Simon, Lyrically

Ask Katy

Hey Katy,

As a starting point I'd like to say that Red Carpet Massacre is brilliant. I've been listening to Duran's music for years and so much of what has always been there came through on this recording with new and interesting approaches to the presentation...and yes, still with all the new elements, undeniably Duran!

And now, onto my question for Simon. I need to preface it first so that it is clearly understandable what I am asking.

I've always been drawn to Duran lyrically. Something of huge connection has always come out of the masterful writing of Mr. Le Bon and it has only been recently that I discovered what it is that has allowed for that connection all of these years.

You see, I've been studying the language patterns of influence and began to notice that Simon artfully weaves these very techniques into his song-writing which has the effect of lessoning resistance to his message and simultaneously conveying a message on both a conscious and unconscious level.

What is even more miraculous is that he is so purposefully vague that the words and the imagery while leading the listener to some extent also allow them to plug in their own experience...whatever is illicited for them as being true or meaningful, which is also part of the reason why he doesn't talk about what the songs mean to him...because he will then destroy or alienate his audience from their own personal connection to the song if he does.

Simon's writing ability and the connection that it forms is hugely responsible for the longevity of Duran's fan in my case about 25 years because as we change, the songs often change with us. So my question is, does Simon do this consciously? Or is it an unconscious gift he was/is unaware of?

Much thanks,

Paula Kawal
Journey Inward Coaching
"Get on the Path of Self-Discovery"
Read my blog at:

"Yeah, sort of.

That was almost it Paula. However, ...

What I mean is that writing the words I something I do by instinct rather than analysis. That being the case, in answer to your question, it would probably be something that I do, rather than think about doing.

I do find your point of view very interesting, particularly as I have never really analyzed the process myself. What I would say however, is that I don't always take the same approach to every lyric I write. For example, where, as you quite rightly point out, some lyrics are deliberately vague, there are other songs which could not seem plainer or more literal to me.

When I'm writing about an issue, I generally try to pick out the ideas which are most pertinent first; I think of them as bones. Sometimes I will flesh out the themes with more detail, at other times I will leave them as bare corners to define the shape or if you like, as dots for you to join up.

One thing's for sure - next time somebody asks Katy to get me to explain what The Reflex is all about, she'll know who to refer them to.

thanks for that.


"Get someone else on the path to understanding what you can't be
bothered to figure out about yourself."
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