1. Every month we put an U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month June of 2015 is user Bloodraven. Read along for the interview we had with this fan and designer of the Shirts of Innocence.

    "That's the moment when the miracle occurred for me. I didn't have a clue what the song was about, but I decided that clearly that was the best song ever by the best band ever."

    Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
    I'm a 40 year old mexican with a degree in Graphic Design, which is useful for some of my activities in my work as assistant (to the) manager in a small real estate development agency.

    I spent some of my teenage years on a spiritual journey, then I got married and now we have two teenage kids, so we're usually on a tight budget every month.

    How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
    As I remember, in here U2 was not really on the radio before Pride, however I had already listened to them and about them before that thanks to my cousin, who had a lot of influence on me as a kid and who was already a fan. I was a casual fan since Pride, I guess.

    But the moment I vividly remember as my "engagement" to U2, was a few years later, watching a tv special about them on a sunday morning on the local tv channel... among several videos, they included Bad from the Rattle and Hum movie (released a few months earlier and which I haven't had the chance to watch).

    That was it. The face of Bono totally absorbed into the song, lost to the rest of the world, screaming his lungs out (I love screaming singers), the snippets, the crowd, the spotlights and the shadows dancing in black and white... and then at the end of the song he finally has nothing left to give and rests for a fraction of a second on Adam's shoulder before leaving the stage as the music soars to that emotional ending.

    That's the moment when the miracle occurred for me.
    I didn't have a clue what the song was about (I barely understood a little bit of english back then, although I had the lyrics), but I decided that clearly that was the best song ever by the best band ever.
    There was no going back for me.

    Did you ever have a special U2 experience like a live concert? Can you tell us something about it?
    I had an experience, but it wasn't really good.

    For Zoo TV there was no way my parents would let me go to Mexico City for a concert. For Pop, I had already saved the money for my ticket, but a couple of weeks before the tour dates were announced or were set on sale (don't remember which one exactly) I lost my job, so the chance was gone. Then, thanks to our former president, we couldn't enjoy U2 in the Elevation Tour. So, the first time I was able to make it to a U2 concert was until the Vertigo Tour in Monterrey.

    But I couldn't really enjoy it. First of, the tickets I got were really too far from the stage, but the real problem was that the people was way too cold. The anecdotal (but extensive) evidence suggests that the stadium was packed with too many people who would struggle to mention 5 U2 songs but that wanted to be there anyway since it was the cool thing to do.

    I'm betting on 2016. Hoping that they'd come to Guadalajara is a bit too much, but Mexico City would do, the atmosphere should be A LOT better than Monterrey and I'm already saving hoping to get better tickets this time around.
    Just keep bikes away from Bono until that day, please.

    Where do you most prefer to listen to U2?
    I'm obsessive.
    I'm either listening to U2 all day every day for months, or I don't listen to U2 at all for months.

    In your opinion, what has been U2's defining moment and why?
    U2 has had more than 3 different lives, each with a most defining moment, so whatever I choose I guess it'll be unfair for the rest of them, but...

    I'll go with Red Rocks.

    Because it totally captures the magic they create live.

    Because the circumstances were totally against them to perform that day and stubborn as they are, they still went ahead with it, and that's reflected on the atmosphere of both them and the crowd that night.

    Because the show is perfect even with no context whatsoever; other defining moments (Dublin 26 Feb 1980, Live Aid, Hansa), while great, if someone listens/watches them ignoring the context, they may seem ordinary. Red Rocks is powerful by itself.

    Because in that moment they were still a very very underground band -with a cult following, yes, but still very underground- and that performance meant not just one step but a huge leap to position themselves as the next great thing.

    Because -imho- every defining moment before that, they still had nothing to lose, they were still starting; and every defining moment after that, they have already had a foot in the door.
    Red Rocks is the moment when they put that foot in the door, when they really became U2 for the world.

    What do you think of Bono's charity works?
    I don't like the way it sounds "charity works", I think it's misleading.

    The image that I perceive with that phrase is elite Bono on top of the world handing out money to the poor... and that's far from what he does and what he means.

    I believe that when everything is said and done, he'll be regarded as one of the most influencial people of his time and probably one of those who had more positive impact in the world.

    His strategy is not to give money himself or ask for people to give money to the poor (regardless if he gives it or not), but to push the really rich and powerful governments of the world to do it, which is a lot smarter and effective, as he learned from his journey from Live Aid in 85 to the Jubilee campaign in 2000.

    When people fail to realise this, they feel like he's been an hypocrite, spending time and giggles with the publicans, tax collectors and sinners... but THAT's exactly what makes him invaluable.

    Because in this world there's not many people with a conscience and not much of a conflict of interest that have a chance to move in those circles and actually try to make a difference.

    And also, he's not forced to do any of this. He may aswell spend all his time and money on hookers and blackjack and nobody could say anything. He (all of them actually) does what he does because he wants to, and that's way better than doing nothing anyway.

    Does anyone in your family or one of your friends like U2? If so, did they introduce you to U2, or did you "convert" them?
    My cousin introduced me to U2.
    Most (all?) of my friends enjoy rock music / english language music, and usually that means that they like U2, although surely I'm the most obsessed with them.
    About "converting" them... well, my son loves Achtung, although I haven't been able to get him into the rest of the collection (right now he's in a Bowie phase).
    And there's been a couple of times when some friends or cousins have started to lose faith in the band and I think I've managed to keep them on track after exchanging points of view with them.

