Duran Duran returns to Boston

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Duran Duran returns to Boston
Simon LeBon interview
By Jed Gottlieb | Friday, May 23, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com | Music News

Yes, Duran Duran returns to Boston for an Agganis Arena show on Wednesday.

Yes, the tour’s been getting rave reviews from fans, critics and fellow rock stars (the Killers and Billy Corgan have joined the band onstage at different gigs).

But that’s not why singer/aging sexpot Simon LeBon was all revved up when he phoned us Wednesday night. In a rain-soaked penalty shootout in Moscow, footballers Manchester United beat Chelsea, 6-5, to win the European Champions League title.

Being a good Manchester lad, LeBon was ecstatic about the victory. Somehow we managed to get something more than “Oh my God, oh my God.” out of him after a few questions.

Herald: So as a Manchester fan, how are you feeling right now?

LeBon: Oh, God, I’m so happy. I had to try so hard not to yell my head off because I’m singing a show tonight. But, oh my God, I’m so stoked. We watched the match in a little sports bar in Raleigh, North Carolina, called the Draft something or other. They have all these draft beers that I couldn’t drink because of the show tonight. I did have one little beer when United scored the first goal. Oh, it was such a brilliant, brilliant goal.

Is everyone in the band Manchester fans?

Half of us were rooting for United and half of us were rooting for Chelsea.

That seems like the type of love that could tear a band apart.

No, no, no, because the right team won (hysterical laughter). It’s very difficult to not crow right now, but I know not to. It’s not an attractive quality in anybody. But, OK, let’s talk about Duran Duran.

With the Killers and Billy Corgan joining you onstage, members of Tool and AFI coming to shows and Justin Timberlake singing on your new record (“Red Carpet Massacre”), does it feel like the world is in love with Duran Duran again?

This year we’ve had the validation and endorsement of a lot of people getting onstage with us. We haven’t had that in the past. Maybe because we did the record with Timbaland, Nate Hills and Justin Timberlake, three of the hottest producers on the planet. Maybe somebody had to stick their neck out and say, “Yeah, I like Duran Duran.” I think it was Justin who said that first. He really stood up to be counted as a fan. When he came to the Brits in England to give us our lifetime achievement award, he said, “There’s one reason I came across the Atlantic Ocean and it’s standing onstage with me. It’s called Duran Duran.”

Did your style and Timberlake’s take a while to mesh?

No, it worked. We checked him when he wanted to work with us, and I thought “Justified” was a fantastic debut album as a solo artist. And he’s followed the band closely since he was about 13, when “Ordinary World” and “Come Undone” were in the charts.

You’re doing a few new songs that aren’t familiar to many fans. How do they fit with the hits?

We don’t just stuff them in there and hope they work. There’s a real dynamic to the show, so if a song fits into the dynamic we use it.

People are buzzing about the mini electro set in the middle of the show where the whole band jumps on synthesizers.

The electro-shock therapy? Oh, it’s got this great impact visually and sonically. It makes the show feel like a three-act event. I’d tell you more but it needs to be a surprise.

Are you seeing lots of young people at the shows?

Yeah, we’ve been going a long time now. We’ll see some old couple (laughs) - that sounds terrible but it’s true - this couple might have been 20 when we released “Planet Earth.” So now they’re in their 50s. And sometimes these people bring their Mum and Dad. Then on the other side you’ve got people that jumped on with (2004’s) “(Reach Up for the) Sunrise.” That’s why it was important that we kept going in the ’90s, even if some of those albums weren’t that successful, it kept the flame burning.

And the lady fans, are they still loving you?

The other night we played and it was boiling hot and I saw five really developed women’s bodies almost in their entirety. You know when girls take their tops off at concerts that it’s going well.

Duran Duran, at Agganis Arena, Wednesday at 8 p.m. Tickets: $33.50-$73.50; 617-358-7000.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/music/general/view.bg?articleid=1095781

Courtesy Boston Herald