BlackBook Exclusive: Austrian Electro-Poppers Hunger’s Guide To Vienna

Ceaselessly touted in international media (including BlackBook) as one of the most livable, prosperous, romantic, efficient, Trump-free and generally amazing cities in the world, the Austrian capital of Vienna oozes culture, sophistication, and excellent urban planning. This was the city of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss, but also the cradle of modern design and psychology. Never mind the spectacular architecture, from gothic to baroque to contemporary.

But it’s also a city at the bleeding edge of art, style and nightlife, even if it doesn’t brag about it as much as London and Paris. Indeed, its club scene is one of Europe’s wildest and sexiest, and its 6th and 7th districts buzz with cool kids and creative energy.

Vienna’s contributions to recent pop music have also been a bit under the radar. But a new favorite is HUNGER, three stylish Viennese gents disposed towards evocative, cinematic and supremely catchy electro tunes. Their latest single “Gravity” is Duran Duran sexy, and like their predecessors, it’s accompanied by a glamorously artistic video (which we’re premiering here), directed by eminently fashionable photographer and filmmaker Christian Lamb (Madonna, Rihanna). Warning: may be NSFW.

Scene-makers as they are back home, we asked them to turn us on to some of the city’s grooviest spots, from bars to boutiques to galleries. Check it all out, below, as well as the BlackBook premiere of HUNGER’s “Gravity” music video:


Burggasse 24

Burggasse 24 Vienna 2

Burggasse 24 is an amazing second hand concept, both fashion shop and coffee house. It’s located in the 7th district, which is known for being one of the more hip and alternative neighborhoods in Vienna, with lots of great bars, cafes, local food markets and creative people.

True You

True You is a new Viennese fashion and lifestyle brand. Founder and blogger Ilja Jay and his crew are constantly promoting the most happening parties all over Vienna, so watch out for the TY logo. The clothes are available at Addicted To Rock.

WUK

WUK Vienna 2

The WUK is an amazing place, featuring different concert venues and art galleries and always hosting interesting cultural events. We’ve played several shows there with former bands. It’s most appreciated in summer for the outdoor bars and areas.

Cafe Jelinek

For an authentic, old fashioned Viennese coffee culture experience, this is the perfect place. Order our favorite, the Piccolo, a mocha with whipped cream.

Donaukanal

Donaukanal Vienna

Summertime is probably the best time in Vienna. Low traffic, less people and a lot of amazing outdoor opportunities. Our favorite spot is the Donaukanal, a smaller side branch of the Danube, full of pop-up bars, restaurants and hammocks. Go and check out Tel Aviv Beach, a bar that combines Oriental cuisine and fun in the sun.

Brunnenmarkt 

For the freshest food, we love to go to Brunnenmarkt. Much cheaper than the famous Naschmarkt, it features a daily outdoor market and several amazing restaurants.

Motto

Motto Vienna 1

A true classic in Vienna, a bar and a restaurant with an extravagantly designed space and enduring cult status. With great style and music, it continues to draw artists and the local creative scene. Amazing international cuisine, as well!

If Dogs Run Free

“Dogs” is one of our favorite bars in Vienna. It’s very small and intimate, serving the best cocktails while also playing amazing electronic tunes. Its dark, rough design was conceived by the architect owners. Located in the very much upcoming 6th District, with great cafes and bars.

Eden Bar

Eden_Bar_1332v5_1920x930a-1920x930

The Eden is one of the most beautiful and also oldest Viennese bars, located in the 1st District. It feels like going back in time and experiencing the city of classical times. Take note, they won’t let you in unless you’re wearing a suit or evening dress. We love it!

Spandau Ballet Return To US for SXSW Premier Of New Film

It was an odd decision for the uber-European Spandau Ballet to pick Austin, Texas, a town in which they had previously never even performed, to launch a bid for a stateside comeback. But at SXSW on Wednesday, the new career-spanning documentary, “Soul Boys of the Western World” premiered before an enthusiastic crowd at the downtown Paramount Theatre, the film features footage of all the major players on the British pop scene of the time, including the three acts that Spandau songwriter/guitarist Gary Kemp viewed as their top competitors: Culture Club, Wham! and Duran Duran.