    What is your favorite U2 book, and why?
    I've only read 2 so far, and I loved -cliché I know- Bill Flanagan's At The End Of The World.

    Not only because it's really interesting to read a very intimate look on what happened back stage when U2 was arguably at their best, which would be enough to be a great reading, but also because I think that the whole book is actually a metaphor of U2...

    ...through the whole book we watch Bono like a child, getting excited with new ideas, trying to explore new places, new things, pushing everyone around him to follow him in his adventures no matter how much sense they made, having fun with them, getting in trouble because of it, while the rest of the band and many people around them, are following him, supporting him, being there for him and saving his ass when he needs it, all in all making them move forward.

    I think that pretty much sums U2 up.
    Musically and otherwise.
    And that's reflected on that book.

    How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
    U2 is more than a band. U2 is more than music.
    Many people don't see it that way, many people actually see it but misunderstand them, and many people see it, get it, but still hates them for it or hate that side of them.

    But for me, that's the most important thing about U2, U2 means something more, U2 stands for something and I like what I think they stand for.
    I could enjoy more the music from some other bands, but they don't mean as much as U2, you may "respect the artistry" behind many artists' works, but they usually don't go beyond that. U2 does.

    My perception is that if I wear a Muse tshirt, a Pink Floyd tshirt, a Radiohead tshirt, whatever, it means that I really love their music, that I'm fascinated by that music... but if I wear a U2 tshirt, it implies that not only I love their music, but also -again, imho- that I agree at least on some level with their stand on lots of political and spiritual and moral positions.
    That's something I can't get from any other band.

    What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
    I have a mild Asperger, so I'm rather obsessive with all of these...

    Online gaming (sport management games, strategy games), although I'm socially awkward, so I prefer games where I don't need to form alliances of any kind to fight other alliances in order to enjoy it.

    Music, I'm the kind of person who would rather listen 1 album 100 times, than 100 albums 1 time, so I tend to choose carefully which albums/bands I add to my collection. There's obviously many many bands that I love, but bands that I have all their albums are Pink Floyd/Roger Waters, Police/Sting, Dire Straits, REM, Pixies, Muse, Franz Ferdinand, James, Killers, Interpol...

    TV Shows.
    >From past shows, I became obsessed with Lost, Friends, Arrested Developement, Psych, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Firefly, Breaking Bad, and way to many more to list them in here.
    Ongoing, just recently I discovered Doctor Who and watched the whole thing in a couple of months. It's Always Sunny and The League. Better Call Saul...
    I'm not much of a movie person...

    Thanks for this interview Bloodraven!
  2. What can I say, really?
    Great interview. I really enjoy your posts always and you've been a great addition to this site. I'm always glad to have a fellow Mexican here (even if he's a Chivas fan ) and you put a lot of thought to your posts. Keep up the great work! Coulnd't agree more with you about the great humanitarian work (that describes it best than charity) that Bono does. To take his image as a cool rock star he built in the 90's and sacrifice it along with his ego in order to talk to the people that take the big decisions and push them to look for those in need in the third world is incredible.
    Nice The Office reference, btw.
  3. I feel sorry for you that you actually weren't able to enjoy U2 live before...
    I hope they'll come to Mexico soon and play for a totally mad crowd !

    And I'm going to listen to Bad from R&H now
  4. Great interview! I really like your posts, especially I+E Tour: The Musical.

    I'm either listening to U2 all day every day for months, or I don't listen to U2 at all for months.

    I have the exact same thing!

    I hope U2 will go to Mexico on this tour, even if its for one show, just so you can enjoy U2 live!
  5. Monster interview! Incredible read. I couldn't agree more with the "wearing a U2 shirt means that bit more" and with the charity/humaniarian answer. Hands down.

    I didn't know you have Asperger - although I suspected it. I'm a mild Aspergerian (?) myself too!
  6. Agree with what the others guys said

    When i read about Bad and R&H ...it gave to me goosebumps because i had the same feelings... even when i saw that clip again i feel something special . R&H was the second stpe about U2 for me and that s why so special to me ...but that version of Bad is
  7. >From past shows, I became obsessed with Lost, Friends, Arrested Developement, Psych, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Firefly, Breaking Bad, and way to many more to list them in here.
    Ongoing, just recently I discovered Doctor Who and watched the whole thing in a couple of months. It's Always Sunny and The League. Better Call Saul...

    I've seen most of these series. Arrested Development first 3 seasons were genius. Hated the 4th. Do you recommend The League? I don't like the NFL.
  8. Hey, thanks everybody! I'm glad that you liked it.
    I had forgot about this one... sorry for the long answers. I usually don't speak, but when I start to speak I usually don't shut up.


    Is as much about the NFL as It's Always Sunny is about a bar.
    That would be the series I'd compare it with the most.
    (I usually say that It's Always Sunny is Seinfeld+South Park... maybe The League is Friends+South Park... +Frasier maybe?
    Both shows are very similar only the guys in The League have ridiculously more money than the gang in IASIP)
  9. Great read! Keep it up Bloodraven!