Interviewing U2 Is A ‘Natural High,’ By Sway Calloway

Have you ever gone to church after not being there for a while, and you hear a really illuminating, all-knowing sermon, and you feel cleansed? You walk away from the church feeling 10 pounds lighter and like a giant weight has been lifted from your consciousness. Anyway, that’s how I felt after interviewing U2. Interviewing them made me feel how I used to feel when I first got into the game.

They were excited about music culture. As big as they’ve become, they have more humility and hunger than rappers I’ve interviewed who’ve only had one hit in the past year. Music to them is not just plucking their strings; it’s spiritual. Them boys live to play, and they love to create and they love to make an impact on those who listen, and they want to be as good as they can be. They care immensely about their fans.

Talking with them, I felt the way I felt the first time I interviewed Cee-Lo long before he was in Gnarls Barkley, or Andre 3000 a long while back. It was very refreshing. We covered everything from their concert at New York’s Fordham University to the reduced ticket-pricing for their tour (check back for that, and the full interview on Monday).

We also discussed lyrics: To give you an idea of how great the interview was, I paraphrased a few and asked if Bono was mocking his activism in it, and I said, “Is that to lighten the blow?” He said yes. They also explained why they chose not to work with producer Rick Rubin, and Bono also talked about what he’s learned from Jay-Z and Kanye West, and the band’s relationship with hip-hop.

There’s a lot in the interview, so be sure to check it out on Monday — I’m still on a natural high.

MTV News will have lots more from our exclusive interview with U2 on Monday and throughout next week!