U2.com : Daniel Lanois Interview - Part 1 - U2 France

U2.com : Daniel Lanois Interview - Part 1

mardi 14 novembre 2000

Source : U2.com

Thanks to Roeli for the following from U2.com :

DANIEL LANOIS on working with U2.

Daniel Lanois has been described by Rolling Stone as ’the most important record producer to emerge in the Eighties’, following collaborations with artists such as Bob Dylan, Peter Gabriel and, of course, U2. His first meeting with the band came when they invited him and Brian Eno to co-produce The Unforgettable Fire. His flair for an atmospheric, experimental sound helped lend the album its beguiling ambience and move U2 on to a higher plane. In 1987 he collaborated again with Eno on The Joshua Tree, which won him a Grammy. In 1991 he was invited back as principal producer for Achtung Baby - which scooped another Grammy.

In 1989 Lanois released Arcadie, his debut album as a singer/songwriter. It was received warmly by the critics, as was his subsequent release, For The Beauty of Wynona.

In the first of a two-part interview with Brian Draper, Daniel Lanoisremembers his roots, his first meeting with Brian Eno, and the highs and lows of working with agroup of emerging superstars... He considers the role he played in making U2 the band they are today - and the chemistry that gave them all their collective genius.

Next week : Lanois gets honest about the U2 material he wasn’t invited to work on ; the recent joy of returning to work with the band ; and the making of All That You Can’t Leave Behind. "Brian Eno and I will start something on our own in the morning in the absence of U2. They’ll waltz in and think, ’Oh that sounds kind of interesting, let’s play along’ - and there’s combustion. When the magic comes, the room lights up and everybody knows that there’s something special going on..."

U2.COM : Were you brought up with music ?

LANOIS : Yeah, it was in the family. My father and grandfather were violin players. I grew up with the very melodic - somewhat Irish - tunes that they played. Then I started playing. I was a lucky kid - that I found music, and poured everything into it.

U2.COM : Did you originally want to be an artist or a producer ?

LANOIS : My first love was playing, and the recording was a way of documenting it. I never separated the two. But I never really had my own band like the U2 folks had - it was a gift that they had. They managed to find the right people very early on.

U2.COM : So how did you become a producer ?

LANOIS : We had a junky old tape recorder around the house. We would horse around, do little recordings. It evolved into a little studio. We started recording local folk groups and bands. I just hit every step of the ladder, technically, and before we knew it we had a fully fledged studio.

U2.COM : You first met Brian Eno when he came to record with you ?

LANOIS : Yeah, we met as a result of Brian hearing a tape I had worked on. He booked some studio time. We hit it off and made a lot of ambient records in the early Eighties. Brian was dedicated to whatever he was up to. He was driven. That was the biggest lesson I learnt from him - that ability to say, "This is important to me, and I’m going to bring it to a full finish."

U2.COM : Is there ever a danger that your role as producer takes on more importance than that of the artist ? I mean, isn’t it cheating to play about with a band and make them sound better than they really are ?

LANOIS : I don’t mind cheating, because making records is just smoke and mirrors to begin with. I don’t have a problem with the philosophy of jiggery-pokery. We do that all the time - and have done all along. Artists will lean on the producers or engineers to make some magic. Initially it has to come from the performance. But you try to optimise every situation and, whatever trick you need to pull technically to make things sound better, then more power to everyone...

U2.COM : How did you feel when you were first asked to get involved with U2 ?

(Continued)

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