Pop Interview with Max Magazine
MAX Magazine by Florian Brugger (1997-04-11)
On April 11, 1997, Bono and Larry sat down with the reporter Florian Brugger in the Market Diner in New York City, New York. The topic of the discussion was the new album Pop, and the interview was published in a magazine called “Max”. Excerpts from the interview were also used in a MOJO article called “Sunday Morning Fever.”
Florian Brugger: One year ago you claimed that your next record will be a real rock & roll-record. So what happened to this plan?
Bono: It’s rock & roll.
Florian Brugger: It is?
Bono: It is. I mean what is rock & roll now?
Florian Brugger: It’s guitar, bass, drum.
Bono: Yeah. But the spirit of rock & roll is always about innovation and energy, fucking with the technology that was around. In the early days that were just this little printed circuits they overloaded and then you got distorted guitar and amplified instruments. It’s just a different kind of technology now, but I think it’s the same spirit. Our version of rock & roll is reflected in the song MOFO. That’s rock & roll.
Florian Brugger: Isn’t that progressive rock?
Bono: He said the p-word. Huuuh.
Larry: Yes he did.
Bono: He did.
Florian Brugger: Never use progressive, or what?
Bono: No, not progressive just when you put it with rock – progressive rock. We’ve banned that word. There are a few things we’ve banned actually on the album. But it’s funny if you ban something it’s like prohibition it seems to come up again. Things that you keep trying to keep down sometimes bite back. We banned progressive rock, that is the enemy. And gothic, we banned gothic.
Florian Brugger: What is progressive rock?
Bono: Progressive rock is glabby and dizzy. Unfortunate there is a lot of progressive rock on the rise, sadly. Progressive, if you mean innovation if you mean discovering new ground than I like the term. But progressive rock recalls for me the seventies, long solos and even worse haircuts. But I can’t really point a finger because in the eighties I had a haircut that inspired a million second division soccer players. We’ve cut our hair for this record, so it can’t be too progressive rock.
Bono: Hello, how are you.
Waiter: Fine, what do like?
Bono: Ohh, I like breakfast.
Larry: I’m having a vegetarian omelette with some goat cheese
Waiter: We have no goat cheese, mozzarella?
Larry: O.K. mozzarella and a hot tea.
Bono: Ehhhm, I’m looking for a Mexican thing.
Waiter: Yes, Mexican omelette.
Waiter: What kind?
Bono: Whole wheat.
Waiter: Anything to drink?
Bono: A glass of water and some coffee.
Bono: Thanks very much.
Florian Brugger: Through what musical stages and directions did you move while recording. Or was their a lot of fighting over the music?
Larry: It wasn’t fighting. We always make records in a quite unorthodox way. We start with one idea, it goes through many different forms and we end up with something completely different. Some of the songs we finished recording them the morning we were due to come to New York to master the record. So everything changes, its a process that we…
Bono: We’re trying to talk ourselves out of it. It seems like we need a little bit of chaos to work. When we recorded Last Night On Earth I really felt like it was the last night on earth. Because it was nine o’clock in the morning and we haven’t written the chorus for it. It’s hard to explain why it would take us eight month or whatever to make a record. But six month were just messing, playing around, songwriting in the studio. And we had Howie B, who is a D.J., in the studio. There was a lot of fun just playing with him. And then we had some weeks where we just played the three of us.
Florian Brugger: Three?
Bono: They don’t count me as a musician. In fact the only way to get Edge play the guitar is when I start playing it. Edge thinks that guitar is a bit stupid instrument. Well, actually it’s not the instrument that he thinks is stupid, he thinks most guitar players are. Because they all sound the same or they all sound like someone else. For the last five years America is obsessed with guitar music and grundge and you can’t tell one guitar player apart from the other. Edge is kind of feeling like “What am I going to do with this guitar?” He is almost embarrassed about being a guitar player because he wants to sound fresh so he kind of avoid it. So I will pick up the guitar and start to play then he go “Ehhh, maybe I just play it” hahaha, that’s the way he goes.
Florian Brugger: So have you actually played guitar on this album?
