INSIDE a cavernous movie studio in North London, Duran Duran are including the ending touches to the setlist and particular results for his or her UK tour.
John Taylor, Roger Taylor and unofficial guitarist Dom Brown are rehearsing Hungry Like The Wolf whereas Nick Rhodes watches on, ready for his name, and backstage Simon Le Bon is ending lunch with backing singers Rachael and Anna.
The previous 12 months have been fairly particular for the band, who’ve loved UK High 5 albums in 5 consecutive a long time, from the Eighties proper as much as at this time.
And for those who had been one of many 60,000 followers to see their BST Hyde Park present, you’ll know the way distinctive it was.
Tomorrow the band kick off their UK tour in Manchester and I’m becoming a member of them as they put together for the seven reveals, earlier than they head off to the US for a five-month stint.
Bounding into the room, filled with power, Simon says: “We’re on the high of the hill on the rollercoaster once more, ready to go — what’s gonna occur?”
As he takes a break from stage time, svelte bassist John, 62, says: “It’s basically the Future Previous tour, as we haven’t taken that tour across the nation but.
“There are cornerstones that you just’ve obtained to play, like Extraordinary World, Come Undone and Ladies On Movie, however this tour could be very completely different to Hyde Park as a result of there we needed to go very broad. It needed to be a hits present — whereas this, the viewers will get a deeper set.
“We don’t wish to disappoint anyone.”
Simon, 64, provides: “I feel the previous 12 months’s reveals have been nice as a result of the standard of our new materials has accelerated.”
Fifteenth album Future Previous, launched in 2021, gave the 4 their largest business success since their 2003 reunion.
John provides: “And simply suppose, once we did the reunion I simply wished to tour . . . Nope, we needed to make a brand new album too, which was Astronaut, and it was like Spinal Faucet attempting to get it collectively. We don’t make issues straightforward within the studio.”
Simon says: “You don’t need to run out of ardour simply since you become old. I don’t suppose we’re terribly bold. There’s no frustration as a result of we’re not Ed Sheeran or BTS. We’re Duran Duran and we really like being Duran Duran.
“And if you’re passionate, you make good music since you get the emotional thrill from it.
“If I get an emotional thrill, then possibly any individual else will, but when I don’t then there’s no likelihood that anyone will.”
Duran Duran have at all times been about trying ahead.
Somebody gave me lyrics by ChatGPT and I used to be horrified.
Simon Le Bon
The band who had been the most important on the earth within the Eighties have embraced know-how, teaming up with Snapchat to make use of augmented actuality to deliver some surprises to the set and to the viewers in actual time.
Lengthy-term supervisor Wendy Laister will get the AR staff to point out me a taster of the interactive a part of the present as Nick Rhodes seems on stage with a tarantula crawling throughout his face.
With out freely giving any spoilers, followers will take pleasure in some particular experiences all through the present.
It’s one other musical first for the quartet who’re considered the primary band to supply a digitally downloadable track on-line, with Electrical Barbarella in 1997.
In addition they labored with AI artist Huxley to create the 2021 music video for Invisible — one other first.
However Simon is much less impressed with track lyrics written by AI.
He says: “Someone gave me some lyrics that had been written by ChatGPT and I used to be horrified. I checked out them they usually had been so cliched and anticipated.
“I don’t really feel in any respect threatened by that as a result of they had been completely terrible and boring. There’s no emotion.
“There’s nothing behind these phrases. They don’t come from feeling happiness or as a result of somebody is gloomy.”
Occurring the highway & strolling out on stage is such an honour.
Duran Duran have been engaged on their “Halloween album”, a brand new venture set for launch later this 12 months, which is able to function covers of songs significant to the band.
John says: “It got here out of a present we performed on Halloween final 12 months in Vegas.
“We performed a number of darkish cowl songs and it’s grown into an album. After the Vegas present, we simply began throwing songs round.
“We determined to additionally write a brand new track, so we went again into the studio final week and wrote three songs in every week. We additionally had Nile (Rodgers) and Ben (Mr) Hudson within the studio with us for 2 days.
“Going out on the highway and strolling out on stage is an honour.
“Should you’re in a band like ours, it’s a victory lap, there’s a lot love.
“However going into the studio with these f***ers, it’s like, ‘What have you ever obtained?’ Everyone should show themselves. It was enjoyable, and what made it superb was that we had an idea — it was darkish. It has this Gothic ingredient too.”
