Tag Archives: Katy Kafe

This Week in Duranland – October 13, 2014 to October 19, 2014

It is Sunday, which means that I’m taking the time to summarize all of the official happenings in Duranland.  As always, if I missed something, comment on this thread to add anything I overlooked!

Unstaged
Duran Duran’s Unstaged is now available for rental and download in the UK via iTunes, according to this press release.

Joe Vizvary from Images in Vogue Interview
DuranDuranMusic has a new exclusive interview up on the site.  This time, it is with Joe Vizvary from Images in Vogue.  For those of you who are wondering who Images in Vogue are, they are a band who, in fact, opened up for Duran Duran in 1984.  The interview includes some background information on the band and the band’s experiences not only as their opening band for 3 shows but also the other connections they had.

Katy Kafe with Simon
Rhonda covered all of the highlights of this month’s Katy Kafe here.  If you missed it, start with blog post then head over to duranduranmusic.com to listen to it!

Guyliner
Fashionista.com published an article with the title, “8 Game-Changing Guyliner Moments in Pop Culture.”  Guess which band might have been featured?  For the record, I, personally, am a big fan of guys in eyeliner.

Anniversaries
A few anniversaries were celebrated this week.  First, Medazzaland turned 17 on the 14th.  Second, Big Thing turned 26 yesterday.  Beyond album anniversaries, we celebrated one year since Durandemonium, the fan convention we organized in 2013 in Chicago.  You can read about it on my day in Duran history post from yesterday.  All of these are making me feel pretty dang old!

Peavey’s Anniversary
Speaking of anniversaries, Peavey, the musical instrument company, is celebrating their 50th.  Apparently, John Taylor is helping them with that.  This picture, posted on Duran’s Facebook, was taken for it.

Peavey's 50th anniversary 10.14

Nile Interview
Nile Rodgers is one busy guy!  This week, he did another interview in which he mentioned his current work with Duran.  Check it out here.

Dell World
Duran Duran and Dell?  What’s the connection?  Rhonda covered it all here.  If you missed that blog post, I’ll let you know that it has everything to do with Austin, Texas, in November.

So, what did I miss?!

-A

Going on together, many journeys to arrive

I think it’s time I start writing real blogs again, don’t you?

Today marks “Work day one” of being back from vacation. It was a nice trip  – we just went camping, which I realize to many of you probably sounds like a death sentence, but we have a trailer, and honestly if you want to get away – it’s a good way to do it unless you have the resources to fly away to an island away from people.  We drove to Morro Bay, which is about an hour south of Big Sur, CA  for a few days, and then up north of San Francisco.  Our trip included visits to some universities because our oldest daughter – Heather, has just begun her applications to college. We even took a tour of the Jelly Belly factory in Fairfield, California. (Oh yes, we can be tourists like the best of them!) It was a fun trip, and perhaps one of the last we’ll take as a whole family given that next year, Heather will likely be packing up for school unless she decides to go somewhere close to home.  Hard to believe. but I have an entire year to bore you on that subject!

I am thrilled to see that news is finally starting to trickle on a semi-regular basis from the band. It feels like we might be coming out of a very long drought, and it’s nice to feel like I might be able to start really blogging again with purpose.  I know Amanda feels the same.

Daily Duranie has been a place to convene and discuss, and this is something I value about what we’ve created. It stands to reason that during a time where there was little to talk about, the blog quieted, and I’m sure it’s been noted that our posts in recent months were little more than expanded “Day in Duran History” posts.  We simply felt that while we were waiting for new news, it was time to take a bit of a hiatus rather than force words where there were likely none to be found.

In my attempts to reacquaint myself with reality, I finally listened to Simon’s Katy Kafé from last week. It was nice to hear that things are finally moving towards an end in recording – I’m excited to hear what they’ve worked on. One thing that I’ve really missed since the mass exodus of message boards is having a place to really talk about the music and what might be coming out of that studio.

There seem to be two types of people in this world: those that will speculate, and those that prefer to say, read or think nothing until they hear. I am likely to be found in that first group, much to the chagrin of the band, I’m sure. When I listened to the Kafe, I couldn’t help but notice Simon’s unwillingness to really say what the album sounds like – and I can’t really blame him. As much as I’d like to have something to chew on and think about while we wait, I haven’t forgotten some of the speculation in the past.

