Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Spin Interview: Dave Gahan

Having already endured megastardom, heroin addiction, and, um, dying for a couple minutes, Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan steps away for a little me time and comes to grips with his decadent legacy: "To be quite honest, I'm just your garden-variety junkie alcoholic."

Dave Gahan is worried about time. Not just right now, but in general. After working all day on his second solo album, appropriately titled Hourglass, the frontman for synth-pop legends Depeche Mode sits on the edge of a couch and lights the first of several cigarillos. "I have this sense that I want to be somewhere that I'm not yet," he confesses. "I feel like I'm racing against a clock." That the 45-year-old singer is experiencing this urgency now, after nearly three decades with a band that has sold more than 72 million albums worldwide, is not totally surprising, considering how the Englishman (from the London suburb of Basildon) spent much of the '90s: addicted to heroin, estranged from his bandmates, and, much to their dismay, living in Los Angeles. Back then, as Depeche were peaking in popularity, Gahan was essentially willing the clock to stop. In 1995 he slit his wrists in a Hollywood hotel room; the following year an overdose of heroin and cocaine left him clinically dead for two minutes.

But a decade later, in the comfortable confines of his Manhattan recording studio, where large black-and-white photos of his wife and three children decorate the walls, and tiny boxes painted with the likenesses of the other Depeche Mode members clutter the shelves, Gahan's joie de vivre is unmistakable. He won't even say a bad word about bandmate Martin Gore, whose reluctance to share songwriting duties has led to constant bickering over the years and drove Gahan to first seek solo satisfaction on 2003's coolly received Paper Monsters. He'd rather discuss his excitement over Hourglass and the difficulty of organizing its track list. "I know it starts here and it ends here, but what goes on in between is the confusing part," he says, cueing up the album's hypnotic, doomy opener, "Saw Something." Then, with a smirk: "But that's kind of a metaphor for my life."

Read the interview on here



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