Simon Le Bon Learned to ‘Cherish New Music’ via COVID Radio Gig

Simon Le Bon said his SirusXM co-hosting role during lockdown helped him learn to appreciate new music more than he had in years.

Not only did the Duran Duran singer experience a renewed enjoyment of music in general, it also informed some of the ideas that appear on the band’s latest album, Future Past, as he told the Star Tribune in a recent interview.

“It’s really opened my horizons. I really cherish new music now,” Le Bon said of his Whooosh! show, which he presented alongside Katy Krassner, and which started as a private venture before SiriusXM became involved. “It’s taken a couple of skins off my musical sensitivity. I’m enjoying music more. I bring some of those ideas into the Duran Duran world. A lot of the sounds on the track ‘Future Past’ I owe to my obsession with a track by Tame Impala remixed by Four Tet. Big bold synthesizer sounds.”

The experience also increased his appreciation for his bandmates. “We’re held together by the fact that we are much more creative with the four of us than if the four of us did solo work,” he argued. “We like working together. We inspire each other. We surprise each other. We like each other. When we’re not on tour, we see each other socially. We’ve developed a real respect for each other over the years.”

Le Bon discussed how Duran Duran benefited from making memorable videos to accompany their singles at the start of the MTV era. “There was a kind of self-consciousness and campness to a lot of [other promos],” he said. “But you could always see they were acting. Whereas when we did something like ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’ I was able to do that sort of Raiders of Lost Ark character and look like I meant it. I think that was a big part of our success with videos.”

And while he described the band’s upcoming induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as “the closest you can get to rock ’n’ roll knighthood,” the singer noted Duran Duran kept their feet on the ground. “We play for royalty,” he said, alluding to their recent performance to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th year on the British throne. “It doesn’t make us royalty.”

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