Pop Quiz: Andy Fletcher Of Depeche Mode
By Aidin Vaziri ~
Even for a band that’s come to expect disaster, this has been a particularly rough year for Depeche Mode. Within days of setting off on a world tour in support of its album ‘Sounds Of The Universe’, the long-running British group was sidelined when singer Dave Gahan took a few days off to get a cancerous tumor removed – and then a couple more after he injured his leg in Spain. But Depeche Mode remains undaunted. Barring any further ER visits, the band will bring more than 30 years of delightful wrist-slashing electronic hits to Shoreline Amphitheatre on Wednesday. We checked in with keyboardist Andy Fletcher during the group’s stop in New York.
Q: Do you ever feel bad standing in the back pushing buttons while Dave Gahan is out there risking life and limb?
A: You can’t exert much effort behind a keyboard, unfortunately. It’s not the most rock and roll of instruments. And you can’t have every single member of the band be going out there going crazy. A band is made up of different individuals. I like my backroom job and certainly wouldn’t like to be in Dave’s position. Definitely not. If you’ve seen my dancing moves you wouldn’t want me to be in Dave’s position.
Q: On this tour, Dave has had a cancerous tumor removed and seriously injured his leg. Why are you still on the road?
A: It’s been an amazing tour, really. In some ways, certainly in Europe, it’s been our most successful tour ever. But it’s been our most calamitous as well. The great thing is we’re up and running. Dave in particular has shown a lot of competitive spirit, you might say, to carry on the way he’s doing.
Q: Most bands would have retreated to their private islands by now.
A: Well, the thought would have been if the bladder cancer prognosis was different but actually you couldn’t get a better prognosis. It was caught very early and it was low grade. It was just a question of zapping it out.
Q: So what you’re saying is, that for a guy who was once declared clinically dead, this was really nothing.
A: I said to Dave to other day, “I can’t wait for your autobiography.” It’s quite a story developing.
Q: It’s possible that some of the accidents are a direct result of getting distracted by Martin Gore’s ridiculous outfits. Have you ever suggested that he tone it down with the leather skirts and silver suits?
A: I’ve given him lots of suggestions over the years like, “You can’t do that,” or, “You can’t wear that.” He’s in his own world in regards to that. If you look at the three members, we haven’t actually done it on purpose, I’m more the straight man in the back and everyone can look at and think, “I could be him.” And then you’ve got Martin dressing in skirts and silver and looking sometimes quite feminine. And you’ve got the macho singer. So it’s evolved into that and I think it’s a good setup.
Q: Have you managed to keep out of harm’s way?
A: Actually on the first gig of the tour in Israel, I had the first bit of bad news: My father died. So it’s been calamitous for me as well. The good thing is we’ve been putting in some great performances. I would say Paris and Milan on this tour were our best-ever gigs. So there’s been some high points.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle