Bono: 'Find 10 Tracks Or U2 Should Just F**k Off'

22 November 2023 | 10:59 am | Mary Varvaris

"I just want to write great tunes because that’s where U2 started."

U2 @ Optus Stadium

U2 @ Optus Stadium (Credit: Adrian Thomson)

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U2 are teasing their forthcoming fifteenth studio album, with vocalist Bono and guitarist The Edge giving away snippets of what to expect in a recent interview with Mojo Magazine.

Bono has revealed that the band’s new music is packed with “big choruses” and described the new album as an “unreasonable guitar record.”

His new statements followed an interview from last month, where Bono said that The Edge has “about 100” new songs in the bag and that he has “about 20.” Bono stated in an Apple Music interview that the band is working on finding ten songs for the album. “That’s all you need,” Bono said, “Ten, and that’s your reason to exist.”

He added, “If not, U2 should just fuck off. Go live on an island, or go away and be a nuisance somewhere in the world. But if we want to continue as a band, it’s only about one thing. It’s about the text, it’s about the tunes, it’s about the performance. It’s about whether you believe us or not.”

In the Mojo interview, Bono clarified why the new U2 album needs to be rocking and ten tracks long.

“I don’t think the world is waiting on the next U2 album,” he admitted. “I think we have to give them a reason to be interested in it. I just want to write great tunes because that’s where U2 started – with big choruses, clear ideas. And let’s go back there, but do it with some petrol and some matches.”

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Earlier this year, U2 unveiled a reworked version of Beautiful Day for their album of rerecorded tunes, Songs Of Surrender. The updated version of Beautiful Day contains swelling strings, a capella opening lines from Bono, and a tenderness that’s missing in the original track. 

U2 revealed the Songs Of Surrender project in February – the news was announced after fans received letters from The Edge teasing the new release. 

Songs Of Surrender also acts as a companion piece to Bono’s memoir, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story.

The stories range from the beginnings of U2, his father, what he thought of the band's Live Aid performance, and getting to know the Obamas. Most interestingly, however, was Bono's reflection on the infamous Songs Of Innocence saga: that time when U2 put their 13th album on our iPhones in 2014.