Most of us harbor a fantasy that if we ever met the artists or musicians we love in person, they’d recognize our shared coolness, invite us into the fold, and we’d spend the rest of our lives as their best friends (and potential fill-in bandmates). But most of us aren’t Richard Spencer, the life-long Depeche Mode and “peaceful ethnic cleansing” fan whose virulently toxic beliefs about race have made his eminently punchable face a potent muse for artists across the internet. So it’s hard to feel especially sympathetic toward Spencer when the band’s lead singer, Dave Gahan, doubled down on his previous Spencer-directed “fuck off,” calling the white supremacist a “cunt” in an interview this week.
Gahan was talking to Billboard about the band’s upcoming, politically charged album Spirit, when conversation turned to the white supremacist elephant in the room. “What’s dangerous about someone like Richard Spencer is, first of all, he’s a cunt—and he’s a very educated cunt, and that’s the scariest kind of all,” Gahan said. (It’s worth noting that the singer is from the U.K., where that particular insult carries slightly less weight than it does in the U.S., although it’s also worth noting that he’s been living in New York for the last 20 years.)
As is par for the course, Spencer brought this latest round of trauma down on his own skull by opening his mouth. Last month—while in the middle of getting kicked out of the right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference for being too extremist and “repugnant”—he claimed that Depeche Mode was “the official band of the alt-right.” Gahan says his son, Jimmy clued him into the fact that Spencer’s fervent fandom demanded a response, lest the band’s left-leaning beliefs and empathetic lyrics become inadvertently associated with the white supremacist and his followers. “Because people read shit—unfortunately, as we know—and they interpret it as being real.”
Meanwhile, Richard Spencer is presumably feeling very sad somewhere at the fact that his favorite band hates him. It’s like they always say: “You should never meet your heroes, especially if you’re a racist, neo-Nazi piece of shit.”