Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month May of 2020 is user UnderARedSky. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"I remember around the age of 7 or 8, I saw my dad’s iTunes folder and All The You Can’t Leave Behind was one of the albums I spotted. He played Beautiful Day once and I was hooked!"
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Colin. I live in California, and my life is pretty normal I guess. I’m homeschooled so chilling all day is something that I’m a master at! If I feel like it, I’ll pop in a record and play that while in my room. Hopefully a few years down the road, my life will be more interesting, but for now, I don’t mind it.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I remember around the age of 7 or 8, I saw my dad’s iTunes folder and All The You Can’t Leave Behind was one of the albums I spotted. He played Beautiful Day once and I was hooked! I also remember watching Vertigo live in Chicago in my room once a few years later. The only song I still knew was Beautiful Day. That all changes around 2018, when I started to listen to them since I enjoyed them so much as a kid, and again, I was hooked immediately. Like every band I enjoy, I tried to find bootlegs and whatnot, and quickly ended up here.
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 parents enjoy U2 a lot, but never went to any shows. But I’d have to thank them for playing their albums to me at an early age. In total they have 4 CDs and 1 DVD of them, so I’m glad I have those to build my collection with.
Which U2 song do you feel the most "attached" to, or means the most for you?
For awhile, I was really into early U2, and 11 O’Clock Tick Tock was my favorite for awhile. Then, I listened to Achtung Baby and the Popmart tour bootlegs, and I realized what I’ve been missing out on. Popmart was the tour that really stuck out to me, and the opening, Mofo, was fantastic. The climax going into I Will Follow, WOW! It’s a great experience and gives me goosebumps sometimes when I play it with headphones on. It’s defidently my favorite song by them.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
I’ve been collecting music ever since Christmas of 2018 when I got my record player. I know have a total of 11 vinyls and CDs along with 2 DVDs. It’s a small but a great start as I have many of my favorites such as Boy, Unforgettable Fire, Achtung Baby, etc. I have all of them kept in a Beatles record case that you can carry them in (Its nearly full and it weighs a ton!) I’m hoping to buy more bootleg CD’s and (if I ever can get color in the printer) make my own CD’s and play those for my own enjoyment.
What is your favourite item from your collection, being a physical item or even a recording?
While I find Popmart to be their best tour, Achtung Baby would have to be my favorite album. I got the vinyl for Christmas a few months ago, and after playing it once, I knew this was gonna be a favorite. So many fantastic songs crammed into one album. I consider this album the peak of U2’s creativity. Also, hearing the outtakes from the sessions is also interesting. Hearing their rough mixes and alternate takes of the album is also a fun listen. Overall, I love Achtung Baby!
If you could go back in time, which U2-era would you like to be in, and why?
In case you haven’t noticed, the 90’s is my favorite period. It would be hard to choose which part of the 90’s though. Zoo TV would have been a fun tour to go to, but Popmart has been my favorite, so I would have to choose that one. For me, the atmosphere of the tour was always something I really liked. Being there with so many other people would’ve been amazing. And the screen, lemon, and arch, was legendary and new technology and art back then. I know the band messed up alot throughout the tour and Bono wasn’t very strong vocal wise, I will give the band the benefit of the doubt.
Current music is more 'targeted' towards the younger demographic such as yourself - how do U2 fit into this musical landscape?
I always try and convince my friends to listen to my music, and they sometimes do, but always go back to their rap or pop music. U2 is an interesting band when it comes to being around in these times. They have the biggest selling tour of all time and nobody talks about it that much (besides you guys). A lot of songs today are about love and some people can relate to that. I think U2 can relate to people as well. A lot of their early material talks about family, loss of loved ones, and religious references. In general, U2 is a rock band, and I think people need to hear more rock in general today. It has meaning behind it, and way better lyrics. None of that nonsense gangster stuff.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
While I love U2, I find The Beatles and Pink Floyd my favorite bands. I’ve loved The Beatles all my life and I always will. They have fantastic songs that nobody else can replicate. U2 has gotten some inspiration from The Beatles and have played some of their songs live, which is always a treat. Pink Floyd is another fantastic band, and their music is something I can really space out to. They have great, underrated songs and albums, which not many people talk about. This band is harder to compare to U2 as both are on complete opposite sides of the spectrum of rock, but I see both as a group that really were different than the rest of the other bands in their genre and went far out if that makes sense. Now I know U2 being number 3 sounds low but its not. They are just as good as those other groups!
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I’ve been learning to teach myself the drums for awhile now, and playing U2 is something I’ve been enjoying learning. Hopefully soon, my friends and I who have a band, will start to write more music and practice more, as this virus going around has really messed up our rehearsals. I also like photography, movies, but music collecting is my all time favorite. It’s always fun to buy a new record and play it for the first time, then placing it back with the rest of your collection, waiting for the right time to play it again. In the end, music in general is my favorite activity and I’ll never stop loving it!
Thanks for this interview UnderARedSky!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it.
I really hope you get to be a fan for a very long time and that you will have your share of live shows too
Spoiler (click to toggle)Just one advice from "old" BigGirl… - seriously, what's that with older people always coming up with "good" advice ??? - well, here it comes: don't pay for cd bootlegs...all this is available for free either here on the torrent sites.* Better spend your good money on vinyl - they can last a life time (or, if you must buy bootlegs, buy at least vinyl bootlegs... )
* and it is indeed fun to make your own cd-r bootlegs with a color printer...
Great to know you a bit more, Colin I also started out in this site as a really young fan almost 14 years ago (!!!) so I can definitely relate to your enthusiasm and passion! Keep it coming - and thanks for your relentless efforts to help us grow our bootleg recording!
I love hearing when younger fans come into U2. I was 16 when it hit me, and my first concert was PopMart Toronto. I never really thought about how fantastic the Mofo / I Will Follow transition actually is....I'll have to go back and give that a listen!
"Looking back on the four-song demo tape we made, I have to laugh. I don’t fully understand how songs so fragile in the shape they were then came across so strong on the album Boy. I don’t understand that. I think the band just came into a new understanding of how to play and perform."
- Bono on recording Boy, 1983
did you know
The song 'Van Diemen's Land' is sung from the point of view of an Irish poet who spoke out against the British government and was going to be exiled to Tasmania (Van Dieman's Land is the original name for the island).