Starting off as a fully electronic band back in 1981, Depeche Mode have since ditched the drum machines and reel to reel tape machines in favour of a live drummer. In this video we discuss the live drumming and ask if it works on every track?

Related videos:

Depeche Mode WITHOUT Alan Wilder:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN-GnBqPScs&t=176s

Depeche Mode Devotional Live:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1iLAnSOk5E&t=556s

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20 COMMENTS

  1. I seem to recall that Alan also drummed live on the SOFAD tour to challenge himself, as playing single finger samples (and the odd bit of piano) for 2 hours must get boring when you're that good a musician!
    The classic "3 keyboard" lineup is to me Depeche Mode. Great to have a bit of guitar and drums on a few tracks, but once you have a drummer on every song and Martin predominantly on guitar, it takes away something. I imagine Dave much prefers the current set up though.

  2. As always, no disappointing video so far (just catching up on your back catalogue). Good substantial stuff. 👍
    You're mentioning the sampled guitar on "Never let me down again" as (not verbatim but quite clear) kind of the first use of a guitar on a DM track. What about the guitar on "Love in Itself"? Not trying to be smart here knowing that you know what you're talking about… so I reckon there's a reason that you said so.

  3. George don't "waste" your time! You are absolutely right!! Alan Wilder is genius..in every kind of way.

    PS. This video can also capture and give the taste of the differences between the sound of Boris Williams of The Cure (1985-1993) and Jason Cooper (1995 – now). Without Boris, the drumming sounds awful.

  4. I think Never Let Me Down Again's live drums are awful. I agree the song lends itself to powerful drumming, but the punching of the main drum beat always sounds too high pitched and hollow. I don't know the technical names for the individual drums, but they way it pops in a semi-metallic way (maybe snare drum?) is just awful.

  5. Hi Vaughn, you're absolutely right and I thought I was the only one to think about it. The drummer saturates a lot and is not necessary in many songs, the same I think with the voice of Dave, who has been rockerized too much. On each tour I like less how Dave sings. I am also critical of the setlist, many songs are repeated and I think that nothing would happen that they did not play for example I Feel You. I also want to say that I don't know if the band would be better or worse with Wilder, since he also has years like everyone else. I must say and (I was one of the happiest people in the world), when on the Spirit tour they played several of Ultra, my favourite album and I still don't know the reason for what they did, I suppose for not having tour of that disc and because it was twenty years after its release, because they would play many songs. I love your Channel. Kind Regards!!

  6. On the devotional tour with Alan Wilder, I thought they married everything brilliantly. Some songs Alan played drums and other songs were programmed. For me, that was their creative peak, drumming wise.

  7. This „Alan-Come-Back“ thing is boring. He left the band 25 years ago and DM is still a great band making great music. Deal with it.

  8. As a drummer I like both drum sounds. I'm not sure about the "drum sound" itself from the 2 different versions you played, but there was likely something done from the kit to what the audience hears on Alan's version (to achieve that sound), where-as Christian is more an acoustic drum sound although he does have hybrid parts and triggers samples. But I do agree that the live drums don't always work especially as you mentioned on the earlier tracks.

  9. Seit Jahrzehnten wird über Christian Eigner gestritten. Fakt ist, er ist Fakt. LEIDER. Nur noch wenige kennen doch die Wurzeln des 80er Sounds. Der war elektronisch. Depeche Mode damals in BERLIN wohnhaft, GERMAN HÄRTE…Samples, Daniel Miller…diese Wurzeln hat Depeche Mode längst verlassen. Dann der Weggang von Alan Wilder – das Ende der typischen Depeche Mode Songs. Die Jungs sind Millionen schwer…brauchen sich keine Bein mehr rausreißen. Da kommt nichts mehr. Die Touren sind nur noch Best Of Touren. Elektronische Leckerbissen sind vorbei. Alan kommt auch NIE wieder.

  10. I like Christian's drumming and appreciate what he contributes to the sound of the band. I understand why many struggle to embrace the sound after Alan departed. The band, and the sounds evolves and I fully embrace this. Yeah, the drums for "I feel you" in 1993 sound very different than 2010….but I love both without the need to make a comparative analysis. It's not a matter of preference, it's a matter of appreciating both for what they are. They are many who cannot resist the temptation to compare Davis Lee Roth to Sammy Hagar….but there's no need IMHO. Two different sounds and both great in their own way. I embrace Christian fully.

  11. Depeche mode 1993 is a different band from depeche mode today. Alan's style was appropriate then, but that is the past. Songs evolve with the band. Dave said the same thing in 2010 in a documentary that songs have different meanings the longer they live.

  12. I agree on everything, especially I Feel You live from 1993 is just perfection, and even a huge improvement over the studio recording. I wish i wasn't a 7 y/o kid back then to see Devotional Tour. I saw them once six years ago and while it was a good experience i asked myself: does Just Can't Get Enough really need live drums?

  13. I believe at their age in life and their professional development that they want to be remembered as a rock ‘n’ roll group rather than a fringe group that use keyboards I agree with you the old Depeche Mode using keyboards was far superior the music was better they just seem as though they’ve lost a lot of that edge

  14. Live drums work for certain songs, and not for others. Some of Gary Numan's best stuff works either way. It just depends on the feel you want to give. One may select one option or the other, based on the feel of the other songs being presented on the tour. All of the Greats have done a variety, from Prince to Gary Numan to Nine Inch Nails to Duran Duran, regarding those changes.
    I'd love to share my Soundcloud with you, but I don't know if it's appropriate in this thread. I do some covers which try to be true to the originals while being COMPLETELY Different. (I have originals as well).
    I fully agree on the "YEAH!"s. Rob Zombie and Lenny Kravitz hold the record though… LOL

  15. Well the 2 live examples… this is somewhat critical, as recordings from live concerts are often very different in quality so perhaps the 2nd example with eigner is more a sound-recording problem. i do not know I lost interest after ultra in DeMo and saw them only once live I guess a minumum 22-23 yrs ago…btw. do you like also front 242 etc.? It can be described as harder,darker DeMo 🙂 I was not too thrilled about the live concert btw. which was in Frankfurt… it was already quite big and for "underground" tastes not "personnal" enough. I was more used to smaller bands playing in smaller venues and also much cheaper entrance fee (like indi ebm, punk, goth bands). Also did not like the girls screaming to dave…and some of the audience chanting depeche mode to the support band, which were not very memorable themselves, but was a woman as singer I believe…needed to check in the nets for this tour. Their are a few almost perfect live examples from different bands on YT and some have shitty sound so you cannot judge it really how it would work if you were there live. One of the best examples is newer Mayhem live this sounds almost like from CD.."de mysteries dom satanas full live concert" this rules
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