Stewart  and The Weeknd -- tells Billboard ahead of being honored at the Music Managers Forum and Featured Artist Coalition's sixth annual Artist & Manager Awards, held tonight (Nov. 14) in London.

Billboard: Going back to the start of your association with Depeche Mode, how did you make the leap from tour accountant to band manager?
Jonathan Kessler: I came out of business school and almost fell into the music business. It was not really my driving passion then. I started to work with Depeche purely as a tour accountant and as I started to do more and more with them my role increased. I would ask, 'Who's taking care of this? Or who's taking care of liability insurance?' Often no one was, so I started taking care of it. [Becoming manager] was the obvious evolution really. It was just a question of when could I bring up the M word. Because they were self-managed and they prided themselves on that -- but they weren't really. So, it just was a discussion between us to say, 'This is what I'm doing. Let's call it what it is and formalize that relationship.' Obviously, through the years a certain level of trust had grown between us. That doesn't appear right away. I remember when I first started to work them they were a very insular band. They were understandably scared of foreigners and strangers – as is true of many bands in their infancy.

Has your foregrounding in business been an important factor in helping grow them into one of the world's biggest touring acts?
Definitely. 35 years ago, the world of touring was like the Wild West. There were very loose deals in place with promoters, which were settled on the night of the show. A lot of my role then was trying to figure out what was what. Who was taking what and were the promoters that we were doing business with taking advantage? That's changed quite a bit in today's day and age. It's become a lot more corporate. A lot more sanitized and properly run financially, to a certain extent. 

What do you regard as being key to Depeche Mode's rise to stardom and lasting popularity?
At the start, it was the creativity of the band. The music that they were creating was forging new ground. One thing as a band that we are very strict at maintaining to this day is being true to ourselves and doing what we want to do. I kept that going and as we progressed together I gave them the space to just focus on the music, while I take care of everything else around them. In a band that stays together that long and keeps developing often differences between members occur. There's many stories of bands not getting along and not being able to settle those differences. And so, like in any dysfunctional family, those things have to be mediated. I think I've played a large role in helping that flow through.

As a manager, how do you help overcome those differences and ensure the group stays together?
When the differences are meaningful and pertain to important things artistically they should be expressed and confronted head on. That friction is what makes a band creative, keeps them on edge and keeps them developing and looking to do new things. Yet, often some of the differences or challenges that occur between them aren't that meaningful and get blown out of proportion. One needs to play those down and allow the ones that are serious to live and be attacked. You can't sweep everything under the rug. Eventually it is going to explode and combust. So that was really a role where I could step in and try and broker to allow things that were meaningful to play out. That continues to be the case.

The band's past problems with drug and alcohol abuse has been well-documented, particularly Dave Gahan's struggles with heroin addiction in the mid-1990s. Did you fear for their future during that time?
Those are just life problems. I refer to them now as the experimental years. I think that's a nice way of putting it. They were their experimental years and thank God that they lived through them and made it… As with any dysfunctional family, it has its moments of difficulties and challenges. But in essence [all three members] have a great relationship. There's a huge amount of respect, love and kinship between them. When you spend that much time together in a high-pressure cooker environment obviously things will get tense and difficult at times. It's inevitable. The challenge is just don't let it overflow, right?

The Global Spirit tour looks set to be the band's biggest ever. How has the band continued to grow its live business when so many of their peers from the 1980s have faded?
The live show itself is just fantastic. Dave is really one of the best frontmen and he and Martin play off each other wonderfully. The fan base is very dedicated. It takes ownership of the band, stays very loyal and therefore comes back. We are now seeing the second generation of fan's children [coming to shows]. There was also a lot of hard work done in our early days of touring in different territories. In the early days, we went to the Eastern European territories a lot and to this day that's one of the biggest markets for us. We played Berlin on the East side when the wall was up. We often played countries often like Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia when it was still Yugoslavia. And in those markets, we now have an incredibly fruitful touring business. This is a band that continues to grow and have huge appeal internationally.