Bono: I’ve played guitar, some of the guitar solos are mine.
Florian Brugger: Wow.
Bono: No, they are not. At Passengers I’ve played the guitar a bit at the end of Blue Room. There is a bit of my guitar playing, but honestly it’s sad.
Larry: It is. But Bono looks great with it.
Bono: Just to defend myself for one second. Flood is a fan of my guitar playing, because he thinks I’m the only punk in the band, because I don’t want to know everything about the instrument that I’m playing.
Florian Brugger: Too bad that then Flood wasn’t working with you this time.
Bono: Flood was. There’s been a lot of confusion about that because Nellee Hooper was there when we started the record. But Flood is the overall producer, he was the man. We bought him a spiky helmet for the studio because it got very mad in the last few month and he really needed to get strict. We needed him to, because we love to start things but were kind of hard to finish them. We get bored, get excited about something else and want to move on. Flood was the grown up who came in and said “Look I think this is a more interesting direction than that.”
Waiter: Here we are.
Bono: This looks fantastic.
Waiter: This is yours.
Bono: Larry, I just become a vegetarian. It happened live in hells kitchen.
Florian Brugger: Are you a vegetarian?
Bono: I’m not evolved enough to be a vegetarian. But it just happened. Damn, I thought Mexican omelette would have some chicken in it.
Florian Brugger: Why did you go to Miami for recording?
Bono: Daylight was the reason we went. Just to see literally the light. Because we’ve been in the studio in Dublin for quite a while and spent all our time in the rehearsing room. The other reason was that we were looking for a location for the record. Sometimes you need a location and Miami has some interesting things going on there, because it feels a little bit like the next century. It’s like a crossroads, South America, Cuba, Caribean, North America. In some ways it was like being in Berlin, in a weird way, but very different. Miami has many influences and it’s also a kind of a capitol of glamour and kitsch. But in the end that record doesn’t have a location, it really doesn’t. We recorded the song Miami there and a couple of other things but in the end the fun we had around was as important as the work. We did want to make a record that had some joy and some sunlight.
Florian Brugger: During the recording for Achtung Baby you developed slowly The Fly. Did you develop any alter ego this time?
Bono: I tried not to, but I might have failed. I actually want to make quite a personal record. I tried to avoid any persona on the record. The song MOFO was first called The Return Of The Fly, like a B-movie and then it became the heaviest song maybe we ever written, I feel like my whole life is in that one tune. After work I might have developed a few personas.
Florian Brugger: What are others side of your character you discovered lately?
Bono: Nobody is only one person, you have many different dimensions. The problem is when you are in a band you are sold as a particularly kind of person. I wake up a different person everyday and generally I am surprised. I wish I felt like I did yesterday, but I don’t and I have nothing to change. I either wake up very black or wake up white. I don’t seem to have much control over it. I don’t know if you call that personas.
Florian Brugger: When I listened to the album I got the impression that you were dealing with a lot of religious themes.
Bono: You know, I’m half Catholic and Catholicism in Ireland doesn’t seem to have much joy but the Latin Americans have the sexy end of Catholicism. They have carneval which we don’t have in Northern Europe. We have all of the denial but none of the celebration, that never came to Dublin or even England. Miami does have a Hispanic influence and it’s just a different twist on there, people are more at home with their faith. I found that particularly in the Hispanic catholics and I was really attracted to it. But I also wanted to explore the big hair and the villains smoking cigars in Miami. So I want my work to be both, trashy and precious at the same time. Larry you better talk now, my lunch is getting cold.
Larry: Let’s talk about sports. How is Bayern München doing?
Florian Brugger: They won the winter finals and Jürgen Klinsmann is doing very good.
Larry: I’m delighted to hear that.
Florian Brugger: Klinsmann was under a lot of pressure recently but he shot the golden goal.
Larry: So he is back in favour again?
Florian Brugger: Yeah, but he is thinking of leaving Bayern München. That’s all I can tell you about sports. What can you tell me?
