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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.

Sting on “The Promise”

November 21st, 2018

I have question for Simon Nick and Roger for Arcadia. How did you guys get Sting to sing background vocals on your album Arcadia. Robert

“Simon and Nick had set up residence in Paris to make the Arcadia album and many artists came through to perform. It so happened that Sting was coming to play a show, which they attended, and thought it would be interesting to have him come and sing on the album. They liked the sound of Simon and Sting’s voice together on the Band Aid single, and wanted to see what would come of putting them together again. Sting was incredibly gracious about it, and his contribution is actually one of their favorite moments on the record. Katy”

Favourite Video

October 15th, 2018

Simon, what was your fave Duran Duran video to film & why? Prowton

“It would definitely be….one of the Sri Lanka videos. It was such a trip. Take a bunch of kids from Whitley Bay, London and Birmingham…it was a different world! The sunshine, the people, the food, the music, the smells. It was so amazing just being there. That suite of three videos “Hungry like the Wolf,” “Save a Prayer” and “Lonely in Your Nightmare.” “

Why Japanese Post War Photography?

September 9th, 2018

I just finished reading about Nick`s Japanese Photo Documentary and in his answer he said that Post-War Japanese Photography was a subject that was close to his heart. I was wondering why that subject was close to his heart? Thank`s! Frannie Rhodes

From Nick: “My interest in Japanese photography began when I first saw photos from Dido Moriyama. I then started to discover many other extraordinary Japanese photographers whom I realized were mostly not so well known in the west. I am often drawn to Japanese aesthetic sense because it is so refined and different. It was also interesting to me as I learned more about the story how things paralleled between what was going on in Japan and the rest of the world post-war.”

Planetary Themes

August 14th, 2018

I’ve noticed there has been a lot of lyrics and artwork from the band over the years with a wonderful Cosmic/Astronomical vibe. Astronaut being the obvious. I was wondering if anyone in the band does any stargazing or has a affinity for Astronomy/Astro-photography? P.S. I love the stunning images of the Night Sky in the backdrop of the Paper Gods tour! Reine’

“The band says they all share a little bit of a fascination with things otherworldly. Nick had a telescope when he was young and he would spend hours looking in to the sky at night piecing together the different star constellations. More recently, he discovered the fantastic App STAR WALK which brought back all those memories for him. The band couldn’t understand anyone who wasn’t interested in the universe “out there.” Obviously, planetary themes have often cropped up in Duran Duran songs starting from the very beginning with “Planet Earth.”

How To Do A Track List

July 12th, 2018

May I say your last two albums have been two of the finest, that I continually play all the time. My question to you is how easy (or hard) is it to choose the final track list for an album? Can you give your fans some insight into the process? I ask especially as PAPER GODS’ bonus tracks included the sumptuous “Northern Lights,” the sultry “Cinderella Ride” and the thumping “Valentine Stones.” I myself can’t decide which of the twelve PAPER GODS tracks could even make way for them, so how did you? Kindest regards, Christian Tam

“Hello Christian. It’s usually a fairly democratic process that involved lots of arguments. I thinks “Northern Lights” should have been on the album but Simon and I had a dispute over the positioning of one musical part in the track so it was set aside until we could resolve it, and it missed the album deadline. I also decided to add the intro much later. Having said all of this, I think that people usually find the tracks they want now, and as much I love the vinyl album format, it’s rare to find anyone who listens an entire album even in digital format, from start to finish. I am glad you enjoyed those bonus tracks though. Nick”

Nick’s Fave Soundtracks

June 17th, 2018

From one musician and music lover to another, one of the most powerful details I love is the aesthetics that music creates. Growing up (and still do), I loved movies scores. I loved how the thematic elements of sound matched what was going on in the picture. Some were just ordinary, but others stood out to me. One of the best, if not my favorite is “The Fury” soundtrack by John Williams. Of course, the movie was not a big hit like most of the other John Williams masterpieces, but there is something special about it from late 70’s period. My question to you is this. What movie score put a major impression on you growing up or even now? Thanks,Johnny Diggs

“I think some of the most well-known movie scores were the ones that perhaps affected me most; obviously the James Bond soundtracks, particularly songs like “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds are Forever,” the incredible Ennio Morricone for the Sergio Leone movies and the electronic score from “A Clockwork Orange” by Walter Carlos. A little later I discovered the Fellini and Visconti movies, and was completely in awe of Nino Rota’s work (he also did “The Godfather” score). There are certain directors who I think understand soundtracks particularly well – David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino, and Tim Burton to name a few. Finally, I should mention how great some of the early Disney soundtracks were too. Nick”

All Done!

May 16th, 2018

For Simon: What is one thing you are happy to have done once but will never try again. Julie Abraham

“Ocean Racing! It was very exciting but I was at sea for seven weeks. A lot of the time you’re just sitting there, in the weather, be it sunny-raining-snowing-windy. It’s a lot of time to sit there with a cold wet bottom. I did it once, it was wonderful and I never need to do it again!”

Maybe DJ?

