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U2 Interviews

Dazed and Confused (part V: Adam Clayton)
May 1997

Dazed & Confused: Is Pop final proof that U2 have come round to seeing things the 'Adam way'?

Adam Clayton: [laughs] Yeah: it's taken them long enough! Do you mean in terms
of the music?

D&C: Yes, and in terms of the lifestyle.

AC: Hmm, well, maybe, although I see it as a record that's based around me
musically, too, to an extent.

D&C: You've quoted that line from 'Gone' I'm already gone/I felt that way all
along as being important to you. Do you feel the band have caught up with you in
your celebration of living life to the full?

AC: Well, I never really meant that lyric to apply to me personally, in relation to my part in the group. It was more just the general idea of the group being together for such a long while.

D&C: After the 'Zooropa' tour you went to New York to live for a year. What
inspired you to go there?

AC: Well, when the tour ended we all came back to Dublin and the others had families and stuff to think about and I didn't, so it wasn't the situation I was looking for. I just thought to myself, 'Maybe I should go to New York, I'm sure there must be something going on there'. Then I just happened to bump into someone I knew who lived around the corner who could teach bass, so I ended up re-learning to play as well as all the other experiences I had there.

D&C: You've said you're not in the habit of hanging out with other musicians in your spare time.

AC: Ha Ha! Yeah, well y'know. Even when we started with the group I was never one to sit huddled in the corner of the pub of an evening talking about bass sounds. It's never been in my nature.

D&C: How did you feel in the course of the making of Rattle & Hum, then, when the band set about tracking down all their musical idols?

AC: Well that was different. You've got to realise that as an Irish group a lot of our influences tend to naturally come from America, and we were just looking for our roots through the music we loved: it was just a perfectly nature thing to do..

D&C: You've always been the playboy of the band. Is it odd to hear Bono singing about 'The Playboy Mansion' metaphorically, at least after all these years?

AC: Well, it's not really a case of me having been separate from the other members of the band in the things I've done over the years. We've been together as a group, travelling over the world since we were 20 years old and you have all sorts of experiences together along the way. We've all done our bit, staying up all night to watch the sunrise, that's the way it is. I remember years ago going to the actual Playboy Mansion for the 'Miss Midsummer Wet Dream' night or something, so "I've done all that.

D&C: What influenced you personally during the recording?

AC: I was listening to a lot of Massive Attack and Portishead for a good while before we went back into the studio. Whilst we were actually in there I listened to things like Leftfield, and then the Underworld album came out. They both really influenced me. I don't listen to guitar bands at all.

D&C: As a fellow artist, what did you think of the KLF burning a million pounds?

AC: I thought it was great! Whether or not they actually burnt the money isn't the issue. It's the fact that they got everybody thinking that they did. Plus it was funny to get to see all those journalists running around after them.

D&C: Are you looking forward to the shows?

AC: Yeah, the shows are a little odd for me because I've never been to a stadium show in my life, so I wouldn't know what a normal one is like. I think the biggest gig I ever went to see was years and years ago, Rory Gallagher in Dublin; a great show, too, if I remember rightly. We've managed to get the whole thing set up without major sponsorship and that's something in itself and now we just have to get on with it. It's going to be something special, there's
no doubt about that.

U2 Interviews overview