Andrew John Leonard Fletcher (8 July 1961 – 26 May 2022) DM

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Andrew John Leonard Fletcher (8 July 1961 – 26 May 2022), sometimes known as Fletch, was an English keyboard player, DJ and a founding member of the electronic band Depeche Mode. In 2020, Fletcher was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Depeche Mode.[1]

Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence (Extended)🌹 In Memory of Andrew Fletcher “Fletch” | Remix 2022
we will miss you so much brother <3

In the late 1970s, Fletcher and schoolmate Vince Clarke formed the short-lived band No Romance in China, in which Fletcher played bass guitar. In 1980, Fletcher met Martin Gore at the Van Gogh pub on Paycocke Road in Basildon. With Clarke, the trio, now all on synthesizer, formed another group called Composition of Sound.[2] Clarke served as chief songwriter and also provided lead vocals until singer Dave Gahan was recruited into the band later that year, after which they adopted the name Depeche Mode at Gahan’s suggestion.[3] Clarke left the group in late 1981, shortly after the release of their debut album Speak & Spell.[2]

Their 1982 follow-up album, A Broken Frame, was recorded as a trio, with Gore taking over primary songwriting duties.[4] Musician and producer Alan Wilder joined the band in late 1982 and the group continued as a quartet until Wilder’s departure in 1995. Since then, the core trio of Gahan, Gore and Fletcher have remained active, most recently with the release of their 2017 album Spirit and ensuing world tour.[5]

Andrew Fletcher’s role in Depeche Mode has often been misunderstood and sometimes undervalued. In this video, we discuss Fletch’s role within the band and also look at some of the keyboard parts which he plays in the live performances.

Role[edit]

Depeche Mode – The Story of 101 Documentary (BBC2 1989)

Fletcher’s role within Depeche Mode has often been a topic of speculation. In early incarnations of the band, he played (electric and later synth) bass. As the band evolved after Vince Clarke‘s departure in 1981, Fletcher’s role changed as each of the band members took to the areas that suited them and benefited the band collectively. In a key scene in D.A. Pennebaker‘s 1989 documentary film about the band, Fletcher clarifies these roles: “Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum around.” In his review of 2005’s Playing the Angel, long after Wilder’s departure from the band, Rolling Stone writer Gavin Edwards riffed upon Fletcher’s statement with the opening line: “Depeche Mode’s unique division of labor has been long established, with each of the three remaining members having a distinct role: Martin Gore writes the songs, Dave Gahan sings them and Andy Fletcher shows up for photo shoots and cashes the checks.”[6] Fletcher is the only member of the band who has not received a songwriting credit.

With the band having not always employed a full-time manager, Fletcher has handled many of the band’s business, legal, and other non-musical interests over the years.[7] In the press kit for Songs of Faith and Devotion,[8] he discussed being genuinely interested in many of the business aspects of the music industry that other performing musicians shy away from, and as such, he took over a lot of the business management aspects of the band. In recent years, this has included acting as the band’s “spokesperson”, with Fletcher often being the one to announce Depeche Mode news (such as record album and tour details).

He was also said to be the member who was “the tiebreaker” and the one that “brings the band together”. According to interviews, Fletcher built the compromise between Gahan and Gore that settled their serious dispute following 2001’s Exciter album and tour over future songwriting duties within Depeche Mode.[9]

In the studio and during live shows, Fletcher does contribute a variety of supporting synthesizer parts, including bass parts, padsstrings and drone sounds, and various samples.

However, he is notably the only member of Depeche Mode who does not sing. Although he can be seen singing in videos of Depeche’s past live performances, usually Fletcher’s vocals were either mixed very low or heard only through his own stage monitors.[10] From the band’s 2013/14 Delta Machine Tour, vocal mics are no longer present on his keyboard station.

He notably sings on the interlude “Crucified” on Violator. According to Alan Wilder, every band member participated in the choir on the song “Condemnation” from Songs of Faith and Devotion and Wilder confirms this on the press kit of the same album.[8]

Depeche Mode FILM’s

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