… like a record, baby. Spin magazine’s (January issue) interview with U2 can now be read on line.
Larry, on the hard sell of ATYCLB: We were very conscious of wanting to be on the radio. We wanted to compete with what was going on around us, with the boy bands and with the Christinas and all that. And why not? There’s no point being in the ghetto. Unless we’re making music that’s vital and that people can hear, we’re wasting our time.
Adam, on ATYCLB in the wake of 9/11: There was an emotional depth that we felt comfortable with, and a lot of that was about friends and family. It was created against the backdrop of Bono’s father having a terminal illness. So all that was on the album, but people that didn’t have a recent tragedy in their lives weren’t necessarily going to get that. And somehow the events in New York and D.C. have actually focused people on that aspect of the record that is about loss, which is amazing.
Bono: I think the Dalai Lama said, “If you want to consider life, start with death” — the journey toward enlightenment starts with that. And that’s what happened to me when my mother died when I was a kid in school, and at my grandfather’s funeral. I was this really confident kid, aggro and smartarse [ … ] I had the courage of somebody who didn’t know anything, who didn’t know fear yet, and then came the cold water of your home turning into a house and your relationship to women changing forever. I was 14. But now I see it was a great gift to me. Hopefully most people can avoid that until they’re older, but some people have it young. I don’t know what age New York City is.
Edge: Every lyric takes on a whole new meaning, especially a song like “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which we hadn’t played for a good few years. And a song like “Peace on Earth” — when we finished our record, I was surprised at how certain themes were so strong, a certain sense of mortality, of trying to cope with loss. We shied away from some of those songs when we put the tour together, but now that side of the album has new relevance.