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Posts posted by febottini

  1. I guess it's the first interview of a member of the band after the release of the new album. It's a long one but it's worth to read it.



    Bono leans in to my face so our noses are almost touching, and he sings, unaccompanied, “Life begins with the first glance, the first kiss at the first dance, all of us are wondering why we’re here, in the Crystal Ballroom underneath the chandelier . . . We are the ghosts of love and we haunt this place, in the ballroom of crystal lights, everyone is here with me tonight, everyone but you.” It is sean-nós in shades.
    “I need to tell you something really weird about this song,” he says. “It’s called The Crystal Ballroom, which used to be the name of McGonagles in South Anne Street [now knocked down]. A whole generation of Dubliners would go to the Crystal Ballroom for dances, and many couples first met there. My mother and father used to dance together in the Crystal Ballroom, so that song I just sang you, which hasn’t been released yet, is me imagining I’m on the stage of McGonagles with this new band I’m in called U2 – and we did play a lot of our important early gigs there. And I look out into the audience and I see my mother and father dancing romantically together to U2 on the stage.”
    Bono takes a deep breath and, speaking slowly, says, “I have just realised that my mother died 40 years ago yesterday, and here we are today playing our new album about Dublin, which is about my family and what happened to me as a teenager.
    “My mother died when she was at her father’s funeral. She had a cerebral aneurysm. I was only 14. And in this song I am singing, “Everyone is here tonight, everyone but you.” And it’s me wanting to see my mother dance again in the Crystal Ballroom and for her to see what happened to her son.”
    All about my mother
    We are in a windowless room at Apple’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, in the California town of Cupertino. U2 have just helped launch a range of Apple products, and it has been announced that their new album, Songs of Innocence, is being given to iTunes customers.
    The Edge is here too. He flicks through his phone, finds The Crystal Ballroom and presses play. There is silence in the room as it plays. After a long pause a clearly upset Bono whispers, “Her spirit was with us today.”
    This new U2 album could be read as Bono’s All About My Mother. The song Iris (Hold Me Close) – Iris is his mother’s name – finds him singing about her untimely death. “The ache in my heart is so much a part of who I am . . . Hold me close and don’t let me go . . . I’ve got your life inside of me . . . We’re meeting up again.”
    Standing up and walking around the room, he highlights a lyric in the song. “I sing this verse which has ‘Iris standing in the hall, she tells me I can do it all,’ and then there’s a typical mother’s line when she says to me, ‘You’ll be the death of me.’ But it wasn’t me. I wasn’t the death of her. I was not the death of her.”
    “The mother is so, so important in rock music. Show me a great singer and I’ll show you someone who lost their mother early on. There’s Paul McCartney, there’s John Lennon. Look at Bob Geldof and what happened to his mother.
    “In hip hop, by contrast, it’s all about the father – being abandoned by the father and being brought up by a single mother. But for me it’s all about the mother. I had rage and grief for my mother. I still have rage and grief for my mother. I channelled those emotions in music, and I still do. I have very few memories of my mother, but all of them are in the song Iris.”
    Bono’s mother saw him sing on stage only once, before U2, but Bono has said that if he could relive just one moment in his life he would go back to singing in front of his mother for the first time.
    As a 14-year-old, Bono – then just plain Paul Hewson – had strained relationships with his brother, Norman (eight years his senior), and his father, growing up on Cedarwood Road, in Glasnevin, in north Dublin, after his mother’s death.
    With no mother, Bono would find himself knocking on the doors of his neighbours: the Rowens at lunchtime, the Hanveys at teatime. Derek Rowen would become the artist Guggi. Fionán Hanvey would become the musician Gavin Friday, of the Virgin Prunes.
    In the new song Cedarwood Road Bono talks about the cherry blossom tree in the Rowens’ garden. “I was looking for a soul that’s real. Then I ran into you, and that cherry blossom tree was a gateway to the sun.” In the Dublin suburbs of the 1970s, Bono says, the cherry blossom tree “seemed to be the most luxurious thing”.
    The Edge then pitches in, talking in some detail about Dublin City Council’s policy on cherry blossom trees. How he knows this I can’t imagine.
    Finglas, Cabra, the SFX
    Songs of Innocence sees U2 trying to reconnect with the teenage kicks of late-1970s Dublin and its new-wave musical scene, which centred around McGonagles, the Dandelion Market and odd forays to the SFX or out to the Top Hat, in Dún Laoghaire.
    “It’s us trying to figure out why we wanted to be in a band in the first place, the relationships around the band and our first journeys – geographically, spiritually and sexually. It was tough and it took years. Put it this way: a lot of sh*t got dragged up,” says Bono.
