It’s been a busy week for U2: Nearly 48 hours ago, the band surprised half a billion iTunes users when their 13th LP Songs of Innocence suddenly appeared in their music libraries, and on Thursday, Bono and the gang provided a behind-the-scenes look at their new album’s studio sessions via Twitter. In the video, we see U2 tuning up and getting ready to “get on the guitar and grab the microphone” at Electric Lady Studios.
“These songs were always destined, but rather than it being paint-by-numbers, or very disciplined or described, it’s coming together in a way that’s even surprising to us,” Bono says of the new album. “I always think of the zen artists that spend all their time mixing the ink, and then it’s that last few minutes where all the work, all the gestures are actually recorded, and that’s the way our albums always go.” The studio footage also provides an intimate look at the Innocence track “Sleep Like a Baby Tonight” in its embryonic form.
— U2 (@U2) September 11, 2014
“We wanted to make a very personal album,” Bono told Rolling Stone‘s Gus Wenner the day before the press conference in an exclusive interview. “Let’s try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys — first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually. And that’s hard. But we went there.
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“Some of the music out there now that people call pop, it’s not pop – it’s just truly great,” Bono added. “And we wanted to have the discipline of the Beatles or the Stones in the Sixties, when you had real songs. There’s nowhere to hide in them: clear thoughts, clear melodies.”
In an open letter to fans on U2.com, Bono discussed the Apple deal and even hinted that another new LP, Songs of Experience, could be on the way. Until that album arrives, read David Fricke’s five-star review of Songs of Innocence and discover the behind-the-scenes story on how the band recruited Lykke Li for the album-closing cut “The Troubles.”