Page last updated at 09:54 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 10:54 UK

Talking Shop: Duran Duran

Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon (left) and John Taylor
Singer Simon Le Bon (left) and John Taylor spend months on the road
Duran Duran are back on the road, more than 25 years after hits such as Hungry Like The Wolf, Rio and Save A Prayer made them global stars.

After their 12th studio album Red Carpet Massacre, featuring Justin Timberlake and Timbaland, came out last year, the group are playing in the US before dates in the UK in July.

Bassist John Taylor gives an insight into life on tour, and discusses their plans for a one-off show with Mark Ronson.


What happens in an average day on the road?

I try to stay in bed until 10, but I'm a serious coffee addict so the idea of coffee gets me out of bed at 9:30-ish. Then I'll start the day with an internet connection, I might go to the gym, I might have a sauna. We like saunas and steams. Maybe do something to keep healthy. It's pretty civilised really.

Staying sharp with my playing is the best formula for having a good time on stage

We might go to the venue at about four o'clock, make sure everything's set up as we like it. Most days there's an hour of press to do, interviews like this, and I try to practice for an hour a day. I try.

Do you still need to practice after all these years?

When you're away from home, it's all about the show. If you don't have a good time at the shows, then touring is miserable. I've found that staying sharp with my playing is the best formula for having a good time on stage.

What's on your rider?

We are so easy, man. We have a sushi selection, we like a certain quality of red wine to be available, we have a room that our roadies set up where we have a practice drum kit and bass and guitar amplifier so the rhythm section can warm up. We love to just play before we go on stage to break the ice.

Duran Duran's John Taylor (left)
John Taylor (left) rejoined Duran Duran for their full reunion in 2001
One of the fun things we're doing on this tour is we've got a little turntable in the dressing room with us, so every day somebody has to go and find some bizarre old vinyl album. It's like a challenge.

We've had Tony Bennett, the Jungle Book soundtrack, The Supremes Sing the Liverpool Hits. At the end of the tour we'll have accrued 100 vinyl oddities and we're going to eBay them off for a good cause.

Is there much partying these days?

I'm not a big party head. It takes so much energy. Parties are so much work. People talk so loud and we've just been playing for two-and-a-half hours. You can't do it very often.

How does touring now compare to 25 years ago?

Comparing a festival to a concert is a bit like eating a buffet as opposed to having a one-on-one candlelight dinner

Back when I was younger, there was a duality to life - there was road and home. They were like two separate lives. Today, family and friends are so important and we all try to stay connected in as consistent a way as we can, and in this sense technology has been a friend to the touring musician. I just got Skype two weeks ago when I was in Japan and it's so mindblowing.

Have you been approached to do any British festivals like Glastonbury?

I've known Mark [Ronson] for a long time - I've known his mum and dad and I'm very proud of what he's achieved

No. I guess I'd like to do it. We just did the V Festivals in Australia. It's something new for us. Comparing a festival to a concert is a bit like eating a buffet as opposed to having a one-on-one candlelight dinner. I've always been a one-on-one candlelight dinner sort of person, but I can see how the buffet is appealing.

What are you planning with Mark Ronson in Paris?

I love Mark, I've known Mark for a long time. I've known his mum and dad and I'm very proud of what he's achieved.

Mark Ronson
Mark Ronson won best British male at this year's Brit Awards
Ann and [stepdad] Mick Jones - from Foreigner, who raised Mark - are two of the most wonderful people you could ever know. It was always on the cards that Mark was going to be a very special fellow. He's always been a really hard-working super-nice guy, and he deserves everything that he's getting.

At this point we've had several conversations about what we want to do, and his ideas are really exciting. The idea is to create a 30-minute monster Ronson-Duran mash with nods to all and sundry and then play the damn thing live, which is kind of rad, as the Californians like to say. It's a really exciting project. It's good to have these kinds of things that challenge you and shake you out of your complacency.

Duran Duran are on tour in the US and Europe until July, including UK shows in London, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham. John Taylor was talking to entertainment reporter Ian Youngs.


SEE ALSO
Ronson teams up with Duran Duran
01 May 08 |  Entertainment
Duran Duran US gigs hit by strike
12 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Duran Duran to play on Broadway
29 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
Duran prepare for landmark gigs
29 Jun 07 |  Entertainment
Timberlake helps on Duran album
13 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Guitarist splits from Duran Duran
26 Oct 06 |  Entertainment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific