More than 40 years after first forming, the famed and influential British rock band are still tight-knit. When the four members—singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor—get together in a room, as they did during a recent visit to New York to promote their forthcoming album, Future Past, the camaraderie and joking among them is more what you’d expect more from best friends than workmates.
Rhodes says, “The reason we weathered the storms is because we all really like working together, and what we can create as a unit is far more powerful than things we would do individually.”
Future Past, the band’s 15th studio album (due out on October 22), is fittingly titled since Duran Duran have always been a reflection of their influences—such as David Bowie, Roxy Music and Chic—while creating music that is future-minded. The new record has all the band’s hallmarks: sleek electronic-dance pop (“All of You,” “Tonight United,” “More Joy!”); sophisticated art rock (“Beautiful Lies,” “Nothing Less,” “Falling”); reflective numbers (the title track); and even some hard-hitting hypnotic funk rock (“Invisible,” the album’s first single). Future Past features a cast of guest artists, including producer/musician Mark Ronson; the Japanese female rock band CHAI; and pianist Mike Garson, best known for his work with David Bowie.
Rhodes says “When we make a new album, it needs to be a Duran Duran album. But it needs to feel contemporary as well. So striking that balance often can be quite tricky. And once we’ve achieved it, if we’ve got it right, that’s sort of the heart of what we do. And with this album, I think we’re pretty confident that we have hit that criteria.” The band’s latest single “Anniversary” carries a pulsating, celebratory vibe that recalls their finest and classic works from the early 1980s. “It’s probably one of the few songs that we’ve done that actually has conscious elements of our sound,” John Taylor says. “It’s almost built like a Duran Duran tribute track.”
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