Every month we put an U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month August of 2012 is user RUMMY. Read along for the interview we had this this great Canadian music fan!!
- Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Matt and I am a Canadian – born here and have been here most of my life. I grew up not far from Niagara Falls and now live just north of Toronto. I will officially begin my mid-life crisis next year when I turn 40. I have a great, beautiful wife and two amazing, young children. These offset the fact that I teach high school math for a living.
- How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I think I’ve told this story before but I will gladly rehash it again:
I’ve always felt that I have had little choice in being a U2 fan as they were always releasing an album at some significant point in during my first 24 years.
I was ripe for The Joshua Tree boom back in 1987 – I was turning 14 and entering high school the autumn after its release, when one’s musical tastes often begin to change. My sister was already in high school and I had heard her listen to songs from War and The Unforgettable Fire but I stumbled upon “With or Without You” on my own. It seemed different than anything else I had listened to – more challenging than the pop music that was on the radio – by I knew I liked it. However, it was “Streets” that would make me a fan for life. The song itself was, and still is, just awesome – that digital delay intro, Adam’s opening bass line, Larry’s perfect percussion, Bono’s lyrics and voice it cannot be beat. Then the rooftop video came. It was simple yet so interesting to watch. Finally, a year or so later I was sitting in a movie theatre and the trailer for Rattle & Hum came on and I was simply amazed. “Where the Streets Have No Name”
has been my favourite song ever since.
Without going into too much more detail, the brilliant Achtung Baby was released during my final year of high school and carried me into my first year of university. Zooropa was released in North America on my 20th birthday; and Popwas released during my final year in university and carried me into a year-long trip to New Zealand. SO many memories flash through my head whenever I hear any songs from any of these U2 albums.
- When you're forced to leave to a deserted island and you can take only one U2 album with you, which would it be?
I’ll stick to studio albums here. Besides hearing crowd noise on a deserted island might depress me if I was feeling lonely.
The seemingly obvious choice for me would be Achtung Baby – I absolutely love it. It’s an album that spans time – it could be released today and seem fresh; its songs are so diverse yet still cohesive as any album I’ve ever listened to; it contains both classic hits that any casual observer could hum along to but also “for-fans-only” gems; it’s also an urban (not in the hip hop sense) album to be listened to in the city – day or night.
No, if I was on a deserted island, I think The Joshua Tree would be more suitable. The cover artwork itself gives it a serene feel that would capture the tranquility that would (hopefully) come with this island. Songs like “Running to Stand Still,” “One Tree Hill” and “Mothers of the Disappeared” have a very natural/organic/peaceful essence to them. Plus, I could live without Streets.
- What is your favorite U2 bootleg, and why? Do you often listen to bootlegs?
These days I only listen to bootlegs and/or official releases. I still love U2’s studio albums but after listening to them (literally) hundreds of times over a span of up to 25 years, it’s very nice to have a different take on them.
There are so many to choose from (Rosemount 1987; Point Depot 1989; Washington 1992; Santiago 1997; Notre Dame 2001; Buenos Aires 2006; and Sheffield 2009 all come to mind) but Stockholm 1992 just edges out Dublin 1993.
The Dublin show is a near-perfect one but the OCD tendencies in me are irked by the fact that they had stopped playing ISHFWILF during this part of the tour in favour of the regular inclusion of “When Love Comes to Town.” I love U2 but not that song.
Now the Stockholm show has everything I need from a ZooTV show: 10 AB songs; five JT songs; monster hits from TUF and R&H – and all are played extremely well; both of the classics snippets “Can You Hear Us Coming?” and “Shine Like Stars” were perfromed; and they seemed to be having a heck of a good time while doing it. Maybe they were drunk.
Anyway, I suppose there are better sounding bootlegs out there – more on this later – but this is most certainly my favourite. (Admittedly, I was really hoping this show was going to be released with the AB reissue and I was really gutted that we just got the Sydney repeat.)
- If you could enjoy dinner with three other people, living or dead, who would you choose and why?
The first two would be John Lennon and Mark David Chapman but this time The Walrus gets the gun. The other would be either Larry Daivd or Ricky Gervais so we could have a good laugh about the whole outcome – amongst other things.
- What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
I try to minimize the amount of “stuff” I have so, admittedly, I don’t have that much you can actually hold onto beyond essentials stuff like the studio albums and the official DVD releases – as well as my newly acquired U22 gift, of course. As a matter of fact, I just went out and bought a CD-version of No Line on the Horizon for the very first time as I didn’t feel worthy of this U2start fan-of-the-month honour without having it!
One thing that isn’t really part of a collection per se but is a feather in my cap of being a U2 fan: I was quoted in Q Magazine’s 2006 edition of the “Greatest Songs of All Time” where I made my case for “Where the Streets Have No Name.” I still have my copy. Sadly, the Scissor Sisters are on its cover.
- Apart of being a big U2 fan, you follow and share your passion about other great bands - one of the biggest being Pearl Jam. If you could see U2 follow Pearl Jam's live approach, would you prefer a varied setlist each night or official bootleg releases?
