Pop Quiz: Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran


Aidin Vaziri | You might have noticed that a Duran Duran revival is in full swing. Sure, the British pop band scored a majority of its biggest hits a few decades back, but last year saw the release of “Paper Gods,” an album that managed to conjure the electricity of the early years with a slew of top-notch collaborators like Mark Ronson, Janelle Monae, Kiesza, Nile Rodgers and Lindsay Lohan. The group is once again on tour — minus keyboardist Nick Rhodes, who is out for a family emergency while Amanda “MNDR” Warner fills in — with a stop scheduled at the Outside Lands festival. We spoke with singer Simon Le Bon on the 36th anniversary of the classic lineup’s first live date, and he told us things have never been better.

Q: Do you ever go to festivals as a civilian?

A: I’ve been to festivals, but quaint little English ones with like 800 people. It’s a weird thing for me. I like going as a performer. I’m used to going backstage, telling people what to do — having them polish my shoes, brush my hair.

Q: This is the first time you have been onstage without Nick in about 35 years. Is it weird?

A: It’s really strange. I want him back as soon as we can have him back. MNDR is amazing. She can play all the parts. She knows all the songs. She looks great onstage. But it’s not Nick Rhodes. That’s all there is to it.

Q: It just occurred to me that this lineup of Duran Duran has probably been together longer than any of the others.

A: How time flies when you’re having fun. We’re really enjoying it. We enjoy making the music as well. It’s got better.

Read more.