Duran Duran bass player John Taylor thinks of this period in his band's life as Act 3.
For a 1980s band whose early success was fast and furious, then steady for the three decades since, that's not a bad place to be.
"This is the sugar-frosting period because really this should be all good at this point," he said during a phone call last month from Italy while on the band's makeup European tour from cancelled dates last summer. "I feel like we have nothing to prove. ... We are all just excited. We're like a bunch of teenagers when we go on stage. We are still so excited to be doing what we're doing."
The band pulls into Casino del Sol's AVA Sunday for its first Tucson show since playing the Rialto Theatre in late 2003.
We caught up with Taylor a couple weeks before Duran Duran joined Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini for the Olympics concert in London in late July. The concert was meant to showcase Great Britain's musical legacy, with each band representing a region; Duran Duran represented London.
During our interview, Taylor talked about Duran Duran's 30-year career, being on the road and where they are headed next.
Thirty years down the road: "The feeling in the band is really good at the moment. I don't know what to put it down to. We have a really strong energy at the moment. We have a very strong commitment to each other and to our music and to our audience. I think we've achieved some kind of settled sense."
Reflections of a career: "If you want to be a pop star at 17, you're not thinking in terms of a career. Or at least I wasn't. I had a five-year plan: I wanted to get to Madison Square Garden. For a 19-year-old kid from the Midlands of England, that was a pretty big ask. But I actually found, oddly enough, that we made it so fast - we got to the Garden in '84 - I didn't know what to do. I didn't know where to go from there."
Making history along the way: "We didn't mean to. We were just there when that was happening. It's hard to take any kind of responsibility for that. That was the time and we were the right band at that moment to define that moment."
Replacing attitude with gratitude: "We have this sort of innate attitude of gratitude, which we didn't have in the '80s. I didn't know how to spell gratitude in the '80s. We were just so full of it. When you have that kind of success so quickly, I defy anyone not to think you're God. We don't feel like that any more. We've looked into the abyss. ... We were so complacent in the '80s because everything just came to us so easily. And then our second act was really a tough one."
Here we are today: "The culture seems to be still working for us. And I cannot quite explain this, but to me songs like 'Hungry Like the Wolf' seem fresher today than they seemed 10 years ago. And I can't quite understand that. I think it has something to do with the way we're listening to music today. ... I think we just listen to all music from all periods. ... People are not coming to the shows thinking 'Oh that's an old song; you're from the '80s.' Everything has come up to the present. It wasn't like that 20 years ago."
Keeping it fresh: "The audience really likes the new material, and we really like playing the new material. ... And it is the new songs that invigorate the set. I mean to play 'Notorious,' 'Ordinary World,' 'Rio,' 'Girls on Film' and really give them life, you have to sprinkle in the odd new composition. And if the new composition is fun to play, that will invigorate the whole show."
Just where he wants to be: "I'm working with the guys that inspire me. It's taken me 20 years to realize Nick Rhodes inspires me more than anybody else on this planet. Who do I want to play bass for? Simon Le Bon. Who do I want to be playing the drums? Roger (Taylor, no relation). ... The beginning of next year we're going to be writing new songs. And we're already talking about 2014."
If you go
• What: Duran Duran in concert.
• When: 8 p.m. Sunday.
• Where: Casino del Sol's AVA, 5655 W. Valencia Road.
• Tickets: $40 to $150 through tickets.solcasinos.com
The English rock/pop band Duran Duran formed in Birmingham, England in 1978 and by the early 1980s was internationally famous. The band helped launch the MTV music video age, creating a template still followed today with polished and slickly produced Hollywood-worthy videos that featured mini-storylines and exotic images. The band came to define the early 1980s, when it was at the height of its success. Duran Duran, whose members are in their early 50s, still record and tour.