Andrew Fletcher (musician)

Andrew Fletcher (musician)

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Andrew Fletcher


Img_capt = Live in concert, Touring the Angel, 2006
Landscape =
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = Andrew John Fletcher
Alias = Fletch
Born = birth date and age|1961|07|08
Origin = Nottingham, England
Instrument = Synthesiser, bass
Genre = Synthpop, Dance music, New Wave music
Occupation = Musician
Years_active = 1979–present
Label = Mute Records
Associated_acts = Depeche Mode
URL =
Notable_instruments =

Andrew John Fletcher (known as "Fletch") , is the co-founder and keyboardist of electronic band Depeche Mode.

Career

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. Fletcher has never been a leading musician in the group, but more of a manager, where his strong points lie. He is also 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.

Role

Although it has been a topic of confusion for many fans, Fletcher has stated that he plays bass in Depeche Mode; programmed on the synthesizer, in addition to electric bass as played on the Songs of Faith and Devotion album. He can also be seen playing keyboards live and in rehearsal videos.

Fletcher is also the "spokesperson" of the band, often the one who announces Depeche Mode news, such as album details for "Exciter" in 2001 and "Playing the Angel" in 2004 and 2005, mainly for 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."

Popularity

Fletcher is often teased by the media and fans for not normally contributing musically to Depeche Mode 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 [http://archives.depechemode.com/video/exclusives/fletchcam.html 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 [http://www.dmreceiver.com Depeche Mode Receiver] respectively.

Despite the barracking, Fletcher is said to be an integral component of modern day Depeche, and plays most of the synthesised chords during live shows, the more complex arrangements being assigned to long-term session musicians (and to Alan Wilder between 1982 and 1995). When Alan 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.

Almost solo

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 exists 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 that does not sing (except for the hidden song "Crucified" on "Violator", the four-part harmony at the end of the song "New Life", the song "Condemnation" where he's said to have sung with Martin and Alan for the background vocals 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 recent years, Andy Fletcher has founded a record label, "Toast Hawaii", the same name of his supposed lost album, in order to promote the band Client. In October 2006, [http://www.side-line.com/news_comments.php?id=P17566_0_2_0 Side-Line Magazine] announced that Client had left the Toast Hawaii label which makes the future of the label quite unsure.

As well as this, he also DJs sometimes. Most of his DJ gigs happened, while on tour with Client. His style has been in the standard "Bedroom DJ" format; picking songs and creating a set list; however, some recent internet videos show Fletcher's skills improving, as he experiments beat mixing and sampling, instead of only going from track to track. Many people have argued that his technical DJ skills are at beginner level, but the crowds that he has DJed for have enjoyed the sets that he has done, especially when he plays a Depeche Mode track or anything related to Mute Records. One such event that he DJed was documented in "Andy Fletcher: One Night in Warsaw." As of October 2007, Fletcher is touring clubs in Europe and South America.

Personal life

Fletcher has been married to Grainne (an Irish name pronounced 'Graw-nyuh') for 14 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. He dated English actress Jennifer Saunders for almost a year in the early 1980s. This has been denied by Jennifer Saunders on Parkinson 03/11/2007.

Trivia

*His favourite Depeche Mode song is "World in My Eyes".
*He supports Chelsea FC, though he is not from London.
*Fletch is responsible for the title of documentary on the remastered versions of "Violator" and "Music for the Masses". The titles were taking from phrases that he had said during the interviews.
*A light-hearted parody of Depeche Mode's "Somebody", entitled "Some Valium for Fletch" was released on the internet, and features lyrics alluding to - among several other things - Fletch's breakdown during the Devotional Tour.
*Fletch is often seen smoking on stage and his favourite cigarette brand is Marlboro Light.
*Fletch's voice can be heard on the interlude "Crucified" on "Violator". His only line "Crucified" (and the only line of the song) is distorted. The song plays at the end of "Enjoy the Silence". He also sings prominent backing vocals on "The Sun and the Rainfall" during the final refrains.Fact|date=February 2007
*Has to this day remained close friends with former Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke.

External links


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