TIME is not always kind to popstars – and very few get the chance to escape their era. Andrew Trendell talks to Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor about how the pop giants have stood the test of time.
“It was never spoken about but I think it’s always there,” muses Roger Taylor, considering the pressure of Duran Duran living up to their own legacy. “We know that what we do has to be great – it can’t just be good or average. The pressure was really on because we were going back to basics.”
Last year the band returned with the eagerly anticipated All You Need Is Now – a critically acclaimed return to form that saw the band recapture the pure pop energy of their early career, but Roger says that they couldn’t have done it without a little help from a famous friend.
“Mark Ronson produced this album and his manifesto was really just to take us back to the early years,” says Roger. “A lot of bands have been influenced by or are using the sound of Duran Duran in the early eighties and we needed to go back and reclaim that sound. For him I think it was almost like a scientific experiment – he was getting loads of old equipment out of storage because he wanted to recreate the sound of the Rio album but of course he’s given it this kind of contemporary finish and I think we’ve made something really exciting actually.”
“Mark was great, and we need young blood. He came in and told us not to be afraid of who we are. You always try and move yourself forward and be contemporary but he said ‘be you who you are, play like you would have done in 1983 when you were 23 years-old.’ That really worked for us.”
So, having conquered the hearts and imaginations of three generations of music lovers, what does the future hold for Duran Duran?
“Just longevity,” says Roger. “The people we look up to now are the people who have had careers for 30 or 40 years. I bumped into Elton John yesterday in New York and he said to still see us playing is an inspiration and we think the same about him, and we look at Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, Madonna and U2 and these are the people that we look up to because they’ve had these amazing and long careers across several decades.”
Roger adds: “It’s very hard to escape your decade and not a lot of people do, but I’m proud to say we have.”
Duran Duran will be playing apital FM Arena in Nottingham on Sunday 22nd May and Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on Saturday 4th June. To read much more of this interview visit www.worksopguardian.co.uk