    With songs about Finglas, going to see the Ramones play at the Cabra Grand and taking the bus into College Green to see The Clash play at Trinity College, this album seems decades apart from their last one. And in a way it is.
    When Bono talked to The Irish Times around the release of No Line on the Horizon, in 2009, he took this reporter into the study of his Dalkey home, opened the windows and showed off his view of the Irish Sea, a vista in which no line was visible on the horizon – that day anyway. Ireland’s recession was going from bad to brutal, and a multimillionaire rock star was calling an album after the sumptuous view he enjoyed every day.
    But the image that went around the world this week from the Cupertino launch party was very different: a paper-clad vinyl album done up to mimic the look of the band’s first release, in 1979, the U2 Three EP.
    The Dublin bombings
    In 2009 Bono showed me art work Frank Sinatra had presented to him; today he is talking about Superquinn in Finglas (the first place he was asked for his autograph, after the band’s first Late Late Show appearance), about U2’s early support-slot date with The Stranglers at the Top Hat (“They treated us like sh*t, so we stole all their wine and swore to ourselves that when our time came we would treat everyone with respect”) and about taking the bus to Marlborough Street to browse in the Golden Discs shop there.
    This experience makes its way into the new song Raised By Wolves, a sort of Sunday Bloody Sunday for the Dublin bombings of 1974. “The bombs were set to go off at the same time on a Friday evening, at 5.30pm,” he says. “At that time on Fridays in 1974 I would have been at the Golden Discs shop in Marlborough Street, just around the corner from where the bombs exploded. But that day I had cycled to school so didn’t get the bus into town afterwards as usual.”
    But this is no nostalgia-tinted album. Bono also recalls the violence and the incessant beatings handed out to members of U2 and their friends in the Virgin Prunes. “I’m not really talking about the Black Catholics here so much as how we just attracted violence for the way we looked and bands we liked,” he says. “Gavin Friday used to get his head kicked in regularly. But then Gavin’s always had a stupid, big head.
    “Then I went a bit further and remembered all the violence meted out to women by their husbands, the beatings children experienced from their fathers and how, at that time particularly, priests were sexually abusing young children.”
    And there was musical self-loathing. When Bono was 17 or 18 he believed he had no hope of being in a band. “That was because I sang like a girl. I was never going to make it as a punk-rock singer or a rock-music singer with my girl’s voice,” he says. “But I found my voice through Joey Ramone, hearing his singing at a gig in Dublin. Joey has a sort of girl’s voice as well when he sang – and that was my way in.”
    Earlier in the morning, at the Apple launch, they had played the new song The Miracle (of Joey Ramone), which transported the tech heads in Cupertino, whether they knew it or not, to the Cabra Grand.
    ‘I wish we were a better band’
    The self-loathing is still there. “The honest truth here is that I wish we were a better band. I wish we were a more talented band. The reason why this new album didn’t happen for us for so many years is because of this,” Bono says.
    The Edge teases it out. “As a band we were always either power or noise. But now U2 have so many grey areas. It’s no longer power, which is good, or noise, which is bad. You’ve got to know when it’s not happening with us, and the most destructive thing here is to almost get it right.”
    “It’s also the excruciating humility I have to go through these days,” says Bono. “The fact that I think we are incapable of greatness. And Jimmy Iovine, a former U2 album producer, said something hard to me. He said, ‘You’re a long way from where you live.’ And that hurt. I live in Dalkey but I’m from Cedarwood Road, and I know what he was saying about me when he used that line. It was really embarrassing for me to hear that. And that is precisely why this album is Dublin-centric.”
    Albums, money and tours: Bono on . . . 
    The second album Bono says a sister album to Songs of Innocence, called Songs of Experience, will be released soon. “Over the next while we will be collaborating with Apple on some cool stuff, and Songs of Experience should be ready soon enough. I know I’ve said that before.”
    The bottom line Contrary to reports that U2 gave Songs of Innocence to Apple to distribute free, Bono confirms the band did receive money for the transaction. “We were paid,” he says. “I don’t believe in free music. Music is a sacrament.”
    The tour “We don’t have a firm start date for the next U2 tour, but it will be next year,” says Bono. “We need good ideas to go back out there live. Expect something new, something fresh.”
  2. It has been a whirlwind nine months for Guy Oseary since he took the reins of U2’s management after longtime manager Paul McGuinness announced his retirement last fall. That includes a Golden Globe, an Oscar nomination, a big Super Bowl campaign and the premiere of The Tonight Show in support of two songs that ultimately didn't make the final cut on Songs of Innocence, the history-making album that debuted to 500 million iTunes customers on Sept. 9.

