born on 8/6/1961 in Nottingham, East Midlands / England, United Kingdom
Andrew Fletcher (musician)
- For other persons named Andrew Fletcher, see Andrew Fletcher
|Birth name||Andrew John Fletcher|
|Also known as||Fletch|
|Born||July 08 1961|
|Genres||Alternative dance, synthpop, new wave|
|Occupations||Musician, Manager, Spokesperson, DJ|
|Instruments||Synthesizer, bass, vocals|
|Labels|| Mute Records
|Associated acts|| Depeche Mode
Fletch had originally played bass in a band with Vince Clarke, but moved on to play synthesizers in the group Composition of Sound with both Clarke and Martin Gore. In 1980, these three musicians formed Depeche Mode with vocalist David Gahan. He is the only member that has never written a song for the band although it is indicated in one interview that he had attempted it in the past.
Fletchers role within Depeche Mode has been a topic of confusion for many fans and a source of amusement for the media, as Rolling Stone writer Gavin Edwards once noted: "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 Andrew Fletcher shows up for photo shoots and cashes the checks."
Fletcher has stated that he plays bass in Depeche Mode; programmed on the synthesizer, in addition to electric bass as played on the Playing the Angel album. He can also be seen playing keyboards live and in rehearsal videos.
With the band never having employed a full-time manager, Fletcher has also concerned himself with many of the band's business, legal, and other non-musical interests over the years.
More recently, this has included acting as the band's "spokesperson", with Fletcher often being the one who announces Depeche Mode news (such as album details for Exciter in 2001, Playing the Angel in 2004 and 2005 and Sounds of the Universe in 2008) to the press.
He is also said to be the member that brings the band together, as he was one of the main factors in helping build a compromise that settled the serious dispute between Gahan and Gore over songwriting duties for Playing the Angel. In one of the scenes in 101, he describes each member's unique role as the following: "Martin's the songwriter, Alan's the good musician, Dave's the vocalist, and I bum around."
Fletcher is often teased by the media and fans for apparently not contributing much to songs. He did play more during the early days and plays much more today. He plays bass for "A Pain That I'm Used To" on Playing the Angel according to the album's producer Ben Hillier, and is seen playing bass for "The Sinner in Me" on his own Fletchcam. He's also seen playing bass in the "bare" rendition videos of Clean and Surrender from the Playing the Angel sessions, seen on the Playing the Angel bonus disc and the Depeche Mode Receiver respectively.
Despite the barracking, Fletcher is said to be an integral component of modern day Depeche, and plays a number of major synthesised chords during live shows, the more complex arrangements being assigned to Peter Gordeno, who has been with the band ever since keyboardist Alan Wilder departed in 1995. When Wilder joined the band in early 1982, Fletcher had begun to take on the role of a manager and in the convening years, his musical input has been limited to contributing generic ideas to preformulated Gore/Gahan songs.
According to the official Depeche Mode biography, Fletch recorded a solo album entitled Toast Hawaii, named after his favourite dish in the studio canteen. It was recorded during the Some Great Reward sessions in 1984. All the songs on the album are cover songs on which he sings lead vocals. The album features Alan Wilder and/or Martin Gore on the piano and the cover photo was taken by Wilder. The "project" was seen as a diversion from serious studio work, and was recorded in a light-hearted fashion. The joke goes that Gore & Wilder presented the album to Mute Records' Daniel Miller and pleaded for him to release it, but Miller declined for obvious reasons. Recordings of the session therefore exist only in rare copies, so it will never likely see the light of day. Fletcher has been criticised for his voice, and is the only member of Depeche Mode who does not sing (except for the interlude "Crucified" on Violator, the four-part harmony at the end of the song "New Life" (singing the root note), the song "Condemnation" where he's said to have sung with Martin and Alan for the background vocals, the high pitched backing vocals in the verse of "Barrel of a Gun" (as well as "whatever, whatever"), and "The Sun and the Rainfall" where he can be heard towards the end of the song singing the "All that I'm saying..." refrain in the right speaker of the mix). Although he is seen singing during live performances, it is usually only heard through his stage monitors.
Toast Hawaii/DJ career
In 2002 Andy Fletcher started his own record label and signed the band Client. However Client are no longer signed to the label and the label seems to be lying dormant currently.
As well as this, he also DJs. Initially most of his DJ gigs came about while on tour with Client, but he went to tour in his own right as a DJ, playing festivals and clubs in Europe and South America. In 2011 he is DJing in Romania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Indonesia, Phillipines, Singapore, China & Korea.
Fletcher has been married to Grainne (an Irish name pronounced 'Grawn-yah') for 17 years and has two children, Megan and Joe. Fletcher's parents are Joy and John. He has three siblings; Susan, Karen and Simon, and is the eldest. Simon currently works as operations manager for Tingdene Homes Ltd in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. He lives in St John's Wood, London.
- Media related to Andrew Fletcher at Wikimedia Commons.
|David Gahan | Martin Gore | Andrew Fletcher|
|Vince Clarke | Alan Wilder|