Bono Complains Modern Music ‘Has Gotten Very Girly’

“In the end, what is rock & roll? Rage is at the heart of it,” says the U2 frontman

U2 frontman Bono thinks that new music has gotten tame, but it is his choice of words that may give him some unwanted attention. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the singer told Jann S. Wenner that “music has gotten very girly. And there are some good things about that, but hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment – and that’s not good.”

“When I was 16, I had a lot of anger in me. You need to find a place for it and for guitars, whether it is with a drum machine – I don’t care. The moment something becomes preserved, it is fucking over. You might as well put it in formaldehyde. In the end, what is rock & roll? Rage is at the heart of it. Some great rock & roll tends to have that, which is why the Who were such a great band. Or Pearl Jam. Eddie has that rage,” he added.

Bono also complained about musicians thanking God at awards shows for what he thinks are “shite songs.”

“You know, people of faith can be very annoying,” he said. “Like when people on the Grammys thank God for a song and you think, ‘God, that is a shite song. Don’t give God credit for that one – you should take it yourself!’ I am sure I have done that myself. And someone’s like, ‘I got this directly from the mouth of God!’ And you’re thinking, ‘Wow, God has no taste!”

Asked if the music he is doing now is more streaming friendly, Bono responded, “Yeah. It’s so, so interesting, though. We’re back to the Fifties now, where the focus is on songs rather than albums.”

“U2 make albums, so how do we survive? By making the songs better. And having, I hope, the humility to accept that we need to rediscover songwriting, which is one reason Edge and I took on “Turn Off the Dark, the Spider-Man” musical, to get into musical theater, the Rodgers and Hammerstein aspect of songwriting – a lot of the American Songbook came from musicals. We started to get into what you might call formal songwriting,” added Bono.

Bono also talked about the state of U2, and the refugee crisis in Europe, which you can read in full here.