Bono on Forcing His Album Into Your iTunes: Sorry, Not Sorry

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 06: Bono joins Dana Brunetti; Eric Wahlforss and David Cart in a discussion on the Web Summit Centre Stage at the 2014 Web Summit on November 6, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Bonobos. Photo: Tristan Fewings/2014 Getty Images

It’s been awhile since U2 worked with Apple to place their new album, Songs of Innocence, into 100 million unsuspecting iTunes accounts. It’s also been about the same amount of time since the subsequent backlash to them doing that. Around then, Bono apologized, saying “I had this beautiful idea and we got carried away with ourselves.” However, a bit more time has passed, and Bono has changed his tune. Talking at Dublin’s Web Summit, Bono said, “It’s one of the proudest things for us ever.”

He explained, “We always wanted our music to be heard, and the idea that we could have worked for years and years [on] what we think are the most personal songs that we have ever written – and you have to become very raw to write like that – only then for them maybe not to be heard was terrifying. So we were just thrilled that we got a chance to introduce ourselves to people who weren’t fans of listening to rock music, or people that listen to Bhangra in India, or whatever, all around the world.”

Bono pointed to two numbers that he felt proved that the experiment was worth it: “100 million people checked us out and listened to two or three tracks. And 30 million people actually listened to the whole album.” He put it this way: “We did in three weeks with Songs of Innocence what took us 30 years with The Joshua Tree.

But, but, but Bono, the internet was mad! Guess who doesn’t give an F? “We got a lot of people who were uninterested in U2 to be mad with U2. And I would call that an improvement in the relationship.” He then pulled down his sunglasses a little, smirked, and added, “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,” in an Irish accent.

Bono: Sorry, Not Sorry