“Very good,” Bono says, “is the enemy of great. You think great is right next door. It’s not. It’s in another country.”
This is a fantastic read. I hear great things about the new record, but a couple people I have heard say it’s not all it’s hyped to be. We’ll see – on Tuesday, when it’s released, we’ll see.
The real issue here, though, is that this band is trying, and trying with all they have, to be great every time out. They seem to take very little for granted, and they hold themselves to a much higher standard than most bands these days even dream of. If you listen to college radio, you hear some pretty great stuff from time to time. But you also hear legions of bands who don’t seem to have much ambition. It’s hard to imagine that they listen to their songs and say to each other, “hey, you know, they’ll still be playing this on the radio 40 years from now.” The bar is so low, the attempt so safe and minimal.
I admit it – I like my artists to think big, to dream of the legend they can become if only they’re willing to put their entire souls into the effort.
Put another way, I much prefer the spectacular failure to the mild success.