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Adam Clayton Says New U2 Album was on Hold Due to Political Climate

It just needed "a little bit of cosmetic surgery."

By Annie Reuter

U2’s follow-up to 2014’s Songs of Innocence was ready to be released. Then Donald Trump was elected president.

Related: U2 Extend Joshua Tree Tour

In late May, guitarist The Edge told Rolling Stone that following the election the world suddenly changed, forcing the band to reevaluate things.

“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,’” The Edge said.

Now, bassist Adam Clayton tells Variety that the band made some changes to the record once they evaluated the current political climate and significantly improved the songs.

“Once the election had happened, we didn’t want to put out a record without having some time to evaluate what was going on and what was behind the outcome,” he explains. “And certainly that wave of change seemed to be moving through Europe as well, so we did say ‘Let’s reexamine where we are,’ and we did reexamine and I think it’s been better for the record and it’s been better for the songwriting and it’s much more on-message of what U2 does and what U2 does well.”

Clayton adds that the album itself has been ready to go and all it needed was “a little bit of cosmetic surgery.”

“We said, ‘We could put this record out this year, or we could celebrate The Joshua Tree and put out the [new] record when all that’s done, and then plan a tour around it and all the things that go along with a new album,'” he shares. “The only spoiler is that The Joshua Tree Tour has been an enormous, runaway success and we just keep adding dates. So the answer to your question is, [Songs of Experience] is ready to go, but at this point, I’m not sure when it’s going to go because the tour is still up and running.”

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