It seemed to me that Roger was saying that, in general, the fanbase loved this album, as opposed to the last album, and that the fanbase is essential to Duran. First, I agree with this statement. I do think that the fans fell in love with AYNIN. Yes, obviously, there are fans who don’t like the album but there doesn’t seem to be many of them, at least in my observations. I would also agree that, at least, a significant part of the fanbase did not like Red Carpet Massacre. I look back at that time and cringe. While I’m one of those fans who doesn’t like RCM, I didn’t like what was going on in the fandom more. The fan community felt divided. Those of us who didn’t like the album felt the band had moved in the wrong direction, musically, or had made an album very unDuran like. To me, the music felt soulless and it bothered me that Duran wasn’t writing their own material for the first time. Then, the other members of the fan community spent hours defending the band and the new album. It wasn’t a fun time for most of us, I think. Some fans walked away. Maybe, they walked away because of the new album, because Andy left or because of the lack of fun in the community. Thus, no matter what I think of the music on RCM, I doubt that I will ever look back on that album, fondly. As we know, that album didn’t do well commercially. Yes, I know that AYNIN isn’t doing well commercially, either. That said, I do think Duran is in a better place now.
It seems to me that a lot of fans returned to the fandom when the original members reunited. Some of these people came back simply to fulfill a childhood dream to see the Fab Five perform live. Maybe those fans would have walked away no matter what album had followed Astronaut and the reunion. Yet, I think that if the band had released an album that felt very-Duran, like AYNIN does to many of us, I think some of those fans would have stayed. Their interest in Duran would have grown stronger. Instead, it was easy to walk away from a band that no longer was the Fab 5 and didn’t sound like them, either. Of course, many of us remained fans throughout RCM. Our fandom was tested and lasted. That said, how many of us would have walked away if the band had recorded something similar to RCM? I think that many of us put up with that time because we knew that it could be better. If it seemed like it wasn’t going to ever get better, I have no doubt that many more people would have left. It could have marked the end of the band, if the majority or a good chunk of their fanbase left.
Now, in 2012, most of the fanbase feel good about Duran. Most of us love AYNIN. Our fandom has gotten stronger and we have gotten over the icky feelings during RCM. This is important to the band’s future because…well, let’s face it. They aren’t going to be bringing in a ton of new fans. Yes, there will always be people who discover the band. I’m sure that’s true for Elvis, too. It isn’t like the Wedding Album era, though, when new fans came by the hundreds. Now, it will be a slow trickle of new fans. The truth is that there is little means of non-fans to be exposed to them. They aren’t and probably won’t ever get radio play. There is no MTV to showcase their latest video. While youtube has their clips, people still have to choose to see them. Thus, the band will need every fan that they can. They need the majority of us to like what they do. They need us to buy the albums and, even more importantly, to fill their concert venues. They lose us or even a significant portion of us, they won’t be able to continue, at least, not in the way they are used to. Besides, after all this time, shouldn’t they be wanting to make us happy? We have been with them for years, for decades. It could be a really nice way to show their appreciation.