Friday, May 28, 2010

Interview with In City


Smoky Club…Clove Cigarette…Black Eye Liner…Dancing in the Dark…Erotic Love are all the things that come to mind and awake the senses when listening to Your Velvet Heaven by INCITY...

The project from Minsk which started in the end of spring 2009 behind the name IN CITY is vocalist, musician and songwriter Alex Thorn. The debut EP “Rock in the City” named as rock music with pop/synth/electro elements, orchestral arrangements, male and female voices. Musically this EP includes elegant, powerful and magnetic melodies. From extreme guitar drive to classical instruments, drum'n'bass beats, male and female voices, electronic samples and many more that is In City

Alex has sat down with Ladyaslan aka as Rio from the Duran Duran to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame campaign from MySpace and Facebook to talk of music and why DD should be inducted~

Ladyaslan, DDTTRH: Tell us about In City....who's who and what style is your music?

INCITY (synth/rock band from Belarus) was formed by me (Alex) in the past year and on this moment we have one mini-album with simple name "Rock in the City” Here I wanted to express and unite a different kinds of music as a songwriter and vocalist. The concept includes an extreme guitar drive, various electronic samples, orchestral instruments, two vocal's lines(male and female) and even a drum'n'bass elements on "Waves of Electro" song is without any borders and the lyrical part of this album tells about love, desires, insanity (in good sense:)), night feelings, travelling and emotional potential in each person. All this time I co-operated with session musicians but recently Andrew on guitar and Vladimir on bass join me. So... now we can play live and making our first video clip.

Ladyaslan, DDTTRH: Has Duran Duran ( songs or videos....) influenced the way you think as a writer/musician?

INCITY: It's not a secret that many Synth music groups have stopped their activity after 5 or 10 years of their existence. But Duran Duran are long life phenomenon’s and additionally they have to last for the fans they have great albums. We hope to be relevant and last in the heart of our fans like Duran Duran.

The band mates of DD are well over 40 years old now and they are making such original and energetic music still like the (2007) album deserving a double respecting. They worked with Timbaland on some mixes and I co-operated with Kate (Waves of Electro and Tonight on Highway signer). And of course their romantic atmosphere on more early albums always impressed me. Yes they have influenced us as a band.

Ladyaslan, DDTTRH: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has offered the music and fashion industry over the past 30 yrs?

INCITY: For me (like a many people around the world) DD are the mirror and symbol of 80’s. They are reflections of this epoch exactly. Since 1981 they sold out a millions of tour dates and albums with great music and hereby became the fashion moguls of true mode. In the future they will only confirm that true artists will never fade away.

Ladyaslan, DDTTRH: What is one of your favorite songs or videos or both by Duran Duran?

INCITY: It's hard to pick just one song or video as the best. The band is very talented and long lifed. They have a several periods of music…I like all songs from the last two albums.

Of course hits from 90’s like Ordinary World and Come Undone. I have listened to their tracks since the beginning(1981).

Ladyaslan, DDTTRH: Would you like to see an entire Glee episode dedicated to Duran Duran like they did for Madonna?

INCITY: I have not seen this serial ( TV show ). I heard about that but I can't say anything. Probably I must correct this omission. I'll begin with "The power of Madonna":) so if it worked with Madonna it could work for Duran Duran.

Ladyaslan, DDTTRH: Where can we purchase a copy of your EP and when can we expect a full CD?
INCITY: In the following weeks…may be later…a FREE Mp3 download of our new single "Own Reality" from the official website We don't have a contract with any record labels ( yet ) and our EP is not out for sale just yet We will keep our fans in the loop with new info on our EP. Providing a valid e-mail address INCITY can send an mp3 tracks via e-mail if one would like. The full length INCITY album is in production and will be done approximately at the end of 2010.

Thanks for interview and your interest!

Alex (INCITY band)

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview with Chicanery


Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, who was a member of Duran Duran for 15 years, and Neil Carlill, founding member of Delicatessen (Rough Trade/Big Life) debuts their first pop project since collaborating on TV Mania in the late nineties with Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran.

CHICANERY is fusing rich sound-scapes shaped by Warren's legendary tune craft – densely woven around Neil's ‘tone poet’ vocals and lyrics – Chicanery is both a revival and a dream of a modern day band…here is DDTTRH's interview with Neil~

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What was it like to work with Warren Cuccurullo and Nick Rhodes in regards to TV Mania?

