Veteran British pop/rock outfit Duran Duran has no desire to slow down. Despite cruising well past its 25th anniversary as a recording entity, the members of the quintet are raring to hit the road aga

Veteran British pop/rock outfit Duran Duran has no desire to slow down. Despite cruising well past its 25th anniversary as a recording entity, the members of the quintet are raring to hit the road again. Speaking from his villa in France, keyboardist Nick Rhodes tells Billboard.com the band will give total support to its forthcoming album, due in February or March via Epic.

"For us we found that since we got back together, not only have the live shows been a great joy for us, but since we notched up another 50 or 60 under our belt, we got back to the stage where it was really a well-oiled machine again," Rhodes says.

"If you don't play live for six months, nine months or a year even, you lose your efficiency," he continues. We promised ourselves that we would keep trying to play shows even when we hadn't got new things to promote."

At deadline, the only live dates on tap are a Sept. 23 in Warsaw, Poland, Oct. 29 at the Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans and Nov. 11 at the Bang! Festival in Miami.

In November and December, Duran Duran will apply the finishing touches to the as-yet-untitled new album, which is the follow-up to 2004's "Astronaut" (Epic). The set has sold has two million copies worldwide, according to a spokesperson.

"We have got a couple which definitely sound like contenders [for singles] so far, but I like to get everything finished so that we can take an objective view," Rhodes adds. "I listened to Marvin Gaye recently. It made me realize how beautiful some songs from that period can be. It gave me a few ideas, that's for sure."

In the meantime, online gamers will get the chance to catch the band in cyberspace. Beginning next month, each Duran Duran member will immerse their own character, or avatar, in the Second Life virtual world, becoming the first major band to do so. "When I first saw the Second Life site," says Rhodes, "It was a real epiphany for me." The group is aiming to perform their first virtual concert in the coming months.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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