35 years after topping the Billboard Hot 100 this week with “A View To A Kill,” Duran Duran remains hard at work on its first new album in five years. The still-untitled set is being co-produced by DJ Erol Alkan and Blur guitarist Graham Cozon, and will serve as the followup to 2015's critically acclaimed Paper Gods.
Frontman Simon LeBon spoke to Classic Pop and described the new set, explaining, “It's quite naked, raw, the grass is slightly sharp and twinkly rather than smooth. It's groovy (and) modern and very honest, the lyrics are quite something.”
The band has weathered the ongoing pandemic, with bassist John Taylor successfully battling the coronavirus, and saw the band's headlining slot at this year's Isle of Wight Festival scrapped due to safety precautions. LeBon spoke frankly about how the band is viewing the situation: “There are certain aspects of life that are out of our control now in all sorts of different ways. This is an international tragedy that's unfolding and everyone has to do the upmost to minimalize the effect of it. We take it very seriously.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Duran Duran hitting the studios to record its self-titled debut album. LeBon said, “I think 40 years is quite a landmark for a band, you are going some if you make 10 years now. Maybe it got to this number and it was so extraordinarily large that we lost all our embarrassment and self-consciousness about it. We don't want people to look at that number and just define us by it, but I think we're quite proud that we are still together.”
Co-founding bassist John Taylor admitted that any time the band hits the road or releases new music, they've got a lot to live up to: “You can't take anything for granted. Y'know, and until the tickets go on sale, the record's in the stores, you just can't, y'know, you just can't. But, historically, we know, it can have a big effect on an audience, y'know, if the lights are right. We're hoping that when we take it to the people, they're gonna get it. They're gonna feed off our energy.”