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U2 Interviews

Drums of Peace
© Paolo Zaccagnini, 1998

Edge: We are recording our new album; that's why I couldn't phone yesterday,
sorry. I'm calling from the studio, not Windmill Lane, a smaller one...

Zaccagnini: When the new album could be ready?

E: We don't know; it'll be ready when we are satisfied by new tracks, only then. We learned the lesson with last album, we won't tell anything to the record label till it's ready, because they would hasten us.

Z: What about the producer?

E: Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. They're great. Together we are a good team.

Z: What about the Best Of?

E: We wanted to make listen to a story, our story. We sat at a table and chose; there was who wanted Gloria, who 11 O' Clock Tick Tock, or Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, or Sunday Bloody Sunday with his old traditional violin. Finally we all agreed. The idea of making a Best came after the tour. The songs I like most are Walk To The Water and Luminous
Times. And also Love Comes Tumbling.

Z: What about bad reviews of Popmart?

E: They came mostly from England newspapers, and we answered at Wembley stadium... Las Vegas' failure was our fault, no excuses, we didn't rehearse as we need. We chose Las Vegas because of the position, you can't debut in a big city. A rock concert is not like a movie where you can even make corrections after festivals, before it is released. Anyway then everything
went alright: this is rock n' roll. And we don't complain...

Z: Fame, money...: has all this changed you in some way?

E: Not much, because we kept our feet on the ground, and we went on looking inside us. Dublin and Dubliners were useful, it is all very realistic, luckily nobody reveres you, living as a rockstar isn't easy, it's not like in the U.S.A., because here you can go and buy milk, newspaper, cigarettes.

Z: How will the new album be? Celtic tradition maybe or again technology?

E: At the moment I can say we are four people spending 10, 12 hours in a room telling each other ideas, notes, memories. Till now no technology, as for Pop, where (ironic, but true) all was played by us, apart from the very first days, when we used a lot of loops, sequencers and samples, because Larry got problems with his hands. Now we want to go back only to the four of us, to our personalities. And maybe, but it is soon to say it, to more traditional sounds.

Z: After all this time what are you talking of and doing in the recording room?

E: We enjoy ourself and joke as the first day; if it wouldn't be this way, we wouldn stop . We are proud for what we made till now, and now we want to make a different record, we want to go on, knowing how to look back, and to get something from our roots.

Z: You played in Belfast for Nobels Hume and Trimble; next record will be
the first in a time of peace...

E: We met Hume as he knew about the Nobel, he thanked us for what we did, though we only played music. The Nobel Prize was very important and emotional for every Irish. All that tragedy really influenced us, deeply, think of Sunday Bloody Sunday, and peace, I have no doubt, will do the same. Bono ha written a lot and just on the peace. Everyone in Irland really
hopes that everything will be alright up there. Maybe the bodhran, the traditional
war drum, will be for sounds of peace.

Z: What abou the cinema?

E: Wim Wenders will shot The Million Dollar Hotel and so we'll do something for its soundtrack. We didn't record much for the cinema... The whole Passengers album got to be a real soundtrack, but we didn't find the subject...

Z: There's a photo in the Best Of booklet...What remaines about the Dandelion Market years?

E: We have the same spirit, the sense of humor, and self irony, we still want to be together and confront, even to quarrel, but to be anyway and always friends. If it wasn't this way when we started, U2 would never exist, we couldn't do anything. And I don't think any of us could play music without a band like us. It was punk era, but we were different, because when in London most thought to the hairs or dresses of musicians, not many, apart from the poet John Cooper Clark or the Clash, talked about social problems and we did. We were only simple boys who wrote and sang hard political lyrics that people liked and we could come out.

Z: Do you remember what was the first song you have ever written?

E: Yes. The title was Child Of The Tall Tree. But in those years we supplied the lack or original songs with the energy, the strenght, the will to have success... We only need a melody we considered good enough... then Bono pretended to sing and we played and people stay and listen to us.

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