Duran Duran Where Y'at magazine

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DURAN DURANVoodoo Stage, 7:30pmBy Joe AlfoneIn the musically explosive year 1977, a new breed of raw-sounding British bands with a do-it-yourself workmanship inspired Birmingham, England lads John Taylor and Nick Rhodes. According to Taylor, "We started to get our hands around the idea maybe we could be musicians. Maybe we could have a band."By 1980, this dream became a reality with Simon LeBon (vocals), Andy Taylor (guitar), Roger Taylor (drums), Nick Rhodes (keyboards), and John Taylor (bass) joining together to create Duran Duran.Their first break occurred that same year by creating a word-of-mouth buzz as the house band at the Rum Runner Club where they all worked as doormen and DJs. Their unique glam-influenced synthesized Euro electro dance beats, elegant style, and raw punk rock energy came to be known as the New Romantic sound. The release of their first self-titled album was mildly successful in Britain only. This all changed when new American television channel MTV, looking to champion a new band, began airing the single "Girls on Film." This was the beginning of a five-year relationship that would arguably make Duran Duran the most popular band in the world.MTV in turn gained industry-wide credibility due to Duran Duran's videos shot with movie cameras in exotic locales around the world. After reaching the top, the band broke up into two ego-fueled smaller bands with contrasting musical styles: the hard-rocking Power Station and Goth-influenced Arcadia. The years between Duran Duran's breakup and re-formation were a series of hits and misses with many changes in the band's sound and lineup.The mid-90s captured a level of excitement reminiscent of Duran Duran's early years. The original five would not re-form again for another 18 years until the 2004 release of Astronaut. The fans and the public got what they wanted and Duran Duran are playing music festivals around the world, including this year's Voodoo Festival.Joe Alfone: Duran Duran has performed in New Orleans several times over the years. What are your thoughts on coming here since Hurricane Katrina devastated this area?John Taylor: Well obviously one cannot ignore the changes the city has had to come to terms with. We felt quite honored to be invited down to Voodoo Fest this year, and felt immediately that it was something that we wanted to do. I am hoping that the show will play a small part in the rehabilitation of the city. We are not really on tour and are in the middle of making a new album (scheduled release in 2007). We put together a run of shows in Central Europe to get ready for New Orleans. We are going to come there and bring all the good vibes we can muster.Joe Alfone: Is it a matter of time and timing the way that Duran Duran has gone from filling large stadiums, to not filling small clubs, and to now once again playing large venues?John Taylor: I think people appreciate survivors , when people stick to their guns, and stick to their chosen profession. I am so incredibly grateful for what I have and the fact that I get to walk out on stage in New Orleans for a show like this.Joe Alfone: What do you think about the show "Rock Star SuperNova"?John Taylor: It's just a talent show in rock clothing. If you want to see substandard music, go to a talent show.Joe Alfone: Was it the departure of Andy and Roger Taylor or a change in musical climate that affected interest in Duran Duran?John Taylor: There were so many factors, even if the band had stayed as it was. I think in order to survive you have to be very open-minded and flexible. If you stay too rigid in your ideas in who you are and what you are trying to do, it just gets tough. You just have to roll with it.Joe Alfone: What do you think about bands that perform without their original lineup?John Taylor: I have thought about this a lot lately. I could almost foresee a time where there was a touring version of Duran Duran with none of us in it. It would be like younger guys that look like us rather like a play, like a revival of Hamlet. When you write songs that people connect with, they become a shared ownership. They are not your songs anymore.Joe Alfone: U2 and Green Day performed the pre-game ceremony for the New Orleans Saints,reopening of the Superdome. We feel as though Duran Duran will fulfill a similar role in putting New Orleans back on the map.John Taylor: If it does that, then we have been of service and I feel good about that. We can't wait to come down to New Orleans and play Voodoo Fest. Can't wait.Courtesy Where Y'at magazine http://www.whereyat.net

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