Rock star Bono on Wednesday decried the state of music, arguing that the art form “has gotten very girly.”
“I think music has gotten very girly,” he told Rolling Stone. “And there are some good things about that, but hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment – and that’s not good.”
“When I was 16, I had a lot of anger in me,” the U2 singer added. “You need to find a place for it and for guitars, whether it is with a drum machine – I don’t care.”
“The moment something becomes preserved, it is f-----g over. You might as well put it in formaldehyde.”
Bono then charged that “rage” had driven some of the greatest bands in rock ‘n roll history before naming examples.
“In the end, what is rock and roll?” asked Bono, whose real name is Paul David Hewson. “Rage is at the heart of it.”
“Some great rock and roll tends to have that, which is why the Who are such a great band. Or Pearl Jam. [Lead singer] Eddie [Vedder] has that rage.”
Bono was speaking with Rolling Stone after “Songs of Experience,” U2’s fourteenth studio album, debuted earlier this month and reached No. 1 on the albums chart.
The vocalist also noted that the music industry had drastically changed since U2 hit the rock scene in 1976.
“The table has been gamed a bit,” he said. “Right now, streaming is on the ad-based model. And that is very, very young, and it’s very, very pop.”
“It’s dominated by frequency of plays, but that is not actually the measure of the weight of an artist,” Bono continued.
“When you move from an ad-based model to a subscription model, a funny thing happens. Then, the artist who will make you sign up is actually more valuable.”
Rolling Stone on Wednesday reported that “Songs of Experience” means that U2 have had a No. 1 record on the album charts in each decade since the 1980s.