Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlight. The fan of the month for April 2019 is user Wiercioch. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"The more you go south – the more you will get back from the audience. I love being part of this living crowd; the band sees this living organism and gives back to you all their best."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
Tomasz – first name I use only in official documents; really, really do not like it
Tom is much easier and international.
My last name is actually my nick; here and in all/most other forums. It is a bit offending in Poland (where I come from) to address someone with the last name; but really don’t mind it, especially that it reflects (a bit) my character. If we try to translate it we will get something close to ‘wriggler – this little guy who can’t stay still’.
In theory – my diploma says I’m an economist; but actually I’ve spent most of my professional life in steel construction industry. Hence spending most time abroad and having chances to combine work with U2-life.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
Joke-answer: I watched classic MTV at my uncle’s TV-Sat (while it was still quite unpopular in early 90s Poland) and got fascinated with women’ feet ‘humiliating’ Edge’s face in Zooropa… at the same time a casette with Joshua Tree – played few Times – but nothing special has happened then.
For real: I fell in love for the first, serious time… nothing serious had happened with this relation, but my colleague had to cure my heart, mind and soul with the best medicine available those days: Achtung Baby. Medicine worked and just 2-3 months later POP came out; some premiere tracks were even broadcasted in one of polish radio stations. Then medicine changed into drug addiction.
Which U2 song do you feel the most "attached" to, or means the most for you?
Acrobat. For the reasons like above. One minute you feel loved, the next you’re „a trash left on the beach” (yes, I know quote is not from Acrobat). Yet, the colleague who was helping me to get rid of this first fatal passion, was also somehow my competitor to this lady’s heart – so at the same time I needed his help, I was grateful for it and yet… didn’t want to accept it/
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
It is quite small. All official CD/DVDs; just few singles from 90-00; collecting isn’t rather my thing. Late 90s/beginning 00s I was more involved in sharing bootlegs, B+P offers, FTPs (ah… sending CDs/DVDs via regular mail… I remember once sending something to Australia… it took over 100 days for a package to arrive Down Under… these were the days…).
I rather think I more enjoy collecting memories. Seeing one special show; visiting a place related to U2. One of my best ones comes from Bodie – State Park in California where our beloved gentlemen took part of photo session for Joshua Tree booklet. I was visiting US mid of 00’s and thinking – yes… this is the last time I’m here, I will never come back to this part of the world – it is the only chance… and drove from Lake Tahoe (Nevada; where I was visiting a friend) to LA vicinity (where I lived for few months). 1st day of Christmas; almost midnight – I’m driving next to the park entrance… Well – didn’t know it was closed for winter season; actually blocked with a traffic barrier, but… I was driving Ford E350 – so… just lifted the barrier up and drove into the snow. Got to the park after a while (it was just light snowfall), stepped out of the car, took some photos. Yet, as it was middle of the night – decided to sleep in a car to see Bodie’s full beauty in a day light. In short – heavy snowfall came, got almost frozen and had to excavate and push the car trying to escape the weather. Had to wait 10 more years to come back and enjoy U2-spirit the proper way.
You have seen U2 all over the world, from Australia, Hawaii to Europe. Is the concert experience different across the globe?
Definitely. We’re one, but we’re not the same.
Due to (usually) lack of time – I do travel to the show ‘just before’, have no chance to arrive full day earlier – so I’m rather limited to all but GA tickets. And it really feels weird in certain countries to be asked to sit down to not obstruct the view… It’s U2; moshing room only!
Well, even GA in Canada differs from GA in Chile. Actually – the more you go south – the more you will get back from the audience. I love being part of this living crowd; the band sees this living organism and gives back to you all their best.
Of course – whatever you like… but I still remember 02 Nov 2005 show in LA, inside ‘the heart’ when some folks were having some beer and hot-dogs during the show… and it is kind of nightmare memory.
What has been your favourite show? And why?
There isn’t THE ONE. What I usually try to do is to get to the 1st show on tour, last show and some ‘unusual’ locations.
Who knows what to expect? Maybe there will be something special, maybe it is the last time you can see them live? Or is there any better place to hear (and feel) „One Tree Hill” than New Zealand?
Hence each of those shows is somehow unique for me.
For sure I remember and like best my 1st one ever (Berlin 2001); short episode with Bono pointing at me and polish flag waved during New Year’s Day; travelling abroad several hours having just 12 euro in your pocket; walking from train to the amphitheater, as public transport was too expensive; sleeping on stone cold floor of Zoologischer Garten station to wait for next day’s international train.
Yet – Santiago, Chile from recent TJT2017 is also the night to remember. Mothers of Disappeared heard on that stadium was one thing, you could hear ‘the silence’ of the audience; but on the same show – all other songs… the way Chilean GA smashed me, squeezed me, sucked me in, mauled me… GREAT!…
What do you expect with regards to future new music by U2?
I’m dreaming of another POP-like album. But from the other side it is rather kind of pleasant-nightmare dream which when you wake up… you’re not sure if you want to go back to sleep or stay awaken. I love the lyrics from that album (generally lyrics is what I like more than actual sound), but in POP’s case – there was also audio layer which made them sound awesome. OK – Achtung Baby and Zooropa were, somehow, similar – but… then they were even younger.
I’m bit worried if „Dziadki” (in polish, being nice and sympathetic: grandpas) would be reliable in 2020s being so 90’s sound-a-like.
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?
Actually my wife is also a fan; that’s how we met and we continue this passion travelling to shows or local events together. So there was no one converted or introduced.
My best friend (already mentioned earlier, the one who was curing me from unfortunate affection) might be called the one who showed me to their music. He is still into that, but well, time flies and his love to U2 faded a bit.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
That might be my biggest mistake in my music life, but I have rather narrow ‘vision’. I’m not so fond of any other artist to spend money on (serious money). Yep, I like Pink Floyd, Queen – generally rock; but also enjoy classics, electronics (Jean Michel Jarre), pop (rather 80s, than modern). So – I enjoy most… but love only one.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
Photography. Started with analogue, black-white films; developing them with my dad at home-made dark-room. That was 30sth years ago – but now I continue with digital; spending way too much on equipment instead of more of U2 shows (as I’m not pro).
Thanks for this interview Wiercioch!
Note: Our crew members choose the fan of the month, you can't sign up for it.
I'really touched by this inerview ! It was nice to know your own story becoming U2's fan I'm glad and proud we have so interesting fans in Poland Your interpretations of U2's songs and lyrics are amazing. Reading them on our local forum I'm always moved so much , your translations are great
Best wishes to you, Tom !
Thanks all for kind words... 'different routes to the same destination' - a perfect summary of all our stories.
And yeah... I didn't mention that - translating lyrics (what nemezis noted) - yeah - "this is what Tiggers like the most". Somehow I wish I could translate back from my polish versions to english again.
Anyhow - looking forward to meet some of you during JT2019.
"Can you imagine your second album —the difficult second album— it's about God?"
- Bono, 2005
did you know
U2 lost money on the production of the 1997 Sarajevo PopMart show as ticket prices were kept low, an average of $18, which did not cover the cost of the production. Any income generated from radio sales went to War Child.