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U2 Compare Upcoming ‘Songs of Experience’ Album to 1993’s ‘Zooropa’

Sam Jones, HBO
Sam Jones

U2 expect to release their next album, Songs of Experience, sometime this year — and fans may hear echoes of the band’s experimental past reverberating through the new songs.

Frontman Bono and guitarist the Edge shared a few details regarding the record during a recent interview with Q (via Billboard), and the Edge suggested that — at least in terms of the overall creative process surrounding the sessions — the way Songs of Experience is taking shape reminds him of U2’s 1993 release Zooropa.

Looking back on that album, which found the band embarking on an impulsive excursion into electronic music, the Edge said producer Brian Eno “would love to see us making albums a bit more like that. Where we go, ‘You know what? We’re not going to second-guess any of this. Let’s just go for it.’ I think there’s a quality you get when there’s a certain momentum to the process.”

For Bono, a major — if initially quite painful — influence on his songs for the album was the bike accident he suffered in late 2014, just as they were ramping up promotional efforts for their Songs of Innocence LP.

As he sees it now, being forced to the sidelines in the midst of all that activity offered him a unique opportunity to work on new material at a time when his energy level is usually conducive to writing, but his schedule won’t allow it. “The gift of it was that I had time to write while in the mentality that you get to at the end of an album,” he said. “There is a reason why all the great groups made their best albums while in and around touring, because the ideas have to come out of your head.”

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