A fan perspective: an interview with The Daily Duranie

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It’s the first time I thought to interview other music fans about the topics I usually speak of regularly on my blogs and to share their answers here; I’m thrilled to have the first guest blog appearance! Some others may come in the future.

The first guests are my amazing Twitter pals, “Daily Duranie” and behind this name is the brilliant duo running the self-titled awesome blog wwww.dailyduranie.com that I daily visit, love reading and where I’m used to leave a comment: so it was natural to me to ask them to say their opinions and to ask them to share them here.  

Here we go… Rhonda: (R.) and Amanda (A.): thank you again for taking some time to answer all!

THE QUESTION Are you thrilled to send in questions to your fave artists (on how they’re making music, on how they’re thinking to make better live shows, on releasing B Side projects, etc…)? 

R- I like to send in questions, particularly because it gives me a chance to ask some things that normal interviewers won’t ask, such as details about the recording process and things like that.

A – I like to send in questions when I think I have questions that are questions that would be valuable to me and others in the fandom.  I don’t send in questions that I think have been answered a million times before.  They have to be quality questions.

 

LIVE SHOWS A powerful set list to play or interaction with the fans attending: what is the most important factor?

R- I really believe that both are equally important.  You can’t have a good live set when you’re playing music that only a few in the audience truly know; and if you’re playing a fantastic set list and don’t bother to even look or smile – something really feels like it’s missing.  I think we’re lucky because Duran Duran is very good at balancing both!

A – While I think a setlist can have a negative impact, I think that interaction with fans is more important.  I have been to many shows in which I would have changed to improve the setlist.  Yet, the shows were amazing because the band gave it their all and really got the crowd into it.    

 

LEGACY who makes the legacy a great one: the artist or the fans?

R- Well, I believe that the legacy has to come directly from the artist to begin with, but it is the memories that the fans hold most dear that linger forever.

A – The artist wouldn’t have fans if they were great, right?  I also think staying power is important and one huge factor for staying power is having dedicated fans who have discovered that the meaning behind fandom is making those connections with other fans.  

 

THE CHARTS Are you still influenced by the charts when you are going to buy a book or a record?

R- I gave up looking at the Billboard charts YEARS ago.  It makes zero difference to me who is on top of the charts, because 99.9% of the time, it’s music that I wouldn’t even consider listening to.  The real gems are the ones that never even get radio play or sales!  I will say that when I buy books, sometimes I’ll check out the Best Seller list when I’m browsing and want to find something new to read or discover a new author, though.

A-Charts?  What are those?  I never pay attention to charts.  I’m not sure I really ever did.  Yes, obviously, the higher on the charts something is, the more likely I would be exposed to it.  For me, personally, though, I’m much more likely to listen to recommendations from people who have tastes I trust.

 

REALITY SHOWS Recently, critics claimed “In the past years record companies had art directors who advised their artists, today those art directors have become the “judges” of the Reality Shows and that change brought music to death”. As a music fan do you agree with the critics?

  R- In my opinion, the only thing bringing music to “death” is the industry itself.  Reality shows are a gimmick for sales, just like videos were back in the 80’s – but it’s not the ONLY thing that creates sales. I just don’t believe that the labels are really supporting artists the way they once were.  I know many, many bands that have gotten label deals, and ended up doing better on their own as a Indie act purely because the label did nothing for them and of course the label still took their percentage from sales and profits.  I mean, if a band has to promote themselves with no financial backing from the label anyway, and yet still has to share profit – what is the point of having a label?  Maybe for a band like Duran Duran it could still be worth it, but for newer bands?  Probably not. The learning curve for utilizing social media and the internet has been a very long one for the industry – for many years they spent more time FIGHTING the process than actually learning how to harness the power from it.  Bands and musicians have suffered as a result, and to be fair, I don’t see this changing just yet.  No one really seems to understand how to turn those Facebook “Likes” or Twitter “Follows” into sales.  

