Duran Duran have revealed the official music video for their latest track and album namesake Danse Macabre. With creative director Linc Gasking at the helm, this stunning new clip showcases cutting-edge, AI-driven techniques, some of which were only launched as recently as last weekend. The culmination is a 3D animated masterpiece that, in previous times, would have demanded an entire team, over a year and a substantial budget to produce.
Speaking about the video, keyboardist Nick Rhodes reveals, “I like the idea that if you can imagine something you can make it come to life, well at least in animated form… With the Danse Macabre video we did exactly that. We began by deciding who would be on the ultimate Halloween party guest list, then a selection of witches, mythical beasts, vampires and demons were rapidly developed, using the latest AI animation techniques. I was truly astonished when I first started to see the results. It was something that would have previously taken a team months in an animation studio, but it was all happening almost instantly in front of our eyes.
Over a period of a few days we created a whole new universe populated with beautifully strange inhabitants to celebrate the release of Danse Macabre, with a gothic dream.”
The video’s creative director, Linc Gasking adds, “We are at the beginning of a new medium of storytelling, with a camera directly into the imagination.”
The band recently announced their highly anticipated 16th studio album: Danse Macabre. The record is due just in time for Halloween on October 27, on Tape Modern via BMG and available to pre-order HERE.
Catalyzed by one special live performance that Duran Duran filmed in Las Vegas on October 31st of last year, Danse Macabre is the soundtrack to their ultimate Halloween party. Across 13 tracks the band unearth bright melodies from the darkness, threading together new songs, themed covers, and newly reimagined versions of their own ‘spooky’ classics.
Title track ‘Danse Macabre’ is the first of three brand new songs from this full-length. Anxious percussion sets the tempo against a distorted, growling synthesizer as Simon Le Bon’s swaggering verses give way to a handclap-laden and hypnotic hook. Teaming with producer Mr Hudson, channeling the chemistry they unlocked together on the Paper Gods album, the song also features former band-mate Warren Cuccurullo on guitar in his first collaboration with the band since 2001.
Speaking about Danse Macabre, Nick 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 31st, 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 humor 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.”
Simon Le Bon elaborates: “It’s about a crazy Halloween party. It’s supposed to be fun!”
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.”
Roger Taylor adds: “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.”
Fans can also look forward to Duran Duran’s Halloween covers of Billie Eilish’s ‘Bury A Friend’, Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ (feat. Victoria De Angelis of Måneskin), The Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It Black’, the Rick James-inspired ‘Super Lonely Freak’, Siouxsie and the Banshees’ ‘Spellbound’, Cerrone’s ‘Supernature’ and The Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’.
As well as Warren Cuccurullo, the album includes more special collaborations with former Duran Duran band member Andy Taylor, producer, guitarist and composer Nile Rodgers, Victoria De Angelis of Måneskin, and producers Josh Blair and Mr Hudson.
Andy Taylor originally joined Duran Duran in 1980, co-writing and playing guitar on their first three studio albums: Duran Duran (1981), Rio (1982), and Seven and the Ragged Tiger (1983), before leaving the group to pursue a solo career. 16 years later he returned for 2004’s Astronaut (2004), before parting company once again with the other four original members in 2006.
With Andy’s departure, Warren Cuccurullo joined the band full time in 1989, contributing both song writing and guitars to the albums Big Thing (1988), Liberty (1990), The Wedding Album (1993), Thank You (1995), Medazzaland (1997) and Pop Trash (2000).
Fast forward to 2023 and Andy Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo’s presence on Danse Macabre captures the true spirit of the album – a celebration of the raw energy and sense of fun that comes when friends make music together in a room.
Danse Macabre is not just an album for Halloween. Elsewhere, ‘Black Moonlight’ sees the band’s timeless song writing break into dance-rock glamor with the addition of Nile Rodgers and Andy Taylor on guitar, where epic coda ‘Confession In The Afterlife’ finds Duran Duran reunited with producer Mr Hudson anew.
As well as a second collaboration with Warren Cuccurullo on ‘Love Voudou’, Danse Macabre will feature newly recorded versions of ‘Nightboat’ and fan favorite ‘Secret Oktober 31st’ (both featuring Andy Taylor on guitar). The song made its first appearance as b-side to the 7” single ‘Union of The Snake’ and is now, 40 years later, seeing its first ever physical release on a Duran Duran studio album.
The origin of Danse Macabre begins in Las Vegas, October 31st, 2022. Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes and Roger Taylor donned full fancy dress, cast a horde of ghouls on a stage complete with 20 foot high skeletons, tombstones, cobwebs and coffins. The set included a parade of rarities and special covers – Duran Duran’s first live performance of ‘Secret Oktober’ since 2011, their first of ‘Love Voodoo’ since 2017, and first of ‘Nightboat’ since 2005. Covers of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ ‘Spellbound’, Cerrone’s ‘Supernature’ and The Specials’ ‘Ghost Town’ were also debuted in what has gone down in Duran Duran history as a Halloween show for the ages. The band and their audience had so much fun that they decided to put the set to tape, creating a worldwide Halloween event for all Duran Duran fans to enjoy.
Danse Macabre arrives amidst a busy year of live activity that has already seen Duran Duran perform sold out arena shows across the UK and Ireland. The performances were rapturously received, described as “royalty status” by The Times, “decadent and bombastic” by The Telegraph, “a first class and commanding performance” by CLASH, “joyous” by The Sun, “national treasures” by The Spectatorwhilst the Mail On Sunday confirmed, “their charms haven’t changed”. The band continue the FUTURE PAST sold-out headline arena tour across North America through August and September, where the rave reviews continue to pour in with Dallas Voice praising the band for sounding “just as fresh as they were decades ago,” observing the band having “the audience in their grip.” Mercury Newsnoted by the end of their set they “left the thousands of passionate fans clamoring for more.” Boca Raton Tribune noted “Duran Duran delivered, sounding better than ever,” While Tampa Bay Times exclaimed “Their live performance still feels like a music video you want to watch over and over again!”
Danse Macabre follows a wave of landmark achievements for Duran Duran. Their 2022 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Famemarked yet another career peak with the year already having seen the band headline London’s Hyde Park, perform at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, close the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in their home town of Birmingham, and a headline tour across North America which included sold out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden and three nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
Danse Macabre will be released on October 27 via Tape Modern for BMG with artwork featuring images adapted from a collection of authentic vintage séance photos sourced by Nick Rhodes at auction. It will be available on Black 2LP and CD, with a limited-edition Translucent Galaxy 2LP. The album will also be available on high res blu-ray audio. Pre-order HERE.
Duran Duran’s 16th studio album, Danse Macabre is out October 27. Pre-order HERE