Well, when it comes to Pearl Jam, as much as I love them now, I feel like a bit of a “poser” when it comes to them. I was a pretty big fan of them in the 1990’s but lost interest for about a decade. As a result,I missed a lot of Toronto shows by them over that time span. I have to give credit to Matt (Eyeswithpride), Ed (EDDMB), and Ron (clove68) for getting me back into them - along with the fact that U2 is on temporary break, Oasis is on a permanent(?) break, and the last Radiohead album kind of sucked. For this reason, Pearl Jam was primed for a comeback. Also, it’s nice to see younger U2start members like Kieran, Olof, and Erik getting into them, too. Yet, I don’t want to over-sing the praises of another band in a U2 forum. I should now answer the question.
I can appreciate that us mega-fans would like a soundboard copy of each and every show they attended but that might hurt a place like this. Like many of you, I joined U2start to get my hands on a few shows. Little didn’t I know it would lead to THIS – and I’m glad it did! Also, since U2 doesn’t have that much song variation in there set from night to night, there’s probably not as much need to have every show released. However, a two-CD compilation that celebrated each leg of the tour would be VERY cool. U22 is certainly a step in the right direction but I think there is still room for improvement here.
In terms of U2 changing up their setlist on any given night, I’m all for it. That said, I’m in favour of them keeping “Streets” (the highlight of every show I’ve ever attended) in the set every night but I think they should strip down their stage and focus on a little (lot) more song rotation for the next tour. In no way am I saying that they should stop playing songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” or “Pride.” On the contrary: I’d be pretty disappointed if I attended a show where the band didn’t energize the crowd with a bunch of hits. However, they should do a lot more rotation of “war horses” like these songs and allow for gems like “Acrobat” and “Drowning Man” to (finally) make their way into a show. By the way, if they do decide to do this then, yes indeed, I would like to see them release more official bootlegs a la Pearl Jam.
- In your opinion, what has been U2's defining moment and why?
Red Rocks, Live Aid, and all of the hype that surrounded The Joshua Tree are worthy candidates here but I think their defining moment was the release of Achtung Baby and the ZooTV tour that promoted it. They were already massive at the end of the 1980’s but these are what made them one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Think about it: AB was made over a decade after their first release and after the success of JT – it is VERY rare that an album garners such acclaim this “late” into a band’s career. In fact, a lot of people (including me) said that they’d never again make an album of The Joshua Tree’s calibre but they did – maybe even made a better one. Not only that, U2 promoted it with an out-of-this-world tour that was extremely cutting edge for a relatively mainstream rock band. Never before (and since – sorry PopMart and 360) had such a massive tour coincided with such a high-quality album.
- How different is U2 compared to that other artists that you like and follow?
Well, I love the fact that they are the same group of guys that started it all in 1976. I like that a band that not only entertains me but also share some values with me - like the importance loyalty. Another thing is that they’ve been around long enough to span generations. One of the great things I remember from the concert I attended in July 2011 was sitting (well, standing) near a father of about 50 years-old and his teenage son have a fantastic time together. I spoke to them a bit and even helped them wave around the Irish flag during “I Will Follow” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” I hope that I get a chance to do something like that with my son (and daughter) in the future.
- What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
Well, I often say that hobbies (like building ships in bottles) are for crazy people so I tend to avoid them. However, I have a baseball card collection – but haven’t added to it since the 1980’s. I used to play a guitar but I truly was very bad at it. Seriously, I was shit. I used to do quite a bit of travelling (well, I’ve seen a lot of the US, been to Rome, London, and Paris, and lived in New Zealand for a little over a year) but, you know, the kids…I could say that I like to read but that’s kind of like saying I like to eat or breathe. I like to go for a beer after work on a Friday (or Tuesday, if possible). As some of you know, I have a nasty addiction to making live mixes of tours from bands like U2, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and Oasis. Beyond that, I guess THIS is my hobby. I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t check the boards and see what everyone around here is talking about. Not too many of my friends enjoy music – especially U2 – as much as I d
o so I find it really nice to log in and can carry on a “normal” conversation about the band. It’s been great getting to know all of you!
Thanks for this interview RUMMY!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
RUMMY had the record for longest FotM topic
Congratulations Matt, enjoy your second coming!
Originally posted by iTim:
RUMMY had the record for longest FotM topic
Now he has the record of being the only one who has got their interview posted more than once hahaha
And we can always post like mad again
Haha, Lose one record? Break another.
Just let's hope RUMMY himself comes around before we fill up his topic with non sense hahaha
Please fill it...I beg/dare you to do so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think the Pearl Jam topic needs to be replenished
Let ´s start again....why RUMMY with big letters ???
hahaha it was a joke , don´t start again!
I will repost the links to all of my (legally downloadable) mixes later.
Originally posted by RUMMY:
I will repost the links to all of my (legally downloadable) mixes later.
Sweet, after downloading a few Pearl Jam shows from that blog site you posted, I'd be interested in picking up your Pearl Jam mixes
Matt's fan of the month topic was so long/awesome it crashed U2start.
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