- 10 Mar 09
...so says School of Seven Bells frontman Benjamin Curtis, as he recounts how he was given a sneak listen to the No Line On The Horizon by his mates Edge and Bono.
In an interview with Hot Press, Curtis tells how he was invited to listen to a recording of No Line On The Horizon after asking old friend Edge for advice on some songs for School of Seven Bells. Later, he said he was caught off-guard when the group asked him for some tips on their own tracks.
Though Edge and Bono are big fans of The Secret Machines, of which Curtis used to be a member, he admits he was reluctant at first to put forth his opinion.
"They did play me something with this crazy honky-tonk piano solo on it. I was like: 'Okay, that sounds a little weird,'" he says. "They played me an alternate mix, which I told them was much better."
Still, he adds that the band were generally masterful in the studio.
"It's hard not to be totally in awe of them," he says. "They know what they're doing much better than me at this point."
Part of knowing what you're doing is understanding the value of dissenting opinion, Curtis explains.
"I got to hear the song 'No Line On The Horizon' – I heard Bono's mix, and then I heard Edge's," he says. "Edge's was really noisy, the guitar was like crazy. Bono's was all vocals."
Maintaining a similar experimental vitality over so many years is a goal of Curtis' should his career last as long, he admits, and later adds that this back-and-forth, trial-and-error approach in the studio is evidence to just how musically un-jaded U2 are after all these years.
"It's amazing to meet people who are so successful but still so curious about the process. They're listening to new music all the time. Bono is super charismatic obviously – and totally down to earth. They played this wild new song which I'm not sure made it onto the album – it's got this really crazy vocal synth part. I hope I'm half as enthusiastic when I'm on like my tenth album."
To read more about Benjamin Curtis and his pals U2, pick up the new issue of Hot Press, out this Thursday.