‘They had soul’: Anton Corbijn on 40 years shooting Depeche ModeJune 1, 2021
He thought they were pop lightweights – then turned them into moody megastars. The photographer recalls his adventures with the band, from desert trips to drug-induced near-death experiences
By his own cheerful admission, Anton Corbijn’s relationship with Depeche Mode did not get off to a flying start. It was 1981 and Corbijn was the NME’s new star photographer, lured to the UK from his native Netherlands by the sound of British post-punk, particularly Joy Division. His subsequent black and white portraits of the quartet tramping Manchester’s snow-covered streets became the most iconic images of their brief career, and Corbijn had gone on to take equally celebrated shots of everyone from Captain Beefheart to David Bowie.