    With lead single "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" set to be featured in a massive media campaign from Apple, valued at $100 million by multiple sources, U2 has already scored arguably the biggest launch in music history. And it's one that's already fraught with a little controversy, from angry retailers to Grammy and SoundScan guidelines. Oseary, 41, rang Billboard on Sept. 11 to address the many questions about the launch, and what’s next (another album?) from this landmark deal with Apple.


    Songs of Innocence has already been touted as the biggest album launch of all time. How did you get to this point?

    U2 worked five years on this album, they poured blood, sweat, tears into project, and we were really confident with it. The goal was: how do we reach as many as possible? U2 first worked with Apple nearly 10 years to the day when they were sharing a stage with Steve Jobs and launching their iPod with many fewer accounts, and here we are 10 years later with Apple gifting this album to 7 percent of the planet. 


    Many people are already calling the announcement “disruptive” in the same way that Jay Z’s deal with Samsung and Beyonce’s surprise album drop were also disruptive to traditional industry rollouts. While this news was significant for U2, how could other artists potentially benefit? 

    Well first of all, when music becomes a piece of the conversation at an Apple event, that’s always a good thing. Two is, the power of music and the fact that it can actually be shared with 7 percent of the planet in one push of a button. That’s a pretty big concept. Any sort of innovation may inspire other people to do things that are innovative. We may see someone sitting with another manager, or another band going, "Hey, what can we do that's interesting maybe with our lyrics or our videos or something interactive with the ticketing to our shows?"

    That’s all, I don’t know where it’s headed, I just know that I’m always looking for the answers, for new ways to do things. That’s my job, my job is to try to not follow the lead. And there’s a lot of other people that have a lot of peers and bands that are in the community wanting to lead, and they’ll lead in other ways. And that’s what’s exciting to me. It’s not gonna be the same thing. But who knows where it goes? There’s endless possibilities to do things today with music and performance.


    Jimmy Iovine is a figure we didn’t see onstage Tuesday, but someone who has been closely linked to U2 for many years from his days at Interscope and now happens to be an Apple employee. What was his role in making this deal happen?

    Jimmy is part of whatever this band does, even in their personal lives. It’s a family. We look to Jimmy for guidance and support no matter what we end up doing, whether its this project or talking about the next single, or whether we’re talking about doing other things down the road. Talk about family, trips, things that we wanted to to do in our personal lives -- we’re really connected, we’re really supportive. Jimmy is near and dear to this band, he’s definitely a source of support and guidance. He’s a big part of the U2 family, and to myself personally -- whether I’m working with U2 or someone else, he’s always been a very supportive and dear friend. We consider him family and there’s been a lot of hand-holding together through this process.


    On Tuesday, Bono emphasized the fact that the band was paid by Apple for the album, and there's a reported $100 million ad campaign in the works, which may have ruffled some feathers of longtime fans who admire Bono’s humanitarian work. So, is there an altruistic component to this new Apple partnership?

    Apple's very private about their philanthropic work, but they've done a lot for (RED.) They've given $70 to $90 million to saving lives, and while I was at the event I counted two times where two (RED) products were actually promoted at the event.


    Bono also mentioned on Facebook that there’s a second album already in the can. What else can we expect from U2 and Apple?