[Neil]: It was a little nerve wracking at first, Warren's house (and his studio) was called Privacy in those days and all the DD music at the time started life there, it had blacked out windows and Bars for security so I Was a little intimidated. Once I was inside and I met Warren and Nick they were very re-assuring and wonderfully nice. I listened through to some of the tracks to get a feel for the project, I was very excited because the plan was to have Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry play my parents in the overall scheme.. I still have a cassette tape of tracks we went over, Big Stress, Money Greed and Power being 2 of them. I would record vocals without the full lyrics so I was just concentrating on the melodies at first. Mark Tinley was the engineer and it all took place in the one room with Nick and Warren on the couch and me standing with headphones, then I'd skip outside into the back garden for a cigarette. I did bring a little alcohol for myself to give me that little extra confidence! We had a few sessions like this, worked on several tracks, I got a call once to come over at very short notice to work on a track called Abducted, this session involved improvising from scratch over the instrumental, which was a lot of fun. We talked a lot about music, influences, it was very relaxed.

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What does the name Chicanery mean / represent? Is this what TV Mania morphed into?

[Neil]: I think Chicanery represents a very human like quality that exists in each person and in more destructive ways in groups, and societies. The art of deception, the treachery of manipulation and trickery. It exists all around us, what we see hides the devious ways people manipulate situations for benefit. It's a very alluring and devastatingly ruinous way to run the world or a life. Our Chicanery is in the complexity and multiple layers the music winds through, the way a hook can draw you into the subterfuge of a lyric. Chicanery also represents all the vagaries of life Warren and I have experienced since we started this. TV Mania introduced me to Warren and Chicanery was the result of 12 long years fighting to do what we love.

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What does Warren Cuccurullo bring to the music? What do you bring to the music? What does the music bring to you both?

[Neil]: Warren brings first and foremost his originality to Chicanery, his knowledge of music, his virtuosity and his songwriting skills are all wrapped up in his musical self, which is spiritual and dedicated. He crafts and improvises in equal measure which allows me to tap into what he is doing and it's this combination which produces our sound. Songs would usually begin instrumentally and I would work on words and melodies for them, there are a few songs (like Midnight Owls) where I started the music off and Warren would just magically add his own touches to elevate them completely. It's a beautiful thing to watch and hear. The music for us now represents the journey we have been on, those rare moments over the 12 years that connected us even when we were thousands of miles apart.

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What challenged you both in making this album?

[Neil]: It was written and recorded in different places over long periods of time so that making the album is the history of our connects and disconnects and how we always managed to come back to it, with many personal upheavals in the intervals. We both started the album in England and finished it in the USA, we both left bands we were in, changed our lifestyles, got older, and tried to cope with the Music Industry as it completely transformed. It's amazing to me that it's here now out on dPulse Recordings and now having a life on its own. Go fly away music!!!

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What do they mean when one refers to you as a “tone poet”?

[Neil]: I think the way I write lyrics is very much like Warren playing his guitar, it's a connection to the sub-conscious a side-stepping of the rational brain to let what's in you spiritually manifest itself in your creative medium. I mess with words as they come flying out of my brain uninvited. I think it's more like prose-poetry sometimes, hypertext, concentrated meaning in a seemingly abstract construction. It can be a little puzzling but there is a narrative but not in the literal sense we are used to... You have to absorb and translate...

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: How have you evolved as an artist since the completion of this incredible album?

[Neil]: I think time will always sink its teeth into your tastes, I am listening to music now I would have shunned as a youngster. Its funny how music goes in cycles, the new wave bands of today all have their original version from twenty, thirty years ago, you learn to pick out the originals. I love to make music and to fool around with words, it's much less a business thing now (we must chart ! We must have the right image!), it's all about creative expression and working with Warren will always move and develop that spirit.

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has offered the music and fashion industry over the past 30 yrs?

[Neil]: They have a unique body of work, enormous commercial success and an enduring place in the hearts of music lovers all over the world. In the early days they set trends in fashion and branding, and later their sound matured and gained a complexity that made sure they grew into their new stature as veterans of the pop game. My wife (Gwen) also claims she would not have been wearing Tiger striped tights and jazz shoes back in the 80's if it wasn't for Duran Duran..

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What is one of your favorite songs or videos or both by Duran Duran?

[Neil]: I would have to say Come Undone for favorite song. Video, probably Planet Earth as it has an innocence that large amounts of money can not compete with.

[Anitra, DDTTRH]: What can the fans of Chicanery look forward to in the coming months…years? Any concert dates to be announced?

