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Welcome to ASK KATY. This is the place where you can Ask Katy stuff about Duran Duran. You can Ask Katy whatever you would like and she will try to answer you. Katy has worked for Duran Duran for many years now, and we like to think she knows a lot. Got a question about the band? Ask Katy. What is the B-side to Union of the Snake? Ask Katy. Trouble with remembering when the band last came to your town? Ask Katy. You get the picture. So don’t be shy…Ask Katy and she will answer a selection of questions each month. Here are the most Frequently Asked Katy Questions.

If your question isn’t answered, it may be because it has been answered before. Use the search feature and find out.

JT’s Acoustic Bass

November 16th, 2017

Hi John! I’m curious, do you own and or ever play an acoustic bass? What kind is it and do you play it often? Thanks for taking the time to read my question! Sarah

“Hi Sarah, I have one that Aria built for me in the early ’80s, it’s a real old warhorse, it’s been with me everywhere. I think.. think.. I may have used it on ‘Land’. I have two acoustic basses that Yamaha made around ’86. Beautiful creatures, one fretless, one fretted. That one appears on the ‘Decade’ cover (and in the ‘Come Undone’ video if I remember correctly).I always like to have an acoustic bass on hand, I actually have one in storage at our New York hotel. When we check in they send it to my room! John”

Ok, once and for all, who do you support for Football?

October 15th, 2017

Dear Katy, I am a big Duran Duran Fan and I love toread ASK KATY on the DD Website. My question for you is about Sports. I know that Simon is a Manchester United supporter, are the other members also Soccer supporters and if so what are their favorite Teams? Thank you for your answer, greetings from Austria! Dieter

“Hi Dieter, yes we are all football supporters in some way. JT bounces around between Aston Villa & Man Utd , Nick was brought up in a family of West Bromwich Albion supporters ..although I’m not sure how enthusiastic he is about ‘The Baggies’. I have to say that I’m somewhat of a ‘die hard’ Aston Villa supporter , still awaiting the return of the glory days..’Up the Villa!’RT”

Bass on “Face for Today” & “On Evil Beach”

September 13th, 2017

Hi! Is there a mix of synth bass and real bass in “Face for Today” and “On Evil Beach”? A friend of mine (professional bass player) is sure it’s all synth bass, but I (very modest bass playing skills) think there’s a mix in both songs. We bet a box of chocolate! Georgia Somenzari – Brazil

“Hi Georgia, I actually can’t remember for “On Evil Beach,” but on “Face for Today” I did a combo. Even the real bass on that track is processed and reversed. JT”

Inspiration for “What Happens Tomorrow”

August 15th, 2017

Hi Katy! I’m Dana and i’m 12 years old. I have been listening to Duran Duran for a pretty long time now even B.P.G. (Before Paper Gods) However, I have a question about “What Happens Tomorrow” one of my favorites (behind “The Reflex” & “Ordinary World”) I was wondering about the inspiration for the song. In the beginning it mentions a child growing up in the frightening world, and in the end it also mentions “these tiny lives matter.” Its seemed the whole song was faced toward children. I was just curious as to what the inspiration for this song was. Love, Dana :)

“Hi Dana! Thanks for being such a supportive fan! Your guess is actually rather close to the original inspiration for the song, say the band. Nick saw some news footage of a young child in a war torn city who said, “Nobody knows what happens tomorrow” – and the phrase very much stuck with him because, somehow, it summed up all of everyone’s life… but in this particular case, a far more frightening prospect of what the immediate future might bring. Katy”

Directing and Recording

July 15th, 2017

Hi Katy, I have two questions, one for the band and one for Nick, in particular. Does the band have a preferred method or order for recording each other’s part for a song? And for Nick, you’ve mentioned you would’ve gone on to make films if this whole rock star thing didn’t work out. Is there a film you would love to make? Thanks,Todd

“Hi Todd, I am still rather hoping that “would have” in the past tense is not how things will turn out for me regarding films. Although I’ve been saying it for far too long, and have yet to apply myself to making it happen, I do very much hope to direct a film over the coming years. I have no idea what genre it would end up in yet but I will keep you posted…

Our recording process always varies from song to song and album to album. Since we have been recording digitally, directly into the computer, it’s obviously much easier to edit parts, so we tend to play more individually than we used to. For the early albums we would often try to capture a performance where at least drums, bass and guitar were played simultaneously. Occasionally, we still try out songs by recording together but certainly is a different process now. Nick”

Score for “Mi Vida Loca”

June 28th, 2017

hi Katy this one is for Mr JT, I saw the movie “mi vida loca” by “accident” on the telly, and it was my first view, and my appreciation goes to Allison Anders, the director, but mostly it came up with two questions in my mind: the score is made by John, but there’s a supervisor due to Jellibean Benintez, did they work togheter at some point? did they know each other right before the movie? and the second one is about the graphic in the score wich is very nick eganESQUE in the drawings, but no clue in the credits about it, so is it correct? Thank you, Cami in Naples

“Hi Cami, No I never worked with Jellybean on the film, and no no knowledge about the graphic other than I can safely say it wasn’t Nick Egan … JT”

Does JT Use a Chorus Pedal?

