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With the band finally off the road following 360, their record-breaking moneymaker of a world tour, U2 have shed some light on their current studio work, including that they are working on three separate albums.
“We’re working on three albums at the moment and we haven’t decided what order we’re going to put them out but ‘The Songs of Ascent’ have the kind of beautiful intimacy that we’re speaking of now,” Bono said in an exclusive interview to members of the band fan club on U2.com and revealed on fan site U2 Hellas. “They fit into this moment, the mode of some of these artists that I was hanging out with on Christmas Eve.”
Bono is referring to busking in and around Dublin on Dec. 24 with fellow musicians — including the Swell Season’s Glen Hansard — for two homeless charities: the Peter McVerry Trust and Simon Community. The singers played ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ and ‘Silent Night.’
“I played a couple of songs acoustically but earlier in the year both Edge and I played at the memorial to Steve Jobs and also at the Hollywood Bowl for the Bill Clinton Foundation,” Bono added. “It’s quite something hearing our own songs, like ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ or ‘A Man And Woman,’ so stripped down and I think it showed us some clues for the future.”
The news comes following a suggestion from bassist Adam Clayton last October in Q magazine that ‘The Songs of Ascent’ might not be ready for some time. “We thought there was more material left over from ‘No Line’…we now feel a long way from that material,” he said in the article. Various titles to unreleased songs have been mentioned in different articles and interviews dating back to ‘How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb’ recording sessions.
Although there’s been speculation there’s no word as to when any of the albums could be released or if the group would tour in support of one, two or all three albums at the same time. Both Bono and the Edge also discussed the year in music, giving props to bands like Foster the People, Florence and the Machine and Bon Iver among many others.
“Something really exciting is that finally the rock band is melting into clubland and experimenting with sounds that are not normally deemed authentic for the rock band — synthesizers, experimental sounds — which you can hear in an album by the Temper Trap,” Bono said. “That’s exciting, a new hybrid.”
The duo also commented on the fact R.E.M. decided to disband in 2011, with the Edge having his doubts they are done for good.
“That really came out of the blue,” the Edge said regarding R.E.M.’s announcements, but adding “I’m still thinking to myself that maybe in a few years time they’ll do some stuff together “What’s the point in breaking up except to be back together again! I’m being selfish, I suppose, I would love to see them doing some more work together.”
U2 released their last studio album ‘No Line On The Horizon’ in 2009 and a live DVD of the tour. Last September the group premiered ‘From The Sky Down,’ a documentary concerning the band’s making of their 1991 album ‘Achtung Baby.’