By Marty Rosenbaum

Perhaps an even bigger surprise than the free copy of Songs Of Innocence all iTunes users received was that U2 was nearly complete with the follow up album Songs Of Experience.

Everything appeared ready to go. Then, 2016 happened.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, The Edge recalls why the band wanted to hold off on releasing their new record.

“When we came off the last tour, the Innocence and Experience indoor tour, we headed straight into finishing the second album of that set, Songs of Experience, which we were pretty much complete with after a couple of weeks of the final touches leading up to the end of the year. And then the election [happened] and suddenly the world changed. We just went, “Hold on a second – we’ve got to give ourselves a moment to think about this record and about how it relates to what’s going on in the world.” That’s because it was written mostly, I mean, 80 percent of it was started before 2016, but most of it was written in the early part of 2016, and now, as I think you’d agree, the world is a different place.”

The events of 2016 also gave the band a new perspective on their album The Joshua Tree as they pondered how to celebrate the 30th anniversary.

He added,

“We can really celebrate this album, which is really born again in this context, and we can also really get a chance to think about these songs and make sure they’re really what we want to put out.”

Additionally, The Edge joked about the distribution method of their upcoming album Songs Of Experience. No, people won’t be receiving it automatically in iTunes. Instead, they may get a surprise visit from Bono and The Edge.

“My plan is that Bono and I would sneak into everyone’s house and put a CD under their pillow,” he said.

Check out the interview in its entirety here.

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