British synth-pop duo Erasure are on the road again, which means audiences can expect Any Bell and Vince Clarke to don some outlandish and fabulous costumes. Remember Clarke dressed as a cactus?
Erasure, celebrating 33 years of making music, is on tour in support of their 2017 CD, “World Be Gone.”
Their latest release, “World Beyond,” is an orchestral reworking of “World Be Gone.” “World Beyond” is a collaboration with Echo Collective, the Brussels, Belgium ensemble of post-classical musicians. But Erasure’s concerts won’t be an evening of violins and harps.
Erasure, long-time favorites in the queer community, will play four shows in Los Angeles at The Wiltern: August 21, 24, 25, and 26. Find tickets here.
In an interview with Q Voice News, Clarke talks about Erasure’s orchestral CD, Depeche Mode, and wearing that cactus costume.
Here are some excerpts.
Working with Echo Collective
“We made the record last year, and were talking about remixes,” Clarke says. “We were thinking of techno remixes, but then I mentioned about orchestral remixes. It’s very cinematic, which we loved.
“I suggested a remix, and then they suggested, If we do a remix, let’s do a whole album.”
“At the end of the day, you make a record, we make a record,” Clarke say. “We don’t second guess what people will like. We do it for ourselves. Hopefully, other people will buy it or download it. We don’t have marketing meetings.
“We’ve been making records a little while,” Clarke says. “We know how to write a good song. We know when it’s a bad song.”
Writing a good song
“For me, it’s quite instinctive,” Clarke says. “Sometimes you get excited about an idea, and give it time to ferment. Then you go, It still sounds good. Then you know you will be recording it.”
Crazy tour costumes
“I like the idea of not taking myself too seriously,” Clarke says. “Costume designer Dean Bright came up with the idea of the cactus. I thought it was the funniest idea.
“He said, You can play a cactus. Fit your arms into the sleeves and your eyes are sticking out a couple of holes. Play acoustic guitar. We played the song ‘Ship of Fools.’ It’s a serious song, and there I am playing an acoustic guitar and playing a cactus.”
Politicians attack queer community
“It’s like 10 steps forward and 5 steps back,” Clarke says. “It’s hard for me to understand what’s happening in the minds of people making these (political) decisions.
“It makes no sense to go backward,” he says. “I don’t know if Trump has reinforced fear with people. I’m not a fan of the current administration.”
Being an optimist
“In my lifetime, I saw the end of Apartheid, the Berlin Wall come down, an almost agreement with Israel and Palestine. It looked like the world was moving forward.
“Now it seems like things are moving backwards. But, at the same time, I’m an optimist. I have a 12-year-old son. I can’t be a pessimist.”
Working again with Depeche Mode?
“Probably not,” Clarke says. “Martin writes complicated songs. I can’t play those chords. Maybe I’ll ask Dave if I can come on tour and do a song in my cactus outfit.”