Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes talks about the Roland synths that help shape the band’s sound.
Nick Rhodes knows a great synthesizer when he plays one. As co-founder of British new wave icons Duran Duran, this keys legend penned the parts that were whistled by a million milkmen and helped the band’s ’80s singles fly off the shelves. Throughout the band’s rocket-fuelled rise to stardom, some things never changed. “I’ve always loved Roland products,” says Nick. “They all have their own personality and their own character.”
Now, in this exclusive video interview, Nick Rhodes reveals how Roland synths have powered Duran Duran at every stage of their fascinating career. Speaking from his home studio, he recalls how the Roland SH-2 and CSQ-100 were at the heart of classic tracks like The Chauffeur or Save A Prayer, how the pioneering Roland Jupiter-4 provided the juddering intro to 1982’s mega-hit Rio, and why his Roland Jupiter-8 rode shotgun with him as the band rocked the world’s stadiums.
They might have a great track record, but neither Duran Duran nor Roland are trading on past glories. Check out this video, too, to hear how Nick drilled into the features of the new Roland JD-XA analog/digital crossover synthesizer for this year’s 14th studio album, Paper Gods – and why he’ll be using this groundbreaking synth on the band’s forthcoming world tour. “I’m very excited about it,” he says, “because it can do something that no other synthesizer can do…”
Find out where to buy the Roland JD-XA Synthesizer in the UK