Home News Suzie Stapleton: “Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world for music”

Suzie Stapleton: “Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world for music”

Suzie Stapleton: “Melbourne is one of the best cities in the world for music”

We are facing one of those beautiful stories that music constantly produces at the bottom of the page. Suzie Stapleton had a friend, Daryl Belmonte, who played with Depeche Mode, with whom she now works as a tour manager. “One day, he played my EP ‘Obladi Diablo’ and well, it seems they liked it,” he says over a video call. Three years later, the Australian is the opening act for Depeche Mode’s European tourwhich this week passes through Madrid (March 12 and 14) and Barcelona (16).

“One day, I see that someone named Dave Gahan from New York has subscribed to my newsletter,” says Stapleton. But I think: ”Nothing, it’s impossible, it will be another Dave Gahan.” I have 800 subscribers, so it’s highly unlikely that he’s that person. However, when I released my first album, in 2020, that same Dave buys a vinyl copy and a t-shirt… I still think it’s someone else, but I ask my friend Daryl. And he confirms to me that it is Gahan from Depeche,” laughs Stapleton, who later worked with Gahan and many others on the Jeffrey Lee Pierce Session Project. “The truth is that it is a struggle to maintain self-esteem and energy, but it is not always easy. And for someone like that to like your music is a huge boost,” says Stapleton.

However, as bad luck would have it, that album that Gahan bought, “We Are The Plague” appeared just a few weeks before the great phenomenon of the decade: The Covid pandemic froze the entire world and took away tours and albums. “I had only been able to play those songs live five or six times before that. Then confinement came and I was able to maintain contact with people who liked the album but it is not the same as taking it live,” explains Stapleton. So, four years later, but on a big stage with Depeche Mode, those songs have finally been able to sound like they deserve.

The album condensed his environmental concerns: “I think we face many challenges, that we have amazing technology that we use inefficiently, in the wrong way. And I also believe that there are people trying to fight a good and fair fight, trying to do positive things. I have always been very worried about it and I think I have a little hope. I hope that governments make braver decisions,” he explains.

Stapleton was born in Sydney, but his musical career was forged in Melbourne. “I’ve lived there for 10 years. I left Sydney in 2005 because the city had missed the cultural boat. They had dropped live music and instead Melbourne is one of the best cities not only in Australia, but in the world for music, at the level of Austin (Texas). It’s hard to go out and not hear live music, really, it has an amazing scene. Although Sidney has improved, they tell me.” He later moved to London and from there to Brighton, where he settled and is already working on his second album. “I have about 20 songs. I’m looking forward to releasing them.”

His experience with Depeche Mode has been magnificent. “The response from the people is wonderful and I was afraid, because I read that, in the 80s, the public threw objects at the group’s opening acts. Thank goodness they no longer sell bottles at concerts!…” laughs Stapleton.