U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2019
· Another Time, Another Place: The Boy Tour Retrospective, Part II
· Another Time, Another Place: The Boy Tour Retrospective, Part I
· Looking Through the Window: San Diego, 1981
· U2's Mumbai setlist, 15/12/19
· U2's Manila setlist and videos, 11/12/19
· U2's Seoul setlist and videos, 08/12/19
· U2's Tokyo #1 and #2 setlists and videos, 4/12/19 and 5/12/19
· U2's Singapore #2 setlist and videos, 01/12/19
· U2's Singapore #1 setlist and videos, 30/11/19
· U2's Perth setlist, 27/11/19
JAM! Interview: U2's The Edge|
Posted on Sunday, May 13 @ 01:42:30 CEST by Macphisto
(JAM! Showbiz) -- By PAUL CANTIN / Senior Reporter, JAM! Showbiz
Throughout their career, the members of U2 have valued moving forward over retrospection, but guitarist The Edge acknowledges they are at a point where that could change.
Speaking via telephone from a dinner-break prior to a Milwaukee performance this week, he acknowledged that over the course of their career, their tape vault has grown to the point where they are considering putting together a collection of previously unreleased material.
"It has been mentioned to us by our record company, about doing something like (a box set). I think at the right time, we will," he told JAM! Music.
"We have got a lot that we can start to go through, when there is a kind of hiatus of what we are up to ... At some point, there is a hell of a lot there. Every album has ended up giving us two or three songs we don't use. Some of them don't have finished lyrics, but they are pretty well developed musically. Some have ended up as B-sides, and some of them, we just kind of keep," he said.
"I suppose we are pretty on-top of our own recording archive. We know pretty much what would be of interest. There is a lot of stuff I would never want to see the light of day," he chuckled.
"I don't think it is going to be 'hidden sessions' that will come through that are going to be hailed as some of our best work. I really think our best stuff has been released as we go along. But there might be a few songs from each album that we feel comfortable being released."
The group's comfort with reconsidering the past is reflected on their latest album, "All That You Can't Leave Behind." The Edge says the new record reconciles the early, earnest, occasionally strident thread in their work, which culminated with "The Joshua Tree," with the more irreverent, post-modern styling of "Achtung, Baby," "Zooropa" and "Pop."
"Maybe that is the step forward on this record, to be able to have the freedom to have humour sitting alongside songs that are deadly earnest, and the two actually balance out each other," he said.
While they've found a balance between seriousness and irreverence on "All That You Can't Leave Behind," Edge says the lighter-hearted tone of the past couple of U2 releases was a reaction to how they saw themselves portrayed in the media.
"We felt during the 'Joshua Tree' period of the band, we were becoming these incredibly po-faced caricatures of ourselves, not the way we connected with our fans live, but the media read on what the band was all about, and the way that reflects on the songs," he said.
"The real fans of the band understood the balance; the 'Party Girl' thrown in with 'Bullet The Blue Sky.' There was a real blend. Yet it seemed to start devaluing our work. People could only see one side of what we did. That inspired our change of direction, to include some more ironic, more circumspect lyric approaches; taking a step back and writing around it, rather than striking it right between the eyes, which was our approach for so long.
"Now we feel free to do both, to write very directly at times and then write around subjects, if the songs and if the subject matter demands it."
That sense of freedom has paid off now that the band is on the road performing songs from "All That You Can't Leave Behind." Edge said putting the songs over in concert was calculated into the record-making process.
"We have road-tested them pretty strenuously, and the word back is pretty good. Our best material always works better live than on record," he explained.
"A song of ours that relies on its studio production to work is generally a song we play once or twice and never play again. On this album it is fascinating to see how many of the songs have taken on a life of their own. Live, they are really developing again, after finishing them for the record.
"I think we could easily play the whole record. It's unlikely we will, but it is that kind of album ... They kind of have a strength. I suppose the simplicity at their core, we were careful to make sure they had that stability, to be played live."
During the course of the tour, Edge has noticed that he can detect differences between audiences, that the band's history in any given territory is reflected in how the set list is received.
"Sometimes, you are playing to an audience you know have only just come to know the band, and you just don't know them. And sometimes, you might be playing to an audience that has completely missed 'Zooropa' or the 'Pop' album. Or they've grown up on 'Joshua Tree' or 'War.' Subtle differences like that can make for shows that are different".
The tour, which has already played in Vancouver and Calgary, returns north of the border May 24 and 25 in Toronto and May 27 and 28 in Montreal, with more Canadian dates rumoured for the fall. When in Canada, the band members anticipate crowds that are well versed in the U2's complete catalogue.
"Canada as a whole has been very loyal supporters of the band, through all the different things we have creatively gone through. So we are looking forward to playing to a very informed audience."
During their career, U2 has witnessed some radical changes within the music business. Island Records, the independent label that signed them as a scruffy upstart band in Ireland has, through a series of corporate mergers, been absorbed into the massive Universal entertainment conglomerate. The increasingly concentrated music concerns are increasingly less likely to take a chance on an untested band -- the way Island showed faith in U2 -- favouring heavily marketed teen acts over developing careers for serious-minded artists.
"I think it is difficult for bands who are not going to deliver a hit single to get a deal. But I think that also has to change, because the best artists -- the ones who have done the most important work over the years -- seldom had massive commercial success from day one," said Edge. "Some of them have never had massive commercial success.
"There seems to me to be a cycle where all the small labels get bought, and then there's a dearth of really effective talent-scouting, because major labels are notoriously bad at that. So to fill that vacuum, small labels start up and start finding the great acts and sign them, and the cycle starts over again.
"Even though all these amalgamations and all the small labels have been sold, and there are three or four record labels running the world, I think you are going to see some small labels coming through," he said.
"There's always room in rock 'n' roll for some stuff to start happening at a grassroots level, and the most interesting stuff seems to start there. And that is something that is hard for a big label to be on top of.
"I think the Internet could be an outlet for a lot of music that the major labels would just pass over. I think that is really positive. That stuff is what is going to be turning me on and a lot of other people.
"For every Britney Spears", he said, "there's a Guided By Voices out there somewhere."