Depeche Mode can move pretty slowly at times -- it's been three years since they released their last album, after all -- but now that they've gotten down to business with their next record, things seem to be coming together with a quickness. To hear singer Dave Gahan tell it, the band should have a new album recorded and ready before 2012 is over.

Gahan opened up to Spin about the sessions, saying the band has "probably got 20 songs demoed." He went on, "Some of the songs are in really good shape, some need some work, but we're definitely on track."

But all that songwriting activity doesn't mean Depeche is treating the album as an open-ended project. "We have a deadline of the end of November, and there's no reason why we won't meet that at the rate we're going," Gahan divulged, adding that "There are already plans in place to be touring next year."

One reason for all this smooth sailing is the involvement of producer Christoffer Berg, who's working alongside veteran Mode producer Ben Hillier. "He's a great musician and has a lot of fantastic ideas," enthused Gahan. "He's not afraid to stand up and say, 'I got an idea.' I like that. It's quite intimidating working with a band like ours because you have certain expectations of how it is. A lot are true and some aren't. Martin [Gore] and I are open to other people's ideas."

In the meantime, Depeche Mode fans can content themselves with a flurry of recent activity from band members, including Martin Gore's duo project with former DM member Vince Clarke, VCMG, and Gahan's contributions to the Soulsavers' new release, 'The Light the Dead See,' due in late May.