In 2007, artist Jeremy Deller and filmmaker Nicholas Abrahams travelled to Russia, Iran, Brazil, Romania and Germany to meet the people whose lives are ruled by Depeche Mode. For most, the story is the same: Depeche Mode represent the freedom to reject authority, to be a glamorous outsider. Super-fans dance in Red Square on Dave Gahan’s birthday. An English vicar holds a “Goth Eucharist” in church. A familiar-looking American only referred to as “Trent” remembers loving the Mode as a teenage band nerd. A German family dress up to recreate the video for “Enjoy The Silence.” “Other people go to the gym or do sport,” they explain. “Our hobby is Depeche Mode.”
Elevated from musicians to gods, Depeche Mode themselves disappear from view—perhaps that’s why Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode was shelved before release, only appearing online in 2019. But like Deller’s other films and installations, it's a documentary that honours fandom as its own kind of folk art.