Along with producer Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois has put his stamp on six U2 albums, starting with 1984's The Unforgettable Fire. Their next collaboration with the band is due early next year, the title rumored to be No Line On The Horizon.
In an interview with the Boston Herald, Lanois discussed his history with U2 and how, in his words, they have "reinvented" rock 'n' roll with the upcoming record.
As a producer, your longest association has been with U2. What's kept that relationship going for so long?
"I like those people for their appetite for innovation. They want things to be new and fresh, and they never get stuck on how the band should sound. They're very smart people. And Eno and I just have a lot of fun with them, especially for the first 20 or 30 percent of the record. During those first sessions, it's no-holds-barred, we take on anything that comes our way. I also think Bono's lyrics get better with every record."
What's U2's new stuff like?
"The president of the company is singing better than ever and the tracks are wildly innovative. I would never have thought things would have gone this way. I believe, well, rock 'n' roll has been reinvented one more time." [laughs]
You, Brian Eno and U2 have worked together for 25 years. How do you avoid falling into old habits or old patterns?
"Nobody wants repetition within this group of folks. We want to grow as artists and innovators and people. Life is not dull to us. [laughs] So I can't imagine that we'd ever get stuck in our ways."