Hi Richard, first of all thanks a lot for the precious  time that you have dedicated to mine interview!

DuranItaly: When did you start to work in music? What’s the part of your job that you love much?

Richard Hilton: I started playing professionally (as in, "for money") at age 15.  I started working in and around recording studios as both a player and engineer by around 1979.

The best part of my job is having the opportunity to entertain people, and thus affect them in some positive way.  It's also fun to play with technological toys and such, and to try to remain creative in an increasingly trend-driven artistic world.

DuranItaly: Most of the time you’ve worked with the great Nile Rodgers, how your collaboration begun? What kind of person he is in his job and in his private life?

Richard Hilton:
In March of 1988, while I was teaching recording engineering and electronic music/MIDI at a small college on Long Island, my phone rang and it was Kevin Jones, who worked with Nile at that time.  He had received a recommendation from New England Digital, makers of the legendary computer instrument "Synclavier", for me as a keyboardist with computer skills.  I met first with Kevin, and subsequently with Nile Rodgers.  I played the stuff I'd been working on for the past few years and I guess they were impressed, because within two weeks we were out at Paramount Studios in Hollywood working on the music for the movie "Coming to America".

Nile is a very gifted musician and guitarist.  His production skills speak for themselves.  He's a world-class musician.  He's also a very nice guy who is very savvy in bringing out the best in the people he works with.  As a high-profile person, he is very approachable and easy with fans.  He's been very kind to me and my family over the years and my work with him has been by far the most exciting time of my life.

DuranItaly: Looking  your site you left me open-mouthed for the greatest artists you’ve worked with, who is the artist that impressed you much from the musical point of view?

Richard Hilton:
I'm not very good at "best" or "three best" questions.......
I have worked with so many people for whom I have the utmost respect that it's impossible for me to pick just one and say "he's the best" or "she's the best".  I've been truly blessed to work with many extremely talented (and in many cases, well known) artists.  Some of these were people I admired greatly as I was growing up as a musician and so to have had the opportunity to work with them and become friendly with them exceeds my wildest dreams.

DuranItaly: How did your collaboration with the first sessions of “Astronaut” started? What was your rule?

Richard Hilton:
I was brought along to London with Nile Rodgers at the start of his participation on the record.  This was, I think, in March of 2002.  I was brought along as an "engineer", and that was primarily what I did, though I also did play some keyboards during the recordings that ultimately did not make it onto the record.  In the playing of the parts, I executed whatever Nick wanted played, and he and his programmer Mark Tinley did the sound designs.  My role was almost purely technical in that sense, and I was thrilled by the opportunity to be "surrogate Nick" as a player with those great sounds they use.

DuranItaly: You are a great musical expert and you’ve got the possibility to spent a long time with the band, how do you judge the band under the musical aspect?

Richard Hilton:
I loved working with them.  I have to say they work very hard, and the work involved some very long hours.  It was by no means leisurely for me.  They were extremely kind to me and to my family.  We all had a lot of fun, I thought, and at the end of the process I felt close to them all.

They were, among themselves, driven to try and rebuild the creative spark that they'd enjoyed in the earlier part of their career together as a band.  Every one of them was just itching to be creative and be involved.  The energy was exciting and the ideas flowed freely.  They seemed to enjoy each other's creativity and encouraged each other to come up with cool stuff.  I had very high hopes for that record.

DuranItaly: Have you seen a band with a great  desire of redemption under the artistic way? Which of the 5 you have worked better with?

Richard Hilton:
As I said, I think they were quite driven to be creative and supportive of each other.  They relished the chance, it seemed, to be Duran Duran again.

They were great fun to work with, and as I said, very kind to me in the process.  They conceptualize very well, and they have a sort of "big picture" view of the whole process, the record, and their careers.

DuranItaly: Listening to the album “Astronaut”, today, what do you think about it? Is there a song that you would like to put in the album but you didn’t for some reason? (EX. Lonely Business is a song written with Nile, isn’t it?)

Richard Hilton:
I enjoy the record.  There were other songs worked on for the album, and I can only hope that someday they'll see public release because I felt at the time that they were very good.

DuranItaly: Duran Duran is a band that during the years wasn’t appreciated by the critics, sometime with reason sometimes not, it was due because they have tested new kind of music sometimes too much “dangerous”?

Richard Hilton:
really don't have much of an opinion about this, sorry

DuranItaly: Do you think that in the future will be some possibility for you to work with the band again?

Richard Hilton:
I sure do hope so. My life has been full of surprises so far, so I can still hope for more time with these very talented guys.

DuranItaly: Is there a DD song (or more than one)  that you would like to write? Your favourite?

Richard Hilton:
I really like too many of their songs to pick just one that I wish I could have helped write.

DuranItaly: In this period seems that the 80’s come back again, why? Less originality in the present, or a new discovery of the 80’s music, sometimes labelled like the decade of the look?

Richard Hilton:
Hmmm.... I don't know the answer to this.  I'm not really aware of the 80s coming back, for starters.  Sorry, don't think I can be much help with this one.

DuranItaly: From the past of the 80’s to the future…. your collaboration in the videogames soundtracks give evidence on how they’re becoming a new way of art. What do you think of this world, personally?

Richard Hilton: Well, it is what it is.  Companies are PAYING to put their artists onto these games, I hear.  This seems totally upside down to me.

That said, as few opportunities as there are these days for people to actually get music played, it's good that this outlet exists and there's some very good music there.  I think it might be a great thing for classical music, for example - where exciting and creative orchestral or pseudo-orchestral works can be presented and heard repeatedly.  My kids play a lot of theme games (Final Fantasy and such) and in those games, the use of classically-influenced music and ensembles is widespread and much welcomed by me

DuranItaly: Can you tell us something about your next projects?

Richard Hilton:
Ummm, nothing much specific, no.  We've always got a lot of things going on, but I'm never sure what I can say about them so I think it's best that I say nothing at all.

Thank a lot Richard for your kindness, www.duranitaly.com wishes you good luck and for your job!

Richard Hilton: thank you for being interested enough in what I have to say to want to ask me about it!

For more info about Richard Hilton visit: www.hiltonius.com

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