- 10 Jan 17
The Edge has revealed that controversial President-elect Donald Trump’s shock election victory was a contributing factor in U2’s decision to postpone their eagerly anticipated new album, ‘Songs of Experience.’
“Well, when we came off the last tour, the Innocence and Experience indoor tour, we headed straight into finishing the second album of that set, Songs of Experience, which we were pretty much complete with after a couple of weeks of the final touches leading up to the end of the year. And then the election [happened] and suddenly the world changed,” the Edge reveals.
“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'. That's because it was written mostly, I mean, 80 percent of it was started before 2016, but 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.”
Speaking about Trump’s shock election, the Edge adds, “It's like a pendulum has suddenly just taken a huge swing in the other direction.”
However, on the upside for U2 fans, the album’s delay means that the band will now focus first on the 30th anniversary tour of the seminal classic album ‘The Joshua Tree’ instead.
The Edge believes the changing political landscape makes it an ideal time for U2 to revisit ‘The Joshua Tree’.
“ So, anyway, we then were looking at the anniversary of The Joshua Tree, and another thing started to dawn on us, which is that weirdly enough, things have kind of come full circle, if you want. That record was written in the mid-Eighties, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics,” the Edge told Rolling Stone magazine. “It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. Thatcher was in the throes of trying to put down the miners' strike; there was all kinds of shenanigans going on in Central America. It feels like we're right back there in a way. 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'. And so it was kind of serendipitous, really, just the realization 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, 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.’
“So the two sort of coincided and we decided we were gonna do some shows. And we've never given ourselves the opportunity to celebrate our past because we've always as a band looked forward, but I think we felt that this was a special moment, and this was a very special record. So we're happy to take this moment to regroup and think about an album that's so many years old, but still seems relevant.”