Depeche Mode keyboardist Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher dead at 60

Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, the co-founder and keyboardist of beloved synth-pop and New Wave faithful Depeche Mode, has died at the age of 60.

Fletcher’s bandmates announced his death Thursday on social media; rolling stone confirmed that the cause of death was a natural cause. “We are shocked and filled with immense sadness at the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” the band said in a statement.

“Fletch had a real heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh or a cold pint.”

Fletcher has been a member of Depeche Mode for over 40 years, since their official formation in 1980 and their debut album in 1981. speak and spell until their last LP, 2017 Mind.

In 2020, Fletcher and his Depeche Mode bandmates – longtime members Dave Gahan and Martin Gore and former members Vince Clarke and Alan Wilder – were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their pioneering role in synth -pop, new wave and electronics. musical movements; the band has also been influential in heavy metal.

“The beauty of using electronics is that music can now be made in your bedroom,” Fletcher said. rolling stone in 1990. “You don’t need four people in a warehouse to practice. You don’t need to have four great musicians fighting each other. You can do it in your room, and it all depends on the ideas.

While Gahan was the band’s frontman and Gore their main songwriter, the band (and Fletcher himself) often joked about Fletch’s role in the band. “Dave is the vocalist, Martin is the songwriter, Alan is the great musician and I’m just hanging out,” he joked in the band’s 1989 documentary. 101co-edited by DA Pennebaker.

Beyond his admittedly ambiguous musical contributions, Fletcher is credited with playing on the band’s 14 studio albums and countless stadium-filled gigs; Fletcher also had the unofficial tie-breaker in case Gore and Gahan came at loggerheads creatively.

“Most of the time we sort of agree with each other,” Fletcher said Rolling Stone France in 2017. “But we also have this golden rule that if Martin, Dave or myself are really against something, we’ll be okay with it. [tiebreaker]… It’s a team thing.

Fletcher also said of his role in shaping the sound of Depeche Mode in a 2009 interview: “Within the band, I bring the pop element. (Gore), who writes most of the songs, loves American blues and country. And Dave discovered jazz on his own. However, I will probably feel eternally faithful to the simple pop melodies and the lightness they represent.

Cure’s Lol Tolhurst tweeted Thursday, “Very sad news today. Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode has died. I knew Andy and considered him a friend. We went through many of the same paths as the younger men. My heart goes out to his family, bandmates and DM fans. RIP Fletch.

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