U2 frontman Bono has said sorry to fans and admitted the Irish rock band “might have gotten carried away” when striking a deal with Apple to give away their new album, Songs of Innocence, to 500 million iTunes users without their knowledge.
Bono’s words of recompense came during a fan Q&A interview video, posted on Facebook, in which the band read out fan questions to one another. Bassist Adam Clayton posed this pearler from Harriet Madeline Jobson to Bono. “Can you please never release an album on iTunes that automatically downloads to people’s playlists ever again? It’s really rude.” Nice one, Harriet.
Bono’s immediate response was classic Bono, raising an eyebrow from behind those his ever-present indoor sunglasses and dropping an almost sarcastic, “Oops.” He’s really, actually sorry though, guys. “I’m sorry about that,” he conceded. See?
“I had this beautiful idea, might have gotten carried away with ourselves. Artists are prone to that kind of thing.” The singer goes on to explain that ego, fear, kindness, and the need to get the band’s name back out there, all played a part in U2’s decision.
“A drop of megalomania, a touch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion, and deep fear that these songs that we poured our life into over the last few years mightn’t be heard. There’s a lot of noise out there. I guess, we got a little noisy ourselves to get through it.”
Bono’s comments may serve as little compensation to retailers, who were apparently stung financially by the publicity stunt. But at least iTunes account holders, many of whom were forced to remove Songs of Innocence from their phones and hard drives after it automatically downloaded, should be satisfied. All we ever really wanted was acknowledgement that, perhaps, just maybe, this wasn’t the best idea in their history of middling-to-excellent ideas.
You can watch the full U2 interview below. The question regarding U2’s album giveaway comes at 2.18.
Watch: U2 – Respond to Criticism Over Album Giveaway