“Soul Boys” follows the fledgling five piece from their humble punk-era origins in London through several name changes before finally settling on “Spandau Ballet,” two words of graffiti scrawled in a Berlin toilet which referred to the death throes of prisoners hung at the nearby Spandau Prison. Once the band had a record deal in place, a Top 5 UK hit came immediately with “To Cut a Long Story Short,” a short, punchy number which captured the flash of the then-burgeoning and actually quite avant-garde New Romantic movement (which had a significant influence on the fashion world, and still does to this day). Numerous singles followed, with varying degrees of chart success, until massive international stardom arrived, as we now know, in 1983 in the form of “True”.

Film director George Hencken does a deft job of bringing Spandau’s heyday to life, paring down over 250 hours of material to only the choicest concert footage, Top of the Pops and MTV appearances, and ’80s-specific newsreels of Margaret Thatcher’s time in Parliament for context. The band were too busy living the high life to be overly concerned with politics, at one point in the film even admitting their concern over how the Falklands War would impact a single’s chart position.

After “True” where could it go but down? The scenes of the early days of the “True” world tour is pure youthful frivolity, with the lads parading their tanned chests and blond highlights poolside. But the pop treadmill has a way of wearing a young dandy down and soon members are being a bit too candid in front of the camera and the inevitable grievances about band royalties begin to cut away at Spandau’s solid gold armor. By the close of the 1980s, the band had split, and in 1999 various factions of the group were appearing in court, battling over royalties.

Following the premiere, the reformed band played a SXSW showcase at Vulcan Gas Company, trotting out classics like “Chant No. 1”, “Lifeline” and “Gold.” A full Stateside assault is also in the works.

Duran Duran Shot By David Lynch

Styles change, style doesn’t. So goes the distinctly media-age-savvy credo of the still unstoppable phenomenon that is Duran Duran. Originating as five pirate-blouse-donning glam-progeny out of the Birmingham New Romantic underground, they would eventually leave a trail of screaming, fainting girls in their wake.

A few decades later, of course, it’s not quite as much about getting the ladies’ panties twisting. But their Warhol-like ability to always keep a foot always planted in the zeitgeist has found them trotting out headline grabbing collaborators these last several years, including Timbaland and Mark Ronson.

The latest is David Lynch, who, with a generous purse from the AMEX, agreed to film the boys in concert at LA’s Mayan Theater in 2011 and then appropriately weird it up. The end result was screened Monday night to open MoMA’s The Contenders film series. The remaining four band members were on hand to introduce Duran Duran: Unstaged, and a still exquisitely cheek-boned John Taylor enlightened that the museum was a place they, “always looked to for inspiration.”

And challenging the staid format of concert films, Lynch overlaid on the performance a barrage of freaky (and vey Lynchian) images of fire, dancing dolls, toy planes and dreary suburban homes—which, interestingly, give the proceedings a strange but palpable sort of energy. Meaning, the experiment actually worked—it literally reinvents the genre. Taylor was quick to point out that Lynch, “got complete creative control.” Who would have guessed?

It’s quite the all-star affair, too, with Ronson, Kelis, an exuberant Beth Ditto—just slightly out-singing a silver-voiced Simon LeBon–and My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way (as a sort of Nick Rhodes doppelganger) joining the band on stage at various intervals. The latter’s exhilarating turn on “Planet Earth” is a genuine highlight. In fact, it is four songs from Duran Duran’s eponymous debut album that explode off the screen most viscerally. Their version of obscure early gem “Friends Of Mine”, which seamlessly name-checks Brit gangster George Davis (who says machine-guns and puffy blouses don’t go together?) virtually steals the film. And the closing encore of “Girls on Film” still seethes with subversive sexuality.

Band and friends partied it up at UES hotspot East Pole after the screening, and it says something that plates of exquisitely realized vegetable creations were being passed around. Were this 1987, those silver platters might have looked rather, um, different. Still, the Laurent Perrier flowed like it was 1983 all over again.

