Erasure isn’t the kind of band that gets referenced in “I Love the ’80s” specials. The duo doesn’t traffic in nostalgia, doesn’t live off of what Manic Street Preachers once called “newspaper cuttings of [its] glory days,” and it isn’t regularly featured on magazine covers or heard on the radio.
Instead, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have simply gone about their work, with 16 albums since 1986, including this year’s “The Violet Flame.” And that work is having its moment now, with bands like Bleachers and Chvrches owing more than a bit of their success to the synthpop path created, in part, by Erasure over the last quarter-century.
Bell took time out of his schedule to speak with amNewYork in advance of the band’s two-night stand at Terminal 5:
You two could have been cashing in on nostalgic, play-the-hits tours for years now. What inspires you to keep creating new songs?
As a band, we’re not interested in nostalgia. We’re always looking forward to the next thing. And also, we’ve never really stopped. We’ve kept going the entire time, so it’s always a work-in-progress. ? Of course you have to play some tracks that people know when they come to see you, which we do, but we’ve include brand new versions of some of the older songs, like 12-inch remixes.
You’ve had a rough few years lately, with the death of your partner in 2012. Was getting back to creating music therapeutic, or did you have to heal before going to the studio?
I think it all goes hand-in-hand. I was very fortunate, I met a new partner toward the end of Paul’s life and he was so helpful during that time. When you lose someone so close to you — he was my manager as well, and sort of a father figure — it’s heartbreaking. I’ve never cried such like a wild animal, you know? Everything takes time. ? That’s why we called it “The Violet Flame.” It’s standing there and opening your hands and throwing them out into the universe.
New Year’s Eve – fun, or overrated?
It’s a tricky situation. I’ve had quite a few maudlin times on New Year’s Eve, and I always hate feeling obliged to have a good time. If I want to have a good time, I’ll have a good time.
IF YOU GO: Erasure performs at Terminal 5 tomorrowTuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 8:30 p.m., 610 W 56th St., 212-582-6600, $58.80.