English electronic new wave outfit OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) perform at the Microsoft Theater this week as part of the ’80s Weekend package tour with artists as diverse as The Bangles, Bananarama, Rob Base and Tiffany. We spoke to singer and bassist Andy McCluskey about that, and more.
L.A. WEEKLY: Your most recent album, 2017's The Punishment of Luxury, received good reviews (and it's damn good) — have you been pleased with the reception?
ANDY MCCLUSKEY: Delighted! After 40 years and 13 albums, it is increasingly hard to find new inspiration that excites, and create music that isn’t just a pastiche of some previous song. We worked incredibly hard on the album, so we did feel that the response was warranted, but you just never know!
Is there a new one on the way?
We are in danger of falling into the trap that damaged us 30 years ago. Victims of our own success. We played 100 concerts last year and are busy celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. There will be an album if we have sufficient songs that are up to standard. We refuse to make a rushed or poor new album just as an excuse for a T-shirt logo to promote a new tour. It’s about quality control.
Do you enjoy nostalgia gigs, like this one in L.A.?
Yes, we do. We meet old friends and the audience knows exactly what to expect. All the hits! We also use these gigs to expand our live audience, as there’s still an unmerited suspicion of synth bands live. We demonstrate that we kick ass! Also, we have already proved ourselves to be contemporary with new albums and specialist gigs for our hard-core fans.
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Any particularly great memories of L.A. in general?
The whole circumstances surrounding the writing of "If You Leave" unfolded in L.A. with John Hughes asking us to write him a new song in one day for Pretty in Pink after he changed the ending! Fortunately we did rather well. Also, playing to 70,000 people at the Rose Bowl with Depeche Mode was pretty special.
What can we expect from your set?
A full-energy dancing party! We will play 10 hit singles in 45 minutes! Boom boom.. Thank you. Good night! It will be a blast!
OMD play with The Bangles, Bananarama, Rob Base, Tiffany, Farrington + Mann and The Flirts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Microsoft Theater.