Every month we put an U2 fan in the spotlights, the fan of the month August 2008 is user haytrain. Haytrain is living in Los Angeles and has been a member of U2start for more than a year now. Every fan of the month has an interview with us, you can read our interview with haytrain in this topic.
Tell us something more about yourself, who are you and what do you do for a living?
I'm originally from Portland, Oregon, but I've been living in Los Angeles for the past two and a half years. I studied film and writing in college and as an aspiring screenwriter, I moved here to try and "make it" in the movie business. I've worked for film producers and even what they call "an A-list director," but I was laid-off from my job at 20th Century Fox studios during the film/TV writer's strike last winter. I had just gotten a new job working at a film marketing company when I had a freak surfing injury on May 26, 2008. Due to that injury, I'm currently not working, but I'm also considering a move back to my hometown of Portland and pursuing a Masters degree from a university.
As many U2start members might already know, this year was not the best year for you (see this topic). Can U2 be a part of dealing with something like that? And if so, how does U2 be a part?
I found U2’s music to be a huge encouragement and inspiration to get better when I was lying flat on my back in the hospital. And the funny thing was, I found a lot of inspiration in songs that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of right away as being “coping” or “inspirational” songs. Of course “Walk On” would be huge for me in my situation, but I wouldn’t have thought that “Streets” (Show you a place with no sorrow or pain) would have struck me like it did. I can say the same for “Zoo Station” (I’m ready to duck, ready to dive, ready to say I’m glad to be alive), “Lemon” (Midnight is when the day begins), and “MLK” (If the thundercloud passes rain, so let it rain, rain on me.)
How did you became a fan of U2, tell us how it went?
I really must give credit to my step-brother on this one. He was a huge U2 fan in the years between Zooropa and Pop, and really turned me on to the band. I'd heard of them before, and was familiar with a lot of the Joshua Tree classics, but it wasn't until he brought home VHS copies of "Rattle & Hum," "ZooTV: Sydney," and the "Numb" music video that I really fell in love with the band. I swear, we would watch "Rattle & Hum" almost every single weekend. I think I've seen it over a hundred times.
What is your earliest U2 memory?
Back in third grade, there was this girl named Karen O. who was considered to be one of the coolest girls in school. She was a year older than me, but everyone in the whole school knew who she was. I remember hearing her say once that her older brother listened to this band called "U2" and that she really liked their music. It was at that moment that I realized that if I wanted to ever get with a girl like Karen O., I'd have to become a U2 fan too.
If you could go back in time, which U2-era would you like to be in, and why?
To me, the best U2 era has to be the Lovetown Tour. I used to not really care for it, but lately I’ve been really into it. The setlists were changing pretty frequently, and the band really had the energy that they had on ZooTV and Popmart without the distractions of Bono’s multiple personalities or giant mirror-covered produce. Lovetown was all about an amazing rock and roll show. Personally, I’d love to go back and see the Point Depot shows in Dublin.
When you're forced to leave to a deserted island and you can take only one U2 album with you, which would it be?
If the question was asking what my favorite U2 album is, I’d go with Achtung Baby. But since we’re talking about being deserted on an island, I’m going with The Joshua Tree. To me, JT is an album that really works with those feelings of being alone or isolated, whereas I’ve always seen Achtung Baby is more of an emotional album about the ups and downs of love. So, I’m bringing Joshua Tree to my desert island.
How much of your web time is spent browsing U2start? What do you like, and what can be done better on this site?
At my old job, I didn’t have time at all to browse U2start during the day, so most of my web-surfing was done in the evening. But since my injury, I’m actually around quite a bit. It’s my guilty pleasure..
What are your hobbies and interests away from U2, musical or otherwise?
I used to say writing and watching/discussing films, but….these days it’s pretty much physical therapy, pool therapy, and practicing walking. (although I still manage to watch movies!)
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?
As I mentioned above, my step-brother introduced me to U2 a long time ago, but I’ve definitely surpassed him as far as my obsession goes. Another one of my brothers is a big fan too, but everyone in the family knows that I’m the U2 freak.
What is your favorite U2 bootleg, and why? Do you often listen to bootlegs?
I really don’t have as many bootlegs as a lot of the people on this site. I tend to listen to the ones I have over and over, not necessarily seeking out and finding new or obscure ones. So, my favorite bootleg (not counting DVD audio rips) is the Point Depot show on December 27, 1989. The band is on fire, the setlist is awesome, the audio quality is top-notch, and the crowd carries them the whole night through. Bono says his voice is off, but I can't really tell. The band seemed to love playing in front of the hometown crowd, and as great as the other Point Depot shows are, this one takes the cake for me. Rare gems such as God Part II, Van Diemen's Land, and Two Hearts Beat As One (plus The Unforgettable Fire!!!) really make this a phenomenal bootleg in my book.
Thanks for this interview haytrain!
Note: Our crew members randomly pick fans of the month, you can't sign up for it
"Vertigo is deceptively simple. That riff, you can think, 'Aw yeah, another rock song.' It doesn't become great the first time you hear it. It becomes great the thousandth time you hear it. And that's true of a lot of rock riffs. So we have to get the density of exposure for that to be a hit."
- Bono, 2005
did you know
U2 was named the best band of the last 40 years in Holland in 2005.