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Photo credit: Kristin Burns

Duran Duran’s Roger Taylor Trades the Skins for the Decks

All the best rock stars are multi-dimensional. Ron Wood is a painter, Lenny Kravitz is an interior designer, Ozzy is a philosopher…and Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor is a rather fashionable DJ. Of course, you remember him from such Simmons-drum-pad-driven classics as “Girls on Film” and “The Reflex”. But in the ’90s he took to the decks and never looked back, even scoring a UK top ten dance hit with “Love is Like Oxygen.” In between Duran Duran regroupings, he trots the globe, spending a lot of time, naturally, in Ibiza, and holding a regular residency and London’s Met Bar. With gigs this week at Chicago’s SpyBar (25th) and the Top of the Standard in New York (27th), we managed to sit him still for a chat.

How did you come to start DJing? Do you now consider it as a career?

I was going to so many clubs at one point in my life that I just literally stumbled into the booth one night and started spinning with a friend. I loved the feeling that I was somehow controlling the vibe in the room. I was also producing dance music at the time so it all felt kind of destined.

Does it seem perfectly natural to be a DJ? After all, like DJs, drummers are the people hidden away in the back doing the hard work of actually helping everyone get their groove on.

Yes, it felt very similar to being the drummer in a band. I seem to thrive as the guy at the back who’s actually very important but can also go somewhat unnoticed. I think I have a very juxtapositional personality.

What do you love most about DJing?

That moment when two records mesh beautifully together, both in beat and in harmony…usually an accident, and you think ‘how did that happen?’

What’s your favorite city to DJ?

New York, just because it’s my favorite city in the world.

What does your playlist look like? Are people expecting you to just play Roxy Music and Chic songs?

I started off very eclectic in style but as I moved up to bigger clubs I embraced a longtime love of house music. After all, if you’re booked to play to play to 2000 people in a nightclub in Rome on a Saturday night, you can’t get up and play ‘Wordy Rappinghood’. Some people still can’t get beyond the fact that it’s Roger from Duran behind the decks and can sometimes have certain expectations of what I will be playing…and are somewhat shocked when I start playing obscure French House music.

Duran Duran were a DJs dream, with a zeitgeist-defining remix of almost every single. As a DJ now, what current acts and tracks to you represent the epitome of cool?

I’ve always been a fan of Daft Punk and am really enjoying their collaboration with Nile Rodgers. I’m loving ‘Get Lucky’. I’ve also been impressed by the Deadmau5 phenomenon in recent years and those Swedish chaps Axwell, Ingosso, and Angello. I call them the ‘Abba’ of dance music. And Disclosure are doing a pretty amazing job of re-inventing house music in the year 2013, which is no mean feat in itself.

Duran Duran rose up through a blitz of trend consciousness. “Planet Earth” even name checks the New Romantic movement. Are you aware of music having kind of lapped itself? That you can play songs from the ’30s, ’50s, ’80s, and now without ever drawing the ire of trendoids? After all, you could probably play Ace of Base at Le Bain and no one would flinch.

You’re probably right about Ace Of Base, and yes music has certainly travelled around in a big circle. Artists like La Roux and the Killers owe more than a little to the early Duran sound.

What is your favorite club of all time? And your current favorite?

Pacha Ibiza, for me, is the ultimate super club of all time, but Cielo in New York is my current fave…I love the sound system there.

Are the other members of the band jealous of your new career? Are you the one holding up the next album?

I don’t sense any jealousy. Nick has numerous art and music projects on the go, John has recently become a best selling author and Simon is a busy and competitive sailor. But there definitely is a next album. It’s already in the works.

Duran Duran were obviously an exceedingly provocative entity—the puffy blouses, the glorious hair, the white-boys-copping-funk, the S&M videos. Do you think it’s possible for anything in the context of music to still be provocative?

Very difficult, as it does seem that everything provocative has been done. But people most likely thought the same thing once Elvis had been filmed below the waist.

What’s your favorite Duran album and favorite song?

Has to be the Rio album. It’s become a classic of its period. And ‘Save A Prayer’ will always hold huge emotional weight for me.

What is your idea of the perfect night out?

My favorite evening is actually a wild night in with my 20-month-old son, eating pizza and watching Peppa Pig and Thomas the Tank Engine.

