Wednesday, December 31, 2008
After a year of hard work, Adam, our fave bassist is having holidays in the city of Trancoso in Brazil.He told the Brazilian magazine Glamurama:
"Holidays here are just what I needed.It´s the first time I visit Brazil out of the professional agenda."
Hope Adam has a good time in the Brazilian beaches and starts the new year with renovated forces for the awaited U2 2009 tour!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
According to Q magazine, the 11 tracks of No Line on the Horizon are as follows:
"Stand up": A rounsing groove-based rocker with shades of Led Zep and Cream
"Magnificent": A slow building anthem.......Edge at his most dynamic........"Only love can rest your mind"
"Get on Your Boots": A demented electro grunge with rock and roll riff and a hip-hop twist ind the middle.........."I dont wanna talk about war between nations"
"Momement of Surrender"A gorgeusly melodic............this album's One............U2 Classic.............."I did not notice the passers by/And they did not notice me". Recorded in one take.
"Unknown Caller":About a man "at the end of his rope" whose phone bizarrely begins texting him random insructions.........."Reboot yourself, Password enter here, Youre free to go!"
"No Line on the Horizon":Abrasive punk..........few versions hanging around.............its the buzzcocks meets Bow Wow Wow!
"Crazy Tonight":Upbeat 60's pop track era of Phil Spector..........."I'll go crazy I dont go crazy tonight" Sounds like a slogan for a tour T shirt!!!
"Every Breaking Wave":With or Without You style building up layers of guitar over electroncially enhance verses............Key line "Every Sailor knows that the Sea/Is a friend made enemy"
"Breathe":Arabic cello gives way to joyful chorus. Bran Eno says this is U2's best ever song.
"Winter" : A6 minute ballad. Acoustic string laden ballad about a soldier in the snow in Afganistan. Will appear in the new film 'Brothers' starring Tobey Maguire.
"Cedars of Lebanon":In the style of a war correspondent lyric from Bono.............end with "Choose your enemies carefully cos they will define you"
Bono did also mention a track about "Tripoli" but not sure if its on the album..............tomm much stuff to write now so hope this wets your appetites till its out in the shops!!!
Is this true? We´ll only know the truth on 3rd March, 2009.Meanhwile just speculations....
Is this true? We´ll only know the truth on 3rd March, 2009.Meanhwile just speculations....
The only truth is that we can´t wait to listen to it!!
The only truth is that we can´t wait to listen to it!!
source: q magazine,Jan issue; picture: U2 interference
Monday, December 29, 2008
I imagine Chris Martin must have been thrilled to be in the party as he is a massive fan of the band, claiming that they were the "new U2" once, he then confessed that they took advantage of the fact that U2 were "on holiday" during 2008 to reign for a while. Beware ,Chris! Bono has said that 2009 will be "their year".
The party took place in Bentleys Oyster Bar & Grill in Dublin.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008
Once I wrote that our fave drummer talks very little in public but when he does, beware!! he has something heavy to say!!
He tells Q mag: “Tony Blair is a war criminal and I think he should be tried as a war criminal. “Then I see Bono and him as pals and I’m going, ‘I don’t like that’.
“I understand why people find it really offensive.
“On the other hand, I think it has made people understand where Bono’s coming from, in that he’s prepared to use his weight as a celebrity, at great cost to himself and his family, to help other people.
“I don’t think there’s much of an upside for him and I don’t think he chooses where he goes and who he meets. “But as an outsider, looking in, I cringe.”
Whoa, Mr Mullen!!! Those were the words!!!
Friday, December 26, 2008
To uplift the post Christmas gloom, here goes more pics from Q magazine photo shoot...
Now we have only to wait until 31st December when Q Magazine relases the number dedicated to U2´s new album "No Line on the Horizon".
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Hope & Peace for these Seasons!!! U2 fans have more than a line on the horizon to wait for!!
Cheers for these holidays...Hope we all have love & peace or else...
Monday, December 22, 2008
Q magazine had an exclusive interview, here are some extracts...
"We learned a lot from Rick," says Bono. "He's head over heels in love with the concept of the song. But our feeling was, you don't go to rock'n'roll just for the songs. We wanted songs that would take us into a different world.
"And because Brian and Dan are experimental in their niches, the opportunity to bring some experimentation into the pop consciousness is so exciting to them. And to us."
By the time U2 arrived at Olympic Studios, Eno was shepherding the album to a conclusion with various other producers being called in to mix specific tracks - long-time cohort Steve Lillywhite and Black Eyed Peas man Will.I.Am among them. As has become customary for U2 records, tracks were being re-worked - and in some cases completely overhauled - right up to the final deadline.
Q initially heard previews of seven tracks at various stages of completion as the band were winding up. First impressions were that, while the two most recent U2 albums (2000's All That You Can't Leave Behind and 2004's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb) marked a return to basics, No Line On The Horizon is more in keeping with the spirit of 1991's Achtung Baby: which is to say, a bolder, more testing collection.
The material itself runs a gamut from the classic U2-isms of Magnificent, which echoes The Unforgettable Fire's opening track A Sort Of Homecoming in its atmospheric sweep, to the straight up pop of Crazy Tonight (the track Will.I.Am was taking a pass at) and the swaggering Stand Up, wherein U2 get in touch with their, hitherto unheard, funky selves - albeit propelled by some coruscating Edge guitar work, a signature feature of a number of the tracks. The latter track is also home to the knowing Bono lyric, "Stand up to rock stars/Napoleon is in high heels/Be careful of small men with big ideas."