Larry: Well I can tell you, that Jack Charlton the ex-Irish manager has just been made an Irish citizen and have been given his Irish passport. That is a very big deal. And Roy Keene, he is the George Best of the nineties… you know George Best?
Florian Brugger: I’m sorry maybe we change the subject.
Florian Brugger: No, let’s talk about something else.
Bono: I’ve been made a Bosnian citizen, I got a Bosnian passport now.
Florian Brugger: You still planing on playing in Bosnia.
Bono: If we can make it work. It’s hard to talk Larry into it.
Larry: Yeah, because all of the hotels are fucked up and room service is a bit messy. No I’m just joking, we would like to play there.
Florian Brugger: What are other countries you will play?
Larry: We talk about going into places like Egypt.
Bono: You are talking to the right man. Larry would have everyone playing in his living room and just having people come to his home. Just talk him into it there.
Larry: No, that’s not true. I really enjoy going on tour for two weeks or something like that.
Florian Brugger: But you had three years of domestic life.
Larry: When was the last time you were in a recording studio? You try and have a life being in the studio, living with these guys. I feel like I just escaped to New York.
Bono: This now is a party for us because when we make a record, it’s a thing. You loose touch with people, your friends and life. This now is just a thrill. The only way we could get Larry doing interviews was to tell him that the record would be over when he was doing them.
Larry: Back to your question. We are planing to go to some unusual places this time, Ost-Asia, Argentina. I’m really looking forward but my only fear about going to places like this is to get the ticket price right. We don’t wanna basically play to a section of a population. We want to play to everybody. When you going to places like that you have to do it with a TV-company to do a sponsorship thing and we have to work that out. We wanna play those places but not at any price. But the tour will be shorter than the last one. Not so many cities. It will last about a year and a half.
Florian Brugger: Larry, you are in control of all the merchandising gear and those items are very important for financing a tour. Do you already have new ideas?
Larry: Ask me why we called the album POP?
Florian Brugger: Why did you call the album POP?
Larry: Well, it looks great on T-shirts. I just said to the guys “Look POP looks great on T-shirts, so why don’t we call the album POP?” That’s the reason.
Florian Brugger: Will U2 sell condoms again?
Larry: Yeah, pop-ups. Let’s not talk about condoms.
Bono: No sex in Ireland.
Larry: There’s no sex in Ireland. Yeah, I do look after the merchandising. Because we’ve never taken sponsorship it’s one of the ways that we can actually finance tours.
Bono: Larry polices that because a lot of the stuff that people buy at concerts is made at sweat shops and people get ripped off. For years and years Larry had always made sure. I think that is one of the reasons why people buy stuff from us.
Florian Brugger: Do you enjoy playing stadium?
Bono: We decided if we play large open places that we would have to make these things special events. That the old hippie idea of turning up and playing to a 100,000 people who can’t see or hear and are standing in the mud is just not right for the nineties and that we shouldn’t be embarrassed of it and that we should actually create these great things.
Florian Brugger: But those events are expensive.
Bono: They cost a fortune. Our last tour cost 125,000 dollars a day. Being honest with you, in doing that we risk bankrupt. And there was a great thrill doing this but this time we thought we got to be careful. So we got a better deal now from our promoter. We got a world wide promoter and I think we got a way of making the numbers out of but the T-shirts and all the stuff are a part of it.
Florian Brugger: Rock stars always seem to be embarrassed to talk about money, don’t they?
Bono: You are right. In white music, particularly white rock in America and even indie-music in England there is a real embarrassment about talking about cash. You have these guys who are very shy and they are like “I don’t really want to be in a band, I don’t know how this happen to me, here I am, I’m successful, I’m signed to a major label, I got heavy management but it’s all a bit too much. You don’t see that in Hip Hop, it’s so much freer, because those guys are saying “The music is the music, but I’m also taking care of business.” They are very honest about it, and they always come off like they are greedy, like it’s all about money but it’s not.
Florian Brugger: U2 seemed to have a problem with earning big bucks in the eighties.
