Tag Archives: Duran Duran news

November Katy Kafé With Nick Rhodes!

It is that time again! Every month, it seems as though I’ll notice that a Kafé should be coming up, then let the thought slip from my mind, and suddenly I’m reading on Twitter that it’s up and ready.

This month, Katy welcomes Nick Rhodes to the Kafé…and even prior to it being posted on duranduranmusic.com, we are told (via Katy’s twitter) that she was given an album title! So, as soon as possible, I scrambled over to DDM to listen. As always, I am going to go through the highlights. This is by no means word for word, and if you want to hear the entire Kafe (all 35 minutes worth, which was wonderful!), I highly encourage you to get your membership to duranduranmusic.com. With a new album coming next year, this is a perfect time to join and get involved!

On #DD14

Nick reports that the album is almost complete. He must have heard me verbalize, “FINALLY”…because he says that he was not surprised it has taken this much time to come to this point. Nick says that he realized that some songs come very quickly, then they start to rewrite and notice that some are better than others, and then the original songs don’t stack up as well.

“It’s just the process”

He admires other bands that are able to release more, but on the same token Nick believes that in many cases, the quality of the work isn’t always better. Perhaps taking more time with less songs and getting them right is for the best. In the time that they’ve been writing and recording, they initially have enough material for 3 or 4 albums, but whittle the songs down to one album-worth. Nick says similar has occurred with each album they’ve recorded over the years.

Even so, Nick states several times, rather emphatically, that the album is almost finished. It is currently being mixed with Spike Stent – including the work from Mr. Hudson, Mark Ronson and Nile. (to be clear, no mention was made of the work that John Frusciante did for the album, but he was not a producer – as were Mark, Nile and Mr. Hudson)

“By the second week in December, most of the album will be finished.”

All but 2-3 songs will be completed with mixing by the third week in December. One of the songs is in the process of having a lyric completed, and the other two are still on the “workbench”. Nick says they already have more than enough for one album.  He suspects that they will be completely finished in January.

So what about all of those producers? How did it feel working with each of them?  Nile and Mark have different sorts of great energy. They most recently worked with Nile on Astronaut. It is important to note that originally, they had several songs that they’d worked on with Nile for Astronaut, but in the process of narrowing down the final choices for the album – it ended up being significantly less. Nile IS playing on the album – two of the songs will definitely make the album and the other is one of the songs that is still on the workbench.  Mark, on the other hand brings a modern hand to everything they do. Nile and Mark play off of one another with a sort of Old School/New School feel. Mr. Hudson brought more to this project than anyone else. Nick says he’s an enormous talent, and open minded. Mr. Hudson does not try to produce the same album over and over again, which we should all applaud!

“One of them sounds like 70’s California driving music.” 

Nick points to the diversity on the album, and admittedly as he’s talking about the different sounds, I am groaning because I want to hear them for myself! He describes one of them as 70’s California driving music (this is important for later….remember that description!), another as early Talking Heads, and still another that has Hip Hop as a base in the track, but the melody is much more “classical” in nature, saying it’s “really different”.

Josh Blair is the engineer behind the album, working with the band since the beginning days of recording.  There is no album title as of yet, confirming that the title they’d discussed earlier is no longer on the table and he is taking suggestions. (I kind of doubt that…but just in case, I’m thinking they could probably stick with #DD14 at this point…it’s what we’ve all been calling it for years now!)

On Austin Gran Prix/Formula-One Fan Fest

Katy points out (as I make a very sad face), that this is the only public performance of 2014, and is likely to be the last time they have a setlist that does not include songs from the new album.

“When you are in the studio for a long time, the desire to play live grows.”

The live show is a whole different discipline from recording in the studio. For the Austin show, they kept the set list traditional and missed playing songs off of a new album. He expands on this idea by explaining that it used to be that they would try out the new material on audiences. (I am certain that many remember this from shows prior to Red Carpet Massacre as well as Astronaut) Nowadays though, it’s just not sensible due to piracy.  Those live versions tend to exist forever, even if they aren’t “quite right” or need reworked.  Katy asks the question I’m wondering though, “Could you have played songs from the new album though, if you’d wanted?”  Nick responds emphatically, “Yes. More than ten, actually.”  He insists that those songs are completely finished. Done.

