Bono Is Looking to a Huge Classic Rock Band for U2’s Next Album
Bono wants U2 to make a "noisy, uncompromising, unreasonable guitar album" after what he sees as the commercial failure of the Irish rock band's last two albums.
And he's looking to a big classic rock act for the inspiration.
That's what the 62-year-old singer-songwriter laid out in a new interview this week. While defending the songwriting on U2's latest duo of studio efforts, Songs of Experience (2017) and Songs of Innocence (2014), the musician admitted, "I wished to connect with the pop charts over the last two albums and failed."
Clearly, the founding U2 lead vocalist is feeling a little bit contrite lately. In a separate interview last week, he apologized for the 2014 Apple marketing stunt that saw Songs of Innocence forced on all iTunes Store customers at no cost — whether they liked it or not.
Now, Bono is seemingly looking to right the ship. He explained that Songs of Ascent, the band's already-recorded follow-up album, is being shelved for now. (It's been promised for several years.) Instead, Bono wants U2 to make something much more rocking.
On top of that, he noted that it should probably sound like AC/DC — especially the hearty production of the Australian act's most seminal producer, Mutt Lange. (Lange produced AC/DC's Highway to Hell, Back in Black and For Those About to Rock.)
"We all make mistakes," Bono told The New York Times Magazine on Monday (Oct. 24). "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!"
He continued, "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."
Perhaps such a change could shake things up for U2. After all, the singer who's led the group since 1976 understands that he's not exactly at the forefront of new music at this point.
"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," Bono mused.
He argued, however, that "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."