 

A- Wow.  I have to admit that I’m not a fan of reality shows.  Are they causing the death of music or a symptom of the music industry dying?  I’m not sure.  I know the part of them that bother me the most, which is that the elements that they judge are not necessarily the most important.  For example, winners of American Idol aren’t writing their own tunes and may never even after the show is done.  They are just “performers”, which isn’t bad but very different than those who work hard to create their own pieces of music.  Plus, it doesn’t feel natural.  It is a contest and the creative world shouldn’t work like that.  Music is an art form.  Since when as art been judged well by popularity?  Now, did these art directors of the past really help?  I’m not sure.  It seems to me that once a label signed an artist, it did a lot to support and make sure that artist was a success.  It doesn’t feel that way now.

 

A-LIVE AID 2013 In mid-October this year, on a big stage in Rome, Italy, the most important tribute bands are performing most of the songs off the original 1985 Live Aid bill: do you have DD tribute bands in the States? What about a re-played Live Aid? 

R- We do have DD Tribute bands here in the states.  The couple that I have heard of or seen are just OK.  I think part of the problem for them is that the band is still around and very active – and to be honest I would really rather see the band do their songs correctly than watch a tribute band and cringe.  I do believe that tributes have their place and time though, and someday when the band may not be touring as extensively as they do now, tributes will probably be a great way to relive the music.  As for replaying Live Aid – I think it’s an interesting concept.  I’m not sure that you can really “re-do” something like Live Aid and have it come across with the same exuberance as it once did.  Some things are meant to only be lived through once.

A-As Rhonda mentioned, there are some tribute bands here.  Are they any good?  I haven’t seen many so I don’t think I could adequately judge.  As for the Live Aid, it is hard to imagine a re-do since that event really captured a time and a cause.  It was such a unique event and one that hadn’t been done before on that scale.  Now, events like it don’t hold the same interest because it has been done before.

 

A DD TV MUSIC AWARD TO.. FOR.. This is the “most Duranie” mischievous question of all! You have to “present” each band member with a Music Award for the quality of his personality you love the most.

R- Oh gosh. This could go badly… To Roger: The most “Rock Steady” award for never, ever losing his cool – he never seems to get angry, be impatient, etc.  To Nick: Most Artistic Vision – Although my style is nothing like Nick’s, I admire his view of art and how he incorporates it into the projects.  He makes me think, and I love that.  To Simon: Best Dancer.  Have you ever seen him dance to Skin Trade live?  Enough said!!  To John: “Heart on his sleeve” Award – John just puts himself out there so beautifully at times.  I know he’s quiet right now, but when he does blog or chooses to connect with people, it feels genuine and real.  I admire him for that.  To Dom: “Most Humble”  award – I think Dom has it really tough right now. He’s trying to take over where other guitarists for the band have left off, he’s not a full-fledged band member in the same sense of the other four, and a lot of times he’s simply ignored or forgotten by fans who don’t consider him part of the pack, and Dom takes it all in stride.  

A-Wow.  This seems dangerous.  I have always envisioned the band in the following way.  John is the heart.  He is the emotional center.  He has spent a lot of time and energy to accept his emotions and share them with the rest of the world.  It is very brave.  Nick is the brain.  His brain is not only artistic but also able to be able to communicate what the band needs the world to know and see.  His brain contains many skills necessary to succeed in the art world.  Simon is the physical.  He is physical both in his performances with singing and dancing but he takes in the world on a different level from the emotional or mental, which comes across both in his lyrics and in his performances.  Roger, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have an element that is dominate.  This is probably how/why he remains a steady position.  He reflects the solid base.  Dom is the aware one.  He has a sense of how much to step in and step up and when.  This is a rare skill.  

 

FANS’ POWER ON THE INTERNET Would you rather keep watching the clip of your fave artist on You Tube to try increasing the clip visualizations or to keep voting your artist in the polls?

R -Truthfully I’d rather do neither one.  I think our power comes from the word of “mouth” on Twitter and Facebook and getting the band “trending” rather than voting on those types of things. I think that blogging about them and increasing the reach of the band that way works as well.  That said, I do love watching their videos – I miss the days of MTV and so YouTube has become the place to find those things online.  I’m not sure I’d keep watching them purely to increase the views though.  

