Keith Urban Inspired by Electronic Music of Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk

“Us and the Machines Can Operate Together," He Says

All that’s required to take me back to the ’80s is Keith Urban sharing his thoughts on the electronic music of my teenage years.

“The music is the first thing I think of when I think of the ’80s — the early integration of machinery, in the form of drum machines and sort of roboticism into music and the fusing of all that,” Urban, the son of a drummer, told during a recent red carpet interview.

He says bands like Depeche Mode (“Enjoy the Silence,” “People Are People,” “Everything Counts”) piqued his interest with the way they were using drum machines back then.

“There should be an art in the buttons that you’re pressing to make music,” he said. “You know, Kraftwerk was so ahead of their time in that regard. There’s a way to make that musical, the pressing of buttons — the work that Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor did on the soundtrack to The Social Network that’s an art form when it is done right.”

And while his current single, the waltzy “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” would hardly fit into the category of “Songs Inspired by ’80s Electronic Music,” Urban has been experimenting with drum loops since his 2002 “Somebody Like You.”

“I’m drawn to all of it, to the idea of how us and the machines can operate together,” he said. “We have to get along. It’s imperative.”