August 11th, 2008
I made the pledge to not write about music on this blog since I am focusing on design, brands and Geyrhalter Design’s Brand Atmospheres, but this one is riding such a fine line between the arts of music, film, fine art and graphic design that I think it has a right to appear here.
Anyone who knows me personally knows about my near-pathetic admiration of electronic pioneer band Depeche Mode. A band that had a lot to do with why I became interested in graphic design to begin with. I started collecting their records (Quite passionately, I think my collection reached over 1,500 items, many of which are completely unique) mainly because of the captivating graphic design and packaging. I picked up their 12″ Singles because of the beautiful colored vinyl editions, not the music. After a couple of listens I turned into a passionate follower, so passionate that by 1993 I have thrown an after-concert party in Vienna, Austria, with over 1,000 paying guests. I was 18, I met the band backstage, had a radio interview on Austria’s largest station Ö3, and I of course had to design the posters and flyers for the event based on budgetary restrictions, which in turn contributed largely to me being where i am right now. When I was asked who my biggest artistic inspiration was when I entered Art Center College Of Design when I was 20, I noted Anton Corbijn. Although I am not as impressed with his freeform graphic design work, I am very inspired by his amazing black and white photography and music video work, for my graphic as well as my photography work. Corbijn was responsible for many videos and cover shots of important bands like Depeche Mode, U2 and R.E.M., most notably U2′s legendary ‘Joshua Tree’ cover and Depeche Mode’s classic video to the song of the same status ‘Enjoy the silence’.
Coldplay’s recent ‘video cover version’ of Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy the silence’ is a quite funny and well done tribute to the band as well as ‘the genius of Anton Corbijn’, and how appropriate that it is a video to a song that already is known to have the same legendary status in years to come.
Time to revisit Anton Corbijn’s work, best done through the amazing DVD that was released a couple of years ago as part of the brilliant Director’s DVD Series.
As a sad side note, and since we talk about music, I just learned about the death of Isaac Hayes. Another legend that deserves revisiting, even if on a very tragic note. Rest In Peace.