- 28 Jun 17
The Edge talked to Bill Graham about his first soundtrack album The Captive amidst the band's making of a new album.
9 October 1986
The Edge was charging a new frontier while the band was still in search for a definitive follow-up to The Unforgettable Fire.
Against popular belief, a member's new side-project was not going to break up the band. Bill Graham drove to the Edge's new South Dublin residence to find the four members of U2 contemplating on the ideas for their new album.
Having yearned to write music for films for a long time, The Edge took himself to London soon after The Unforgettable Fire campaign was over.
Started in all innocent over-ambition, he "got a list of my favourite directors and then the office to ring them up but got disillusioned very quickly," he continued. "Because I soon realised that the sort of people I was ringing up, Stanley Kubrick, Polanski, Scorsese – they’re even more protected than Prince.”
The cover and compliments of Rolling Stone that U2 had won over the years didn't mean inevitable access to Hollywood’s most charmed circles.
The Edge recalled, "Suddenly the English industry opened up, and it seemed to have a much more downbeat attitude.”
Don Boyd, who was producing "Captive", was impressed with Edge's portfolio upon Puttnam's introduction. Boyd and director director Paul Mayersberg flew him to Paris, where he saw the rushes before beginning work.
“I have no history of success in that area at all. All I can provide you with is music to fit your movie. Originally I think there was a little bit of readjustment that they had to make. But once they got my music and saw what I was doing, I think they were happy to give me that trust.” Edge reflected.
The experience strengthened Edge’s already firm opinions about film music. He better understood directors’ insecurities after the experience: “Having just seen that particular tip of the iceberg, I realise what an obstacle course it is. Also having met directors, I find that they survive on their wits and their ability to talk people with money into believing they can provide them with a good film. In other words, most of it is just the gift of the gab. And the rest of it is a do-or-die thing.”
The Edge did not deny Bono’s description of him – the European of U2. “It’s not conscious. It’s just a taste thing. My ear as a musician has never found a great deal of solace in the blues scale. I’ve never been drawn to it. Instead I”ve been drawn to sparse, melancholy feels that tend to be Europe."
The Edge still believed he had sounds in his head he wanted to express in the context of U2.
Speaking of the development of belief of the band, The Edge said, "I would say that none of my fundamental beliefs have changed but they’ve broadened and matured and been tempered with a wider experience of ((a) what’s good about the rest of the world and (b) what’s bad about religion everywhere."
"I basically assume that every single group, or religious community, has a problem, is in some way screwed up. I don’t believe that there is one single perfect spiritual way."
You can also see all of U2's Hot Press covers in the flesh as part of our 40th Birthday Exhibition in the National Photographic Archive in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin. Open seven days a week, admission free!