Bono: A mistake that we made was trying to explain ourselves. Our way of dealing with this success was trying to be pure. There was a sort of righteousness and that can be very dangerous for an artist. So we dealt with it in saying “we are not righteous.” We found a great liberation actually in not just listening to black music but also in the philosophies.
Florian Brugger: What other philosophies do you see in black music besides their attitude towards money?
Bono: Things like technology. In white rock music there are some very bogus ideas of authenticity “Here I am with my torn jeans, I just play the guitar, I don&‘t wanna deal with any of this new technology, I’m a purist” all that stuff. On the other hand there are the sixteen year old kids coming out of Harlem or places like that and create the sound of the next century. They are not afraid of the new technology. And also as angry as some of the Hip Hop-people get, their music always has hips – punk got no hips, it’s very northern European. It’s the rhythm, the sex in the music.
Florian Brugger: So money, new technology, the rhythm. Anything else?
Bono: Their attitude to spiritual things, they are not inhibited. When we think of Christianity we think of people in suits, repressed, no joy – go to the churches here, here it’s very different.
Florian Brugger: After Zoo-TV what will be next. Isn’t it hard to surprise the audience with something new?
Larry: Yeah it is very hard.
Florian Brugger: So what can you do about it?
Larry: People say “How you gonna top Zoo-TV?” We are not gonna top Zoo-TV. Zoo-TV is part of a multimedia thing for us, it wasn’t just a moment in time, it’s a much bigger thing. Our next tour will incorporate some of the bits from Zoo-TV. But I would never say that we will not go back to be four guys on a stage with acoustic guitars. I mean, I don’t know we could do that. We often talked about doing an Irish record, a traditional Irish record and that wouldn’t really work together with Zoo-TV. That’s not out of the question.
Bono: Nothing is out of the question. We just thought what would Andy Warhol or somebody who has all the stuff we have been given do? We are bringing 50,000 people into a space, can you not do something special with it? There must be things you can do. You have this PA-system, this very personal music coming out, you got people who want to see but they are in the back. It’s a chance to do something extraordinary. That’s the job, the job is not to be dull. I don’t want to talk too much about the tour because we are still working it out. But I say one thing: the last time we took a TV-station on the road, this time we are taking a supermarket.
Florian Brugger: Is this the POP-idea?
Bono: Yeah, freedom is the word, like Andy Warhol had. In the 50th and 60th painters had to live in a garret and went through a lot of bans. He got rid of it, he just said “Here I am, I’m living in this world, I have freedom to take from it what I want and ignore what I don’t.”
Florian Brugger: When did you learn about Andy Warhol?
Bono: I was quite inspired by him as a kid, I grew up reading Warhol and I was really excited about him. Right now I just revisiting him. There are some beautiful things and then to find out that he was a catholic as well, which he never told anyone. Last night I bummed into Tony, the galerist and friend of Andy Warhol and he told me that Andy was actually a very funny guy. At Christmas and lots of times during the year he was literally on the food lines, feeding people. Things he never told anyone about, because his public persona was: “commercialized”. There’s something to that.
Florian Brugger: So will you play around with different characters on stage?
Bono: I don’t know. The songs will tell us what to do. The songs always tell you what to do and that’s actually the reason for Zoo-TV. Those songs took us to that place, the new songs will take us to another place. I don’t think it will be as hyperactive or such a media overload because I don’t think that’s what these songs are about. I think there are very personal songs as well. It’s quite a dimensional record. It starts out like a party record and then sort of turns mean on you and you are off.
Florian Brugger: In the song “Gone” from the new album there is the line “What you leave behind, you don’t miss anyway.” But you are notorious for leaving everything behind.
Bono: Hahaha. You’ve done your research. This is true and maybe that is because I never felt any attachment with things. I used to eat Larry’s lunch and sleep in Edge’s house. Even when I had no money, I always felt rich. Obviously in this song I am talking about the past. You know people complain about being rock & roll-stars, you hear them all the time these spoiled pop-stars, how hard it is. From the moment Larry asked me to be in this band it’s just been a big adventure and when “Gone” was written I felt like it was almost the last song ever for us. But that was what I was feeling that day. What I wanted to say, it was fantastic, I loved all of this, even the bullshit, I enjoyed it all, so I could loose that too.
