U2 are not turning into AC/DC, The Edge promises, but they want to bring guitar back "from the wilderness"

(Image credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Back in October, U2 frontman Bono raised a few eyebrows when he suggested that the time might now be right for the Dubliners to make a "fuck-off rock‘n’roll album" inspired by AC/DC.

"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," the singer told The New York Times. "I spoke to Edge about it this week. He’s going, 'Is it that call again?' 'What call?' 'The one about we’re going to write the big fuck-off rock song?' And I say, 'Yeah, it’s our job!'"

In an exclusive new interview with Rolling Stone, The Edge states that he too believes that "it would be wonderful and very welcome for us to make some music that is more driven by guitar" but reassures fans of both bands, "That isn’t to say we are turning into AC/DC."

The guitarist makes his comments in response to a question from Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene, who asks, "When Bono says it’s a 'guitar album,' how should fans interpret that?"

"Personally," replies The Edge, "I feel like the guitar as an instrument … not in terms of being loved and played by so many musicians around the world, both professional and amateur, but in terms of its presence in the streaming music charts, it’s been in the wilderness for a little while. I feel myself that there’s a resurgence of interest in guitar. I sort of feel it instinctually. It’s starting to percolate up. I feel the timing is right. I think it would be wonderful and very welcome for us to make some music that is more driven by guitar. That is the intention. That isn’t to say we are turning into AC/DC, but we will find a way to use the instrument in a fresh way as much as possible. It’s still my first love for me as an instrument."

Asked when the world might hear brand new material from U2 [as opposed to the re-imaginings of catalogue tracks from the Irish band coming soon on their Songs of Surrender, set for release on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, The Edge says, "As soon as possible. But, of course, that’s just who I am. I think Bono is of the same ilk. We’re anxious and would love to get them out, but there will be a lot of options and other advice we’ll be taking about when to drop some new material. But just to say, we’ve been busy and very inspired creating new stuff."

Last week, on March 3, U2 released a second single previewing Songs Of Surrender, with their reworking of 2000 anthem Beautiful Day.

You can read the full interview with The Edge, discussing Songs Of Surrender, and the band's upcoming Las Vegas residency on RollingStone.com.

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.