Exclusive: Bono Reveals Secrets of U2’s Surprise Album

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By Rolling Stone |
Sep 9, 2014

U2 astounded a universe currently by releasing Songs of Innocence, their initial manuscript in 5 years, as a present from Apple, accessible for giveaway immediately to anyone with iTunes. The rope done a proclamation with Apple CEO Tim Cook during a Cupertino press discussion for a new iPhone 6, capping a eventuality with a opening of a album’s initial single, “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).” After a station ovation, Cook said, “Wasn’t that a many implausible singular we ever heard? We would adore a whole manuscript of that.”


“The doubt is now, how do we get it to as many people as possible, given that’s what a rope is all about,” Bono said. “I do trust we have over half a billion subscribers to iTunes, so — could we get this to them?” “If we gave it divided for free,” Cook replied. And 5 seconds later, a manuscript was unleashed in a largest manuscript recover of all time.

“We wanted to make a unequivocally personal album,” Bono told Rolling Stone‘s Gus Wenner a day before a press discussion in an disdainful interview. “Let’s try to figure out because we wanted to be in a band, a relations around a band, a friendships, a lovers, a family. The whole manuscript is initial journeys — initial journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that’s hard. But we went there.”

The rope worked on Innocence for dual years with writer Danger Mouse (a.k.a. Brian Burton), afterwards brought in additional help: Flood, their co-operator given 1987’s The Joshua Tree, and Adele producers Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder. “I consider carrying them around unequivocally helped,” says Bono, Some of a strain out there now that people call pop, it’s not cocktail – it’s only truly great. And we wanted to have a fortify of a Beatles or a Stones in a Sixties, when we had genuine songs. There’s nowhere to censor in them: transparent thoughts, transparent melodies.”

To begin, a rope went behind to a roots: Bono says a organisation listened to a strain they desired in the Seventies, from punk stone to Bowie, glam rock, early electronica and Joy Division. The manuscript kicks off with “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone),” a loping cocktail strain laced with clearly punk-ish energy chords. “I found my voice by Joey Ramone,” says Bono, “because we wasn’t a apparent punk-rock singer, or even stone singer. we sang like a girl — that I’m into now, though when we was 17 or 18, we wasn’t sure. And we listened Joey Ramone, who sang like a girl, and that was my approach in.”

The driving, reggae-tinged “This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now,” is a reverence to a Clash, with slinky guitars from a Edge that curtsy to Sandinista!. “After we saw a Clash, it was a arrange of plans for U2,” says Bono. “We knew we couldn’t presumably wish to be as cool, and that’s proven to be true, though we did consider we could get behind a arrange of amicable probity agenda.”


U2 and Steve Jobs

There is also an greatly personal strain about Bono’s mother, Iris Hewson, who died when he was 14. “Forty years ago, my mom fell during her possess father’s funeral, and we never spoke with her again,” he says. “Rage always follows grief, and we had a lot of it, and we still have, though we channeled it into strain and we still do. we have unequivocally few memories of my mother, and we put a few of them in a strain called ‘Iris.'”

The many joyous lane on Songs of Innocence is “California (There Is No End to Love),” that suddenly nods to a Beach Boys in a intro. “It’s like a object itself,” says Bono. “It’s about a initial outing to Los Angeles.” The darkest track, meanwhile, is “Raised by Wolves,” that tells of a lethal automobile bombing in Dublin. “It was a genuine occurrence that happened in a nation where 3 automobile bombs were set to go off during a same time in Dublin on a Friday night, 5:30,” says Bono, “On any other Friday we would have been during this record shop, only down a corner, though we cycled to propagandize that day.”

At times Songs of Innocence feels roughly like a judgment manuscript about Bono’s early years – there’s even a lane named after a travel where a thespian grew up, “Cedarwood Road.” “It has a musical congruity that we consider is singular among U2 albums,” says Bono, “I don’t wish it to be a judgment album, though a songs come from a place. Edge laughed and pronounced this is a Quadrophenia. We could be so lucky.”

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