- 27 Feb 09
It's a taxing life being a rock star – as The Edge talks to Hot Press about the controversy over U2's tax situation.
In the new Hot Press, we talk to all four members of U2 about recording the new album, how they're perceived in Ireland, and more.
Plus, they respond to criticism over their tax situation. When asked if he thinks the band have been unfairly singled out, The Edge said:
"I think there’s a problem of scale for us in Ireland. And I think Bono’s work has also cast us, and particularly him, in a certain light as far as the general public are concerned. And at times it’s sort of a quite silly situation where every time there’s any kind of a problem, you get the (Dublin Northside accent), ‘Well, where’s Bono now?’ Ha, ha! When the East Wall was flooded – “Where’s Bono now?” When Waterford Crystal are in trouble. It’s just slightly out of kilter.
But most people are understanding, he adds, admitting they don't get any personal grief walking around Dublin.
"Most people know the score. They know who we are. They know that we are going to act appropriately in every aspect of what we’re doing. We don’t go into explanations. We don’t go there. But in the end, I don’t think most people think that we’re squirreling money in tax havens. We’re not! We’re not living in Monte Carlo or Lichtenstein. We’re living in Ireland, we’re paying tax in Ireland. We’re totally tax compliant and we always have been. Our business structures and arrangements are there because we operate in every country around the world. We play concerts all over the world, we work all over the world and we pay tax all over the world. It’s just people speculating about what’s what, and coming to conclusions and... (shrugs). We’re not willing to go there, and why should we? In the end, my feeling is that’s between us and the taxman. As it should be for every single person in the country. Why should that be the subject of public debate? It shouldn’t be!
Get the full 12-page story – including what the rest of the band have to say – in the new Hot Press, in shops now, and available to buy online here.