"There's always room in rock 'n' roll for some stuff to start happening at a grassroots level, and the most interesting stuff seems to start there."
MOJO: U2 back at Electric Lady Studios next month with Steve Lillywhite
Songs Of Experience planned later this year; Innocence + Experience tour to resume early next year
February 18, 2017
U2 will return to Electric Lady Studios next month to continue work on Songs Of Experience with Steve Lillywhite producing. That's according to an article in the new issue (April 2017 on the cover) of MOJO magazine. (We've already reported on the magazine's news that U2 will soon release an updated version of "Red Hill Mining Town" to support The Joshua Tree Tour 2017.)
A separate article, titled "Blake Expectations," offers more detail on U2's album plans than we've seen in quite a while. Author Tom Doyle writes:
U2 have been re-rehearsing the tracks for Songs Of Experience, with a view to cutting some of them again live at Electric Lady Studios in New York in March with Steve Lillywhite.
The article touches on the band's previous comments about wanting to rethink some things after last year's political changes in the U.S. and Europe. "I've been writing and changing things a little bit," Bono says. "Just tinkering. Edge, too." Edge offers a little more detail: "A couple of tunes may get lyric updates, and we might even write a new song or two."
But Adam goes beyond the political climate as the reason for not releasing Songs Of Experience yet, and offers some musical reasons, too:
"There wasn't clarity to some of the mixes [on SOI] and we needed to be a little bit more inventive sonically. I mean, that record, when we performed it live, the songs became very, very masculine and very tough and we didn't really capture that on the record. So again one of the reasons why we're trying to slow this down a bit is we really want to get the mixes right. We don't want a soup. We want a consommé."
Adam says U2 is "at the 85 percent mark" of being finished, and has about 15-16 songs that need to be cut down to 12 for the new album.
Bono mentions a new song, "The Showman," and says it's his favorite at the moment. "It's like something from Rubber Soul," he says. "It's about singers. It's not me." He quotes a few lyrics in the article:
The showman give you front row to his heart
Other songs mentioned as likely for the new album are "The Best Thing About You Is Me," [Ed. note: That's how the magazine has it, but I think the "you" and "me" references should be reversed.] "The Little Things That Give You Away," "Red Flag Day" and "Summer Of Love." That last one is a new title that Bono describes as "achingly beautiful and empty." He says it and "Red Flag Day" both reference the refugee crisis in Europe.
MOJO's article reports that U2 is planning to release Songs Of Experience in the "latter half of 2017," and the Innocence + Experience tour will resume in spring 2018.
The new issue of MOJO is hitting UK stores this weekend. You can also order a single copy online.