Roger Taylor and Jake Fonique have just started their tour as deejays across Europe. I had the pleasure to interview Roger on the eve of the launch of his new deejay set 'Dancefloor Destroyers', a great set of chosen dancefloor ‘masters’ with some live electronic percussion.

Salvo at duranasty.com: Hello Roger, let’s talk about your collaboration with Jake Fonique: how did it all started, were you good friends prior to build up the deejay set project?

Roger Taylor: Yes we go back a long way. We actually started making dance music back in the 90's when I was on a 'musical hiatus' from DD. We still slip some of things into the set… and people are usually none the wiser!


duranasty.com: how do you pick the music that is gonna be part of your deejay set, do you look to the charts, or you are just driven by your personal taste in music?

RT: combination really… I like to arrange it in the same way that Fabio Capello manages the England team…we get to know who are the best players [songs] a new tune will only get in if its better than our current centre forward [sure dance floor filler] and the squad [set] morphs and develops continually and naturally rather than constantly turning the whole thing on its head and we only choose players [mixes] that are up to our own high personal standard…was that the half time whistle??

 

 

duranasty.com: What do you think of the current commercial dance music? Do you like Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas?

RT: Yes I can see some great minds at work here... not something I would play in a sweaty club at 3 a.m in the morning… but I know will.i.am and he's a great talent and very clever in the way that he has 'pick pocketed' the european dance grooves. Same with Lady Gaga.

duranasty.com: When Duran Duran started back in 1979 in Birmingham you were all working at the Rum Runner club, Nick Rhodes was the deejay there back in the days, did he ever comment on your current 'second job' as deejay? And what about the rest of the band, do they like your deejay sets?

RT: Yes Nick was a great dj in the 'style eclectic and electric'. I don't think that he fancies it these days but he and the band are pleased that someone is still out there grinding out the music in clubs.

 

 

duranasty.com: Is there any relation between the electro-set that you have been doing with Duran during the Red Carpet Massacre tour and the new electronic pad performance that you'll be doing during the new “Dancefloor Destroyers” set?

RT: Yes, many of the sounds are the same and that’s really where the idea of jamming along to contemporary dance records came form.

duranasty.com: Roger, you always had a fond relationship with Italy, can you please describe italians with three adjectives?

RT: Adoring, frenzied and [very] warm

electro set pictures by Salvo Zuppardo - Lyceum, London, december 3 2007

 

 

duranasty.com: what's the craziest or funniest thing ever happened to you in Italy touring with duran or on vacation?

RT: when Duran re-united and toured Italy... there was one hotel where about 100 fans stood outside the hotel singing DD songs all through the night..none of us slept a wink but thankfully we saw the funny side in the morning.

[editor note: the city was Verona, one of the best shows ever played by Duran Duran in Italy. The above picture of the guys was taken at the hotel mentioned by Roger in the interview, when the band, like kings, came out on the balcony to wave to the huge crowd. Balcony picture taken by Christian D'Antonio]

duranasty.com: In your new duran album, the 13th Duran Duran album, you have been collaborating with Mark Ronson and Kaiser Chiefs... how do you feel being surrounded by all these young talents, do they bring new lymph to the bands dynamics? And how was having another drummer on board [Nick Hodgson] in the writing process?

RT: I think it was a great thing. When a band has made 13 albums over a long period of time you need some new stimulation and a way of keeping up with 'the zeitgeist' in an ever changing music world and I feel that music these days is much more about collobration... just ask Timbaland and Jay-Z.

duranasty.com: From your very personal point of view, try to explain how these two very different realities can live together: the musician/the songwriter/the live experience and deejaying?

RT: These worlds live together very easily, especially from a drummers perspective... music, beats, mixing… it’s all in the blood.

 

 

duranasty.com: what's the main difference between performing live in a big arena and playing a deejay set in a trendy disco? do you have the same kind of adrenaline reaction?

RT: Not sure that I have played in a 'trendy disco' yet but I would sure like to... yes its a very similar feeling, I always say being on stage or dj'ing are like flying an aeroplane... you are either going to 'fly like a bird ' or 'crash and burn'… so you can't screw up.

Thanks Roger for your time, it was a real pleasure to interview you for duranasty.com, good luck with all your future projects.

Dancefloor Destroyers tour

Sat 6th March Red Passion, Campobasso, Italy
Fri 26th March Fate AwardsAftershow, Europa Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Sat 27th March Bamboo Club, Liverpool, UK
Sat 3rd April Subtone, Cheltenham, UK

 

 

special thanks to Roger Taylor, his manager, Media Promotion and Red Passion Club
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