Bono Wants to Make A Big, Loud, Anti-Pop Chart Rock Album

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

U2 has a new album (allegedly) slated to drop soon, Songs Of Ascent.

But despite that, the legendary Irish band’s frontman Bono has his eyes and ears on a new record, this one a big, loud, anti-pop chart rock record.

The news came out as Bono is promoting his new memoir. Recently in an excerpt published in The Guardian, Bono admitted he made an error in 2014 when he worked with Apple to have U2’s then-new album downloaded onto 500 million iTunes users’ computers without their consent.

Now, in a new interview with The New York Times and their standout question asker David Marchese, Bono talked about his hopes for a new LP.

Bono talked about failed attempts to get U2 on the pop charts recently, admitting he shot his shot and missed the mark.

He told Marchese:

“I know now that with youth culture I am kind of tolerated hanging out at the back of the birthday party but the magic show’s going on down here for the kids. I wished to connect with the pop charts over the last two albums and failed. But the songwriting got really good. Songs of Experience is great songwriting even if you don’t like the sound of it. Or ‘Every Breaking Wave’ or ‘The Troubles’ on Songs of Innocence. I would have loved to have a pop song on the radio. Probably we’ve run a road on that. So right now I want to write the most unforgiving, obnoxious, defiant, fuck-off-to-the-pop-charts rock ‘n’ roll song that we’ve ever made. I spoke to Edge about it this week. He’s going, ‘Is it that call again?’ ‘What call?’ ‘The one about we’re going to write the big fuck-off rock song?’ And I say, ‘Yeah, it’s our job!’ We can make songs famous now, but I don’t think U2 can make them hits.”

Bono also played new songs, via his phone, from Songs Of Ascent. U2 has been talking about that record since 2009. The singer said that Songs Of Ascent is nearly done but in the meantime, he wants to release an LP first that’s “noisy, uncompromising, [and an] unreasonable guitar album.”

Bono explained:

“We all make mistakes. The progressive-rock virus gets in, and we needed a vaccine. The discipline of our songwriting, the thing that made U2—top-line melody, clear thoughts—had gone. With the band, I was like, this is not what we do, and we can only do that experimental stuff if we have the songwriting chops. So we went to songwriting school, and we’re back and we’re good! Over those two albums, Songs Of Innocence and Experience, our songwriting returned. Now we need to put the firepower of rock ‘n’ roll back. I don’t know who is going to make our fuck-off rock ‘n’ roll album. You almost want an AC/DC, you want Mutt Lange. The approach. The discipline. The songwriting discipline. That’s what we want.

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

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