Among other instantly striking tracks are Get Your Boots On, a heaving electro-rocker that may mark the destination point the band had been seeking on Pop; Winter, featuring a fine Bono lyric about a soldier in an unspecified war zone, surrounded by a deceptively simple rhythm track and an evocative string arrangement courtesy of Eno; and the stately Unknown Caller, which was recorded in Fez and opens with the sounds of birdsong taped by Eno during a Moroccan dawn.
"We recorded the second version just last night," explained the singer whilst enthusiastically air drumming along to it. "I'm very excited by that one,"
One other track, Every Breaking Wave, was beginning to take shape around an emotive Bono vocal and an appropriately grand swell of a climax. "We might be on to something special there," noted Bono.
And within the U2 camp, this is the general consensus around the album as a whole. A clearly excited Eno told Q No Line On The Horizon could be the band's greatest album, a view also echoed by the Edge.
"We've learnt a few things over the years," said the guitarist. "So I think (the album) could be a bringing-to-bear of all those eureka moments from the past."
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The new album by U2 "No Line on the Horizon" will be released on Monday March 2nd 2009.
U2.com has officialy announced it in its website:
And Amazon.com is offering it in different formats on pre-order:
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The newspaper The Independent has spotted Adam and Bobo working at the studio finishing the last touches of the new U2 upcoming album.
"While Adam plays the bass, Bono tinkles the ivories in the background at Olympic Studios in our photograph taken by Kevin Davies. The studio, located in London´s West End is one of the most famous in the world with artists such as the Rolling Stones and The Who recording albums there."
"The Dublin band had been due to release their 12th studio album -- which has a working title of 'No Line on the Horizon' -- in November, but decided at the last moment to continue recording."
"It is understood that the band has penned up to 60 songs while working on the album, which is being produced by the team behind 'The Joshua Tree', Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois.No release date has been confirmed for the new album which is expected early next year..."
So all the sources tell us to wait patiently for a new album by (hopefully) February 2009...Fingers crossed...it could be a nice Valentine´s Day´s gift!!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Last night the Irish programme "The View" aired Edge and Bono singing for the opening of the 02 Arena in Dublin docklands.
They recalled when it was just a depot and they filmed "Desire" and "Van Diemen´s Land" back in the 80's for "Rattle and Hum".
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sugar Daddy was written after the veteran singer met the supergroup frontman in a Dublin nightclub. It refers to Sir Tom's early days as a building site worker. He has now sold more than 100m records worldwide. "I was in a club in Dublin and I was talking to Bono and asked him if he would write me a song, so he said I'll write you one but I need to know a lot about you so I can write something about you," Sir Tom told BBC Radio Wales.
"He came up with Sugar Daddy."
"I told him all kinds of things and about how I worked on building sites. He wrote 'you're gonna get your hands dirty when you're digging a ditch,' but the next line is fantastic - 'boredom is God's revenge on the rich!'"
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Shhhh!!!! Don´t reveal the secret...but apparently Edge,Adam and Larry are shooting a new video in London...
Larry, Edge, Bono and Adam were holed up in a warehouse on the outskirts of London yesterday, shooting a video with director Alex Courtes.
Performing a brand new song, the band worked on the shoot from late morning till late night, the elegantly mustachioed Courtes directing proceedings on the green stage.
We are sworn to secrecy on the finer details of the shoot... but there may have been some marching girls involved. With their boots on. (OMG!!!!)
Courtes last worked with the band - with Martin Fougerol - on the video for City of Blinding Lights in 2005. And their work on 'Vertigo' won them the Grammy for 'Best Short Form Video'. That was the first single release from 'How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb'...
More as they reveal the secrecy...
We are anxiously waiting!!!!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who hosted the event, handed the U2 frontman the Peace Summit Award in presence of five Nobel winners, in recognition of two decades of global anti-poverty activitism.
'This is a very big award for me, because let's be honest this is as close as I am going to get - as close as a rock star is ever going to get to the Nobel Peace Prize,' Bono quipped to the audience.
'I am an over-awarded, over-rewarded rock star. You are the people who do the real work,' he told the Nobel winners present, who included F.W. de Klerk of South Africa, Lech Walesa of Poland and Northern Ireland's John Hume.
'So I am very, very pleased to be in such esteemed company.'
Here's how Bono accepted the award:
'The Man of Peace Award… come on…. let’s be honest… we all know this is as close as I’m going to get to the real thing… so I am holding on tight to this …
Seriously though… I am really honoured to be here… to accept this award from all of you… thank you for taking me seriously… because that’s not a given when you’re a rockstar. Even worse, a rock star with a conscience …..spare me.
The ONE campaign, the organization that I represent when working on these issues is very serious by the way….
Deadly serious, thanks to support from people like Bill and Melinda Gates and John Doerr and Susie Buffett who fund our organization and our work…
And the world’s poor deserve seriousness… they deserve the best representation in the world’s capitals – they deserve their own interest group, their own powerful lobby…
The US gun lobby spends nearly $200 million dollars a year making sure you can’t get elected if you support gun control.