Florian Brugger: Let’s get back to the material thing. What have you left behind today?
Bono: This morning I lost the ring that Larry gave me, it’s the second one he gave me. A beautiful silver ring. I lost it last year so he got me another one, exactly the same in platin. No, white gold actually. I am working up to the platin one. If I loose this I get a platin one but I’m sure I find it.
Florian Brugger: Larry, wasn’t the success of Mission Impossible a big satisfaction for you?
Larry: Yeah the success was amazing but that was just a bonus. The real thrill of that was that when we started as a band, the record company people said things like “The band is great but the drummer got to go. There was something kind of nice about coming out of behind the drum kit, doing something that was successful and that was a lot of fun to do. So “Fuck you” to all the people who said “Larry gonna always be like that.” And it was a whole other experience. Because with U2 you always have the singer or the guitar player to get you out of your mess and now you’re on your own. So it was good.
Florian Brugger: In the eighties you’ve been the loudest folk band in the nineties rock & roll-stars. What are you now.
Bono: Flash punk we were.
Florian Brugger: Flash Punk?
Bono: Yeah, that’s what Mick Jones called us. I don’t know what we are doing now.
Larry: We lost the plot of it.
Bono: Hahaha, yeah. It seemed to be important not to have a location for this record and it seemed important for us not to be any one thing. Actually we want to make a record that sounded like our record collections a bit. All the music we’ve been listening through U2. And we listen to such different things, all of us. On one night in my house we were playing records from Sex Pistols to Chic, to Tricky, to Donna Summer, to some seventies disco, to some speed metal band. I think nowadays music is less tribal and it seems quite old fashion the notion of being only one thing. That day you wake up with a pop-song so make a pop-song, the next day you wake up with the blackness, you run with whoever you are. On POP we got this science fiction gospel song, we got psychedelic pop, we got some trans-stuff, we got some Hip Hop or TripHop feelings on Playboy Mansion, we just doing what the fuck we want.
Florian Brugger: What do you think of all the reunions that take place. Sex Pistols, Kiss and now Supertramp?
Larry: If you need the money go for it.
Bono: If people want to hear them. It’s not against the law. I have to say I have never heard a Kiss-record. I don’t think I have heard one song. I might have, but I wouldn’t have known it is them. Johnny Rotten can do what he wants, he’s so funny anyway. And it’s sad to see, you know, it took 20 years for punk music to break over here, 20 years and now it’s like, what you call it, ahhm, party punk, that what it feels like to me. 18 year-olds rebelling with the music of their parents rather than against the music of their parents. It’s very strange.
Florian Brugger: Can you imagine splitting up in five years and coming back together in ten years.
Larry: I can but I don’t think it will be in the traditional fashion. I don’t think any of us can take a reunion tour.
Bono: I rather go down in flames myself.
Larry: I could nearly guarantee that there will be no break up and reunion, it would be people off doing different things and coming back together if everybody wants to do that.
Bono: We have to change the idea what even a rock band is. What can we do? Andy Warhol said “be creative on every front´.” It’s not like the music is sacred and the media is ugly, no! We started a TV-station for example, so Zoo-TV is going into that area. There’s a lot of things going on.
Florian Brugger: Bono, what about your movie Million Dollar Hotel?
Larry: He wants me to star, but he can’t afford me.
Florian Brugger: Really?
Larry: Yeah, I’m too expensive.
Bono: Hahaha, to be honest. I wrote this story with Nicholas Klein, very smart, funny guy, and now Wim Wenders is set to direct and I let it go to him. Most people say when you give a story to a director it’s like sending away, but I don’t feel like that at all. I almost felt like it was Wim’s story always. Because he writes about America in a very interesting perspective. And the Million Dollar Hotel is a vehicle for him to use. Another side that most people haven’t seen of him is his humor. He has a evolved sense of humor. Because this movie is very funny and very sad. I can’t tell you who will be in it, but there are some lovely people in it. Yeah, it’s great.
