Bono Talks New Album

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12.13.03 - Uncut

"Bullet The Blue Sky" Bono tells Uncut how U2 have gone "punk rock" on the French Riveira.

U2 have completed the main recording sessions for their next album, scheduled for release early in 2004, at a secret studio on the French Riveira. Guitarist The Edge summed up the new record, as yet untitled, as "raw rock'n'roll....a band in its primary colours of guitar, bass, drums, voice and a lot of vitality and energy"

Speaking exclusively to Uncut, Bono goes a step further, describing the album as "punk rock made on Venus", dominated by guitars that go up to "Number 11". He confirms the album will continue in the classic-rock vein of 2000's Grammy winning All That You Can't Leave Behind, and that U2's usual production team of Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno have been replaced by studio veteran Chris Thomas.

"He worked on The White Album", says Bono. "He made Never Mind the Bollocks and Dark Side of the Moon. And the first four Roxy Music records that are really hard to get your head round, I think he's on three of them. But we particularly wanted him to work on the guitar sound. It's a guitar-driven record. It's got a lot of big, big tunes. You know? Remember tunes?"

Bono insists the break with Lanois and Eno is purely for musical reasons. ", they don't really like the loud music. Heh heh! Eno's not on it, but Daniel's coming in to play - his tour's ending in Dublin and I think he's going to sit in, as we musos say. I'd love Brian to be on it because Brian was on those Roxy Music records too, we shouldn't forget. And it is otherworldly - its kind of punk rock made on Venus rather than Mars."

Holding album sessions on the Meditteranean, Bono claims, was designed to stimulate creative inspiration. "We've tried pretty much everything to make it feel like it's not a studio that we're working in," he says.

According to Bono, the new album will be dominated by The Edge's guitar. "it's made by a man who is really sick of the sight of his singer shaking hands with dodgy politicians," he quips. "When you've got as much spleen and suffused rage as The Edge has, I think Number 11 was the only way to go.

"People forget just how extraordinary a guitar player he is," Bono continues. "Everybody else is just replaying the blues again and again, it's just Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. But this is someone who, in the colour spectrum, [bold]owns[/bold] a few colours. In the same way as great musicians like Miles Davis, or great guitar players like Sterling Morrison - there are great guitar players who [bold]own[/bold] something."

But a guitar sound is not all the Edge owns, Uncut adds mischievously. He also owns a mansion, a hotel, a nightclub....

"Yes," Bono replies, "and he's slowly burning them all down."

Stephen Dalton

Copyright © 2003 Uncut. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on December 13, 2003 3:26 AM.

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