“Sunset Garage”

We finally get a song title. It is like drinking fresh water after a long hike! Nick was sure he’d given us one last time, but after Katy coaxes, he gives us the title of the song with a 1970’s California driving-song vibe. This is one I’m anxious to hear. (Let’s be honest: I want to hear them all. Not in seven more months from now, either…but I suspect we’ll be waiting at least that long…)

On Geneu

Pronounced “Gene-you”, this is a skincare/cosmetic care company that uses your DNA in order to match the correct products with your skin. There is a brick and mortar store in London on New Bond street, and eventually there will also be online (transactional) presence. Nick brought in John Warwicker to work on graphics, and Nick has done artwork and design for the store. Antony Price designed the uniforms that the staff will wear (in-store). Before even getting to market, Geneu has won several awards, including the microchip that determines the DNA matching and the packaging for Best Packaging design in Britain. Nick states that it has been a very different experience…and it is absolutely no surprise when he says that he loves product packaging design (anyone who has ever loved the time and attention to detail that Duran Duran puts into their albums, CD’s, videos, etc. should thank Nick Rhodes).

On Frieze Masters Art Fair

Recently Nick curated an exhibit for the Frieze Masters Art Fair in London, using work from the Parisian Gallerie 1900-2000, which specializes in Surrealist/Dada art. Nick enjoyed curating and spending time choosing pieces by Man Ray, Hans Bellmer and other iconic artists of the period.

“If I had been good at painting I might have gone into that instead of music.” 

Thankfully, Nick stuck with music…although it is easy to hear how much enjoyment he received out of curating the exhibit. Katy asked Nick if he would do another, and Nick responds saying that he would, as long as he liked the genre.

On Bei Incubai, the book

Nick has a book coming out through Vinyl Factory that is a book based on the exhibit done last year. He has been working with Rory McCartney on the design, and is trying to get it all printed and available for purchase for the Christmas season. This however, is not just a photo book, as it includes silk-screens and even a vinyl record with tracks Nick has written. This project is not tied to TV Mania, although the premise is a movie that was never made. Interested? You might have to move quickly to purchase this one, as Nick stated that they only planned to print about 300 copies! My guess is that this book will not be available for the “faint of wallet”.

On Careless Memories – the Denis O’Regan photo book

This book has admittedly taken much longer to complete than the band originally planned, but Nick tells us that they are now printed, and in the process of being sent to those who painstakingly ordered them last year. Nick mentions that the book is a time capsule of 1984, and that one can really learn from the images…the clothes, the haircuts, the cars, the furniture… Thirty years beyond the photos gave fresh perspective to the band as they commented on quotes that they had made during that time period, all of which are contained in the book.

“The hysteria at the time was intense.”

Nick talks about how claustrophobic the environment really was for the band at the time, and as I listen I get the feeling that no matter how much I think I understand about that period of time – I will never have an accurate sense of what it must have been like.  No matter what I think, it was likely far worse. Katy mentions current bands like One Direction (of which Nick has very little knowledge), and then gives another example that Nick has personally witnessed: Justin Bieber.

Nick and Justin were at an event – not together mind you – but at the same event, and apparently people continually came up to Justin literally every five minutes wanting something from him. He was never just left alone, and Nick commented that he felt sorry for him. These weren’t even fans,  but grown people who should have known to leave him.  I can’t even begin to describe it the way that Nick did – to hear his reaction, in his own voice is worth the price of membership to DDM. If you have ever thought about approaching a member of the band while they ate dinner or were with family…I think hearing Nick is worth a listen.

“I’m glad we didn’t have internet”

Nick continues, commenting that having the internet during that same period of time in the 80s would have been even worse. This is no surprise, and many fans, including myself, have said similar over the years. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would have been like for the band at the time.  As it was, the hysteria was out of control, and to add the lack of privacy to it all?? Oh no. I’m glad too, Nick. Katy interjects that for people like Justin, who have simply grown up that way, it’s all he knows. I’m sure that’s true – but can you imagine having your self-image completely and totally tied up with your public persona? Some might say this is no different than DD, but it is. First of all, Justin was much younger than Duran Duran when he became a media-sensation.  He is 20 years old, and I highly doubt he even has a clear idea of who he is without the public persona. There’s no dividing line between public and private person, not to mention that the frontal lobe of his brain hasn’t even fully developed yet – that doesn’t even happen until the mid-20’s.  Katy is absolutely right, he knows nothing else, and he has no idea who he is outside of being “Justin Bieber”.  Nick says that “everyone needs privacy. Everyone needs some of that.” 

