Originally posted by deanallison:Nice read, I like your first choice of stay for the one u2 song you could hear for the rest of your life. Hope it works out for you with the Dublin shows.
Originally posted by Remy:Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlight. The fan of the month for August 2018 is user marianarielli. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"I was 10 and couldn't see U2 in Brazil in 2006, but the main TV station in the country broadcasted the show live and that experience led me to become completely obsessed with U2, which was pretty weird for a 10-year-old whose family were casual fans at best. "
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Mariana, I’m brazilian, 23 years old and a lawyer. I have worked for the past 4 years (started as an intern) in an international human rights NGO focused on freedom of expression and information. I’m fairly new here so I’m super excited to be fan of the month, thanks Remy and all the mods, you do a fantastic job!
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
It all started with my mom’s Best of 1980-1990 CD. She’s always been a casual U2 fan, so while she didn’t actively introduce me to the band, they were always there and this CD was the starting point for me. I was maybe 5 or 6 years old and I remember playing with the booklet in the car and being absolutely mesmerized by the songs (especially NYD at that point). I would say I became a hardcore fan a few years later, when they came to Brazil in 2006. My parents barely managed to get tickets for themselves and I was 10 and didn’t have any money of my own so there was no chance for me to go, but the main TV station in the country broadcast the show live, so I experienced it in a way. That experience then led me to become completely obsessed with U2, which was pretty weird for a 10-year-old whose family were casual fans at best.
If you could go back in time, which U2-era would you like to be in, and why?
Ok, this is a pretty hard question, can I say Boy era because that means I would get to live all the others? I’m joking, but if I absolutely had to make that choice I would probably choose to go back to 1986, Self-aid/Conspiracy of Hope (also favorite Bono hair ever), all the buzz around U2, them being really big but not huge as they would become and then bam comes TJT. I think that would have been awesome. But there's one thing, I would have to live in the US or Europe for that to work. Being from Brazil, I think I'd like to go back to the Popmart show in São Paulo in 1997 and to be old enough to have actually lived through the crazy experience that is a U2 show in Brazil all the 4 times they came. Being 23, I missed the first two and I think that's a bit sad.
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?
Like I said, my mom likes U2, especially the 80's stuff (she was a teen then). My godmother, who is my mom's sister, is the same. My father knows SBS and Pride (every time Pride comes on the radio he tells the same story about how that was a big hit in the night clubs he went to in his early 20's) but that's about it. My friends only know Bono and think his (stage) name is actually Bono Vox. I think the closest to a big fan of U2 among my friends and colleagues (not counting the people I know because of U2, of course) is my boss - I think I mentioned the story about getting her tickets for the last tour and she not paying me back for a long time lol. About converting people, I don't think I've ever actively tried to. It's funny, I don't even talk about U2 too much with people if I think might get annoyed because I'm kinda sensitive. The exception is my boyfriend, we play a game where I play random U2 songs on the car (when I'm driving, because the driver gets to choose the music ofc) and make him guess the year they were released. He's getting really good at it and says that he goes by Bono's voice (and when he thinks the song is weird he says it must be from the 90's haha).
If there would be only one U2 song you could hear the rest of your life, which one would it be?
You torture me with these questions... but I think it would be Stay. I love the song in every aspect and it also gets me to the ''right'' emotional place, I think. I could choose Bad, for example, but I wouldn't want to spend the rest of my days crying hehehe. I will cheat here and cite some of my other favorite songs - 11 o' clock tick tock, Drowning Man, ASOH, Wild Horses, Wake up dead man, Original of the Species. I could go on, I'm really bad at choosing...
What is your favourite tour and why?
Can I answer with a gif that says ''I am not indecisive, I just can't decide''? Seriously, this is hard for me, I will give you two different answers. Their best tour I think is Zoo TV, for all the reasons everyone says it is: the novelty, the boldness, the visuals, the energy, etc. I watch the DVD and listen to some of the bootlegs every month, sometimes more than once. In terms of personal experience, my favorite was TJT 2017, even though I know it's not among their best tours in itself. I camped outside the stadium and the experience of sitting together in the cold, with people playing U2 songs on their acoustic guitars, telling stories about other shows, how they knew each other, their connection to U2, etc, was amazing. It was also the first time I was at the rail (main stage) and the little interactions with the band still play in my head.
