Bryan Adams: Inside Out

Looking at his studio, his interest in architecture should be clear, says Bryan Adams. As for his love of photography – that becomes obvious just from talking to him. Need proof? Check out these five questions and answers from the interview our editor-in-chief Michael Köckritz did with Adams.
Text Michael Köckritz
Photo Bryan Adams c/o Kathrin Hohberg Agency / Camera Press

Let’s get one thing straight: Bryan Adams is really cool. He comes to our interview wearing a simple pair of jeans and a plain black T-shirt despite the fact that he has sold more than a hundred million records in over forty years and could dress in velvet and silk if wanted to. But that doesn’t suit him. Silk is out of the question anyway, as he has been a self-confessed vegan for years. In general, the Canadian musician has never made a secret of his political views regarding human and especially animal rights. In his own words, he doesn’t really “give a toss” what others think. Though when he’s told that he may be responsible for a billion kisses, that doesn’t exactly leave him cold.

Mister Adams, how would you describe yourself?
I’m just the bass player in the band. Sometimes I take photos too.

And what are your goals in life?
That’s easy to answer, but not always so easy to live by: I want to get up every morning with the sole objective to live that day and fill it up.

Let’s talk about photography. Is it true that your career as a photographer started with a snapshot of Linda Evangelista?
As a fashion photographer, for sure. Prior to that, my photo work had been entirely self-portraits for album covers and head shots for friends. In the nineties, it was fashion photographer Herb Ritts who was the most encouraging and helpful. He let me use his studio and his assistants for a whole summer to shoot my first book, which was inspired by the loss of my friend Donna who had died of breast cancer. Herb was so kind. In fact, I still work with some of his team today.

And which photo of yours says the most about you?
The photos of my family. I treasure them more than anything. I sat with my grandfather and photographed him when he was eighty-nine. We talked about his time as a Royal Engineer in the World Wars. He was so humble. I miss my grandparents terribly.

"In the nineties, it was fashion photographer Herb Ritts who was the most encouraging and helpful. He let me use his studio and his assistants for a whole summer to shoot my first book"

Bryan Adams

Would you like to be remembered as a photographer or as a musician?
I could care less if I’m remembered or not. In fact, if I woke up tomorrow and there was no trace of me on the internet, I’d be thrilled. Although . . . I once did an interview with a Brazilian journalist who asked me if I knew how many kisses my songs were responsible for. I had never thought about that before. He calculated that it would be in the billions. I really liked that. Imagine being responsible for a billion kisses! That would be okay with me, because without love we are nothing. So to be able to bring a little love into this world . . . that means everything to me.

→ Read the full interview with Bryan Adams and see more of his photography in the rampstyle #24.

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