SonicNet Chat Transcript
Anton Corbijn
October 15, 1997

Click here for a photo & bio

sonicmod: Welcome to the chat featuring photographer Anton Corbijn and Andy Fletcher from Depeche Mode.

Racheal: Andy, what plans do you have cooking with DM in the future?

ANDY: We just finished a video for a track called "Useless" in a Welsh pit under very bleak conditions.

ANDY: Anton, why have you got a pre - occupation with trees and naked girls?

ANTON: I think it's more Andy focusing in on those things. I think the nature thing comes up quite often in my videos because I like to do them outdoors.

sonicmod: What was the first project that you guys work on together?

ANTON: I photographed Depeche Mode for NME in 1980 or '81. When we really worked together it was in '86 on a video "Question of Time."

modey: Andy, as a longtime devotee, it gets rather offensive when people imply that you are a lesser member of DM from a musical standpoint. Do you take offense to that also and how do you deal with it??

ANDY: I get paid the same money.

Giorgio: Do you prefer making shots of Depeche Mode in colors or b/w?

ANTON: Black and white.

Giorgio: Which is the object on the sleeve of ULTRA?

ANTON: The image underneath the lettering is Dave's hand. Very dark against a lighter stone and I made lettering on top of the image in a complex way.

gravedigga: When did you know that DM would be a group that you would focus a lot of your attention on?

ANTON: I realized we were working together on the third video which was "Never Let Me Down Again." This is when I realized we were becoming a bit of a team.

ANDY: Anton, what is your favorite airport in the world?

ANTON: Schiphol airport in Holland.

guest181: How is Dave?

ANDY: Dave is on better form than me.

ANDY: Would you make a porno film, Anton?

ANTON: Not with you. I know that one of the members of DM would do the music for me if I did.

sonicmod: Anton, do you send subliminal messages through the different forms of media that you produce?

ANTON: Sometimes I send subliminal messages.

Raven: Fletch, do you read Bong, the mailing list?

ANDY: Yes, we should be more involved with it, though.

TWTW: Andy, can you give us any details about the upcoming greatest hits album?

ANDY: We are about to start recording new material. So hopefully for next year.

modey: Andy, how is Grainne doing? We had the opportunity to chat with her after a St. Pete, Florida show, a few years back.

ANDY: Grainne's problem is me, other than that she is doing great.

Giorgio: Hey Fletch, this is Giorgio Minale. What about Italy vs. England?

ANDY: The better team drew.

dirtgirl: Anton, what is your favorite video you have made?

ANTON: It's hard to answer. I've made over 50 videos and I would like to mention a few that I really like. Starting with DM "Its No Good," "Useless," "Walking In My Shoes," Personal Jesus" and "Behind The Wheel" . Outside of DM I really like the U2 video I did called "Please" a video with Johnny Cash "Delia is Gone", Metallica video for "Hero of the Day", Nirvana video "Heartshaped Box" and very old video for the 80's for a band called Joy Division, a song called "Atmosphere."

modey: Andy, how can we get you and the other band members to become more involved with Bong on the net?

ANDY: It's down to us making the effort, and now our office is closer.

stylz: Anton- How has your creative look on videos, pictures, album covers, etc. changed with Alan not being part of DM?

ANTON: It opened an opportunity to play drums on Top of The Pops. On a more practical level it hasn't changed that much. In a way the contact I have with the band has become more direct because there are less voices. Visually I do prefer three people instead of four regardless of who the three are.

NirvClub: What was it like to work with Nirvana?

ANTON: Nirvana, pretty brilliant actually.

TobiasW_: Have you photographed Cardigans or Sophie Zelmani yet?

ANTON: Cardigans no, Sophie yes. And I even photographed Ulf Lundell.

Raven: Andy, what is your favorite city?

ANDY: London, NY are my two favorite cities.

stylz: Does Depeche Mode expect to make any Canadian stops on their next tour?

ANDY: We always do.

Jonathan: Your work has had a profound impact on my own photography. Who were some of your influences?

ANTON: Influences are definitely Robert Frank, somebody called W Eugene Smith, Josef Sudek, Irving Penn, amongst others. In music photography I was inspired by Elliot Landy, Michael Cooper, amongst others.

saucytrt: How did you manage to let Michael Stipe pose with his trousers on his shoes?

ANTON: If you know Michael, you know it's hard for him to put his trousers on.

NirvClub: Anton, you have worked with so many great bands, what band did you enjoy working most with ?

ANTON: Obviously people I've worked with for a long time are amongst my favorites and I would include Depeche Mode.

Raven: Andy, what kind of food is there at your restaurant?

ANDY: We try to call it global.

ANTON: Fletch, are you still eating porridge?

ANDY: I am into all bran at the moment.

ANTON: How's your personal trainer?

ANDY: I sacked him after he started training you!

ANTON: So you must be out of prison.

modey: Andy, when is the last time you listened to Black Celebration? Do you still find yourself listening to Ultra for the fun of it? I think I recall you saying that even post-production, you were still enjoying the album.

ANDY: I think that Black Celebration is one of our most underrated albums, and I was even listening to Ultra last night in my hotel room. Is that worrying?

TobiasW_: Do you like Ulf Lundell? Have you photographed Larsvon Trier yet?

