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Bassist on how band will approach classic 1987 album onstage, when to expect upcoming studio LP
By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone
Thirty years ago, the wild success of The Joshua Tree transformed U2 into the biggest band on the planet. Radio hits "With or Without You," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "Where The Streets Have No Name" catapulted them from arenas into stadiums and found then hobnobbing with Frank Sinatra, appearing on the cover of Time magazine and sharing the stage with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and B.B. King. "Certainly looking back on playing the tour at that time, it should have been an extraordinarily, freeing, joyful opportunity," says bassist Adam Clayton. "But it was actually quite a tough time trying to deliver those songs under the pressure of growing from an arena act to a stadium act. I, for one, don't remember enjoying it very much."
He'll probably enjoy it more this summer when U2 take The Joshua Tree on a victory lap three decades down the line. "I think this summer run is almost an opportunity to take it back," he says, "and look at those songs and look at what was going on then and see where we are now." We spoke to Clayton about the impetus for the tour, how the show will be structured, if fans can expect to hear rarities and what's happening with Songs of Experience.
Guitarist also reveals status of band's upcoming 'Songs of Experience' LP and discusses rare songs fans might get to hear live
By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone
Since their formation in 1976, U2 have aggressively avoided any move that even hints at nostalgia. But this year they're going to finally look back by taking their 1987 masterpiece The Joshua Tree on tour in stadiums across America and Europe in honor of the album's 30th anniversary. It's a chance for the band to re-connect with fans after the rather disappointing reception to their 2014 LP Songs of Innocence, and it gives them a chance to hit the road while continuing to put the finishing touches on their upcoming album Songs of Experience. A couple of weeks before the shows were formally announced, U2 guitarist the Edge phoned up Rolling Stone to talk about the tour, reviving rare songs onstage, their next album, Donald Trump and much more.
Check out Adam Clayton's interview on St. Patrick's University's pop-up station: Walk in My Shoes Radio. Adam appears around the 1:08:50 mark in the 2 hour radio show and talks for about 10 minutes. The radio station in Dublin will only be in existence until this Friday, the 14th!
Clayton discussed his passion for running (as opposed to using treadmills), as well as his thoughts on mental wellness and his history with substances:
"There is nothing that I miss about drugs and alcohol that a sober life hasn't given me ten fold. I love my life now."
Regarding new album plans, Adam dropped a few hints at what is happening in the studio. He said:
"We've been working on a record and we've been humming and hawing on whether it's finished or not. We've decided it's not finished -- we're going to work up until Christmas. I wish we were a little bit more definite about our scheduling because people have been expecting it. But it'll be out next year -- maybe March/April. That's the plan, but I'm not confirming it."
Adam was also no fan of Donald Trump when he said:
"He seems to be a very strange man."
U2 guitarist The Edge talks about the Paris concert broadcast on HBO, security concerns, and the new album
by Melinda Newman, Billboard
On Dec. 7, U2 took the stage at Paris' Accorhotels Arena to make good for the second of its two shows originally postponed in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in the city that left 130 dead, including 89 at the Bataclan concert venue where Eagles of Death Metal were playing.
The concert, U2: Innocence + Experience Live in Paris, captured live for HBO by director Hamish Hamilton, was a breathing testament to the healing power of music, not only for the audience, but for U2 as well. "It sort of felt like it was part of a process of reclaiming live rock and roll in the city of Paris," says U2 guitarist The Edge in an exclusive interview. "We were by no means the first event post the Paris attacks, but for us it was very symbolic and very significant. We tried to get back as quickly as we could."
U2 invited the Eagles of Death Metal to join them on stage, marking the first time the California band had played since the attacks. "They were robbed of their stage, so we would like to offer them ours," U2 frontman Bono told the audience.
Calling from the studio where U2 is working on the follow-up to 2014's Songs of Innocence, The Edge talked to Billboard about that Paris night, increasing security following recent events such as the Christina Grimmie murder and the Orlando club massacre, as well as the new album and a possible new tour.
by Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
Montreal -- Bono and Adam Clayton are sitting on a couch in a downtown hotel last week after a U2 concert, talking T-shirts. Suddenly they're 17 years old again hanging out at punk clubs in their hometown of Dublin, circa 1977.
"The Ramones, the Clash, the Buzzcocks," says Clayton, the band's bassist, reminiscing about the bands that he, Bono and the other future members of U2 -- guitarist the Edge and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. -- witnessed and drew inspiration from as teenagers.
"The Buzzcocks -- the melodies were so great," Bono says, mimicking Pete Shelley furiously strumming a guitar. "What was their drummer's name (John Maher)? Larry used one of his parts on one of our songs."
"I took a few things from (the Stranglers') JJ Burnel - a great bass player," Clayton adds.
Memories and megascreens: the band breaks down their arena takeover from the ceiling to the set lists
By Andy Greene, Rolling Stone
It's about 25 hours before U2 kick off their Innocence + Experience tour at Vancouver's Rogers Arena and Bono is sitting on a plush couch in a backstage lounge near the Edge. He's fiddling with a laptop and looking at a CDR recorded at a recent tour rehearsal. Right outside the door, walkie talkie-wielding tour personnel frantically run about as they prepare for the big night, but Bono seems completely relaxed. Adam Clayton walks in, hands him a cup of tea and then vanishes. We're instructed to sit between Bono and the Edge, knowing their schedule is insanely tight and they only have 20 minutes to chat.
We have 21 questions prepared, but since Bono isn't a man known for his brevity, we only manage to ask about eight. But the band manages to cover a lot of ground - even if we don't get to discuss the status of Songs of Experience or see if they're finally willing to cave and perform super rarities "Acrobat" and "Drowning Man" at some point on the tour.
They're the biggest band on Earth, but for U2 that's not enough
by Rolling Stone
U2, the biggest band left on Earth, make their latest appearance on the cover of Rolling Stone in our new issue, hitting stands Friday. In the cover feature, senior writer Brian Hiatt trails the band to Dublin and the French Riviera, where he shares pints of Guinness and a long, boozy dinner with Bono; watches an intimate full-band rehearsal in a Monaco basement; and hangs out in Bono and the Edge's oceanfront houses. At our cover shoot, photographer Mark Seliger captured a stunning video of Bono and the Edge playing "The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" acoustic, with Bono pounding out drum parts on Edge's guitar:
The band is highly aware of what Bono calls the "shitstorm" over the iTunes giveaway of their new album, Songs of Innocence. Bono says he didn't understand that the album would automatically download itself onto some people's phones. "It's like we put a bottle of milk in people's fridge that they weren't asking for," he says. "It is a gross invasion!" He smiles. "But it was kind of an accident. The milk was supposed to be in the cloud. It was supposed to be on the front doorstep."