- 17 Jul 09
The current issue of Hot Press includes an exclusive interview with The Edge in which he talks about meeting Michael Jackson, the singer's death, criticism of U2 in Ireland, blogging and the controversy over U2’s carbon footprint. He also gives a unique insider’s view of how U2’s 360º Tour works.
Speaking of Jackson and his death, The U2 guitarist says "I met him a long, long time ago. I didn’t spend much time with him, but he seemed like a real regular sort of guy at that time. But who knows? It might turn out to have been personal problems related to substance abuse. But he did seem to have a lot of strangeness going on there. I wouldn’t want to judge the guy, I don’t know enough about his situation, but it does seem, as a casual observer, that he had huge problems and his own personal life was a bit of a mess, and that’s really a shame."
Responding to the controversy over the level of energy U2's world tour will consume, The Edge says, "There’s no doubt that it’s substantial, and we would be the first to admit that. We are looking into ways to mitigate it, but there is no getting away from the fact that, from a carbon perspective, it is a costly thing. Certain things cannot, ultimately, be carbon neutral." Arguing that rock tours are easy targets, he adds, "I’d say most of the carbon produced from a tour is actually people going to the shows, and then you’re into all kinds of questions. Every single piece of entertainment or culture creates carbon because people have to travel to see it, so where do you draw the line?"
Regarding criticism of U2 in Ireland he says, "I think we, at times, get a very hard time but I’m not sure I would say it’s unreasonable. I think sometimes it’s probably perfectly fair, and I would say it’s probably mostly a question of scale…. I think in the last year people have been very grumpy in Ireland, particularly in the media, but there has been a lot of bad news around, so you don’t really need to be a genius to figure out why."
Asked his opinion on blogging, The Edge replies, "I think it can be great but the majority of it is utter rubbish, and that’s kind of the problem with the fact that anyone can publish their thoughts, ideas, feelings. Quite honestly, most people shouldn’t bother! So I would say that there’s some gems, there’s some great stuff out there, but it is hard to find!"
U2 play Croke Park on July 24, 25 and 27.
“I can’t wait for the Dublin shows,” Edge tells Hot Press. “I think they’re going to be an incredible spectacle it’s always a very switched-on and knowing U2 crowd in Dublin. We know that we have to be at the top of our game for them, and we will certainly be pulling out all the stops to try and make it a great series of shows."
It's all in the new issue of Hot Press, out now.