Florian Brugger: What are side project you like to, Larry?
Larry: What I love to do is find a really young director and do some music for film. But not have the pictures and then write the music to it, but do it together. That’s something I like to do in the future with no rush to do it. I’m not talking about songs necessarily I’m talking about noises and landscape.
Bono: A landscape gardener. Very good.
Florian Brugger: What can we expect from the next century?
Bono: That’s a very big question to ask a little pop-group.
Larry: Politically or personally?
Florian Brugger: Both.
Larry: I got a new roof to put on my house in Dublin. Gotta get over the tour, so.
Bono: People always ask “If you could live at any time, what time would you choose?” I really like now, not because everything is right, there’s a lot wrong and it’s not like the sixties. Because in the sixties there was optimism about the future. People felt that you could change everything and I don’t feel like that now. There is a sort of desperation now. There is enough food in the world but people won’t share, there is enough intelligence to solve everything out. So what I find is that people now rather than blaming political systems have to start looking at themselves. And that’s why I try to write very personal songs. I think that’s the clue for the future: it’s not so much about systems but about how people survive in those systems and have some impact in. It’s the most crucial time ever.
Florian Brugger: You are supporting Greenpeace and Amnesty International for a very long time. Are you thinking of supporting any other organization?
Bono: We are all involved in different organizations. We all got ideas about what we want to do. Some are on a macro level some are small. Whether you have a small impact on a big problem or a big impact on a small problem. In a way that U2’s music has become quite personal, I think that the organizations were attracted to that. Amnesty is about single people who are cut off, it’s quite a personal thing, you write a postcard – you have an impact. And there’s the grander problems which I do think everyone has a responsibility to be a part of.
Florian Brugger: Your image in the eighties was like “U2 are trying to save the world”. In the nineties you kind of tried to get away from this image. What was the reason?
Bono: You have to be careful about crusading, it’s a very savage media age. From my point of view a lot of things we have to do are private. It looks like if we do things it has to be special. People are bored from benefit concerts, they are jaded, so you have to be more imaginative. Imagination is the thing, because people are now not limited to what they are able to do but they are limited by what their imagination is capable of. Like a DJ, he doesn’t have to play he just have to know. I think we have to be very imaginative about things. That’s one lesson maybe we have learned.
Larry: People are jaded by benefit things and it’s so tragic because it’s worse now than it ever was. And people need that sort of support and it’s not possible to do it, not in the same way. Talking about Amnesty International and Greenpeace, it just doesn’t really make any sense anymore to a lot of people because there are so many things going on and everybody is trying to help everybody. Who’s responsibility is this? Is it rock-stars or pop-stars responsibility? I think Amnesty International and Greenpeace there is a responsibility, there is something that we can do.
Bono: We definitely got to find new ways. But people who buy our records are very conscious people. I think so by judging by Propaganda our magazine. There is a lot of people who want to do something about where they are and where they live. They don’t want to sign up all the time and that’s it. There’s a new philosophy been worked out. In the sixties people dropped out and created their own culture. In the eighties, a very material time, it was like “Let’s forget about all that and just enjoy the spoils.” And in the nineties people are starting to realize that you can live in that world and work and make changes in more quite ways. I think that’s happening.
Florian Brugger: What do you think of the plan having a united Europa with one currency?
Bono: I heard a story the other day that said because the Germans, the English and the French are never going to agree on where the European bank should be, that they gonna put it in Dublin. Which is just a very small chance but it would be so funny. That would be very funny because Irish people are not very material and that’s the best people in one sense to be in charge of. I’m telling you all those bankers will get very hip, very quick and they start drinking in Dublin bars, it would be very funny. That’s what I say: move it there!
Florian Brugger: What do you think of the Europa idea?
Bono: It is smart because there is so much to be gained by breaking down divisions and yet there is so much to be gained by knowing our difference. I’m always been terrified by oneness, the one thing. I like the difference but I don’t like the division.
Florian Brugger: Let’s move to some lighter subjects. Larry, you finally got a tattoo. Why did you choose this motive. It’s some kind of sun, isn’t it?
