02/20/2006 - 09h04min (Brasilia time)
U2's bassist talks about Bono and the show to Folha
Leandro Fortino of Folha de S. Paulo
In U2, the microphone is certainly a lot heavier than the bass. "Probably, being Bono is very hard", says the English bassist Adam Clayton, 45, in interview to Folha, the only one U2 granted before leaving Mexico to come and do the shows of today and tomorrow in São Paulo.
"There are so many things happening to him, everyone wants a piece of him, and he has a lot of appointments with a lot of people all the time. It must be very hard to be Bono, specially because people always expect a lot from him."
Clayton might seem like the least shining member of U2, but he is the most tuned in. HE knows new bands, like the english sensation The Arctic Monkeys, and looks for new things in newspapers, on NME, radios, and BBC 1.
The following interview was made by phone during a break in the shooting of the new video of the American singer Mary J. Blidge, a version of One in which she is accompanied by U2. Clayton explains the confusion on the sale of tickets to the São Paulo shows and tries to comfort the fans that will be outside of the Morumbi stadium in the next few nights.
Folha - People are killing themselves to see U2. I's like this probably everywhere you pass by. Why does everyone wants to see U2 so much?
Adam Clayton - It's a hard question to answer. I think each person has their own relationship with U2's songs. We have this amazing audience that, when they get together to see the banda, have this personal relationship with our songs, which gives a spirit of union. So I think it's because of that and because the U2 show has a special quality, we always bring an innovative and advanced production, which makes our show a very good experience.
Folha - Did you find out about the confusion that was the ticket sale to the São Paulo shows?
Clayton - Yes, we heard there was a huge difficulty to buy tickets. The information we got is that the promoters miscalculated the demand for tickets. There weren't many ways for the people to buy tickets quickly. When the tickets were over, maybe it was hard to get the people to disperse.
Folha - Many people ended up without tickets and some might blame the band. What would you say to them?
Clayton - The demand for tickets was really very big. We and the promoters were impressed by the demand. Maybe we should play more shows in Brasil, but, unfortunately, we're booked for only two. That's why we're letting the show be aired on television, so that the people that didn't get tickets can, at least, taste a little bit of the show.
Folha - Anyhow, attending a U2 show in São Paulo is a complicated task: first, the difficulties in buying tickets, then the traffic jams and the lines to enter the stadium. Do you plan to retribute the audience in any way?
Clayton - I hope that, when they enter the stadium, they forget how hard it was and know that we are committed in offering a really good night.
Folha - Do you plan on doing here something different from the other shows of the Vertigo tour?
Clayton - We always change the set list. We've just done three concerts in which we changed it alot. We still haven't decided how it is going to be in the shows in Brazil. We do that on the day of the show, at around 6pm.
Folha - In the Vertigo tour shows you have been moving more on stage. Why is that?
Clayton - I started using a in-ear monitor, that many singers use nowadays, but that I had never used. This gives me more mobility, because they give you more freedom to walk.
Folha - On the other times you came to Brazil, did you have the opportunity to get to know the country?
Clayton - All the times we went to Brazil it was really hard to go see anything, cause there's alot of people around us. So, the memory that stays is that we had really good shows. Brazil is a incredible country, but just seeing the people at our shows was already great.
Folha - Are you planning to visit somewhere this time?
Clayton - I'm not sure. There's been some talk about going to see the Carnaval somewhere and to go visit Brasília, but nothing was decided. We have been wanting to visit Brasília for some time. I hope we can.
Folha - Bono will probably meet our President there.
Clayton - I heard about that.
Folha - Have you also heard about Lula's social projects?
Clayton - I'm afraid I don't know much about the Brazilian government, but Bono certainly knows.
Folha - Why do you always change your hair colour and haircut?
Clayton - (laughs) I get frequently bored and I just want a different look. I don't want to look the same always.
Folha - How is your hair now?
Clayton - (laughs) My hair is short and natural, the way it has been since the beginning of the tour.
Folha - Would it be harder to be a rockstar if you were Bono?
Clayton - Being Bono is really hard. There are so many things happening with him, everybody wants a piece of him, and he has appointments with a lot of people all the time. It must be really hard to be Bono, specially because people expect so much from him.
Folha - One time Bono said that you are the "jazz man" of U2. Why?
Clayton - Bono thinks I bring something different to U2, partly because I listen to things differently than other people. I like weird music, I don't like just pop music.
Folha - Have you ever thought about singing?
Clayton - (laughs) Yes, I have, I have sang a few times, but, basically, I'm not a good singer.
Folha - As a bassist, what do you bring to U2's sound?
Clayton - I used to listen to a lot of Motown records. But, when U2 started, there were alot of bands like Stranglers, The Clash, Joy Division, and I listened to them. So I bring a mix of soul with punk, that kind of thing.
Folha - Do you listen to new bands?
Clayton - Yes, I've listened to this new English band, The Arctic Monkeys, I thought they were great.
Folha - Do you know the work of Franz Ferdinand, which will open your shows?
Clayton - Yes, I listened to both their albums and they are excellent. I also like Secret Machined a lot, which are touring with us now. I also liked the African duo Amadu & Miriam.
Folha - How do you find these new groups?
Clayton - This African duo was introduced to me by Chris Blackwell. A lot of friends indicate artists and I also read papers like NME. I also find new things when I listen to the BBC One radio.
Folha - Why is it important to you to listen to new music?
Clayton - I always liked to listen to new things. I'm always changing, listenting to new things, I don't like to stay on the same thing.
Some silly questions I know, hehehe
But at least now you know when to pray for U2 to play a certain song on a show! lol
If something looks weird there, just tell me and I'lll try to write it better, or to explain cause I found out I suck at translating lol
X-posted to my journal, u2 and adampoptart