The Edge: "I'd like to be the vanguard of this resurgence of guitars!"

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NLM)

U2 have just released a mellow acoustic reworking of 40 of their songs with Songs Of Surrender but it sounds like the band's impending Achtung Baby Las Vegas residency must have inspired them. The Edge says has a big guitar statement simmering on his creative hob for their next album. What Bono has already suggested will be a "noisy, uncompromising, unreasonable guitar album."

“We are turning the amps on," The Edge confirmed to Mojo magazine. "I certainly think the rock that we all grew up with as 16- and 17-year-olds, that rawness of those Patti Smith, Iggy Pop records… that kind of power is something we would love to connect back into.”

The guitarist also explained the genesis for this creative push; "The lockdown was a very creative period for me, just in composing music. I don't want to jinx ourselves... but there's a lot of great material waiting," he said. "I think the guitar is coming back. I really feel it. And I would like to be part of that."

Now that's an interesting statement – what does he mean by "the guitar is coming back"?

"I'd like to be the vanguard of this resurgence of guitars!" continued The Edge enthusiastically. "Don't get me wrong - talking to people I know who work at Fender, they're selling more guitars now than they've ever sold. But in terms of popular culture, there's been a drift away from the instrument, it would be fair to say."

He's talking about the charts, we assume. "And I think that pendulum is going to start swinging in the other direction," he continued. "Because it's such an incredibly expressive instrument. The few bands that are using it well, it's still fresh."

And the guitarist is clearly keeping tabs on what's going on out there, though he doesn't name specific artists. "To not have any ear for what's relevant within the culture is just being out of touch," says Edge. "You can do stuff that's completely against the grain, but you still want to know where the grain is. I think about it in terms of the flow of a river - if you're not in the flow, you're part of an oxbow lake. And I want to be part of the flow."

Bono is notorious for making claims about U2 albums that never really come to fruition - remember the 'club' album he was (Larry) mulling over back in 2010? But the Edge is a man of fewer words, and we don't think he'd say these things lightly when it comes to where the band will head next – and his claims of an impending guitar revival are not new

Some will scoff at U2 having a part of any such thing at this stage in the game, but we like seeing a guitar icon still excited by the instrument's possibilities. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.