The Abbey Style Phenomenon: The Death of Andrew Fletcher | NDR.de – Culture – Music

Status: 05/27/2022 4:50 PM

Andrew Fletcher, the founding member and keyboardist of the band Depeche Mode, has passed away at the age of 60. With over 100 million records sold, Depeche Mode is one of the most successful bands ever. What distinguishes the band? analysis.

by Matisse Kopengov

Depeche Mode is – in general – a very peculiar band, in which the history of the band members is almost as important as their music itself. Plastic pop was mocked: They were one of the first bands to appear on stage only with keyboards. Until now, the pop band had to come up with a classical ensemble, such as guitar, bass and drums – on the other hand, Depeche’s style initially focused entirely on simple synthesizers and melodies. Over the years, they’ve managed to break free from initially naive and simple synth songs – like their first song “Just Can’t Get Enough”.

Deira Mode: The Sound Pioneers of the 1980s

From about 1983 and the album “Construction Time Again” Depeche Mode incorporated samples into their band’s sound: they made songs out of noise. Table tennis balls, crowd plaza in Berlin – Depeche put make their songs out of these excerpts. But even later, with singles like “World In My Eyes,” they were influential to other pop musicians, as well as to all kinds of electronic music like Detroit techno.

Leading band for many other musicians

To this day, many see them as a classic ’80s pop band – which is a mistake. With the album “Violator” in the ’90s at the latest, Depeche Mode has grown into a stadium rock band — and that’s with pop music. With albums like “Songs Of Faith And Devotion” or “Ultra”, they became – in their own way – a rock band themselves. So they affected not only electronic bands, but also rock bands – eg alternative greats like The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins.

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Andy “Fletch” Fletcher died Thursday at the age of 60. The English band confirmed this on Twitter yesterday. more

Tensions within the monastery setting

The history of the band members is almost as important as their music: after the departure of sound inventor Alan Wilder, Depeche Mode was the last of the trio officially; Directly supported by other musicians, but the band revolves around singer and lead Dave Gahan, songwriter and mastermind Martin Gore and keyboardist Andrew Fletcher. Since the band’s inception in 1980 there have always been tensions in the band. Gahan is one of the world’s best-known personalities, but he’s also a terrible kid and almost didn’t survive the ’90s with his drug addiction. On the other hand, Martin Gore was a shy songwriter who struggled with alcoholism until the early 2000s. His childhood friend Andrew Fletcher was very important to him: as his mouthpiece, but also as a go-between within the band. Fletcher himself suffered a nervous breakdown and depression in the 1990s. Fletcher has often been accused of not contributing much to the music of Depeche Mode; But thanks in part to that, the band has been able to carry on to this day.

Band: sensitive build

It is said that the band members are not necessarily best friends. It’s more like a group of people getting together every few years, setting a record, and then pitching to millions of people. But I think in recent years there has been some moderation in age, at the latest in 2020 with the joining of the “Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame”. They have weathered hard times and become one of the most successful bands ever. With its members Gahan, Gore and Flechter, Depeche Mode is a band with faces before your eyes. Optics also played a major role, with photographer Anton Corbjen playing a major role: what started out as a very pale troupe, climbed on stage in slippers, tennis socks and, with questionable blonde lighting, became mature and brilliant in men. Leather jackets, both in band photos and in music videos.

Fans celebrate their heroes

Depeche Mode is one of the last big stadium bands – their concerts are big events. Depeche Mode party also has a bit of a carnival feel: at least in the front rows, you often see Dave Gahan look-a-like or Martin Gore pairing. At least these two types are also ideal as models of style; Gahan with his square sleeve, Martin Gore with blonde curls. In general, leather jackets and black color are very popular at these events. This is often taken to the extreme in this country at Depeche Mode parties: there you can hear almost exclusive songs from the band, perhaps the 80s-90s wave of change. Items in the program such as “Dave Dancing” competitions, where people happily compete to “dance” as realistically as possible, the items in the program look a bit strange. It’s weird and a little unsettling as an outsider, but it’s also fun as a fan.

Now, with Andrew Fletcher, a very important part of the band is gone. It is difficult to predict the future of the Depeche pattern. Musically, it could go on, but with Andrew Fletcher, an important, often underestimated, column is missing in the band.

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Culture NDR | daily conversation | 05/27/2022 | 4:45 pm

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