Let’s take Red Carpet Massacre, for example. I remember the endless flow of news we were getting from the studio. They were working with Timbaland, they were working with Timberlake, Nick said they were in grooooveland…(I still smile at that one), there was even a rumor at one point that they were working with Kanye. It seemed that with each video or news byte, there was more and more groaning from fans. In a lot of ways, I think I had my mind made up about the album before I heard it. I felt like I knew what it was going to sound like…I feared it. I don’t think that speculation from the fans, including myself, helped.

On the other hand, what about All You Need is Now? We knew they had been working with Mark Ronson, and based on things that Mark had said in interviews – he made it clear that he wanted to do a follow up to Rio. I panned that comment, months before the album ever dropped, because I felt that was setting the bar incredibly high. Did we really hold Rio to be the pinnacle of the band’s career? I think many fans and the public probably do…and I’m still hoping that the best is yet to come. Even so, I couldn’t help but wonder what the album would sound like, and even the thought of trying to make a return to the musical space that I still feel the band owns made me excited for the outcome, but still apprehensive. I didn’t want to be disappointed. Instead, that album quickly took hold of my heart and still gets regular play in my car. I wasn’t wrong to wait for them.

So here we sit, waiting for the album we’re still hash tagging #DD14. It has a yet-to-be-shared, five-syllable title that doesn’t have a spelling but somehow describes where they are musically (I am terrible at these sorts of Jeopardy questions!), and Simon says that ONE aspect of the record is that it is “club” sounding, and it’s definitely a departure from All You Need is Now, which was much more 80s sounding. I won’t lie, I’m wondering if I’ll like it, and I think many other fans feel the same.

Mr. Hudson had a “massive” influence on them. Mr. Hudson is pretty modern sounding in his own right – but even so, on some of his songs I still hear the influence of the music I grew up with. I hold hope that he helped the band remain true to themselves and not try to be something they clearly are not. Club music can be a lot of different sounds. Will it be like Red Carpet Massacre, which has been described as “urban club-music” or maybe more like Notorious? Will I like it? Will I love it as much as I loved All You Need is Now? Will I find a renewed sense of fandom in the music as I have in the past? I have no idea, and I’m certainly not making any claims to know more than any other fan.

I don’t have an inkling as to what we’ll eventually hear. I only know that once again, we sit at what I like to think of as the “entrance” to a new period of Duran music….waiting for the gates to open so that we can flood in, and even at the age of 43, probably 44 by the time the album drops, I’m still nervous-excited. There’s something to be said for a band that can still make me feel that way.

-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

Katy Kafe with Simon – July 2014

There seems to be quite a lot to talk about lately in the Duran universe!  Just this past week, Duran has been been in the news because of their lawsuit against Worldwide Fan Clubs, Inc. (a company, NOT their fans) and because of their upcoming participation in Fashion Rocks.  Then, I find out that the teen magazine, Bop, is ending!  Some of those topics have been blogged about and others are worthy of being blogged about!  Yet, I will instead listen and give some highlights to this month’s Katy Kafe!  Speaking of the paid fan club, truly, one of the best perks is being able to really listen to Katy Kafes.  While we might give some highlights and reactions to what we hear here, it isn’t the same as listening to them, personally.  You get so much out of listening to how the band member sounds, how he reacts to questions, and more.  You also get something out of the questions Katy chooses to ask and her reactions!  On that note, I recommend listening for yourself, then, reading and reacting to the rest of this blog!

Before I go into detail, Simon was clearly very chatty and very open! He gave quite a bit of scoop regarding new album and future touring.    There is much to respond to and I have no doubt that I missed some key information.  Listen and remind me about what I missed!

Album news/information:

Some of what he shared isn’t new.  We knew that they were continuing to work with Mr. Hudson.  He talked about how much of an influence he was and that they had written three more songs with him.  Perhaps, this influence is what has led the album to have a different feel to it than what it was in the beginning or than All You Need Is Now.  Simon described AYNIN has having an 80s vibe.  This one he says is more “modern” with, at least, some club vibe.  He also made a point in saying that he hesitates to label it because it can pigeon-hole it.  People, instead, should just listen rather than  speculate about what it is going to be like.  (I, wholeheartedly, agree.  I won’t lie, though.  I like to speculate.  I like to ponder.  I get nervous and want assurances that everything is going to be all right.  That said, I know that Simon is right.  I need to listen first.)