On 2015

Next year is going to be very exciting. There will be a single out, an album…“certainly some shows”.  Nick says that they are looking for different ways to approach the project (I can think of some ways to get the fans really involved if they’d care to check their inbox…just saying.) They do not have a label just yet, they are hoping to get that decided within the next couple of months, because Nick would like to plan the release of this project carefully. He says that they did as much with All You Need is Now, but of course you can only plan so much – and then the universe decides from there!

We will hear more from Nick in the year end Kafés!!

-R

 

 

This Past Week in Duranland – July 21 – July 27

This has been a busy week in Duranland.  Part of me thinks that must be because my partner-in-crime was gone, which left me to blog, when necessary.  It’s all good, though.  I like that there have been things to discuss!  That’s the way it should be!!!  On that note, I’ll do my best to summarize everything that I saw and heard.

Obviously, the two biggest happenings involved the lawsuit Duran is involved with and their upcoming performance on Fashion Rocks.

For those who missed the lawsuit information, which would have been hard to do since the news seemed to be on every news source, both domestically and internationally, the basic idea is that Duran Duran is involved in a lawsuit against Worldwide Fan Clubs, Inc., a company they hired to run part of their paid fan club.  I wrote a blog in reaction to this piece of information, which you can read here.  Of course, there were fans out there who seemed confused or misunderstood due to poorly written headlines and really thought Duran Duran was suing their fans.  This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, Duran Duran released a statement clarifying the situation here.  Another good article about the situation could be found at Billboard.com here.

In more positive news, it was announced that Duran Duran would be one of the artists performing in this year’s Fashion Rocks, which will take place and be televised on September 9th.  The blog on that is here.

There were lots of little bits of album news released this week as well.  First, this month’s Katy Kafe with Simon revealed a number of tidbits.  The blog about that is here.  Social media also provided some  information.  John Taylor shared that Hollie Cook visited the studio.  Hollie is a British singer who has performed as a solo artist and also as part of the lineup of the Slits.  I’m not sure if this means she is working on the album or just visiting.  Anyone know?  Likewise, there was a studio visit with Natasha Khan of Bats for Lashes.  Hollie and Natasha weren’t the only women in the studio as Anna Ross posted that she was in to work on a new track that she says we are going to love!  According to her status update, she has worked on quite a few tracks.  Beyond the news about who has been in the studio, John also posted a few pictures from the studio, including one with him and a dog, one with Nick and the same dog and one of Mark Ronson.    While we are on the topic of the studio, have you checked out the new pictures in the dd.com gallery?  If not, go here to see them!

The last pieces of news that caught my attention related to 1980s Duran.  First, Buzzfeed posted an article about 6 things you might not have known about the Rio album.  If you want to read it, go here. Then, Bop magazine announced that it would no longer publish monthly publications and would only issue special editions.  For many of us, Bop magazine was one of THE magazines to provide Duran news and posters!  I know that I wasn’t the only one who had many, mnay pictures and posters from Bop magazine decorating my bedroom walls as a kid.  Thus, this news makes me sad.  Truly, it is the end of an era.

I think that is about it!  Of course, there was so much happening that I am sure that I could have missed one, ten or 10,000 things!  If so, let me know so that I can edit this post and add it in!!!

-A

Fashion Rocks Announced!!!

Last night, after a long day, I finally decided to call it a night when I got a tweet from my partner-in-crime.  What was it in reference to???  It was a response to Duran’s tweet about Fashion Rocks.  This, of course, led to a series of tweets and emails processing, discussing, reacting.  What the heck am I talking about?

Well, according to the press release on dd.com, which you can read here, Fashion Rocks is returning!  Fashion Rocks isn’t new for Duran as they performed in 2003 and 2005.  For those who need a refresher, this show is to showcase the relationship between fashion and music.  Typically, a fashion designer shows one’s work while a band or musical artist performs.  Duran will be one of many to perform this year.   This event will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and will be televised for those of us who are unable to attend in person on September 9th.  Now, if you are lucky enough to go, tickets go on sale August 1st, according to the press release.

