Q Magazine Previews New U2 Record

December 26, 2008 · Print This Article

December 26, 2008

Editors’ Note: All props go to Q Magazine for their upcoming preview of the new record.  If you read this, it is for informational purposes only, and you need to go buy the magazine when it is released. Please visit http://www.qthemusic.com/

“U2 will soon return with their first album since 2004′s How To Dismantle An Atomic bomb. First stop on the promotional trail is of course a world exclusive interview and photo shoot with Q. The band graces the cover for the forthcoming edition, on the shelves on December 31…” Photos by Gavin Bond.

The 11 tracks to date are as follows:

Stand Up
Rousing groove-based rocker with shades of Led Zep and Cream. Edge mentions that they’re trying to keep Stand Up in a rough state and not overproduce it by putting it through Pro-Tools which cleans up imperfections.

Edge - “Stand Up is just a great gutsy performance from everyone. Stand Up is a swaggering rock and roll song with a real groove………there’s some dirt in what your playing……………Yes, its totally unreasonable. If you’re going to do a big guitar song I think you need to push it all the way. It started with a Moroccan rhythm and gone rock n roll.”

Slow building anthem with the ambience of the Unforgettable Fire and laced with the wide eyed wonder of U2′s earlier albums. Edge here is at his most dynamic. Features the line:”Only love can reset your mind”.

Get Your Boots On
Formerly titled Sexy Boots this demented electro grunge employs a proto-rockn’roll riff, but propelled into the future, with a hip-hop twist in the middle. Feature bono in flirtacious, self depreciating mode: “I dont wanna talk about wars between nations”.

Momement of Surrender
Georgiously melodic 7 minute song that already has the air of the U2 classic about it, with lyrics about dark stars and existential crises:”I did not notice the passers-by/And they did not notice me”. Recorded in one take. This album’s One.

Unknown Caller
Opens with the sound of birdsong recorded live in Fez. A middle eastern flavoured percussion loop drives this tale about a man”at the end of his rope” whose phone bizarrely begins texting him random instructions: “Reboot yourself”,”Password, enter here”,”You’re free to go”.
Dallas Schoo describes the song as “one of Edge’s major solos in his life – you wont hear better than that on any other song”.

No Line on the Horizon
Began life as a slow paced Eno-esque ambient treatment, before being dramatically reworked in the Olympic Sessions into an abrasive punk-rock tune akin to Vertigo, with its “No! Line!” chorus chant.

Bono – “It’s the Buzzcocks meets Bow Wow Wow”, reckons Bono.

Crazy Tonight
Upbeat pop track with distinct echoes of 60′s era Phil Spector, particularly the moment when its chorus disappears into a wash of reverb. Centres around the line: “I’ll go crazy If I dont go crazy tonight”,

Bono – “Which sounds like a T=shirt slogan to me” notes the singer. Brian Eno said that Crazy Tonight was in a bad way which surprised Larry.

Every Breaking Wave
Lillywhite cues up the track, a slow burning track called Every Breaking Wave that gradually builds to a climax brimming with passion and intensity. Bono begins to sing rocking forward and backwards on his studio chair…………he performs a note perfect vocal that employs the movement of the ocean as a
metaphor for the human struggle, before building to the plaintive line “I dont know if I’m that strong”. Two takes and 10 minutes later its done. Key line “Every Sailor knows that the Sea/Is a friend made enemy”

Arabic cello gives way to joyful chorus. Brian Eno says this is U2′s best ever song. It’s 8pm and Eno, Bono and Will.i.am are on Olympic Studio 1 writing a cello part for a song called Breathe that U2 – a touch ambitiously – are only beginning to record in ths final fortnight, never mind mix………….the singer belts out a rollicking vocal featuring door-to-door salesman, a cockatoo and a chorus that begins “Step out into the street…….sing your heart out”.

6 minute ballad. Echoes of Simon & Garfunkel in this poignant, acoustic string laden ballad about a soldier in the snow of Afghanistan. Will appear in the new film ‘Brothers’ starring Tobey Maguire about the emotional fallout of the war. Edge on backing vocals with Bono for Winter.

Cedars of Lebanon

Daniel lanois instigated closer that finds Bono imagining himself as a weary, lovelorn war correspondent “squeezing complicated lives into a simple headline”. Ends with the possibly telling line “Choose your enemies carefully cos they will define you”

Edge interview snippets -

- “I want people to listen to it as opposed to just buying it. I want this to be an album people go back to, and really get into, in-depth. Like all the records I love………..I think we’ve learned a few things over the years. So I think it could hopefully be a bringing to bear all of those eureka moments from the past. And I think it could be our best album.”

***On Beach Clips – Edge heard them and Bono was cool with them being recorded, the others and the record company wasn’t too happy. He blames it on the vino vérité!!!

Bono interview snippets -

- Bono on Tour plans. “Well, I can’t say too much because the LiveNation people would die. But think its fair to say that what we’ve planned for outdoors has never been done before and that we’ve been working on it for a long time. It’s a feat of engineering genius.”

- Bono talks about a song called Tripoli which is a guy on a motorcycle, a Moraccan french cop, whos going AWOL. He drives though France and Spain down to this village outside of Cadiz where you can actually see the fires of Africa burning. After the interview Bono drove Paul Rees (Q Editor) around Shepards Bush and played two other songs not named.

Adam interview snippets -

- Q asks – Did the others have a good album? Adam – “I think this has been very, very hard. It’s been hard on Edge, cos its taken a lot of his time. And Bono because he had to find new ways of expressing himself. Some of the lyrics are Bono writing in the third person, which is not something he has been very successful at before. Larry found it difficult as well. I had a really good record. And I dont say that very often. I normally have shit record where I really struggle.”

- “From the first session Larry was performing on an electronic drum kit. Normally Larry drums so hard, it’s very hard to spend hours working up stuff when you’ve got all this bang and clatter. But the electronic kit made him play in a certain way. So the music came from a distant place.” Later Larry said this was the 1st time Eno sat down and went through building the drums.

Larry interview snippets -

- “Is it better? I think its some of the best music we’ve ever written. That’s not the party line, I really believe that. Have we brought it to its ultimate and most appropriate conclusion? I dont know…its not quite what people would expect a U2 experimental thing would be. I mean, if you think of Zooropa or Passengers, this is not that. This has got a lot of weight.”

Key Larry interview notes:
- He wants to get another album out sooner than later after this release as thye’ve loads of material.
- They got on well with Rick Rubin but just clashed as they dont like to just go in and complete songs, they need to improvise.
- He says he’s careful over bono-isms. I think they’ve gagged Bono a bit more on this album!
- He holds no punches and wont tie the party line. He calls Tony Blair a war criminal and is uneasy seeing Bono mixing with him.
- Brian Eno said that Crazy Tonight was in a bad way which surprised Larry.
- He finishes his interview as one track only has Brain Eno tapping his chest and has no drum part.


2 Responses to “Q Magazine Previews New U2 Record”

  1. Michael-USA on January 3rd, 2009 1:21 am

    One of the greaest bands of a generation. U2 with its melodolic message is back again with what I am sure will be a slam dunk.

    Keep up the great work U2!

  2. agentmissa on January 8th, 2009 11:36 pm


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