British band Depeche Mode said on Thursday the September 11 suicide hijack attacks in the United States had hardly affected European musicians and concert-goers.
He contrasted this to the U.S. situation, where the music industry had slowed down.
Andy Fletcher, keyboardist in the technopop band that is still going after 22 years, said Europeans had had more experience of “terrorist attacks” than Americans and as a result were able to get on with their lives more quickly.
“A lot of American bands and acts have canceled because they are not really used to terrorism in their own country,” Fletcher said in an interview with Reuters Television at the MTV European Music Awards.
“We are used to things being blown up and then carrying on with our normal lives,” said Fletcher, 39, whose band is nevertheless more popular in North America than in Europe. “It’s not to say the attacks are not awful. But we are just more used to it in Europe.”
Some 5,000 people were killed in the September 11 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon in Washington.
Fletcher, whose band was performing on the MTV program expected to be viewed by a billion people around the world, said he expected American bands to resume touring again next year.
“The tragedy is overwhelming at the moment,” he said. “But I think you’ll see lot of acts going out again next year and touring again. In the end, people will not forget the tragedy. People will want to go out and let themselves go a bit.”
Martin Gore, the band’s British-born but California-based songwriter, said they were touring in Vienna when the attack happened and briefly considered canceling their tour.
He said their singer Dave Gahan, who lives in New York, called his wife as they watched the World Trade Center burning.
“He lives only about 20 blocks away from the World Trade Center,” Gore said. “His wife said that we should go on and just try to bring a little joy to the world.”
Mainly influenced by German electro masters Kraftwerk and Britain’s 1970s punk rock, Depeche Mode has sold more than 50 million records since the band’s formation in 1979 in Basildon, England.
While some say the band peaked in the 1980s, Gore and Fletcher believe they’ve never been more popular than now.
“It’s a dream situation,” said Fletcher. “We’ve been lucky our careers have lasted so long. To be more popular now than when we started is incredible.”
Gore added: “We must have the most devoted fans in the world. They are manic. I’m always disappointed when I go see another band play. Their audiences are never the same as ours.”