Duran Duran geared up for new album
Very few bands enjoy the kind of following that Duran Duran does. Even after 35 years, fans of the iconic British pop/rock band keenly await the launch of their new studio album, their 14th — Paper Gods — next month. Here, Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor of the group, that has delivered hits like Come Undone and Hungry Like The Wolf, open up in an interview about their multi-generational fan base, the occasional criticism they face, and more.
In all these years, how has the music industry changed?
Roger: Music was so tribal when we grew up. You were a mod or a rocker. We were the mockers, somewhere between all these tribes.
Simon: For us, it was always like, “You’re not rock, you’re not dance, you’re not pop — what are you?” And for two decades, that was the biggest criticism. But now, it’s kind of ‘blurred’. All these definitions are becoming vague with the way kids listen to music nowadays. My daughter listens to anything from George Harrison, Tame Impala to Little Dragon. There’s no genre or era she’s faithful to. When she looks at pictures of Led Zeppelin, she looks at pictures of them in their 20s. That’s how she sees them. And that’s fantastic.
You’re coming up with an album after five years. What sets it apart?
Nick: To make this album, we wanted to go through the (same) process, even after 35 years of Duran Duran. We did the same things. We still sat in a studio for hours.
John: Nick and I used the word “brand” a lot. We’d listen to something and say, “It’s brand Duran.” We’ve built this over 30 years, but now we’re coming out with a new model. We have this legacy, this signature sound. So, what do we keep, what do we modernise?
Can fans expect the crazy videos that you guys are known for?
Simon: We like to get people up and dancing. There’s a lot to be said for being a party band… it’s crazy fun. We love it, and are sure people do too.
Any plans of performing in India?
Totally. It is one of our to-do things.
(L-R) John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran