Over the course of the last few weeks, several tidbits of information regarding the next album has come out – including the title. Mark Ronson has done some interviews, having acted as producer on the album, and naturally – the band has done some as well. One would think that the information would cause near-hysteria on the boards, since many of us have been hungry for ANY information at this point. Oddly though, most of the boards that I have visited have had very little to say on the subject. A thread here or there, but there’s not nearly as much discussion as I would have imagined a few years back.
If that weren’t enough of an anomaly, the threads themselves have quite a difference in them. At one point not that long ago, the majority of Duranies would have responded with enthusiastic glee. A few might have expressed concern over one thing or another, but the enthusiasm would have been infectious. That really isn’t the case today. There are far more people questioning the choices of the band than I’ve ever noticed before. If Mark Ronson does an interview and gushes about the band – the fans can’t stand it and say he’s not being genuine (don’t even get them started on the interview where he says he kind of “forgot” he wasn’t in Duran Duran…). If John says the album is better than the last one, people are virtually rolling their eyes and saying they’ll believe it when they see it. (on a personal note – I don’t see how it could NOT be better, but that’s just me!) If Roger says the album will be out in January, at least one fan will comment somewhere that they won’t hold their breath. It’s as though the majority of fans have completely lost their faith in the band – but they haven’t left the community yet, as though they just can’t help themselves.
I’ve always felt that for the majority, Duranies can be a cynical bunch. Let someone post a rumor somewhere – if only for discussion purposes – there will be responses from several others calling the poster everything from a liar, to other names I won’t even bother to post. You all know what I’m talking about. If someone posts direct information that they themselves have been told by someone “in the know”, someone else will say the infamous words “I won’t believe it until someone in the band or their management comes forward and posts it on the official website.” This temperament is oddly juxtaposed from the band themselves, or at least the way in which they write their songs – in that the band has always been kind of stood for optimism and joy. Optimistic is not a word that I would use to describe the majority of their fan base right now.
Then there are the folks who are not only completely cynical, but they also insist for the band to explain their every decision and move – or else they don’t believe what they’ve read, and they get very annoyed with those of us who can recall what we’ve read/heard in interviews etc. They will say we’re just regurgitating what has been assumed in other posts…or better yet, that we’re making assumptions. For example, we all know their album Reportage was shelved. The band hasn’t ever really come out and given a full, complete statement as to why that album never saw the light of day. They’ve alluded to reasons in several interviews, and Andy has given his version of the events in his book Wild Boy, but that’s as close as I believe we’ll ever come to knowing what happened. I’m not “assuming” I know what happened when I recall what Andy wrote in his book, or what Simon, John, Nick & Roger have said in their interviews on the subject, but yet that’s not enough. I run into fans all the time that will post and insist that the band come forward and tell us exactly what happened. My response to that is always one of amazement. At what point did we stop being fans, and start feeling as though we own the band, or that we are the bosses? The band is not our possession, regardless of how long we have been fans.
The fact is, they write the music. They perform the songs. Each of us then makes a choice to buy what they have made, and attend the concerts and appearances. That’s pretty much all we are entitled to as fans. It makes no difference to the band HOW long we’ve been fans – we still do not own them, and really – that’s the way it should be.
So I throw it back to you, dear readers. Why so cynical these days? I have my own guesses – but I would love to read what you’re thinking. Is it because of band history? Is it because we’ve grown older ourselves and with that comes cynicism? Is it because of other fans?? Post away and let us know!