Duran Duran throw a virtual monsters’ ball in their video for “Danse Macabre,” the title track of their upcoming album, which comes out just before Halloween on Oct. 27. The music features the return of the band’s former guitarist, Warren Cuccurullo, since he left the group in 2001.
The animated clip, for which creative director Linc Gasking, used AI technology, shows Dracula, Pennywise, Nosferatu, and other baddies dancing and monster-mashing as the members of Duran Duran, who, of course, look undead here, perform the spooky song. “Get dirty up on a danse macabre,” Simon Le Bon sings in the chorus, and he namechecks Elvis, Kiss, and Sudan Archives in his rap verses. It all ties into the band’s dark, joyous vision for the tune.
“I like the idea that if you can imagine something you can make it come to life, well at least in animated form,” keyboardist Nick Rhodes said in a statement. “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,” he continued. “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 band previewed the 13-song album last month, explaining that the concept for the record came about after the group’s concert on Halloween last year. The track list includes reworked versions of Duran Duran tracks, as well as several gothic-leaning covers: Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend,” the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black,” Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Spellbound,” and a Rick James-inspired track called “Super Lonely Freak.” Måneskin’s Victoria De Angelis joined them for a rendition of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” In addition to De Angelis and Cuccurullo, the record features a collaboration with Nile Rodgers, who is on tour with the band, Mr. Hudson, and original guitarist Andy Taylor.
Taylor, who has been battling prostate cancer in recent years, revealed that he’s started taking a medication that will extend his life. “It makes you really sit back, push a reset button, and go, ‘OK, you know the things you’re good at. What could you do better?’” Taylor told Rolling Stone of how his ordeal has helped him reassess what matters to him. “Also, you come out the back end of the dark thing with your family. I want to be my best self for my family after what they’ve been through.” He also said he hoped to tour with Duran Duran again in the future.