There are very few bands that enjoy the kind of following that Duran Duran does. Even after 35 years, fans of the iconic British pop/rock band are keenly awaiting the launch of their new studio album, their 14th, called Paper Gods, next month. Here, the group — that has delivered hits like Come Undone and Hungry Like the Wolf in the past — comprising Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor, opens up in an email interview, about their multi-generational fan base, the occasional criticism they face, and more.
It’s been over three decades since Duran Duran was formed. What is the most striking difference that you have noticed in the music industry?
: Music was so tribal when we grew up. You were a mod or a rocker. We were the mockers, somewhere between all these tribes.
: For us, it was always like, “You’re not rock, you’re not dance, you’re not pop — what are you?” And for two decades, that was the biggest criticism of the band. But now, it’s kind of blurred. All these definitions are becoming vaguer with the way kids listen to music nowadays. My daughter listens to anything from George Harrison, Tame Impala to Little Dragon. There’s no genre she’s faithful to, and no era she’s faithful to. When she looks at pictures of Led Zeppelin, she looks at pictures of him in his twenties. That’s how she sees them. And I think that’s fantastic.
Listen to Come Undone here
What sets this album apart?
: To make this album, we wanted to go through the [same] process, even after 35 years of Duran Duran. We did the same things. We sat in a studio for hours. Some days were good, some days we were coming out with nothing, and other days we came out with a little crumb, until we finally got it. Basically, you have to really want to do it.
While making this album, Nick and I were using the word “brand” a lot. We would listen to something and say, “It’s brand Duran.” We’ve built this over 30 years, but now we’re coming out with a new model. We have this legacy, this signature sound. So, what do we keep, what do we modernise?
This album comes five years after your last one. What took so long?
: We were figuring it, and processing it. At this point in our career, there’s no reason tomake an album of substandard–sounding songs.
You guys are known for your extraordinary videos. Can fans expect something jaw-dropping with this new album as well?
We like to get people up and dancing. There’s a lot to be said for being a party band… it’s crazy fun. We love it, and we are sure people do too.
: We’re one of the very fortunate ones to have escaped that [the time when they were making those videos] decade. We didn’t finish in 1979 and think, “That was the year.” We had to move with the times, which are really different now.
Do you have any plans ofperforming in India?
Totally. It is one of our to-do things.
Listen to Ordinary World here