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'We're going back to roots for new album'


SWEETEST THING:  Bono and his wife Ali Hewson attended his niece's art exhibition

SWEETEST THING: Bono and his wife Ali Hewson attended his niece's art exhibition

SWEETEST THING: Bono and his wife Ali Hewson attended his niece's art exhibition

BONO has spoken about the sound and inspiration behind U2's highly anticipated album for the first time.

As die-hard fans all over the world flood online forums to predict what the new sound will be like, the singer has decided to reveal the inspiration the band has been tapping into.

And it all goes back to the beginning.

"At the start of making this album we listened to the music that made us want to form a band in the first place," he told the Sunday Independent.

"We visited everything from punk rock, The Ramones, Talking Heads, right through to electronic stuff, so it's all the stuff that made us want to be in a band.

"And the sound of the new album? Well we kind of put it in a blender. When we make an album, usually it still ends up sounding like us, which I guess is a good or a bad thing depending on where you stand," he joked.

"But with this one, this is not a version of us you have ever heard before, that's for sure."

The singer and global aid activist said the maxim that is driving the band to work so hard on the record is the feeling that: "We don't want to let the people down who have given us this life."

So does the band feel pressure from the anticipation that has built over the four years since the last album release?

"No," is his quick reply.

"I don't feel the pressure. The only pressure to make music now is for ourselves in a sense that we don't want to let down the people who have given us this life. It's not really about how many songs we put out, it is all about how great they are."

The band has been hard at work in recent months on their first album since 2009's No Line on the Horizon, scheduled to be released early next year.

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The album will consist of 12 songs and will be finished by the end of November.

U2 have been in New York, working with top US producer Danger Mouse on the new album at Electric Lady Studios.

Bono was speaking at The Picture Room on Dublin's Wellington Quay at the launch of his niece Leah Hewson's exhibition 'Cusp'.

Remarking on the unsettling paintings his niece produced, he joked: "I don't know what they had in the water in Rathfarnham where she was growing up. I guess nowhere is as familiar and nowhere is as strange as the suburbs. That's what she seems to be stumbling on and, to quote John Cleese, "families and how to survive them".

"She's a really gifted woman. And she is interested in the thing that made her an artist, I guess. She's asking all those questions kids do. Just play without fear. She has turned her childhood into a big kind of sandpit and that seems to be her canvas but it's not all sweet because when you're a kid you get spooked easily too so it's Disturbia as well as suburbia."

Among those in attendance were his wife Ali, artist Jim Fitzpatrick and developer Harry Crosbie, who is hotly tipped to receive the freedom of Dublin.

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