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Our interview with Andy Fletcher (December 2003)

Last updated 06.02.04

As we informed you earlier, legendary Andy Fletcher and his project Client visited Moscow in December 2003 to take part in 50th Anniversary Playboy Party. We did an interview with Andy in hotel «Ukraine».

Alex and Andy Fletcher

ALEX: Why did you start your own label, what idea moved you?

ANDY: I think it’s just the same, I think that much of it is like the chicken and the egg. Actually, it’s what came first is what made me start the label is that I’ve found this band Client. I really like their rocket songs. And so I had to decide what I was going to do with them. And I decided to form a label. So it was that I formed the label and then signed Client.

ALEX: Do you have any plans to sign other artists as well?

ANDY: I do have plans, but I could have the problem next year. Because, it’s coming the new Client album, then DJing, and also the Depeche album starts in April. So, the Depeche album and the following year is a tour, so the next two years I’ll be very very busy. So it will be very difficult to sign more artists, when I’m so busy, you know. When I sign an artist I am involved, and if I’m doing another things I can’t be involved.

ALEX: I heard that Toast Hawaii was your solo project in the past, and now you called your own record label as Toast Hawaii… your reason to choose this title?

ANDY: The Toast Hawaii is a German food, for cheese, ham and pine apple on a toast. When we were recording in Hansa Tonstudios in Berlin in the 80-s, there really was a restaurant underneath, and we used to have every day this Toast Hawaii.

ALEX: He-he, so the title is close linked to another kind of your business - restaraunt in London?

ANDY: Not now. I sold it last year. But I had it, yes.

Alex and Andy Fletcher

ALEX: You left this business?

ANDY: For a couple of years. It’s a very tough business. It’s harder than making records. Every day there is a disaster.

ALEX: So you concentrated on music?

ANDY: Yes, at the moment. I may open a restaurant in a couple of years. But I’ve got too much to do.

ALEX: As I know you're often doing DJing before Client performances. What music you play, it's very interesting?

ANDY: What I play? In my early sets I play more modern electro music, with a few our ones, and my second set is more classic electro, you know, Yazoo, Depeche, Donna Summer. Really, so, classic electro pop.

ALEX: They are your favorite artists?

ANDY: My favorite type of music to dance to is the 70-s disco, but it doesn’t really go down with Client and the Client crowd. Maybe one day I’ll get to DJ 70s.

Andy Fletcher

ALEX: Maybe you ever had an idea to play keyboards with Client girls?

ANDY: I thought about that. I was not to play keyboards, if I did I would have played bass, bass guitar. It’s too obvious to play keyboards, I would have played bass. I’m doing DJing now, it’s also good for them to develop as their own, you know.

ALEX: Today your band will play on Playboy Party. Your feelings?

ANDY: It’s strange. You don’t know what to expect. At the moment I throw a challenge myself, and do the things I normally wouldn’t do with Depeche. It’s quite funny. It should be good and interesting.

ALEX: Could we talk about Depeche?

ANDY: Yes.

ALEX: As I know, you and band had to meet together, I heard about November… but you had no meeting in November, yeah?

ANDY: We’re going to meet somewhere in the end of January. Martin is writing songs now. I went to see him a couple of weeks ago in California. The idea is pretty definite, it starts in March or April.

Andy Fletcher

ALEX: People here, not only Depeche Mode fans, were very sad when they heard some words from Dave about his solo album, about his solo work, he said something strange about Depeche…

ANDY: Dave always tricks, interview is a kind of therapy things for him. What Dave says and what Dave thinks it is two different things.

ALEX: He changed his mind or not?

ANDY: No, he always talks and talks and talks, and journalists are always waiting. There is an English expression – His bark is always worse then his bite. He always talks a lot in his interviews.

ALEX: Big mouth? [smile]

ANDY: Yeah [laugh]

ALEX: By the way, recently I watched last DVD from Depeche Mode, 101, it has fresh interviews with all band members except Alan Wilder. Why?

ANDY: He didn’t want to. Noone really sees Alan. Alan lives like hermit, he lives in countryside, very far from London.

Andy Fletcher

ALEX: When you saw him for a last time?

