U2 Says They're Figuring Out Their New Identity
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.14.2014
Band discusses recording "Ordinary Love," their new album and more...
U2 recently spoke with Billboard about their upcoming album, their Oscar-nominated song "Ordinary Love" and more. Check out the highlights:
Bono on the band figuring out their new identity: "I've been thinking a lot about this because of the new album. I was drawn in by movies that fashion you and make you who you are."
Bono on DIY-style fan enthusiasm: "I don't want to grow out of that. We consider ourselves to have been the people who stepped out of the audience at those early punk rock shows onto the stage. There was no 'them'; it was only 'us.' We actually took it out of the audience and onto the stage before we could quite play."
Bono on a potential Oscar win this year: "[I'm not expecting it but] if the song gets to shake the hand of the little gopher, it would give a whole other imprimatur to our audience, which would be great. I would love if it had a life outside of the film. Because we poured so much of our life into the song and, I hope, his life, the life of Mandela."
The Edge on recording "Ordinary Love" while they worked on their new album: "When we got the call from Harvey to say, 'It's happening, are you in?,' it was like, 'Oh man, really? Now?' But we just had to do it, with the history that we have with the man and the cause."
Larry Mullin on changing gears for the song: "It was hard to stop what we were doing. We were on a roll-it was clear where we were going. And a decision was made to abandon ship, more or less, to focus on this."
Adam Clayton on the song: "This was the one project you just couldn't say no to. For our generation, South Africa was a real illustration of how music could affect change in the world, and it was a rite of passage in terms of our political awareness."
Bono on the song's lyrics: "We had three or four goes at it to get it right. The lyrics changed course for me after reading his love letters to Winnie. Maybe the reason they asked us was to do a kind of 'Pride (In the Name of Love)' moment, but it just did not seem correct. The only place in his life he felt that he was the loser in the conflict, that his enemies had prevailed, was in his marriage. He just couldn't make that work, and the most important part of that film is the love story."
Mullin on their collaborators: "We've always needed collaborators to challenge us. We're slow learners. We need to be creative, on the cutting edge, challenged, and it's really hard going, it's relentless, and we're relentless, and we have a history of breaking engineers, producers. I mean, people come out of working with U2 and just go, 'I just don't know what's happened; it feels like a lifetime has passed by.' And that's just the way we work."
Bono on the album's status: "The album won't be ready till it's ready. But right now, people are walking a little differently-well, they're not walking, they're running as if to a finish line. There's a couple of songs that are part of the story we haven't quite finished. We know we have to spend a couple of years taking these songs around the world, so they'd better be good."
The Edge on keeping themselves contemporary: "We don't want to ever be a heritage act. It might happen, but we'll go kicking and screaming into that mode. We feel the place for us to be is part of the conversation of contemporary culture and music and film and everything else, and we don't see the reason why we can't, because it's been possible for various artists in different forms. Frank Lloyd Wright, to the day he died, was designing the most incredible things-we want to be part of that rather than grow old gracefully."