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'It’s us trying to figure out why we wanted to be in a band in the first place.' Bono and Edge have been speaking to Brian Boyd of The Irish Times about seeking inspiration in 1970's Dublin for the songs on the new album.

Below some highlights - read the whole interview here.

Bono: 'It’s us trying to figure out why we wanted to be in a band in the first place, the relationships around the band and our first journeys – geographically, spiritually and sexually. It was tough and it took years. Put it this way: a lot of sh*t got dragged up.'

Edge: 'As a band we were always either power or noise. But now U2 have so many grey areas. It’s no longer power, which is good, or noise, which is bad. You’ve got to know when it’s not happening with us, and the most destructive thing here is to almost get it right.'

Bono: '... I sang like a girl. I was never going to make it as a punk-rock singer or a rock-music singer with my girl’s voice... but I found my voice through Joey Ramone, hearing his singing at a gig in Dublin. Joey has a sort of girl’s voice as well when he sang – and that was my way in.'

COMMENTS

18
kregconrad
18 September, 2014
What A Gift!
I want to say thank you for the free album and for the great music I can't stop listening to. I hear a very focused band. The realization of some fantastic sounds, great lyrics, great vocals, good song structure, it all lifts me right up. A "Great Production", plenty of ear candy with plenty of space. And the surprise release made me feel like a kid again. How can you beat that? - Thank You Again - wishing you peace and love - kreg
bretix
18 September, 2014
back in time with a modern twist
Takes a few listens but it's a grower. Lots of references in there which provide a rich tapestry to growing up and to u2's influences. I like this direction, its different but not in a zooropa avant garde way, its personal as well as not being too 'preachy' which have been criticisms of bonos lyricism in the past. A different approach from the band including Mr the Edge, and i like the led zep, knopfler, thin lizzy riffs amongst others as acknowledgement to growing up in late 70' early 80's Ireland. Songs of Innocence is a collective story with a sound scape to go with it.A musical journey which hopefully will keep its sheen of innocence until experience is ready.
Les Waugh
17 September, 2014
Sick of the U2 Media Critics!!
I am not sure what some of the music critics are listening to, but this a great album. It seems anything someone like Coldplay release is the best thing ever despite a lot of their recent stuff being below average ( i like Coldplay generally). Again it is cool to knock U2, would anyone else get the same criticism that the band did by releasing the album free on i Tunes? Probably not but it was U2 and the apparently cool thing to do is knock them no matter how good the music. The band have made some amazing music over the years and the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby are both very special albums, but the music press and others in the media need to stop comparing this work to today's material, but appreciate the music that is being produced now otherwise "they will never find what they are looking for!" Every Breaking Wave and Trouble for me are some of their best work. So come on U2 critics (qualified or not) in the press and media if you don't like their music fine, but let's have some respect for a band that has spanned nearly 40 years in the industry, are still great and relevant and show everyone still how to perform live. Don't stop making the music U2 you are an inspiration and loved by many!
bobbymcbride1
17 September, 2014
U2's best work.
This is U2's best work, its a U2 album for U2 fans. Ive been a fan from the boy era, and the new album kicks ass! The band did a class job. These new songs will sounds awesome live.
bigidea
17 September, 2014
I'm happy...no boring
Super cd...i like lirycs and melodies. The songs enter in my body slow like a Honey ) . In no line don't like a so boring part in some song especially MOMENT of surrender (GREAT lirics ) but i THInk a good record no line. Songs of innocence si a very record with the spirit of the band. I'm happy
shaneOHara
17 September, 2014
The snowdrop.
Sometimes words can be like a tiny flower - a snowdrop... it should not survive under those dark clouds, its roots frozen, up to its neck in snow... almost like the world hating it because it is beautiful, trying to choke it... and because of that very conflict, it brings a smile to our eyes when we look at it. "Iris standing in the hall.." is the snowdrop. I will never know if that image just came from nowhere or whether it was worked on and worked on with some lyrical mechanical expertise... either way, the snowdrop is there, and I cried and I smiled. Small thing... what does this line mean: "Machine, I dream where you are" ? I cant get it to fit, in my mind. Thank you all again and again.
OB
16 September, 2014
Good album but not oustanding
I like the album. It took me several times listening to appreciate some of the songs. Overall is a solid album but I don't think this is one of their best work. I would put it a little under ATYCLB and next to HTDAB/Zooropa. Of course is hard to top U2 masterpieces like AB, JT, UF and War. I am curious to see how these songs will play on a live concert. What I like about U2 performances is that they give a new twist to some of their songs and it brings a new life. Either way it is a good job but I am not going crazy over it.
BigThistle
16 September, 2014
Bring back Eno and Lanois!!!
Is it me, or do all the tracks sound the same. Great lyrics, but no song is outstanding - like Moment of Surrender. Good listening, not great listening. Boys - here's hoping Songs of Experience is just that, with Brian and Danny.
robinwillams2008
16 September, 2014
will always hold a special place in my h
wednesday morning, september 10th 2014 i downloaded this album on my computer. i listened to it and posted on facebook that today was going to be a really good day. this was at around 9:00 am in the morning. i say this will always be special to me because that night at 9:40 my wife who was battling ovarian cancer passed away. it was a good day because i had this to listen to while i've been grieving. thank you. the album release, my wife's passing, it all happened for a reason on the same day.
christyblue
16 September, 2014
this is a fantastic album !!!!
