Depeche Mode reflect on life after losing Andy Fletcher
The history of Depeche Mode has, at various times, been one of change. Finding almost instant success with 1981’s Speak & Spell, the nascent stars were soon reduced to three after Vince Clarke departed to form Yazoo. Instead of faltering after the loss of their main songwriter, the group rallied around Martin Gore’s melancholic songwriting and Gahan’s distinctive brooding baritone to become one of the biggest groups in the world. Now, over 40 years on and suddenly without the glue that so often held them together, Depeche Mode must once again adjust as they look to continue their celebrated career after the tragic passing of Andy Fletcher.
More than just a world class keyboard player, Fletch, as he was frequently called, was the calm amid the storm that was the rest of the band. Gahan, in a recent interview with NME, noted,
“Fletch was probably… let’s just say, the least of all of us in terms of excesses. That was always the knowing joke – that Fletch was going to outlive all of us. ‘He’s still here, isn’t he?’ Now he’s not, and it still doesn’t feel real.”
The band are currently gearing up for the release of their 15th studio album, Memento Mori. The title, Latin for “remember you must die”, appears to be a cathartic tribute to their late friend and band mate. As Gore would explain to NME,
“It’s a reminder to make the most of life and make the most of each day.”
The record will be out on March 24th, with a world tour featuring over 40 dates in North America alone set to accompany it, beginning the day before with a show at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
This isn’t the first time Depeche Mode have had to pivot- here’s hoping the new chapter is just as good as the years they enjoyed with Fletcher.
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Image credit: Anton Corbijn