[More by Ken Scrudato; Follow Ken on Twitter]

Acoustic Favorites From Best Coast To Duran Duran

“We never really do acoustic or unplugged things,” says Bethany Cosentino, the mastermind behind Best Coast. So it’s all the most exciting that an acoustic clip of the band, which just released its sophomore album, The Only Place, has surfaced.

Part of a Rhapsody session that included the songs “How They Want Me To Be” and “Last Year,” the just-released “No One Like You” video shows Cosentino and musical partner Bobb Bruno playing the heartbreaker of a tune outside of a park and completely acoustic, but without losing any of the intensity of the album version.

It’s not the first time a band has surprised us with an unplugged session, however. Here are some of our all-time favorites.

Nirvana’s “The Man Who Sold The World.”

The Rolling Stones’ “Love In Vain”

Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World”

Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out”

The Best Songs From Bands Playing the Olympics

We all have our favorite Olympic events. For some people it’s the diving, for others it’s gymnastics, but for some folks without much of an interest in sports, the musical acts playing the opening and closing ceremonies of the London-based games are the most exciting event of all.

On July 27, the games will open with sets from Duran Duran, Stereophonics and Snow Patrol, and on August 12, they’ll close with a concert featuring Britpop icons Blur as the headliners.

So, while athletes are training for the games and their fans are busy tracking stats and figuring out how to watch each event (much easier now that the entire games will stream online!), we’re getting caught up with the bands that will be playing. Check out one of our favorite songs from each, below.

Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf” isn’t just a blazing ’80s anthem with an iconic video—it’s a mantra for athletes, who seem all wholesome and good natured, but are really ready to slit throats to get on the cover of a Wheaties box.

“Dakota” was Stereophonics’ first single to hit number one on the UK charts and sounds like a great number for two Olympic competitors to fall in secret, illicit, Olympic Village love to.

“Run,” the breakout hit for Irish rockers Snow Patrol, isn’t exactly workout music—it’s a bit of a dirgy love song, really—but how could the sprinters and relay teams not be taken in by a track with this title? Also, it would sound pretty sweet played over a slow-motion win.

“Song 2” isn’t the best Blur song—that would be “High Cool” from 1991’s Leisure—but it’s got an undeniable energy to it, one that’s sure to get athletes and fans alike pumped for competition. 

Boogying at the Borgata with the Ronsons & Duran Duran

I’m in some small town in Virginia, parking with relatives until a business meeting this afternoon. It’s all pumpkins and fake cobwebs, as here, Halloween is all about kids and tricks or treats. We left AC to go to DC, and I don’t need any wise cracks from the peanut gallery. We are exhausted from our trip to the Borgata and its whirlwind ’80s weekend. Everything was sold out, and people who read my Friday article were trying to hustle me for hookups. There are a billion reasons why Borgata sells out on these big weekends. Basically, as the only game in town, it refuses to rest on its laurels and continues to book great acts, events and DJs.

We came down in a blizzard, completely obsessed with catching Duran Duran in concert. The snow and the late info that the Misfits were performing in NYC with Glen Danzig almost kept us home, but as I said, we were obsessed. We valeted the car and realized the weather was now irrelevant. There was no need to leave the sprawling Borgata complex for a couple of days. Food, entertainment, spas, pools and comfortable digs were in the cards. We ate ginormous steaks at the Old Homestead and then rushed to the show.

We weren’t expecting much from Duran Duran because we didn’t want to be disappointed. We thought it might just turn out to be a bunch of old geezers going through the motions—more Karaoke than concert. What happened was mind blowing: they were great. I had met them once back in ’88 and was impressed at the time how gentlemanly and accessible they were. They exude friendliness from the stage. They love what they are doing and the crowd sang along with every song and danced and cheered. Simon Le Bon just celebrated a birthday on October 27, which has him deep in his 50s. He was bearded and trim, and his voice was strong. He pranced and danced and engaged an audience that wanted to eat him up. Duran Duran was tight.

The songs seemed modern yet classic, a nod to new production and a new album produced by old friend Mark Ronson, who joined them on stage, guitar in hand. In an age where DJs are considered the new rockstars, Mark goes literal. Clad in a well tailored leopard print jacket and that impossible hairdo, he went toe to toe with these legends. This was the last show of a 25-gigs-in-35-days tour, and the first thing I asked management was when it was done was when are they coming through again? It was magical and I want to see it again and again. Simon thanked the crowd and everyone who hosted them in “our beautiful country.” He dedicated “Ordinary World” to those who for many reasons could not be there. Those that have passed were remembered. I admit I teared up; it was beautifully performed.

Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters came on for a number. She, as we, had traveled tough roads from New York to get there. “A NO NO…NOTORIOUS” sent the crowd into a frenzy. “Hungry Like a Wolf” blew the roof off the place. Judy from the audience was tasked to introduce Simon to the crowd after he had done the honors for everyone else. She screamed that he was the “hottest man in the world” despite the ugliest (except for mine) shirt in the world. His was a sort of Jersey Shore/Beetlejuice mash-up. They mashed-up “Wild Boys” with Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s, “Relax,” and 2000 people sang along. They were loved, they were relevant, they were sharp and fun, and glad to be there. Rio closed the show and sent everyone into the Casino with smiles.

We headed to Mixx where Mark Ronson was set to DJ. Everyone was in costumes with a $3000 cash prize at stake. Mark walked in and rushed over to see me. He was my DJ of choice, back in the Life days. He was a star then and now he is a matinee and cover idol. I wondered if he would be the same, or if his success changed him. The smile and the handshake showed me he was the same Mark I have always loved. We talked and talked and caught up, and a million things were left unsaid but understood. He told me about something I had written here, and I was flattered. I have never met a Ronson I didn’t adore. Sister Samantha was nearby. She judged the Costume contest at Mixx before doing the same duty at mur mur and Djing there. She praised a hot Jersey gal in a Pocahontus costume before the lass corrected her. She was really an Egyptian Princess. After the cash was given to the Na’vi and the guy in the Gorilla suit, Mark went on. He showed why he was, and must still be, considered one of the top DJs around.

We went to check out Samantha with Borgata’s always dapper Greg Coyle. There, sweet Samantha Ronson groupies surrounded the booth. “They are here every time she plays,” said Coyle, which he says is about once a month. As we stood in the booth, the hotties begged me to introduce them, even as boyfriends hovered nearby. Opening DJ Doug Grayson, a smiling newlywed, explained the phenomenon. They love her and feel she is this celebrity who loves them and being there. Samantha blew them out. The crowd lives for her.

Borgata is unreal. The next night it was the incredible DJ Ruckus with Rev Run, and another big night. We laughed as they played classic ’80s hip-hop. This collaboration has legs and is a must-catch if you can. We dined at Michael Minas’ Sea Blue and it was divine. We never considered leaving the grounds as our in-room TV said it was 32 degrees out. We roamed around the Casino floor, checking out the vampires and the vamps, the pirates and the princesses. All came to have a great time. From time to time, I’d stop and say hello to a familiar face, a New Yorker with a similar mindset. I’m down again in a few to catch Jay-Z.

Morning Links: James Blunt to Play Organ at Royal Wedding, Chloe Sevigny to Play Lizzy Borden

● Extra sensitivity is needed as the situation in Japan escalates to terrifying new heights. Gilbert Goddfried, the voice of the Aflac/Afquack duck, was fired after making tasteless jokes on his twitter. Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon’s Hereafter has been pulled from Japanese theaters because of tsunami scenes. [Perez] ● It can’t be easy finding time to hit the books while managing a media empire, but Tyra Banks is making it happen — at Harvard! She insists that Business School is something she’s doing for her female fans. “In order for my company to grow and be the best, and to reach these women, and to serve them, I needed the best,” she said, “So I went to the best.” [NYDN] ● The soon-to-be-wed royal couple have enlisted one of Britain’s most maudlin performers to play at their wedding, James Blunt. Thankfully, he’s going to be tethered to the organ, not singing. [Yahoo/AP]