A- I’m guessing that the question is asking about how to make your favorite artist more popular.  I’m not sure Duran should be focused on getting more and more fans but keeping the ones that they do have.  From there, the dedicated fans can bring new people in.  Will the new people come in the numbers they once did?  Absolutely not but the quantity does not matter as much as the quality and long-term commitment of fans.  Will those long term fans vote in polls?  Sure.  Will they watch videos?  Sure.  Will they do it to make the band seem more popular?  I don’t know.  Maybe, they do in the polls but watching videos is something that I think most fans would enjoy.

 

FANS’ POWER ON THE INTERNET Would you rather keep watching the clip of your fave artist on You Tube to try increasing the clip visualizations or to keep voting your artist in the polls?

R- I think the current challenge is also the future one, and that is learning how to harness the power of the internet and social media to increase sales, especially for Duran Duran and bands like them that still have a following but are not getting sales and radio play through mainstream methods. Perhaps the key for the band is recognizing that they are not going to be the sales powerhouse they once were and learning to accept where their place is – but I think that there is still much to be gained.  I run into so many people that just don’t realize the band is even still making music. (and I wonder what rock they’ve been living under!!) 

A-Music needs to regroup.  The internet has changed it all.  The whole mindset of success needs to be changed.  I’m not sure what it should be but I know that it can’t be what it was.  It isn’t about record sales or chart success.  Perhaps, then, the next challenge is figuring out what real success in the age of internet looks like and how to achieve it.

 

F*CK-IT LIST I “stole” this question from Andy’s old website, hehehe … You have to pick up 3 things you dislike seeing or hearing in the fandom. 

R – Easy: I can’t stand seeing people say that they don’t “know” anything about the side or solo projects for the guys (YouTube is readily available – go LOOK!);  I don’t like the sense of competition fans have – who has the most _______.  It’s ridiculous; It’s frustrating to see that people will spend tons of money to see the band play live and yet they won’t even try to come to the conventions and meetups we plan.  I think they are missing half the fun, but I try not to dwell on these people and instead work to bring the people who WANT to get to know other fans together.  

A –  I’m going to echo Rhonda on this one.  First, the lack of knowledge doesn’t bother me but what does bother me is when fans refuse to learn.  Too many fans want to be told that this is okay or will want you to do all the work.  Second, it bothers me when fans comment on the blog topic but don’t actually read it.  Third, the fight over social status is so tiresome.  It seems like there is a subtle and often unmentioned quest for people to prove that they are the best/biggest fans by having the most something.  The worst is when the band is actually present.  Too often, fans will step on other fans to get more time, more attention, more something with the band.  It is sad and upsetting.  This causes many to leave the fandom.

 

SATIRE, OPEN WITH CARE what makes you laugh the most: the fans’ parodies and caricatures or your fave artists’ jokes? 

R – Fan parodies.  I don’t think Duran Duran or other bands really joke that much – they aren’t very good at making fun of themselves in quite the same way that we are.  

A- Fan parodies definitely make me laugh more.  It helps that there is a sense of humor in Duran’s work.

 

POLITICS  Do you think that an artist gets more relevant and more popular if he is involved into politics? (Spandau Ballet’s Kemp Brothers, or U2’s Bono Vox, for example). Do his missions into political life help him selling more records?

 R- I have to be honest: music is my escape, and I don’t have a lot of respect for people who choose to bring an overtly political message to their music. I can’t imagine it helps sell music..I believe people like what they like regardless of the message; but on the same token if the message that an artist was trying to sell was a very negative one, I DO think that would make me reconsider buying such an album.  

A- I’m definitely a political animal at heart.  I spend a lot of time in my life on politics.  Would it upset me if a favorite artist really held different political beliefs?  I suppose it could.  I couldn’t listen to a band that was completely racist, for example.  That would turn me off.  That said, I don’t need my favorite artists to be overt in their politics either.  I have a lot of politics in my life.  I don’t mind having something that isn’t political.  Plus, I generally find it smarter for any musical artist to be more subtle about their politics.  People like Bono get too overt–they want to beat people over the head with

their political beliefs.  It is too much.  

 

DD TV xx

 

 

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