- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

U2 guitarist The Edge revealed Monday that the band delayed the release of its upcoming album “Songs of Experience” because of Donald Trump’s presidential election.

The Edge, formally David Howell Evans, told Rolling Stone that the band was in the midst of working on the new album, a followup to their 2014 album “Songs of Innocence,” when Mr. Trump was elected, “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,’” he said. “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.

“It’s like a pendulum has suddenly just taken a huge swing in the other direction,” he added.

The Edge said the band’s decision to tour their iconic 1987 album “The Joshua Tree” again to celebrate its 30th anniversary came about because of the state of world affairs and how “things have kind of come full circle.”

“That record was written in the mid-80s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and U.S. politics,” he said. “It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. Thatcher was in the throes of trying to put down the miners’ strike; there was all kinds of shenanigans going on in Central America. It feels like we’re right back there in a way.

“I don’t think any of our work has ever come full circle to that extent,” he continued. “It just felt like, ‘Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn’t have three years ago, four years ago.’ And so it was kind of serendipitous, really, just the realization that we needed to put the album on ice for a minute just to really think about it one more time before putting it out, just to make sure that it really was what we wanted to say.”

The Edge said it was a great opportunity to revive “The Joshua Tree,” which will be played in its entirety across America and Europe, while the band puts the finishing touches on “Songs of Experience.”

“So we said look, ‘Look, let’s do both. 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,’” The Edge said. “So the two sort of coincided and we decided we were gonna do some shows. And we’ve never given ourselves the opportunity to celebrate our past because we’ve always as a band looked forward, but I think we felt that this was a special moment, and this was a very special record. So we’re happy to take this moment to regroup and think about an album that’s so many years old, but still seems relevant.”

U2’s tour in North America kicks off May 12 in Vancouver and wraps up July 1 in Cleveland, before heading to Europe. Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers and OneRepublic will alternate as openers on the North American leg.

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