Stephanie PIstelWho could manage to put out an album that features hitmaking pop producer Mark Ronson, the guy who produced Madonna‘s Like a Virgin album, a former guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Lindsay Lohan? Duran Duran, that’s who.

The iconic ’80s New Wave group is back with a new album, Paper Gods, featuring production from Ronson, who co-wrote and produced the massive Bruno Mars pop hit “Uptown Funk,” as well as from super-producer, guitarist and sometime Daft Punk member Nile Rodgers, who produced Duran Duran’s ’80s hits “The Reflex” and “Notorious,” as well as their 2004 album, Astronaut.

Along for the ride are ex-Chili Pepper John Frusciante and Lindsay Lohan, whom met the band years ago at a charity event and who offered her singing services for the new project.

“I think what we did with this record that was really different is that we created a sort of narrative for ourselves that enabled other artists to come in and make these cameo appearances,” Duran Duran bass player John Taylor tells ABC Radio. “Which kind of made for a much more of a widescreen Duran Duran experience in a way. Actually, the presence of all these features throughout the record, I feel, really only makes the Duran-ness of it more so.”

“We’ve never been afraid of jumping off musical cliffs and we have an amazing flexibility as a unit,” adds keyboard player Nick Rhodes. “One of the reasons that we’ve been able to stay contemporary is because we’re not frightened.”

OK, but seriously…Lindsay Lohan? Nick says she turned out to be just perfect for a song called “Danceophobia,” which was inspired by a Michael Jackson classic.

“It was sort of based on the idea from ‘Thriller,’ really, of the Vincent Price monologue on the track,” Nick tells ABC Radio. “We thought, ‘Well, what would the Duran Duran version of that be? Actually it would be a sexy girl dressed up as a doctor.’ And Lindsay just sort of fit that bill so perfectly. She’s an amazing girl. She’s up for a challenge, and she really rose to it.”

If you’re wondering if all these guest stars will alienate Duran Duran fans, well, luckily, the band says their fans aren’t the kind who wish they’d just play “Rio” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” for the rest of their lives, without ever recording new material.

“We do have incredibly loyal fans. We’re very blessed like that. They’ve stuck with us through everything,” Nick tells ABC Radio. “I think what they do enjoy — from what we can tell from all the feedback — they like us doing different things. So, because we can introduce fresh material and rework the older songs, it somehow works for all of us.”

While the music is new, the cover of Paper Gods features several sly nods to the band’s decades-long history. It includes — among other images — the lips from the girl on the cover of the Rio album; a sumo wrestler and a champagne glass, representing the video for “Girls on Film;” a chauffeur’s cap, nodding to their song “The Chauffeur”; and a tiger, in reference to their album Seven and the Ragged Tiger.

Paper Gods is out today; the band performs at the U.K. event Bestival tonight. On Monday, they kick off a brief U.S. tour in New York City.

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