Tobacco companies spend $19 million on lobbying Congress
The world’s poor deserve more than that.
For them it’s quite literally life and death. 4000 people dying every day of a preventable treatable disease… HIV/AIDS, 10,000 dying every day of a mosquito bite… 5000 children dying every day of diarrhea…
I mean, diarrhea can be a problem in our house, but it is not a death sentence….
So that’s why we set up the ONE campaign…I think our voices were heard during the presidential campaign in the US.
Did you notice that neither Barack Obama or John McCain ever once criticized aid, never used it as a pawn… Despite the huge economic crisis, Barack Obama has made a bold promise to double aid to Africa… part of the reason for this, I believe, is the 2 million members of the ONE campaign that we have in America… they showed up at every town hall meeting during the elections… making sure the candidates knew that this stuff mattered to them.
And you know that it’s not just Obama himself that’s committed… its his whole team… even his security team…the tough guys.
On the way here yesterday, I got to thinking about this guy Alfred Nobel – what an incredible guy – then I thought – hang on a second… isn’t he the guy that invented dynamite…?
I know it’s a bit of a cliché to talk about Nobel and dynamite.
But it is a funny thing, that it’s the people who know the real cost of war that fight hardest for peace…
I’ve been working on these issues of extreme poverty for quite a while…maybe 10 years now… when I started, I never would have expected a phone call from the head of NATO, General Jim Jones – who will soon be President Obama’s national security advisor.
He’s an extraordinary man. A six foot three gentle giant.
He said to me we have billions of dollars of high tech equipment floating in the Mediterranean Sea and yet we are losing to Hezbollah because they are building schools…
And then he said, I’m a marine… the men and women of the marine corps don’t mind being shot at for the right reasons but they do not like being shot at for being the wrong reasons – I asked what the wrong reason were – he said, for being American…
That sent a chill down me… I mean, this was America we were talking about… America that liberated Europe after the second world war, America that wiped out smallpox and polio… America that created the Peace Corps… and they are being attacked because they are American?
But America is about to present a new face to the world. Barack Obama, Jim Jones, and the person who said this: ‘Instability and extremism fester in places where infrastructure, education and opportunity are lacking… The battlespace goes far beyond the battlefield.’
That’s the next Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
‘Security, stability and development go hand-in-hand.’
Who said that? That one’s Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defense, present and future.
There’s new thinking in America… a reimagining of how to deal with some of the greatest challenges of our time… things like extreme climate change… extreme ideologies… and extreme poverty, which is entangled with both.
With a new US administration taking the reins, where does Europe stand on all this? Europe that has long led the world on development issues? Well, let’s not be left behind….
We do see great leadership from Spain… Zapatero is keeping his promise…
We see great leadership from the UK….
Great leadership from Germany… a country that, for the last almost the last 20 years… spent 4 % of GDP on reunification…
Where does France stand, a long time champion on global health, and you could argue, joined at the hip and the heart to africa through its history? Truthfully? France isn’t quite doing its bit against the promises made… and we’re not sure why, because we are pretty sure the french people do care about this stuff. Carla Sarkozy certainly does… she’s just been named ambassador for the Global AIDS fund… and apparently… rumour has it, she sleeps with the President… he has spoken passionately about these issues, but we might need her to do a bit of pick pocketing… France is not however slashing its aid budget…which is what its next door neighbour Italy is doing…what an embarrassment for the next chair of the G8 to be slashing its aid budget.
And today, not far away from here… President Sarkozy and the rest of the European heads of state are trying to figure out where they stand on the link between extreme climate and extreme poverty… will a new grand bargain take shape under which, the people who created the problem of climate change (us) will make sure the people worst affected (the poorest of the poor) benefit financially from a new carbon deal.
Now there’s a bold idea. You know I think that Europe is a thought that needs to become a feeling. I get the sense that for many europeans, europe is defined by geography and bureaucracy. I think it’s through working together on bold projects like this, looking outside of ourselves, that we can start to really feel Europe—what it means, what it’s about, the big idea.
I know I am saying all of this at a time when financial markets are melting down and I might sound like I never read a newspaper … but it is in troubled times, when times for ourselves are toughest, that we reveal who we really are. Do we baton down the hatches and protect our own, or do we join forces and make sure the most vunerable are not forgotton. Do we dwell on the problems, or the solutions. Because in troubled times, I'd argue precisely what we should be doing is looking for new ways to fix old problems.
Just look around this room… the people in this room – you’ve all come out of conflict is the truth… you’ve all seen opportunity in moments of crisis…
Just think about Europe at the end of World War II.
Germany was in ruins. Britain, penniless. France, been starved and suffocated. Economies, hopes, the future seemed wrecked.
And through the wreckage walked giants. De Gaulle, Monnet. Churchill, Keynes. Truman, Marshall, Adenauer. Amid the ruins, they could see a path to a more broadly shared peace and prosperity. And that’s what they built—a post-war order of security and opportunity that endured for half a century.
Out of that conflict came the Declaration of Human Rights… 60 years ago this week. But its basic ideas were older than that.
On the ruins, they built a new world. They envisioned it, and then they built it to last.
That was their wisdom.
What is ours?