● Chloe Sevigny’s reign as the driven Nicky Hendrikson on Big Love comes to an end this week, but Sevigny won’t be missing a beat. She’s set to channel her powerful and crazed energy into a staring role in HBO’s proposed miniseries about Lizzy Borden, Massachusetts’ famed murderous spinster. Apparently, the downtown queen has been preparing by spending nights in the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. [Variety] ● Babies in the Internet, babies on the Internet: apparently four out of five children under the age of five use the Internet on a weekly basis, lending new gravity to the oft-asked question, “Is this real life?” [Mashable] ● “The stranger it is, the more beautiful it will be,” said Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes of the band’s upcoming collaboration with David Lynch. And strange and beautiful they shall likely get, as Lynch is set to direct Duran Duran’s upcoming episode of the concert series Unstaged, streaming on YouTube later this month. [Billboard]

Rockstar! Duran Duran Drummer Roger Taylor Spins Platters

I love Duran Duran. “Girls on Film” is one cut that I always play just before crowds are about to throw their shoes at me — by the way, why aren’t a ton of people FedExing their old shoes to Washington as a sort of goodbye, see-you-real-soon kind of gesture? I guess people figure they might need to wear them again. Roger Taylor, best known as the drummer for Duran Duran, is taking DJ gigs; it’s funny how these rock icons offer house or electro sets when they spin. Perry Farrell and Tommy Lee played house and techno, which I’m sure confused much of their fan base.

When Blackbook threw a party for me a few months ago, my old buddy Mark Ramone played nothing but Ramones songs for an hour. We looked at each other with a “What did you expect?” glance, and then Marky went into a soul/funk set that blew us away. I walked up to him as he spun “Across 110th Street” and said, “Mark, wow, this is amazing!” and he replied, “Did you think I didn’t know how to DJ?” Tommy Lee, Marky, and now Roger Taylor. Drummers all have a deep understanding of speeds and beats that are so much a part of the DJ experience; I remember a time when people talked about the rock drummer being eventually replaced by a beat machine. Now it seems that the rock drummer is finding a home and a new stardom as a DJ.

We’ve met in the past, I’ve operated clubs in New York like the World and Palladium, and you’ve passed through with the band, we’ve run into each other before. So you’ve been around as long as I have then.

I think I’m actually a few years older than you. So Roger, now you’re a DJ, and are you on tour also? I’ve just been on tour with the band for about 14 months on and off. We started last November, we did a run on Broadway in the city, and we’ve kind of been on and off tour since then.

And have you planned on touring as a DJ? Not yet — hopefully I’m going to be doing some of that next year. As the band thing is kind of quieting down a little bit, I’m going to try and get into DJing a bit more.

Why do you DJ? Is it just keeping your ear to the ground, or do you actually love it? It can’t be for the money. Actually, I do love it. I got asked to DJ at the Met Bar in London a few years ago, and I just kind of turned up with a bag of CDs. I brought all my favorite records, and I had no idea how to DJ really; somebody kind of helped me to put the records on; there were gaps in between the records and stuff, but I just really loved the experience of making people dance and people being into the music that I wanted to play. So I did that a few times, and then I thought, you know, I’m really going to get hold of the technical side of it because I’d like to be a proper DJ. So I went about learning the beat matching and getting all the harmonics right between the records, but being a drummer, the beat matching came pretty quickly to me. I know a lot of people spend a lot of time trying to get the records beat matched across. And then I got pretty proficient at it, and it just kind of snowballed. So now if I get asked to do something, I do it, I say yeah, absolutely! Because it’s become a part of my life and I really love it. It’s similar to performing in a band, especially being a drummer — you’ve got the audience moving to your bass drum; as a DJ, you’ve got them moving to the music. I think it’s a great thing.

I don’t often do research — I just sort of wing these things — but I did want to get a little bit of background on you. You’ve listed Paul Thompson of Roxy Music, Charlie Watts of the Stones, and Tony Thompson of Chic as your influences in terms of being a drummer. Do you have any DJ influences? I’ve seen so many DJs over the years. I saw Frankie Knuckles in the late 80s when I went to a club up in Birmie where he was the special guest DJ. I got invited up to the booth, but at that time I had no idea what a legendary DJ he would become — Frankie Knuckles is the king. Then I saw Sven Vath, who is a great German DJ, and being a drummer I just loved the way that he was all about the bass drum; the high-hat would come in two minutes later, then the bass would kick in, and it was just great to see how the crowd could just respond to different instruments coming in, in a very simple way. Carl Cox I’ve also seen a few times, he’s great, and knows how to rock the room, and that’s what its all about.

