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Old 10-03-2006, 05:31 PM   #1
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Found an old article online...

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June 16, 1996
Adam Clayton Discusses the Next U2 Album
Reuters, June 16, 1996

Adam Clayton Discusses the Next U2 Album

By Gary Graff

DETROIT (Reuter) - There's a legion of U2 fans around the world who are dying to know what U2's next album -- due in stores this fall -- will sound like.

So are the members of the band.

"We work in such a strange way in that we spend a lot of time trying to throw the ideas around, and in the last couple of months of recording we really start making decisions and tying things down," explains Adam Clayton, U2's bassist.

"I heard somewhere that the definition of an artist is someone who doesn't like to make decisions."

When pressed, Clayton keeps his descriptions of the new material purposefully vague.

"At the moment, it sounds like the band playing," he says. "It's unfair for me to say what it will sound like; at the moment it's kind of just like U2 backing tracks. But it'll be great."

Expectations are high, of course, because the Irish band has been one of rock's most consistently creative forces -- and one of its best-selling -- since it formed in Dublin in 1978. Over the years, the group's sound has evolved; it began with raw, ringing power (marked by the Edge's sharp guitar stylings and frontman Bono's passionate vocals and yearning lyrics) and grew to incorporate more atmospheres and textures.

Its last album, 1993's "Zooropa," was an exercise in techno-mechanical instrumentation -- a far cry from surging early hits such as "New Year's Day," "I Will Follow" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)." Clayton does acknowledge that the new songs find U2 trying to fuse all of its disparate approaches together.

"I think there's a quality to the band's playing now that needs a lot less support from technology," Clayton, 36, says. "It's a big sound, but with a lot of space there. Musically we're all playing 100 times better than last time; we've really grown in the last couple of years. We're really pushing Edge to play some way-out there stuff.

"That's the way it's sounding at the moment, at least. By the time it's mixed and finished up, we could well have added in some digital treatments, some samples and loops.

There's still no title for the album, but a world tour is scheduled to start around May of 1997, Clayton says. U2 -- along with producer-engineer-remixer Flood -- began working on the album last October and Dublin, and they've done some recording in Miami earlier this year.

But that's not all the band's been up to. Last year it joined forces with an assortment of guests -- including opera great Luciano Pavarotti -- to form an ad-hoc group featured on "Passengers," an album of ambient, minimalist music.

Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., meanwhile, recorded a new version of Lalo Schifrin's "Mission: Impossible" theme for the film based on the TV series.

That project was originally pitched to U2 as a band, Clayton says, but since work had begun on the new album, it seemed prudent to pass. But Clayton and Mullen -- who were "Mission: Impossible" fans in their youth, were intrigued.

"I sort of thought about it and said, 'Well, it's a rhythm section thing. It's an instrumental. It actually doesn't need a whole band,"' Clayton says.

The duo held true to the original version, putting in some modern, industrial sounds and layering on more percussion. There was, however, one significant change.

"The original score is in a 5/4 timing, which is pretty impossible to dance to," Clayton explains. "Larry came up with the idea of shifting it to 4/4.

"For all intents and purposes, it's hard to tell the difference, but by putting it into 4/4, it was immediately something people could move to, without thinking about it."

Clayton says there's even "been talk" about using the song in some way when U2 plays live again "To be able to do this tune in front of a U2 crowd is going to be really exciting," he says.

Copyright © 1996 Reuters/Variety. All rights reserved.
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They never played Mission Impossible in concert, did they?
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:52 PM   #2
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Mission Impossible was played over the PA, at full volume, before Popmuzik, when I saw them in November 97. But it was not played live by the band.
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:38 PM   #3
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I think the MI part is far less interesting (or funny) than this part:

Quote:
"I think there's a quality to the band's playing now that needs a lot less support from technology," Clayton, 36, says. "It's a big sound, but with a lot of space there. Musically we're all playing 100 times better than last time; we've really grown in the last couple of years. We're really pushing Edge to play some way-out there stuff.

"That's the way it's sounding at the moment, at least. By the time it's mixed and finished up, we could well have added in some digital treatments, some samples and loops
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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The whole band is so full of crap. They have no idea what they're talking about when they try to describe their albums-in-the-making.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Disciple
The whole band is so full of crap. They have no idea what they're talking about when they try to describe their albums-in-the-making.
Yeah, I get that feeling too.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:52 PM   #6
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To be fair, it is hard to talk about where an album will finish when you're only in the early stages.


Honestly, for all the hissy-fits that people throw over HTDAAB not in fact being "punk rock from Venus," no one can really say that there weren't inklings of that initially. Cripes--they changed producers! For all we know, the whole damn thing sounded like "punk rock from venus" before Chris Thomas left. Listen to the intros to ABOY, ABOY alternate version, Vertigo, Native Son, Mercy, Neon Lights----pretty funky stuff. Now employ some imagination (which it takes to think of punk rock from Venus, of course! ), and you can at least see why a man who is prone to analogy and hyperbole would at least have some basis for the statement.

At the start of an album, all you can really report on are early, general feelings---which can certainly change by the time an album is done.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:53 PM   #7
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Sounds like a fairly accurate if not intentionally vague description of POP at that time given the circumstances of the interview. I love the part where it mentions the tour starting in May but that there's not even an album title yet. Doomed from the start Pop was.
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Old 10-04-2006, 01:58 AM   #8
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I wonder if POP would have been a better album had they not spent time fooling around with Passengers.
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Old 10-04-2006, 03:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Disciple
The whole band is so full of crap. They have no idea what they're talking about when they try to describe their albums-in-the-making.
Probably because they don't know what end result will be.

Native Son became Vertigo, Always became Beautiful Day. Xanax and Wine, Fast Cars, etc.

Adam and Larry aren't regarded/credited as much as making the "U2 sound" so it depends on what Bono and Edge end up sounding like.

If the lyrics and the guitar don't blow people away, eh, the album might not be thought of as being good, regardless of what the rhythm section does.

Not just in U2 though.

Unless the bassist or drummer is the singer, Geddy Lee, Phil Collins, etc.

Sidenote, is "shocking the monkey" what I think it's about?
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:22 AM   #10
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it was the same usual bla-bla as they deliver to us these days. maybe they get used a bit too much to xanax&wine...

otherwise the (non-finished)POP is just a great album
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Utoo



Honestly, for all the hissy-fits that people throw over HTDAAB not in fact being "punk rock from Venus," no one can really say that there weren't inklings of that initially.
No, they're to busy yapping about a quote that has nothing to do with HTDAAB we got in 2004. That was a reference to much earlier, Thomas-produced material, or possibly even the earliest sessions in that club in France. I'm already looking forward to the "but Bono said they're into hip hop!!!" cries when the next album comes.

I thought that was a somewhat reasonable assesment by Adam: Pop does have treatments, loops, samples etc but also features some very U2 sounds.
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