Andy Taylor on ‘timeless’ bond with Duran Duran after band announce new album

Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor arrives at Wogan House in central London to appear on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Radio 2 (James Manning/PA)
Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor arrives at Wogan House in central London to appear on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Radio 2 (James Manning/PA)

Duran Duran have reunited with their original guitarist Andy Taylor on their 16th Halloween-inspired studio album.

The renowned British new wave group – which consists of singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bassist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor – have announced their upcoming album Danse Macabre will be released on October 27.

It will feature Taylor reuniting with the band for the first time since 2006 on brand new song Black Moonlight, alongside Chic star Nile Rodgers, and also on reimagined versions of Duran Duran classic tracks Nightboat and Secret Oktober 31st.

The album will also cover renditions of hit songs including Billie Eilish’s Bury A Friend; Psycho Killer by Talking Heads featuring bassist Victoria De Angelis of Eurovision-winning band Maneskin; The Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black, The Specials’ Ghost Town and Spellbound by Siouxsie And The Banshees.

It features three new songs in total, including new title track Danse Macabre, which was released on Wednesday, and Confession In The Afterlife.

The album will be released a month after Taylor launches his first solo album, Man’s A Wolf To Man, in decades following records Dangerous in 1990 and Thunder in 1987.

The 62-year-old guitarist, who was diagnosed with stage-four prostate cancer in 2018, said it was “lovely” to play on the new Duran Duran album and complete his own music project because “just a few months ago, I couldn’t do any of it”.

Appearing on BBC Radio 2’s The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, Taylor said on his return to Duran Duran: “We didn’t even know at the time in April if we were going to release this or not because I hadn’t started treatment … it absolutely just fell into place.”

Taylor said he was asked whether the band’s new album would “get in the way” of his own music launch and vice versa, to which he replied: “If their music is cool (and) my music is cool, no, because it’s not for us … It’s for the audience to make that decision.”

Andy Taylor on Radio 2
Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor greets fans as he leaves Wogan House in central London after appearing on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on Radio 2 (James Manning/PA)

Taylor first joined Duran Duran in 1980, co-writing and playing guitar on their first three studio albums before leaving the group to pursue a solo career.

He returned to the group for their 11th studio album Astronaut in 2004, before departing once again with the other four original members in 2006.

“Contrary to everything, none of us dislike each other to any degree that you would call it unfriendly,” he said.

“We’ve had our disagreements but Simon and I were both not from Birmingham, so we used to room-mate together and spent a lot more time together because we came from the outside – we didn’t have homes there or parents there.

“We’ve always had a very brotherly kind (of relationship) … I was 19 when I met Simon, Nick was 17 when we wrote the first album – you’re bound by something that has turned out to be timeless.

“I’m very proud of them and I’m very respectful of the way the four of them found a shape to work and keep it going.

“I can’t barge in the door and say ‘Hey, I’m back’, they work in a shape now, everyone’s cool with each other.”

Duran Duran
Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor, Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Nick Rhodes (Yui Mok/PA)

Taylor also spoke about the process behind the upcoming Duran Duran track he appears on.

He said: “Simon came over, we hung out … We just flew through it and I did the record in a couple of days. Me and Nile (Rodgers) are playing on that, so that’s a first.”

In 1989, Warren Cuccurullo joined Duran Duran as a guitarist and songwriter following Taylor’s original departure, contributing until 2001.

The 66-year-old appears on the new track Danse Macabre and re-recorded version of Duran Duran song Love Voudou, on the album inspired by a Las Vegas show the group performed on Halloween last year.

Duran Duran
Pop group Duran Duran with Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, Sterling Campbell, Warren Cuccurullo and John Taylor (PA)

Duran Duran keyboardist Rhodes said: “The song Danse Macabre celebrates the joy and madness of Halloween. It is the title track of our forthcoming album, which gathers together an unusual mix of cover versions, reworked Duran Duran songs and several new compositions.

“The idea was born out of a show we played in Las Vegas on October 31 2022.

“We had decided to seize the moment to create a unique, special event … the temptation of using glorious Gothic visuals set to a dark soundtrack of horror and humour was simply irresistible.

“That evening inspired us to explore further and to make an album, using Halloween as the key theme.

“The record metamorphosed through a pure, organic process, and not only was it made faster than anything since our debut album, it has also resulted in something none of us could have ever predicted.

“Emotion, mood, style and attitude have always been at the heart of Duran Duran’s DNA, we search for light in the darkness and darkness in the light, and I feel we have somehow managed to capture the essence of all of that in this project.”

British Summer Time festival – London
Duran Duran perform on stage during the British Summer Time festival at Hyde Park in London 2022 (Ian West/PA)

Singer Le Bon said: “It’s about a crazy Halloween party. It’s supposed to be fun!”

Bassist John Taylor said: “After all these years, Danse Macabre offers an interesting insight into the personality of the band. The music packs a real punch.”

Drummer Roger Taylor said: “I hope you take a journey with us through the darker side of our inspirations into where we’re at in 2023.

“Maybe you’ll leave with a deeper understanding of how Duran Duran got to this moment in time.”

After forming in Birmingham in 1978, Duran Duran were one of the biggest acts of the 1980s, with hits including Rio, The Wild Boys and Bond theme A View To A Kill.