Depeche Mode co-founders Martin Gore and Vince Clarke have reunited for a side project that’s also benefited the group’s new “Remixes 2: 81-11” collection.
Gore tells Billboard.com he was able to tap Clarke — who left Depeche Mode in 1981 and subsequently formed Yazoo and Erasure — to put a new spin on “Behind the Wheel” for “Remixes 2” because the two were working on some new music together that Gore describes as “all kind of dance and instrumental.”
“Out of the blue I got an e-mail from (Clarke) just saying, ‘I’m interested in making a techno album. Are you interested in collaborating?,’ ” Gore recalls. “This was maybe nine months, a year ago. He said, ‘No pressure, no deadlines,’ so I said, ‘OK,’ and that’s what we’ve been doing the last six months.”
Gore says the two have finished recording and moved on the mixing. “It was something different,” he notes, “and we didn’t have conversations about it. It was more just like e-mails and file-sharing. It was something completely different — no vocals, all instrumental stuff.”
With “Remixes 3: 81-11” just out and a new Erasure album later this year, Gore and Clarke are holding other details about their project at bay — including when it will be released. “Even though it will probably be finished quite soon, it might not see the light of day for awhile,” Gore notes.
Clarke was not the only former Depeche Mode member contributing to “Remixes 2.” Alan Wilder, who replaced Clarke and left the band 14 years later, remixed “In Chains” for the set. “Alan agreed to play with us on the last tour at the Royal Albert Hall when we did a charity event,” Gore explains. “He came on as a special guest and we sort of reconnected there…and I’ve seen him quite a bit over the last year or so.
“I think a few years ago it would have seemed highly unlikely for Alan and Vince to be involved in a project with us,” Gore adds, “but now we all get on OK, so it’s not that strange.”
The follow-up to 2004’s “Remixes 81-04,” “Remixes 2” comes in both single disc and three-disc sets (the Clarke and Wilder remixes are on the latter). Stargate’s new mix of “Personal Jesus” is the first single from the collection, and other contributors include UNKLE, Royksopp, Bushwacka Tough Guy, M83, Dan The Automator and Peter Bjorn and John. As for a Depeche Mode’s next set of new material, following 2009’s “Sounds of the Universe,” Gore says that “there’s nothing concrete. I’ve started writing again — writing songs and actually writing words again. I feel like it’s coming like a breath of fresh air after a long time of not thinking about them.
“So I would say the future looks bright. The future looks hopeful.”