Depeche Mode's David Gahan isn't exactly known for working quickly. After all, fans have come to expect a traditional four-year wait between the band's studio albums, and Gahan waited more than 20 yea

Depeche Mode's David Gahan isn't exactly known for working quickly. After all, fans have come to expect a traditional four-year wait between the band's studio albums, and Gahan waited more than 20 years to release his first solo project, 2003's "Paper Monsters."

But within a few months of completing Depeche Mode's Playing the Angel tour, he was writing new material with the band's touring drummer Christian Eigner and programmer Andrew Phillpott, and it's this music which makes up "Hourglass," due Oct. 23 via Mute/Virgin.

"When we started, they had a few musical ideas, but nothing song-like in any way, shape or form," he tells Billboard.com. "We really wrote as we went along. After two weeks, we looked around and realized we weren't just demoing, so we thought, Why don't we just make a record? For me, that was the really exciting thing. There was no involvement from the record company, or worrying about who would produce it or where we'd record it."

Lyrically, Gahan pushed himself to write about his own struggles. "I'm becoming more accepting of the fact that I'm getting a little older," he says with a laugh. "It always seems to be a theme in my life that I'm racing against time. I'm a 25-year-old in a 45-year-old man's body. I wrote about those themes more, like, this is who I am and these are these are my frustrations. There's still these other parts of me that rear their ugly head ... my struggle with being with myself."

In terms of the music, the goal was to be as spontaneous as possible. Gahan points to the song "Deeper and Deeper" as a prime example. "It was a one-riff idea we decided to go with fundamentally from the groove," he says. "We improvised on that one idea and exaggerated it as the song went along. We just kept going and layering it."

"With the use of electronics and technology, you can quickly produce something very different by twisting it around," he continues. "It's a lot more difficult to do that when you sit down with a traditional band. You can change arrangements, but to create an atmosphere, using technology is a great help."

Gahan isn't planning to tour solo at the moment, although he says he "won't rule it out." There's also not much percolating in the Depeche Mode camp at the moment, but Gahan says bandmate Martin Gore is "working on some ideas. Loosely, we're planning on at least talking about doing another record next year."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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