Q magazine talks to – a very busy – The Edge about U2’s new album. The guitarist sheds some light on the album’s sound and confirms some of the song titles that have floated around the web for some time.
“‘We wanted to give it some variety. There is some dark, heavy stuff but there are also some lighter things. Some we’ve really had to sweat to get and some just came so easily.” Work-in-progress highlights include “f—k-off live rocker” “Breathe”; “For Your Love,” which Edge says is one of his best-ever riffs; and the aforementioned “Get On Your Boots” (“Eddie Cochran with barbershop harmonies”). Other notable tracks include the eight-minute-long “Moment Of Surrender” and “No Line On The Horizon,” inspired by a distortion box called Death By Audio recommended by ex-Secret Machines guitarist Ben Curtis.”
The article suggests the band is still unsure whether to release the album pre- or post Christmas.
At the start of the first of five rehearsal shows in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe mentions various people among which Bono and The Edge. He thanks the pair for ‘keeping him grounded’. U2’s singer and guitarist both attended the show.
R.E.M. is currently recording a new album in Dublin. The band is using these shows to try out the new songs they have been writing. Fans report the new songs have an old school – Fables/Document era – feel.
Reported working titles: Horse to Water, Living Well ‘s the Best Revenge, Tomorrow, Staring down the barrel of the middle Distance, On the Fly, Until the Day is Done, Mr. Richards.
The Edge is still buzzing from his trip to Morocco when he takes time to talk to Hot Press magazine’s Peter Murphy. They reflect on the past, remembering the late great Bill Graham and discuss U2’s collaboration with Eno and Lanois in Fez.
The interview with U2’s guitarist is for subscribers only, but we’re sure the good people at Hot Press won’t mind if we share a few choice quotes with you.
To what extent did you use Bill Graham as a sounding board?
“Bill was very important to us from the beginning. […] We’d meet him from time to time and play him some stuff, and in a very touching way he would mentor us, give us records to listen to that he felt were important for us to hear, stuff that maybe we hadn’t come across before. And I think he filled a certain kind of almost big brother role with the band, and we certainly appreciated all his advice and consideration.”
Is this your latest psycho-geographical adventure (in Morocco), trying to channel the atmosphere of a place into the music?
“I think it is. It was one of those ideas that wouldn’t go away. Bono suggested it a good while ago. He throws out ideas a lot, and a lot of them do not necessarily get met with the greatest enthusiasm. I would probably be the one most ready to go for it, Adam is fairly easygoing, Larry is hard to persuade a lot of times. In this case, to everyone’s amazement, Larry pretty early on went, “I think there’s something to this; it sounds like a good idea.””
Are these songwriting sessions for a U2 album or an extra-curricular endeavour?
“It’s a U2 project, and one of the luxuries we’ve afforded ourselves is not to have to think about exactly what it will be or how it’ll be finished or when it’ll be released.”
Niall Stokes of Hot Press reviews U2’s BBC1 gig on the Hot Press website and quotes Bono telling Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley: “We fucked it up a couple of times, but I think we got away with it.”
Stokes also mentions a conversation with The Edge in which the guitarist explains to him he has as a new trick up his sleeve:
“Across the other side of the room, Edge is beaming – clearly satisfied that a good night’s work has been done. I compliment him on his slide playing. “We’ve had to invent a new thing,” he tells me, “so I can switch from normal chords to playing slide in the middle of a song. It’s tiny, and fits on the tip of the finger. I’ll show you…””
Unfortunately, Stokes does not elaborate on Edge’s thingie.
This past weekend The Edge performed alongside Paul McCartney at a fundraiser event recognizing the tenth anniversary of Barretstown, an Irish children’s cancer organization.
The Beatle and U2 guitarist offered up a version of Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue” to the 300 guests gathered for the organization’s gala ball. (McCartney purchased the rights to all of Holly’s music in 1976.) The guitar McCartney used during their performance was later auctioned for EUR 55,000.