Simon did indicate that things are getting close to being done.  He described the album as having “critical mass” and its own “direction”.  I take that to mean that the album has a personality now.  The individual parts/songs have been created but the album as a whole has a personality.  I look at all Duran albums that way.  This is why I can point out that every Duran album has quality songs on it but I don’t like each album in the same way.  For example, I love the song “Out of my Mind” but Medazzaland definitely isn’t a favorite of mine.  Anyway, they did work with Mark Ronson to “prepare things” and he said something about surprises coming up.  Likewise, they hope to have Spike Stent mix the album in September.  That shows real progress!!!  Another thing that shows progress is that the album has a name.  Simon didn’t share it but did share how long it was in terms of syllables and that they needed to figure out how to spell it!  Fascinating!!!  Any guesses out there?!

Simon did mention a first single and talked about record labels.  As of now, they are unsigned and will take into consideration what the focus is for the label.  Some labels are major labels and others focus on new media.  I couldn’t tell which why Simon was leaning towards but he did voice his opinions about record companies, in general.  Could any of you tell which kind of label he would prefer after listening?  This is an area that I will be keeping my ears and eyes open to in the future.

Touring:

Simon said that he looked forward to going out on the road after the album comes out.  He hopes to do larger arenas/venues and more festivals.  What do you all think about that???  Would that mean only major cities?  Would that mean less shows?  I wish I knew!

Other topics:

Beyond the band album news, Simon did discuss a few other topics, including Fashion Rocks, the White Nights Festival, family vacations, and photo shoots.  Apparently, for Fashion Rocks, they only have a few minutes to play.  Thus, they have to choose to either do one song or a short medley.  Katy gave her preferences.  What would yours be?  As far as the White Nights Festival goes, he discussed their performance, the city and a funny story about what he was asked to do as far as introducing someone.

Overall:

I was thrilled to get so much information about the album!!!  I suspect that he was more forthcoming because they are getting close to getting done.  Perhaps, he is feeling really good about what they have accomplished and is ready to share it with the rest of us!  If that is the case, may I recommend a snippet or two?  30 seconds of a song or two?  It wouldn’t be to speculate as much as to share in the excitement!!!

-A

 

 

 

June Katy Kafe with John Taylor!

Third post in a single day. You’d think I did this full time….

(let’s just not talk about that, OK? Moving on…)

Today brought wonderful gifts in the way of a tweetstake (I desperately tried to win but alas, I cannot type that fast. I knew the answer and typed that out supa-fast, but then I stumbled over the damn hashtag for #ADITM. *sigh*  Oh well. Had to try – congrats to @Barbarella5 for being lightning fast – good for you!!!)…and the second gift? A Katy Kafe. WITH VIDEO.

I’ll let you catch your breath on that one. That’s right, this one had video. This was fabulous because we were able to see John Taylor “in person”!  This was also very difficult, because I found myself struggling to remember to take notes. Really Rhonda? I couldn’t watch him and think about what to write down at the same time.  (And I wonder why I didn’t win the tweetstake. Gee, I really don’t know….;) )

Personal struggles aside – I took copious notes.  No really, I did!! I sat through some of the conversation several times just to make sure I got it all down. I know, I know, it’s a lot to ask of me…but I do it for you. MWAH. (that’s a kiss, all the way from California.) Once again, I give the disclaimer that my note taking skills, stellar as they may be, are not done word-for-word, and if you really want the full experience (and you do, because this one is video, people…), you should join duranduranmusic.com.

The opening convo is that John is Skyping from home in England, and that it’s his turn in the Kafe on his birthday month this year. Shout out to Katy for mentioning Dom, since yes – his birthday is coming up on June 14th, and we DEFINITELY count him as part of the band… even if he’s completely forgotten us on Twitter and Facebook these days. *sigh*

Where was I? Oh yes….John Taylor.

