11 November 2005
'Four Chancers From North Dublin.'
That's how Edge still sees the band, in a great interview for The WORD Magazine. The new issue of the UK music magazine carries a 14-page interview with Edge by Editor Mark Ellen who first interviewed U2 in 1981.
Ellen travels with the band for four days on the America East Coast, flies from Boston to New York in their plane, is on-set for their Conen O'Brien appearance and at the Madison Square Garden aftershow, and hears the full extraordinary story of U2 from Edge's perspective.
Bono, Adam, Larry, Dik Evans, Guggi and Daniel Lanois also offer their thoughts on Edge, while there's some very fine new shots by none other than Anton Corbijn.
Below we carry a few choice extracts and you'll find more on The Word here
Edge On Great Live Acts
'Well I've seen bands in small venues and they can't communicate and I've seen stadium shows where everyone is completely unified, so it's not really about the size of the venue. It's largely about the songs. I saw Bob Marley in Dalymount Park, in Dublin, in '79, his last tour I think, and it was just unarguable. I've seen Springsteen on a couple of occasions where it's been unbelievable, that connection he's been able to create. I never saw the Clash in a big venue but they were one of the great live acts of all time, as were Stiff Little Fingers.
"I saw the Waterboys in the Top Hat, in Dun Laoghaire, around the time of The Whole of the Moon, one of those nights where it just went off - the intention, the will, the wish to communicate, to get across to a crowd. Mike Scott was a great talent. It's not about internal performance, not about trying to maintain your cool. All that left me with an instinct about what's required to put on a great concert, where there's never a dull moment in the night. A lot of it is pure theatre. Springsteen has theatre. Jimi Hendrix had theatre. The Clash had theatre. But if that's all it is, then it loses out. You have to have an aspect of spontaneity where you really don't know what's going to happen. A jeopardy. An interaction between the performer and the audience."
Larry on Edge
"In nearly 30 years I've learnt never to underestimate him. On any level. His dogged, relentless search for the perfect song, the perfect sound, the perfect idea. He possesses so many qualities I aspire to."
Edge on Four Chancers from North Dublin
"Not everything Bono does would I necessarily agree with, but you've got to acknowledge that everyone's got their own particular opinion. We don't like all that the others do, but it's the compromise that makes it work. Nobody has ever betrayed their initial commitment to the group and what's best for it. It's all about the songs. If it's great, it's great in spite of us, not because of us. I honestly still think of us as four chancers from north Dublin."
Bono on Edge
"Beneath the stillness, the Zen-like mastery of arpeggios and perfectly chosen crystal notes, there is a rage, an explosive side, as I've learnt on more than a few occasions. Never pick a fight with a man who earns his living through perfect hand-to-eye co-ordination."