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"Because I rarely rehearse, at first I'm at odds with the guitar." — Edge

Bono Talks New Albums, Activism and More on Cry Power Podcast with Hozier

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BonoHozier

Photo Credits: C. Jonel and Steve Lawrence

During an hour-long discussion with Hozier, Bono called his bandmates his blood brothers and said he wants U2 to create a “straightforward…rock-and-roll” album and to complete Songs of Ascent.

Bono joined the Oct. 8 Cry Power Podcast with Hozier and Global Citizen to discuss his decades of activism, his family, the band’s plans and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The two Irishmen talked about how they first met at a (RED) event at Carnegie Hall, faith and religion, family, music and how people can get involved in today’s activism.  

Bono spoke about what’s next for him and U2:

“We have this beautiful ecstatic album called Songs of Ascent. I don’t know if we’ll finish it soon or if it will take forever. It’s about the 15 Psalms, named after the 15 steps, from the Women’s Chamber up to the Temple of Jerusalem. I’m obsessed with…King David. He was kind of an interesting figure. He was brutally honest with God at all times. I’d love to do that (album).”

“But I’d also love to just do a straightforward f***off rock-and-roll album with this band because, on this last tour, they got to a place - they’ve (Edge, Adam and Larry) been there before - I think they’ve always had greatness in them,” Bono added. “I felt like I just caught up with the on this last tour. And there was moments on the circular stage, called the E Stage on the Experience + Innocence tour, they just hit some powerful stuff and I’d love to find songs that could contain that fire.”

Bono talked about his activism, specifically (RED), the ONE Campaign, the Poverty is Sexist Campaign, Drop the Debt Campaign and his work in Africa and Central America. He urged people to learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and to select one of those goals to work on.

Democracy may be under the greatest threat is has ever faced, Bono said. And people can stand together to change things. “Do things you don’t expect to do and make relationships with people you wouldn’t normally work with,” he said.

He cited climate change as the single greatest crisis facing the world. “We have to reboot capitalism” Bono said. “We won’t have that without a change in consumer behavior. There has to be conscious change.” 

Bono recalled how John Lennon played a huge role in his development as an artist and as an activist. Telling a story about growing up in his home on Cedarwood Road, Bono remembers Lennon saying “the world is more malleable than you think. You can kick it or caress it. You don’t have to accept it the way it is.”

Bono’s ideas about activism also were spurred by Bob Dylan and Woodie Guthrie. When asked about how being an artist has helped his activism, Bono touched on the idea of storytelling, and how creating a narrative is imperative. He spoke about how that helped with the campaign to prevent and end HIV/AIDS, and to provide anti-retroviral drugs to people living in Africa.

He said his proudest achievements are U2 and its longevity, his family, the cancellation of $99 billion in African debt and universal access to anti-retroviral drugs to fight AIDS.

Listen to the full podcast here.

Learn more about UN Sustainable Development Goals here.

Listen via YouTube: