U2 say that they have delayed work on their next album, ‘Songs Of Experience’, following Donald Trump’s shock election win in the US.
Earlier today (January 9), the band announced details of a UK and European tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of album ‘The Joshua Tree’, with support coming from Noel Gallagher. Following the news, Liam Gallagher accused brother Noel of “brown nosing” U2.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, guitarist The Edge says that the band have decided to tour the classic LP as they reconsider their follow-up to 2014’s ‘Songs Of Innocence’. ‘Songs Of Experience’, The Edge, says was “pretty much complete” and then “suddenly the world changed”.
“We just went, ‘Hold on a second – we’ve got to give ourselves a moment to think about this record and about how it relates to what’s going on in the world.’ That’s because it was written mostly, I mean, 80 percent of it was started before 2016, but most of it was written in the early part of 2016, and now, as I think you’d agree, the world is a different place.”
“We may even write a couple of new songs because that’s the very position we’re in. We’ve given ourselves a little bit of breathing space for creativity.”
The Edge adds: “It’s like a pendulum has suddenly just taken a huge swing in the other direction. So, anyway, we then were looking at the anniversary of ‘The Joshua Tree’, and another thing started to dawn on us, which is that weirdly enough, things have kind of come full circle, if you want.”
“That record was written in the mid-Eighties, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics. It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. Thatcher was in the throes of trying to put down the miners’ strike; there was all kinds of shenanigans going on in Central America. It feels like we’re right back there in a way. I don’t think any of our work has ever come full circle to that extent. It just felt like, “Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn’t have three years ago, four years ago.” And so it was kind of serendipitous, really, just the realisation that we needed to put the album on ice for a minute just to really think about it one more time before putting it out, just to make sure that it really was what we wanted to say.”
“So we said look, ‘Look, let’s do both. We can really celebrate this album, which is really born again in this context, and we can also really get a chance to think about these songs and make sure they’re really what we want to put out.’ So the two sort of coincided and we decided we were gonna do some shows. And we’ve never given ourselves the opportunity to celebrate our past because we’ve always as a band looked forward, but I think we felt that this was a special moment, and this was a very special record. So we’re happy to take this moment to regroup and think about an album that’s so many years old, but still seems relevant.”
U2 infamously released ‘Songs Of Innocence’ for free via iTunes in a deal that saw the album automatically downloaded to Apple devices. On their plans for their next album release, The Edge jokes: “My plan is that Bono and I would sneak into everyone’s house and put a CD under their pillow [laughs]. But unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be getting much support from the rest of the band.”
U2’s upcoming UK and European ‘Joshua Tree’ tour dates can be found here. Tickets are on sale from 9am on Monday 16 January.
Noel Gallagher talks about his love for U2 in the video below: