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Andy Fletcher
Andy Fletcher t.jpg
Fletcher in 2006
Background information
Birth name Andrew John Leonard Fletcher
Also known as Fletch
Born (1961-07-08)8 July 1961
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England
Origin Basildon, Essex, England
Died 26 May 2022(2022-05-26) (aged 60)
United Kingdom
  • Musician
  • manager
  • spokesperson
  • DJ
  • Synthesizer
  • keyboards
  • bass
  • sampler
Years active 1977–2022
  • Mute Records
  • Toast Hawaii
Associated acts

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

Early life

Fletcher was the eldest of four siblings born to Joy and John Fletcher. The family moved to Basildon from Nottingham when he was two years old. He was active in the local Boys' Brigade from an early age, primarily to play football.


Depeche Mode

Fletcher was 15 in 1976 when punk rock arrived on the music scene. He said this was "obviously the perfect age to experience it … we were very lucky in life". He was then influenced by bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure, Kraftwerk, early Human League, and early OMD. 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. 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. (Clarke left the group in late 1981, shortly after the release of their debut album Speak & Spell.)

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


Fletcher's role within Depeche Mode was often 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 clarified 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." Fletcher was the only member of the band who did not receive a songwriting credit.

With the band having not always employed a full-time manager, Fletcher handled many of the band's business, legal, and other non-musical interests over the years. In the press kit for Songs of Faith and Devotion, 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 later years, this 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.

In the studio and during live shows, Fletcher contributed a variety of supporting synthesizer parts, including bass parts, pads, strings, and drone sounds, and various samples.

Fletcher was the only member of Depeche Mode who did 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. From the band's 2013/14 Delta Machine Tour onwards, he no longer had a vocal mic at keyboard station.

Fletcher sang 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.

Toast Hawaii

In 2002, Fletcher launched his own record label, a Mute Records imprint called Toast Hawaii (named after the dish), and signed the band CLIEИT. He coordinated the recording of their eponymous 2003 debut and 2004's City, while also produced "extended remixes" for their subsequent singles "Price of Love", "Rock and Roll Machine", "Here and Now", and "In It for the Money", "Radio".

CLIEИT left the label in 2006 and no further activity with Toast Hawaii was held or announced.

DJ career

Initially to support CLIEИT's live shows, Fletcher began touring as a DJ. Whenever he was on hiatus from Depeche Mode, Fletcher played occasional festivals and club gigs in Europe, Asia, South America, and "places where Depeche Mode haven't visited or been able to visit", and was known to include various exclusive Depeche remixes in his sets. A DJ set of Fletcher's from 15 February 2004 in Warsaw has been widely bootlegged, titled One Night in Warsaw.

In late 2015, Fletcher embarked on a small tour of European clubs.

Personal life

Fletcher was married to Gráinne Fletcher (née Mullan) for almost 30 years. The couple had two children.

While Depeche Mode were touring with the band Blancmange in the early 1980s, Fletcher was renowned for his skill at chess. Neil Arthur of Blancmange has mentioned in interviews "never winning a game of chess with Andy Fletcher!" During the 1990s, Fletcher owned a restaurant called Gascogne located on Blenheim Terrace in St. John's Wood, London. He made a series of bad investments in the mid-1990s that led to a number of financial settlements involving Lloyd's of London and Daniel Miller.

Writing about the 1994 Faith and Devotion tour, Glyn Brown of The Independent said: "... an epic 180-show affair, became the definition of hell. Depeche Mode – down to Gore, Gahan and Andrew Fletcher – were barely on speaking terms, using separate limos and dressing rooms. The smack-blasted vocalist required cortisone shots just to perform, borderline alcoholic Gore suffered two stress-induced seizures, and Andrew Fletcher's deepening depression resulted, in the summer of 1994, in a full nervous breakdown."


Fletcher died from natural causes at his home on 26 May 2022, aged 60.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Andrew Fletcher para niños

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