[Neil]: Yes playing live is next, we are working on getting a tour together and we have 4 songs in progress for the next album. So more of the same we hope with fewer interruptions!

The album is now available on and at

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Interview with LeClair, singer, composer, multi-intrumentalist, producer


Here's a bit about Stephane, taken from his Myspace profile (
"Being a music lover with eclectic tastes, Le Clair experimented in many different musical styles,from funk to experimental progressive Jazz, and beyond. He also did some dj work, and remixed songs for pop music icons DURAN DURAN which frontman Simon Lebon and guitarist Warren Cuccurullo (also from Frank Zappa/Missing Persons) both really loved and talked about using as a b-side material on their next single to be released from their experimental Medazzaland album (unfortunately no other single was ever released from that album since the band parted from EMI records shortly after that). Conversations with Simon and Warren gave Le Clair the boost he needed to focus even more on his own songwriting,resulting in the recording of many very personal acoustic/alternative tracks about life,love,women,sex,war, & peace. Le Clair is a vegetarian,and tries to support as much as possible the following causes: Amnesty International,The One Campaign,Peta (+ other animal rights groups),and other ones against hate, racism,human trafficking,homophobia,& child labor."

Stephane's interview:

[DDTTRH]: What contribution do you feel Duran Duran has offered the music industry over the past 32 years (since their formation in 1978)?
[LeClair]: A huge contribution which is still palpable today,and a pretty diverse one musically speaking. They've managed to record 12 totally different albums,reinventing their sound and creating something new every single time,which is not an easy task. I mean,in the mid eighties,Duran was the biggest band in the world, and instead of repeating the same safe recipe that made them rich & famous,these music lovers went for exploring new musical territories,and taking risks (and I take my hat off to them for having the balls to do that and succeeding so well in doing it).

Many kids today like the band's earlier stuff and don't give a sh** about the videos,the image,or whatever. They just like Duran’s music because these are great pop songs that have aged very well...and by the way (& coming from a musician’s point of view),playing some of Duran’s material is harder than many people would think (I even saw Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl admitting that on youtube lately). Some of their songs have complex structures and unusual chord progressions,and feature ambitious bass lines,virtuoso guitar playing (the Cuccurullo years),unorthodox creative synth work,and pretty high perched vocals.
They influenced a lot of other artists in the eighties,and still do today. I mean,without Duran, bands like The Killers,Franz Ferdinand,The Bravery,Keane,White Lies,just to name a few of them,would certainly sound very different.

[Kirk, DDTTRH]: What is your favorite Duran Duran video and song?
[LeClair]: Now that is a very hard one to answer,and honestly I can't just name one of them (that would be like asking me for only one great Beatles or Bowie song,when we both know they got plenty of great songs) I'll give you,let's say...2 favourite videos (I don’t care that much about videos anyway),and 5 fave songs. That is the shortest number I can give you from such a diverse and rich catalogue.

Songs: 1. Ordinary World (they should be inducted in the Hall Of Fame just for writing this one,it is one of the best ballads ever written).

2.The Chauffeur : Because this one doesn't sound like any other songs ever made,which is rare. I adore the infectious ocarina melody in The Chauffeur, and 30 years later,the song has kept every single cell of its uniqueness and appeal. Like most of their songs,The Chauffeur has brilliantly stood the test of time.

3. Come Undone : There is something comforting in the beautiful melody of this one. Perfect bittersweetness and melancholy. And from a songwriter/producer point of view ,Come Undone might be the only song featuring that overused drum loop of the 90’s that still sounds fresh today. One of their best melodies ever.

4. Skin Trade (album version,not the single edit) : To me,this is one of Duran’s musical peak. A Prince/Stones influenced black track that I absolutelly love. The structure of the song,the chords,and of course that amazing trumpet solo during the bridge...I mean,this really is music man! Produced by funk master Nile Rodgers and taken from one of my favourite D2 albums. Another quite unique song from The Fab 3 (then).

5.Lady Xanax : Duran has many musical faces,and the one I love the most, obviously considering my choices, is that rich, darker,intellectual one. Lady Xanax is a good example how rich and how far musically Duran can go. This could almost be a Pink Floyd or Radiohead song. Nothing commercial or pop in this one. A less known gem taken from the alternative/glam Pop Trash album.

Bonus Track (lol)Save A Prayer (album version,again not the single edit) : Masters of melody since the beginning. I love the intro,the bass line,the whole ambiance of it really...a true eighties classic, and always a special moment during a Duran live show.