Look we all know it… we’re at a moment in time here, just like after the first world war when the league of nations was set up, just like after the second world war when the UN and the World Bank and the IMF were formed… the world is up for grabs…a system that has benefited the lucky few and excluded the unlucky many is under the microscope... Soon to be on the operating table. New ideas are in play. Creativity is needed. all the creativity in this room…
It raises eyebrows, fists even, when musicians enter these debates....it is unusual but it shouldn’t be… I may be biased but I think we need all disciplines (art, commerce, fashion, science) as well as politics to converge on these challenges.
Sometimes it takes crisis to reimagine the world and what we are capable of… To shake up the established order. To make old, bad ideas look ridiculous.
In fact, history has a way of making ideas that were once acceptable look ridiculous…
You know that… Willem de Klerk… you worked side by side with Nelson Mandela to figure out a new future for South Africa…
Who would have thought in our lifetime there would be peace in Northern Ireland? You did John Hume – you did Betty Williams – you did Mairead Maguire.
Who would have thought that there was to be a peaceful way out of the cold war and the spectre of mutually assured destruction… MAD madness…? Mikhail Gorbachev knew that… and we’re missing the great man here today…
As I said, what is our wisdom. Could it be that we decide it is no longer acceptable that an accident of geography—where you are born—can decide whether you live or whether you die… that we decide that human rights, the right to live like a human, belong not just to those who live in the comfort of their freedom. I think so but we haven’t quite got there yet.
But with your help, we might get there soon.
Since the start of the 21st century, just 8 years ago, many millions more African children are in school, millions on life-saving ARVs, millions protected from malaria by bed nets. Momentum is building. Energies are converging. The wheels of change are turning and the people in this room are living proof that we can alter their direction.
You know, this is not a burden, this is an adventure. Its exciting. Together we can make the insanity and injustice and inequality of extreme stupid poverty look ridiculous… a child dying in a world of plenty for lack of food in its belly... Death by mosquito bite or dirty water... These things we can consign to the ash heap of history… and write a new history which makes us all proud.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
'It was still in its original condition as a railway depot, ' remembers Edge. 'But it was absolutely amazing looking and we said, wow – this is exactly the kind of place we want, something really about Dublin City and where we came from.'
The band shot 'Desire' on their first day in the venue. 'The first morning,' explains Crosbie, 'when Bono arrived to shoot, he picked up a red guitar and played a chord and that was the first music ever played at The Point.'
U2 also famously rang in the New Year in 1990 in The Point Depot in a series of concerts during the Lovetown Tour.
'It was a joyous occasion to be with all your family and friends in Dublin. ' recalls Bono. 'It’s a sociological event, not a gig. It’s a tribal thing… and then to realise this might be it. This might be as far as the U2 story goes unless we can dig deep and draw into a different well. And we did in the end. It’s a pivotal place for us.'
Harry asked Bono to play it again for the O2, the brand new development built on the site of The Point. You can see their performance of 'Van Diemen’s Land', the first in the new O2 Arena - along with the interview - on The View next Tuesday.
'The circle is complete,' says Harry Crosbie. 'And Ireland's greatest venue had its first music played by its greatest band.'
The View, 16 Dec 2008. RTE One 11.15pm
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Irish music executive Rob Partridge, who handed the Beautiful Day hitmakers their first album deal, passed away following a battle with liver and bowel cancer. He was 60.
Partridge signed U2 to Island Records in 1980 when they were struggling to make it into the music industry.
As the label's head of press, Partridge went on to act as the band's publicist for over a decade.
He also helped the careers of Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Tom Waits and Marianne Faithfull.
U2 frontman Bono has paid tribute to the late music mogul, saying, "Rob Partridge was the first person in the British Music Industry to sing our praises. He not only had an eye for upcoming talent, he was a nurturer... a person who would educate you about the kind of obstacles you were going to meet and how to get over them... a rare human being."
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Bono: a rock star, an artist, a poet, an activist. How about an incredible leader?
Bono has had some serious success as a world leader. In a time when the world is looking for change agents to arise and lead us back to economic stability and sanity, there is a lot that can be learned from Bono’s leadership and change agent abilities.
Is Bono more than just the lead singer of the biggest rock band in the world? Well the answer to that would simply be, yes! He’s a business man: he sits on the board of an investment fund called Elevation Partners and is a co-owner of the Clarence Hotel in Dublin as well many other valuable pieces of real estate. He’s a co-founder of numerous organizations and companies: he co-founded DATA (Debt AIDS Trade Africa), he is a co-founder of EDUN (an Irish fashion company creating fair-pay employment and trade in Africa), and he co-founded the ONE Campaign and Product Red in the fight against poverty. He’s continuously honoured for his contributions: he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, has received an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, and was named Person of the Year by Time magazine in 2006 along with Bill and Melinda Gates – just to name a few accolades. Did I mention that he played a critical role in the Jubilee 2000 Drop the Debt and Make Poverty History campaigns? Bono’s leadership efforts are many in number, but it’s not the quantity that is impressive it’s the impact that they’ve had – a true measure of successful leadership.
What kind of impact?
