The guitarist for U2 Edge confirmed that Bono can annoy him and that he has thought about leaving the group in the past, but he explained why he always decides to stay.
The Edge and Bono experienced ups and downs, which eventually led to times when the guitarist considered giving up and leaving U2 permanently. He recently revealed to The Telegraph how their tumultuous “creative” relationship led him to doubt everything the band stood for.
Just three years from now, U2 will mark 50 years since drummer Larry Mullen Jr. posted a “musicians needed” notice on the bulletin board of Dublin’s Mount Temple Comprehensive School, planting the seeds for the legendary Irish band. It’s only normal for its members to go through ups and downs in their relationship over the course of five decades, especially when you’re working with someone as genuine and unapologetic as Bono. This is especially true given that U2 today has exactly the same lineup as it did in 1976.
Two musicians with strong views are almost certain to disagree at times and irritate one another. The Edge has experienced times when the tension between him and Bono became too much for him to handle, and he desired to be free of everything that was stressing him out. In the past, Bono had admitted that their band would frequently split up and reunite behind closed doors without informing the public of their inner workings.
While talking with The Telegraph, he discussed their relationship. He said, “The fact that bands can stay together at all is a kind of miracle. I think we’ve been bound by common goals: the sense that you are here to serve, and make the world a better place.”
The musician also freely acknowledges that Bono occasionally irritates him. He added, “Of course Bono gets too much for me sometimes! [laughs] I’m sure I drive him mad, as well. If that wasn’t the case, I think we would be doing a disservice to each other, because it’s in the realm where we push each other, challenge each other, annoy the hell out of each other, that you know there’s something going on. If you never get to that place, dude, you don’t really have a proper creative relationship.”
“Occasionally, when I get really dejected, I say to myself, ‘OK, I’m out of here. I’m going to do something much less taxing and more fun. So, what is it?’ Then I’d think,’ Well, I love music, but do I want to be a solo artist? No. So I’ll find a really good singer. OK, so I’ll work with Bono. But we need a unique rhythm section that doesn’t sound like every other rock band. I guess that would be Adam and Larry.”
The Edge and Bono never reach the point of actually breaking up the band, despite the fact that they have been on the verge of doing so numerous times due to disagreements. In the meantime, on March 17, Saint Patrick’s Day, U2 will release “Song of Surrender,” a collection of 40 newly recorded songs from their discography.