A lot of people are saying that the DJs of today are the new rock stars. I booked Mark Ramone to DJ for a party for this blog, and the first two hours of his set was Ramones songs. Do you play any Duran Duran songs? I won’t play a song … I’ll use tracks that maybe have some samples in, or I’ll cut part of a record into it. I’m not into just going out and playing electro sets that includes the Duran records. I like to make it a bit more interesting, and just cut it up together. I play those records every night in the band, so for me it’s quite nice getting out there and playing other people’s records. To me that’s more interesting. As much as I love performing and I love the Duran catalog, when I DJ, I tend to play other people’s records more.

I read that you did a four-hour set at Pacha in Ibiza, and Friday night you’re DJing at Webster Hall; what’s your set going to be like? I’m just about to leave to go and decide on that now because I have a guy that I DJ with for the bigger things, Jake Fonique. I’ve got about 1,000 tunes that I can pull from that I’ve worked with, and often I’ll come up with a set, but as I’m performing it will completely change. It’s all about responding to what’s happening in the room. I’ll say I’m going to play this and that, but then by the fourth song, you can kind of go off in any direction.

Is it a house set, or is it an electro set? I guess it’s based in house and electro … that’s the backbone of what I play. But I could play a New Order song mixed with an Armen Van Helden song or a Dépêche song running into a Paul Oakenfold mix. I don’t like to have definite, defined ideas of what I should be doing. I like to go in different directions.

Have you been in Webster Hall before? You played there a long time ago, I guess? Yeah, I’ve been there a few times. We did one of our first reunion concerts in there in 2003, which was an amazing night. So as soon as I heard Webster Hall, I thought absolutely, what a place.

What’s the difference between getting up for a DJ set in terms of nervousness as opposed to a rock set? Are you more nervous before a rock set, or is it just like going to work? How would you describe that? I think any sort of performance will create some nervousness. Even Duran Duran, we’ve been playing sets for nearly 30 years, and we still get nervous before going on. Because that’s the thing about performances — you never quite know what’s going to happen, and it’s the same with DJing. I have the same anticipation as playing with the band. You’re not quite sure how the audience is going to respond, whether you’re going to fuck up. So there’s a certain amount of nerves, which also I think is important. It puts you in the right space to perform. You don’t want to go up there bored, because you’re not going to give your best. I guess it’s like the way a sportsman performs best when his adrenaline is running.

I read that you’re one of the greatest drummers of all time, and you’re considered a musical genius. As a drummer for a super rock band, you had groupies; are you going to have groupies as a DJ? I don’t know. I hope so. I’m guessing there will be a crossover anyway, I know there’s quite a few kids who’re into the band that are going to come out to see me as a DJ. So I’m sure there will be some sort of cross-fertilization. But I’m doing this because I want to get into a wider audience. I don’t just want to be playing for hardcore Duranies. I’d like to play to people who are into dance music and who like clubbing. That was the great thing about playing at Pacha; the kids there, I don’t know if they were aware of who I was. Probably 90 percent of the people didn’t, so it was great to entertain these people. It felt very pure to be in one of the great meccas of dance music as well, it was very cool.

Give me five songs that you’re going to play Friday night that you lean on, or five tracks that you take pieces from. Some of these might be obscure to readers, but: a new Depeche Mode mix by Matt Samuel, Shine On Me by Tikaro, Twilight by Adam K and Soha, but then I might play something like New Order. Blue Monday is one of my favorite records, which goes right back to the days of Danceteria. The first time I ever heard that record was in Danceteria, and it went on to become the biggest-selling 12-inch of all time.

What was it like working with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake? It was great, really cool guys. They kind of came to the table as fans. Justin had grown up listening to the record, and Timbaland came to us and said, “I’m a fan, I want to work with you guys,” and they were just really respectful. They didn’t come and try to take over, make us part of the Timbaland factory. They respected where we came from, which was cool. Where does the title Red Carpet Massacre come from? You’re asking the wrong guy here. That’s a Simon question, I think.

So I’ll come say hello to you on Friday night, and you’ll either throw a tomato at me or you’ll shake my hand. Or maybe you’ll throw one at me, you never know.