Bono’s leadership has been a driving catalyst behind a ton of successes in Africa. Of course it’s not a one man show, but there’s no doubt that Bono has played a major role behind the encouraging news that is starting to come out of Africa. For example, his efforts with Jubilee 2000 and the Drop the Debt campaign have helped drive commitments from western nations to cancel over $100 billion USD in 3rd world debt (over $35 billion USD has been written off already). Debt servicing in 26 countries in Africa has been reduced by an average of 40%, setting the stage for increased investment in education, healthcare (fighting HIV/AIDS), and infrastructure. This has translated into a number of successes: 59 million insecticide treated malaria bed-nets distributed across Africa, 29 million more African children are now in school, over 2 million additional Africans are on HIV/AIDS medication, and the number of children in Africa dying from preventable, treatable illness has reduced from 12.7 million to 9.2 million per year. In addition to his efforts in helping to bring increased foreign aid and debt cancellation, Bono’s role as an active spokesperson and leader has brought about much needed visibility and political might to the fight against these prominent issues in Africa.
So what makes Bono a model leader and change agent?
A few months back I was sitting in a ‘Leading People and Organizations’ (LPO) MBA course at the Richard Ivey School of Business. The course is taught by an incredibly passionate and energetic professor by the name of Gerard Seijts. He taught us about Kenneth Blanchard, a renowned management expert who says that the key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. In my opinion, this perhaps explains a lot about Bono’s success as a leader. Bono has no authority but does have an extraordinary amount of influence. Let’s face it he’s one of the biggest celebrities and musicians of our time. His celebrity has earned him extraordinary respect and that respect has translated into a monstrously powerful set of friends including the Clinton’s, the Bush’s, the Mandela’s, the Gates’and the Pitt’s to name just a few. Did I mention Oprah? Politicians are constantly after photo ops with him and often just want to be associated with his initiatives to buy votes. What these politicians fail to realize is that they are playing right into his hands: a photo op with Bono followed by a face to face meeting where he’ll impress you with his knowledge, facts, charisma, celebrity, influence and tact – before you know it he’s gotten you to commit to increased aid and debt cancellation for the 3rd world. Ok maybe I’m exaggerating the process just a bit, but the point is that it’s his influence and celebrity that get him into the politician’s door and gets them to listen – a definite fit of Kenneth Blanchard’s definition of a successful leader.
As another key take away from the LPO course, we learned about Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter, who is widely regarded as the world’s foremost expert on leadership and change. Kotter identifies eight common qualities of successful leaders and change agents:
1. Establish a sense of urgency
2. Create a strong guiding coalition
3. Develop a compelling vision and strategy
4. Communicate the change vision
5. Empower employees for broad-based action
6. Generate short-term wins
7. Consolidate gains and producing more change
8. Anchor new approaches in the culture
In my opinion it’s quite easy to find supporting examples of how Bono demonstrates all eight of these qualities, but I will focus on just the first two since I think they are his greatest strengths.
Establishing a sense of urgency is second nature for Bono. "Christ won't let you walk away because it's difficult, expensive and a moral hazard," Bono said, speaking of the AIDS epidemic. “Africa is bursting into flames while we all stand around with watering cans,” says Bono as he delivers a message on live TV warning us about the potential of our generation going down in the history books for something other than the internet. It’s messages like these ones that establish his burning platform of urgency – a key to a successful change agent and leader.
Creating a strong guiding coalition is another strength that Bono has demonstrated throughout the years. From day one, Bono has been working in a team that has become a massive coalition – one that just seems to get more powerful and influential by the day. His coalition now spans far wider than his political and celebrity friends. It includes millions of supporters that have joined movements like the ONE campaign and Make Poverty History, as well as people like you and me that have heard the message and are making poverty, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and the cancellation of third world debt political issues in our own respective nations. Of course, Bono’s work in securing Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and Oprah on his team definitely helps his cause.
Is Bono for real?
In November, 2005 my wife, brother, sister-in-law, and I had the opportunity to meet Bono outside the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa just prior to a U2 concert. He had just arrived from a meeting with then Canadian Prime Minister, Paul Martin. As he got out of his black Cadillac Escalade he approached a few of us telling his security guards to back down. As he signed autographs and posed for pictures he asked us about our thoughts on Canada backing down on its commitment to increase foreign aid to 0.7% of GDP. He asked us about our opinion on Paul Martin and whether it bothered us that he was reneging on his campaign promise to increase foreign aid. It didn’t take much to realize that this man was the real deal; he was truly concerned about Canada’s lack of commitment and was using every opportunity to poll and listen to Canadians first hand to gain additional insight on our sentiment toward the issue – a true leader.
All great leaders seem to have strong communication skills, many of whom have a knack for delivering quotes that just seem to stick and make sense. Here’s one of my favorites from Bono in the closing lines of a book entitled ‘Bono on Bono’:
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Can you talk about a couple of specific tracks?
There’s a song called Moment Of Surrender, which is seven and a half minutes long. Brian got the ball rolling with a suggestion for some chords and then we made a few adjustments and got to this set of changes that we really liked and then just kicked it off and we immediately realised there was something powerful going on. And when that happens, it’s like you don’t have to say anything in the room; people know it’s going off. Then Adam came up with this incredible bass part and Bono had a couple of melody ideas on the spot, so it was really quick. There’s something really thrilling about a piece that comes together like that, because you really don’t have time to think. There’s something great about that. It’s the purest moment, often, when you don’t have an opportunity to step back and consider anything; you’re just in it.
So it’s a trance-y thing?
It’s hard to describe really. It’s very 21st Century. It’s a beautiful song, amazing rhythms, great lyrics and [laughs] fantastic guitar playing!
