Duran Duran talk Paper Gods ahead of Capital FM Arena Return

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Duran Duran talk Paper Gods ahead of Capital FM Arena return

By NottmPostEG | Posted: November 09, 2015

They may have got together in the middle of the punk era but Duran Duran's sound would define the 'next big thing' in British music.

Alongside Spandau Ballet, Visage and others, the Birmingham quintet rode the wave of the New Romantic movement of the early eighties with hits like Rio, Planet Earth, The Reflex and Hungry Like a Wolf.

And they're still going strong.

The band, which still boasts four of the original five members in vocalist Simon Le Bon, keyboard player Nick Rhodes, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Taylor, have an arena tour this month and another hit album under their belts.
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Paper Gods soared into the charts when it was released in June at No. 5, followed by Top 20 placings in at least a dozen other countries.

"Amongst the fans, the reaction has been really positive. In fact, they appear to love it which is a good sign," says John Taylor.

"With new material, you want to score a bullseye with the core fans, but the album will be a pleasant surprise for other people as well."

During the forthcoming live dates, the new album, co-produced by Nile Rodgers, will be featured quite prominently.

"That's right," the 55-year-old bassist confirms.

"It's always about bringing the new music to the audience, but using the songs that everybody loves as the vehicle. The new music is the cherry and we hope that those who haven't heard the album will hear the new tracks and leave the concert wanting to hear the whole album."

He adds: "We'll always do the stone cold classics that everybody wants to hear. But sometimes it's nice to dig into the more obscure numbers, although that's hard to do on the arena tours; it's an expensive night out and you have to give the fans what they want to hear.

"It's a shame that a lot of music fans appear to have given up on new music and prefer to keep to the old, but we do like to give them something new. That's our task – to blow their minds."

One of the biggest films of the past few months is, of course, Spectre. So has Taylor noticed renewed interest in their Bond theme for A View to a Kill?

Taylor laughs and admits: "I don't follow all the sales stuff so I really don't know but it's always good to have a bit of a push. I'm so glad though that we had a part in the Bond story. I've always been a big fan of the Bond films."

With over thirty years of music making behind him, it is hard for Taylor to pick out any specific songs that could be classed as the 'ultimate' Duran Duran song, or even a favourite, but after some thought he comes up with an answer.

"I'd say that there are several songs on the new album that I feel are the ultimate Duran Duran experience," he says.

"But if I had to pick, say, two songs, I would go for the title track of the new album, 'Paper Gods' and 'Rio'."

The band recently completed an American tour and Taylor loved it.

"They were some of the best shows we've ever played," he enthuses.

"It's always interesting to see the audience, and sometimes it can be a bit scary, but it was just great and the crowds were amazing."

He smiles, remembering the experience.

"We just had the best time – in fact the band is having a good time right now.

"We are in the honeymoon period of a new album at the moment – it's a bit like delivering the manuscript of a book after two years' work, so we are keen to play live."

John warms to his theme.

"It's interesting to see the people who keep coming back to see us. There's a woman in the audience quite often who was coming to see us at the start and now she brings her grand-children. I think that's great."

So what is the plan for after the tour?

"I'm not entirely sure," he admits.

"We'll be going back to the States in the spring, but I'd be perfectly happy to tour this album all year."

Duran Duran will be at the Capital FM Arena on Friday, December 11. Tickets are £50.40, £61.60 and £62.80 (includes administration fee) from the box office, call 0843 373 3000 or go to capitalfmarena.com.

Martin Hutchinson

Courtesy Nottingham Post