Erasure is touring for its new album, “Tomorrow’s World,” set for release on Oct. 4.
“We’re definitely looking forward to touring the U.S. [the first time in about five years] and we’ve got a new more extravagant stage set,” Clarke says, describing it as “a futuristic city, a bit spooky, a bit dark, gothic.”
No drag outfits on this tour, though.
“The set is a real contrast to our sparkly suits,” he says of the stage outfits for this tour.
Clarke, formerly of Depeche Mode, and Bell teamed up in 1985 and have always had a huge following in the U.K. Around the world and here in the U.S., Erasure always draws a crowd and Clarke acknowledges the people in the audiences are quite interesting to see.
“We’ve seen a lot of people come with their kids and that’s nice,” he says. “In South America, we have a lot of fans who weren’t even born when we started.”
Erasure has made its mark in the music industry with such hits as “A Little Respect,” “Sometimes,” “Victim Of Love,” “Ship Of Fools,” “Chains Of Love,” “The Circus,” and “Breathe,” as well as five consecutive No. 1 albums in the U.K. including “The Innocents,” “Wild!” and “Chorus” plus their contribution to the worldwide revival of Abba with “Abba-esque.”
But this new album, produced by Frankmusik, who has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga and Pet Shop Boys, is a bit different than past Erasure music, Clarke says.
“It’s maximum sounding and a bit of a departure for us,” he explains. “This is about making a record that pleases yourself.”
Taking more risks with the sound of the new album instead of deciding to make an album they knew would sell, Erasure is asking old fans and new ones to take a listen and enjoy this “departure.”
“I’m much more willing to do that now [take risks] than when I was younger,” Clarke says. “I think when you’re young you think you know it all. But you really know nothing.”
When Erasure started 25 years ago, there were just a few bands performing what’s dubbed as synthpop — today, the charts are packed with bands playing this style of music.
“Now in 2011, there’s been an incredible change,” Clarke says. “Part of the reason is the technology is far more readily available to people. As far I’m concerned it’s really an exciting time. I’m really loving this time in music.”
Clarke and Bell have a great relationship and while Bell, who announced publicly he is HIV-positive in 2004, is flamboyant on stage as the lead singer, the two never argue and are like family, Clark says. And the duo plans more for the future.
“On stage he’s very extravagant, but in a bar we’re exactly the same,” Clarke says. “I just see him as a really good friend. Andy and I are married to life. We will always be writing.”
The album’s name, “Tomorrow’s World,” comes from the title of a popular BBC science series from the 1960s that explored technology and its impact.
“The show had an optimistic outlook on things. And that’s how we see it,” Clarke says.
Top photo: Andy Bell (left) and Vince Clarke make up Erasure. The band is on tour for their first album in four years, ‘Tomorrow’s World.’ (Publicity photos)