Tag Archives: Duran Duran interview

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

 

Simon LeBon Interview

Duran Duran tweeted that there would be a Simon LeBon interview on the BBC in the UK yesterday, and while we were thrilled to hear the news, we weren’t able to hear the interview ourselves….enter Debbie Craggs, who graciously agreed to listen to the interview and take notes to share!  Thanks Debbie!

 

By Debbie Craggs

Last night DD.com announced a Simon LeBon interview on the BBC. Our front man would be talking to Mark Lester on BBC local radio stations prior to the main event of the evening in the UK – the Brit Awards 2015.   (Some may have preferred to watch the great British Bake Off for comic relief but that’s another matter altogether.  In our house my One Directioner youngest daughter took control of the TV for the Brits.

So on I went to BBC, ready to listen and possibly hear any scoops for the new album!  As the interview began, the topic of conversation was clearly on the Brits. Simon stated he couldn’t remember how many Brits he has been to as he was drunk for most of them. He also jokingly accused organisers of putting something in the air conditioning to make people “off their faces”.

Simon described Brits as the premier UK music award show. Compared to the US Grammies, the Brits has an air of anti-establishment – everyone wants to have as much fun as possible. He recalled going to the Brits very smashed one year, and pinched someones seat, only to end up getting punched in the nose.

As they continued talking about the award show, Simon said it is difficult as it is such a massive venue (now hosted at the O2).  He described the evening as lots of different factions sitting round tables, record company bosses, etc. and sometimes it gets quite loud with parties around the tables.

Mark Lester asked about 2004 when Duran Duran was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music award, presented by Justin Timberlake.  Simon explained that meeting led to the collaboration which we all know as Red Carpet Massacre.  Simon also laughed that   you can stand there on stage looking out over all the columnists that have written horrible things about you in the past, thinking “Yeah, gotcha now!”

The conversation then turned to the War Child gig at Wilton’s music hall. Simon described this gig as spectacular and how one of the reasons for the band still being here after 30 years is because they still get along with each other. They are friends and have a laugh together and enjoy themselves.  Simon also made a comment that the music that they wrote, “…turns out to have been not that bad at all!”

They go on to discuss who would win at the Brits tonight. Simon  mentions Sam Smith, and says he would love Mark Ronson to win something (that prediction came true with Mark and Bruno Mars winning Best Single of the Year). Just as I was about to lose hope of any album news…Simon then says he is going to blow his own trumpet, and briefly talks about the new album and how they have been in the studio.  He explains that the band has done three songs with Mark and Nile Rogers, and that they are working with the “fantastic producer”, (that’s a quote directly from Simon) Mr Hudson.

Simon then gives some insider predictions, or tips, for tonight. He lists the winners as: Mark Ronson, Charli XCX, Sam Smith and Royal Blood.  For those who haven’t heard – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars won best single, Sam Smith won British Breakthrough act and also the global success award, and Royal Blood won the British Group award.

During the interview, Simon even had time to answer a question posed by a fan. They ask Simon about who should have the Outstanding Contribution to Music who hasn’t already received one.  Simon answers that Steve Strange should have something for the encouragement and involvement he had with the music in the 80s.

The interview ends with “All You Need is Now” being played.

Debbie CraggsDebbie Craggs is a single mum to three teenage girls in Northamptonshire UK where she works as a school nurse. She has been a Duranie since the 80s and in her spare time she plays clarinet at her local chapel.