Duran Duran’s Taylor To Musicians: “Twitter (is) diluting their creative powers.”

image from images.crackberry.com

"When artists today are asked to Twitter their every thought, their every action, to record on video their every breath, their every performance, I  believe they're diluting their creative powers, their creative potency and the durability of their work.

And in the long run I believe they're also diluting the magical power and the magnetic attraction that they can or will ever have over their audience."

– Duran Duran bassist John Taylor to the BBC

Share on:


  1. This is really just an extension of how he has always felt about his fans. We were opening for the Sex Pistols at Universal Amphitheater (Now Gibson) in 1996 and John was backstage along with Billy Idol, Scott Weiland and David Gahan. My wife got pictures with everyone except Mr. Taylor. He simply refused to have his picture taken with her. My Wife was a huge Duran Duran fan. After that she was not. John is completely missing the point of social media in my humble opinion. Digital Natives, I believe, don’t necessarily want to own your music, they want to be included in the experience. Just an opinion.

  2. I think he is right in one regard and wrong on another. When artists are tweeting their every move, they are expending creative content in my opinion. Tell the truth, how many of us have strained to come up with something clever to say on Twitter or FB so that our fans would stay interested. As for diluting the magical power and attraction to our fans, that died long before twitter and youtube. The digital age has turned everyone into a “star” in their own world so the legitimate stars have lost their luster so to speak. One look at John Mayer’s twitter and FB profiles show however that people still feel that magic because John’s lyrics and music still connect.

  3. It doesn’t really make any sense to say that something like twitter, a social network that connects people, takes from creativity and is in anyway bad for any artist. Twitter allows the artists to connect more with their fans, which is exactly what the fans are looking for. As stated in the second comment by Jeff, I just don’t think John is really interested in fan-to-artist connections like that. He really needs to look into the twitter tool a little more and really understand the benefits it offers before going to BBC with such ridiculous statements.
    Mark G Valente

  4. As for diluting the magical power and attraction to our fans, that died long before twitter and youtube.
    That’s why a lot of celebrities are on Twitter. They know they will end up on some gossip page anyway, so they would rather have some input about their image than to have others determine it for them.

  5. But Duran Duran never tried it any other way, at a time when you couldn’t try it any other way, at a time when major labels were the only way.
    Things change. People are still making music and using what they can to tell people about it. And which musicians specifically is he talking about? Surely the ones who are always on Twitter not doing any music are made irrelevant by that very fact?
    Imagine how much time John Taylor lost to the excesses of the 80s. If he’d have stopped ‘that nonsense’ we’d have had another 10 Duran Duran albums maybe?
    I doubt it, but while we’re here we better get upcoming musicians to stop mucking about on that internet where they learn how to make music, share with their friends, and discover stuff that in the 80s was for the privileged few.
    As someone above said, it’s mass coverage that dilutes the offering and it’s here whether you like it or not so better to embrace it than to hide your YouTube video under a bed somewhere while people watch other bands do their stuff on Livestream.

  6. The whole premise that musicians are being asked to tweet their “every thought, their every action” is wrong. So, naturally, is his conclusion that it will dilute creative power.
    Classic example of resistance to change as a result of ignorance (not understanding what is actually happening).

  7. Why are we really caring that much what an artist whose time was 20 years ago says about NEW media and the NEW music industry?
    Rio was a loooooonnnng time ago, Johnny boy

  8. Talk about missing the point by a country mile. You don’t go and spend every waking moment sharing every thought and activity on Twitter, or on any social networking site. It’s just there to let you interact with your fans however you like, as much or as little as you’d like to. Nobody is asking anyone to Twitter their every thought.
    Let’s just trash the internet altogether, just to preserve the mystery of the music business. And then get rid of computers, because they make it too easy for everyone to be a great, big rock star. Let’s just go back to all-acoustic instruments altogether and make sure only “real” musicians, by one person’s narrow definition of “musician” are allowed to be known as musicians.
    And – as I’ve read in the other comments, hiding from fans altogether is NOT cool. Neither is pretending to know something everyone else seems not to know.

  9. Sounds like an old musician from the 80s that doesn’t know how to properly use social networks for music. But still, I agree with what he said…I just feel like he doesn’t realize there are better ways to use twitter and he doesn’t know them yet…(no real need to because he has built his fan base…twitter is more about the building process and less about retaining fans, especially when you already have what I would call an entire legacy of fans.)

  10. I think the comment is shortsighted, but I do understand his point of view. Some people like to maintain a degree of mystery around the art they create, and many fans do the same with artists they admire…its probably a generational thing as well. Tools like twitter are still so new that many people may never fully embrace it. For me, I do use twitter, but I find my level of interest is fairly low…its probably just a personal thing…certainly nothing to make a blanket social media statement over.

  11. Twitter is really pretty boring after about a day. 90% of users use it only once from a study I read a month back. To me most of it is hum drum stuff for other people who don’t have anything better to do than live through someone. In a year it will be what myspace is now and we will have the next flavor of the month that is incredible for a month but in the end means nothing and makes no one money. Funny but the music business actually use to make bands and the industry money back in the 70’s and 80’s and people could afford concerts, cd’s. lp’s t-shirts…but now not so much….yes so much better I see here in the 21st century.

  12. twitter haters usually don’t actively tweet or understand the core value proposition that twitter offers.
    It is not a broadcast medium.
    My opinion on it is that if you hate twitter & feel like you are too good for it or dont need to be apart of it…fine.
    But just know that while you arent actively engaging with your fans, artists like imogen heap & amanda palmer are.
    Its just what new music fans expect out of you know a days.
    ((at least tie your news Rss to your twitter account Hypebot style lol. j/p Bruce 🙂 ))

  13. I guess what Taylor means is that spending lots of time on the internet, filling in different empty boxes with text of your own writing, can be a risk to the size and quality of your output as a songwriter.
    He is definitely not talking about the positive promotional effect that your efforts in online communities can have on the success of your product in the marketplace.
    Me putting too much energy into the forums has somewhat dried my desire to write poetry, so that is probably what he’s talking about.
    But not everybody can sell their albums the way that The Blue Nile do it. 😉

  14. These words are not what he only said, and I find his speech interesting, at least it made me think. I don’t see it much as ‘denying’ the new technology, and I think he is right about ‘the mystery gone’. Also, a lot of artists are actually ‘asked’ to tweet by their companies etc. , and I also don’t like how everybody is using twitter just to sell/promote their new album/show/tour etc.; I respect more artists who write something personal, even about the weather, from time to time.
    link to Taylor’s full speech: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/2447922

Comments are closed.