"As a performer, I understand it takes a picture of me with the Pope or a president to get debt cancellation onto the front pages. Otherwise it's just too obscure a melody line."
Adam Clayton, Balearic Beatmaster and U2's Eternal Peter Pan, Proposes a Low-Alcohol Toast
October 01, 2001
Hello, where are you?
It's our round, what are you having?
These days I'd have a low alcohol Budvar. I gave up drinking quite a while ago.
What were you doing 15 years ago?
We were recording The Joshua Tree in between doing the Conspiracy of Hope Tour in America to increase awareness of Amnesty International.
What was the worst thing about being 15?
You're too young to get into pubs, and too old to stay in the crčche.
Did anything good happen to you when you were 15?
I was asked to leave public school.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
That I'd still be smoking.
What's your worst fashion faux pas of the last 15 years?
I had very bad haircuts until Joshua Tree.
What's the best record of the last 15 years?
Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor, No Protection.
What music are you listening to right now?
Elbow, New Order, Travis, Baxter Dury, Shaggy.
If you weren't a musician what would you be?
A bad photographer, or a landscape gardener.
What's been the highlight of the last 15 years?
Being able to take the PopMart tour into Sarajevo.
Where do you see yourself in 15 years' time?
Having a facelift.
Why hold the Edge's birthday party in Ibiza?
He said he wanted to check it out. Isn't that the sort of place Ibiza's become? People go there for their 40th birthday.
What questions do you hate being asked?
Questions about lyrics, they're hard.
What's the strangest story you've heard about yourself?
I've not really heard any strange stories.
When was the last time you listened to Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree?
At the beginning of this tour, we had to go back and research how we recorded them. Achtung Baby is probably the most complete record. Joshua Tree is nostalgic, it seems like a different person and a different band.
Have you ever smashed up a guitar?
I'd find it hard to deliberately break an instrument I have some affinity to.
What's your personal motto?
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
What do you think of Radiohead?
They're truly special. They're going to be making exciting music for a long time.
We want to get back in there and do another record. We feel like we're on a bit of a roll so we don't want to chill out too much.
© Q Magazine, 2001. All rights released.