"You take it for granted that people around you are always going to be there," Gahan recently said about Fletcher, who died of an aortic dissection in May 2022
In an new BBC Radio 6 and BBC Sounds interview with Steve Lamacq this week, band members Dave Gahan and Martin Gore opened up about how it felt to record their first album without Fletcher, six weeks after his death.
Gahan, 60, said the process forced him and Gore, 61, into a reflective headspace. "We lost a friend and someone that we've spent the best part of the last 40-odd years with," he explained. "You take it for granted that people around you are always going to be there."
The vocalist continued, "Everything has changed with regards to what Martin and I are doing together because Fletch is not in this picture now. I don't know how to explain it any different. It's still something that... doesn't feel, to me, quite real."
Gore told the program that making Memento Mori felt like a series of firsts for the two musicians, who'd been creating with Fletcher since the band was formed in 1980.
"We went to the studio together as a duo, basically, obviously working with James Ford and Marta Salogni as producer and engineer, but the two of us, without Andy," he said, with Gahan noting that the first photoshoot they did with longtime collaborator Anton Corbijn felt "very weird" without Fletcher.
The musicians said the album was written before Fletcher's death but recorded afterward. "For myself, when I went back into the studio with Martin and James and Marta, and resung things I'd done guide vocals on after Fletch had passed, and we'd been to London, been to his funeral with his family and friends, that was really hard," said Gahan.
He detailed that returning to the studio was "really strange" at first. "I think it was a tough time. Martin and I didn't talk about it that much, but we knew," added the performer.
"You don't have to [talk] with certain things. When I would sing, it was in my conscience all the time. So, it was right there," continued Gahan. "Anything that's going on in your life, I find, if you really try to get into the song and get into the moment, then the way you feel comes across in your voice. It can be an amazing instrument."
In June 2022, Depeche Mode took to Instagram and shared a sweet note as well as Fletcher's cause of death with fans. "We wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the outpouring of love for Andy that we've seen from all of you over the last few weeks," opened the post's caption. "It's incredible to see all of your photos, to read your words, and to see how much Andy meant to all of you."
"Andy suffered an aortic dissection while at home on May 26. So, even though it was far, far too soon, he passed naturally and without prolonged suffering," they wrote.
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