On Mr. Hudson: Turns out Mr. Hudson has a first name and it’s BEN.  It’s the little things you know.  They’ve done three songs with him and apparently they’re all on a first-name basis with him now.  And of course, we are now too because he’s part of the Duran family…until he sends us a comment telling us to stick to Mr. Hudson.  🙂  (hey, it could happen!!) John says that he had no idea what to expect from him – he knew of his work with Kanye, and last year he’d heard ‘Fred Astaire’ from a mix that Mark Ronson had given to them.  As originally reported here on Daily Duranie, Mr. Hudson…er…Ben… is from Birmingham and grew up only a few miles from him. John says that they have formed a strong partnership and he’s helping the band to “tidy up” the other songs they’ve worked on.  They seem to be at a point in the process where they have a reasonable idea of what they want to include on the album (11 or 12 songs seem to be the goal) and now it’s about making them sound like a cohesive statement with the same sort of energy.  John basically said that while they recorded these over the course of 18 months (give or take…) they want it to sound as though they recorded over the course of a month or two.  He also said that Ben came to them at a point where they felt like they were running out of gas, and so he came to the project bringing a whole new energy.  Whereas the four members all do things and make decisions very deliberately, Ben isn’t self-conscious, and that must have breathed some very needed new-life into the project.

About those “extra” songs: As we all know, once the band has reached the end of the recording – there are songs that make the album and songs that don’t. I myself have wondered from time to time where those songs go, and I’ll bet others have as well. In my head I picture a bank vault with one of those wheels with spokes that operate the door… (in my head I also picture myself being allowed in that vault to listen with glee to my hearts content, but you  know…that’s just fantasy.) Katy must have been in my head at some point, because she asks what they do with the extra songs.  John is very quick to answer that they’re always asked for three or four other songs – bonus tracks – that end up somewhere.  He said something about fan sites and I started to choke on the iced tea I was having, because you know – I happen to know of a fan site that would be thrilled to “unearth” a bonus track for people to have and hold.  (More fantasy. I know. I have a very active imagination.)

Covers (and Tribute Albums): Katy asks him about LUXXURY’S Girls on Film cover because it truly highlight’s John’s bass line.  He comments that it (the cover) was indeed “salve for recoiled fans”, referring to the fan reaction regarding the debut of Moby’s version of Rio a couple weeks ago.  John was very surprised to see the reaction from fans and then went on to describe his own reaction when he first heard the song.  He explains that when he heard it, he was overcome with emotion, actually in tears, because to him – it was that good.  While he may have had tears in common with many fans after hearing the song, it was most assuredly not for the same reasons. I think this is difficult for John to understand, and yet – probably not. What blows my mind is that here’s John Taylor, one of the writers of the original, telling us – his fans – that he loved Moby’s version (he and Moby are friends), and yet we, fans of this band, STILL cannot get behind that work?  However, even John recognizes that Moby’s song triggers very different emotional spaces than Duran Duran’s version…yet for ME…that’s exactly why I like it.  I don’t know, maybe I’m the crazy one?? (Don’t answer that.)  John continues to talk about the Manimal project (Making Patterns Rhyme), saying that in a lot of ways, it’s good that it’s creating some controversy and getting attention – because these days, it’s very, very difficult to get attention (more on that in a bit!).  He finishes by saying what I already believe to be the case: Making Patterns Rhyme is probably not a project for the die hards out there, it’s intended for a more alternative-minded music listener.  I agree completely, given the little bit that I know.  That said, I’m going to keep promoting it because dang it – I can’t have fans getting lazy and closing their ears to new things!

A couple of speaking engagements John has/will participate in! A few weeks back, John went to speak to a group of local musicians at Death or Glory Records in Redditch (UK). The owner of Death or Glory wanted to keep the purity of the musicians forum he’d organized – meaning it was not publicized to fans beforehand. I have to applaud that choice, because that gave these local musicians the chance to really talk to John as a musician, without people like me around squealing “Oh my God…it’s John Taylor, right in front of me!” You know?  The story behind the event is that in some publication, it was announced that Redditch is the “least musical” place in all of England, which is atrocious because Redditch actually claims John Taylor among their own. (That right there seems like enough to me to say the place is among the MOST musical, you know??) The owner of this record shop decided to rally against that label and started organizing these events – forums – for musicians to come together and talk about some of the successes and challenges of their chosen career.  For this event, John and the group talked a lot about the differences between trying to break through today verses back in the early days of Duran Duran, and ultimately while everything is different technologically – the crux is still the same.  John says that “you’ve got to take what’s in here” (meaning the heart…within the mind and body) and make it into something that speaks to millions. That one action has stayed the same, no matter the time period.  One thing that has changed though, is the internet.  I know fans (including me!) talk about how wonderful the internet has been for us. It’s opened doors between all of us as fans.  We connect. I applaud that.  But, as John says, it’s made us lazy.  He’s right.  We sit at home and just wait for the music to find us. We don’t have to work for it like we once did.  He’s right. I don’t have to go searching for news on the band by listening to the radio, scouring the television to find interviews or going down to the local “Wherehouse” records to see if they have any new magazines or music from the band.  Now I search online.  In a lot of ways, it’s much, much easier…and it’s much more difficult to keep our attention for long.  On the other hand, the artist has to work much harder to stand out among the masses, to connect in ways they never thought they needed, and to keep our attention longer than it takes to click to the next website.

