Duran Duran – “The Brand” and More!

Did anyone see/read any good Duran Duran interviews lately?  I was surprised to see a new interview catch my attention as I figured that time for Duran interviews had past since the album had been released over a month ago.  Yet, this interview, entitled The Pressure’s Off, popped up this week.  If you haven’t seen or read it, I suggest that you do so!  It has both a video and a written article and is written by author of Careless Memories of Strange Behavior:  My Life as a Notorious Duran Duran Fan, Lyndsey Parker.  Somehow, I always feel better knowing that an article is written by a fan.  I guess I figure that the band will get more respect that way.  Well, this article/interview/video did not disappoint!  In fact, it gave me much to think about!

The Duran Duran Brand:

John started the interview off with talking about the Duran Duran Brand, or the classic Duran Duran sound that we all know and love.  He doesn’t define it, specifically, but I think that every fan (or almost every fan) knows it when s/he hears it.  John describes it as the classic Duran sound.  He goes on to explain that All You Need Is Now captured the Rio sound and mood, which is probably why it was so easy for all of us to digest.  It was THE classic Duran Duran sound or BRAND.  It didn’t challenge any of us.  It felt normal.  Comfortable.  Familiar–like an old friend.  He compares that to Red Carpet Massacre which he described as “electro” and containing really none of the classic Duran sound.  A little light bulb went off in my head when I heard that!  It makes total sense to me and also why for many of us, Red Carpet Massacre felt so foreign, so unlike Duran.  In fact, I want to memorize the link to this interview to play whenever the discussion of RCM comes up.  I just want to post it and go:  THIS!!!  Anyway, he finishes that discussion with the idea that Paper Gods is a mixture.  This also rings completely true to me.  It is contemporary but it also has the classic Duran sound in it.  Now, I understand why the album takes awhile to know and love.  For longtime fans hoping to hear ONLY the classic Duran brand, the album will seem weird.  Yet, if you listen close, you can hear the known Duran WITH the new.  I think it is impressive that they were able to merge both with this album as I have to figure that it would be far easier to go in one direction or the other, but to keep what makes you YOU while also embracing change is something to admire.

The Fans:

It is always music to my ears when any member says something about how important the FANS are.  John commented about how important it was to them for the fans to love this album.  Sometimes, I think the fans feel overlooked as Duran, at times, seems only focused on finding new fans.  While I think most of us understand why new fans are important, it is still so nice to know that we MATTER to them.  I thought Simon’s point about the fans was really interesting.  He commented about how it gives fans’ validity when other people start liking what you have been into.  I never really think about that.  I’m so used to people (read:  non-fans) mocking my love of Duran, either subtly or overtly, that I wouldn’t know what to do if “regular” people started liking them!  It would probably freak me out!  That said, I wonder if the mocking would cease, at least to some extent.  Would I have to explain myself less?  No matter, I do thank Simon for acknowledging the dedicated fan base who have been there through “good times and bad”.  Here’s the thing, Simon.  We always will be here.  You are stuck with us!

Criticism and Female Fans:

In the beginning of the segment of the interview, John and Simon talk about how they were hit hard by the critics but that they have learned to ignore.  (That is a hard skill to learn.  We struggle on the blog–not with disagreement or constructive criticism but disrespectful statements.  While I wish that people would stop and ask themselves if what they say might be hurtful before posting, I know that we have to toughen up because people won’t do that.)  What I found more interesting on this part was Simon’s discussion of having female fans.  This is a subject that we have talked a lot about on the blog over the years (YEARS?!  EEK!).  There definitely is sexist stereotype out there that females don’t really know or understand music or have good taste, which means that any band that has a female following must be unworthy, musically.  Obviously, Duran Duran is finally showing people how wrong that belief is.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame:

The interview ends with a brief discussion of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame.  It is clear that for both John and Simon, there are more important things to them that being inducted.  Simon mentions, once again, that the fans are more important and the only thing he needs to feel validated.  John said that he is happy in the seat he is sitting in right now.  I definitely admire their attitudes.  I think we would all like to be so settled in what we do.

Obviously, I didn’t discuss each statement made in this interview.  I just picked out the highlights or the highlights as I saw them right now.  If I watched this interview again tomorrow, I would probably pick out different things to discuss.  That’s how good it is!  I think you all should watch/read the interview and let me know what hit you as interesting and why!

-A

 

2 thoughts on “Duran Duran – “The Brand” and More!”

  1. I have to admit that the first time that I read JT discussing the Duran brand, I thought it sounded so contrived (to use an 80s term that they loved). Now that I’ve read a couple interviews where he discusses it in detail it makes total sense to me, and I actually appreciate his candor about it.

    Al

    1. I understand where you are coming from with thinking the term sounded contrived. Part of it, for me, is how the term “brand” equals commercialism and product rather than art and music. Yet, now, I get that he is trying to say that brand equals classic Duran. -A

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