Did Bono contradict his 1993 self? Interesting ZooTV quote... - U2 Feedback

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Old 08-12-2006, 04:00 AM   #1
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Did Bono contradict his 1993 self? Interesting ZooTV quote...

Bono said around the time of HTDAAB's release that they have been interested recently in making relevant music that can fit into the fabric of the "folk" music of popular culture - ie, The Beatles, The Stones, and so forth. Music that resonates to the extent of becoming part of the public consciousness. And with the last two records, this certainly seems evident. They are an attempt at modern folk records. Plugged in folk music, yes, but folk music nonetheless when taken in this context. And ATYCLB has certainly succeeded to this end, it would seem.

Now, I remember an interview done on Much Music after the last Zoo TV show in 1993 in Tokyo. How startling it is in light of Bono's recent comments! However, he doesn't contradict himself - not quite anyway - as Bono, even back then, gave himself a little crack in the doorway (see bold). Very sly. I wonder if he realized, even then, how quickly U2 could go back to being "retrogressive". I wonder if he still considers this to be "boring"? I would venture to say he has changed his view on this... They definitely sound like two very different Bonos....

Bono, Tokyo, 1993:

"What we're trying to do is just push out the parameters of rock n' roll a little bit, because if rock n' roll is not progressive, you know... if it stays in the same place, it becomes folk music. And I think that white rock music at the moment has never been so dull. It's actually not just in the same place; it's actually retrogressive.... It's wonderful, and we may do it again...you know, just plug in electric guitar, bass and drums, but it is in a way your parents' music, and it is kind of...it is the folk music of the 90s. And that's boring. And black music, kids come out of Compton and the Bronx, are working with a new technology and creating a new kind of a music, new forms of music through rap and hip hop and whatever, and are just leaving these white, comfortable, GRUNGE kids, behind."

For the rest of the interview (be sure to also check out part 2!), here is the link:

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Old 08-12-2006, 04:09 AM   #2
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Also interesting to note the rap and hip hop references. This is obviously something that has stayed with the band up until this point. I find it ironic, also, that Bono became a big fan of Nirvana - arguably the kings of the "white, comfortable, grunge kids".
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:19 AM   #3
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I actually have that interview on tape....but the music hes talking about is the grunge of the era such as Nirvana.
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:21 AM   #4
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And I dont think U2 have retrogressed that much....there was also clips on that Year in POP show that say almost the same thing
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:24 AM   #5
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The retrogression started with Pop.
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
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Dear God, if Bono thought the grunge scene was boring & dull I'd hate to hear what he'd have to say about today's rock scene...
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan
Dear God, if Bono thought the grunge scene was boring & dull I'd hate to hear what he'd have to say about today's rock scene...

don't worry we've still got the killers
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:55 PM   #8
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Grunge is boring. Thank god it died quickly.
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Old 08-12-2006, 03:01 PM   #9
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Well Grunge might have been boring to some, but it was a reaction to the 'excessive 80's' which was all about glossing over your problems and pretending everything was alright.

Grunge came along and made us all self-loathing. That, my friend is quite an achievement
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Old 08-12-2006, 06:40 PM   #10
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don't worry we've still got the killers
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:43 PM   #11
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What exactly does retrogression mean? Going backwards?
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan
Dear God, if Bono thought the grunge scene was boring & dull I'd hate to hear what he'd have to say about today's rock scene...
When AB was released, I don't think Nirvana's album was officially out - I think it came out a week or so later. Then, shortly after that came "Ten" from Pearl Jam. Nirvana and Pearl Jam dominated the grunge sound - and the charts - but U2's style of rock presented a nice alternative. It was still rock (arguably AB has some of U2's most rocking tracks), but it wasn't grunge. So kids of the day had that alternative - and clearly all of them succeeded enormously.

But by '93, the success of those 1991 grunge albums created a TON of copycats. All we heard as grunge. It reminded me of 1978. Disco music had caught on so much so that even people like Rod Stewart and KISS were making disco songs! No wonder there was a disco backlash. Likewise, note the shelf life of grunge. Disco's early days were really '73 or so to 1980 (even some of 1981). Grunge lasted from about '91 to '96 or so. In other words, by 1993, Bono's comment about grunge made perfect sense - it no longer was this unique sound.

As for the music, while I agree that U2 really HAD to push the boundaries in 1990 and '91 when they were recording AB, by 2000, clearly the world had changed again. As evidenced by the massive success of ATYCLB, clearly the world was ready for a more "folk" album. In fact, had U2 tried to make a 2000 equivalent of AB, I think it would have flopped.

As for 2006/2007, I'm not sure. It seems that R&B is dominating - and not good R&B at that. Singers are just belting out notes, with little soul or passion (even though they think otherwise), over a rap song, which in turn has sampled loops from the disco era! Most odd to my ears. It's little wonder U2 and Coldplay and the Killers have enjoyed success lately - they are the only rock music that radio seems to allow. And it's also little wonder why U2 aren't straying too much from the sounds they created on ATYCLB and HTDAAB - despite U2's enormous success with those albums, radio stations still haven't changed their formats from R&B domination. It's almost as if U2 still has to fight to get their own sound heard again!
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:57 AM   #13
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I never understood how the grunge era was retrogressive. To me, it was a great step forwards for rock. Think about it. What other era sounded like grunge before grunge. Answer? Nothing. Say what you will, but Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, The Pixies - they were all outstanding bands that had musicianship and lyrics to spare. I think if ever, now we have retrogressive bands. Seriously, most bands these days are trying to recreate the garage band sounds of the 70's and 80's and punk rock has become a one-dimensional hitmaking machine, which absolutley contradicts the original intent of punk rock, which was the rebel against the idea of what's popular and the norm.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:06 AM   #14
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Punk of the late 70s sounded an awful lot like grunge of the 90s if you ask me.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh
Punk of the late 70s sounded an awful lot like grunge of the 90s if you ask me.
Maybe the guitar distortion aspect of it. Yet, I don't see how Soundgarden's "Spoonman" or Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" or Alice In Chains' "Man In The BoX" sounded like late 70's punk music.
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