“I like watching a concert the old-fashioned way”: Sonic Seducer interviews Anton Corbijn


German magazine Sonic Seducer has published their December issue this Friday, and it features an interview with Dutch director Anton Corbijn about his work on the new Depeche Mode DVD “Live In Berlin”. As you probably know by now, there is much ado about the format and quality of the DVD in the fan community, and Anton does not shy away from this topic. Sonic Seducer has been so kind to upload a preview of the interview on, and we’ve translated the preview for ya. If you can read German then it’s advised to pick up a copy of their latest issue!

Sonic Seducer: In the concert footage, there are relatively speaking very few shots of the audience. Why?
Anton Corbijn: For me, it was important to capture the concert from the point of view of the audience, as if you are looking directly at the stage. These people are here to watch the band, and this is the view that I wanted to capture. In the footage, you only see the crowd when the band is interacting with the fans, for instance during “Behind The Wheel” or “Never Let Me Down Again”.

Sonic Seducer: What exactly do you do during the concerts? Are you filming, or are you merely giving directions?
Anton Corbijn: I try to do both. I am the director, while positioning the cameras. This question also has to do with the fact that some people think that the concert absolutely had to be released on BluRay. I like watching a concert in the old-fashioned way. I am not very fond of these modern cameras flying around. I like the approach that everything is being seen from one point of view. As if one is standing among the crowd. So I actually did not use a lot of modern technology. It might have to do with the fact that I grew up in the 70’s – I like the concerts which were shot back then. I like it when my live recordings appear to be a bit unpolished, in the same way that my photo’s are very grainy. I am comfortable with that.

Sonic Seducer: The DVD “Live In Berlin” is a compilation of the two concerts in the O2 Arena. How high is the proportion of both gigs?
Anton Corbijn: It is obvious that they have been mixed. Even though the band are wearing the same clothes. I am quite certain that there are a few small items here and there which cause the hardcore fans to recognise from which date the footage is. The song “Goodbye” was played by the band only on the second date. I absolutely wanted them to play it, because after the first leg of the tour this song was cut off from the setlist. But I love this track! Depeche Mode are very settled in their shows: there are the classic songs, and then there are the encores. They perform nothing more. So I asked Dave if they nevertheless could perform “Goodbye”. It would be a bonus for the crowd and a great final song! And I had created a special video for this song, which was projected on the screen in the background. It would have been a shame to not use it for the DVD. In any case, most of the footage is from the second night. That was the foundation, and then I added some slices from the first concert.