"It's got a really spongy sound. We've found that when you're men, the slower tempos can be funky."
-- Bono, on "Elevation"
Bits & Bytes
A collection of the latest U2 news and announcements posted by our staff.
The Edge spoke with Billboard's Melinda Newman about the Innocence + Experience Paris DVD, band security after the Christina Grimmie and Pulse Nightclub incidents, U2's support of changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as well as U2's new album and tour.
Edge said, "We are still busting our a** to try to get it out this year. That's our plan right now and exactly when, we're not sure. Now a U2 album has been known to be revised (laughs). This is the working assumption. This is our ambition. It could change, but we're really doing our best to get it out this year." He was not ready to give additional information about touring other than to state, "Short of announcing the plan, which I can't right now, we're still on target to get out there sooner rather than later."
The band's involvement in pressing for amendments to the DMCA stems from a desire to see musicians be paid for what they do. Edge said, "Our inspiration was for artists, mostly young and up-and-coming artists, who don't have any of the benefits of a live concert stream of income like U2. We're fine, but there is no doubt that for songwriters and performers who are relying on releasing their music on whatever services they get paid by, it's been a challenging shift from an industry that was paying artists well to a scenario that it's increasingly difficult to earn a living from your music. So, we're very concerned about the impact that would have on music culture going forward. There's no doubt that so many other industries have incredibly sophisticated lobbying organizations to look after their interests. We felt it was important for us to stand up and be counted as artists who have done well over the years and just want to make sure that up-and-coming artists enjoy the chance to continue to get to make music as we have. I guess we all feel like that's under threat."
Thousands of people gathered today in London's Trafalgar Square to pay tribute to British politician Jo Cox, who was killed last week.
Her family and friends attended the emotional event, which also included speeches by Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and a musical tribute from Bono, who worked with Cox on the Make Poverty History campaign.
Bono played an acoustic version of “Ordinary Love.” The video, recorded in Los Angeles, included a personal message. "Jo had all the patience in the world for people who needed help," but all the impatience to create change and help them, Bono said.
U2 had already posted a tribute to Cox on Instagram. Bono wrote: "Jo Cox. A leading light who used her effervescent time on earth to fill it with joy and justice. She was a close friend to many of our team at ONECampaign. We pray for her family and for the blessing she was to those who knew her and to the millions of people she never met, but to whom she devoted her life."
Unbeknownst to me (and anyone else here at @U2), Adam Clayton did a live interview Tuesday (via Google Hangout) with the awards website, GoldDerby.com. The primary topic of conversation -- and the hook for the interview -- is last year's live broadcast of U2's December 7th Paris concert, which HBO is pushing to get nominated for an Emmy Award. Adam's appearance likely helps put the band and the HBO broadcast in the minds of those who select the Emmy nominees.
Chris Beachum, the managing editor of GoldDerby, spoke to Adam about that show as well as the terrorist attacks in Paris that led U2 to postpone the HBO airing from its original November 14th date. (Adam gives a little more detail than I recall hearing before about what happened on the day of the attacks.) The interview also covers U2's history with awards ceremonies and ends with Adam saying that the band still hopes to win an Oscar someday. The interview runs about 14 minutes and you can watch it below. (Thx to Andrew J. for the tip.)
In a poll earlier this year here on our home page, U2 fans said they expect U2 to have a new album out sometime in 2016. The poll was open from January through March and to be fair, we're aware that things may have changed since then. But at the time, fans were optimistic for a release this calendar year.
More than 5,500 votes came in, and 70 percent chose options on the poll that had the album coming out in 2016. Just under 30 percent chose the "2017 or later" option. We removed the poll and closed voting on March 29th -- the day that RollingStone.com published comments from The Edge saying that U2 was "still in the weeds" of working on its next album. It's safe to suggest that a lot more votes would've been cast for "2017 or later" after those comments came out.
In any case, here's how the voting went while the poll was online.
We've just posted a new poll on our home page asking you to vote on which U2 band member is doing the best job of posting photos to U2's social media accounts. Get your votes in today!