He recites a line from Cedars of Lebanon, a somber tune from the view of a war correspondent: "Choose your enemies carefully because they will define you."
It's a sly cautionary tag on a character study that reflects a collective regret and despair in today's uneasy world. And it's a U2 mantra.
"U2 never took on obvious enemies — pretending to sneer at fashion or the establishment," Bono says. "They're useless enemies. The more interesting enemies are your own hypocrisy, the obstacles to realizing your own potential."
More than 30 years after forming in Dublin, "U2 only survives as long as everyone is willing to totally commit," Edge says. "As long as our agendas are aligned and the singular band ego is bigger than our individual egos, we can go on. If that ever is no longer possible, we'd pack it in. None of us could hack turning out mediocre records. It would kill us."
Bono, the globe-trotting activist with demanding commitments worldwide, rediscovered U2's value during a spate of separation anxiety.
"Because I'm on my own in my other lives, I had an epiphany about how much I need to be in this band," he says. "Over the years, you perhaps take for granted the opportunity to make music. I'm very happy as an activist, but it's a very demanding life, a slog, and it can be dirty work. This record put me back in the place I was as a teenager, working in a gas station, dreaming of getting to rehearsal with the band.
"It was so intoxicating to hear an electric guitar or the silver sound of a cymbal. Maybe I needed to be reminded of that."