    We're working on other things as well with Apple that have to do with how music is heard and innovation, with [iTunes VP of content] Robert Kondrk leading that charge. There’s a lot of things still to come that are really interesting. The band really wants people to engage with albums, they want them to support the art form of artwork and lyrics and video content and just get into their music in a much different way than an MP3 file. This is a long relationship.


    Some retailers are already up in arms about a five-week exclusive with iTunes. How will you make sure there’s still value to the commercial release when it arrives Oct. 14?

    There’s four brand-new songs, and Gary Kelly [interscope’s head of retail sales] can tell you there’s a bunch of acoustic versions of songs from the album, too. So it’s probably gonna be anywhere between nine or 11 songs that were not on the standard. Retail is important, too, we’re not trying to alienate anyone. We're just trying to reach our potential, and it happens to be with a company that is very forward-thinking. U2 is part of the Apple story, and Apple has played a big part in U2's life.


    It’s been a decade since U2 has had a true mainstream hit, so there’s a whole generation of music listeners who may just be discovering the band’s music. How do you convert them into fans without oversaturating them? 

    As you can see from today’s iTunes charts, clearly people are digging back into the catalog to learn more about the band, with 16 albums on the iTunes charts. That’s a statement, that people are going, “Oh, let me learn more about this band.” I’ve seen a lot of tweets from kids who are 14, 15, 16, 18 who are going, “Wow, this is really good.” They didn’t know what to expect. That’s a great feeling, that maybe someone in their collection only has hip-hop, and yet maybe someone only has country artists, or someone in India doesn’t have any Anglo artists, and they discover U2 today. The one thing all these people have in common is U2 now. The one thing everyone on iTunes has in common today is U2 and a U2 album. It’s an amazing opportunity, even at this stage in U2’s career, to make new friends.


    You just gave away an album to 500 million people worldwide. How do you turn those free customers into album buyers a month from now?

    This is all new territory, but we have four brand-new songs and the deluxe is a killer package. And it’s early days. You can't look at the standard as one piece of this puzzle, you have to look at whether we reached as many as possible. Are people buying the catalog all of a sudden? And the answer is yes.


    By releasing a free album this week, you’ve missed some of the requirements for the Billboard as well as Grammy deadlines. So what’s the overall statement you wanted to make?

    Look, we just went with organic, genuine feelings of “Let’s share this album with as many people as possible” and then we know that there’s a lot of unknowns. And we accept the ups, we accept the downs, it’ll be what it’ll be, but we’re really happy with this week and historical launch.



    From: Billboard

  3. febottini - yes, shortened you to fe on my way out the door. bigwave, thanks for the link. AJ - agree it's innocent experiences with strong emotion moderated by time & more experience (on first impression).


    Miracle sounds like the opener - the crowd taking up the cheering, like they've learned from using Arcade Fire as an opener. Album really sounds ripe to be taken over the top by a responsive crowd - some of these songs could really take off.


    Keep (only on my fourth listen) thinking Michael Jackson on Sleep Like a Baby Tonight. Lykke Li - pleased to hear her. Have her albums, and think her voice works nicely with Bono's. Cedarwood Road is the favourite. I dub them "on fire" ;)


    Oh so I was right! haha.


    No problem, close friends call me that way and you're one too.  ;)


    About the album, I still don't know which songs are my favourites! For now, loving all of them.


    fe - also a Bono interview in Rolling Stone & an NME article. Can't copy paste or I'd put up links

    from Rolling Stone magazine 'Here's the story behind the album:' http://rol.st/WNZBTV



    I think the "fe" is to me, right? If it's not, sorry...


    Thank you!



    Another review, this is from Hot Press:






    U2 has quashed rumours it has struck a deal with Apple to pre-load their new album on to the iPhone 6.
    A spokeswoman for the band said Bono and co have not struck a deal with Apple to release their upcoming album on its next
    "They are not releasing their album on the iPhone, and they are not performing at the IPhone launch," she said.
    Unverified posts on Twitter had claimed a video shoot in Dublin in recent weeks featured U2 and an Apple product.
    The Samuel Beckett bridge was closed for several hours as secret filming went ahead behind black plastic sheets.
    However the spokeswoman said U2 were not in the capital at the time.
    Apple are expected to launch their new smartphone, the iPhone 6, at a special event on September 9th, but the anticipated at California’s Flint Centre, aunch has been dogged with controversy following the hacking of nude celebrity photos over the past few days.