ANDY: The last time I saw him was at the Mute Christmas Party two years ago. He went to see Dave Gahan’s concert at Hammersmith Apollo. And it was the first time Dave saw him for 3 – 4 years. Just no one sees him, no any friends or anyone, you know no one sees him, Daniel Miller doesn’t see him. He is very strange, you know.

ALEX: Returning to Client, when did you meet them?

ANDY: Well, they did some shows under the different name, Technique, in Germany. And they came to Russia as Technique. Sarah wrote some lyrics and met me. And Kate lives right opposite me in London. So we just met in the pub, you know, talking, it’s very easy.

ALEX: I very like them, I saw them in Moscow and St. Petersburg. I’m and my wife stood in front row, and everybody shouted them “Fuck you! We want Depeche Mode!”, but we really enjoyed them.

ANDY: That is always the case. The problem with any support band is they all want to see Depeche Mode, you know. They were lucky, because some bands, Miranda Sex Garden, bags of shits were thrown to them, things like these [laugh]

ALEX: Did you ever visit Russia without Depeche Mode?

ANDY: No. It’s first time [smile]

Alex and Andy Fletcher

ALEX: And first in winter [smile]

ANDY: Yeah. It’s quite cold. It’s not cold in England. I don’t mind cold weather. I put some coats and things like that.

ALEX: By the way, your feelings about Russia?

ANDY: It’s very interesting. When I was a child, in school we studied Russian politics. So I am very interested in the politics in Russia, in the people. I’m very interested.

ALEX: Do you have any ideas about your own solo album, as musician?

ANDY: With Client I work on the songs, I work in the studio with them, I produce, I do everything. So in some ways it is my solo album as well.

ALEX: As I know, it’s very difficult to find Client’s album in music stores, not only here…

ANDY: We’re a new band. As it’ll get more popular, it’ll be easier.

Andy Fletcher

ALEX: It could be found only in very specialized sections…

ANDY: Between Dubstar records [laugh]

ALEX: It sounds quite like retro electronics…

ANDY: In next year we’ll take it on another level, with another album.

ALEX: Please tell something about next year’s album?

ANDY: We have already started, we are already writing the songs. We’re going to have a single or an EP in March or April and the new album next September.

ALEX: It was your idea to hide their faces, on promo photographs?

ANDY: It was not my idea. We just fed up with current pop. Women in pop, it’s always sexy, it always depends on if they are pretty or not, or whatever. We think to do the opposite, we do making a mystery.

Alex and Andy Fletcher

ALEX: Now they are opening their faces…

ANDY: Yeah [laugh]

ALEX: It’s happened like you’re planned or not?

ANDY: Increased interest, Dubstar and the things like that, it was easy to discover them, you know.

ALEX: In case of Depeche, what we could to expect from them in next year?

ANDY: A really good album. I’ve heard some of the songs already, and it’s very good, we just need to record a good album. So maybe the tour will be the year after.

ALEX: It will be more electronic, or more rocky?

ANDY: Don’t know yet. Depends on the songs.

Alex and Andy Fletcher

ALEX: What you can tell about songs you already heard?

ANDY: It’s very reach sound, lush and melodic.

ALEX: There are huge discussions between fans, who will write the lyrics, Martin or Dave, or both?

ANDY: Martin will write the most of the songs for the album and Dave will probably write 1 or 2 songs.

ALEX: I hope so [smile]

ANDY: [laugh]

ALEX: Do you often surf Internet, visit music sites, fan sites?

ANDY: Never. I did it a couple of years ago. But I find it so awful. Lots of people say lots of good things, lots of people say lots of bad things… When people write bad things, most things are good for truth. It’s been interesting really… I met a lot of fans. And in the last six months I’ve been almost to every country in Europe, and I met a lot of fans and simply had talks…it’s easier.

ALEX: It depends on age of your fans, they’re becoming younger…

ANDY: I don’t mind the people and what the people do. It’s just not my interest. I prefer to read books. I just do different things, go to some football matches and have fun. I don’t want to spend a moment, I don’t want to spend two hours. I’m quite content with Kate from Client, she is always surfing, every minute of a day, so I get all the information.

ALEX: Thank you very much for interview!

ANDY: Thank you too!

Alex and Andy Fletcher

Andy Fletcher and Kate

We wanna thanks promoter group Caviar Lounge and Playboy magazine for bringing Andy Fletcher and Client to Russia, Gala Records for help in organizing of interviews.

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