This album is sheer brilliance, the more I hear the more I want to hear, Bono says its a very personal album & that's what make it very special, its different, its refreshing and the passion of four lads from Dublin is very evident. If anyone disagrees to me they cannot be hearing the same album I am hearing, I am going to come out & say it that I think its their best album for a while even though I loved htdaab & NLOTH :)
godscountry
16 September, 2014
Good return to form after NLOTH
Great to see the boys back with a foot stomping melodic driving set of new tunes. One thing, as they are referring to the 70s being the main inspiration behind this record, they should pay more homage to Thin Lizzy who really did put Irish music on the worlds stage in the 70s - how about a nod to the great Phil Lynott hey boys?
GeorgeZambra
16 September, 2014
Ok Album
I really hope the next one is better than this record, it is a o.k. album, sounds like mm... nothing outside from this world, no experimentation really, but I think it is good for U2 'cos they are not thinking too much before releasing an album, that's good when making music, I wonder if they could ever do a masterpiece again,,, I guess without brian eno & lanois U2 cannot make a masterpiece, after "Pop" u2 stops experimentation, I guess I stay with the first 2 decades of U2,
mich40
15 September, 2014
History
I love that the album delves so deeply into the band's history. It shows us where the passion began, the passion that made them the band that I have loved for 32 years.
u2nadias
15 September, 2014
Such a personal album
The more I hear it, the more I want to hear it. The music is so different. Bono's passion just draws you in. Love the Edge's singing as well. Harmonies are great.
lendublin
15 September, 2014
Memories of McGonagles in the 80's...
There is always something intensely powerful when any person delves into the depths of their emotions, and reveals very intimate thoughts and feelings that are very personal. It's real. You can sense the truth straight away, the honesty and the bravery of speaking openly about it. It's like 'Outing' yourself, and it's very rare that people reveal their true depths. We live in a world full of Fakes, and wearers of masks. There is a great credibility in sharing very intimate thoughts and feelings, and it always strikes a chord, because at some stage in all of our lives, we will or have already lost a Parent, and until you experience that loss you can never understand what that feels like. You can sympathise, and empathise and say 'the right things', but you never really know what it feels like. I was very moved from reading Bono talk about wanting to perform for his Mother from the stage in the Crystal Ballroom and for her to see how far he went in life. I have no doubt that Iris would be very proud! All Great Artist's, Writers, Songwriters, Film Makers always create their best work from personal experience, and most people will always relate to any story or creation as we all go through something similar in our lifetimes, whether it is good, bad or heartbreaking. When i read about Bono singing from the stage and being able to see his Mother and Father dancing together i felt a wave of emotion, and a heavy tear drop exploded on the paper below, and i thought "wow, very intense and Beautiful and terribly sad", to read, but i could relate to it, and i then realised that Bono truly is a great Artist, because as Picasso said of Art..."A painting should not be just something nice to look at...it should also be like a broken bottle in the neck" . Art must provoke thought, push buttons and cause a reaction, and stir emotions. Thanks for sharing your thought's Bono. Deep and inspiring! ... On a lighter note, when the Crystal Ballroom turned into a music venue/Club called "McGonagles", it was a regular thursday night haunt for us as teenagers, after being in "Bruxxelles Bar", which is still there and the same. But one thursday night we went to McGonagles, and thursday was "Indie-night", but on this particular thursday it was "Metal-night". 1,000 Moshers in full swing, and Slayer was the band of the moment in Metal. You could never escape Metal-night in any venue in Dublin without some injury or other! But then they announce a band onto the stage in the middle of the Metal Mayhem. Out come this band of 4 guys and the singer says "We are the Stone Roses from Manchester..". Nobody had ever heard of the Stone Roses at this stage, as this was Pre "Fools Gold" etc, they were just another Indie-Band, but were wearing the "Baggies" etc. So they launch into some song, and the Metal-Mob just stopped and stared and after about 2 minutes, the singer gets a Flagon bottle of Bulmers in the head, and the sound of the bottle echoed through the venue, and with that they were completely bottled off the stage, and carnage followed! The poor singer of course turned out to be Ian Brown, and they had been booked to play "Indie-night" at McGonagles. Ouch! It was violent that night, but utterly hilarious at the same time. Anyway, whenever i hear of this fantastic venue, i always remember the carnage of the Stone Roses (before fame) playing a Metal-night there, and i smile, at what was always a great night in a great venue, and the history and memories it has for so many Dubliners. I can almost feel the ghosts of the venue, although i was never in it as The Crystal Ballroom. Looking forward to hearing this song, i have no doubt it will be as great as the rest of the "Songs of Innocence"...
shaneOHara
15 September, 2014
wonderful intimacy
I love the warmth of this album.
Scott Cleaver
15 September, 2014
The boys are back
Love the picture to go with this interview....appropriate, back to the days and songs of innocence... Keep them coming please...the pictures and the music!!! Absolutely love the new album...and thank you for Iris (Hold me Close)...must have been hard for Bono, but takes us to our own mothers & the relationships that exist or don't...in a lot of cases...and love being taken back to the "Light inside of me", welcome back boys...and God Bless you always...and now time to rejoice with another spin of the album...'Get ready to sing with me this time Bono, Joey, Mr Strummer, Mr Wilson, Edge...oh and Mr Martin too...." Thank you again...Love you guys :) Scott (NZ)
flogging_molly
15 September, 2014
Way of love
You could give to world so many love, that our reciprocal love could love and support entire city - Dublin. Best wishes from Russia.
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