I’m not going to lie.  In response to this tweet, the very first thing I did was check the date and the location.  Was there any way I could get there?!  The answer, unfortunately, is no.  It is in the middle of the week and in New York.  What does this tell me, though?  I am missing that band like crazy!  I can’t deny it or pretend that I’m not.  I totally am.  I had a sense when I was searching like mad for any and all footage from the White Nights Festival.  I had an even bigger sense when I began unpacking all of my Duran belongings in my new place.  Each box, each item reminded me of how much I love them, how much I have loved being a fan.  Yet, this news and the exchange of messages with Rhonda really solidified it for me.  I miss them terribly and I cannot wait to see them on Fashion Rocks.  More importantly, I can’t wait to hear that album and to see them live once again!!!  Please, tell me that I’m not the only one…Please!!  I’m not alone, am I????  The rest of you are missing them, too, right?!?!??

Maybe, watching their performances from past Fashion Rocks will help me get through the wait!

2003:

2005:

-A

 

 

Give Me a Sign: White Knights Festival 2014

If you were following Duran Duran’s social media last night, you would have seen a little announcement that they would be performing at the White Knights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday with more details to follow!!!  (From what I could find online, this is an arts festival.)  Normally, an announcement like that might prompt me to criticize the very short notice, but these days have seen such little Duran news that I just can’t go there.  I won’t go there.  Instead, of course, I’m THRILLED to see that they will be playing LIVE somewhere, anywhere.  Then, of course, I wonder if this isn’t the first drop of news before the flood of excitement of more news, more shows, etc.  Could it be the drought is ending?!?  With the incredibly good week I am having, I believe it is possible!!

As soon as I saw the news, I emailed the other half of this little blog and immediately we discussed how there were signs.  Many of them.

*John’s instagram picture with the caption:  “Visa me!”

*Dom’s canceling of his gig due to scheduling conflicts

*Anna’s update that she would be working with Duran again soon

*Even the updated official website

Did we miss them completely?  Are we that out of practice???  I know that it has been awhile but still!?!  We know better.  We know how to do this.  We are experts, right?

While I’m sure that we are slightly rusty, could it also be that we noticed each of the signs, but didn’t put them together?  I know that we did see them.  On Wednesday, we talked about John’s picture and commented about Anna’s updates.  I know that both of us saw Dom’s statements about having to cancel his show and the update to dd.com.  Why didn’t we put them together?  Could it be that we didn’t want to have hope and be disappointed?  Could it be that we had Duran no longer consumed the same level of our thoughts?  A little bit of all of the above?  Possible.

Here is what I know.  We will be better from now on.  Our Duranie sense has been turned back on.  We will be paying attention from here on out.  We will be looking for signs and putting them together.  Oh, yes, Duran Duran, we will watching your every move.

-A

March Katy Kafe Summary

I have a feeling that somehow, I completely missed the February edition of the Katy Kafé with Nick.

I don’t know how that happened, only that it did…and we’ll just leave it at that for now. My apologies. However, I’m back at it with for the March edition, and the guest in the Kafé this month was none other than Simon LeBon.  As per usual, I am just going to do a summary of the highlights. If you really want to enjoy the Kafé, the best way is to get yourself a membership to duranduranmusic.com.

So, as every Kafé with Simon begins – it seems to take Katy a bit to reign him in. I listened with amusement as Simon told Katy that he likes coffee every once in a while. It seems to me that the very LAST thing Simon needs is caffeine…. One thing is certain, Simon has a lot of energy and he flits from one subject to the next as I’m busily writing notes and attempting to keep up. (it’s pretty impossible…)  Somehow, I think he must know that we mere mortals just cannot. (keep up, that is.)

He explains, I think, that Sphere Studios is no longer Sphere Studios. The owner apparently has another studio here in the LA area that will be called Sphere, so the occupants of the studios in Battersea are voting on a new name.

(…Since everyone on the planet seems to know where to go when they get to the UK and Simon had no trouble mentioning where the infamous “studios” are located, I see no point in refraining from giving away the city here on the blog. If they’re not careful, I might just start posting the address. Maybe seeing fresh faces outside each  day will give the band reason to finish the album….or if nothing else….I’ll get a restraining order out of the deal, and that would likely be entertaining for all involved….Ok, so I’m joking about the address. Don’t email me for it. I didn’t even know the place was in Battersea ’til yesterday, much less the actual address or directions. Yes, I’m really on top of things. I know.)

