Duran Duran's Fire Relit, Working with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake
By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
Oct 3, 2006
"This is the best thing that could have happened to us. It relights your fire, baby." So says Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon, speaking of what he describes as a renaissance for the 70 million-plus record-selling group, now that they're in the studio working with hip-hop producer Timbaland. He reveals they've recorded three songs for their next album so far, including one with Justin Timberlake.
Timbaland, he notes, "works very quickly. We're usually slow as snails. It's quite a challenge and we had to change the way we play, really. Particularly me. I had to be able to come up with ideas very quickly on the microphone. Just do it. Have new lyrics the next day -- or that evening." Le Bon says he, his group mates, Timbaland and Timberlake are all "interested in doing more. The stuff is great! We know we have two singles already."
He describes the New York studio, where Timbaland has recorded the likes of Jay-Z, Aaliyah, Timberlake and Ludacris, as "like a Swiss chalet, but really bad, with dark varnished wood, a cuckoo clock without a pendulum and strange things like that. In an odd way, it helps make the music happen."
Duran Duran will take a break from recording to perform at the Voodoo Music Experience Oct. 28 and 29 -- along with top acts including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wu Tang Clan and The Flaming Lips -- returning to its old home at New Orleans City Park after having been displaced post-hurricane last year. "I'm very glad we are coming down," he notes. "We'll see for ourselves what's going on."
Le Bon also reports that his band's new musical association has "established us with a whole different group of people. We've gotten interest from Will.I.am and from Gnarls Barkley as well. There's a possibility -- no, a probability -- we'll work with them."