Paper Gods is said to capture the duality and sense of conflict at the heart of Duran Duran’s music. “It really goes back to that strange early Duran mix: the hard-edged pop, coexisting with this dark, weird, experimental side,” John says.
“That’s something that’s essential to all of us,” Nick adds. “It’s great to be able to lift people’s spirits – and your own – with a strong shot of pure pop, but the world we live in isn’t all just made of that stuff, so it seems natural to me that we have kept one foot in the darker, more Gothic side of life.”
Early sessions for Paper Gods began in 2013, with Mark Ronson and engineer Josh Blair once again joining the band in their south London recording studio, as they had for 2011’s All You Need is Now, which was produced by Ronson. When Ronson was called away to begin working on his own album, Duran Duran and Blair hooked up with the Kanye West/Jay-Z collaborator Ben “Mr” Hudson, and the sessions caught fire. In the summer of 2014, Ronson returned once more to the project, adding long-time Duran collaborator, Nile Rodgers to the mix for two of the album’s standout tracks. The remaining songs were co-produced by Josh Blair and the band.
“We found a whole new level of inspiration on this album,” says Rhodes.
“We’ve allowed ourselves the time to make music that we can be proud of,” adds Le Bon. “I judge what we release by my favourite albums – Horses, Harvest, Let It Bleed, Blue, Transformer, Aladdin Sane. Those are classic albums. The only rule is it’s got to be music you can live with for the rest of your life.”
In a collaboration overseen by China Chow, the band worked closely with Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel, who created the album’s cover art. It features a collage of images that reference the visual history of Duran Duran, each placed like a sticker on a reproduction of Israel’s “Sky Backdrop” painting. The logo and graphic design are by Brian Roettinger. You can see the artwork below:
Alongside news of the new album, Duran Duran have also announced that they will perform a series of summer festivals, as well as several shows in the U.S. in September and October, followed by a UK arena tour that kicks off in late November. Fan Community members (www.duranduranmusic.com) will have access to pre-sale tickets and VIP packages. Following the Duran Duran VIP member presale, in the UK, American Express Card Members will have the ability to purchase tickets before the general public on-sale. (See below for full details and dates).
Duran Duran’s upcoming tour dates are as follows:
06/20 Barcelona, Spain Sonar by Night Festival
06/27 The Hague, Netherlands Night At The Park
06/28 Kerry, Ireland Killarney Festival
08/05 Riverhead, NY FOLD Festival (Freak Out! Let’s Dance Festival – Martha Clara Vineyards)
08/06 Bethlehem, PA Musikfest – ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks
09/01 Ibiza Heart at the Ibiza Gran Hotel
09/05 Gibraltar Gibraltar Music Festival @ Victoria Stadium
09/11 Isle of Wight, UK Bestival @ Robin Hill Park
09/20 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers & Clean Bandit
09/23 Puyallup, WA Washington State Fair w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers
09/25 Reno, NV Grand Theatre – Grand Sierra Resort & Casino w/ Clean Bandit
09/26 Las Vegas, NV Life is Beautiful Festival
09/27 San Diego, CA Cal Coast Union Open Air Theatre w/ Clean Bandit
10/01 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers & Clean Bandit
10/02 San Francisco, CA The Greek Theatre, Berkeley w/ CHIC featuring Nile Rodgers & Clean Bandit
10/03 Rancho Mirage, CA The Show – Agua Caliente Casino w/ Clean Bandit
UK Tour: **
11/27 Manchester, UK Manchester Arena
11/28 Leeds, UK First Direct Arena
11/30 Cardiff, UK Motorpoint Arena
12/02 Brighton, UK Brighton Centre
12/04 Birmingham, UK Genting Arena
12/05 Newcastle, UK Metro Radio Arena
12/06 Glasgow, Scotland The SSE Hydro
12/08 London, UK The O2
12/09 Bournemouth, UK Bournemouth International Centre
12/11 Nottingham, UK Capital FM Arena
12/12 Liverpool, UK Echo Arena
** In the UK, thanks to American Express Invites®, all American Express Card Members get exclusive priority booking for tickets before the general public. American Express Invites priority booking starts 9am 16 June 2015 and ends 9am 19 June 2015. Tickets are available through ticketmaster.co.uk/amex.
For more on Duran Duran, to purchase tour tickets, buy CDs, and more, head to www.duranduran.com