Being a world-famous singer looks like a lot of fun and after more than 40 years as a band, Duran Duran’s frontman Simon Le Bon says he is still having the time of his life. The group have announced yet more dates for their tour, which promises a career-spanning setlist, and they recently played in New York’s Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Ever the style setter, Simon was resplendent in a baby blue faux fur coat, and is overjoyed when complimented on it. ‘Thank you! I stuck my neck out with that one. It didn’t have total band approval when I was walking on stage, I’ll tell you that much. I think I made the right decision,’ he laughs.
‘It was very warm though, it wasn’t a cold night. I knew the performance was only going to be seven minutes but I was determined to wear it. There were a million people in the streets that night!’
It still feels surreal to Simon to have the career that they’ve built. ‘I could never have predicted it. Way back 40 years ago, I wouldn’t have been predicting much anyway as we tended to live week to week. We were working so hard. We just didn’t stop. We never had the chance to stop and take stock of what we were doing.’
Fortunately, as time goes on that’s something Simon has been able to make more time for: ‘As the schedule becomes a little bit more forgiving, you get to look at where we are and to enjoy what’s happening and what has happened to the band,’ he pauses to think.
‘We’ve had the most incredible year with the Jubilee, the opening of the Commonwealth Games, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, some amazing shows, all over the world. We’re really happy to continue with this in 2023.’
Last November, the band were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, thanks to a landslide number of votes from their fans, and Simon wants to say thank you. ‘It’s something that we never, ever would take for granted. It surprised all of us.
‘To be honest with you, we really were amazed when we started to see it happening, especially when you took into account who we were up against – Eminem, Dolly Parton…
‘It’s always been difficult, it’s always been an issue. Everybody’s got an idea about what it should be.
‘Obviously for me there’s certain vocal issues – I’ve got to make sure that we don’t have too many really hard vocal songs next to each other. I’ve quite a bit of sway in the setlist… mind you, we all think we’ve got a lot of sway in the setlist!’ he laughs.
Despite their jam-packed schedule Simon also hosts a radio show and focuses on new music, and he has several top tips for the future. ‘There’s a band called Courting who I’m crazy about, they’re a young band from Liverpool. I also love Bob Vylan… there are loads of new punk bands I like, too, like Stiff Richards, a band from Essex called Bad Nerves. Bilk are also great. I love finding new artists and going to see bands live when my schedule allows.
While 2023 is set to be busy with touring, there is one dream gig that the band are still waiting to be offered: ‘I’ve never been to Glastonbury. I made a promise to myself, I said I wouldn’t go until we got the right slot. I’m still holding out for it.’
Surely, it’s only a matter of time…
Courtesy Metro UK