Drummer Roger Taylor on the Long Life of Duran Duran

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His name is Roger and he plays drums in a band, and now they’re touring all across our nifty land.

Roger Taylor has been keeping the beat for ’80s mainstay Duran Duran since the band’s origins in 1978; now the group is touring again in support of its 14th album, last year’s “Paper Gods.” And things have changed, Taylor admits, as the band’s members have gotten older. No more midnight recording sessions, for one.

“Now it’s more like a day job,” Taylor says. “For this album, it was two years in the making; we’d get to the studio in midday, do eight to nine hours of recording, five days a week.”

The technology available in the studio has enabled the band to experiment in new ways, Taylor says. “When we started, you could do four tracks; now we can do 16,” he says. “The canvas has become huge. That can be a help, but it can also be a hindrance — we layer tracks upon tracks and get really absorbed in it, and then it’s ‘Oh, God, how are we going to play this live?’”

The members of Duran Duran don’t really worry about staying contemporary in a world where other bands that started when they did are now fodder for “Where are they now?” shows.

“I don’t think we ever thought about evolving,” Taylor says. “We just go where the music takes us. We could just play our greatest hits, but we’d go crazy playing oldies every night. On this tour our new songs have gone over as well as, if not better than, our old ones.”
The temptation to rest on their multiplatinum laurels isn’t a great one, Taylor says.

“We don’t want to do the same record over and over again,” he says. “Some people do that, and that’s fine for them. But not for us.”

Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW; Fri., 7 p.m.; $29.95-$134.95.

Courtesy Washington Post