Florian Brugger: Tell me about it.
Larry: It’s a personal thing. I want to have it for a long time but I don’t like needles so eventually I had to drink heavily and went up to Woodstock and I got it done there. I am planning it for about ten years, so a bottle of Whisky and off I went.
Florian Brugger: Bono what about you?
Bono: The penis-ring I felt was enough. It’s a lot of weight for one man to carry. No, I’m a virgin in that sense.
Florian Brugger: Because rock stars always like to have tattoos.
Larry: It’s a tribal thing. My girlfriend had a tattoo for years. People getting tattoos with all sort of designs but original tattoos are an art form. And if it’s treated as an art form and if you get something tattooed that means something to you there is something really special about it. I won’t get any more tattoos on my body. I didn’t get it because I’m a rock-star.
Florian Brugger: What are new bands you really like.
Bono: Pulp to me is like a science fiction lounge band. And Jarvis Cocker is a great story teller and he’s a great character. You know most people in England and English bands just think that everything in America is crap which is too easy but Jarvis figured it out. Oasis, I think Noel Gallagher is a great songwriter, beautiful melodies. And there is a group called Bloody Valentine. Two of them are Irish but they lived in London for a long time. I love their music.
Florian Brugger: What do think of Beck?
Bono: Oh yeah, I think he’s great. I guess the Beastie Boys sorted that out, they spotted that rock was running itself into the ground and they made a left-turn. And Beck was kind of followed them down that route. I love that song “Truckdrivin’ neighbors downstairs” on Mellow Gold. He seems to have humor and humor is a key. He seems to have an old soul in a young body.
Florian Brugger: When was the last time you laughed yourself to death?
Larry: We laugh a lot actually.
Bono: Yeah. We laugh, Irish people lough a lot, I live in a house full of laughter. I get high and low, I’m more up and down but Irish people are full of laughter and I find the American way funny, I do, it’s very funny, I don’t laughing at it, it’s just the madness of places New York, isn’t it.
Larry: It’s really weird coming from Europe where everything is changing everyday. America is not changing at all, it’s exactly as it was. I don’t mean that as negative but some things never change. They still can’t make tea, they don’t understand coffee.
Bono: I think they understand coffee. In Miami I laughed a lot. You should check it out.
Florian Brugger: What is the place to be in Miami.
Larry: South Beaches. There is a lot of stuff going on, it used to be full of old folks but now all that young guys and girls are getting in. A new scene, a lot of music, a lot of good restaurants, a lot of good places. And property is incredibly cheap in Miami.
Bono: The haircuts will keep you laughing alone. The hair does, that’s where it’s at.
Florian Brugger: Big, fluffy hair?
Bono: Pudle hair. Very cool hair.
Florian Brugger: I know that Larry is into sports and doing some work out. What about you Bono, are you inspired by Larry?
Bono: Yes I am inspired by Larry. I like to swim, that’s how I get fit. I’m not fit now because I’ve just been in the studio for six month. I gonna have to get very fit for the tour I suppose and stop smoking cigarettes.
Florian Brugger: Why did you stop smoking cigars.
Bono: I started inhaling them.
Florian Brugger: This is what your dad always told you.
Bono: It’s true. I still can’t smoke in front of my father. And I just found out recently why he got so upset about me smoking. My father’s father, who was a comedian actually, died of a disease caused by smoking and on his death bed he wanted to smoke. I find it hard to find out about things in the past in our family because people don’t talk about the past. So I think that’s what my dad sees when he sees me smoking. He sees his father. But I’m gonna give these things up now.
Florian Brugger: I heard you talking about your father a lot but I never heard you talking about your kids. You don’t like talking about your kids?
Bono: Generally my wife Ali is very private and she tries to keep all this away from them. She’s concerned for them I suppose. But I would love to talk about them. You shouldn’t ask because then I keep talking about them.
Larry: Don’t get him started on Barbie.
Bono: Hahaha, that’s right. I got two girls, Hollywood and Hollyweird we call them, it’s like a princess and a punk rock, it’s fantastic.