'I'm not built for the schmooze, I'm not good at small talk,' says Larry Mullen Jnr in an interview in the latest edition of UK music monthly Q.
Are you immune to all the dazzle?
'Immune is not the word I would use,' replies Larry, in a revealing segment of the in-depth ten page interview. 'Immune conjures up an image of somebody who is above it. I think I'm below it.'
The writer reports on Larry's continuing 'purity of purpose' for U2, commenting that 'even the few seconds between songs are hard going, especially returning to an intimate stage set-up after years of stadiums'
'It's an odd sensation when you have people in the front who can actually see you smiling or see you grimacing,' says Mullen, grimacing. 'Between songs people look at you, so I'm thinking when I'm holding the sticks, Do I look bored ? What sort of expression should I have on my face....'
Larry also discusses his desire to 'protect the band as much as I can,' which leads to a question about life inside U2 - or if anyone, inside it, will ever make a life outside of it.
'It's a bit like joining the priesthood or the Mob,' he explains with a grin. 'The only way you get out is when you die or when somebody whacks you. And there's a selfish side to it. This has been my life since I was a kid. I don't want it to go pear-shaped.'
The Summer 2001 edition of Q is in shops now. More at www.q4music.com