Strangelove is a US band fully dedicated to The Depeche Mode Experience and comprises of Brent Meyer, Leo Luganskiy, Julian Shah-Tayler and James Evans.
The Bad Monkey from Radio 13 aka Reuben Raj caught up with the band in the midst of their US shows to learn more about their love for all things Depeche but most importantly, the band's expectations for their first-ever visit and shows in New Zealand.
Strangelove was founded by Brent Meyer and the band went through several iterations before adopting its present name in 2010. Classically trained in voice and guitar, Brent has amassed a wide range of experience including music production, artist/label management and even owning a commercial recording studio at one time. Whatever time he has left from touring and producing, he gives back to the younger community as the Musical Director for the School of Rock.
Leo Luganskiy lives in Brooklyn, NYC and uncannily sounds like Dave Gahan. Born in Russia before moving to the US, Leo formed his own project called FOiRMODA. The 'baby' of the band is also very active on YouTube which is how he was discovered by Brent's wife when the band needed a new vocalist.
Julian Shah-Tayler lives close to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and enjoys a colourful musical career with the fastest-selling single of all time called YUH2BMe by Whitey on Rough Trade, music featured on The Sopranos, The OC, Breaking Bad etc. and did the arrangement for the award-winning song, Once Upon A Dream which was sung by Lana Del Rey. Julian also fronts his own music project called The Singularity which also features Brent on guitar along with some members of Peter Murphy's (Bauhaus) band.
James Evans grew up with music his whole life and is currently based in California, near Disneyland. Starting out as a roadie, he showed interest and tenacity to become a permanent member of the band today. He is super excited to entertain the masses and humbled to learn more about Aotearoa.
Being the only constant member, Brent feels that the current line-up is the best after all the 'upgrades' since 2006. The arrival of Leo really took the band to the next level with his showmanship and powerful vocals, a close 'vocal genetic clone' of Dave Gahan. The band takes every aspect of their performance very seriously, from costumes (like the mohawk hat used by Martin Gore) to the props (including custom-built guitars and percussions) and visuals used during each show.
In New Zealand and Australia, Strangelove will perform Depeche Mode's Violator album in full including relevant B-sides and maybe a few remixes thrown in before a celebration of Greatest Hits. In other words, we will get to hear songs like Clean and Blue Dress which are not the typical songs performed by the band in recent tours.