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DURAN DURAN INTERVIEW [2007]

YOU HAVE WORKED WITH SOME VERY CONTEMPORARY, YOUNG ARTISTS ON THE NEW ALBUM... WERE YOU NERVOUS ABOUT WORKING WITH THEM BEFORE YOU STARTED RECORDING WITH THEM, AND DO YOU THINK THEY WERE NERVOUS ABOUT WORKING WITH YOU?

JOHN TAYLOR - I'm always a bit nervous and excited about new collaborations. I don't know if they were... I doubt it!

NICK RHODES - There was a palpable sense of excitement in the room, it was perfumed with adrenaline and nervous energy. At first, things moved as slowly as a chess match, everyone acting with great caution, but once the foreplay was over, we gathered in the control room and I said to Timbaland 'So, have you got a beat to play for us?'.

WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND CALLING THE NEW ALBUM 'RED CARPET MASSACRE'? IT'S QUITE BRUTAL SOUNDING, BUT QUITE GLAMOROUS TOO...

JOHN TAYLOR - Exactly. It's a cool phrase that seems to tap into the zeitgeist.ROGER TAYLOR - We liked the juxtaposition of the words in a paradoxical way...

SIMON LE BON - The tabloids were absolutely fucking ripping the Hollywood A-listers to shreds with these comments about what they were wearing, and I just thought, 'God, they've been massacredl' The lyrics just came to me. It's a fantasy of evening dresses, cleavage, sexy chicks, having them fighting each other, pulling each other's hair. That's my fantasy. Breasts and a little bit of blood spatter!

I DON'T THINK ANYONE WOULD HAVE EXPECTED DD TO COLLABORATE WITH PEOPLE LIKE TIMBALAND AND JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE... IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO KEEP ON CONFOUNDING PEOPLE'S EXPECTATIONS ABOUT WHAT DURAN DURAN IS ALL ABOUT?

SIMON LE BON - Everything we do has to have class, be meaningful, and above all make you dance and want to have sex. On one level we're a really experimental band, and this is one of our most important albums.

JOHN TAYLOR - We have to keep it interesting for ourselves. It is constantly challenging.

NICK RHODES - We were huge fans of Justin's first album, I think it was about as perfect as a pop record can be. And I loved what Timbaland had done with Missy Elliott in the past. It just seemed like a good fit for us. And then we all happened to have a few days in New York to get together and see what we came up with.

HOW IMPORTANT WERE THE COLLABORATIONS IN KEEPING THE BAND INSPIRED, FRESH AND INTERESTED IN DOING A NEW ALBUM?

ROGER TAYLOR - It was very important.

JOHN TAYLOR - And just as important to our record label!

NICK RHODES - The experiment worked. Duran Duran rode the Timbaland express; we merged, cross-pollinated and created the genesis of a new sound for us all!

I THINK YOU ALL HAVE TEENAGE DAUGHTERS, WERE ANY OF THEM INSTRUMENTAL IN YOUR CHOICE OF COLLABORATORS FOR THIS ALBUM AND WHAT DO THEY THINK OF YOUR MUSIC?

ROGER TAYLOR - No... but I think they like the new album...

JOHN TAYLOR - We knew how good these guys were, they just confirmed it!

IT SEEMS TO BE A CHANGE OF DIRECTION MUSICALLY. DO YOU THINK YOU WILL CONTINUE DOWN THIS ROUTE AND MAYBE WORK WITH THE LIKES OF TIMBALAND AGAIN?

NICK RHODES - We've never been bound by rules. Many of our most successful recordings were made with dance producers, particularly Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards, so working with Timbaland was a natural fit.

YOU'VE BEEN PLAYING THE SONGS LIVE QUITE A LOT ON BROADWAY - PERHAPS MORE NEW MATERIAL THAN YOU USUALLY GET TO PLAY IN CONCERTS? HAS THAT BEEN LIBERATING FOR YOU OR HAVE YOU MISSED THE CROWD REACTIONS YOU CAN ONLY GET FROM PLAYING ALL THE CLASSIC HITS?

JOHN TAYLOR - It's been very liberating.

ROGER TAYLOR - And we also get to play the hits in the second part of the show!

IS IT TRUE THAT THERE'S A WHOLE DD ALBUM ON THE SHELF FROM WHEN ANDY TAYLOR LEFT THE BAND, THAT YOU COULDN'T USE BECAUSE HE WOULDN'T ALLOW IT? IS IT LIKELY THAT THOSE SONGS WILL EVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY?

ROGER TAYLOR - Yes it's true, maybe one day they will be released...

JOHN TAYLOR - We'd like them to see the light of day in some form one day, if only as an 'official' bootleg.

DO DURAN DURAN HAVE LOTS OF UNRELEASED SONGS FROM ACROSS THEIR CAREER, AND IF SO WILL THEY EVER BE RELEASED IN ANY WAY?

ROGER TAYLOR - Yes we do have some, it's possible that they'll be released one day.

JOHN TAYLOR - There's a dozen maybe.. something might happen when one of us has lots and lots of time to get in and sort through everything!

IS THERE A VACANCY FOR A GUITARIST WITHIN DURAN DURAN OR WILL THAT ROLE CONTINUE TO BE FILLED BY SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE GROUP? IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF YOU GETTING BACK TOGETHER WITH ANDY? OR WARREN EVEN?

ROGER TAYLOR - It will be filled by a session player as far as we can can see into the future...

JOHN TAYLOR - Dom Brown is our man!

ANDY TAYLOR IS WRITING HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY FOR PUBLICATION NEXT YEAR, IS THAT A CAUSE FOR ANY NERVOUSNESS FROM ANY OF YOU? ANY SKELETONS THAT MIGHT GET RATTLED?

ROGER TAYLOR - Only his!

JOHN TAYLOR - Not at all. At this point everything is in the open as far as I'm concerned.

I THINK THAT 'RED CARPET MASSACRE' AND THE 'FALLING DOWN' SINGLE HAVE QUITE DRAMATICALLY UNDER-PERFORMED... DOES IT BOTHER YOU WHEN YOUR WORK DOESN'T BECOME A HUGE COMMERCIAL SUCCESS? IS COMMERCIAL SUCCESS EVEN IMPORTANT TO YOU?

JOHN TAYLOR - Sure it does, but you mustn't equate success with happiness.

ROGER TAYLOR - Our career is not really dependent on airplay or chart positions.

YOU ARE STILL SEEN AS ONE THE ULTIMATE 'VIDEO' BANDS, HOW IMPORTANT IS VIDEO TO YOU NOW?

ROGER TAYLOR - It's still important, but not as much...

JOHN TAYLOR - About seven out of ten!

WHAT ARE THE BAND'S PLANS FROM THIS POINT FORWARD? WILL THERE BE MORE SINGLES? A TOUR? ANYTHING ELSE FOR US TO LOOK FORWARD TO?

JOHN TAYLOR - Christmas break, then plans to tour the US, Australia, Japan, the UK and Europe and I'm sure there will be a second single.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE NEXT SINGLE MIGHT BE?

ROGER TAYLOR - We don't know yet but probably 'Niterunner' or 'Skin Divers'.

DO YOU PREDICT AN END FOR DURAN DURAN AT ANY POINT OR WILL YOU BECOME THE ROLLING STONES FOR YOUR GENERATION AND KEEP GOING FOREVER?

JOHN TAYLOR - Forever. Or we might quit after the next performance!

DECEMBER 2007

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