Reuters journalist caught up with Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes and John Taylor after their set at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami and shared a larger part of his interview with DD.com!
by Alastair Himmer
- What are you doing popping at up an electronic music festival?
NR: They asked us actually and although it's ostensibly a dance festival we've always tried to keep one foot on the dancefloor. It seemed like a fairly good match for us. I think being the only thing on it really with guitars is actually a refreshing change. It's obviously not all our audience but we're always trying to win a new one!
- Quite a ballsy move playing at Ultra. You're virtually rock n roll royalty now but any nerves playing the new material?
JT: I think we've got quite a lot of confidence. Since we got back together five or six years ago we've broadened our horizons. We've tried to play in different situations and see how it works. We're still learning aspects of our craft. To come out to an audience and try to pitch what we have to say is challenging. It's music at the end of the day.
We feel the new stuff fits in really well. We're spoiled for choice. It is quote empowering the new stuff. It's almost designed to have a flavour of ... like a slightly retro tinge to it which takes everybody back a few years and all of us. It's high-energy.
I thought it worked well. You're never going to have an insane reaction with 50,000 people half of whom probably don't know many of your songs. We definitely connect with this mob on some level! It is invigorating having new material that seamlessly fits with the old material and actually has the same kind of energy that that material had. It's been going down pretty much as well as any new material we've ever played so that's a thrill.
- Was kind of weird seeing teenagers singing along to 'Hungry like the Wolf' ...
JT: You'll get used to it, lad!
NR: I sometimes take a few photos on stage ... so I can tell afterwards "Oh actually they look like they're having a good time!"
- The reaction to the new songs was amazing given it was such a young, festival audience.
JT: The support for the new music has been tremendous. Like nothing we've had before. We're interfacing with that feeling more. There has been this validation from the fans who are shouting out for the songs. So we're walking out with songs that already have an audience. Whereas with the last album (Red Carpet Massacre), you're playing them and you know people aren't really tuned in. We know with these songs they've already connected.
- How much more fun was it making 'All you Need is Now'? Less of a cryptic album title than 'Seven and Ragged Tiger'!
NR: And 'Red Carpet Massacre'! Mark Ronson's point when he was producing us was that, for the last 5-10 years a lot of the new artists out there have been trying to do what we did at the beginning. And he said "That's yours! You should just reclaim that and you'll be better at it than anyone else." So that's what we tried to do. The response has been so extraordinary. We're blown away by it. (Miami crowd favourite) 'Girl Panic' is certainly going to be a future single.
JT: We were scrambling for quite a few years with this core of Nick, Simon and myself. When we got back with Andy and Roger a lot of time had passed. Sadly with Andy we were never able to get back on the path. Mark got us back on the path.
- Ronson referred to the new record as 'son of Rio' I read somewhere.
JT: I think what he means is this could have been an album that the original line-up could have made at some point. We're working really hard right now. We're just getting into a groove. It's like, we're having a party -- everybody comes, that's their choice but we're in a groove right now.
NR: One of the great things that comes with having a lengthy career is confidence in what you're doing. We've always been fairly confident in our material. We please ourselves first and then hope somebody else is going to like it. With this album, we know we've got something that's quite special for us, so going out there and playing it is pure pleasure. We played a show in Los Angeles which was broadcast on YouTube and Vevo and David Lynch directed the visuals. These things are so exciting to us - ground-breaking like MTV was - it's the first time a band has done that on that scale.