Edge Chat Transcript

Original Story (u2wanderer.org) (2001-06-15)

Do you bring the family on the road? It’s no lifestyle for anyone who doesn’t have something to do, so the answer is no. But there are occasional visits which make it bearable.

Why only one big concert for Italy? I have been asking the same question, it’s down to plain old logistics, just scheduling. We only had a limited amount of time to play Europe. Personally I’d love to play more Italian shows, I know we have a lot of fans in Italy and Italy could do with a few more shows. It’s a tough one.

What’s the deal with the midget plot in the “All I Want Is You” video? It’s the classic midget meets girl, girl meets midget, they fall in love but the girl really loves other guy, scenario. That old plot. It’s based on a movie, but I can’t remember the name of it.

What would you do if you fell off the stage? I don’t know, probably climb back out and carry on. I did have a slight shock when Bono fell of the stage on the opening night, but he didn’t fall very far fortunately. I have fallen off stage on a couple of occasions. The first thing is to protect the guitar, because you can fix an ankle, you can fix a bruise, but when you break a guitar that’s the end of it.

As a fellow Irishman, are you looking forward to Slane this year? It’s one of the final shows on the European tour, it’s going to be one hell of a party and we’re looking forward to it.

What do you think of other bands covering U2’s songs? There seem to be a few at the moment. I think there’s been a steady stream of bands covering U2 songs down the years, but I don’t think any of the cover versions have been as successful as the originals. i don’t know what that says. I’m not complaining. I liked New Years Dub a lot. We always encourage people interested in covering our songs, as long as they’re not completely crap!

Do you use the web much? I occasionally go for a quick surf, I wouldn’t say right now I have much time to go on the web. What I do is not so much the message-boards. I go looking for things. There’s a lot of great information out there which is what I’m after.

Any chance you will be visiting Latin America? We would dearly love to have some shows in Latin America and we’ve been asking about it, but our enemy in that case is the exchange rate. You run the risk of having a really expensive ticket price. We don’t want to go down there just to play to the richest people.

Do you think, with “Elevation,” rock is now putting pop back in it’s place? I’m waiting for the next generation of rock and roll bands who are going to write some amazing tunes and blow everyone away. I know they’re out there, but I haven’t come across them as yet.

What 3 people would you like to invite to dinner? Wow.. Jesus, John F Kennedy and Sir Isaac Newton.

Does touring improve your creativity? I don’t think it does, but it gives you a lot of ideas for songs and lyrics. In that sense it’s a good experience that you can put in to songs later. I find it really hard to write on the road. Sometimes guitar riffs and chord patterns, but really until we’re all into rehearsals together, that’s when everything’s going off, that’s when the best U2 songs come together.

Are you writing new songs now? Well there’s a lot of beginnings, we’re constantly coming up with openings but until we get into a full few months of writing, I don’t think we’re going to come up with anything finished.

Is it true you’re planning a box set of unreleased material? We have so much stuff that should not and probably will never see the light of day, but in there there are also some great things that have never been released. At some point we’ll start looking through what we’ve got and putting something together. But there’s no appetite to do it, at the moment we’re so into new songs and new records.

Are the band carrying on their support for Drop The Debt? It’s already becoming a broader campaign now. The idea is to try to attack the most awful problems facing Africa which are: foreign debt – crippling the poorest countries – and the problem of the HIV epidemic which is so bad now, but looks that it’ll be even worse in ten years time. We’ll continue to support Drop The Debt, but also look at other areas which are potentially catastrophic for Africa.

What other bands are you listening to? I listen to a lot of eclectic stuff. I love the R.E.M. record, the Depeche Mode record is good, Stereo MC’s, Air, Bob Dylan and Radiohead, I love the new Radiohead album.

Do you use ProTools to record your albums? No, we don’t. We use digital recording, but we don’t use ProTools. We used it for part of the POP record, but we didn’t like it in the end, so we kind of stopped using it. We use it occasionally for edits, but that’s about it.

Will you compile a video of this tour? And a possible live album? We are attempting to make a definitive tv live show of this tour, probably for broadcast at the end of year, maybe around Thanksgiving. Hopefully there will be DVD after that.

Which bands did you cover in the early days? In the very early days Thin Lizzy, The Eagles (believe it or not). I think one of the first songs Bono ever learned was Tequila Sunrise which we played live when we were with The Dalton Brothers. The country rock thing should not be underestimated. But to be fair, we first did that when we were 15 or 16 years old.

Why didn’t U2 release any singles of the album in the US? A question I’ve raised myself. It seems that they’re so expensive to release now, they are vanity items only. For a lot of bands it seems to be all important to get their single into the Top Ten. I guess we’ve always felt ourselves to be more of an albums band anyway.

Is there anything you are really afraid of in this world? Lies.

Will you be playing “Peace On Earth” live in Europe? Possibly yes. We set out to make an album of songs which could all be played live, we have played seven of them so far and we might add more in by the time we get to Europe.

I would like to say thank you to our fans, we’re having the time of our lives and the people who’ve bought the record and come the shows have made it possible. It’s been an incredible eighteen months. Thanks.

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