U2‘s The Edge has said that he and Bono are “anxious” to release a new guitar-driven album – and has confirmed that the band will play ‘Achtung Baby’ in full at their Las Vegas residency.
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The band’s guitarist said in a new interview that they have “an embarrassment of riches of new material” in addition to the reimagined originals appearing on their forthcoming album ‘Songs Of Surrender‘ (out March 17).
The Edge told Rolling Stone that fans can expect new songs, which Bono recently said will make up “a noisy, uncompromising, unreasonable guitar album”, in the near future.
“As soon as possible,” The Edge told the publication of the album’s expected release window. “But, of course, that’s just who I am. I think Bono is of the same ilk. We’re anxious and would love to get them out, but there will be a lot of options and other advice we’ll be taking about when to drop some new material. But just to say, we’ve been busy and very inspired creating new stuff.”
Singer Bono added in a recent interview that the “guitar album” would come before ‘Songs Of Ascent’, a new record that the band have been teasing since 2009.
When asked further by Rolling Stone what he thinks Bono means by a “guitar album”, The Edge said: “Personally, I feel like the guitar as an instrument…not in terms of being loved and played by so many musicians around the world, both professional and amateur, but in terms of its presence in the streaming music charts, it’s been in the wilderness for a little while. I feel myself that there’s a resurgence of interest in guitar. I sort of feel it instinctually. It’s starting to percolate up. I feel the timing is right.
“I think it would be wonderful and very welcome for us to make some music that is more driven by guitar. That is the intention. That isn’t to say we are turning into AC/DC, but we will find a way to use the instrument in a fresh way as much as possible. It’s still my first love for me as an instrument.”
Elsewhere in the interview, The Edge confirmed that the Irish rockers’ upcoming residency at the yet-to-be-completed MSG Sphere arena in Las Vegas will allow fans to hear them perform ‘Achtung Baby’ in full, though not necessarily in the 1991 LP’s sequenced order.
“Too early to say, but I don’t think we need, or would want to feel, that we have to,” The Edge said. “I think we’re going to give ourselves the freedom to play the songs in whatever order feels right. Obviously, the great thing about this venue is the ability to marry stunning visuals with the audio. There’s a lot to contend with. I’d say we won’t make the final decision until much closer to the shows.”
Probed on whether the show will be centred on ‘Achtung Baby’, he said: “Oh yeah. That’s going to be the centrepiece. We will play them all.”
Meanwhile, U2’s drummer Larry Mullen Jr. is unable to perform with the group at the residency due to a back injury. The Edge added that the residency shows will “definitely [happen] in [this] fall, and definitely no earlier than September”.
The guitarist also spoke about Mullen’s replacement, Bram van den Berg, who was introduced to the band by Dutch DJ Martin Garrix.
“We met Bram through our pal Martin Garrix. We were just very taken by his playing, and the kind of person he is,” The Edge said. “He’s a real powerhouse, but he’s also just a great hang. He’s a sweet person to spend time with, which of course is crucial for us since U2 runs on those deep friendships and connections. That was the criteria. We’ve since done a little more work together to see how it might work. I think it’s going to be great.”
“Of course, we’ll be missing our pal Larry desperately. We’re so disappointed that he won’t be able to be there occupying the drum stool. Everyone has the right to call in sick. Forty years of working together, this is the first time it’s happened. I think it’s kind of amazing that we haven’t ever hit this in the past.”
In other news, fans can listen to a new version of U2’s 2000 hit single, ‘Beautiful Day’, which appears on the forthcoming ‘Songs Of Surrender’.