April 16th, 2018

I was wondering if Roger was still doing the whole DJ thing. If so does he have any plans on spinning at Cielo anytime soon and I was wondering what type of unit he uses when he works if its digital or or if he goes all vinyl? Curious …only bc I’m working on picking up some gigs here in New York myself…its very competitive …but I enjoy the hobby. Sharon Curtis

“Hi Sharon, yes still dj’ing, but don’t currently have any plans to go back to the most lovely ‘Cielo’. I’m all digital these days, using Traktor software on my MacBook Pro with Traktor S2 hardware. I find that I can manipulate my music in a way that I never could with Vinyl/CD’s. I can hear all the vinyl purists shouting “noooooooooo”!!!!! i’m jumping off right now! Thanks for the question! Roger X “

“Of Crime and Passion” Counter Melody

March 14th, 2018

Hi Katy, I have a question about Of Crime and Passion that has been vexing me for some 30+ years now. I am hoping the band can chime in and clear this up for me.

There is a glorious counter melody being played during each of the pre-choruses, the parts where Simon sings “Clouds on the/Graze on the/Way down by the shoulder.” For the life of me I can’t tell if this line is being played on a guitar by Andy or if it’s Nick on a synthesizer. If it’s a guitar, it must be running through a few effects to give it this marvelous futuristic sound and if it’s a synthesizer, it seems to have some kind of organic guitar sound dialed in. Or maybe it’s Andy and Nick playing the line in unison. Can you or the band tell me what is making this sound? Thank you! Kevin Hilman

“Hi Kevin, That’s actually a tricky question because with many Duran Duran songs, we try to combine the sound of different instruments playing together to blur the edges so that it becomes unclear precisely what is happening musically. In this case, I don’t remember who played what but my guess is probably Fairlight, Roland Jupiter 8 and guitar with effects which forms the wall of sound. Nick”

Nick’s Japanese Photo Project

February 21st, 2018

Hi Katy, I have a question for Nick.Could you tell me as much as you can say about the Japanese photographer’s movie you are making? Thank you for coming to Japan! Yoshie_K

“Hello Yoshie, I am indeed making a documentary about post war Japanese photography. I filmed a series of interviews in September of this year while the band was in Japan. I still have more filming to do, and a lot of editing, so there is no specific timeline for a release date as of yet. No doubt I will be talking more about this as the project progresses. The subject mater is close to my heart and it has been a real thrill and a privilege to meet and interview some of Japan’s greatest photographers. Nick”

Crows in “Paper Gods” live

January 25th, 2018

Hello Katy and the Fellas! I loved the beautiful video/photo montage used for the live show on the Paper Gods tour. One image stands out to me though. My questions is; In the beginning of the song “Paper Gods,” there are crows/blackbirds in the trees – is there a symbolic meaning for the band with this? Thank you for reading. Reine’

“Hi Reine, Nick loves crows. He thinks they’re ‘majestic creatures’ and he is always happy to see one flying by. Then there are those who believe they are rather more ominous. The band says the image is all down to personal interpretation. Katy”

Possible Duran Duran EPs?

January 8th, 2018

Katy: Hello! Thank you for doing what you do – the community thanks you. PAPER GODS took a long time to create, and to me it sounded like 3 different albums (funky one, goth one and a Hudson one). Has Duran Duran ever considered creating a mini-album of 3-4 songs? Could this formula ever work with a record label? As a fan from the beginning, I alway want new music, but 2 years in a studio seems exhausting, for everyone! Thanks, Tony

“Hello Tony. I spoke to the guys in the band and this was the general consensus: In the current musical climate it is acceptable to put out individual tracks at any time, or even EPs. Certainly it’s a much faster process than recording an album. However, the band seem to like creating a body of new songs over a period of time. They feel they get a more cohesive record doing it this way, but on the few occasions that they have written just one song – like “Wild Boys” or “A View to a Kill,” it worked out ok… The band do plan to be back in the Studio early this year, so I guess time will tell. Katy”

Roger’s Drum Style

December 22nd, 2017

Katy, This one’s for Roger. I’ve been a fan for decades now and enjoy the live show and showmanship of all the band. As a drummer, I’m wondering if Roger would discuss how his style (and kit) has evolved over the years. Watching “Sing Blue Silver” then “Pressure Off”, as a younger drummer, there was much more physicality in the show. Was this actually hitting harder? Has mic and drum technology advanced to help make the live performance less physically demanding? Roger, you really seem to be wailing on that kit back in the day, from the Palladium concert videos right up to Live Aid. Thanks for your time and the gift of music. Steve

“Hi There Steve, Yes, my style has changed over the years, and I have become much more ‘economical’ in my playing style. I definitely do much less ‘wailing’ than I used to . After all, as they say ..the true power of the drummer is really in the hands and the forearms, this is definitely something I have developed and embraced over the years. Live mic’ing, compression and mixing have also come on ‘leaps and bounds’ over the decades, which is all power to the drummer!

Kit set up hasn’t really changed that much, altho ..the electronic part of the kit has become much more sophisticated, we can now lift samples from the album backing tracks & put them into my electronic pads, which means we can stay much closer to the sounds on the album. Thnx for the question, RT”

A Christmas Song

December 1st, 2017

Hi, Aside from Band Aid, have the band ever recorded a Christmas related song? If not, is there any particular reason for this? Thanks, Matthew

“It has been on the band’s to-do list for more than 35 years now. The simple answer is they just never got around to it… but I checked with three of four band members, and they would like to give it a go one day. Katy”

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”