While there are not enough words to describe how our hearts are broken by the tragic passing of Andrew “Fletch” Fletcher of Depeche Mode, we are saddened to report the news of his death, which arrived earlier today via Depeche Mode’s social media.

The origin story of Depeche Mode begins with Andrew Fletcher and Vince Clark under the band name No Romance in China in 1977 while they attended school in Basildon, UK. In 1980, the duo formed Composition of Sound and, with their newfound interest in synthesizers, recruited Martin Gore and, finally, vocalist Dave Gahan. Thus, Depeche Mode began and were soon taken under the wing of Daniel Miller and his label, Mute. Their first album, Speak & Spell was released in October of 1981—a true exemplary album of synthpop’s earliest stages. Once Clark left the band to form Yazoo (and later Erasure), the arrival of Alan Wilder and the songwriting of Gore welcomed a new era of Depeche Mode: one that was melancholy, mysterious and completely captivating.

Throughout the 1980s, Depeche Mode grew to be one of the most popular synth bands of all time and one of the most visually provocative with the help of Anton Corbijn from 1986’s “A Question of Time” video and onwards. Singles such as “Strangelove” and “Enjoy the Silence” are revered around the world as some of the most powerful music ever written. Once Wilder left the band in 1994 after Songs of Faith and Devotion, Depeche Mode remained as a trio and found additional success with 1998’s Ultra and 2005’s Playing the Angel. Their last and, assumingly final, album, Spirit, was released in 2017. Rumors had been spreading about the band returning to the studio for another album in the next year.

Fletch worked on all 14 studio albums and had remained a consistent member of the band alongside Gore and Gahan (except the two months Fletch had to take a break from the “Devotional” tour in 1994 due to depression issues). Known as the glue that kept it all together and as the “businessman,” Fletch was an essential member of the band, an irreplaceable piece of the Depeche Mode alchemy for over forty years. Depeche Mode’s fanbase (known as “devotees”) remains as some of the most loyal and we are mourning this tragic loss today and forever.

Rest in peace, Fletch.

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