    This article was removed. Odd!


    The one from The Daily Edge is still there. The only difference is that it doesn't say anything about a performance, it just denies that the new album would be loaded in the iPhone 6.


    So there is hope for news! Let's wait until next tuesday to see what happens.

  6. U2 agent: "Not aware" of any plans to release new album on iPhone6


    U2′s publicist has said that she is “not aware of any plans” to release the band’s new album pre-loaded on the iPhone 6.
    Her comments follow widespread rumours that the band would do so, amid talk of a possible marketing tie-in ahead of the new iPhone’s launch next week.
    Regine Moylett of RMP London told DailyEdge.ie: “No, I’m not aware of any plans to load the album onto a phone.”
    You can read the full article in the The Daily Edge.

    "ST News: DCC confirms promotional video for U2 was reason for closure of Samuel Beckett bridge, Is now reviewing its 'privacy guidelines'..."




    By Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of The Sunday Times.


    Well there we have it. Looking forward to see this video, there is something coming out very soon...



    Here is the article but only subscribers can read the full version:



  8. U2 / Bono got nominations by many artists. Are they aware? Because it's a social media thing and they're not so involved on this.



    Michael Franti:




    Didier Drogba:




    Def Leppard and Kiss:




    Chris Martin (Coldplay):





    Well, if you want to help you can donate here

  9. 1623373_834244229933512_4967956285584881


    Music Generation, the music education programme initiated by Music Network following a €7m philanthropic donation by U2 and The Ireland Funds, is set to become a long-term and lasting part of the national music education landscape from this July when the Department of Education & Skills commences phased co-funding of the programme with Local Music Education Partnerships. 


    Music Generation provides young people with access to high quality subsidised vocal and instrumental tuition in their local area. Since its foundation in 2009 the programme has established Music Education Partnerships in 12 counties, creating access for up to 18,500  children and young people and providing employment for some 220 musicians.


    In January 2013 the Department of Education and Skills announced it would begin the phasing in of its co-funding from July 2014 with Local Music Education Partnerships with a view to these partners completely replacing the original philanthropic donation by 2016. The €7m donation from U2 (€5m) and The Ireland Funds (€2m) made in 2009 was the largest ever single philanthropic donation to music education in Ireland in the history of the state.




    Commenting on this next stage of Music Generation’s development, The Edge said; “I believe it's a documented fact that exposure to music makes a better society. We're still practicing but we were lucky enough to attend a school with a great music programme and that is why Music Generation is so important to us. We are very proud of its success and the fact that it will continue into the future.”


    Speaking about the Department of Education’s funding role for the Music Generation programme, newly appointed Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, said: “Music Generation truly is an innovative and pioneering partnership model, located in 12 counties, which has significantly progressed the development of infrastructure for increased access to performance music education for children and young people. My Department would like to thank U2 and The Ireland Funds for their philanthropic donation which has seed funded this remarkable initiative, and to also thank the Local Music Education Partnerships who have provided, and will continue to provide, 50% funding to ensure its success into the future.”


    Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said: “The Ireland Funds are very proud that the seed capital we committed to in 2009 has helped establish a programme that will become part of the very fabric of music education in Ireland. Music Generation has evolved into a programme that has changed the landscape of music education in Ireland and we applaud the Irish Government’s long-term funding commitment to this programme while we will continue to support this project through until the end of 2015.”




    Rosaleen Molloy, the National Director of Music Generation, welcomed the start of the phasing in of the Department of Education and Skills’ funding for the initiative: “I am delighted the DES has commenced its co-funding of Music Generation, along with the Local Music Education Partnerships.  The phasing in of Department funding ensures that Music Generation continues into the future. It will be business as usual for the Music Generation team across the country, as we will continue to work closely with the Local Music Education Partnerships on programme development and delivery, safe in the knowledge that our funding is secure.”


    Music Generation was established by Music Network, Ireland’s national music touring and development agency, on receipt of the €7m donation. CEO of Music Network Sharon Rollston said

    “This transition is a step closer to Music Network’s vision of a national system of local music education services, as outlined in our 2003 report, and is greatly welcomed’


    Photos: Naoise Culhane

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