When we approached our reigning Depeche Mode office champion, Doug, he respectfully suggested handing over his figurative crown. So meet Joana, a Front End Engineer here at Ticketmaster UK.
Joana accepted the honour with little hesitation, noting that she is currently set to see the English electronic rockers 14 times next year. Not only that, she loves them so much she’s got their logo and the cover of their 1990 album, Violator, permanently inked on her skin.
So just as we did with Ticketmaster UK’s Senior Vice President Doug three years ago, we decided to grill Joana on her healthy obsession.
Before we get to that though, here’s Depeche Mode’s video for their iconic Enjoy The Silence, featuring vocalist Dave Gahan and a crown. The very same kind of crown that has now been passed on. See what we did?
Now, on with the grilling:
Where and when was the first Depeche Mode gig you attended?
Pavilhão Atlântico, Lisbon, 14th November 2009.
Where were you when you heard your first Depeche Mode song?
I was at home watching MTV’s live broadcast of Rock Am Ring. I was 15 and I thought everything about their performance was amazing. I was hooked straight away.
What is it about Depeche Mode that you love so much?
On top of loving their live shows and style from the beginning, when I started looking more deeply into the lyrics, I found I could easily relate to many of the them. Songs like Home or Fly On The Windscreen really appealed to my teenage self. As I grew up, my love for them grew too. Their songs still resonate very strongly with me. On a side note, I am also a big fan of (photographer and director) Anton Corbijn and of all the work he has done with them.
Can you pick a favourite song and/or album?
That is a very hard question. I am going to say Violator and Playing the Angel. As for songs, I really cannot decide on a favourite, but, if i could pick a rarity to be played in their coming tour, I would choose Mercy In You.
How many times have you seen Depeche Mode live? What is it that makes them so great live?
I have seen them eight times. As every fan will tell you, Dave Gahan is a very good front man, capable of engaging the crowd with very few words (but many dance moves). For me it’s also about having a special experience shared with the rest of the crowd. We all know when to sing, when to clap, when to wave our arms at the same time. Even though the setlist is always very similar, I could see them over and over again without getting bored.
Do you have a favourite memory from a Depeche Mode concert?
There have been many great moments, but I would probably say the first time I saw them. My friends and I waited for hours to be at the front (success!). They had had to cancel the previous two Portuguese gigs, so they played One Caress for the first time in many years as a present for the fans.
What is it about the band, do you think, that has kept them strong for so many years?
Being a younger generation fan myself, I think it definitely has something to do with the fact that Depeche Mode still release great albums. They continue to create new and interesting music, while remaining a superb live band throughout the years.
You’re going to see them 14 times next year. Your organisational skills must be on point?
Yes, I had a list of all the dates I wanted tickets for, with on sale times and even currency rates. I had to work out which cities I most wanted to visit and which dates could be grouped into one trip. I am pretty excited about spending three weeks going around Germany next year.
What is the most “super-fan” thing you have done?
I have the Violator cover and the Delta Machine logo tattooed. More interestingly, a friend of mine once quit her job to come see Depeche Mode with me. (She also has the same logo tattoo!)
There you have it. Our newly crowned No.1 Depeche Mode superfan. Think you know somebody more devoted to the band, or want to weigh in on our Doug v Joana face-off, let us know on Twitter.
Depeche Mode play the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium in London next June. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.