Many people regard U2 as one of the biggest rock bands around, but lead singer Bono is not one of them.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast, the vocalist made several confessions about the band, including that he did not like the name U2. Bono's admission came after the group's lead guitarist, The Edge, explained that it took a while for him to warm to the name U2.
"I still don't [like the name]. I really don't," Bono said, according to CNN. "I was late into some kind of dyslexia — I didn't realize that The Beatles was a bad pun either."
Bono explained that "in our head, it was like the spy plane, it was ... a U-boat, it was futuristic. But then, as it turned out to imply this kind of acquiescence; no, I don't like that name. I still don't really like the name."
In the end, it was the band's first manager, Paul McGuinness, who convinced them to stick to the name because it would look good on a T-shirt.
Also during the interview, Bono admitted he took issue with his own voice, which he said was "very strained" and "not macho."
"I've been in a car when one of our songs has come on the radio, and I've been the color of ... scarlet. I'm just so embarrassed. I do think U2 pushes out the boat on embarrassment quite a lot," he said, adding that there were others who were also critical of his voice — including the late singer Robert Palmer, the singer-songwriter of "Addicted to Love" fame, who had a few tips for U2 bassist Adam Clayton in the 1980s.
"God, would you ever tell your singer to just take down the keys a little bit?" Bono claimed Palmer said to Clayton. "He'd do himself a favor, his voice a favor, and he'd do us all a favor who have to listen to him."
It was only much later in the band's career that Bono said he "became a singer," adding that "maybe it hasn't happened yet for some people's ears."
Bono is not just critical of his own band. In a 2017 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he stated that music "has gotten too girly."
"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," he continued. "When I was 16, I had a lot of anger in me. 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.
"In the end, what is rock & roll? Rage is at the heart of it. Some great rock & roll tends to have that, which is why The Who were such a great band. Or Pearl Jam. Eddie has that rage."
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