Every month we put a U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month November of 2023 is user scottwong. Read along for the interview we had with this U2 fan.
"One song that has always captivated me and that I often find myself wishing I had written is Ultraviolet (Light My Way). This U2 classic holds a special place in my heart for several reasons."
Tell us something about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
I am a dedicated music enthusiast who has a deep appreciation for life and a naturally optimistic outlook. As for my professional identity, I serve as a program director and developer at a Swiss philanthropic organization. Our primary mission is to empower stateless children in Malaysia by providing them with essential digital literacy skills and opportunities for growth. This role allows me to combine my passion for technology and my commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
How did you become a fan of U2, tell us how it happened?
I owe my deep appreciation for U2 to my close friend, Raymond Sia. It all started when he introduced me to U2's music. My first encounter with their artistry was through the iconic album "The Joshua Tree" back in 1987, and I was completely captivated by its unique sound, which stood out distinctively from other musical offerings of the time. However, it was the album "Achtung Baby" that truly solidified my admiration for U2, marking a significant turning point in my journey as a U2 fan.
Tell us about your first U2 live experience. What was it like?
My first U2 live experience was in 2019 in Singapore, and it was an unforgettable journey. The anticipation began the moment the concert was announced, leading me to invest in a U2.com membership to ensure I could secure tickets. Acquiring those tickets was no small feat, but the effort was absolutely worthwhile.
The live experience was truly something unique and irreplaceable. It's like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. The energy in the air was palpable, and being part of the crowd, sharing this incredible musical journey with so many other fans, was an electrifying and unforgettable experience that cannot be replicated through bootleg recordings or any other means.
What does your U2 collection look like? What kind of stuff do you have and how is it organised?
My U2 collection is a comprehensive assembly of their music and memorabilia. It includes all their albums, including special box sets, spanning from "The Joshua Tree" to "No Line on the Horizon." In addition to the extensive album collection, I've gathered all the CD singles released during this period.
Despite not owning a vinyl player, I've managed to accumulate several vinyl records, showcasing my deep admiration for their music in various formats. To complement my music collection, I've also collected numerous books and a plethora of magazines that feature U2 throughout their illustrious career.
The collection is organized with care, ensuring that I can easily access and enjoy the band's music and their history whenever I wish.
Can you tell us one song (U2 or not) that you wish you had written?
One song that has always captivated me and that I often find myself wishing I had written is "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)." This U2 classic holds a special place in my heart for several reasons.
First and foremost, the song's cryptic and enigmatic lyrics have a certain allure that I find deeply intriguing. Bono's skill in crafting lyrics that are both poetic and thought-provoking is truly remarkable. The lyrical content of "Ultraviolet" is open to interpretation, allowing listeners to connect with it on a personal level, and that is a quality I admire in songwriting.
Moreover, the song's musical structure and arrangement never fail to get me in a rocking mood. The energetic guitar riffs and driving rhythm create a powerful and infectious groove that is simply irresistible. It's a song that can lift your spirits and make you want to move, and I believe that's a testament to the songwriting prowess of U2 as a band.
In essence, "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)" stands out as a masterpiece that combines lyrical depth with an electrifying musical composition, making it a song I deeply admire and, at times, wish I had penned myself.
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?
Many of my friends share a deep appreciation for U2, and we've had the wonderful opportunity to bond over their music. In fact, a group of my friends and I traveled together to the U2 concert in Singapore, where we had an incredible time enjoying the live experience as a collective.
My introduction to U2, however, came through my closest friend, Raymond Sia. He was the one who initially introduced me to the band's music, and I'm truly grateful for that. Over the years, I've had the pleasure of "converting" many others, sharing the magic of U2's music with them, and I've been fortunate to find that another close friend of mine, Isaac Daniel shares the same deep appreciation for U2, strengthening our bond through our mutual love for the band.
What is your favorite U2 bootleg, and why? Do you often listen to bootlegs?
My favorite U2 bootleg would have to be the "U2 ZooTV Live in Adelaide." What sets it apart for me is the incredible emphasis on the bass, which adds a unique dimension to the performance. The deep, resonating bass lines in their songs are a distinctive element of U2's sound, and this bootleg captures that aspect exceptionally well.
In general, I am a passionate fan of U2 bootlegs and find myself listening to them quite often. Among the various bootleg creators, Hoserama's work stands out as exceptional. He has rightfully earned the title of "The King of Boots" in the U2 bootleg community. What sets his bootlegs apart is the pristine sound capture and the remarkable separation of instruments. The quality of his recordings is, in my opinion, akin to audiophile standards. These bootlegs allow me to experience U2's live performances with an unmatched level of clarity and immersion, making them a true treasure for any U2 enthusiast.
What is the fandom for U2 like in Malaysia?
The U2 fandom in Malaysia is somewhat low-key. It's not the kind of fandom that's readily apparent in everyday life. In Malaysia, U2 fans are scattered throughout the country, and we often don't realize who shares our passion for the band until chance encounters occur. It's during these moments that we discover someone else who appreciates U2, and when we do, there's an immediate connection and camaraderie that comes from sharing a similar musical preference. In a way, the relatively quiet U2 fandom in Malaysia makes these encounters all the more special and enjoyable.
How different is U2 compared to other artists that you like?
U2 stands out prominently from other artists I admire in a few distinct ways. First and foremost, U2's hallmark is their remarkable consistency in delivering music of exceptional quality. Their track record for producing songs that resonate deeply with listeners is truly commendable.
What sets U2 apart is their ability to craft music that not only appeals on the surface but also has a way of growing on you over time. Their songs have a lasting impact and often become musical companions that stay with you.
The lyrics penned by Bono and the band are particularly noteworthy for their profound and thought-provoking nature. U2's music has a way of embedding itself in your mind, becoming an earworm that you can't help but hum or sing along to. This unique combination of consistently high-quality music, impactful lyrics, and unforgettable melodies is what makes U2 a standout among my preferred artists.
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
Outside of my passion for U2 and music, I have a variety of other hobbies and interests. One of my favorite pastimes is watching movies, where I can immerse myself in different cinematic experiences. Additionally, I enjoy delving into the world of multimedia and design. This creative outlet allows me to explore my artistic side and experiment with various visual and digital media. These activities provide a well-rounded balance to my interests and allow me to express myself in different creative ways.
what they said
"We didn’t want to leave, but followed through on a promise to return three weeks later… to do our best to raise people’s spirit in the city. But in truth, the spirit in the city of lights was sky high and lifted us up on one of the greatest nights ever."
- Bono on Paris 2015
did you know
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said in a UK radio interview in 2006 that U2's 1987 hit Where The Streets Have No Name is his favourite song of all time.