Depeche Mode's dark, brooding synth-driven songs propelled them out of college radio and onto the pop charts in the '80s. But for all the sonic differences, they don't see that much difference between themselves and Metallica. At least that's what frontman Dave Gahan said in a new interview.

"Metallica are a heavy-sounding band, but they write pop songs," he told Rolling Stone. "They've got their dark moments, just like Depeche Mode have, but deep in there is a tune with a catchy chorus or a pop arrangement."

Gahan was talking about how some metal bands have claimed Depeche Mode as an influence, which he says is "flattering," even if he suggested that he doesn't necessarily hear it. "Certainly bands like Metallica, Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins," he continued, "though I wouldn't necessarily call those metal bands, but Metallica really do their own thing and always have."

Still, the singer acknowledged that he's a fan of Rage Against the Machine and Tool, the latter of which he got to know quite well when he was living in Los Angeles at the time when they were just getting their start. But it was Metallica, whom he has met only once -- at an Indian restaurant in London -- that he praised the most, not just for their song craft but also for the way they've managed their career.

"They've been through a lot," he said. "Through it all, you stay together, because at the end of the day, it's the music."

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