Adam Clayton ‘wouldn’t curl up and die…’

In between champagne lunches and trips on the river, U2’s bassplayer found time to do an interview with Göteborgs-Posten, which we have had translated for your convenience:

Adam Clayton stands for the simple things in U2

U2’s charismatic bass player talks about the tour, friendship, fulfilled dreams and a future without the band.

If we go back in time, you were the one in the band who first believed that you really would be able to succeed. Where did that self-confidence come from?
‘Pure youthfull foolhardiness. Quite simply I didn’t know any better. But I didn’t have much else on, so I had as it were, nothing to lose in putting all my energy into the band.’

Well everything’s turned out pretty well. Has the success been anywhere near what you dreamt about as a teenager?
‘No, I could never have imagined all this. I could of course picture the trivial things like chart ratings and limosines. But I could never have imagined this life or what we would achieve musically.’

Of all that U2 has achieved, what are you most proud of?
‘I’m glad that we were involved with Live Aid and that we got to open Live8. Musically I’m proud of songs like With or Without You, One and Where the Streets Have No Name – these are songs that will last. As far as albums go I think that those from the Unforgettable Fire and onwards can defend their place in any music collection.’

Can you image life without U2?
‘That is a good but very difficult question. Well, of course I can to a certain degree. I probably wouldn’t curl up and die, but I probably wouldn’t know what to do with myself either. I’d be in mourning. U2 are such a large part of my daily life and consume so much time. A large proportion of my identity is of course tied up in me being the basist in this band.’

You are the only one in the band without family and children. Does this influence your work, in that the others have other commitments than you?
‘No, we have always stayed at home in Dublin a lot when we work. Everyone can go home and sleep in their own bed when we record new records, which is of course the best for all concerned.’

What are your best memories of Sweden?
‘U2 have had a long relationship with Sweden and I have always had a good time during every visit. But the single best memory must be from when we did Dancing Queen with Björn and Benny in Stockholm. It was fantastic.’

Translated for by our friend in Stavanger