Andy Fletcher, one of many founding members of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Depeche Mode, has died. The “untimely passing” was introduced over the band’s social accounts, with the group stating that they’re “shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness” at their bandmate’s demise. He was 60 years previous.
Fletcher, typically referred to throughout the band and by followers as “Fletch,” was one of all three constant members of the chart-topping synth-rock group since their 1980 formation. While the artistic core of Depeche Mode for many of their profession has been major songwriter Martin Gore and frontman Dave Gahan, Fletcher has served as an extra utility participant for the group through the years, filling in on bass and synth duties as wanted (notably dwell).
Fletcher additionally shouldered a great deal of the band’s enterprise and authorized duties, with the band having no official supervisor till Jonathan Kessler formally signed on with them in 1994. After the departure of guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Alan Wilder in 1995 lowered Depeche Mode to a trio, Fletcher additionally took on elevated significance as a middleman and in effect tie-breaking vote between Gore and Gahan.
Still, with no official instrumental designation throughout the band, and with no songwriting credit on any of their albums, Fletcher’s precise position in Depeche Mode was typically speculated about (a half-hour YouTube video referred to as “Just what exactly does Fletch do?” has over 143,000 views) and infrequently derided. Fletch himself performed into the joke through the years, saying in 1989’s 101 documentaries that “Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist… and I bum around.”
Fletcher, Gore, Gahan, and unique songwriter and keyboardist Vince Clarke fashioned Depeche Mode in (*60*), England in 1980, with Clarke leaving after the primary album and being changed by Wilder. The group rapidly grew to become one of many defining acts of the synth-pop period, with effervescent U.Ok. hits “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “See You” and “Dreaming of Me,” earlier than taking a darker flip following Clarke’s departure and ultimately conquering the American underground with harder-edged and extra provocatively themed singles like “People Are People,” “Blasphemous Rumors” and “Strangelove.”
The group’s 1990 blockbuster Violator, and accompanying worldwide crossover smashes “Personal Jesus” and “Enjoy the Silence” (the latter the group’s lone Billboard Hot 100 high 10 hits, peaking at No. 8), confirmed Depeche Mode as one of many greatest international acts of the pre-grunge alt-rock period. Their 1993 follow-up Songs of Faith and Devotion debuted atop each of the Billboard 200 albums chart and the U.Ok.’s Official Charts, and the group has hit the highest 10 on each listing with every of their six LP releases since most lately 2017’s Spirit. They have remained a high dwell draw, enjoying arenas and stadiums worldwide to this present day, and an oft-cited effect on bands from genres starting from alt-pop to industrial to nu-metal. In 2020, they had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In addition to his work in Depeche Mode, Fletcher briefly ran an imprint of storied British indie label Mute Records referred to as Toast Hawaii, signing electro-pop duo Client. He additionally hung out as a restauranteur, opening the Gascogne restaurant in London’s St. John’s Wood district within the ’90s, and did some aspect performing as a DJ, touring briefly within the mid-’10s.
“Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint,” the band’s assertion saying his passing continues. “Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time.” See the whole assertion under.