Each month the Duran Duran Fan Community posts a Q&A with a person who is some how associated with the band. Last month, we spoke to Anna Ross, who is more than just an 'associate,' she is one of the live voices of onstage Duran!
What is the inspiration behind the album FIRST DAY?
The inspiration is about doing that thing you’ve always been meaning to do in life but never got around to.
I’d always been meaning to explore music as a writer, but just never prioritized it. I realized I would regret it later down the line if I’d never done one and after the "All You Need is Now" tour (and maybe singing that song so many times as well was a good reminder!), I thought, 'ok well seize the day and do it now!'
The album is finished, and since it has been a few years since I wrote those tracks, I’ve noticed quite a few songs make reference to light and seizing the day, and are about progressing, getting things out of your system and moving on in life generally. I think and I can relate to that although at the time that I wrote those tracks, I wasn’t aware of there being a general theme.
Where did you record FIRST DAY and how much time did it take you – in between Duran tours – to get it done?
I started writing demos for the album a while back - in 2014 - and began recording in 2015, but got delayed because I slipped my disc and had to take time out from recording and touring. Fortunately, after an operation, I was able to continue with both. I worked with some wonderful Producers: Matt Catlow (mainly), Paul Rose, Dom Brown and Paul Harris. We worked at each of their London home studios in between the Paper Gods World tour.
What was it like to write with Simon? Was it a change in dynamic between you two?
It was really interesting. I emailed him about writing, telling him that I’d gotten stuck on lyrics for one of the tracks and could he help me out? I was really interested to see how he approaches writing, to listen to his train of thought around ideas… As I’ve known Simon for quite a while now, it didn’t really feel like a change of dynamic, so I enjoyed exploring ideas with him. We’d go through line by line and consider changing the odd word, or find a similar concept, but a different way of saying it. It was fun, and I hope we get to do it again sometime.
And more Duran Duran: What track did John remix?
About two weeks before I was due to release the first single John said he’d love to do an additional mix of it, which was amazing - and well worth putting plans on hold for!
John and his co-producer Charles Scott have done another mix of "First Day," which is brilliant. It’s a slower half time version, slightly more ballad like, which was a surprise as I’d always thought of that track being faster, but it has worked so well so we’re going to release both of them. Charles said some of the music that influenced their direction of the remix was Massive Attack, Portishead, Bob Moses & James Blake.
Favorite track to sing with Duran Duran each night?
Ooh that changes, it used to be "Ordinary World" but at the moment it’s "Pressure Off" or "Notorious."
PRE ORDER the "First Day" album via Anna's Pledge campaign