Do you like Songs of Experience? Are you more a fan of the older or the newer U2 material?
I like Songs of Experience a lot! I like the album for what it is, but I also developed an emotional connection to it because it came out just as I was graduating from college and entering this new scary phase in my life called adulthood. So, even though I'm still young I guess the experience theme resonated a lot with me. In fact I'm a pretty big fan of the idea that these songs are stories (or letters) because I think I've always seen U2 as a big story that goes beyond their sound (I can barely distinguish notes anyway lol). I guess that happens when you are a big fan of something and you get to know details about the people in it, their own stories and motivations. But, anyway, I like that these songs are intended to be perceived as a more or less coherent narrative. About the other question, I would say that in general I prefer the older stuff (I mean pre-00's by older stuff, I believe this is what you mean as well), but not by such a big margin. I was looking at my most played songs the other day and a decent amount are newer songs. The only ''new'' album that I don't like that much is ATYCLB.
What is your favorite U2 videoclip, and why?
Hum, I never thought about that, I don't really care for their videoclips, I guess haha. The one for Magnificent is beautiful, though.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
Very different. It is in fact they are only band I've actively followed in my life. An example of a ''not U2'' playlist I would have is some classic folk/americana (like Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary etc) and a lot of brazilian old songs, mainly samba, bossa nova and ''brazilian popular music'' (which is the ''genre'' that came right after bossa nova and before the modern pop rock bands).
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I'm not very invested in music per se (please don't hate me), I never played any instruments (I did try to learn how to play the acoustic guitar for 6 months and managed to learn half a song) or cared for the thecnical aspect of it so I will have to talk about my other hobbies. I'm not a very outgoing person, I think my main hobby is reading. My favorite genre right now (it also changes) is memoirs and I'm currently reading The Last Witnesses by Svetlana Alexievitch. I also like studying very much and my plan is to apply for scholarships this year so I can get a master degree in public policy/human rights law abroad. I love The Office and quote it IRL all the time. I have 4 cats and 1 dog but there was a point in my life where I had more than 15 dogs at the same time plus a few birds, so I would say one of my past-times is caring for animals as well.
You are thinking of attending some of the final E&I shows in Dublin. That's quite a long trip from Brazil, and we believe you don't even have a ticket yet! How are you planning to do this?
Ok, this is something I'm not even sure about. Traveling abroad to see U2 was never really an option for me (not being financially independent and all) and is still something that is very difficult and costly. What happened was that right after I had spent all my savings to attend the shows in Brazil last year (tickets are very very expensive here when you compare the price to the average wage) an opportunity came for me to visit a friend that was studying in Italy and spend some time there with her. It had to be in june and I knew I wouldn't have the means (both financial and in terms of time off from work) to see them on this tour at another time so I managed to have a stop-over in NYC on my way back to Brazil. Getting tickets was hell, I was one of the people who had to contact U2.com and tell them what kinds of tickets I was looking for etc but in the end I went to the second night in NYC (my sister would be there for a work conference so she ended up going with me, which was great) and also Newark (where someone from the crew gave me the setlist, I think the guy saw that I was really emotional during 13 and thought poor girl). Anyways, being back home and following u2start as I have for some time I realized how important these last shows of the tour will be because who knows what will happen next so this idea that I have to go to Dublin4 appeared and won't go away haha. But it's a bit unlikely, no one is selling tickets and even if they were, GA tickets are paperless, which makes it more complicated, the cheapest ones I found on the secondary market are like 600 euros or more and I would have to find a very good deal for the plane tickets as well (the plan I came up with was to leave São Paulo thrusday night, arrive in Dublin on friday and leave sunday morning so I can be at work on monday). I haven't discussed this idea with anyone I know because they'd think I'm crazy, but this is a place for U2 fans and you asked (I think I have Sergio to thank for that btw). Anyway, lots of things would need to happen to make that possible but going to NYC didn't make a lot of sense as well and it all worked out in the end so I have hope.
Ps: a picture of me and my sister almost a month ago at the concert. You can see from her face how she loves U2.
Thanks for this interview marianarielli!
Note: Our crew members choose the fan of the month, you can't sign up for it.