“Marc Ronson! Giorgio Moroder! Mike Garson! Le Bon draws up the guest list. The Japanese CHAI rock girls also introduce themselves: More JOY! is a song that emphasizes the good things of the title despite lyrics that on the whole lean towards the darker and sinister side of the human experience.
“But life is dark, isn’t it?” The Good responds. “Part of life is getting used to the gloom of life and going, well, that’s what it is, and accepting it.”
Hence the sinister empathy of the first single Invisible, which addresses the perfect storm of isolation brought on by modern power structures, technology, and COVID-19. Or the title song, which invites us to wave stadium scarves at the inevitable disappearance of the very moment we are enjoying.
“You can’t relive the past, but you can remember it,” the singer says. “The real point of the song is that every moment you live now will be a memory in the future. It will be a future past.
As a pop idol turned grandfather, he knows what he’s talking about. “I think I’m less fanciful now. I think my lyrics are more about real things. I have lived more. So I actually have more to write. I don’t need to catch up with that many.
Does reality worry him? “I feel like we have a lot of people trying to worry us. OK, so climate change is a big worry, but I think the worry is starting to work and people are starting to do something about it.
“The rise of repressive regimes … it worries me a bit. But I also have faith in youth and in humanity. And I think the youth and humanity will win.
He seems to think so. Even in the days of MTV that kicked off a million fantasies, he insists he never felt pressured to invent anything for branding purposes.
“No, never … It’s called being embarrassed.” Which is for me the absolute enemy of creativity. As soon as… you try to see yourself as other people, then you lose your connection, because you are really talking to yourself. Not to anyone else. I always thought that what I had to communicate was more important than my appearance. “
It’s a big statement for a man who has always looked so tall. The Pleasure Lark Rio and the Mad Max atmosphere of Wild boys helped set the tone for pop video in the ’80s. Invisible reinforces the group’s futuristic reputation as the first video made by artificial intelligence.
It’s a bit rubbish, frankly, compared to the intelligence that designed the clip to Panic girl! in 2011 (directed by Jonas Akerlund, styled by Dolce & Gabbana). A brilliant satire of excess pop, it features Duran Duran played by models with the band as music journalists asking sycophantic questions.
“You’ve had some really shocking reviews in your career,” Rhodes said to herself, played by Eva Herzigova. “Shit,” she enthuses. “I would love to read all of this.”
“We really love music,” concludes Le Bon. “It’s a lifelong passion. And I think we got better. It is much easier for us to determine which are the good ideas and which are not so good. So we spend less time working on things that won’t be on the album. Which is more time to play with your dog and your grandchildren.
Future Past released on October 22