OMD Looks to 'Challenge' Itself On Next Album
After "reconnecting with the sound we invented" on 2010's "History of Modern," its first new album in 14 years, the members of Ochestral Manoeuvres in the Dark plan to push forward on their next project.
"Yeah, we've got some ideas for a new album," frontman Andy McCluskey tells Billboard.com. "We think 'History of Modern' was appropriate; we reconnected with our own sound but we did it in a current way. Now I think both Paul (Humphreys) and I feel, 'OK, we made a great album...but can we make a new album that's the future, that moves forward and doesn't just address our own sound? Can we actually invent something, like we did 30 years ago.' This is the challenge. This is going to make the next album really hard."
McCluskey says that he and Humphreys "always have songs lying around, whether they be in bits and pieces or a song that hasn't got a lyric yet or a lyric that hasn't got a song." Some "History of Modern" tracks, in fact, date back to ideas he worked on in the early 80s. Yet, he explains, "Our mantra is, 'What does the future sound like?' We don't want to just mark time or make another 'History of Modern.' We're a bunch of old men, maybe, but we're going to try and reinvent the future again."
Video: OMD performs "History of Modern Part 1"
Before that, however, McCluskey, Humphreys and bandmates Malcolm Holmes and Martin Cooper -- the "classic" OMD lineup that reunited in 2007 -- are hitting the road on March 5 in Toronto for their first North American tour since 1988. The 17-city trek wraps up March 29 in Los Angeles and includes three performances at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, while a OMD is also booked for the Esbjerg Rock Festival on June 18 in Denmark and for German shows in June and September.
"The concerts have been incredibly well-received -- even by bloody journalists!" says McCluskey. "The new album seems to have been incredibly received as well. It's very exciting. I don't think we really thought we could get ourselves back in this position. I think we thought it was all over; times had moved on, and so had we. I think we are pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in this very positive position at the moment, where electro is very, very current and cool and groovy and we are considered now to be seminal practitioners of that fine art. We have all the credibility and cool that we used to have 30 odd years ago, if not moreso."
While promoting "History of Modern," meanwhile, OMD is also celebrating some of that past cool with the 30th anniversary of "Architecture & Morality," which many consider to be its best work. McCluskey says he and his bandmates generally agree with that assessment, though with a fresh perspective.
"If I think back to the Andy and Paul and Malcolm and Martin who made that record, we were very young, very different people in every sense of the word," he says. "The wonderful thing was we got into the music industry completely by chance. We never, ever aspired to being record-making songwriters and having hits and selling millions, 'cause we didn't think anybody would like our music. Everything happened kind of by...accident, which is probably the best way."