In a new interview posted on U2.com, Bono says that Songs Of Ascent -- long-rumored to be the album successor to No Line On The Horizon -- isn't dead, despite the band's more recent work on other album projects.
In the members-only interview, Bono and Edge spend a lot of time talking about their favorite music from 2011, mentioning artists such as Bon Iver, The Black Keys, Gavin Friday and Foster the People (among many others). Near the end of the conversation, Bono talks about his recent Christmas Eve busking on the streets of Dublin -- he says the 10 or so artists went back to a room and continued singing, passing a guitar back and forth. And that sounds like it may have an impact on U2's plans (or at least Bono's wishes) for 2012:
I played a couple of songs acoustically but earlier in the year both Edge and I played at the memorial to Steve Jobs and also at the Hollywood Bowl for the Bill Clinton Foundation. It's quite something hearing our own songs, like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" or "A Man and Woman," so stripped down and I think it showed us some clues for the future.
We're working on three albums at the moment and we haven't decided what order we're going to put them out but The Songs of Ascent have the kind of beautiful intimacy that we're speaking of now. They fit into this moment, the mode of some of these artists that I was hanging out with on Christmas Eve.
That's noteworthy because the last time any of the band mentioned Songs Of Ascent (or THE Songs Of Ascent as Bono says), Adam seemed to be telling Q magazine that the project was pretty much dead: "We thought there was more material left over from No Line... we now feel a long way from that material."
As always, we're keeping track of things as best we can on the new U2 album page.