Personally I think that’s where the industry really struggles.  They have no idea how to hold our attention and they have no idea how to translate “likes” on a FB page or “favorites” on Twitter into dollar signs.  In a lot of ways, I think there’s just far too much available. We have to switch on a dime from one thing to the next in order just to keep up.  I think that might be some of the reason why the band seems to have retreated a bit from social media – because it’s just very difficult to keep up with all of it and none of them want to be slaves to it all (nor do they feel as though they need that pressure).  I can certainly understand that. Just imagine the young artists coming up today….they don’t have the luxury of an established fan base, and in today’s world, that’s how you get them.  It’s exhausting.

Additionally, John will be speaking at DHI family day.  (Developing Health and Independence) This organization helps people – whether they’re homeless, or have substance abuse issues – they help.  John was asked to speak, and he sees his role to deal with the stigma.  As John says, he’s a guy who came from a  great family, had a wonderful job and still fell into drug and alcohol abuse.  If he was able to stand up and ask for help, he wants others to feel like they can do the same. John says that he doesn’t see himself as terribly philanthropic, but that he tries to say yes when he’s asked to give back to the community.  (I think he’s a very nice guy. There are a lot of people out there who have just as much to “give” as John might and yet they don’t. Whether he’s shy or not, we’re proud of him!)

Careless Memories Photo Book/Denis O’Regan: John explains that they have a very exacting team working on this book (and they are hoping to have finished copies ready in another month).  Nick sees this as a very important project that he’s taken under his wing, and they’re working with John Warwicker (graphic designer who created, among other things, the cover for Astronaut).  It sounds like it will be a top notch collectible for the very wealthy amongst us when it’s completed. (still hoping for the “bargain basement  but still really cool version for the rest of the fans”…)  Katy asked John if he minds looking back on Sing Blue Silver and John said that he “quite enjoys” it now. At one point he was “pathologically afraid of looking back”, but not now.   Then he drops a scoop worth tucking in the back our heads for later: He thinks the next thing they’re going to work on is something similar (to the Careless Memories photo book) for the Notorious tour and project.  Interesting!!

They wrapped up the Kafe after that. John is planning to stay home with Gela (whom he hasn’t seen much of lately as she’s been promoting her own book, The Glitter Plan…which we reviewed here) and then the following evening he’s going into London for a party with “the guys”.

He waits until nearly ten seconds prior to the Kafe ending to get into “better light”…but when he does?  He definitely has not forgotten how to work it!  Well done John!  Always leave ’em wanting more…

-R

 

 

Never a Dull Moment – Simon’s Surprise May Katy Kafe!

I spied news that Simon decided it was time for an impromptu Katy Kafé yesterday, and I could have written right then exactly how it was going to go.  He had plenty to say, and Katy’s goal was to basically try and funnel the energy in the right direction.  I could hear the energy emanating from my computer speakers as he began the Kafe with all sorts of talk about pugs.  Yes, pugs…as in dogs. He goes on a full tangent coming up with every possible tagline for pug licking. Not that I wasn’t following along well, but I really wasn’t following.  Next time I’m going to need more caffeine before listening to a Kafe.  Or something.

As typical, I am going to attempt to decipher the news of the day. This is not going to be word for word, and as always – to really understand Simon, or at least so that you can be as thoroughly entertained as possible, you should get a DDM membership so that you can hear the Kafé in all of it’s glory. It was a very short Kafe, given that it was impromptu and all, nevertheless, we did get a scoop of sorts. No song titles, no snippets…but I think they might know just how long the album is going to be, and it sounds like they’ve settled on the tracks they’re going to use.

