- 24 Apr 17
Booze! Drugs! Lesbian strippers! One of the biggest rock bands on the planet, Essex synth warriors DEPECHE MODE also used to be amongst the most hedonistic. But on the release of their 14th studio album, Spirit, founding member Andrew ‘Fletch’ Fletcher tells a truly gutted OLAF TYARANSEN that their decadent days are long behind them...
“We’re not celebrities,” declares Andrew Fletcher of Depeche Mode, speaking in a strong Sarf London accent. “We lead totally normal lives. We can go the cinema, go the pubs. We very seldom get recognised by people, but when they do they’re always very nice. People know the name Depeche Mode, but the average person on the street doesn’t know what a member of Depeche Mode looks like. It’s a great situation.”
Casually dressed in a black sweatshirt, blue jeans and trainers, the bespectacled, sandy-haired and charmingly laid back Fletcher – better known to millions of DM fans as ‘Fletch’ – probably isn’t exaggerating their capacity for anonymity. Or his own, at least. We might be meeting in a luxury suite in Brown’s Hotel, an exclusive five-star establishment deep in the heart of Mayfair, but the 55-year-old keyboardist/bassist looks as though he’d be far more at home supping pints of lager in a quiet corner of a child-friendly Essex pub. Nothing about him even remotely whispers ‘rock star’.
However innocuous he looks, though, the reality is that Fletch is a founding member of one of the world’s biggest rock bands. Since first forming in their native Basildon in 1981, synth warriors Depeche Mode – currently a trio with Dave Gahan and Martin Gore – have sold well over 100 million studio albums in their lengthy career. We’re meeting on this balmy London afternoon to discuss their 14th studio release, Spirit, but we’ll get around to that shortly.