You rarely give interviews and have continually remained behind the scenes throughout your management career. Is that through personal choice? 
It's definitely a conscious decision. It's not at all a reflection of my character. I'm actually quite flamboyant. But I do think that it really is about the band. I have nothing but admiration for their tenacity, perseverance and above all their creativity and artistic ability. The songs that they write, the music they create and their tenacity to keep going at it is formidable. They deserve the attention as they're the ones on the stage. It's their names on the marquee -- and it always should be. Not mine. I'm just there to push it forward and help them facilitate what they want to do.

Spirit has received some of the band's best reviews in years. Were you and the band pleasantly surprised by the critical and commercial success of the record?
The nice thing that has happened along this route is that we have continued to go up at a 45-degree angle. Recently we have taken a leap off that 45 degrees and taken a higher rise up. What's also nice to see is that the band is being recognized for being pioneers in the synthesizer and remix world. Even in the U.K. press, which is perhaps the hardest barometer, they are receiving their deserved credit finally. But it really does stem from staying true to what we do and not trying to appeal to the trends of today.

Do you have a favorite album or period in the band's history?
Personally, no. I just think it's a nice evolution. I recently saw Billboard listed the top 20 hits and I was shocked by how many there were. I guess when you're in it every day and in the mud and the thick of it, you sometimes don't quite realize the big body of work they have created. It's hit after hit after hit.

Given the complexities of the modern music business, do you think that the role of a music manager is more important than ever today?
I think it has become more elevated, yes. You have to be more of a quarterback yourself, as opposed to the record company or the promoter. We have a fantastic partnership with Sony. A fantastic partnership with Live Nation and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. But you still have to develop your own opportunities. It's a busier, louder, noisier world today than it was 30 odd years ago and you have to try to cut through the clutter of everything that's out there. One of the biggest challenges we have is just how do we let people know that we are releasing a new record and are still touring.

Following the success of Spirit, have thoughts already turned to the next album?
Right now, we're just focused on touring and we have a hell of a lot of touring still to do. We have weeks of touring in Europe plus another month of touring in South America, plus more to come. So that's pretty grueling and taxing. The band plays for over two hours every night. It's never a dialed-in performance, so that's where all the energy goes right now.

This year saw Depeche Mode celebrate their 37th year together. Can you envisage them reaching them reaching their 50th anniversary?
I don't see why not. They're in their mid-fifties and young and healthy. We'll see. They never say. 'We're going to go on [till a certain date]'. It's always a question of, 'Let's just see what happens and not plan for the future.' And inevitably Dave or Martin will send the other a piece of music, they get smitten by it and it all starts again.
Archives / Re: 2017: Spirit and Global Spirit Tour
« Last post by Angelinda on 14 November 2017 - 00:02:50 »
2017-11-13 - Depeche Mode On Facebook:

A note from DM:
Just announced! DM will be headlining the Volt Festival in Hungary on June 26, 2018! More details at
Archives / Re: 2017: Spirit and Global Spirit Tour
« Last post by Angelinda on 12 November 2017 - 19:59:42 »
2017-11-11 - NBC7 (US) - SoundDiego

[We are looking for a recording of this episode.]

Relive Depeche Mode's recent @MattressFirmAmp show on tonight's episode of SoundDiego TV!
Coming up on SoundDiego TV tonight: Depeche Mode, LIGHTS, New Politics, Rob $tone, Public Service Broadcasting + more!
Archives / Re: 2017: Spirit and Global Spirit Tour
« Last post by Angelinda on 12 November 2017 - 04:04:02 »
2017-11-11 - RTS (Switzerland) - Interface

Dans On Air, Christophe Schenk nous parle des rencontres avec les stars de la New wave.
Archives / Re: 2017: Null + Void - song featuring Dave Gahan
« Last post by Angelinda on 10 November 2017 - 22:23:51 »
2017-11-09 - Sound Wall (Italy) - Null+Void: Dave Gahan e realtà sospesa per il nuovo progetto di Kurt Uenala

Null+Void: Dave Gahan e realtà sospesa per il nuovo progetto di Kurt Uenala


You’ve worked with Dave Gahan, you then became friend and then he collaborated with you on your new album. About that you’ve said that he is very gut driven guy and you’re a very analytical one, how did you manage to fit together? The song “Where I Wait” has a clear Depeche Mode imprint and Dave said that it was meant to be inside the album “Spirit” but at the end didn’t made the LP cut, why did you both choose to restart working on it?

