Q: Morrissey -- good or great?
Bono: I remember hearing "How Soon Is Now" for the first time. You can always tell a truly great song when you can't speak after you've heard it, you have to pull over your car for fear of crashing. Edge was an immediate Smiths fan, right from "This Charming Man," and I got into him as a humorist. I remember us playing Manchester Poly, way back, and he was around. He's certainly a lot more interesting than the indie stable he came from. I loathed that scene. But Morrissey -- he's like Oscar Wilde in a Ford Escort.
That indie scene he came from -- it was a bunch of lies sold to people and it made our life a lot less interesting and a lot more lonely, even just in terms of who we were sharing hotels with. All those bands that were broken up by that "cultural revolution" -- they're not there any more. It was a "cultural revolution" disguised by words such as "street cred." This is the lexicon of what we lived through during the 1980s, the excuses used for not having a good song. It was mesmerising, really mesmerising. We were smart enough to go to America and bypass that. We took a few blows for that; a few connected. That scene was bananas, it really was. It broke up the Smiths, broke up the Clash, stopped a band called Echo and the Bunnymen. And then it moved to Seattle -- Kurt Cobain -- another five minutes and he would have been out of that scene.
Q: It's Morrissey's proud claim that the Smiths are more Irish than U2 (seven out of the eight Smiths' parents are Irish -- more than U2).
Bono: The Beatles are more Irish than U2!
Larry: But you see we thought of this back in the 1970s when we formed. We were always a forward-looking band and we were thinking about this new pluralistic Ireland!
Bono: But is there a Presbyterian in the Smiths? We have the Edge, who is Methodist blood, Presbyterian heart.
hehehe, methodist blood, presbyterian heart, hehehe!