Legendary U2, Depeche Mode, Killers producer says release 'raised many questions'
Andrew Trendell

15:28 24th March 2015

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Legendary U2 producer Flood has defended the band's controversial release of Songs Of Innocence - arguing that it 'raised questions about the value of music'. 

Watch our interview with Flood and producer Dave Bessell in the video above

U2 caused quite a stir last year when they released their 13th studio album directly for free to anyone with an iTunes account. Many felt invaded or that their music had been hijacked, others found it to be a genius stunt of publicity and distribution. As a result, over 92 million people have heard the record. 

Flood provided additional production to Songs Of Innocence (as well as working with them on the likes of Achtung Baby, Zooropa, Pop, The Joshua Tree and many more, not to mention being behind the desk for The Killers, Nick Cave, Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode, Placebo etc).

Now, he's spoken out in defence of the record's release, while synth project Node were preparing for a recent gig at London's Royal College of Music (watch our behind the scenes video here). 

"What they did raised as many questions," Flood tells Gigwise, "Just the easy 'Oh why did they do that? They're terrible'. I think what it did was raise whether music is valued in society right now, and I think that's something that still hasn't been answered correctly. It brought about the question of 'What are peoples' listening tastes?' And maybe the biggest question it raised was 'Are people allowed to have choice or is choice actually being eliminated?'"

He continued: "It's not just music, I mean the way that there's no ownership now. Everything is either streamed or... you don't own iTunes, you don't own the films you watch - they're all leased from these companies, and I think that's the biggest question. They said 'There it is, you have it' and it was no longer a choice. For me that the biggest question it raised."

Flood added: "It was hard because U2 basically are right at the top, and they're in everybody's gunsights. It's an easy target, but you've got to look at it on a deeper, fundamental level. Everybody is self-serving with publicity. It doesn't matter if it's Jamie Oliver, who does amazing things with his food and support for young people: you could argue he's just a self-serving publicist! There are innumerable people, but at least what they did was raise this issue: 'What is the value of music right now?'

"Some would say it's a mere commodity, others would say people should have personal choice. Others would say we don't know what the fuck's going on."

His bandmate in Node, Professor Bessell added: "It certainly raised questions, everyone's agreed on that, pretty much everyone in the music industry at the moment is agreed on the fact that no one has the answers.

"The fact that the whole music business is in such a state of flux and lots of people are trying lots of different things - some of them work, some of them don't.

Node's second album, Node 2, is out now. For more information on Node, find them on: 
Official Website

Meanwhile, U2's upcoming tour dates are as follows. See below for tickets and information. 

Sun October 25 2015 - London O2 Arena
Mon October 26 2015 - London O2 Arena
Thu October 29 2015 - London O2 Arena
Fri October 30 2015 - London O2 Arena
Mon November 02 2015 - London O2 Arena

Fri November 06 2015 - Glasgow SSE Hydro
Sat November 07 2015 - Glasgow SSE Hydro

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Photo: WENN