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Duran Duran had only been in Rome for an hour when we hopped on a phone call with bassist extraordinaire John Taylor. The night before, they played in Verona, and this was a night off in the middle of another European stretch of the All You Need Is Now tour. The tour-- in support of the Mark Ronson-produced album All You Need Is Now-- launched in March of 2011 and included a date at last year's Coachella festival. Their final North American stretch of the trek begins this week and includes their gig at the Orange County Fair on August 11. After a post-tour break, Duran Duran will head into the studio in early 2013 to begin work on their next album. We talked to Taylor about the tour and their fans.
John Taylor: We're just constantly creeping. We're kind of like a racing car. We're getting faster and faster, incrementally. If you saw every night, you wouldn't notice, but my wife will see us and then not see us again for two months and then she'll say, "Oh my God, you guys are so much better. When we get onto the touring cycle-- this one's been 18 months-- just incrementally, it's getting better. It's getting tighter, the song choices and the performances. It just gets stronger. Hopefully.
When you have as many songs as Duran Duran has, how do you narrow down what you're going to play?
That's a tough one. Actually, we argue more about that than we do about almost anything. We don't want to be perceived as a greatest hits band, you know, like a heritage act. The show is built around the latest album, but there are so many songs that so many people would be disappointed if they didn't hear. It's a balance, but, at the moment, I think that we're delivering the goods. I think people who have been seeing the band on this European tour, I think they're getting what they want.