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SXSW 2011: Duran Duran is living in the ‘Now’

Band discusses new album and upcoming David Lynch project, as well as ex-guitarist Andy Taylor and MTV

Duran Duran singer Simon LeBon tapes an AOL Music segment March 17 at the Austin Convention Center. (Photo by Chris M. Junior)

Simon LeBon

By Chris M. Junior

Duran Duran fans still hoping guitarist Andy Taylor will once again return to the lineup should forget about it.

During the band’s SXSW interview March 17 with John Norris, singer Simon LeBon stated that Taylor has “a dark side” that makes it difficult to work with him. And drummer Roger Taylor likened the guitarist’s departure to when a star player leaves a sports team – those who remain pick up the pieces and move forward.

LeBon, Roger Taylor, bassist John Taylor and keyboardist Nick Rhodes really like the path they’ve followed with the Mark Ronson-produced “All You Need Is Now” (due March 22), the second album since Andy Taylor’s second departure. Duran Duran has already made a video for the title track, and Rhodes said there are plans to make videos for other songs.

That inevitably led to some comments about MTV and its glory days as a video music channel. Rhodes recalled when MTV was “much more loose” and aired “true maverick TV programming” before succumbing to a play list, while John Taylor said he constantly meets people who say their lives were changed by MTV’s early years.

The band also said it is looking forward to working with David Lynch, who will direct Duran Duran’s March 23 performance at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles as part of the American Express Unstaged concert series.