Favorite videos: 1.Girls On Film (uncensored) : I just happen to love ice...a lot.2.Perfect Day : I like the colors and textures of this one,it is visually stunning. I love the flower throwing thing contrasting with the words “destroy” and “hate”. (not to mention that they did an amazing job covering Lou Reed).

[Kirk, DDTTRH]: Has Duran Duran inspired you as a singer/songwriter? Tell us how!

[LeClair]: Their pop sensibility,and well crafted melodies certainly influenced me, like many other artists that I love who succeeded in creating something new & unique: Prince,Peter Gabriel,Radiohead,David Sylvian,David Bowie,The Velvet Underground,The Police,The Beatles,The Stones,Massive Attack,Daniel Lanois,U2,Björk,etcetera.[DDTTRH]: What are your plans for the future…anything you would like to share?[LeClair]: of my older songs “New York In Smoke” was released a couple of months ago on itunes and other online music stores. I’m planning on putting many other tracks out there,and hopefully end up with a few albums of original material...I sure have plenty of diverse material that needs mixing and mastering since I’ve been doing this for many years. Music is my life! I’ll also keep supporting Amnesty International,Peta & other animal rights group,The One Campaign,and such. Trying to make this world a better place is important to me. As a citizen of this planet,I feel it is my responsibility to try to do something against injustice of any kind. ..oh,and getting that band from Birmingham into the rock n roll hall of fame ,of course. ;.)

Thanks Kirk,answering your questions was a real treat.

To hear Stephane’s music (and a message Simon Le Bon left on his machine when he did remixes for the band in the past), join his brand new page on facebook :
Or visit his Myspace page:

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Interview with Nathan Stack, Autohypnosis

Here's a little about Nathan and Autohypnosis, taken from his site:

"Autohypnosis is the music of Nathan Stack. He lives in Los Angeles.

The Autohypnosis sound is a mixture of '80s synthpop (Duran Duran, Depeche Mode), '90s trip-hop (Portishead, Sneaker Pimps), '70s atmospheric rock (Pink Floyd, David Bowie) and electronic-oriented music of the new millennium (Radiohead, Frou Frou, The Postal Service). Nathan, while living in Greensboro, N.C., began writing and recording demos of the music that would become Autohypnosis in 2003, and in February 2004, he launched the Autohypnosis website and put the first few demos online."

[DDTTRH]: Thank you for your interest in our effort! We love it when bands come forward and say they have been influenced by Duran Duran and speak up about them!
Here are our interview questions to you:

[DDTTRH]: What contributions do you feel Duran Duran has offered the music industry over the past 30 yrs?

[Nathan]: Obviously the band's contributions in terms of music videos and fashion are quite significant, and there's plenty of press and many awards documenting that.
But at the end of the day, I think it comes down to the music. The band created -- and continues to create -- great songs and albums. Their sound defined the early '80s, but they've never been content to live in the past. So while many of their contemporaries from that time have focused on touring behind their greatest hits in recent years, Duran Duran has forged ahead, writing new music that's simultaneously modern and classic.

I also think it's important to note that Duran Duran is and has always been a genuine functioning band. They write and perform their own music, and even though they've worked with some of the greatest producers in pop history, the drive behind the music has always come from within the band. They're not afraid to take risks, and the artistic payoff of those risks is evidenced in their albums.

[DDTTRH]: What is your favorite Duran Duran video and song?
[Nathan]: My favorite song -- by Duran Duran or anyone -- is "Midnight Sun." It's the most hauntingly beautiful song I've ever heard.

My favorite video is a bit harder to choose. I love "The Reflex" because that song and video are what got me into Duran Duran, but I'm also a big fan of the "Out of My Mind" video (I love everything from the "Medazzaland" period).

[DDTTRH]: I know you mentioned this, but how specifically has Duran Duran inspired you and your band, i.e. what area of your music did they inspire?
[Nathan]: I write and record music under the band name Autohypnosis (see, and Duran Duran, in addition to being my favorite band, is by far my biggest musical influence.

Specifically, it's their mixture of electronic and rock music -- combining the synthetic and the organic -- that inspires me and has been a constant influence on my music for as long as I've been making it. And Simon's voice and lyrics have had an incalculable impact on me as both a listener and a musician.

[DDTTRH]: What are you plans for the future ... anything you would like to share?
[Nathan]: I'm finishing up a new Autohypnosis album, which I plan to release later this year. That's the biggest personal project on my plate right now.
And, of course, I will enjoy continuing to run Duran Duran's official MySpace and Facebook pages, and I can't wait for their next album to be released.

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