U2's The Edge spoke with iHeartRadio ICONS on the night of the band's latest album release to discuss the ins and outs of the record, and to celebrate the project in its entirety. Songs of Surrender, produced by The Edge, features 40 classic U2 songs that have been reimagined for a new era. The Edge explained to iHeartRadio ICONS that the album was created by "stripping everything away."
"Really it's a collection, a really large collection, 40 classic U2 songs reimagined for the 21st century. Meaning, what happens to a U2 song if you strip everything away, what is left. So this is the results of that." Between playing a few acoustic tracks from the album, he said that working on the project never actually felt like work, and that it was more of a privilege. The album itself started out as an experiment "turned obsession."
"This idea had been around for awhile you know, "'wouldn’t it be cool to release some more acoustic version of our classic songs"' because some of them over the years have become more iconic versions."
Upon releasing his book, Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, last year, Bono told iHeartRadio ICONS that the 40 songs were "portals" into he and the band's story. The Edge mentioned that the book ended up inspiring the length of the album.
"We are always looking for internal rhymes to the things that we do. I knew Bono was working on his book and I knew that he decided to call each chapter after a song name, and I also knew that there were 40 chapters. So this was like "'Oh! This could be a framework."' So we came up with idea, "'let's see if there are 40 classic u2 songs that we can reimagine."'
iHeartRadio ICON's touched on the reimagined version of one song in particular. The last question of the interview focused on one song on the album that re-written specifically for Kyiv, Ukraine.
"We were in the studio working on vocals and getting the tracks ready to be mixed and we got the call from Zelenskyy's chief of staff and he said, "'look this might not be a bad time if you did want to do something,"' so we literally dropped everything and within 3 to 4 days we were in Poland getting on a train to go into Kyiv, and leading up to that we decided to rewrite "Walk On." Bono had been inspired to write it about what's been going on in Ukraine."
To conclude, The Edge shared that he has been working on new music for the band, but can't comment on when it will be released just yet.