Interview courtesy negativland.com.
On a break from the Zoo TV Tour, U2 management set up a long phone interview for Edge with Mondo 2000 magazine. Apparenly, Edge was a fan of the magazine, which included contributors such as William Gibson. Edge’s goal was to discuss the ideas behind Zoo TV and the Cyberpunk movement with the magazine and its audience.
What Edge did not know was that Mondo 2000 editor R. U. Sirius invited his friends from the band Negativland (Don Joyce and Mark Hosler) to take part in the interview. At the time, Island records were suing Negativland regarding their single “U2” which mixed samples of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” with a profane Casey Kasem rant from his show American Top 40.
Most likely, it was the cover of the Negativland single that worried Island Records. The cover was designed in such a way as to suggest that it was a U2 release. Though Island Records may have had a legitimate gripe regarding the cover, their legal actions seemed heavy handed at best, and eventually cost Negativland a lot of money and their recording contract with SST Records.
The interview started out as somewhat of an “ambush”, but, The Edge seemed mostly relaxed about the whole thing as time went on. Additionally, Negativland took the opportunity to ask Edge some interesting questions, and make some good points regarding sampling, copyright, and the dawning digital age. Near the end, they even ask Edge for a loan!
It is believed that this interview has never been released before in audio form, though the print version is available at the Negativland website. The U2 Interview Archive would like to thank Don Joyce for dubbing and sending us a copy of the original audio cassette. Recorded June 25th, 1992 for Mondo 2000 magazine.
PS: If you’ve never heard the U2/Negativland single, may we suggest the 2001 Negativland album “These Guys Are From England and Who Gives A Shit” which contains great versions. Also available via Amazon.com.