Simon’s idea is to call it the Southern Sun Studios. This makes me laugh because well, “sun” isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when I think of London. Perhaps that’s the point, as Simon goes on to acknowledge that yes, it does bring the label of Elvis Presley “Sun Records” to mind.

Katy takes this beautiful opportunity to once again try to pry some information out of LeBon…but he’s not playing along. I have to give Katy due credit, she really does try to get information out of him, or at least some sense of clarity. She realizes that to all of us out here – those of us who care, mind you – would really like to know what in the hell they’re doing in the studio each day. We want to know where they are as far as the album goes, and to be blunt – when are we gonna hear something new?! Katy makes the point that while John is saying the album will not be out until 2015, Nick is really still saying it will be a little earlier (at least he’s hopeful!)…and she asks Simon why there seems to be a disconnect. Simon doesn’t say a thing (seriously, there was dead silence in the Kafé at that point!) except to say that she should know by now he’s not going to give a single detail.

Fine then, Simon. Don’t play nicely. I may just have to resort to posting photos and video of your dance moves over the years and we’ll start voting and judging them. That’s fine….I’m sure I can find plenty to keep me busy until one of you decides to spill the secret, or better yet…the album is released.

Katy tries again, going for the “You know who we need in here? We need John Taylor” approach…because at least HE will give us some info. Except that according to Simon, they’re not sending John for interviews any longer. So the album is THAT secret?? You’d think they were afraid of a blog getting hold of all that precious and juicy information and misinformation, then spreading it throughout the internet, fan community and world… or something. Gee. Who’d really do that?!?

(We may speculate. We might continue speculating…but we would never post news that the band didn’t want out there. Not knowingly. That’s not our job, that’s not why we’re here, and that’s not something we would ever promote.)

Simon does say that he’s just finished playing some guitar on the song they’re currently working on , and says that the guitar is kind of a mix between The Cure and Johnny Cash. I can’t even imagine what that must sound like, and it appears I’ve got at least another nine months of wondering ahead of me. Yay.

So what else has Simon been up to? Recently he went to David Frosts’s memorial. David was given a stone at Westminster Abbey (the best description I can give: it’s a stone tile inserted into the wall of the Abbey)

Additionally, he tells Katy that he spends some time tinkering with his motorcycle…thus begins a short discussion of Simon suggesting that anyone who works on cars, motorcycles, etc should wear surgical gloves. Not a bad tip. They’re cheap and can be thrown out when the job is done, although Simon slyly comments that he might sell his on eBay when he’s finished. (He was KIDDING so don’t even think of running an eBay search for them!!) I grimaced, knowing that while the idea of buying such things might be, well…odd to me…he’d probably get a good price for them.

(As an aside, it is the knowledge of these types of things taking place amongst fans that still makes me question whether or not I want to be public about being a fan myself. Whether that makes me judgmental or not – it’s how I feel about being a fan sometimes.)

This led into a lively chat about Simon’s overall handy-work around the house. He admits that he once nearly electrocuted himself. I can’t even imagine how that happened, but I almost wish Simon had shared the story.  You know, just because I’m curious.  (No comments about curiosity killing the cat. I’m not the one who was nearly electrocuted!!)  Katy then shares that one of the first times she visited his home in London, he’d pitched a tent outside.   The things I’ve learned about members of this band over the years…. (yes, I’m musing.)

They continued on, speaking of British and American TV shows, accents and even books.  Simon has been reading a lot of Stephen King as of late…(a future Simon’s reader author, maybe??), and interestingly enough, he even had dinner with Benedict Cumberbatch (Google him if you don’t know who it is) recently.  Simon describes him as a very good person who is obsessed with film. I’d describe him as the perfect British actor (I adore his series, Sherlock)…and he has an open invitation to read stories to me any time he’d like.  *coughs*  Simon closes the Kafé by extending his condolences regarding L’Wren Scott to Mick Jagger.  As abruptly as the Kafé began, it ended, and Simon was off for more work in the studio.

-R