ANTON: No, I have not photographed Larsvon yet, and Ulf Lundell is a great man and I really like his new CD that comes out in November.

saucytrt: Are your pictures still published in Dutch magazine OOR? Are you yourself coming back to Holland often?

ANTON: I stopped publishing in OOR. I come to Holland ten to twenty times a year to Holland.

ANDY: If you love Holland so much why don't you fucking go back there?

gigi: Andy, when did you first start playing music, and are you married?

ANDY: Yes, I am married. I started playing music when I was 13. But I haven't got much better since.

miajoon: Anton, how do you pick the bands you work with?

ANTON: It's a mix between if I like the people, the music or I like the money and that's as honest as I can be. But many people don't realize is that I try to photograph very many film people. Very recently I photographed Clint Eastwood and Time Roth, and Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz. The pictures can be found in Entertainment Weekly, W and Ikon.

Jonathan: I have read that when you shoot, you actually use very simple techniques for complex results. What are some of those techniques? How can I apply them to my own work?

ANTON: The main answer is that photography is not about technique but about attitude. Go figure.

ANDY: Anton, serious question. Why do you work so hard?

ANTON: It's in my blood and also I have so many ideas coming up that I feel I am only just beginning.

ANTON: Andy, why do you earn so much?

ANDY: I try and aspire to what you earn. My fear is that I will never reach it!

ANDY: Jealousy.

ANTON: Nuff said.

ANTON: Andy, what is your favorite music movie?

ANDY: Mary Poppins.

ANTON: Did Andy realize what Depeche Mode meant when you started the band?

ANDY: We knew it was a French magazine.

ANDY: We ask again are you interested in making a porn movie, cause Martin is interested in doing the soundtrack

ANTON: That's what I suggested because I knew that there would be someone in DM that would be interested in doing the music and that was Martin.

sonicmod: Andy, what do you think of KROQ, in terms of how they launched DM in LA and for that matter, the USA.

ANDY: It's always strange because in England, there was never a station like it that played alternative music.

gigi: Songs of Faith and Devotion is your best album. What do you think?

ANDY: It's our fifth best.

sonicmod: Fletch, is it an accident that you hire hot girls at your restaurant and have you fraternized with any of them?

ANDY: I try my hardest but I end up being their counselor.

yunim: What have you been doing in NYC? Are you single?

ANDY: I wish I was single, I am just on holiday.

sonicmod: Anton, is there going to be a book tour?

ANTON: I have an exhibition opening in Goteborg in Sweden tomorrow and I'm doing two lectures. I did a lecture in Pasadena in June. I've had more than ten exhibitions this year all over the world.

sonicmod: Andy, what is your opinion of vodka?

ANDY: Too dangerous to think about it.

Tdub: Andy, will you be taking on new members to the group or will this trio remain?

ANDY: We will remain as a trio but will use other musicians. No one gets on with Alan.

ANTON: Good answer.

stylz: Andy, how much involvement do you have with DM's music? Recording, writing, etc.?

ANDY: Total.

ANTON: Andy, what's your favorite Dutch band?

ANDY: Golden Earring and MC Mike.

ANTON: Oh God. Only because they get to number one there and DM don't.

Kutuz_off: Is Depeche Mode ever going to perform in Russia?

ANDY: Hopefully next year.

ANDY: Have you considered doing a Penguin book of your photos?

ANTON: Ya, you're on the cover. But I don't think this conversations' going very far.

ANDY: Anton, where did you get your sense of humor?

ANTON: I think I have so much spare time while the three members of DM lined up that I used my time for something else. p.s. We all know that DM stands for Dutch Master.

Kutuz_off: Andy, what do you think about Depeche Mode music files available on the Net?

ANDY: The quality, the sound is not great at the moment other than that, no objections.

Giorgio: Hey Fletch, this is Giorgio, how many new tracks will you put in the greatest hits next year?

ANDY: Two hundred and fifty four. Only joking.

Null: Andy, you've known Vince Clarke for ages. Do you have any personal opinions on his more recent music?

ANDY: I think he should take a few more risks.

Jonathan: What is your feeling on digital photography and the manipulation of images?

ANTON: Digital photography I know very little about, but I'm going to test it in the next three weeks. Since manipulation by computer I think photography has changed dramatically in the way of honesty in the that you can never look at the same picture the same way again. I have manipulated some photographs for DM for the single CD for "Its No Good". As you might have noticed, Fletch's arms are longer, Dave's head is bigger and Martin's upper body has shrunk.

saucytrt: Anton, is this exhibition also coming to Amsterdam?

ANTON: No, but there will be a new exhibition with new material in Amsterdam next year. This exhibition that's here in Sweden has been in Holland in the museum in Helmond this past summer.

modey: Andy, is Martin in NY also?

ANDY: No, he is in England, he has just got back from the England /Italy game.

sonicmod: Anton, where did the idea for the "It's No Good" come from?

ANTON: Purely by the title. "It's No Good" video idea I transformed DM into a no hope band where everything was no good, myself included and even the editing of the particular video is officially no good as I used a lot of double takes editing where you see the same action twice.

ANDY: Anton, I have to go clubbing now and you can't join the band. See you in London next week.

ANTON: I hope the people have a chance to see the new video for "Useless" in America. Goodbye.

© Copyright SonicNet 1996