Depeche Mode has revealed that its founding keyboardist Andy Fletcher died at 60 from an aortic dissection — a tear in the heart.
The band announced the news in a statement on Instagram.
"A couple weeks ago we received the result from the medical examiners, which Andy's family asked us to share with you now," the remaining members, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, wrote. "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."
Gahan and Gore thanked their fans for their messages of condolences, saying: "It's been a strange, sad, disorienting few weeks for us here, to say the least. But we've seen and felt all of your love and support, and we know that Andy's family has too."
The band wrote that they had a "celebration of life" for Fletcher with his family members and close friends last week in London, describing it as "a beautiful ceremony and gathering with a few tears, but filled with the great memories of who Andy was, stories of all of our times together, and some good laughs."
Fletcher was a founding member of Depeche Mode and while he did not contribute to the songwriting, he was still regarded as a key member of the group. He previously described himself in an interview as "the tall guy in the background, without whom this international corporation called Depeche Mode would never work."
"There is this big misunderstanding that in guitar bands real men are working real instruments — evening after evening — while in a synthesizer band like Depeche Mode nobody works, because it's all machines. But that's bulls**t," he said.
"Apart from the singer, the audience doesn't really know which role which musician has within the group," he continued. "But bands like Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode actually work as divisions of labor collectives. The contribution of each individual remains invisible. And because I don't push myself to the fore, many mistake me for the fifth wheel."
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