Tens of thousands of fans logged on to U2.COM to ask Edge questions in our first online web-chat, Thursday.
Edge took time out between rehearsals and the band's Washington show to answer questions from fans for more than an hour.
Due to the overwhelming demand, some fans found it difficult gaining access at times - apologies if you experienced technical difficulties. In case you missed some of it, below we carry the complete transcript.
Rachel asks: Do you bring the family on the road?
- Answer: It's no lifestyle for anyone who doesn't have something to do, so the answer is no. But there are occasional visits which make it bearable.
Mario asks: Why only one big concert for Italy?
- Answer: I have been asking the same question, it's down to plain old logistics, just scheduling. We only had a limited amount of time to play Europe. Personally I'd love to play more Italian shows, I know we have a lot of fans in Italy and Italy could do with a few more shows. It's a tough one.
Jean asks: What's the deal with the midget plot in the 'All I Want Is You' video?
- Answer: It's the classic midget meets girl, girl meets midget, they fall in love but the girl really loves other guy, scenario. That old plot. It's based on a movie, but I can't remember the name of it.
Peter asks: What would you do if you fell off the stage?
- Answer: I don't know, probably climb back out and carry on. I did have a slight shock when Bono fell of the stage on the opening night, but he didn't fall very far fortunately. I have fallen off stage on a couple of occasions. The first thing is to protect the guitar, because you can fix an ankle, you can fix a bruise, but when you break a guitar that's the end of it.
Jim asks: As a fellow Irishman , are you looking forward to Slane this year?
- Answer: it's one of the final shows on the European tour, it's going to be one hell of a party and we're looking forward to it.
J. Thomas asks: What do you think of other bands covering U2's songs?
- Answer: There seem to be a few at the moment. I think there's been a steady stream of bands covering U2 songs down the years, but I don't think any of the cover versions have been as successful as the originals. i don't know what that says. I'm not complaining. I liked New Years Dub a lot. We always encourage people interested in covering our songs, as long as they're not completely crap!
Bigapple asks: Do you use the web much?
- Answer: I occassionaly go for a quick surf, I wouldn't say right now I have much time to go on the web. What I do is not so much the message-boards. I go looking for things. There's alot of great information out there which is what I'm after.
Mazi asks: Any chance you will be visiting Latin America?
- Answer: We would dearly love to have some shows in Latin America and we've been asking about it, but our enemy in that case is the exchange rate. You run the risk of having a really expensive ticket price. We don't want to go down there just to play to the richest people.
Tarzan asks: Do you think, with Elevation, rock is now putting pop back in it's place.
- Answer: I'm waiting for the next generation of rock and roll bands who are going to write some amazing tunes and blow everyone away. I know they're out there, but I haven't come across them as yet.
Andrewstu asks: What 3 people would you like to invite to dinner?
- Answer: Wow.. Jesus, John F Kennedy and Sir Isaac Newton.
Daztan asks: Does touring improve your creativity?
- Answer: I don't think it does, but it gives you a lot of ideas for songs and lyrics. In that sense it's a good experience that you can put in to songs later. I find it really hard to write on the road. Sometimes guitar riffs and chord patterns, but really until we're all into rehearsals together, that's when everything's going off, that's when the best U2 songs come together.
MDEW asks: Are you writing new songs now?
- Answer: Well there's alot of beginnings, we're constantly coming up with openings but until we get into a full few months of writing, I don't think we're going to come up with anything finished.
Spanish-eyes asks: Is it true you're planning a box set of unreleased material?
- Answer: We have so much stuff that should not and probably will never see the light of day, but in there there are also some great things that have never been released. At some point we'll start looking through what we've got and putting something together. But there's no appetite to do it, at the moment we're so into new songs and new records.
Jelly-d asks: Are the band carrying on their support for Drop The Debt?
- Answer: It's already becoming a broader campaign now. The idea is to try to attack the most awful problems facing Africa which are: foreign debt - crippling the poorest countries - and the problem of the HIV epidemic which is so bad now, but looks that it'll be even worse in ten years time. We'll continue to support Drop The Debt, but also look at other areas which are potentially catastrophic for Africa.
Quitanillan asks: What other bands are you listening to?
- Answer: I listen to alot of eclectic stuff. I love the R.E.M. record, the Depeche Mode record is good, Stereo MC's, Air, Bob Dylan and Radiohead, I love the new Radiohead album.
Saldan asks: Do you use ProTools to record your albums?
- Answer: No, we don't. We use digital recording, but we don't use ProTools. We used it for part of the POP record, but we didn't like it in the end, so we kind of stopped using it. We use it occassionaly for edits, but that's about it.
Gracy Ramirez asks: Will you compile a video of this tour?
And a possible live album? - Answer: We are attempting to make a definitive tv live show of this tour, probably for broadcast at the end of year, maybe around Thanksgiving. Hopefully there will be DVD after that.
P. Helmholz asks: Which bands did you cover in the early days?
- Answer: In the very early days Thin Lizzy, The Eagles (believe it or not). I think one of the first songs Bono ever learned was Tequila Sunrise which we played live when we were with The Dalton Brothers. The country rock thing should not be underestimated. But to be fair, we first did that when we were 15 or 16 years old.
SyncH asks: Why didn't U2 release any singles of the album in the US.
- Answer: A question I've raised myself. It seems that they're so expensive to release now, they are vanity items only. For a lot of bands it seems to be all important to get their single into the Top Ten. I guess we've always felt ourselves to be more of an albums band anyway.
Montserrat asks: Is there anything you are really afraid of in this world?
- Answer: Lies.
Ditte asks: Will you be playing Peace On Earth, live in Europe?
- Answer: Possibly yes. We set out to make an album of songs which could all be played live, we have played seven of them so far and we might add more in by the time we get to Europe.
I would like to say thank you to our fans, we're having the time of our lives and the people who've bought the record and come the shows have made it possible. It's been an incredible eighteen months. Thanks"