Good Thursday morning! I spent a few minutes listening to the interview that John Taylor did for a South African radio station, and I need to send a shout out to Gimme A Wristband for posting it so quickly. If you haven’t already checked out her blog – you should. It’s honestly to the point where I check that site BEFORE I go to either DD.com or DDM . We’re a family in this community, and I want to give credit where credit is absolutely due.
In any case, it was a thrill to hear a decent interview from John – it’s been a while since they’ve really done press, so it was great to hear him. It’s funny, I’ve been a fan now for a long time, and I suppose in that time I feel as though I have at least some small amount of knowledge with regards to who each of the band members really is. I don’t mean musically, and I don’t mean the surface crap (What’s your favorite color John…and that sort of thing). I mean who they really ARE. That said, I only know what I read, what I’ve witnessed personally, and what I’ve heard them say. In any case, I suppose I always felt that while John seems like a nice enough guy – I didn’t think we really had too much in common. That’s not a bad thing, and it never made me like him less, I just didn’t think I’d have much to say to him (that sounded good anyway), if and when I ever had the chance to talk to him. (keep dreaming, Rhonda…) So, when I listened to the interview, I was surprised when I found myself nodding and laughing in agreement.
I’m sure most Duranies (all Duranies??) know John has a daughter named Atlanta. Now, this blog is about the band, not their children – but because of the fact I too have a daughter (who believes she’s 18, but to the best of my knowledge is really 13), I listened to what he had to say about her music. I fully expected that because of the fact John’s a rockstar, he’d have far more tolerance for her music than I do for my own daughters’. HA! As it turns out, he doesn’t enjoy it anymore than I do! I suppose though that if I tried to show that to my 13 year old as some sort of proof that she needs to buck up on her musical taste, she’d scoff and say something like “Well, it’s because you both are too old to appreciate good music!” (my apologies to John for the “old” comment. I suspect he’d understand though.) My response to that would be – “I’m old enough to appreciate REAL music.” So is John. He has the same complaint as I, in that he prefers to hear real instruments. I could make a sideways comment here about a certain bands last album….but I’ll refrain. For now.
My husband and I have a real affection for vinyl. Currently, our vinyl collection is about 5,000 albums strong, and while I love vinyl – in particular 80’s vinyl (I’m sure you’re all shocked); my husband’s collection is taking over our garage and is threatening to invade the living room soon. So, I’ve developed kind of a love/hate relationship for our collection. Kind of the way I feel about wine at times. (especially after a long night out!) We collect that as well, and it’s funny how I don’t seem to mind that invading our living room…but I digress. The thing is, John commented that listening to vinyl is a lot like savoring a vintage wine. It’s not something you want to do everyday, but on occasion, it’s great. I totally and completely agree. I would assert here that there is NOTHING better than listening to Rio on vinyl. Nothing. There is a warmth that no CD can ever bring – I don’t care what anyone says about the sound quality, when you have a record on the turntable that is in very good condition and a great needle on the player – you can’t beat the sound. Vinyl and wine – two of my favorite things.
Interestingly enough, while I would choose to listen to Rio on vinyl over CD any day of the week – I cannot say the same for other DD albums, such as Red Carpet Massacre. That album was never meant for vinyl. Too electronic, too synthetic, in my mind. John revealed something that I have been saying since the very day I first heard Night Runner, and judging from other fans’ reaction to the album in general – I know I’m not the only one.
“Everybody sounds great on it and that’s the difference between this album and the last album, which we made with Timbaland…He didn’t really know what he was doing with a band. He didn’t know what he was doing with a bassist or a guitarist or with a keyboardist…The fans were like we can’t hear you, John. We can’t really hear Roger. This album really features the musical character of all the band members.”
My biggest pet peeve – admittedly there are many – with Red Carpet Massacre is that you cannot HEAR the instruments. It could have been Simon singing with just anyone and the sound would be the same, and while I’m all about having the band try different things (hey, I have even learned to love Medazzaland), I want to actually HEAR. THE. BAND. So, I was very happy to hear John make some sort of comment about that. That said, the album is MUCH better played live, and I still think the song Red Carpet Massacre rocks. I’ll clap along with you any time, John.
That brings us to the new album, doesn’t it? Apparently Ronson’s fantasy was to remake Rio, and of course John mentions that was a fairly unrealistic goal. I haven’t heard the album yet, but I know to try and beat what many believe to be the pinnacle of Duran Duran is a huge, huge goal. That said, I hope they do it. I hope they prove everyone, including yours truly, wrong. I know the band has it in them, and I’m thrilled to hear John say that Mark Ronson continued to crack the whip on them to get the album right. Good for you, Mark! A real fan, which I honestly believe Mark is just that, knows that the band can do it. They just needed to bring it and have someone producing them that wouldn’t settle for less. Once again, I was just a little dumbfounded to find myself nodding in agreement with John.
John also talked about Ronson’s new album. Now, this is a Duran Duran blog, so I haven’t said too much about Ronson’s album, Record Collection. I have to say though, I bought it last week – and I love it. It’s modern, but it absolutely has that 80’s feel to it as well. There are a lot of gems on the album – and it’s very electric in it’s own way, but what it isn’t is fake. I don’t know how else to describe it really. It’s pop and electronic without sounding manufactured and fake like so much of the music heard on radio today. John calls it intelligent, and I would wholeheartedly agree. It’s worth the money to get it, and not just because Simon and Nick are also on the album. (the song “Record Collection” gets a huge thumbs up from me – and I wish Mark would SING MORE. He’s got his own style and it’s fantastic!)
A favorite quote of mine from his interview that I believe sums up the bands entire career if not this next album…and it really should be a quote that all of us live by:
“You need to feel good about the music you’re making right this minute.”
That, Mr. Taylor – is music to MY ears. It is exactly what I’ve been begging for the band to feel since the night of the dreaded fan show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC (June 17, 2007). Be proud of what you’ve done, love the music you’re making – the rest of it comes naturally. I really do believe that, and it works in my own life.
Yep, I’m just a little more in awe of John Taylor today.
Have a good weekend, everyone!