D'Antonio, my long time friend and best man at my wedding
[!], Duran Duran fan since the early years, author of the great
Duran Duran italian biography Glam Pop Party, who
works as journalist for some prestigious italian niche magazines
and free press has been lucky enough to get an interview with
Nick Rhodes [trough the record company] about the release of
Rio Classic Album dvd. Duran Duran have released
only two interviews in support of Rio Classic album in Italy,
both upon request of Edel Records. One of them has been granted
to Rockstar magazine the other, to Christian,
has been published on the free press Metro
magazine [an edited version and in italian of course]. For the
pleasure of you all here is the unedited and clean interview
Nick confirms that an orchestral record is currently
under consideration, that they would really love to
start working on the project Duranthology and
he also jokes [does he?!] about the possibilty to write a Duran
book with his side of the story as he's quite
sure he can remember what really happened...
did you first realize Rio became an iconic record?
you create a collection of songs and release them as an album,
you have to feel confident that it's the best you can possibly
do at that moment. We consciously continued writing as soon as
we had finished our first album, so Rio was a natural evolution
of the band's sound, it was not in any way effected or influenced
by the success of the first album. We knew when it finished, that
it represented what we wanted to say at that time. It is the public
who decide what music captures the spirit of a generation.
it true you were personally dissatisfied with the quick mixing
the rest of the band had to travel to Sri Lanka to begin filming
the videos for the album, I made the decision to stay in London
with our producer, Colin Thurston, until the final mixes were
completed. The details are very important to me and I wanted
to ensure that every mix was as perfect as it could possibly
be. So by the time I boarded the plane to Sri Lanka, I had a
cassette of the final mixes and was very happy with what we
song stood the test of time? And your least favourite?
think the whole album works as a complete listening experience.
We did not put a track on the record that didn't deserve to
polaroid to digital, Nick has always been very passionate about
photography, he released his first book of abstract phototgraphy
Interference in 1984
met the producer on your reunion tour after so long. Did you intend
to work with him again before he died?
were all thrilled to see Colin at one of our shows in Birmingham
and grateful for the opportunity to catch up. Sadly his health
had deteriorated rapidly and so it was the last time we saw him.
He was an extraordinary producer and engineer, who helped us sharpen
our vision on the first two albums. Had we worked with him again
I have no doubt we would have created something interesting together,
but as with most artists, we needed to explore working with different
the band in the studio with Colin Thurston, producer of Duran
Duran and Rio. Colin died on January 15, 2007
When the budding record producer Colin Thurston was taken to see
Duran Duran in 1980, he wasn't in the best of moods. He had just
flown back from the United States and the jet-lag was catching
up with him. However, as soon as they began playing "Girls
on Film", Thurston snapped out of his torpor. By the end
of their set, he knew he had found the next band he wanted to
work with. Producer and musicians sealed their partnership with
a four-day session during which they aimed to record both sides
of a single but actually completed half of Duran Duran, the group's
début album for EMI. In 1982, Thurston oversaw the recording
of Rio, the group's second album, and the one which established
them around the world with the catchy hit singles "Hungry
Like the Wolf" and "Rio", and the ballad "Save
a Prayer". However, David Kershenbaum remixed several Rio
tracks for the dance market in the US. Still, Thurston remained
on good terms with Duran Duran. With their keyboard-player Nick
Rhodes, he co-produced "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo, and
turned it from a prospective B-side into the group's first and
biggest hit in 1983. John
Taylor says: Without Colin's depth of vision, we would never have
become the band we became. He will be remembered as an important
musical stylist who was a major catalyst for the Eighties sound.
In the dvd there are some backstage scenes from the exotic
videos. Will there ever be a backstage film of those?
I'm not entirely sure how much additional footage exists, but
imagine we used most of the best shots in the videos, so unlikely
there will be much more released until we do an anthology.
Behind the scenes: The making of the Rio videos in Sri Lanka
played with basic samples on the record: how that Bbc nature album
sample came about?
were no samplers at the time we made the Rio record, so everything
had to be done live. I liked the concept of having some real sounds
and other voices on the album, so viewed each song to see what
may work. The nature commentary used on the outro of The Chauffeur
just added to the atmosphere, as soon as I dropped the needle
on to the disc at that point in the song, it felt magical, as
if it belonged. I think the girl laughing and screaming on Hungry
Like The Wolf was another triumph of live sampling at that time
Actually much more fun to record than going through a bunch of
samples that someone else has created in a computer.
keeps the Nagel
of the cover?
That's a secret, but apparently she has become very friendly with
the Mona Lisa.
it been hard not to duplicate or refer to Rio each time you make
a new album?
at all, we always look forward not backwards.
ever consider reworking your old catalogue songs? Simon mentioned
a possible symphonic album.
frequently rework catalogue songs for our live show. If there
is an inspirational new way to look at music we have written in
the past, then that would be valid, an orchestral record is currently
what about the collaboration with Mark Ronson?
worked with Mark earlier this year on a one off live show in Paris.
He created a master mix mash up of some of his favourite Duran
Duran songs, including elements of other artists songs too. He
treated it like a continuous DJ mix, we then learned to play his
mixes live, which produced a very unique and dynamic show. I think
he has a great understanding of what the band is about, and hope
we are able to coordinate doing some new material together next
Carpet Massacre was the quickest recorded record since Rio for
Duran. Any similarities?
do think writing and recording songs in a shorter time period helps
focus a record and gives it continuity. As Rio felt like the right
record to make at that time, Red Carpet Massacre feels right for
now... But more importantly, they both have girls on the cover.
Nick does some Art Shop Windows in Mexico on february 26, 2005.
The pic on the left it's an original polaroid portrait of Nick
taken by Andy Warhol back in 1986 during one of the many parties
they went together..
artist do you miss the most from the 80's?
don't miss any musicians, the ones that were good enough still
make music. I do miss Jean Michel Basquiat though.
is the most passionate celebrity fan of the band?
we could have a competition to resolve this one...
you working on the Duran Anthology?
you mean Duranthology... We have not begun work
on that project yet, but it's definitely something we would like
to do. There is a massive amount of material to go through, much
of it unseen or unreleased.