Are Depeche Mode considered goth? [2023]

Are Depeche Mode considered goth?

Spoiler alert: Depeche Mode fans might have differing opinions on this topic, but we're here to shed some light on the debate. So, grab your black eyeliner, put on some dark synthpop tunes, and let's dive into the fascinating world of Depeche Mode and goth music.

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Are Depeche Mode considered goth?,Introduction

Depeche Mode, the iconic electronic band hailing from Basildon, Essex, has been captivating audiences for over four decades. Known for their catchy synthpop sound, emotional lyrics, and gothic-inspired fashion, Depeche Mode has left an indelible mark on the music industry. But are they truly considered goth? Let's explore the nuances of this question.

Depeche Mode: A Brief History

Before diving into the debate, let's take a quick journey through Depeche Mode's history. Formed in 1980, the band initially consisted of Vince Clarke, Andrew Fletcher, Martin Gore, and Dave Gahan. With hits like "Just Can't Get Enough" and "People Are People," they quickly gained popularity and became pioneers of the emerging synthpop genre. As their career progressed, their sound evolved into a darker and more atmospheric style.

Is Depeche Mode Considered Goth?

The question of whether Depeche Mode can be classified as a goth band is a contentious one among music enthusiasts. Some argue that their sound and aesthetic align closely with the goth genre, while others believe they belong more to the realm of synthpop or alternative rock. To better understand this debate, let's take a closer look at what defines goth music.

What Music Is Considered Goth?

Goth music is a subculture of post-punk that emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is characterized by its dark and introspective lyrical themes, melancholic melodies, and an overall ethereal and atmospheric sound. Bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure are often considered pioneers of the goth genre. While goth music can vary in style, it generally shares these common elements:

  • Dark and introspective lyrics exploring themes of love, death, and the supernatural.
  • Ethereal and atmospheric musical arrangements, often featuring elements of post-punk, new wave, and electronic music.
  • A distinct fashion style incorporating black clothing, leather, lace, and makeup.

Goth Subgenres

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Within the goth genre, several subgenres have emerged, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the prominent goth subgenres include:

  1. Traditional Goth: Also known as "deathrock," traditional goth music stays true to the early goth sound and aesthetic. It features prominent basslines, haunting vocals, and atmospheric guitar work.

  2. Industrial Goth: This subgenre combines elements of goth with industrial music, creating a more aggressive and experimental sound. Industrial goth bands often incorporate electronic beats, distorted guitars, and samples.

  3. Darkwave: Darkwave emerged in the 1980s as a softer and more synth-driven version of goth music. It combines elements of new wave, post-punk, and electronic music to create a dreamy and atmospheric sound.

Why the Debate?

Are Depeche Mode considered goth?,Why the Debate?

The debate surrounding Depeche Mode's classification as a goth band stems partly from the band's evolution. While their early albums, such as "Black Celebration" and "Music for the Masses," showcased a darker and more brooding sound, their later work embraced a wider range of influences. Songs like "Enjoy the Silence" and "Policy of Truth" incorporated more electronic and pop elements, blurring the boundaries between genres.

Depeche Mode Influences and Aesthetic

To better understand Depeche Mode's connection to goth culture, it's important to examine their influences and aesthetic. The band members have spoken openly about their admiration for goth icons like David Bowie and Joy Division. Their fashion choices, with a penchant for black clothing, leather, and an overall dark aesthetic, have also contributed to the perception that they align with the goth subculture.

While Depeche Mode's musical style may have evolved over the years, their impact on goth and alternative music cannot be denied. Their introspective lyrics and atmospheric sound continue to resonate with fans who find solace in the darker side of music.


What music is considered goth?

Goth music encompasses a wide range of styles, but common elements include dark and introspective lyrics, melancholic melodies, and an overall ethereal and atmospheric sound. Bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure are often associated with the goth genre.

Is Depeche Mode goth reddit?

The perception of Depeche Mode's classification as a goth band is subjective and often discussed on various platforms, including Reddit. While some individuals consider Depeche Mode to be goth, others may have differing opinions based on their interpretation of the genre.

What makes a goth band goth?

A goth band is typically characterized by elements such as dark and introspective lyrics, atmospheric and ethereal musical arrangements, and a distinctive fashion style. While these characteristics can vary, they often contribute to the overall goth aesthetic and sound.


  1. Smith, J. (2020). "Goth Subcultures – A Brief History." BBC. Available at:
  2. Depeche Mode. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Please note: The information provided in this article is based on expert opinions and research. The classification of music genres can vary, and individual interpretations may differ.

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