May 11th, 2017

Hi Katy, I was one of the lucky attendants to the Lollapalooza Chile show the band did in April. First of all, congratulations on an excellent performance. Local press, fans and non fans alike were very impressed by you guys. This is a question for John. I noticed that you used a chorus pedal on most if not all of the performance. Since when are you using this effect and why the change? Also, what pedal do you use for this? Thanks and regards, Reynaldo.

JT: Hi Reynaldo. I don’t use a chorus pedal! You should talk to Bernie (John’s tech)

Bernie: Hi Reynaldo, John doesn’t use any Chorus in his live rig, it’s a clean signal from the amp. The only effects he uses are delay on certain songs, octave, and distortion on “Notorious.” Hope this helps.

“Kiss Goodbye” Extended version?

April 15th, 2017

Hello, I have a question for Nick, I would like to know if the Pop thrash song “Kiss Goodbye” has a long version because I think is an incredible and beautiful piece of music. Thanks in advance, Hernan from Buenos Aires

“Hello Hernan, From memory, I believe “Kiss Goodbye” was only ever created as a short piece, but I do agree, it would lend itself perfectly to an extended version. If I get a moment, when we remaster POP TRASH, I will take a look for you. Thanks, Nick”

“All She Wants Is” Guitar

March 15th, 2017

Hey Katy, I have a question for the band if they have time. Thanks for all you do.

One of my favorite songs by Duran Duran is “All She Wants Is”. One of the reasons it’s so special to me is that during the second verse this guitar comes in, I believe they call it the “lead vamp guitar” on the album credits. It seems to have a free flowing range to it, unlike other pop songs then or since, i have always love the aspect of riff guitar floating in and out of my sonic awareness, and not really having a “riff” but more like a sonic wind behind the vocals and melody. I wanted to ask was this designed by John, Nick and Simon or was Warren given free range to make the guitar his own thing? Thanks for writing/recording such a wonderful song I still listen to it often. – Kevin

“Hello Kevin. As a band, we have always collaborated on almost every level, often suggesting ideas for musical parts or lyrics to each other. In this specific instance, we think the guitar part you are referring to was entirely Warren’s idea for the song “All She Wants Is.” He is undoubtedly one of the most creative and innovative musicians that we have had the pleasure to work with and he never failed to surprise us with the notes he chose to play and the sound he always made. – Nick, Simon & John”

Strings on the bass

February 15th, 2017

Hi John! I want to start off by saying thank you! I’ve been a fan of you, and Duran Duran since I was a kid. I discovered the band when Come Undone was released. I was about ten years old. I was so inspired by you and the way you play the bass (still love it, never gets old). I took lessons when I was about fifteen. I’ve only ever played a four string bass. I’m curious, which do you like better, the four or five string?

“As a bassist of the old school variety I like basses like my cars – with four wheels (or strings) I’m not above the odd flirtation with a 5 now and again however. JT”

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

January 15th, 2017

Dear Nick, Back in early 1990, you curated the music for the play “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” by Corinne Jacker. I’ve always wondered if, in that specific role, you just selected music to go with the play or you actually wrote a soundtrack? In the latter case, what kind of music it was? If you look back to that particular venture, and in light of your current musical project with John, can you see a slight connection between the two experiences? Thanks always for your time, Salvo

“Hello Salvo!

Only you would have picked upon such a obscure musical moment. I actually wrote a couple of short instrumental for the show because i couldn’t find anything else that i thought would be specifically appropriate. the themes were used repeatedly throughout the production. I have no idea if any copies of that music even still exists. I probably a cassette of the master mix in the archive somewhere. I can assure you the sound couldn’t be further away than what John and I have been creating together but you will have to wait a little while before you hear that!


Numbers on John Taylor’s “Feelings Are Good”

December 15th, 2016

Due to my humble DD stuff has been organized recently I looked more closely this CD booklet from John Taylor’s solo album titled ‘Feelings are good and other lies’, so that question has been on my mind for long time came out: what could these numbers possibly mean beside each verse? Best wishes from far far away… Brazil! Diana da Cruz

“Hi Diana, I would imagine they are the engineers notes, referring to the tape on the reel and where those points in the song are. JT”

Roger Recommends a Record Player (say it 10x fast)

November 15th, 2016

So having recently moved house and rediscovered my oversized 80’s DD record collection, I’m keen to invest in a suitable record player to enjoy them all on. My question therefore is what stereo system would’ve band recommend I invest in to get the best possible sound – what is their own set up at home like?

