Monday 23 October 2017

'The world is a different place' - U2 delayed new album due to Donald Trump's win

(L-R) Musicians The Edge, Bono, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton of U2 (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
(L-R) Musicians The Edge, Bono, Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton of U2 (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Guitarist The Edge of U2 performs on World AIDS Day at 'A (RED) Thank You,' presented by (Bank of America)RED on December 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for (RED))

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Rockers U2 delayed plans for a new album after Donald Trump's victory in November's U.S. presidential election.

The band's guitarist The Edge, real name David Howell Evans, said that the band were putting the finishing touches to a new album, titled Songs of Experience, when the controversial billionaire's shock win caused them to reconsider.

"The election (happened) and suddenly the world changed," the 55-year-old told Rolling Stone magazine.

"We just went, 'Hold on a second - we've got to give ourselves a moment to think about this record and about how it relates to what's going on in the world.'"

Guitarist The Edge of U2 performs on World AIDS Day at 'A (RED) Thank You,' presented by (Bank of America)RED on December 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for (RED))
Guitarist The Edge of U2 performs on World AIDS Day at 'A (RED) Thank You,' presented by (Bank of America)RED on December 1, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for (RED))

Explaining why the group had decided to shelve the album he added, "Most of it was written in the early part of 2016, and now, as I think you'd agree, the world is a different place."

Instead of releasing Songs of Experience, the group are embarking on a major tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of their seminal 1987 album The Joshua Tree, released at a time when politically controversial right-wing governments were in power in the U.K. and U.S.

And The Edge explained that the political turmoil in the world which has seen Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault, courting the votes of white supremacists and corrupt business practices, elected as America's leader had made the three decade old record newly relevant.

"I don't think any of our work has ever come full circle to that extent. It just felt like, 'Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn't have three years ago, four years ago.'

U2 Joshua Tree Tour. The Joshua Tree 2nd leg: Europe Páirc Uí Chaoimh - Cork, Ireland.
Support Acts: The Dubliners, The Subterraneans, UB40.
8/8/1987... Fans
(Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI collection.)
U2 Joshua Tree Tour. The Joshua Tree 2nd leg: Europe Páirc Uí Chaoimh - Cork, Ireland. Support Acts: The Dubliners, The Subterraneans, UB40. 8/8/1987... Fans (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI collection.)

"And so it was kind of serendipitous, really, just the realisation that we needed to put the album on ice for a minute just to really think about it one more time before putting it out, just to make sure that it really was what we wanted to say.

"So we said look, 'Look, let's do both. We can really celebrate this album (The Joshua Tree), which is really born again in this context, and we can also really get a chance to think about these songs and make sure they're really what we want to put out.'"

U2's The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 begins in Vancouver, Canada on 12 May.

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