Overview: U2

In a recent world exclusive with Hot Press magazine, Bono talked at great length to Joe Jackson about, well, just about everything, including the Zooropa album, which, at the time of the interview was in the final stages of completion. So, here's a brief "satellite overview" by Riff Raff's own Mark Liddell:

U2 recorded the album over a three week period, during a break in their World tour. Bono explains to Hot Press how the energy and emotional highs of the tour helped them in the studio.
"This new album, in a way, was an attempt to tune into that energy and stay up during the break in the tour rather than come back down to earth again. This time we said, 'Okay we're up on the moon so let's stay here and make a record!' But that was our choice, to coast on that feeling rather than risk falling. So, in essence, the album could be seen asa substitute 'hit' for us, between tours! Though it remains to be seen whether it will be much of a hit with everyone else!"


Bono suggests that tapping into the 'high' among the band members has made Zooropa less studied and more improvisatory than Achtung Baby.
"It's more of a Polaroid. And we said, 'Let it be raw at the edges, let it be a cross-sectional view of where we are right now.' So the whole idea certainly is to somehow ride this wave we're on. The band is playing in a way that we haven't for a long time and that's specifically because we've just been on the road for a year."
Zooropa frequently dabbles in darkness, whether it be spiritual doubt and confusion, the disintegration of Europe and the consequent re-emergence of fascism or human perversions and emotional illness. in fact, rumours abound that Bono is now studying Satanism.

When pressed on this by the interviewer, Bono laughs out loudly, "Can I say, yes, please! Can you imagine the stories that would spin out of that?" He does admit, however, to being "attracted to the darkness, attracted in some strange way, to the the things you are afraid of."


He goes on to say that he doesn't buy that Robert Johnson idea about selling your soul to the Devil for the blues.
"I see explorations of darkness to that degree as very dodgy. And the truth is that I've too much respect for the Devil to fuck with him."
I think with U2, it's more a case of trying to find the light by exploring the fringes of hell and darkness. Isn't this all a bit bloody pretentious, you might ask? Not really, but then I'm biased. At least you can't accuse U2 of sticking their heads in the mud.

U2 – 'Gone With the Wind,' if you catch my drift.

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
August 1993
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