As of yesterday, it sounds like Simon would like the album to have eleven (11) tracks.  When asked why eleven, Simon said that it was because he couldn’t get it down to ten.  If only WordPress allowed emoticons…

At any rate, Simon then said that they could put out a 16 track album, but they’re not, and that sometimes less is really more.  I’ll be completely blunt: “more” for me at this point would mean getting us a song to hear soon, and then maybe spreading out the introduction of the entire album over the course of say…a few months.  How, you ask? Simple! By “releasing” a single song track a week or so, because it would create buzz and MORE buzz each time something was released and spread to the fan community and public over Twitter and Facebook. This isn’t a new idea, nor is it MY idea…but it’s a really good one. Rather than have two weeks, or even less, of a lot of “chatter” on social media, by slowing the release of the record to a song every week or so, you’re extending the life of the PR and social media chatter. Why? Each time something new is released, Duran Duran has the chance to be trending, and the music has an opportunity of being heard.  When you release everything all at once, really great songs get buried, and let’s be honest: people do not buy music by the album any longer.  Sales show that, and while I’m fully aware most Duran fans would buy the whole album – I hate to say it – we are not the the center of the universe.  Maybe the most important part, yes…. but surely not the center.  (That’s sarcasm)  Oh, and touring. Yes, “more” for me means touring.  Soon.  (I’m allowed to wish. I don’t care if the rest of you aren’t ready for them yet. I’m a fan, and I am ready!)

So what else did Simon say?  They were working in the studio with Mr. Hudson – and I believe that Simon and Katy spoke just yesterday so that means Mr. Hudson must be making a reasonably sized contribution to the album.  I can hardly wait to hear what they’ve

The reason for the impromptu Kafé was Simon wanted to share the events of the past couple of weeks with the fan community.  As we all know, Simon went to Ibiza last week to surprise Nile Rodgers at the IMS (International Music Summit) dinner. He presented Nile with the Legends award, and afterward jammed with Nona Hendryx, Nile Rodgers and George Clinton.

Then, a couple of nights ago he went and saw Caetano Veloso, one of the greatest Brazilian artists, at the Barbican Center.  Warren Cuccurullo turned him on to Brazilian music back in 1989 when they were staying in the South of France.

No song titles or other huge scoops…but it certainly sounds like they’re working, and with any luck the road to having a finished album before us is growing shorter!

-R

 

April Katy Kafe with Roger Taylor!

It’s April Katy Kafé time…and that means Roger Taylor is in the Kafé!

As always, I dutifully listened to the Kafé, took copious notes, and am ready to once again summarize, translate, commentate, and flat out poke fun at Mr. Taylor, although I will go easy on him since of course it is his birthday month. (Happy Birthday Roger!!)  It is a very tough job, but I do it all for you.  For YOU.

I will reiterate my disclaimer: I am not rewriting the Kafé word for word (are you kidding me?), you are merely getting my point of view, and if you were to listen to the Kafé yourself (and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do), it is extremely likely that you might hear things differently.  This is my blog, I write it as I hear it. Done.  

Mr. Hudson:  While I was a little confused as to whether Mr. Hudson was writing with the band or producing (and I still kind of am), Roger said that Mr. Hudson approached management about working with the band. Wendy called the band, mentioned that he was interested in working with them, and the band agreed to have him join them in the studio for a meeting and go from there.  From what I could gather, it sounds as though he worked with them on two songs – this Kafé was done a week ago or so (I’ve lost track of time) when Mr. Hudson was currently in the studio with them.  One of the songs is slower but is still “groovy” and has an “amazing chorus”.  The other is more uptempo.  Roger says that Mr. Hudson brought some new energy in the studio and quoted John as saying he gave the band a “musical face lift”.  It wasn’t made clear as to whether he was continuing to work with the band or if he was just doing those two songs .  What WAS made clear is that the songs he was working on with the band were both brand new in addition to the breadth of material they already have written, and they do not know what will actually be on the album yet.  As Roger put it, all of the songs are kind of fighting for placement on the team at this point.  At the end of the process,  they will sit down and decide what 9-12 songs belong on the album.  They try to keep an open mind throughout the process…which by the way Roger says they are 3/4 of the way through at the moment.

