In 1977, schoolmates Vince Clarke and Andy Fletcher formed a The Cure-influenced band called No Romance in China, with Clarke on vocals and guitar and Fletcher on bass. Fletcher recalled, “Why am I in the band? It was accidental right from the beginning. I was actually forced to be in the band. I played the guitar and I had a bass; it was a question of them roping me in.” They gradually developed a darker, more dramatic sound that made them one of the most successful alternative bands of their era, Depeche Mode.