His Name is Roger and He Dances on the Sand

Talking Duran Duran and 80's Glam with drummer Roger Taylor


The 80's was the era of the Rubik's Cube, the Goonies and larger-than-life mullets but for music, post-punk reigned supreme. From Human League to Culture Club only one band managed to span over three decades. Duran Duran's sci-fi glam rock, punk and disco chic may have turned some 80's hair curly but it was their ability to constantly reinvent themselves that captured hearts.

In the exciting lead up to Duran Duran's 5-date tour, which will hit Cape Town on 11th and 12th of December 2010, I caught up with drummer Roger Taylor to talk about the band's latest album, people jumping out of cupboards and how Lady Gaga compares with Madonna.

CTMag: You must be thrilled about visiting Cape Town. What will you do in your free time?

Roger: "I once visited Johannesburg but this will be my first visit to Cape Town. I hear the beaches are amazing so that's where I'll be."

CTMag: From where did the band name 'Duran Duran' originate?

Roger: "Duran Duran was based on a character with the same name from Roger Vadim's 70's cult movie 'Barbarella'. We were very much into futurism and the sci-fi genre at the time and Duran Duran was one of the first bands to carry a double-barrel name."

CTMag: Who were your biggest musical influences?

Roger: "We came through an amazing period of music whilst growing up including glam rock, punk and disco chic. As a consequence a big mash up of music made it into our sound and we are huge fans of David Bowie and art-rock group, Roxy Music."

CTMag: What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you on tour?

Roger: "Back in the early 80's we were backstage waiting to go on when two girls jumped out from under a table cloth and started screaming at us. They'd sneaked backstage, probably disguised as catering staff, and crouched under the table for three hours. In this business people are jumping out of cupboards everywhere."

CTMag: Why did you choose to work with Mark Ronson on your latest album 'All you need is now'?

Roger: "We're all fans of his music because he comes from a DJ background, understands the dance floor and is a talented musician. We met him when we did a concert together in Paris and thought he was a cool guy. It turned out he was also a fan of Duran Duran and he seemed to understand the direction we wanted to go in with our music."

CTMag: What inspired the album title?

Roger: "This album is about being in the moment and enjoying where you are now, rather than looking back."

CTMag: What is your favourite track on the album?

Roger: "There are a lot of elements that make up a Duran Duran album. 'Before the Rain' is a slow track whilst the album also features groovy tracks like 'Space'. Just like our earlier albums, this one spans many genres and marries dark with groovy."

CTMag: Let's compare the 80's with the 'noughties'. David Bowie or David Beckham?

Roger: "David Bowie."

CTMag: Madonna or Lady Gaga?

Roger: "Madonna."

CTMag: The Smurfs or Avatar?

Roger: "Avatar."

CTMag: Go on then, Roger. Spill the beans. What's the secret to lasting over three decades in the music industry?

Roger: "You have to constantly change and look ahead to the next curve in the road. We have worked with new and interesting artists including Justin Timberlake, Timberland and Mark Ronson. The key is not to get stuck in the past and to constantly refresh your music. Don't get stuck in the 80's groove and don't be afraid of change."

By Lisa Nevitt

Catch iconic Duran Duran at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on 11th and 12th December. Tickets are available from Computicket on +27 (0)83 915 800 or www.computicket.com and outlets countrywide.

Duran Duran aren't the only celebs we've been rubbing shoulders with. Be sure to check out our Interviews Section.

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