SXSW Interview: Duran Duran

SXSW panels

Ballroom Dancing
Photo by Sandy Carson

SXSW Interview: Duran Duran

Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 17

Fresh off a barnstorming Wednesday night performance that had passersby dancing in the street outside Stubb's at 1am, Duran Duran took the stage for a late-afternoon conversation with former MTV VJ John Norris (an ingenious stroke of programming, that). Norris remarked that the evening's set list contained four new songs off of Duran Duran's new album, All You Need Is Now, yet left off fan favorites like "Rio." Bassist John Taylor defended the band's choices, saying: "We're curating 30 years of music every time we put a set list together. New material invigorates the old material." On working with producer Mark Ronson on the new album, singer Simon Le Bon said, "In our striving for professionalism, we also became a little more orthodox, and that's what he wanted to pull us back from." The resulting work is a deeply modern, yet rooted in the 1980s sound that's wholly, naturally Duran Duran. When Norris commented on the tension between the now-ness of the album's title and the baggage of 30 years as a working band, Le Bon admitted, "It's about being able to accept your past, to be in the context of your history but live right now."

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