I think it’s a great to have a writing partner that has a different skill and approach than yourself. Otherwise we would step on each other’s feet when working together. If I get too analytical he can remind me to look at the big picture and turn up and get into it. And I can make sense of more chaotic ideas or figure out best how to make this melody work over what chord and also, I know his voice very well so I can choose harmonies and chords that work for him. With “where I wait” it was not written for any album really but was supposed to end up on “Delta Machine” but we just ran out of time. The choice was either to work on the single a little more and do 5 songs as a video performance or record one more song. So it was decided to drop it and put me on making the song arrangements for the performance video which turned out very beautiful (filmed by Tim Saccenti).

Archives / Re: 2017: Spirit and Global Spirit Tour
« Last post by Angelinda on 10 November 2017 - 22:14:28 »
2017-11-10 - Depeche Mode - DM To Headline Tinderbox Festival!

DM are excited to announce that they will be headlining the 2018 Tinderbox Festival in Odense, Denmark on June 28, 2018.
More details to follow!
Archives / Re: 2017: Spirit and Global Spirit Tour
« Last post by Angelinda on 07 November 2017 - 21:04:53 »
2017-11-07 - Depeche Mode - French festivals Announced For Summer 2018

DM to headline four French festivals in Summer 2018
DM are pleased to announce that they will be returning to Europe in Summer 2018 to headline the following French festivals:
July 7, 2018 - Main Square Festival - Arras, FR
July 9, 2018 - Beauregard Festival - Herouville-St-Clair, FR
July 12, 2018 - Musilac Festival - Aix-Les-Baines, FR
July 19, 2018 - Vieilles Charrues Festival - Carhaix-Plouguer, FR

More details to follow!
Archives / Re: 2017: Other News
« Last post by Angelinda on 01 November 2017 - 21:38:20 »
2017-10-31 - PSN Europe (UK) - Ben Hillier on 25 years producing some of the biggest names in music

Ben Hillier on 25 years producing some of the biggest names in music
The UK producer and songwriter has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including collaborating on one of the finest records of 2017 in the form of Nadine Shah’s Holiday Destination. We caught up with him to find out how he's still finding new ways to challenge himself…


What has been the most challenging record you’ve worked on to date? And what’s been the most enjoyable?

Often the most challenging is the most enjoyable. I have a great relationship with Depeche Mode doing their stuff. Their demos are so advanced; they do so much work before you get in the studio. They wouldn't think of presenting me with a song until it has all the lyrics, the middle eight etc. A lot of bands will turn up with a vague idea for a chorus and go, right; we’ll work it out in the studio. By the third album I did with them (2013’s Delta Machine) where we knew each other so well and were really up for challenging each other, we worked really hard. Because Martin [Gore’s] tracks are very well realised it would be quite a battle to push the songs further. You'd have to really get into the detail to work out how you could make it better, rather than just changing it for the sake of it. Every time we tried to push things further I‘d have Dave [Gahan] do a whole new set of vocal takes, and by the final version of the song he would have done 10 sets of takes. Each time his performance would get better and it would be a gradual process of pushing things forward. From a techy production point of view that was always great.


From the songwriting point of view, if you work with someone like Martin Gore from Depeche Mode, his songwriting is so advanced that you just sit back in awe. The way he pieces together and joins his lyrics with the chord structure of the song is amazing. How everything eventually locks together is incredible.

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