And then there’s another one from Fez [Morocco, where U2 recorded in May/June ’07]. Similar kind of situation, in a session where we’re just trying out ideas and this piece of music just came through and we all knew at the time that it was good. It seems to be everyone’s favourite or second favourite tune on the album. It’s called Unknown Caller.
Can you hear the influence of Fez?
To some degree. A couple of the tunes were recorded there. We had some local percussionists come down one day – but I’m not sure that the tune they did has made the record. With Unknown Caller the sound of Fez is there because we were recording in this riad [town house]. The way they are constructed, they have this big atrium and that’s where we were set up. So the roof was open and the swallows were flying into the atrium and nesting, so at the beginning of the tune you can hear these swallows. So it really has this very tangible atmosphere of the space that we recorded it in. So Fez is there in that sense. But we’re not into musical tourism. It’s the same with Achtung Baby, there was something in there but it wasn’t overtly German, you know, and this isn’t overtly Moroccan… It’s just a flavour.
Lanois has been quoted a couple of times recently in the Canadian press and the word he seems to be favouring with regard to this record is “innovative”. After all these years with the same team can U2 still be breaking boundaries?
Well, that’s what we get off on – hearing something that we’ve never heard before. It’s so great to work with Brian; he’s always doing things that are completely fresh, and we as a band don’t really come alive unless we feel like we’re exploring some uncharted territory. So, it’s not easy to get something that you’re really excited about, but once you do, you know, and that’s everything for us. We wouldn’t want to be working with anyone else on that front. Both Brian and Danny are hugely inspiring to work with, breaking us out of our comfort zone in our writing or playing.
Your relationship has endured longer than almost any other band/producer match-up, but it’s more than that this time. Did I read that Brian and Danny were writing with you?
We decided at the beginning of the project that we would make that offer to Brian and Danny to see what it might lead us to and I think it was really great. I think they were both flattered and I think it gave them a great boost of affirmation and confidence. So those sessions had this great atmosphere; everyone was in a great mood and we got some great shit out of it. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t have to go off and write as U2. Bono and I did a lot of work on material on our own as well, but it was those sessions that set the tone for the album and they wouldn’t have panned out as they did if we hadn’t asked Brian and Danny to co-write with us.
After a couple of straight-ish rock records in All That You Can’t Leave Behind and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, was it time for U2 to stretch out again? Does knowing you’re in a position of strength mean you can do something wilder?
I think for us it’s really about keeping it fresh. Making All That You Can Leave Behind and How To Dismantle… inspired us at the time. This time we wanted to try something different and we didn’t really know what it was. We just knew that we wanted to fall in love with the process of making music and see where it led us. So, initially, we didn’t really think about where the music was going to go; we were just playing together and seeing what happened. And, by not concentrating at all on making an album I think an album started to emerge. So, it’s really us following our creative instincts. In some ways it’s very uncontrived. People tend to think of our music as being a manifesto of a kind but this is really organic; it’s just what is interesting to us right now in music and going for that.
What’s Bono banging on about this time?
I think there are some interesting third person characters in the songs. It’s giving Bono an opportunity to change his perspective in the lyric writing. I think the last two albums were really personal and first-person. But I think this one has a more panoramic scope lyrically, so it’s still personal and it’s still ultimately written from experience and Bono’s perspective, but he just has more freedom.
Did his piano lessons come in handy?
Yeah! He’s been working a lot on material on his own and that’s fed into various different projects that we’re working on. It’s cool. We’re all still in a phase where we can learn, develop and change. I don’t think we’ve actually stopped that process of being born, so to speak. And it’s very inspiring for me to see Bono coming up with very strong musical ideas. That’s what being in a band is all about.
You always manage to find – in every record – a piece of technology that you engage with immediately, and that throws up a song. Where The Streets Have No Name came out of your dabblings with the Infinite Guitar box, and this time you mentioned your Death By Audio pedal…
It’s this particular kind of 21st Century distortion. Guitar is such a versatile instrument, but it’s very easy to get in a cul-de-sac in terms of how it sounds. I love anything that just gives it a different personality and this particular set of distortion pedals I think, are a different colour. It’s like a different personality and that, for me, is a great jumping-off point. I used Death By Audio’s Supersonic Fuzz Gun on the song No Line In The Horizon, and a couple of others I think. It was Ben Curtis who turned me onto them. He’s one of the Curtis Brothers from Secret Machine – he’s got a new band now called School Of Seven Bells, who are pretty interesting.
So how much work is left to do?
Way too much, as usual, but we will get there. We’re not f**king around this time. This is personal!
Interview by: Danny Eccleston
Monday, November 24, 2008
Edge talks to Mojo magazine about the release of U2´s upcoming??? album.
With the release of U2’s 12th studio album delayed until February, and the band still mixing furiously in a London studio MOJO are unable to name for fear of an instant fan-siege, guitarist The Edge has called the MOJO office with a progress report.
In line with U2’s late preference for enigmatic titles, the album seems certain to be called No Line On The Horizon – although Edge insists that anything can still change (U2 have even been known to record backing vocals in the mastering suite).
He goes on to reveal that they’ve shelved the songs recorded with Rick Rubin in 2006 and that much of the material dates from sessions with stalwarts Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, who co-write. Confirmed track titles include Moment Of Surrender and Unknown Caller.
