“We are turning the amps on... This will be Songs For Fighting!" U2 on the “unreasonable” guitar-heavy record they want to make next

U2 in Vegas
(Image credit: John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Getty Images)

The three studio albums which U2 have shared with the world in the past 10 years bear the titles Songs Of Innocence (2014), Songs Of Experience (2017) and Songs Of Surrender (2023), with the next one originally envisaged as Songs Of Ascent. That album, however, has now been shelved, and bassist Adam Clayton has suggested that a more apt title for the Irish band's next record might be Songs For Fighting.

Clayton makes the comment in a new interview with MOJO magazine, as he and U2 vocalist Bono look to the future beyond their ongoing run of shows in Las Vegas.

Last year, U2's frontman told The New York Times that he wanted to make a “noisy, uncompromising, unreasonable guitar album”, stating “Right now I want to write the most unforgiving, obnoxious, defiant, fuck-off-to-the-pop-charts rock ‘n’ roll song that we’ve ever made.” And talking to MOJO in Las Vegas, the singer implies that this is still very much the objective for the record.

“I announced it, without discussion, as ‘an unreasonable guitar record’,” the singer tells writer Danny Eccleston. “And Edge called me up and goes, ‘How unreasonable?’ And I said, As unreasonable as you’re ready to take it.”

“I don’t think the world is waiting on the next U2 album,” Bono continues. “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.”

“We are turning the amps on,” Adam Clayton insists. “I certainly think the rock that we all grew up with as 16 and 17-year-olds, that rawness of those Patti Smith, Iggy Pop records… that kind of power is something we would love to connect back into. Songs Of Ascent is a much more meditative, spiritual record. This will be Songs For Fighting, I’d say!”

Earlier this year, U2 returned with the single Atomic City, which was introduced by Bono as “a rock 'n' roll 45 in the tradition of late '70s post-punk.”

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.