DD14: Personally, I cannot wait until I can start typing the name of the album. I know that’s a long way off, but it’ll be nice.  I have a feeling though that DD14 has earned it’s way into being the “forevermore” loving-moniker for this album by the fans.  In any case, Roger feels pretty sure that fans will have new music to hear by the end of the year.  He said that it would be finished by summer. I had a difficult time trying to decide if he meant one song, the writing for the album, or otherwise, but given that he believes they are 3/4 of the way through the process, I would have to assume that he means the writing and recording, but if someone wants to clarify that for me – feel free. I am not very privy to the process of mixing, but I gather that can take a very long time, which must be why Roger said “Obviously the album will not be out this year”, but they are really trying for early 2015.  I have to believe him, and hope we’ll have much more to talk about in the latter part of this year into 2015. Katy mentioned (and I thank her for this) that it’s been stone silence from DD in the studio.  She’s right, it definitely has, and Roger was quick to explain that right now, they’re in the mode of keeping their heads down, keeping focused, and working.  Again, I believe that, and have no doubt that is how it has to be in order for them to ever get this album finished. But, we’re human and can’t help but mention that we miss them.  Right?!?

The Reflex: Katy mentioned that they were working on something really cool for the fans to commemorate the anniversary of this album. I can only imagine…and chances are it’s being posted somewhere as I type this, because that’s typically how it all goes down.  Things happen when I’m not looking.  She asked Roger how it felt to be celebrating this anniversary.  Roger said that he’s gotten “used” to these anniversaries.  (Me too – although 30 years still feels like a really long time!) He said that he feels The Reflex is one of the most important songs they’ve released.  The album version didn’t “jump out” at them until Nile got hold of it and “turned it on its head” As I mentioned in my earlier blog from today, a good many fans look to this song as the one that turned them into Duranies.  I’m still wondering what DDHQ has cooked up for fans…

Fan Q&A:  (I tried to get names. I am probably misspelling them, and I apologize!!)

Michelle wanted to know if Roger has any hearing damage from playing drums all of these years.  Roger said that he was tested four or five years ago and was told that he had the same hearing as someone who has been through a war.  Roger takes this in stride, saying that it’s to be expected when you’re a rock musician, but that his hearing really isn’t too bad.

Christine asked about whether or not Roger contributes to lyrics or song titles at all.  He said that on this particular album there has been a lot of discussion amongst the four of them regarding titles and lyrics, but that Simon has taken the helm with the bulk of the writing on this one.

Athena asks about places that Roger hasn’t been on tour that he’d like to go, and Roger said he’d like to go to India, China and Israel.

Maia wanted to know if he’s used new technology on this album.  Roger said that he’s been using the brand new Roland TD40 kit a lot for this album and he seems to really like it.

Sam asked when Roger knew he’d made it as musician (pop star) and how it felt. He answered saying that at one time early on he and John went record shopping right after the release of Planet Earth and their appearance on Top of the Pops. Girls recognized them and they ended up having to run down New Street in Birmingham.  It was about that time that he’d been asked for an autograph for the first time, and he said that’s kind of about the time you start realizing that you’re famous.

Marilyn wanted to know if Roger would marry her to which Roger said that he would NOT say it depended on what she looked like but that it depended upon how she is, and that he liked her name.  But then Katy reminded him (good save, Katy!!) that yes, Roger is in fact already married.  “Oh, that’s right!!  Rewind…rewind!!”

Roger is lucky he is not my husband today…because he’d be getting a phone call.  😀

Lastly, what does Roger want for his birthday if he could have anything?  (I didn’t catch who asked this and I’m sorry!)  Roger said that he would like a brand new Aston Martin in dark grey.  Yes…because wouldn’t we all???   But he’s also going to the Maldives for a vacation for his birthday, and the only way you can get to the island is by sea plane (note to fans who might be thinking they can go find him there – I hope you are good swimmers!), which worries him a bit since he is not a fan of small airplanes.

He thanked everyone in advance for their good wishes, and was back in the studio within a flash.  Nice, short and sweet Katy Kafé.  No spoilers. No song titles…but we did hear a little bit about what’s going on in there, which is something!

-R