There follows the director’s cut of the interview reported in the issue of MOJO magazine that’s on the shelves right now…
MOJO: Well, my first question has to be, have you finished yet?
Edge: [Coolly] Not quite. That’s why we’re here.
So, why finish up in London?
Well, it’s good to get out of familiar surroundings when you’re looking for a different perspective. Get out of the comfort zone.
If you’d stayed in Dublin, would you have just carried on producing material rather than bringing everything to a conclusion?
Maybe. Also, a good mix room is always important. Our studio in Dublin is more like a glorified rehearsal room really. It doesn’t have proper acoustic treatments for mixing and whatever. So we always mix in a studio that’s properly set up for that process.
Is the album still going to be called No Line On The Horizon, or is that a red herring?
It’s not totally firmed up but it’s still the working title.
So, what the hell does it mean?
It’s an image. It’s an image, Bono tells me [laughs]. It’s like when you’re moving forward, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re heading towards – that moment where the sea and the sky blend into one. It’s an image of infinity, I suppose – a kind of Zen image.
Is it a metaphor for how U2 make their records? No deadline on the horizon?
[Laughs] Guilty your honour! We were talking about this. Our work process is all about allowing inspiration to arrive at any time during the process. So there’s no finality, there’s no formality, until it’s in the shops. U2 albums never get finished; they just get released.
So do you think that helps the record? You can use material you started months ago, but as long as you’re re-examining it right at the last it can still sound contemporary?
Yes, I think that’s true. Song titles, lyrics, melody lines can change right up until the last minute. I think our records are always… it’s the last few weeks when things really come into focus. It might take us a long time to establish the basis of the record musically, but then a lot of stuff will change.
Famously, Chris Blackwood came down when we were doing Achtung Baby and with a week to go he said, There’s just no chance you’re gonna finish this album; I’ll come back in a month’s time and check on your progress. So he left town, and sure enough we finished at the end of that week! It’s like this ground rush. You seem to be going nowhere and then suddenly you hit the last period and then everything starts to move and everything clicks into place. It’s just the way we do it because I suppose inspiration is the ultimate thing for us. It’s not craft. So when things start to really get close, it’s a really inspiring time and everyone just gets onto a whole other level of creativity and we go into overdrive and all these ideas start coming through.
Has anything survived from the first bout of sessions [from September 2006], the Rick Rubin material?
We actually laid all that stuff to one side. Really out of deference to Rick and that set of songs we just said, Ok, that’s that, and we drew a line. So none of the Rick material went into this project. Everything has been written subsequently.
Is that because you weren’t that keen on it in retrospect?
I think there are some fantastic ideas there and they will, I’m sure, be finished off and see the light of day. We just felt like we wanted to put off the decision about what kind of record we wanted to make. And then we went in with Brian [Eno] and Danny [Daniel Lanois], literally just as an experiment to see what would happen. And suddenly there was this excess of stuff, ideas… and we just thought, OK, this is clearly where we are at our most potent at this moment, working with Brain and Danny, so let’s follow that idea down the road and we’ll get back to the material we started with Rick at some point.
What were the Rubin tracks like? Were they unusual for U2? He’s quite hands-off isn’t he, as a production “entity”?
Rick’s just an amazing intelligence and a guy with a huge love of music and an instinct for it. He gave us great advice as much as anything. His whole thing is, Don’t go near the studio until you know exactly what you want to do… which of course is the opposite of how we usually work.
But we were following Rick’s approach with Rick and we were working on songs and working on ideas and they’re still there. So I’m still excited by the possibility of trying that approach. It reminds me of what happened on our first album [Boy, 1980]. We went in, we had all the tunes – although even then we didn’t have all the lyrics – we had all the arrangements down to the point where we could just go in and record the album. We could have done it in a day, and of course the backing tracks had a great completeness, because we knew exactly what the tunes were.
The way we do things now, there are drawbacks. I feel for Larry [Mullen, drums] sometimes. He’ll be playing drums to Song A and then somewhere along the line the whole song gets thrown out, but we keep the drums, and then something else happens over those drums. Then sometimes we’ll replace those drums at the very end because he plays differently depending on what the vocal is. So even if it’s the same tempo, the same backbeat, the same chords, if the vocal’s different, the drums don’t feel quite right. So, there is something to Rick’s approach and it just means you make all your decisions early… for better or for worse. Ultimately, I feel, for us, it is those last couple of weeks when you get those amazing new ideas.
How would you describe the overall personality of the new album?
It’s a record of two halves. One half is songs that came virtually fully-formed out of sessions we did with Brian and Danny – stuff we’ve only played once or maybe twice and that’s it: just the raw moment of creation. Then the other half is material we’ve kicked around a while and went through the usual cycle of versions and incarnations. It sounds like a U2 album but it doesn’t sound like anything we’ve done before and it doesn’t really sound like anything that’s happening at the moment.
Seventeen years ago one of the best singers in the last century died in his London home.
On November 24, 1991, the announcement came: "Freddie Mercury died peacefully this evening at his home at 1 Logan Place, Kensington, London. His death was the result of pneumonia brought on by AIDS."
Saturday, November 22, 2008
It could be arguable if Aretha Franklin is number one when Freddie Mercury positions in number 18 and even if John Lennon was not a greatly virtuoso he certainly had an intimacy that was important for what it was about to come.
