Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes remembers being in Los Angeles several years ago when his girlfriend mentioned that she had a birthday surprise for him: lunch with respected Italian record producer and songwriter Giorgio Moroder.

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“I was absolutely thrilled,” Rhodes tells Granthshala. “Not that I often get excited to meet someone. I thought: ‘Wow, the body of work and the stuff he’s done and the impact on us and so many other people.’ Anyway, we had the most wonderful lunch and just chatted and said, ‘Why didn’t we work together? How is that possible?’ And the feeling was very mutual. I knew everyone else in the band would want to work with him.”

Along with Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, Moroder is considered one of the founding fathers of electronic music in the 1970s. Her numerous production and songwriting credits include several of Donna Summer’s disco hits such as “Love to Love You Baby,” “MacArthur Park” and “On the Radio”; Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”; Berlin’s “Take My Breathe Away”; “The Never Ending Story” by Limahl; “Flashdance… What a Feeling” by Irene Cara; and David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire).” He also appeared on the track “Giorgio by Moroder” from Daft Punk’s 2013 Grammy-winning album random access memories.

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Now Moroder can add Duran Duran to his body of work. He collaborated with the popular British rock band on their new record future PastWhich came out on Friday. It’s a perfect match as both the artists specialize in electronic-oriented music that is cutting-edge and danceable. “He’s awesome in that way,” Rhodes says, “just a consummate professional and everything you could ever want Giorgio Moroder to be—he is.”

Rhodes, one of Duran Duran’s founding and current members, along with vocalist Simon Le Bon, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor, stated that the band wanted to work with Moroder when they released their 1981 self-titled debut. The album was recorded. . In 2015, Duran Duran presented Moroder with the Inspiration of the Year Award. GQMen of the Year Awards in London.

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“About a year after that, we finally managed to align the stars and get into the studio,” Rhodes says.

“We went in,” Le Bon says, “and without really discussing it, we kind of made a tacit agreement that we let go of whatever Giorgio says. So if he wants to move on, we move on.” grow. Oh, no, no, no, we can’t have that.’ I said, ‘Really?’ ‘Oh no, I don’t think so.’ I thought, ‘Okay, we’ll do it your way.’ It really worked for us.”

Songs that were co-produced by Moroder with Duran Duran future Past These include “Beautiful Lies” and “Tonight United”, both of which have a distinct imprint of him and the band. “Tonight United” in particular has a very festive and unified vibe that feels like an antidote to the pandemic.

“I think one thing we’ve always tried to do is strike a balance between light and dark,” Rhodes says of “Tonight United,” because that’s how life is. reflect things nearby. But people as a group, we’re usually optimistic. Plus, there’s a lot of realism. And so you end up like this. If we’ve done a few things that maybe a little bit More challenging and thought provoking, then that’s enough. It’s nice to say: ‘Let’s do something that excites people. Let’s make people feel good about all the positive things that we’re fortunate to have.’ “

John Taylor says: “We get to see something that very few people do as musicians: when you’re out on stage – and if you’re lucky like us and you have many songs that got under is the skin of generations of people—you know what it’s like to stand up and watch a crowd of people [of] All types, sizes and colors all have a very human feel. And I think when you take up the media, the politicians and the continuing divide – that’s what “Tonight United” is all about.”

The members also reminisced about some of their favorite Moroder-related works: among them “I Feel Love,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer; the album number 1 in heaven by Sparks; From “Chase” and “Scarface (Push It to the Limit)” midnight express And scarface soundtrack respectively; and Blondie’s “Call Me.”

“The first show we all played together was at Rum Runner in Birmingham,” recalls Rhodes, “We actually started the show with a cover version of ‘I Feel Love’.”

Along with the New York City band Chic, Moroder played a key role in the popularity of disco music in the late 1970s, which inspired members of Duran Duran as a youth.

“I remember going to Bournemouth with my best friend Dave Miles,” Le Bon says. “We went to this nightclub. I remember I was on the dance floor and it was the first time I was actually in a proper disco—a big, big room. I was in the middle of the dance floor, and ‘I ‘Feel Love’ came. It made the hair on my arms stand out. It had the kind of samadhi-like state it gave me.”

“I think we were among the first kids of our generation who weren’t prejudiced towards disco music,” says John Taylor, “but actually adopted and fell in love with disco music,” says John Taylor, who called himself a love of disco. did. [as much as] Punk, and as creative musicians at the time really saw disco as an influence. Roger, Nick, and I started listening to Giorgio, listening to Chic, and thinking: ‘Let’s have a rhythm section that works like that.'”

For the band, the overall experience of working with Moroder was indelible and impactful.

“Nick and I went to see her in concert,” says Roger Taylor. “I think it was his first tour at age 79. Just the breadth of work, everything he did—it was incredible.”

“We were all very focused for those days [in the studio with him]”And he works quickly and concisely. I learned a lot watching him production-wise. He’s a master,” says Rhodes.

In addition to Moroder, future Past, Duran Duran’s 15th studio album, with productions and contributions by producer Errol Alkan; Blur guitarist Graham Coxon; producer/guitarist Mark Ronson; Japanese female rock band CHAI; and David Bowie pianist Mike Garson. The band has played several dates so far this year – including at the Austin City Limits festival – while eyeing a US tour next year. On Tuesday, the band unveiled their latest video, “Anniversaries,” directed by Alison Jackson.