Basildon superstars Depeche Mode have hinted that their time as one of the world’s premier rock bands may be drawing to a close.

In an extensive interview with Q Magazine, frontman Dave Gahan, now 55, said: “Look, I’m just a car thief from Basildon who got lucky. But I am very aware of the fact that it’s going to end. Whenever we get onstage together I feel like ‘this is it, I’m done. I’m happy’. But then if Martin (Gore, Depeche Mode’s main songwriter) sends me a few songs in a couple of years, I would probably get pulled back in.”

The group has been together for the best part of 40 years, but now comprise the trio of Gahan, Gore and keyboardist Andy Fletcher.

The departure of former members Vince Clarke, who left in the early Eighties to form Yazoo and Alan Wilder, who left in 1995, could have finished off most bands, but not Depeche Mode, who soldiered on and enjoyed even more stellar success.

Both Gahan and Gore live in the United States with the former living in New York and the latter in Santa Barbara in sun-drenched California, yet neither have forgotten their Essex roots.

In fact Gahan recently took his wife and children back to his home town of Basildon to show them where he used to live. Now a multi-millionaire, he admits it was a surreal experience, adding in the interview with leading music magazine, Q: “I went back to that little house in Basildon with the little bit of grass at the front and I was like how did we all live in that little house?”

Gore has also been contemplating the future. He said: No one can predict the future. We always say we don’t know what’s going to happen.”

In the same interview Fletcher reflected on the early days when the band were still finding their feet as live performers. “It all comes down to Southend and Rayleigh,” he said. “When we had a residency at Crocs in Rayleigh we had an audience on a Saturday night where we had to get them to dance, to react. So we learnt even in the early days how to get audiences going.”

Gore also mentioned the online petition to get the band back at Crocs for a one-off show, but admits he winced when he saw early footage of them performing. But no longer. If Depeche Mode bow out, it will be at their peak.