Co-founder, synth player and the glue that holds British band Depeche Mode together, 49-year-old Andrew Fletcher is heading to Dubai next week for his first DJ set in the city. He’ll be playing Trilogy on March 11, in between planned stops in South Korea and Bahrain. We caught up with him to discover a few little-known facts.
He thinks Depeche Mode’s 30-year success story is pretty unique.
‘I don’t think it’s been a classic period for pop music. I feel British pop music has really disappointed over the past decade. There was a time in the early ’80s when eight of the top 10 records in America were all British. Now it’s hard to find one British act at all in the American Top 200.’
He thinks it’s unlikely any X Factor or American Idol winners will ever see similar success.
‘To be honest, I don’t really think those shows are designed for that anyway. I think they’re designed for someone to be famous for a year. We come from the real, traditional background, you know, forming at school, playing youth clubs, playing pubs, and doing it the old way.’
They played some strange gigs when they were starting out, but at least managed to get some material out of it.
‘We played one gig really early in our career, where half the PA was in one room and the other half was in another. It was two different stages, so we had to have half the band on one half of this stage set-up and the other half on the other. It was in Luxembourg, and I remember it distinctly because our bus broke down, and we were in this small town for about four days. We actually wrote a song about it, called ‘Oberkorn (It’s a Small Town)’.’
When he’s on the road, the last thing he wants to listen to is electronic music.
‘When I’m touring, I’m just really fed up of music, to be honest, because I’m playing music all night. I might just play some classical music in my room, or something to chill out to. Something different from what I’m expected to. With the DJing, I’m listening to loads of stuff every day, because obviously I’m trying to get the latest mixes, the best mixes, because I like to come across as being quite current. But there are worse jobs than sitting in front of your computer listening to loads of music!’
He’s already familiar with Dubai’s sightseeing trail.
‘I was on holiday in Dubai a couple of years ago. We did the usual tourist thing: the safari on the jeeps, the camel racing, horse racing, went to the beach, had hubbly bubbly, or whatever you call it.’
He isn’t sure what type of crowd he’ll draw to Trilogy.
‘Dubai seems to have people of every nationality, so I’m very interested in coming over to DJ. I really don’t know what to expect or what kind of crowd I’m going to be getting.’
Nevertheless, he already has his set planned.
‘It’s going to be the best of electronic dance music over the past couple of years. I’m going to be putting some brand new Depeche Mode remixes in there, which should interest people, because we have a remix album out in about six weeks, so there will be lots of goodies!’
Andrew Fletcher DJs at Trilogy on March 11.