Simon Says – Part II

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Simon Says - Part II

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:11AM

As mentioned in part one of Pollstar's interview with Duran Duran's Simon LeBon, the band will wind down its North American tour this week and begin gearing up for its collaboration with Mark Ronson at La Cigale in Paris July 2.

In preparation, Ronson and the band's members made plans for the show during regular conversations from the road, with the producer then heading into the studio to create all new interpretations of Duran Duran classics.

LeBon will also join Ronson & the Version Players as they perform songs from the producer's album, Version.

In the second half of our chat with the singer, the conversation turns to Duran Duran's latest release, Red Carpet Massacre, as well as the album that was scrapped prior to its release and what the future holds for the band.

Let's talk a little about the new album. Was it harder to work on this album than Astronaut because you were working towards a different sound?

Actually, no. Well, it depends whether your talking about Red Carpet Massacre or the album that preceded it, the one with the working title Reportage. That was difficult. But Red Carpet Massacre was such an easy one to make really. I think that had a lot to do with Nate [Hills] and with Timbaland and Justin [Timberlake]. They really guided us and taught us a new way of working and approaching music.

So it was easier working with them than with some past producers?

Well, we didn't have a producer on Reportage. Yes, some producers are easier to work with than others. These guys are very sure-footed, which makes it great.

Will anything from Reportage ever see the light of day?

Maybe. It's recorded; it's there. It may take five years, maybe ten. You never know. We've got to sort out some things with Andy first.

Is Dominic Brown a permanent member of the band or are you officially a four piece now?

He's on this tour with us and he was on the last one. We don't have a written constitution, so to speak. We just keep it nice and easy. He hasn't been writing with us yet.

Now that you're back together as a full band, with two new albums under your belt, can we look forward to a more regular output and more frequent tours?

I'm not sure about more frequent tours. There's a lot of world to cover. There are a lot of new places that we want to go to. We don't want to overexpose ourselves. This record is still pretty new. We're not going to rush back into the studio to make a new one. Not for at least six months to maybe a year - maybe longer if the tour carries on.

There's a chance we'll come back in September to go to some of the places we didn't go this time.

Looking back over everything that you've been through, is there anything you'd do differently?

Yes. I wouldn't have done "Ball of Confusion" on the Thank You album. It was just something that was beyond my capabilities.

That's interesting because I was going to ask what your least favorite song you've recorded was.

That'd be it.

What's you favorite song you've recorded?

I can't have favorites. They're like children; you're not allowed to have favorites.

Any other surprises up you sleeve, like concerts in Second Life?

I don't know about concerts in Second Life. We've got this mix of "Skin Divers" which Matt Helders of the Arctic Monkeys has done. And we've got a very exciting event that I can't - well maybe I'm allowed to talk about it. We're doing a show with Mark Ronson at the Louvre in Paris later this summer. That's going to be an amazing event. And just, stuff. If anything, we've got a few too many irons in the fire. It all seems to fall into place though, when it comes round."

And finally, as the conversation came to a close, LeBon offered one last piece of advice for fans: "You should come and see this 'Get your kit off and whistle at whatever turns you on' show that we're doing." - Jim Otey

Courtesy Pollstar