30 October 2003
'It's really a celebration of U2 playing at home,' explains Ned O'Hanlon. 'A
moment in time, a homecoming.'
O'Hanlon, producer of countless U2 videos, including the upcoming 'U2 Go
Home - Live at Slane Castle', has talked in detail to Matt McGee of fansite @u2.com
about the new concert DVD and working with U2 down the years.
Here we carry a couple of choice extracts to read the interview in full click here
US fans can pre-order the new DVD here
What are your memories of those two Slane shows? It was such a difficult
period for Bono with his dad passing -- how did that impact the work you
guys were doing?
It was a very
difficult time for him, and for the band. The home shows for
U2 -- Irish shows -- are always kinda high-pressure, anyway. The level of
expectation is always pretty high, as it is everywhere, but particularly at
home. And they obviously want to be at their best, as they do everywhere,
but with the home crowd...(pauses)...it's a very heartfelt time, and there's
always an enormous amount of pressure brought to bear on them when they play
at home. Suddenly they become the most popular guys on the block and
everybody's a friend, and everybody knows somebody, and everybody wants to
be backstage. And if that worked out, there'd be more people backstage than
there'd be out front.
It's the kings returning to the castle. In this case, literally, right?
Yes, and that, from a management perspective, is a complete nightmare. But
the show itself -- the last tour was primarily designed as an indoor show
and it was a carefully considered point of view they took to stay indoors
and not do the huge outdoor venues. And that was the charm and success of
that show. It was stripped bare, there was nothing really to it. It was just
the four guys on a stage crankin' it out. So, in order to supply a pretty
voracious market, they decided to bite the bullet and do this one show,
initially, at Slane Castle, which is an institution here. They ended up
having two shows to stage, and they were reluctant to shoot the shows at
all, having already shot this tour in Boston, and that was very successful.
They're always very conscious of their audience, and they didn't want to be
seen to be putting out another one that was from the same tour. It was quite
a hard sell for me to convince them that it was a good thing to do -- to
shoot this show at all. Really, I think the only thing that convinced them
to do it was that we would do it just for archive. It never had to go
anywhere, it never had to be released, but that it would be a shame to miss
what would be a pretty unique event -- to play outdoors the only time on
this tour. It was a sort of homecoming, really. My argument was, "How could
you not shoot it?" So, on that basis, they went ahead. And we did it pretty
much as a scratch production. It wasn't anything on the scale resource-wise
or money-wise as the show we shot in Boston.
As a band, how much interest does U2 take in video in general -- both the
shorter music videos and the longer concert videos and such?
They take huge
interest and a great deal of care. It's like with any band,
videos are kind of a necessary evil - regarded as major pains in the arse.
But if you do have to do them, you may as well take them seriously, and I
think that's the way they go at it. Certainly, Bono is all over it and Edge,
too. And Larry and Adam take a very careful interest in it, as well, in
coming up with the right idea for the videos. You might say U2 have kind of
a hit-and-miss track record in terms of the videos they've made over the
years -- and I think more hit than miss -- but once they go with an idea and
a director, they go all the way. No matter how they feel about it on the
site and the set -- they'll just do whatever they're asked to do and wait to
see the end results.
Read the whole of this interview here