Oh yes, he’s the great confuser

U2 and R.E.M. producer Jacknife Lee finds time to talk to Times Online about his work and upcoming fourth solo album.

“U2 called. I was brought in for the Eno-esque role of the Great Confuser, throwing out mad ideas.” He played on and partly produced How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Not everyone appreciates his approach. “I did a session with Rick Rubin, but he didn’t like to be confused…”

Read the full interview.

U2 to record with Green Day ?

Well, that is what Bono told Michka Assayas, author of the book Bono on Bono, this afternoon over the phone. Bono sang an old Skids song to him, explaining that U2 will record it soon with Green Day.

Bono also told Michka that everything is going well with Rick Rubin, and that they are all still working in London for another three weeks. Apparently, most of the work is being done out of the studio for the moment: Rick Rubin is expecting U2 to hold “extraordinary songs” before actually recording them. This approach, which seems to be more “artistic” than “scientific,” may put The Edge in a brand new situation.

This phonecall follows a funny episode that happened yesterday evening, during the Zoo TV DVD launch event at the Olympia theater in Paris. As the special guest of the night, Michka was passionately answering fans’ questions on stage when he suddenly decided to call Bono on his cell phone. Was he inspired by the Zoo TV phonecalls Bono used to make at the time? Bono didn’t answer the call; however, the audience had an opportunity to leave a huge screaming message on his voicemail.

Bono kindly returned Michka’s phonecall today, assuring him that he would definitely have picked up the phone if he had been able to.

(Many thanks to Michka for this news.)

Rubin and Fidelman to engineer new U2 album this September

You may remember our previous discussion on Rick Rubin and how you’d feel about him producing their next album. Well, all those in favour may find a little surprise, spoiler and delight in the following article discussing Wisconsin-based band the Robins. Seems our gut feeling was right once again.

Overseeing the album is Greg Fidelman, an engineer/producer who worked with Rick Rubin on albums for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down and Audioslave. The Robins and Fidelman will be ensconced at Sound City studio in Van Nuys (the same place where Nirvana made “Nevermind” and Tom Petty made “Wildflowers” and “Damn the Torpedoes”) through the end of the month and again in October.

Why not September? Because Fidelman and Rubin have to go to London to engineer tracks for U2’s upcoming album at Abbey Road Studios.

Let’s play “guess the new album title”. Oh, and thumbs up to the Robins.