Exclusive Audio: Sufjan Stevens

December 14, 2006 5:00 PM ET

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens has promised to write an album about each of the fifty states. The quietly prolific indie darling is four percent done, having released Greetings From Michigan and Illinois. Despite the long journey ahead, he took some time away from his ambitious project to talk to Austin Scaggs about how Arthur Lee influenced his songwriting, the strange things you hear when you hang out in deserted churches at night, and why, despite his strong Christian ties, Christmas is just like any other day for him.

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Song Stories

“Hungry Like the Wolf”

Duran Duran | 1982

This indulgent New Romantic group generated their first U.S. hit with the help of what was at the time new technology. "Simon [Le Bon] and I, I think, had been out the night before and had this terrible hangover," said keyboardist Nick Rhodes. "For some reason we were feeling guilty about it and decided to go and do some work." Rhodes started playing with his Jupiter-8 synth, and then "Simon had an idea for a lyric, and by lunchtime when everyone else turned up, we pretty much had the song." The Simmons drumbeat was equally important to the sound of "Hungry Like the Wolf," as Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor stated it "kind of defined the drum sound for the Eighties."

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