Mr Hewson has a great apperance as number 32. The words of GreenDay frontman,Billy Joe Armstrong say it all
He has so many influences. You hear Joe Strummer, Bob Marley, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley, even John Lennon. And he has the same range as Robert Plant. It's amazing, the notes he has to go through in the first lines of "Sunday Bloody Sunday." But it's filtered through this Irish choirboy. The Joshua Tree shows the mastery Bono has over his voice and what he learned from punk, New Wave and American musicians like Bob Dylan. In the quiet moments of "With or Without You," you can imagine him sitting under the stars. Then, when he comes back to the chorus, all of a sudden it's a hailstorm.
A lot of Bono's free-form singing comes from the band's rhythms and the church-bell feeling of the Edge's playing, the way the guitar sings in that delay. Bono can glide vocally through all of that. But it's very natural. And he's not afraid to go beyond what he's capable of, into something bizarre like his falsetto in "Lemon." In "Kite," on All That You Can't Leave Behind, he belts it out like he's crying with joy.
I never had the feeling he was manipulating the power of his voice to show off. They say a submarine never goes in reverse. That's Bono, always looking for a new way of singing something. That's one thing I learned from him: Never rest. Keep learning and be a good listener. That's the spirit of singing — and he definitely has it"
But to us die hard U2 follwers, he will aways be number one...
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
4. Ring True
"For me harmonics is the most pure sound available to a guitarist." for Edge harmonics is more than a decorative gimmick, in his hands becomes the building blocks of melodies. The exercises above show his classic clock chimes in "11 O´Clock Tic Toc" and the lilting harmonic-laden "Sunday Bloody Sunday" chorus melody.
5. Don´t expect, suggest.
"I tend to isolate chords down to two or three notes," Edge confesses. "Adam is in charge of chord sequences because I haven´t played a proper chord in years."
6. Slide down the surface of things.
A restless quest for innovation has led Edge to experiment with every note generating device available from EBow to the Fernandes Sustainer guitar,and although he´s not a slide player in the purist sense, the bottleneck has found its place in his arsenal of articulation.
7. Arp-Edge-iate your chords
Perhaps the number one Edge lick of all-time is the intro from 1983's breakthrough hit "Sunday Bloody Sunday".
Another Edge-y arpeggiation approachare the ones that recall such early U2 favourites as "Gloria" and "An Cat Dubh".
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The November issue of the magazine Guitar Player dedicates an article to Edge’s mastery with the guitar and gives us, mere mortals, some lessons on his playing. Here is a summary, good luck guitar players!
1. - Carry each other
The Edge, Larry, Adam and Bono formed U2 when still at school. Remarkably the quartet is heading into its fourth decade of existence with the same lineup_ almost unheard of in the annals of rock. U2 seems to posses an all-for-one, one-for-all loyalty and dedication to causes that allows them to circumnavigate the pitfalls of success that have ensnared many great bands. The Edge, like his bandmantes, has consistently avoided gratuitous displays of virtuosity in service to the music’s greater good. No surprise that their music sounds as fresh, urgent and relevant as it did some 30 years ago. The lesson is simple _being innovative isn’t mutually exclusive to being a team player.
2. – Practice sleight of hand (for a twist of fate)
Despite his reputation as an avatar of processed sounds, one integral facet of Edge tone stems from the little piece of plastic in his right hand _picks manufactured by a
3. – Dream out loud
Edge´s onstage rig is so daunting it looks like you’d need the head of the NASA´s mission control to help navigate it.
The Edge´s most iconic ax is probably the wood-finished 1976 Gibson Explorer he purchased as a teenager and has used fairly regularly since. During the 80´s , he relied on the late 70s-era Strats with Seymour Duncan pickups, a Washburn Festival acoustic ,and a 1945 Epiphone lap steel. On more recent tours, Edge’s arsenal has expanded to include a ’67 Rickenbacker 12-string, a ´64 Gretsch Country Gentleman, a ’62 Epiphone Casino and a ’65 Gibson SG, among others.
The internet is populated with websites and user groups dedicated to the study of Dave Evans tonal legacy. “Edge tone” is not a fixed signal chain but an ever-changing sound quest. Tone is a journey not a destination.
source: Guitar Player magazine,November 2008
source: Guitar Player magazine,November 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
The former Beatles star collected the Ultimate Legend prize at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Thursday (06Nov08) from the U2 front man. And to show his gratitude, MCCartney took Bono around his hometown, showing him the places that inspired the Fab Four's hits.
MCCartney says, "I love Liverpool. There is nothing like coming home."
And Bono admits it was something of a surreal experience because MCCartney is treated like royalty.
He jokes, "It was like being in the Popemobile with the Pope driving."
Saturday, November 8, 2008
"Here is one person in this hall tonight whose songs we know will be here now and forever.'
Bono was in Liverpool to present Paul McCartney with MTV Europe's 'Ultimate Legend' award.
'In the universe of rock and roll,' he said, 'The Beatles were the Big Bang'."Liverpool, this is the man who invented my job!"
McCartney's acceptance speech was more modest but rose a huge ovation.
"I want to thank my mum and dad," he said, going on to pay tribute to his bandmates in the Beatles, the people of Liverpool and Americans, "for voting in Senator Obama."
'Many years ago, there were four little boys born here in Liverpool and we went on to do quite well...'