Roger Taylor interview

Duran Duran's drummer talks football, Djing and coming to Dubai

Interview, Hot seat

Did it take much persuading to sign you up for this Dubai gig?
No, I just got a message from my agent saying that something had come up in Dubai and it was an immediate yes. I played with the band there a couple of years ago and I was impressed. I went to the ski place in the shopping mall – I’ve never seen anything quite like that.

How did you become DJ?

I started at the Met Bar in London. I like to be in control of music. I go to so many clubs and if the music isn’t right, it spoils the whole night for me. I really enjoy making people dance the whole night.

How does it compare to being in Duran Duran?
It’s a totally different thing. When we play a Duran show there’s a certain expectation. People want to hear certain records from our catalogue, which is great, but I like the fact that as a DJ you can just go with a clean slate. I can play what I want and I find that really refreshing. Maybe I’ll put in a really cool remix of a Duran song or a Depeche Mode song or New Order or whatever, but generally it’s about playing contemporary music.

What’s it like being in the band now compared to the old days?
To come back with older heads and a little more maturity has made the whole experience more enjoyable. I think when you’re younger it’s very easy to be controlled by other people, but as you get older you appreciate things a lot more.

Is it as crazy as it used to be?
When we reunited in 2001 we didn’t have a record deal or a management company, so it was really starting from scratch. We played little theatres and they were selling out within minutes. Within a year we played five nights at Wembley Area in London and Madison Square Garden in New York for the first time since ’83. They were really big, big moments. It was great to realise that we still had a huge audience that wanted to see us.

Mark Ronson has produced your latest album, All You Need Is Now. What’s he like?
He’s really, really cool, actually.We were only supposed to work with him on two or three songs, but it turned into a full-blown two-year album project because he was so good to work with.

You wanted to be a football goalkeeper, but weren’t tall enough. Do you think the goalie is equivalent to a drummer in a band?
It’s a very similar supporting role to the rest of the team. I guess you do have to be a certain type of person for both.

Finally, you share your name with Roger Taylor from Queen. Has that led to any problems?
No. People do get confused sometimes, but it’s an easy mistake isn’t it? Roger Taylor from Queen: drummer. Roger Taylor from Duran Duran: drummer. Thank goodness he’s not a DJ now as well.

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