Simon provides: “I feel the truth that we’ve been within the studio makes it very thrilling to get again on stage.
“We did an unbelievable quantity of labor, together with some with Nile Rodgers, which is banging.
‘We’re a household’
“We received’t be enjoying that on this tour, however a number of the different songs that we put in our Halloween present, we’re going to, and that’s going to be very thrilling.”
John provides: “It’s undoubtedly a distinct venture and there’s a number of coronary heart in it. It’s additionally nice that we’ve obtained Andy on it.”
Former guitarist Andy Taylor, 62, who left the group for the second time in 2006, revealed he has terminal stage-4 prostate most cancers in a letter learn out on the Rock and Roll Corridor Of Fame in Ohio, when the band had been inducted in November.
Unique band member Andy was resulting from be part of Duran Duran on the prestigious occasion, however his sickness stopped him travelling.
Simon says: “It was an enormous shock and shock to us once we heard he had most cancers.
“Studying out his letter, I used to be devastated. It hadn’t been straightforward splitting with Andy however as this type of information comes, that doesn’t matter in any respect.
“He was actually disenchanted not to have the ability to settle for his award and be along with his buddies.
“We had one of the best instances, so I believed it might be good if I took the award to him in Ibiza (the place Andy lives).
“I hadn’t seen him for seven to 10 years. Then we determined I ought to return over and possibly we’d do some work collectively.
“This album was getting larger and extra vital on a regular basis. So I believed we must always get Andy to play on it.
“We despatched him some music and it was incredible working with him once more.
“He’s obtained a novel type and he’s impressed. We’re used to working with top-class guitarists like Graham Coxon, and Andy is within the absolute high league. I like working with him and he’s such a stunning man.”
John says that any previous band disputes had been rapidly forgotten, and provides: “We’re a household and when one in all us is struggling slightly bit, you’re simply there for them.
“Andy was my man, he and I’ve been by means of a lot collectively. Instances have been difficult between us however you neglect it.
“I used to be trying ahead to enjoying with him on the Corridor of Fame. We had been texting backwards and forwards.”
The band have been on the high of their recreation for 40 years and their secret is that they’re all equals.
Simon says: “No person’s in charge of the whole lot on this band.
“It’s good for individuals to have their factor.
“I write the lyrics and all of us have our personal roles.
“Someone at all times begins doing one thing, whether or not that’s Nick arising with these bizarre chord constructions or Roger will get a beat going.
“Then after I discover the melody that’s when a spine varieties.
“Once we’re within the studio, issues get actually heated, however that’s as a result of we care.
“We don’t bear grudges. I’d say 90 per cent of any disagreements can be about inventive issues. However you’ll remind your self that you just love this man, since you’ve labored with him for 40 years.
“He most likely is aware of you higher than the individual you’re married to.”
So how do they deal with the problem of performing as they become old?
Simon says: “For years, John would wish to begin the present with Wild Boys. I mentioned, ‘We are able to’t do this because it’ll blow my voice out’.
“However I’ve realized how one can do it and I wish to push myself whereas I’ve nonetheless obtained an honest vary.”
‘I don’t want a plan’
It’s time for John to return to rehearse however first he reveals me his signature Dingwall bass impressed by their 1982 hit Rio.
He says: “I began utilizing these devices about 5 years in the past. They’re superbly made and I’m fortunate to have this.”
John reveals that it took some time for him to be snug in Duran Duran.
He says: “When the primary album got here out in 1981 I used to be like a working horse — I used to be by no means actually snug within the saddle, I used to be hanging on for pricey life. Now we’re an amazing musical band.
“And the job by no means kills anyone. It’s the f***ing stuff you do in between.”
On the peak of their fame Duran Duran partied arduous, however at this time Simon is a household man with two younger grandchildren whereas John splits his time between LA and England along with his spouse Gela, the style designer.
Simon says: “The band is completely different from the early days. All of us produce other issues in our lives too, and households.
“I get a kick out of working however I would like day trip from the band to wish to come again to take pleasure in it.
“So I don’t know the way lengthy we’ll do that, and fairly frankly I don’t want a plan.
“I’m simply pleased to take it because it comes and proper now it’s nice being in Duran Duran.”
- Duran Duran’s UK headline enviornment tour begins tomorrow in Manchester and runs till Could 9.
- For full dates, and tickets, go to duranduran.com/tour.