“Hi Steve, Glad to hear that you are heading back to vinyl! My own particular set up comprises a Rega RP1 record deck (kindly donated by Mark Ronson) which is really a dj deck , an ancient NAD stereo amplifier that I found in thrift store , & some very old Spirit Audio studio monitors , but it sounds pretty damn good for blasting out my vinyl collection , that I’ve collected throughout my lifetime. So I think you really can mix & match anything that works for you they say ‘it’s what’s in the grooves that really matters’! Hope this helps, Roger”

JT in “Salome”

October 8th, 2016

Hi, Early on in the the filmed version of Oscar Wilde’s play “Salome,” Al Pacino’s King Herod is holding a banquet set in the modern day. Just briefly I thought I saw John and Gela among the guests there. Am I right? Many thanks for all the years guys. James

“Good train-spotting. It was us! JT”

Nick & his JDXA

September 15th, 2016

If you/Nick gets a minute, could you please ask him what songs feature the JDXA on the new album? As you know I’m an aspiring musician and have been into synths since hearing The Chauffeur, and recently bought a JDXA thanks to seeing Nick having 4 of them, 5 including the one Used next to John on stage! James Ackerley,

“As the JDXA arrived as we were mixing the album, it actually doesn’t feature anything other than briefly on “Change the Skyline.” However, I am looking forward to using the synth next time i am in the Studio and, so far, my live rig is proving to be perfect for what I need. Nick”

That Parrot!

August 15th, 2016

Hi Katy, In the “My Own Way” music video, there is a cute parrot that is on Nick’s synths and Roger’s drum kit. Who’s idea was it to have the parrot in the music video and who owned it?
Sincerely, Delta

“”Great question! Polling the band: they believe the parrot must have been Russell Mulcahy’s idea as he directed the video. They seem to remember the parrot being a friendly little chap, but he wasn’t terribly talkative. We have no idea whatsoever who owned him or what became of him. Katy”

Bass Colour

July 15th, 2016

Have been meaning to ask this question after seeing the guys on the Paper Gods tour here in the UK. What bass is/has John been using. Every time I looked at him on stage the bass seemed to have changed color. Thanks in advance. Michael


“John uses a Peavey Cirrus bass. His main one is painted with a type of paint that appears to change color depending in the angle or light. It’s blue but can appear reddish, purple and sometimes a pinkish color.”

Inspiration for “The Universe Alone”

June 15th, 2016

My name is Javier I’m from Spain, sorry for my English. First of all thanks for keeping this section alive!!! I love it!

My favourite song on Paper Gods is “The Universe Alone.” I love the music, the lyrics and the concept…when you hear it, is like watching a movie, is so cinematic…from the beginning to the end. And as Lori Majewski said in her track by track review, it reminds of the chilling final scene in Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia.

So the questions are: Is that the inspiration for the song? If not, which was it?. And it would be amazing to hear this song live…will you play it live in the future?

“Hello Javier,

Simon wrote the lyric to the song. We’re not sure whether he has even seen Melancholia (we will ask), but we must confess that although some of us own the film on DVD, we haven’t seen it! It’s unlikely that film was the inspiration for Simon. It is really Duran Duran’s interpretation of the song “My Way” (as sung by Frank Sinatra). We have talked about playing it live, and hopefully this will happen one day. NR”

Simon & John’s “Pressure Off” video clothes

May 14th, 2016

I love the style of the clothes that are in the “Pressure Off” video. Particularly John and Simon’s leather jacket. I would like to know if they are designed for them, and the brand…Thanks a lot, Javier

“My Clothes were Saint Laurent – John”
“Mine is Diesel from their current collection – Simon”

“My Own Way” Re-Do

March 16th, 2016

Hello, I have a question that I’ve always wondered about – How did the two different versions of “My Own Way” come about? Why did they choose to redo it for RIO when it was previously released as a single? I’m glad they did because I love both, but I was just curious. Thanks a lot! Brett Schieber

“Hi Brett,

“My Own Way” was the first single to come out post debut album releases. So, it was recorded in an isolated session before we started work on the RIO album. Once the sound architecture began to take shape in the RIO sessions, we realized the original version of “My Own Way” did not seem to fit in sonically. Possibly the live strings seemed out of context. Hence, we decided to record a more raw version of the song during the album sessions. NR”